IMGP0003

DYNAMIC DUO: ESSIE BORDEAUX & NO CHIPS AHEAD

I have been thinking about picking up the perfect vintage wine coloured nail varnish and I definitely found it in Essie’s Bordeaux. I am sure there are at least five different rules that warrant purchases of any deep red or burgundy item at this time of year- nail varnish is no exception.

The thing I fell in love with was the total vintage feel of this nail varnish. It is a classic, build-able red that is perfect no matter the situation. Please excuse my shocking application of polish, I don’t seem to get any better.

IMG_0008

As Christmas falls in New Zealand’s summer deep colours can be pulled off any time of year, also the fact that the sun hasn’t really kicked in yet. I am totally in love with this colour and feel particularly festive, I will be wearing this one quite a bit. Two coats of this gem and a top coat of No Chips Ahead and it will be shining for plenty of time. Although No Chips Ahead takes ages to dry, seriously, it is well worth the wait- this stuff really makes your nails shine and adds double lasting power. This really is a dynamic duo.

 

IMG_1308

THE SKIN EDIT- FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Clarins Paris Water Comfort One-Step Peach Cleanser

IMG_1308

Aside from the very long but otherwise very self explanatory title there is nothing complicated and everything simple about this cleanser. I have been using this cleanser non-stop since I purchased it from my local Farmers store and love every second of using it.

I have coveted this product ever since Suzie from Hello October mentioned it in her Skincare Videos and Posts on her blog (Link here- I actually adore her.) and have finally just gone out and purchased it. What drew me in was most definitely that it is with Peach, of course- but also the fact that I have never tried much from Clarins at all but adore putting “the good stuff”, as they say, on my face. I instantly knew this would be a product for me.

I may not use this product as everyone else would as I use this after cleansing my face- Yes after. An essential step in my night time routine I would cleanse my face with my normal cleanser, shower and head straight to this baby. Using this cleansing water after my first initial cleanse helps remove any leftover make up or reside dirt that the first cleanse may not have got off. I use this especially on my eyes as I struggle with removing mascara and hard to reach eyeliner as I like to be gentle in this area, and you’ll be surprised how much leftover foundation it can pick up also.

I use this in the morning after my morning shower also to freshen up and kickstart my daily skincare & makeup routine. It definitely adds a little luxurious, fresh elegance to your day.

The smell is definitely no let down here, and I love the fresh, clean feeling this cleanser gives. It is very gentle and removes every last bit of dirt or makeup you may have on your face. It also seems to be long-lasting, so far, although considering how much I love using this cleanser I have to hold myself back from dabbing a little on my face for the hell of it.

So far this has exceeded my expectations and I am left with a first impression of perfection. Love.

IMGP0006

HAUL & REVIEW: Smashbox Eyeshadows and Brow Crayon

As you are well aware I recently celebrated my birthday, and I have finally come around to showing you some of the little purchases I made as my “birthday treats” to myself. I attended a little consultation with a beauty artist who worked on the New Zealand models for fashion week and was able to pick out a couple of the products she used on my face- I am in total Smashbox love.

Smashbox wasn’t a brand I gravitated towards previously, mainly because it was hard to get a hold of where I live, but also that it wasn’t a brand I had heard of, but after these products I think I’ll have to go back for more.

I picked up three items, which I deem as quite lucky- as they were quite pricey, but I seem to like putting the pricey stuff on my face these days (who knew beauty blogging could turn into expensive taste).

IMGP0011

The fist product I picked up was the Brow Tech To Go, Crayon and Gel, I am in Taupe. I have wanted something like this for a while and never got to the Rimmel stand to pick up the brow gel I have heard such good things about, lucky enough as this product is a new favourite. It really stays in place, easy to apply and the shape of it ensures you never have to sharpen it- very handy.

I also picked up a Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Eyeshadow in the colour Quartz. I have been wanting a cream eyeshadow and this was one way to refrain from splurging on a By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow. It’s keeping the temptation at bay, for now. This is such a versatile colour, warm enough for winter, cool enough for summer and it literally goes for days. You need the smallest amount and it is extremely buildable. I use this over my lid with a touch of brown in the crease, simple.

IMGP0012

The last product I got is one that I am more impressed with than I thought I would ever be with an eyeshadow. Extremely pigmented and easy to work with this Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio- Focal Point (with Champagne, Flamingo and Java) is exactly what I was looking for, for a light and elegant make up look. A touch will go far and it, too, is very long wearing. I am really enjoying this Smashbox haul and I think it is going to last a very long while. I couldn’t recommend these products enough. As you can see they swatch beautifully, try them out and do enjoy!

IMGP0004

WARM SPICED CHIA OATMEAL

I know it is probably coming into the colder period for you and I thought I would share my morning, warming filler recipe to keep the energy up and the body warm. I make a dairy free organic oatmeal in the mornings I have time or a busier day ahead, otherwise I make it in batches to heat within minutes. It is super easy, filling and tasty, perfect for the colder months. I try to keep to a daily gluten and dairy free diet as I find my body reacts badly if consumed in large amounts, although I am a fiend for baking and you just gotta try your baking, right? I am always on the lookout for healthier alternatives to the dishes I love and almond milk and oatmeal seem to go hand in hand- add some chia seeds and freshly chopped nuts in there and you’re set. IMGP0003 This recipe is super versatile and easy to change according to your taste. Here is my favourite:

OATMEAL INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Organic Unsweetend Almond Milk 1/4 Cup Water 1/2 Cup Organic Wholemeal Oats (I use Harrods) 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract 1 tsp Raw Honey 1 Cinnamon Stick 1 TBSP Chia

TOPPING INGREDIENTS: Pinch of Cinnamon Chopped Chestnuts, Almonds, Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts Goji Berries 1 Banana Mashed for added sweetness Like I said you can switch up the recipe to anyway you like, I often switch out the Goji Berries for Raspberries or Spiced Stewed Apple and add maple syrup.

INSTRUCTIONS: Heat your almond milk, cinnamon stick, vanilla and water in a saucepan until boiling, then add oats and chia and leave stirring occasionally until pretty much cooked through, stir through honey (or maple) and leave until completely cooked. Once cooked move into a bowl, stir through banana and add toppings of choice. Serve and you’re ready to go!

IMGP0009_2

THE EDIT #1

I thought I would do a chatty post with you today as I don’t feel like I do these often enough, I got such a great response when I asked whether you’d like to see these on Twitter that I thought it would be really nice to integrate one in. The Edit will be a series of chatty updates whenever I feel necessary, called this as I find this series may edit my blog into something more personal and give you the chance to know who I am.

It is coming into Spring here and I get overly excited to see that sun shining, I have been filling the porch with pot plants and herbs ready for that fresh cooking and flowers blooming really making my home a welcome one. The plant above is a miniature Jeanne Lajoie rose that I have located on my dining room table (a double mid-pink when blooming) and I am so excited for this to flower.

IMGP0015_2

I have also placed some edible flowers on my porch as I would like to really try making salads easy on the eyes as well as the stomach, flowers such as pink and white Dianthus, lilac Campanula’s and lipstick red Snow Peas. These are going to look beautiful leading up to my doorstep when they finally flower completely.

A little shopping has been done already this month where I attended a Smashbox consultation. The makeup artist participated in New Zealand’s fashion week and had all sorts of tips and tricks for me. I was lucky enough to add a few eyeshadows and a brow gel/pencil to my collection which will be featured soon.

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel has also found its way shipping to New Zealand which will most likely have its own little debut here also. I have heard so many good things about this cleanser that I think it will fit perfectly into my ever-improving skincare routine. I did some research on this one before purchasing (obviously, information is always handy and I seem to like the hype) and this is actually made of all the good vitamins, Pumpkin Enzymes, Starflower Oil, Chamomile and Rose which I think makes for a interesting combination. Personally I have combination skin, with air-con on full boar all day at work and find that this may be a fantastic cleanser to try out.

I am also looking into getting an Origins Moisturiser for my Spring Skincare Routine, what do you think?

IMGP0015

Fitspiration

I have been gone for the last week, I will admit it, and usually that means family time, holiday or moving- but not this time. This time I have been taking time to myself for my fitness.

I have never been the girl who goes running in the morning, or gets excited for P.E. I have been the girl more than happy to sit on the sidelines cheering my lungs out or watching from afar, I am not the most active of girls nor did I find a hankering for physical exercise- not until recently.

Matthew just celebrated his birthday a week ago where I naughtily purchased a new Red Fitbit Flex that he had been lusting after for some time, if you didn’t know a Fitbit is a little device that fits into cute little wristbands that during the day tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep quality. Matthew had one already that he claimed “the battery is dying” (honestly I think it was the pretty red wristband that the new one came in he was after) so I swiftly went out and brought it for him, thanking my stars that gift giving for Matthew is that simple.

With the shiny new red Fitbit Flex on his wrist Matthew passed his old one (which I swear is perfectly fine) on to me, herewith starting my fascination with my exercise and fitness.

First off I thought it was fascinating that it tracks your sleep, but I soon found that the function for tracking steps and activity level is addictive. I have been enjoying yoga and walking lately, but I have kicked it up a notch with even running and hiking uphill- two things I dreaded thinking about let alone attempting. So with this little backstory I have my new fitness tips, regime, information- whatever you’d like to call it, here it is!

IMGP0013

YOGA

Yoga is something I have always enjoyed. Luckily I am blessed with my flexibility as well as my short stature- so stretching has always been a strong point no matter my weight which yoyo’s frequently due to a niggly sweet tooth I find hard to ditch.

I currently use the Reebok 55 Weighted Exercise ball and a nifty little yoga mat I got from a department store that does the job. I use fitsugar.com to find my sequences and can be a bit fickle with them, I chop and change as I like and I usually like to do Yoga when Matthew is out of the house when it is quiet and calming- so I have no set period to when I stretch.

ZUMBA

I have started attending Zumba classes held at the local school hall on a Wednesday with a few colleagues of mine, I have been doing this for a month or so now and I love how it enables you to get your heart rate up without you even noticing. I have so much fun with Zumba and can’t believe it has been an hour at the end of it. Zumba is a fun, satisfying way to exercise without gruelling yourself at the gym (although I would love a gym membership regardless- since I have been a bit fickle with exercise in general in the past I haven’t taken that leap to joining)

IMGP0015

BRISK WALKING

I also have been lucky enough to be situated close to a forest where tracks are laid for the purposes of running, walking, cycling etc and have a couple of buddies that I go walking with at least twice a week. I like to stick with a buddy as talking passes the time and helps keep the focus off the pain that walking up those hills incurs. I like to choose an somewhat uphill route, and yes it kills me, and yes it hurts, and yes I look like a red-faced puffing mess when I do it- but it is totally worth it. I have also taken to walking around the block a couple of times in the morning before work on Saturdays to get my step count up and fit that exercise in so if we don’t get around to doing something that afternoon I know I have exercised somehow. I will also take to the block if I cannot find anyone to accompany me to the forest as I prefer not to be walking alone in there- safety first kids.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

This one still kills me. I do not do this often. Matthew is a big mountain biking fan, his Mother and Father bike the trails, his brother works in the mountain biking industry along with his girlfriend and so naturally- coming from a biking family- Matthew would like to me to join him for afternoons in the forest, which is fine, until two minutes in and I lose my breath.

Seriously, I’m that bad. I am a big red faced swearing mess amongst those trees, but Matthew enjoys it and thats all that matters. I have found a couple trails that I enjoy riding and I am DETERMINED to be good at it, and I know this only comes with perseverance and hard work- so guess what I’ll be doing this summer.

IMGP0025

HOME WORK OUTS

I have a couple of lists that I use when I work out of set reps and exercises that I do if I want to work on something in particular or haven’t been particularly active that day (or if I’ve eaten something naughty and think that it may help compensate) These include three sets of reps usually 12,10 & 10 of exercises such as rows, push presses, push ups, dips, crunches, squats, hinges, lunges and step ups. I always have my little 1.5kg weights handy for these which I also take walking around the block sometimes.

IMGP0008

MOTIVATION

I am a very visual person when it comes to inspiration and motivation, and actually looking at things on places like Pinterest, We Heart It (my personal fave) and blogs always help. For some reason taking a quick look at the “fitness” tag on we heart it really gets me ready for a walk or a ride, its incredible how much these images help. (let me know if thats just me)

Music is another big thing. I have two or three playlists dedicated to exercise and working out. I boom these at home or in my headphones when I am active and it keeps everything fast paced.

Having a buddy is also another great way to keep you on track, whether is be your partner, a colleague or a friend and it probably helps them too!

MY EXPERIENCE AND TIPS

I thought I would add this little bonus on the end as things I have personally experienced when it comes to actually getting up and getting fit. Firstly I know that drinking water is a must. I am very very bad at this and have found since purchasing my pretty pink Camelbak Eddy it has been much easier. I make a habit of carrying this in my hand whether it be around work, around home, in the forest or even shopping- your consumption of water will definitely increase.

Secondly I recently added some Nike Flex running shoes into my wardrobe and these have helped my activity level immensely.

Before I didn’t have any decent trainers other than my good ol’ Converse and my feet were suffering because of this. When you have good shoes going out and exercising doesn’t seem as daunting.

I have to say that my Fitbit has definitely helped but just tracking your exercise in general is a good idea, writing it in a  journal, an app such as my fitness pal (another one I use) or on a blog will enforce a little bit of commitment in there.

Let  me know if you have enjoyed this type of post or if you’d like to see how I am trudging on with things. I started all of this just coming out of Winter but some of these tips should help throughout the seasons. I also post regularly on twitter and instagram about my fitness and health so you can check me out there too!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 246 other followers