Things I do to lift my mood... ♡



I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed it's usually because I have many things to do but am struggling to get them done. Sometimes I just keep procrastinating and putting things off or simply feel stuck and that's when I like to do small things that make me feel productive even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the tasks I am stuck with. These things are simple but they don't make me feel like I am wasting time. Doing nothing when I have plenty to do stresses me even more. Sometimes it's a good idea to step back from the chaos and just recoup yourself. I don't always necessarily feel stressed or overwhelmed, but maybe I've just had a bad day and feel a bit down. Whichever the case may be, these are some small things I like to do to lift my mood.

Simple and productive home tasks...
One of the things I do very often when I am having a stressful or overwhelming day is small cleaning tasks. I know everyone is different but for me cleaning is therapeutic. When I say cleaning tasks, I mean changing your bedsheets, cleaning your makeup brushes and doing a load of laundry. Maybe tackle a section of your room or home that is a little bit cluttered. I do this almost every time I procrastinate with uni work because I know that if I sit at my laptop and try to do it I will just be staring at the screen being unproductive. At least if I am doing one of these cleaning/ organising tasks I am still feeling productive without stressing about my lack of focus on the uni assessment. I've previously written a full post on small tasks I did to feel productive, 'Little Productive Things of Today...'

Have a hot shower or bath...
Okay, so personally I have never been a bath person. I don't think it's baths that I don't like, it's just my bathtub that I don't like. In saying that, the other week I had had a day when I felt a bit bummed out and all I wanted to do was buy a nice Lush bath bomb and sit in the tub. It had been a good while since I used a bath bomb because I never take a bath, I always shower. After that, I ended up purchasing two more bath bombs from Lush just for future days when I may need a mood boost. This is not something I do when I'm stressed, but rather when I'm feeling a bit down.

Enjoy a bit of a pamper...
After that lovely bath, I like to go a little bit further and give myself a bit of a pamper. I'll make sure to moisturise my body with whatever my favourite product is at the time. Recently, I have been loving the Frank Body Body Cream. It smells like fresh doughnuts and yummy icing! This body cream is great because it is super hydrating and nourishing, and it's also cruelty-free. I use this particularly when my skin is feeling dry. Frank Body is one of my favourite brands as they are cruelty-free, natural (I don't necessarily stick to natural products but it's a bonus) and so far I have liked every product I have tried. I will leave a link to my previous post on Frank Body and their products here

Another product I regularly use is the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream. This is my all time favourite body cream and it has been since 2015. I have an entire post dedicated to it here if you were interested.

Can't forget a good facemask...
Continuing on with the self-pamper, I can't forget to include a good face mask! I don't know what it is about facemasks but for some reason once I've applied one I feel like I've got my life together. Obviously, a facemask isn't going to solve all my problems, but at that moment I feel relaxed and like everything is falling into place. Of course, that's all a mindset, just like my life probably isn't falling apart to begin with even if I feel overwhelmed, that's also just in my mind. Does anyone else feel that way about facemasks? 

Listen to uplifting music or a podcast...
Normally I would put on my chill playlist which has mostly songs from Jack Johnson, Sticky Fingers and various other artists in those types of genres. However, recently I've discovered a podcast called You Beauty and I have really enjoyed listening to it. I have tried listening to podcasts in the past but I always got bored and gave up. I find that a lot of podcasts take forever to get to the point and are difficult to sit through. The You Beauty podcast though is light-hearted, witty and actually interesting to listen to because it talks about beauty and skincare. What I like is that the podcast is well-structured whilst still feeling like a fun chat. I find myself often laughing when listening to this podcast and it's great at taking my mind off other things. So far I find it fun and relatable, especially in one of their episodes when they spoke about haircare because I totally agreed with everything they talked about. Another great thing about this particular podcast is if you happen to be interested in any of the products they mentioned you don't have to write it down because they link everything anyway. I'm yet to find another podcast that I genuinely enjoy but at the moment I am seriously loving You Beauty, definitely lifted my mood!

What are some things you do to lift your mood?

Garnier Tissue Masks! Hydra Bomb & Pure Charcoal ♡


Hello lovelies! I've recently come back to blogging after taking a pretty long break from it and I have to tell you I feel super great at the moment and excited about sharing new posts with you! I am very passionate about skin related topics as my skin is something I have struggled with since high school. I think that I may share a whole post dedicated to my skin experience but because it's quite long I'll skip over it in this post. I'll just mention that I have combination skin with cystic and hormonal breakouts. I unfortunately do have scarring including some pitted scars on my forehead (I've started skin needling treatments so I'll share my experience with that too) and at the current moment, my skin is quite dehydrated. I do drink more than enough water every day but I haven't found any topical products that actually hydrate my skin well.

I thought I would try a couple of the Garnier tissue masks as I've read many positive reviews on them. Initially, I intended to buy two different tissue masks from their Hydra Bomb range but ended up getting one Hydra Bomb and one from their new Pure Charcoal range. I actually had tried their Hydra Bomb Ultra Hydrating Rebalancing tissue mask, which is their green one, but I don't remember liking it that much. So this time I decided to try the Ultra Hydrating Rejuvenating mask and the Pure Charcoal with Black Algae mask.


Pure Charcoal with Black Algae
The first of the two that I tried was the Pure Charcoal with Black Algae. The little slits on the edge of the packet made it easy to tear open without any mess. When I took out the mask I didn't particularly like the scent but it wasn't too strong so it didn't bother me that much. I found the actual mask a little fiddly to unfold but nothing too difficult. When I applied the sheet to my face (cleanse and pat dry first) my skin felt super cool and fresh. The sheet openings for the eyes, nose and lips were easy to shift so it sat well on my face. After a couple of minutes, I did notice a tingling sensation that continued to increase for around 10-15 minutes. The tingling wasn't unbearable but it wasn't pleasant either. Normally you're supposed to leave it on for 15 minutes but I just left it on for around half an hour while I was doing other things. After the 15-ish minutes, the tingling started to subside.

After peeling the mask off my skin was definitely cooler. The instructions state that you can either massage the remaining excess into the skin or wipe off with a cotton pad. I decided to massage the rest into my skin to hopefully wake up with nicer skin. This mask claims to extract oil, dirt and impurities from the skin and to refine pores, skin texture and moisturise. I did feel like my skin improved slightly in terms of oil and dirt but my skin does not feel particularly moisturised. For $4.99 it was a nice mask but I think I'll continue to try other products. Good news is it didn't have any negative effects and my skin did appear to be less red!


Hydra Bomb Ultra Hydrating Rejuvenating
I decided to purchase the Ultra Hydrating Rejuvenating mask because like I mentioned, my skin has been feeling quite dehydrated even though I drink more than enough water. I find that when my skin is dehydrated, makeup will look far too dry and powdery on my skin and that's not exactly the look I want. It doesn't matter how much I prep my skin, or how dewy/ glowy the products I'm using are, it still looks oddly dry. I could be prepping my skin the exact same way and using the exact same products and sometimes it looks lovely and other times not so much. Hence I am now focusing on rehydrating my skin, and according to many online reviews, this is a good product for that.

The packaging is the same, easy to tear open. This mask, however, has a blue protective layer that you peel off after applying the mask to your skin (blue side facing out). When I first applied the mask to my skin it felt fresh and cool just like the first mask. But for some reason, I found this one more fiddly. What I liked about this mask is that there was no tingling sensation so it was far more relaxing and enjoyable to have on my skin. Again, I did leave this on for longer than the recommended 15 minutes as I do with most masks. 

After peeling off the mask I massaged the remaining serum into my skin and let it do its thing. I do feel like my skin is more nourished and maybe after multiple uses (these are single-use masks so I'd be repurchasing new ones), I may notice a pretty good difference in my skin. I much prefer the Ultra Hydrating Rejuvenating mask (blue one) over the Ultra Hydrating Rebalancing mask (green one) I tried a long time ago. This one is also my favourite out of the two I mentioned in this post.

Have you tried these Garnier tissue masks? I'd also love to know what your favourite hydrating skin products are.

♥︎

Favourite Makeup Brushes ♡


Hello, lovelies! It has been a good while since I last posted on my blog and it seems that my last few posts have all started with a sentence very similar to this one. I definitely have not been as consistent as I would have liked to, and even though life gets in the way sometimes, the main reason I stopped posting is simply that my passion for blogging had disappeared. If I'm entirely honest, I had lost interest in all the things I had previously enjoyed. I even stopped reading blogs altogether and that's something I used to really love! I did try to get back into it but it just wasn't interesting me anymore and I couldn't figure out why, and because it wasn't just blogging I lost interest in I realised that it was a sign of something much bigger. So for the past few months, I've been trying to take care of myself and find hobbies that I enjoy, whether it was something I used to like or something entirely new. For that reason, today I have decided to motivate myself to sit down and write a post. To get back into blogging I thought a topic on something that is simple and fun would be best, so I thought I would share my favourite makeup brushes with you!

Every single makeup brush I own is either from Real Techniques, Nude by Nature or Eco Tools, all of which are all affordable brands. For this post I have 6 different brushes that I want to share with you, 4 are face brushes and the other 2 are eye brushes. While I often alternate through my little brush collection these are the 6 that have been my go-to recently.



If I'm not using a makeup sponge or my fingers, I will always use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush for my foundation and occasionally concealer. I like how the brush feels soft on my skin but firm enough to buff/ blend the foundation seamlessly. I have been using this brush for quite some time and it has held up incredibly well! I am someone who will NOT use a dirty brush on my face, especially if I've used a liquid product (foundation or concealer) with it. I will wash it properly between every single use because I have such high maintenance skin and I do everything I can to avoid breaking out more than I already am. So as you can imagine this brush has been deeply washed a heap load of times and I haven't had a single bristle fall out yet (that I know of.) This brush was part of their Flawless Base set, I'm not entirely sure if it is sold separately. Though this brush is definitely a staple in my makeup routine!

The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is the first brush I ever purchased from them. Originally I used this brush to blend my foundation and concealer but after purchasing their Buffing Brush, I started to use this one for contouring. For some reason, I hadn't thought of using this brush for contouring initially but when I tried it I realised it had the perfect shape and density for contouring my cheekbones and jawline. Personally, I prefer a natural and soft contour and this brush works well with a few of my contour shades/ bronzers. As with the buffing brush, I have had absolutely no issues with bristles falling out. Another staple in my collection!

The Mini Sheer Powder brush from Eco Tools is my newest brush addition and oh my goodness it is the softest brush I have ever felt! I really like that the handle is small and easy to travel with, while the actual brush head is still full size. This brush has honestly been a great all-rounder. I've used this with both bronzer and blush for a sheer and natural application, as well as an overall powder. Because I haven't owned this brush for too long I can't comment on how well it wears, but so far there hasn't been any problems with bristles falling out. Even though this brush isn't necessarily a staple at the moment, it still is a current favourite and I can imagine it's a perfect brush for travelling as it is small and can be used for multiple purposes!

The last face brush I am writing about is the Real Techniques Detailer Brush. I'm not entirely sure if this is considered a face brush but I personally use this to contour my nose, so I grouped it in the face category. I don't have too much to say about this one other than it is of the same great quality as the other brushes I have mentioned and it is the perfect size for nose contouring. For me, contouring isn't my main focus but I do like to give my nose a little bit of shape. This brush was also part of the Flawless Base set. The Real Techniques Detailer Brush is definitely a staple for me!

Nude by Nature were some of the first makeup brushes I owned and are still a favourite, particularly for powder products. I don't often wear eyeshadow but every now and then I like to add a swash of colour to my eyes. This fluffy brush is a great tool for that wash of colour, as well as for applying a soft crease/ transition shade. I purchased this a few years ago as part of their Essential Collection set, which has since changed in appearance. This brush is a bit larger than the average eyeshadow brush but I love using it anyway!

For those occasional days when I do feel like wearing eyeshadow that's a bit more than a swash of colour, I use this Full Shadow brush from Eco Tools. The brush is much denser and provides a nicely pigmented application. I love that the bristles are still super soft without sacrificing the actual firmness of the brush. Because it's not often that I do wear eyeshadow, I don't use this brush regularly. But it's still a favourite when I do use it! This brush comes in their Ultimate Shade Duo set.

So these are my favourite makeup brushes at the moment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these if you have used them, and I'd also like to know what your favourite brushes are!

♥︎

Skincare from Simple


Alrighty, I am finally back with a new skincare post! I've been wanting to write a post about Simple's skincare range for quite some time, and now I'm finally getting around to it. Over the years I have tried a variety of Simple's skincare and so far I have never had a negative experience. I currently only have four of their products so I'll only be sharing my thoughts on these for the moment.

First up is Simple's Hydrating Cleansing Oil, which is intended to dissolve and remove makeup. This oil is enriched with vitamins A and E, and is made with 100% grade seed oil. I purchased this product because I wanted to try a different makeup remover and it happened to be on sale for only $4.99. I simply take some of the oil in my hands then gently rub over my face to dissolve my makeup. I liked how easy it was to remove my makeup but I would never use this on its own. Yes, it does seem to dissolve my makeup but in a way that made it easier to cleanse afterwards if that makes sense. So it feels more like a product that helps with removing makeup. After using this oil I always rinse it off then go in with my regular facial cleanser and my makeup will be completely removed, rather than if I was to just go straight in with my regular cleanser first. Although this product says it doesn't leave a greasy residue, I have to disagree. I find that I do feel some kind of residue, hence why I still double cleanse after using this.

Spotless Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes ($7.50)
These are probably my favourite wipes of the ones I have used. I don't know if it's just in my mind but I seriously think they help a little with spots! Now I do have quite acne prone skin (with acne, it's not just prone) so this does not by any means clear my skin. But I think they have the best effect on my skin in comparison to other wipes I've tried. They're great for removing most of my makeup (of course I always cleanse properly afterwards) and just for refreshing my skin when I'm not wearing makeup. I don't have too much to say other than I really like these and would definitely recommend them. I don't always use makeup wipes, in fact, I very often take breaks to see if I see any improvement in my skin as I've heard that they're not good for the skin. But honestly, I prefer to have them in my routine!

Replenishing Rich Moisturiser ($9.99).
This moisturiser from Simple is quite nice in my opinion. It claims to be a rich moisturiser that keeps your skin hydrated for up to 12 hours. If you have extremely dry skin then I think you would probably need something more nourishing, however; if you don't have super dry skin this moisturiser is great for daily use. I don't tend to reach for this much during the winter months as my skin gets much drier and it's just not moisturising enough for me. But during the rest of the year, I definitely like to use this both morning and night! I read that this product has UV filters to protect your skin so that's a good bonus. There's also no harsh chemicals, artificial perfumes or colours and dyes. Overall, I think this is a good everyday moisturiser.

Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser ($6.99).
Continuing with moisturisers, this next one from Simple is their oil balancing moisturiser. It contains zinc and chamomile that is intended to absorb excess oils. Sometimes I love this and sometimes I don't. It's one of those products that you don't realise is doing something until you stop using it. For me, I notice a difference in my oil production when I stop using it. When I apply this to my skin it's quite lightweight and apparently does help with my oil production. I say apparently because I don't notice until I use something else and notice that I get more oily throughout the day. Again, this moisturiser isn't super hydrating, but it is a nice everyday lightweight moisturiser if you have oily skin.

So that's the post! It has actually taken me a couple of months to write this believe it or not. I've been very lethargic for a long time as living with NDPH is exhausting. I did try going keto and had some surprising results which I may share on my blog too!

Have you tried skincare from Simple?

❤︎

An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann


Hello lovelies! I've realised that it has been a really long time since I read a book just for fun. Most things I read now are either from my university textbooks or required readings. And sure, sometimes it can be interesting but it's not the same as when I used to pick up a novel and read just to read. A while ago I was contacted by the lovely author, Kelly Wittmann, to read and review her new contemporary Young Adult novel, An Authentic Experience. I was super excited to have a new novel to read so, of course, I said yes! I personally am not great at describing plotlines, so instead of focusing on describing the plot, I will share the things I enjoyed most.

An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann - "Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. It’s a really bad time to fall in love, so you can pretty much bet that Silver will. Enter Jake Sullivan…"

First of all, I really enjoyed the different family and friendship dynamics explored in Silver's life. Silver and her mother seem to have a close relationship with each other, as well as with her maternal grandparents. However, the relationship Silver has with her dad is rocky and near non-existent. It was intriguing to follow the relationship between Silver and her dad throughout the story, especially after a frightening encounter she has with one of his friends. What I liked about the relationships in Silver's life is how varied they were from each other. But my favourite little storyline throughout the novel is the relationship Silver pursues with Jake.

Jake is introduced right in the beginning of the novel as the popular, good-looking, football player in junior high school. Initially, he seemed a bit arrogant but it wasn't far into the book that I began to actually like his character. Their relationship is a sweet portrayal of young high school love between the two. I also thought that Silver's 'unique' upbringing was a great feature throughout the story. Silver has been homeschooled her entire life and has in some ways lived through her cousin to have the whole 'teen and high school' experience.

The novel throws in many humorous rock references that I'm sure plenty of readers would appreciate. I wish I'd got them but I've never been a huge rock listener, nonetheless I always like when books and films throw in some witty references.

I found the story easy to follow, sometimes a little bit too easy in some ways but still engaging. I really liked how Silver's character was unique in many ways, particularly with her style! She strikes me as someone who is a bit nervous around people but quite strong headed.

I think this novel is great for younger readers around their early teens. It was fun to read a novel which featured something new for me such as rock as I am not too familiar with it. Thank you to Kelly who sent me a free digital copy of her new novel so I could share it with you! It was great to read something new. You can purchase a copy of An Authentic Experience here

♡ Three Pressed Powders ♡



Hello lovely! I haven't managed to focus on my blog for a while because my NDPH has been getting in the way of life and I had to put all my limited energy into uni. Anyway, today I have a new post all about pressed powders! Actually, these three are the only powders I own and they are all very different from each other. I thought I would share with you my 'powder collection,' I guess I can call it as this is all of them even though it's not a huge collection.


Australis Fresh & Flawless Pressed Powder...
First up is the Australis Fresh & Flawless pressed powder that I swear almost everyone in Australia has either tried or heard of. This was one of the first powders I bought and have been using for a few years now. I wrote a review on it here and still to this day it's one of my most read blog posts. Even though I have a previous post on it I'll still briefly talk about my current thoughts. This is my second pan and as you can see I have definitely got good use out of it.

The Australis Fresh & Flawless powder is the one I use most out of the three. I like that it mattifies my face without looking dry or dull, and unless it is an extremely hot and humid day, it lasts a good while on my skin. This powder adds a little bit of extra coverage but not so much that it looks cakey. The finish is matte and soft, I usually use a brush to dust it over my skin but sometimes (not often) I press it into my skin with a sponge and it completely blurs all my pores. It's also worth mentioning that there are no oils or fragrance in the product, and the brand itself is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. In regards to packaging, it isn't luxurious as such but it is nice and sturdy with a good amount of product. Only negative is that there isn't a huge range of shades; I use the shade Natural. Overall this is a lovely powder that is affordable too ($13.95).


Maybelline Fit Me! Set + Smooth Powder...
Initially, I had planned on purchasing the Matte + Poreless version of this powder but they either didn't have any left or it hadn't been released yet. Either way, I ended up with the Set +Smooth powder. This product claims to 'blend seamlessly and leave a finish that is just right.' Upon first application, this powder does exactly that. Because I have combination skin I prefer to use matte products otherwise I just get too shiny throughout the day.

This powder feels slightly finer than the Australis Fresh & Flawless and doesn't have much coverage to it, I like that though. I do get shiny when I use this, especially on my chin and forehead. It's a bit of a bummer because I actually really like how it sits on my skin when I first apply it. It definitely does 'set and smooth' but I just wish the 'setting' bit lasted longer. I think if you have dry to normal skin you may really like this powder. I will add that for me this powder is lovely during the colder months, and I do use it during spring and summer too but I NEED to have blotting sheets with me if I do. As for the shade range, I believe there are four which isn't a huge range; I use the shade Nude Beige. This powder is also oil-free and fragrance-free. Overall, a great powder for dry to normal skin. ($14.95).


Rimmel Stay Matte...
Finally, the Rimmel Stay Matte powder that I have heard so many great things about. I purchased this powder in search of something that would keep me matte throughout the day. I kept hearing about how great this was at controlling oils, and when Tanya Burr (adore her!) recommended it on her channel I thought that this may be the perfect powder for me. The Rimmel Stay Matte powder claims to keep you free of shine for up to five hours whilst minimising the appearance of pores. Okay, so although I don't dislike this powder, I also don't particularly like it. It does mattify my makeup to begin with but that lasts about 30 minutes before I start to get shiny on my forehead and chin. I will say that I quite like how lightweight this powder is, it feels like my skin can breathe. If you have dry or normal skin I think you would probably really like this powder, but unfortunately, this does not control the oils on my skin. I don't think I will be repurchasing this powder but I will get good use out of it during winter! Overall, I like that this powder is lightweight and provides a soft and natural finish, I just wish it kept my shine at bay for longer.

Have you tried any of these? If you have let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

♥︎

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation



Hello and welcome to a new post (finally!) all about the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. I purchased this when I was in search of a lightweight foundation suitable for a natural day look. This foundation claims have a formula enriched in vitamins C, B5 and E to boost radiance and provide an anti-fatigue effect.

Packaging...
First, let's talk packaging. It is a simple glass bottle with a pump that doesn't dispense too much or too little, which I love. The lid clicks on and stays on, overall this packaging is nice and sturdy.

Formula...
The formula of this foundation is neither too thick nor too runny, making it easy to work with. I really like how comfortable this foundation is to wear, it's so lightweight I can't even feel it on my skin. If you have dry or normal skin I think you might be able to wear this without setting it, but because I have combination skin I always use a powder on top. This foundation does not feel at all tacky on my skin and it isn't drying either.

Application...
The first time I applied this foundation I used a brush and I did not like how it looked. I was initially disappointed with the foundation because it looked quite streaky, but then I tried it again with a dampened beauty sponge and it applied so much nicer. I find that this foundation blends in very nicely too.

Finish...
I love how soft and natural the finish of this foundation is. It isn't overly matte or dewy, it's right in the middle with the potential to go either way depending on how you prep and the other products you use. If I'm feeling a more matte finish I will go over it with a mattifying powder, but if I want to go for a dewier look I'll prep my skin for it and add some illuminating properties. I like that it's versatile like that on my skin.

Overall...
I actually really like this foundation. Most days it works well for me, but there are always those days where my makeup just doesn't want to sit right. I will say though that Bourjois should really extend their shade range. Even though the shade Vanilla matches me pretty perfectly, I think a lot of people would need to purchase two shades to create their match and that's not exactly fair. So, excluding the shade range issue, my personal experience with the formula and finish is definitely positive. 

Have you tried this foundation? If you have let me know how it worked for you!

♥︎