Saturday, December 06, 2014

Handbag Staples

I thought I'd put together a post on all the bits and pieces that come around with me on an everyday basis, and I also wanted a chance to show off my amazing makeup bag. It's by the brand Danica Studio and I picked it up when I was in San Francisco in October, and I've since found it online at ModCloth. The first thing any girl with a blunt fringe can't leave home without is a comb, and any girl with hair should carry round some bobby pins and a hair tie or two for emergencies. I also have a little gold mirror compact in the shape of a seashell because mermaids are awesome, and that weird looking black thing is actually a fold out fan. I know it sounds like that's over-preparing a bit, but it's so small and light to carry around and trust me, when you're on a crowded train in the middle of summer and your makeup is melting off everyone is gonna be jealous of the girl who thought to bring a fan.

I get quite oily in my t-zone so I never leave home without blotting papers, this cute little pack is from Paul & Joe, and also a pressed powder for touch ups like the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder along with my retractable kabuki brush because I'd prefer not to use the sponges that come with powder if I can help it. I'm no germophobe but I did pick up some cute hand sanitisers from Bath & Body Works while I was in the States - who can say no to something that's pumpkin cupcake scented? And the same goes for the gum, can you tell I was enjoying the seasonal flavours and scents while I was there?

I've also got a mini fig scented hand cream from & Other Stories that I picked up in Milan, as well as a decanted spray bottle of Chanel No 5. I actually decanted a few of my favourite perfumes to take away with me and now that I'm back they're great for touching up if I'm going to be out all day/night. Of course I've got to have a lip balm on me at all times, and this one is the SoftLips Cube in vanilla bean, and who would I be if I didn't leave the house with at least five red lip options at all times (no but seriously). Some of my favourites are the Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Ruby, Bite Beatuy's Lumious Creme Lipstick in Tannin, Chanel's Rouge Coco in 19 Gabrielle, Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Pur Couture in 40 Rouge Eros, and Bourjois' Rouge Edition in 34 Cherry My Cherie. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Best Before

I've seen a lot of talk lately about product expiry dates and a shift towards decluttering & streamlining your makeup and beauty stash, or maybe that's just what I've been looking for in the blogging and YouTube community. It's got a lot to do with being away from all my products and belongings for the last five months because I realised I can live with so much less (since getting home at the end of October I immediately decluttered my whole wardrobe, shoes, makeup, skincare, perfume, books, etc). As a natural hoarder, I tend to build up collections of everything I become interested in, the only problem is things like makeup and skincare can expire.

If you look on the back or the bottom of every item it should have a little symbol of an open container with a number in it which indicates how many months the product will remain "in date" once it's been opened. Now I don't take this number as gospel, particularly with makeup as it's just a guideline and lipstick is hardly as perishable as a carton of milk, I think what it comes down to is common sense - has the scent, colour or texture changed since you bought it, or has the product separated? Then it's time to go. Skincare, on the other hand, is a bit more tricky.

This is because although you can still notice obvious physical changes to your skincare, what you can't see are the active ingredients losing their efficacy. Hoarding blush isn't nearly as much of a waste as having ten expensive serums open with the ingredients degrading before they can even be used. Not only is it a waste of money, but if your products last you a few years because you've been stretching them out, then it's also a waste of time because they won't be anywhere near as effective as if you were using fresh products within the intended amount of time.

So if you're a hoarder like me and maybe your stash is getting a bit out of hand, I've put together a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Your skin will benefit from the consistency of having fewer products on rotation - not only will you see better results with the regular use of a targeted product/treatment, but having too many options can overload your skin and cause reactions/break outs
  • Remember that the expiration date starts from when you open the product, so if you want to stock up on your favourite cleanser or try out a new mask when it's on sale, try not to open it until you finish up something you already have
  • Stop saving your best/most expensive/most effective skincare for special occasions, it's a use it or lose it type of product so enjoy what you've spent your hard-earned money on (#treatyoself)
  • It's fine to have a couple of cleansers or serums on rotation - remember your skin's needs can change day-to-day, so don't limit yourself too much
  • It'd be ideal to have one product of each type with its own function open at a time, i.e. a hydrating/repairing serum and a brightening serum, a moisturiser for the day time and the night, etc so you can always try to give your skin what it needs
  • Don't dedicate yourself to finishing up products you don't really like - life is too short to use ineffective skincare and even though you don't want to feel like you've wasted your money, you're not doing your skin any favours by using up products that don't give it what it needs. pass them on to a friend or family member.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Iceland Pt. 2

okay, so i'm now back home but of course i haven't managed to get through all my travel photos yet. hell, i spent two & a half months in the US after iceland, which was at the start of august. i'll aim to get it all edited and posted by the end of the year but we'll see how it goes. in the meantime, i've redesigned my blog layout because i was so sick of looking at the old one. this is a lot cleaner and more fresh, hopefully you'll agree. :)

the reykjanes peninsula lava fields made from jagged, solidified lava from volcanic eruptions of the past, now completely covered in a thick layer of moss that we walked over, eating berries the guide picked from a bush, the beach of lake kleifarvatn with its sand made black with volcanic ash, driving past mountains that used to be sea cliffs until they raised up when the ice that was weighing them down melted, greenhouses with little icelandic tomatoes cuddled close inside to the keep them from the cold, bright red earth and grassy mountains with fat woolly sheep perched impractically on the sides of them, the cracked, tormented earth of the seltun and gunnuhver geothermal hot springs, where clouds of sulphurous steam rise from the ground and envelope you before they’re blown away by the freezing winds, hot chocolate and a generous slice of cake in a little cafe in the fishing village of grindavik with pictures of bjork and john lennon on the wall and a piano in the corner that our guide played while we ate, swimming in the warm, milky water of the blue lagoon and applying face masks with hundreds of people in the middle of lava fields, driving past the incredible landscapes of iceland with volcanoes topped with glaciers on one side and lava blackened deserts leading to the atlantic ocean on the other, little houses with red and blue roofs taking shelter at the base of huge mountains, a boat ride through the icebergs on the lagoon of the vatnajokull glacier, the 60m skogarfoss and 65m seljalandfoss waterfalls, seeing the clouds lowering themselves over the peaks on the drive home, making friends on the tour and meeting up at midnight at the perlan just in case the northern lights showed up (they didn’t, but it was worth trying even though i had to leave for the airport at 7am).