Smoothie Boosters!


Hey, lovelies! If you've read some of my older blog posts you may or may not already know that I am a massive fan of smoothies. Particularly, when I can get creative with them by adding different ingredients to different bases (I normally use bananas as my base). Sometimes I get a bit too carried away or just don't put the right ratio and end up with an odd tasting smoothie. But most of the time it ends up delicious and that's why I love to play around with adding different things to my smoothies!

I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when I was contacted by F4U (Formulated For You), a health food company based in Gold Coast, Australia, to try out their products. I was kindly sent three powders from their smoothie booster range, which I was allowed to choose. The first thing I was super keen to try was their açai powder. I was also intrigued by their lucuma fruit powder as I’d actually never heard of it before. And lastly, I decided to try their cacao powder as I’ve tried numerous in the past, some of which I really liked and some which I did not.


F4U Cacao Powder
I thought I would start with my favourite one, their cacao powder. As I mentioned, I’ve tried numerous cacao powders before, some I liked and others not so much. This one definitely falls into the 'I like' category. I've read that cacao powder has numerous benefits such as being a good source of macronutrients and antioxidants. The F4U cacao powder is organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Because I don't consume much refined sugar anymore (it makes me nauseous and breaks me out) I opt for cacao powder instead of sugary chocolate powder in my smoothies. When I first made the switch a long time ago I remember putting in the same amount of cacao powder into my smoothie as I would with regular chocolate, what a bitter smoothie that was! Pure cacao powder that doesn't have any sweeteners or additives, such as this F4U one, will obviously be more bitter. I was already familiar with the ratio this time thank goodness, and honestly, I think this may be my favourite cacao powder that I've tried. I found it to be more creamy in my smoothies than other cacao powders and no bitter aftertaste. I'm sure if I did the same mistake I did the first time it would be bitter, but with the appropriate amount, I really loved the texture and flavour of this one.

I thought I would share my current favourite nice-cream recipe in this post too. Now I promise this tastes better than it looks, but it was so hot and humid this day that the nice-cream melted during the photo taking process haha! I make this recipe both as a smoothie or nice-cream depending on what I feel like, just add or reduce the liquid to adjust the texture.


Ingredients:
♥︎ 1 x frozen banana (cut it up before freezing so it's easier to blend).
♥︎ 1 x tbsp peanut butter (I like the smooth one).
♥︎ 1/2 x tbsp cacao powder.
♥︎ Nuts, seeds or granola of your choice. I personally love buckinis, I think of them as healthy popping candy!
♥︎ Unsweetened almond milk (or liquid of your choice). Adjust amount depending on the texture you want. If I'm feeling a nice-cream I'll pour a bit less than half the amount of milk to the amount of banana if that makes sense.

Method:
1. Blend it up.
2. Pour into a bowl or cup.
3. Sprinkle some nuts or other toppings.
4. Enjoy!


F4U Acai Powder
The acai powder was the product I was most excited to try. Acai is known to be a rich source of antioxidants and I've read that it's good for skin health, which is a focus of mine always. The F4U acai powder is actually freeze dried from the acai berry juice rather than the berry itself, and there's no sweeteners or additives. This acai powder is also organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Since receiving my smoothie boosters in the mail I've been having a lot of fun creating different recipes and seeing how I like to use them. The first one I made with this was a simple banana and almond milk smoothie with a teaspoon of acai powder. I was a bit surprised at the flavour as it was not what I was expecting. I found the taste of the acai to be quite strong and not to my personal liking. Throughout the week I kept creating different combinations to see what worked for my taste palette using the acai powder. I ended up with a bit of a random smoothie combination but it actually helped dilute the taste! I used frozen mango, frozen banana, raspberries, almond milk, activated charcoal, a teaspoon of lucuma fruit powder (which I'm writing about next), and a small teaspoon of the acai powder.

I did need to use a lot of banana and mango with a little bit of acai powder to dilute the acai taste. It was still pretty noticeable but I definitely prefer this smoothie over the simple banana one. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this acai powder because the flavour was too strong. But if it's a flavour you like that isn't a bad thing.


F4U Lucuma Fruit Powder
I had never heard of lucuma fruit before looking through Formulated For You's products. I did a bit of research on lucuma fruit and found that it is a fruit native to Peru. I read that lucuma fruit is high in beta-carotene, vitamin B3, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium as well as other vitamins and minerals. It is described as having a 'slightly sweet, maple-like flavour.' Though I personally think it tastes a little bit like dried mango! I had never experimented with this kind of fruit in my smoothies before so I tried several combinations to see what I liked best. I found that this one tastes amazing in a simple mango smoothie. I pretty much tossed mango, ice, a bit of almond milk, a teaspoon of lucuma powder, and water into the blender. This was a very fresh and summery smoothie, which I really enjoyed particularly in this summer weather. Again, this product is also organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Out of the smoothie boosters that I tried my favourite was definitely their cacao powder. It is so smooth and doesn't have that bitter aftertaste (unless you put too much) so I will continue to use this regularly. I genuinely would recommend F4U's cacao powder. The acai powder, however, I personally did not enjoy taste-wise. I will pass this one on to a friend who may like the flavour more than me. Lastly, the lucuma powder was quite interesting and new to me. I will keep this powder and continue to experiment. It may sound odd but I actually think it would work in certain curries!

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it!

The Sunshine Blogger Award ❤︎


Hello lovelies and welcome to a brand new post! Not too long ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Sophie from For a Rainy Day. I remember when I first started blogging and these award posts were very popular, they were a fun way to get to know the person behind the blog better and also a great way to discover new blogs altogether! So thank you, Sophie, for nominating me. I highly recommend you check out her blog where she shares so much positivity!

So what is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
"The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community."

These are the questions Sophie chose for the bloggers she nominated...

What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is the freedom of being creative. I love that I am in control of my content, I can decide what I want to write, how my pictures look and the atmosphere of my blog. I have always enjoyed creating and designing things whether it's a space, product or concept. I also really enjoy engaging with fellow bloggers and readers as it's a lovely community.

What’s your favourite seasonal drink?
Okay, so honestly I rarely drink anything except coffee, tea and water. I used to love the Christmas frappuccinos at Starbucks a few years back (especially their mint mocha frappuccino) but I don't drink those types of drinks anymore. So at the moment, I don't have one, but the mint mocha frappuccino was definitely a favourite before! My go-to drink now though is a cappuccino with cinnamon and chocolate sprinkled on top (even though it's not really a seasonal drink).

What’s your favourite kind of post to write?
Over the years my favourite posts to write (and read) have changed. When I first started blogging I preferred product reviews. Then I got more into the blogging world and started to get into lots of different post types, mostly in the beauty and lifestyle categories. Currently, (and since forever really) I have always been curious to know what people keep in different places such as their bags, and what people do in their routines. So I actually enjoy posts such as What's in My bag, Morning Routine, Evening Routine, Haircare Routine, Skincare Routine etc.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to start a blog?
Just have fun with it. I think there are many different reasons as to why people start blogs. Some want it as a career, others enjoy the creativity and then there are plenty of other reasons too! I personally want to make sure it says fun and doesn't feel like a chore, which it honestly has felt like at times in the past. My biggest tip though is to engage with your readers. I know when I leave a comment on someone's post I am far more likely to return to that blog if they reply to their comments!

What is your favourite Christmas film?
The Polar Express has been my favourite Christmas film for years. The first time I saw it I thought it was borderline scary simply because the animation and graphics are so realistic. I mean the animated characters even have pores! But it's very well-made in my opinion and I quite like the soundtrack too.

What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
I don't know what my advice would be, I think if I could sit down and have a great chat with my 16-year-old self I would have so much to say. But my main advice to myself and others, in general, is to think about what's really worth your energy; pick your battles. And it's totally okay to fake it till you make it!

What’s your favourite book?
When I was around 14 I read a book called Stolen by Lucy Christopher and it's still my favourite book today. It's about a young English girl named Gemma who is kidnapped at an airport in Vietnam by a man named Tye. He takes her to the middle of nowhere in the outback of Australia where he just wants a friend. The story is beautifully written and really captures the Australian bush. My other favourite story is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, seriously found it hard to put the book down!

What do you do to unwind?
It depends on what I'm unwinding from. If I'm stressed or anxious I do an intense workout to build up my adrenaline until it just burns out followed by a hot shower. Other times I like to do a nice little pamper routine. I just recently wrote a post related to this; Things I do to lift my mood.

Your best beauty decision you’ve made?
I don't know if I even have an answer for this one haha! Probably just getting into a good skincare routine and making sure everything I use is clean. Or, I'm not sure if this counts but recently I made the decision to pursue skin needling to help with my acne scarring and I am so happy about going through with it! I was really apprehensive about it because it isn't cheap but my skin is a major insecurity of mine. I have moderate acne and unfortunately even though it's not as bad as it was in high school it has left some pretty nasty (pitted) scarring. I  feel like I follow all the acne 'rules' and it's exhausting trying to fix it. My forehead is much better acne wise now but the scarring was bad so I chose to do skin needing (I already see a noticeable improvement). My chin still gets hormonal breakouts but my cheeks are super clear.

What’s the hardest part about blogging?
Trying to keep to a regular schedule. Because blogging is a hobby for me and not my job it, unfortunately, is one of the first things to slide off my plate when I have a lot of things to do. For me personally, if I try to keep to a weekly schedule I end up feeling like blogging is a chore and not for fun. So the hardest part about blogging for me is trying to balance enjoyment and keeping on top of it.

What is your favourite memory of 2018?
Ahh, the favourite memory question... I never know what to answer when I'm asked these types of questions. There's so many to choose from and out of a year, there's a lot to go through! I would say one of my favourite moments this year was when my family and I went to celebrate a family friend's birthday on a beautiful island. We were so lucky and got to enjoy the weekend and stay in these super cute cabins. We had been on this island before but only on day trips, which is great and all but personally, I much prefer being able to stay there overnight. The reason why this was one of my favourite moments is not only because I had a really fun time, but my head pain was so low the entire weekend (my constant head pain has never been this low for that long in 3 years). If you're new to my blog or don't know about NDPH (new daily persistent headache), it's a condition that I developed when I was 16 that I've written about a lot on my blog here. Put very short, it means that I live with constant pain in my head (literally 24/7) that fluctuates between 4 and 9 on a pain scale but has never stopped since the day it started in June(ish) 2015. So for me, having an entire weekend with only subtle discomfort rather than sharp pain is my favourite memory of 2018.

I would like to nominate these bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

❤︎ Tenneil from Like Neon Love.
❤︎ Elizabeth from "Ice Cream" whispers Clara.
❤︎ Charlotte from Charlotte's Picks.
❤︎ Lisa from Lisa Autumn.
❤︎ Kate from Kate Loves.

The 11 questions I would like to ask are:

1. What aspects of your life do you like/ enjoy at this point in time?
2. Are you a bath or a shower person?
3. What are your most loved perfumes or body mists?
4. What is something random your friends and family associate you with? For example, my friends say I always have the mintiest gum and pee a lot!
5. Do you have a favourite beauty product?
6. Apart from blogging, what is something that really interests you?
7. Do you have siblings? If so, how many and what's your relationship with them like?
8. Favourite childhood film?
9. How often do you clean your makeup brushes?
10. How would you describe your personality?
11. What are your favourite posts to read and write?

If you end up doing this on your blog please leave a link to your post as I'd love to read them!

Sunshine Blogger Award Image

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