Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Top 5 November Beauty Favourites

I thought I'd share with you guys my top 5 beauty favourites that I'm currently loving for the month of November. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Lush Buche De Noel facial cleanser 

I ran out of Angels on Bare Skin, and decided to give the Limited Edition Christmas cleanser a go. It's scrubbier than Angel and still manages to make my skin baby smooth.
The marzipan scent can be a little overpowering for some though.

2. Maybelline Dream Matte Powder 

I love this powder for shine control. It's so translucent that I've found that getting a slightly too light or too dark shade in this doesn't matter, as the colour doesn't really show up. 
It's a great little compact that I carry around in my handbag that I use for touchups during the day. 

3. Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum

Even though it's Spring in the southern hemisphere, I just discovered this shade and I love how versatile it is. You can apply a thin layer for a light berry-stained look, or you can build it up for a deep and sophisticated look. I know I'll be reaching for this in Autumn/fall and Winter time.

4. Skin 79 Triple Functions Orange BB Cream 

I much prefer this to Skin 79's pink BB cream. This one is much thicker and covers my blemishes better, it matched my skin tone perfectly, and doesn't make me look oily like the pink one does! Not to mention it's SPF 50, which is incredible. 

5. L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Ivory

Lately my skin has been breaking out a lot, and I love how easy this concealer is to blend on the skin to cover blemishes. It's also one of my favourite concealers for covering dark circles - and it's one of my cheaper concealers, I got mine for $4 NZ. 

There you have it, those are my top 5 for November. I can't believe that Christmas is coming up in a few weeks and 2012 is nearly over. The weather is warming up nicely over here and it's looking to be a pretty warm Christmas :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Winter Clothes Wants

Winter Clothes Wants

Winter is undeniably here in Kanazawa and trying to keep warm is currently my obsession. I have finally purchased an oil radiator heater for my poorly insulated apartment and I have been living in my bedroom coming out only to eat, shower and use the toilet. I sound like a bit of a crazy person...but I swear I went out a couple of times throughout the weekend! 

So here's a few things which I would like to be wearing right now, and that I have my beady little eye on. You have to excuse my sudden love for Ugg boots. I have forever detested them because of their ugly look, and my hatred for them grew especially after seeing girls wearing them outside with their PJ bottoms, or short denim shorts (even though it's minus a bajillion degrees outside!). But after having been gifted a pair, I have to say, winter is definitely easier to bear with them on. I have a knock-off pair at home, but my real pair of Uggs still reside in NZ, so I'm going to have to plead to someone to ship them over to me. They're warm, comfy and I feel like a bit of a cave woman when I wear them, but I think they're here to stay.

Sweaters I can't get enough of, and I wear at least 3 other things underneath mine, and it hasn't even started snowing yet!

I am currently freaking out because I still do not own a proper winter jacket, and have been living in my leather one, the poor thing has gotten wet one too many time in this horrid constant rainy weather. So I have been scouring eBay and TradeMe for The North Face and Kathmandu jackets. Dear gods of winter, please be kind to me! I am yet also to purchase a pair of proper boots for winter.

And I have been living in my one scarf for the last month and a half. That sounds filthy. I really need to buy more scarfs.

Dear friends of the hellishly cold atmosphere, how do you keep yourself warm, and what winter warmers are you desiring? Any tips for keeping warm in a badly insulated apartment?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

7 Beauty Sins

So I'm probably jumping aboard this bandwagon far too late, but this beauty blog inspired me to do the following post! Seemed like a bit of fun, so let's get into it!

1. GREED - What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your more expensive?

This actually took a bit of pondering, unfortunately in NZ we are not blessed with cheap drugstore make-up. Even our low end crappy make-up that nobody should be buying is STILL expensive. So I would have to say my most inexpensive beauty item is a blusher I bought for NZD$3 from a store that imports things from Japan. It was a really pretty peachy colour, and the pigmentation was intense!
My most expensive beauty item is was definitely my GHD hair straightener. At the time I purchased it, I believe I payed close to NZD$300! Man! That's a lot of money!

GHD Hair Straightener

2. WRATH - What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with?

I have a pretty big love/hate relationship with bronzers. When I bought my first ever bronzer (it was a LE Mac), I thought the colour was exactly right for me, and that reason I looked a bit orange was because I just wasn't applying it right. After a while I finally came to terms with the fact that my face wasn't ever an orange colour, though sometimes I tended to look a bit yellow-y, and I finally sold off the bronzer to some other lucky girl. Since then I've purchased NARS' Laguna bronzer and Chanel's Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. Both are amazing products, but in unskilled hands such as mine, the rest can turn out horrible. I am yet to learn how to make the products look amazing on me. 

NARS Laguna Bronzer

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel

3. GLUTTONY - What are your most delicious beauty products?

I have been in love with the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream for the last 4 years. It's the most refreshing scent, and it just lingers, so you don't even have to wear perfume because you smell like the moisturiser the whole day! It is definitely one of my most delicious beauty products. My other super scrummy beauty product would have to be Korres Japanese Rose Body Butter, which I discovered this summer. I absolutely adore it, I even have the shower gel. Such a wonderful fruity, rose type of scent!

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops
Korres Japanese Rose Body Butter

4. SLOTH - What beauty products do you neglect due to laziness? 

I actually neglect a lot of my beauty products due to laziness. But the ones I neglect the most would have to be: foundation, night cream, eye cream and lipsticks. I just cannot be bothered doing my make-up in the morning because I'd rather sleep in longer and have to do everything in a rush. Obviously this doesn't leave much room for my beauty routine, so I usually only manage a swipe of the mascara and a sweep of blush, and maybe some highlighter. Lazyyyyy!
It's frustrating that I'm not a morning person because I'd love to make myself look good like the other beauty guru's out there. I really would love to be able to put on eyeshadow in the morning, and make sure my hair is tamed and beautiful. Alas, my nature does not allow it and I am always left looking a little bedraggled and unkempt. I like to pretend that I'm just too wild to be tamed, which explains the nature of my appearance.

5. PRIDE - What beauty products give you the most self confidence? 

Lash extensions, perfume and fake tan! I was obsessed with getting my lash extensions done for a while. I used to receive so many compliments from people about them, they really made my eyes pop out, and I always felt so good because even if I didn't wear make-up I knew that part of my face people most looked at was looking good.
Whenever I wear a nice perfume, I feel a little bit more put together, and depending on the perfume, I feel more sophisticated, pretty, etc.
And getting some colour on me does wonders, I wish I could afford to fake tan all the time! Or just be magically tan for the rest of my life...
Fake Tan...(or Real Tan)

Eyelash Extensions


Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume

6. LUST - What attributes do you find the most attractive in the opposite sex?

Intelligence, a sense of humour, being confident and productive, being gentle and kind.

7. ENVY - What item would you most like to receive as a gift?

How realistic are we being here? Because if we're talking on a big scale, I'd really like a beautiful platinum diamond ring that came with a beautiful house somewhere warm, and a good income :P
But if we're talking real, I would really like a new hair straightener! My old GHD finally gave out after 5 years.

House By The Sea
Karmin Hair Straightener

Hope you all enjoyed reading about my beauty sins! I would love to hear what your ones are, or if you've done the following tag, link me to your blog so I can have a squiz at your answers! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Triology Everything Balm Review

So, the temperature has dropped here in little ol' Japan, and unfortunately, working in a school with a few hundred kids, I've caught the dreaded cold.
Fortunately I weathered the worst of it during the weekend, even though I was actually working all weekend, too. However, it's taking a while to go away, and my poor nose and throat are suffering.

Of course, the constant blowing and wiping of the nose has made the skin around my nose a tad dry, though not nearly as much as it has happened in the past, and I owe this to quality tissues! Nothing worse than a scratchy tissue! Kleenex, you have my thanks. And so do you, Cashmere tissues.

Another dreaded side effect has been the dry lips.
I will admit, I have probably not been drinking as much water/tea/anything as I should have, but sometimes it's difficult to drink over my usual 1-1.5L of water a day :S

So I want you to meet my little friend who's been helping me out through my tough times. 

Meet the 'Everything Balm'.

Triology Everything Balm

He's looking a little worse for wear because I tend to take him everywhere with me. Triology is a New Zealand company with a wonderful aim: "Maximum effect on your skin, minimum effect on our environment is our mission and our mantra." They use all natural ingredients that they know will be beneficial to the skin, but will also not damage the environment! How fantastic is that :)
Also great to be supporting a local company, New Zealand actually has a few skincare companies that are fantastic but probably not recognised enough overseas as we are such a small country!

The smell of this balm is lovely; I find it really soothing, and not over the top at all. It is a blend of quite a few different oils: Marula Oil, Rosehip Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Honey, Vitamin E. Doesn't that just sound lovely to you?

To be honest, I've only used my balm as a lip balm, and to rub on the scar on my elbow left from a painful accident. However, this can be used in many different ways, including but not limited to, rubbing on cuticles, ends of hair, as a hand moisturiser, on dry, flaky nose left by using too many scratchy tissues, etc. You can get creative about it!

I have to be honest, I cannot sate that it is the BEST hydrator for dry lips, but I definitely find that it aids in moisturising them, and keeping the moisture. I love the smell, the size is just right for a women's handbag, i.e the pit of things that frequently get lost, the packaging is simplistic but effective, and I'm happy to be supporting a local company.
A qualm people otherwise might have with it is actually the packaging if you are mainly using it as a lip balm, especially if you have longer fingernails. Sticking your finger in the pot and then smearing the balm over your lips doesn't always feel like the most sanitary thing, especially if you've been typing on a keyboard.
Just wash your hands, I say!

If I have piqued your curiousity about my little friend and his family, go and have a further read!

Any recommendations for beauty product must-have's for autumn? What do you do to combat dry lips? I think it's time for more honey and lemon tea! Keep warm, readers!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vitacost Site Mini Spree

Every day is a battle between my hair and me. You see, I have naturally curly hair predisposed to being a pain in the ass, aka being very dry, dull and prone to dread-locking. Sure, I didn't help the situation by having it dyed blonde, but I wasn't about to be stuck with a boring colour AND hair that felt like straw. (To be honest I can't remember how it felt like before I started to dye it.)
After my amazing holiday in Greece, where I was in the water almost 24/7 for 10 days straight, my hair just became unmanageable. I have been struggling with it for the last 3 months, but it has just been so dry, the ends have been snapping off left, right and centre, and it becomes so tangled and dreadlocked within such a short time frame, it's scared me enough into buying a few more things to add to hair products collection.

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Vitacost Ultra Hair Formula

I have read a lot of good things about coconut oil, and since my hair is really lacking moisture everything, I decided I'd give it a go. Even if it doesn't help, I can use the coconut oil as a skin moisturiser, or as a cooking oil, so the versatility of it, plus the good reviews, convinced me to purchase a tub of Nutiva Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil. Vitacost is a site I've recently discovered that sells all manners of vitamins and other healthcare products for decent prices and a very decent shipping price to Japan (yay for worldwide shipping!). I paid USD$8.78 for a 425g tub of the aforementioned coconut oil. I only cracked open the top a bit, but it smells very much like you've stuck your nose in a coconut, so I hope my hair smells as good when I've used it!

The second thing I bought was some vitamins that are supposed to help hair growth and vitality. Now, I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to taking supplements like this, and them actually helping much due to various reasons, but I'm so desperate for my hair to become at least manageable, and for it to keep growing!, I bought myself a bottle of the Vitacost Ultra Hair Formula with MSM & B Vitamins. I don't expect to see results within the 45 days, but I will definitely report any progress!

Last week I slept with some olive oil in my hair, and although it made my hair somewhat softer, it's still tangling really badly. I've been using a Schwarzkopf deep treatment for blonde hair as well, but the extent of the damage to my hair is so huge I think it'll take a lot of loving for it to get back to a somewhat normal state.

So how do you keep your lustrous curls soft and lustrous? Any recommendations on products or vitamins which have helped you? Let me know! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glasshouse Tahaa Candle Review

こんにちは from Japan!

My globe trotting has continued and I am currently adjusting to life in Japan for the following year. During my crazy, hectic week of getting packed for the move, I made the (ir)rational decision that I had to bring along my giant Tahaa candle, kindly gifted to me by none other than the lovely Emma, to really make my apartment feel like it was my own. After much moving back and fro from various suitcases I did manage to find a place for it, and it has made it's way into my comfy sized apartment.

If any of you has happened to walk past, or be in the 10m range, of a Peter Alexander store, then you will know all about their glorious candles and gorgeous pyjama's. For those of you who are unfortunate enough not to have a PA store in your vicinity, I can only urge you to go and look at their catalogues and dare you not to fall in love with their amazing pyjama range.
I have left this store with a much lighter wallet many a time so beware!
In this amazing store that smells like vanilla-cakes-drizzled-with caramel-that's-been-lovingly-smooshed-into-your-face, the scent comes from their ever burning of Glasshouse candles.
Glasshouse is an Australian business that makes high quality triple scented candles in various fragrances. If you are into candles, then you have to experience these.

The candle I was given on my birthday by Emma was 'Tahaa' which is the one usually left burning in the PA store. It is a very sweet vanilla and caramel scent that I have never found sickeningly sweet or cloying in any way. *I am very into my gourmand scents so if you prefer something less sweet and cleaner, I can definitely recommend the rest of their range. As it is the super-duper-double-whopper size, the burn time is 80 hours and it is double-wicked. The colour is a toffee caramel and it comes in a beautiful glass jar which I plan on using as a jar to hold sweets, after I have burnt all of the candle. The candles are, as I mentioned, triple scented so even if you take off the lid of the jar and leave it without burning, it will fill up your whole room with the scent! It's amazing! Even just sitting in the gorgeous box it comes in, the fragrances permeates the packaging and air around it. Delicious!

It just looks gorgeous sitting anywhere. I like to put it on my wee, scratched up coffee table so I feel like I'm super swank in my apartment.

Glasshouse Tahaa Candle

I am so in love with this candle, it's not even funny! I have also purchased the mini size in Montego Bay, which I actually love even more than the Tahaa scent, if it's possible! I will be purchasing a full size in the near future, so once purchased, I will do a review on it as well.

If you are keen on checking out this candle and the rest of the range, clickety-click on:
And if you want to see the magical PA collection:

Are you into your candles too? What brands would you recommend? Hope you're all having a great week and getting geared up for cooler weather! (Or warmer weather if you're in the southern hemisphere with Emma!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Korres Japanese Rose Bodymilk Review

So, whilst I have been frolicking overseas again I have picked up a product by a company that I have been very eager to try out for a while. Korres is a Greek skincare brand that endeavours to avoid using chemicals and synthetic ingredients where possible in their products. This one in particular (and I think all of them are) is suitable for vegans and isn't tested on animals, something I tend to look out for. (I actually became the owner of this little beauty after my aunty decided it wasn't for her, and luckily for me, it was love at first sniff.)

Japanese Rose / Velvet, sweet essence of rose buds / Moisturising body milk, enriched with vitamins and trace elements, essential skin energy boosting agents. The combination of Almost oil, active Aloe, provitamins B5 and Shea butter provides long-lasting hydration while enhancing skin suppleness. Dermatologically tested.

As you can see, the packaging is simple yet pretty; rose petals against a white background makes it effective for catching the eye and making it obvious as to what scent the lotion is. Along the side of the bottle there is a thorough list stating the formula facts as well as the packaging facts (both very handy and interesting to read!)

On to the gorgeous scent! I am not particularly fond of rose scents, even though I love sniffing the real thing, so I didn't pay this much attention at all whilst in the organic shop in Germany from which this was purchased. However, as soon as my aunty had rubbed some on her arms, I fell immediately in love with it. This lotion smells like roses and some type of fruit combined rather than the typical rose scent, which I was expecting to smell. I also love that once I slather myself with this lotion, my skin absorbs it quickly, and the smell lasts for far longer than I would expect it to. A big bonus when it comes to summer and very high temperatures! I find that it leaves my skin smooth and supple for a long time, and I thoroughly enjoy using it after showering every time.

I highly recommend this product if you are looking for a great smelling (and feeling!) product from a company that strives to provide environmentally and skin friendly products in pretty packaging. The only downfall is that Korres is not sold in NZ so once I am through with this I will have to curse the gods of body products who don't ensure all amazing products are sold worldwide. Also, I did find that the product was a little pricey at around 13.50 euros for only 235ml, however, I do find that the quality of the product is reflected in the price and so I do not find this such an issue.

What body lotions are you currently loving, dear readers? Is the summer weather also making you reach for more fruity/tropical scented lotions?