Monday, 19 January 2015



It's not the most glamorous subject, I know, but it is undeniably a personal grooming essential, no?

Meet my new hero: Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant - a gel/stick deodorant.

To be honest, I have never used supermarket antiperspirants or aerosol deodorants, as I had been warned at a young age of the harsh chemicals that they contained. Given that I have sensitive, eczema prone skin (which doesn't exclude the delicate underarm skin, unfortunately), I was looking for something that would be gentle, and that wouldn't worsen the issue. I'd previously used one by Neways that was supposedly natural, though I found that it still irritated my skin. I've also been wanting to try natural deodorant for ages, but could never take the plunge - as most are purchased online, I was unsure about the scent and whether or not I'd find it off-putting, and also less than keen to pay so much for shipping (for one particular natural deo that I considered, the postage costed more than the product itself!).

I stumbled across this Malin+Goetz deodorant quite by chance while browsing the Mecca Cosmetica website. You could say I was instantly intrigued by the all-positive reviews, though further online 'research' showed mixed reviews. I decided to take chance on it anyway, and checked it out in-store. It features a unisex, mild eucalyptus scent that isn't overpowering in the slightest. I've used it for just over a month now and it's been smooth sailing so far. It does a good job of neutralising odour and controlling 'wetness' (gross, I know).

Claims: "Synthesized with refreshing natural eucalyptus extract and odour-neutralizing citronellyl for 24 hour effectiveness, this deodorant is appropriate for all skin types, especially sensitive. Blended to absorb without residue, staining, irritation and pore clogging. Natural fragrance and colour."

Fragrance: It has a light, fresh eucalyptus scent that is practically undetectable when on, and it doesn't compete with my perfume at all.

Price: $24 for 73g. The size makes it kind of heavy to lug around - it's slightly larger than your average supermarket roll-on deodorant, though more compact than an aerosol can. Personally, this wouldn't be a product that I'd carry in my handbag, and it's not like I'd need to reapply anyway.

Packaging: It features a user-friendly twist-up stick design with a screw-on lid. I appreciate the clean, minimalistic packaging, which is most definitely sturdy and not flimsy in any way. The stick design is easy to apply and not messy in the slightest - unlike natural deodorant, which needs to be rubbed in with fingers - just swipe and go!

Effectiveness: This product did the job in 40 degree heat and three hours of martial arts, which is an impressive feat in itself, though I'm not certain about its claims of '24 hour effectiveness'.

Overall I'm rather impressed that it contains no nasties, and largely lives up to its claims - I mean, considering how delicate underarm skin is, I would't want to put harsh chemicals there anyway. Admittedly, it is pricier than supermarket deodorant, but I'm happy to fork out for 'designer deo' if it does the job and is kind to my skin.

What is your go-to deo?
Are you as picky as I am when it comes to deodorant? x

Thursday, 25 December 2014


I've been working a lot more lately (hence the blog neglect...), as retail is insane around Christmas, and as such, I've been spending a lot more time "window shopping" in my local shopping detrimental consequences. (To be fair, it's not like I'm going to go home whilst on my break, right? Right?) Admittedly it seems to happen to the best of us - or so my customers have told me - in regards to Christmas shopping: we feel the need to reward ourselves after ticking off another person on our list!

Here are some more new additions (one 'need', one 'splurge', one 'considered purchase', and two 'impulsive purchases'...):

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + ($49AUD for 125ml) - This is my first proper purchase of the DDML+, as I had first received a sample of it during their Facebook promotion some time ago. Since finishing the sample, I decided that it was a product that had become integral to my skincare routine, and a year-round staple. (Read an overview of it here.)

Lancôme Lip Lover Gift Set ($45AUD) - I'll concede that a part of me unashamedly relishes the holiday season purely for the numerous gift sets and limited editions that are released by various makeup brands around this time! This one is a little treat to myself, being the lip product junkie that I am, and I rationalised that I could do with a few more lip glosses. I'm mostly intrigued with the formula, which is supposedly a long wearing, pigmented lip gloss. I'll share my thoughts once I put it to the test!

bareMinerals Original Foundation SPF15 in Golden Tan ($35AUD) - You may recall that I've been considering purchasing this foundation for a couple of months now. I finally took the plunge, drawn by the promise of no nasties, and oil-control for sensitive skin. It was trickier than anticipated to find my exact match - Golden Medium was too light and Medium Beige too pink, so I ended up with Golden Tan, the darkest warm-toned offering, which is currently just a smidgen too warm for my NC30 complexion, though it should be near-perfect come January.

Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant ($24AUD for 73g) - I came across this quite by chance while browsing the Mecca Cosmetica, and prompted by the many positive reviews, ducked in to check it out for myself. Further online 'research' showed mixed reviews, but I decided to take a chance on it anyway, taken in by it's supposed-suitability for sensitive skin.

Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencil in 02 Hot Chocolate ($3.05AUD for 0.34g) - At that price, you really can't go wrong, I rationed. After seeing how awesome it looked on my mum, I went and got one for myself, and I have to say that it's pretty good, considering that it's cheap as chips! It mostly lives up to its claims of being long-wearing, though I find that it can transfer to under my eye and become a bit smudgy if I apply too much. I prefer to blend it into the lash line for a more natural effect for everyday. It's creamy, pigmented, doesn't irritate my eyes, glides on easily and doesn't require sharpening - the only con is that I can't get a fine, precise line. All things considered, this one's a winner in my eyes! (*Pun not intended).

How many new additions have you added to your stash during Christmas shopping? ;)
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


A trip down memory lane...

Back when my brother and I were youngsters mum used to frequently make these little quiches for us as an after-school snack. She grins deviously recalling how she enjoyed sneaking all sorts of veggies and 'good stuff' in there, in order to 'trick' us into eating them, unbeknownst to us! But, I mean, it's not that hard to eat veggies when these quiches taste so darn good...

Mini quiches

These are quick to prepare and simple to make - great for entertaining, or just to treat yourself (#treatyoself) :P

(Yields approximately 24 medium sized quiches)

What you need*:
1 pack of Pampas Puff Pastry (6 sheets)
1 leek, chopped finely
1 capsicum, diced finely
1/2 large or 1 small brown onion, diced finely
Approx. 15 small Swiss brown mushrooms (any type is fine), diced finely
3 eggs
300g sour cream
100g honey leg ham, chopped
Cheese to top (optional)
1 large mixing bowl
2 medium sized muffin trays
Olive oil to grease

*Feel free to switch up the filling according to your fancy!

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Combine the leek, capsicum, onion, mushrooms, and ham in a large mixing bowl.

3.  Fold in the sour cream, then beat the eggs in one at a time.

4. Grease the muffin trays. Section the puff pastry into squares and gently press them into the muffin trays.

6. Divide the filling amongst the puff pastry squares.

7. Top with cheese and bake until browned (ensure that the bottoms are also cooked through).

8. Let them cool a little, and enjoy!

What snacks did you enjoy as a child? Do share! x

Monday, 10 November 2014


What's new 'round 'ere?


Those of you who have been following along may recall that I've been on a self-imposed makeup ban, in a bid to force myself to use what I have, rather than pointlessly hoarding a monstrous collection (something that I'm rather talented at doing...) On my birthday I made the first makeup purchase in a few months, Becca Mineral Tint SPF 30+ Sunscreen, and since then I've added a few other bits and pieces to my stash.

A big, hearty welcome to...
Becca Mineral Tint SPF 30+ Sunscreen in Medium - I first mentioned this early last month, and yes, ended up caving when I saw it discounted on Adore Beauty. My only concern was the shade match - I ended up purchasing 'Medium', which ended up being a good fit for my NC30-ish skin-tone. I've tested it out on a few occasions and I'm quite pleased with it - it's matte, but not too matte, which is ideal for my normal-to-dry skin, which tends to be on the slightly greasier side in warmer weather. At first I was disappointed with its lack of coverage, but then reminded myself that it's primarily a sunscreen with a hint of colour. It does what it claims - provides a bronzy tint, with no ghostly white cast. Plus it smells delicious, like caramel fudge!

EcoTools Retractable Kabuki - This brush was recommended to me by a friend, who said she found it handy for bringing with her to uni for touchups. I've been using it to apply translucent pressed powder, and I have no qualms about it. It's quite soft and perhaps on the denser side for a powder brush, but it works well for translucent powder, and is of a portable size, which I'm sure will come in useful for travel.

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 03 Roly Poly Rosy - This was a gift from my lovely Godmother who spoils me excessively! I was after a cream (or non-powder) cheek product for warmer months and this sparked my interest. It has a most intriguing texture that seems almost...spongy. It's difficult to describe... But it looks beautiful on, and blends well to provide a natural-looking flush (I prefer to use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush for this purpose, rather than fingers). I also enjoy the stick packaging, which is more compact and hygienic, and means I don't have to keep dipping my fingers in.

Chi Chi Glamorous Sultry Eyeshadow Palette - Something my mother purchased on a whim... Though it wasn't my purchase, I've been getting a lot of use out of it (I'm grateful my mum doesn't mind sharing!). Admittedly, these shades aren't really what I naturally gravitate towards - I'd actually been eyeing the Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Eyeshadow Palette for ages, which is supposedly a dupe of the Urban Decay Naked Palette, but for a fraction of the price. I was impressed that all of the shades are smooth and buttery, and most are also heavy pigmented (bar one or two matte shades), and they're generally all quite wearable colours, too. I've been using the matte indigo shade as eyeliner, and it works a treat.

Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose - So my willpower has finally crumbled, it seems! I'd been eyeing these lip butters for literarily yonks, ever since I first spotted them sleepandwater, and decided I had to make them mine. When I found myself at a Mecca Maxima recently, I resolved to bite the bullet, and ended up taking home Wild Rose, though I was tossing up between that and Pomegranate for a little while. Had I not so many lip products in my stash already (as my Liptember series reminded me) I could easily have bought both, methinks. Overall, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase - it's a lovely, pigmented lip butter, and the berry-red shade is stunning. It could be applied lightly for a sheerer effect, or worked up to a bolder colour. I definitely prefer tinted lip balms or lip butters for everyday, and I can see this one fast becoming an integral member of the rotation.

What new beauty bits have you added (or are planning to add) to your collection this month? x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Whoops. So I've been MIA a little while... I guess I needed a little break after the craziness of September, 'tis all.
This month I relied on my trusty fave beauty products, devoured a popular series, celebrated my birthday, ate too much food, and 'treated myself'...a lot (#soznotsoz).

Read on to see what I got up to in October...

Makeup-and-skincare-wise it's been pretty pedestrian. The temperamental weather (e.g. 30 degrees one day, and 19 degrees the next!) has made me less adventurous with makeup, so I've tended to stick to the products that work well for me. You're probably quite familiar with them by now, I imagine, seeing as they crop up so frequently! I've also waxed lyrical about the brilliance of this Clinique duo, and they're yet to disappoint - they are definitely a versatile pair, whether for cooler seasons or warmer weather.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush
Chi Chi Mosaic Blush in Pink Peach
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion +
Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Mecca Cosmetica In a Good Light
Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in 061 Jet Black (I only realised the other day that I've been calling it 'Black' this whole time, sorry!)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard

And I finally read the Divergent series, as I wanted to read Divergent before watching the movie - and yes, I also can't believe they'd been sitting on my bookshelf since May! Embarrassing, right?! I thought it was alright - I do have a few critiques of the series, but maybe we'll save that for another time... It is quite an impressive achievement for a 24-year-old author though! And side-note: Anyone else suffering 'Theo James Eyebrow Envy', or was it just me?

A few birthday gifts (and a couple from myself...):
A couple of candles to add to my candle collection, and a few beauty bits (you can bet that they'll be making an appearance again shortly.)

Candle Story Blackberry Candle (A gift from Mother)
Archipelago Botanicals Pineapple & Ginger Candle (A gift from a friend)
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 03 Roly Poly Rosy (A gift from my Godmother)
Becca Mineral Tint SPF 30+ Sunscreen in Medium (A gift from myself...)
Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose (And another from myself...)

Hope you're having a great start to the week! :D x

Friday, 10 October 2014


I've been trying to 'shop my stash' more, and not spend my hard earned cash on things I don't need. I like to think I'm a little more judicial, but some days I cave wayyy too easily. It's funny though - when I'm waiting for my pay check I'll spend ages online ('window'-)shopping, thinking about all the things I'll purchase when I'm paid, but when payday actually comes, I find myself more reluctant to part with it...

It's not to be unexpected that a few things have caught my eye yet again - though I suppose the element of surprise lies in the fact that it's taken me so long to put this post together! My apologies.

But without further ado, I present to you 'curiosity piqued' - take two:

BareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation ($35 for approx. 8g) - I'd previously written this foundation off as 'incompatible' with my normal to dry skin. During a recent catchup, a friend of mine raved about the original formulation (for Winter), as well as the matte version (for Summer), rating them as 'Holy Grail-worthy'. I had tried the compact Ready version of the foundation, but was far from impressed - it was chalky and unflattering (and the shade I was matched with was too light, so it made me appear corpse-like)! But re-inspired by my friend, I headed into my local Mecca Cosmetica to have a play. My MUA talked me through the correct method of application ('swirl, tap and buff') and I was impressed when I found that it did provide an airbrushed finish, though a couple of dry patches were highlighted (but nothing a good moisturiser or primer wouldn't fix). I'm considering it for Summer when my skin tends to be a little oilier. Natural sunscreen through titanium dioxide is a bonus, though I'd probably layer it over something with higher SPF if I'm spending an extended amount of time outdoors.
Despite their wide range of shades, an exact shade match was tricky to find, especially as my skin has neutral-yellow undertones. 'Light' was a good match for my Winter skin, though I was recommended to head back around November for a proper Summer skin match. Admittedly, I was a little put off by the packaging - or rather, the general messiness involved with finely-milled powder foundations (I just imagine a Hiroshima-esque mushroom cloud of powder every time!). I wore it around for the rest of the day and am glad to report that it did not irritate my sensitive skin. You may hear more about this one from me come November!

Becca Mineral Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen ($35 for 40ml) - I stumbled across this product quite by chance. To cut the long story short, I was reading an article by Zoë Foster about why she now prefers physical sunscreens over chemical formulations, in which she provided a couple of suggestions for physical sunscreens for various skin types - one being Becca Mineral Face and Body Sunscreen. After discovering that it was no longer available online at Becca, (though I saw it on David Jones' website), I continued to browse randomly, coming across the zinc oxide-based Mineral Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen - their only offering in the 'sun care' category. At a rather reasonable price, I'm practically sold, though my only reservation is the shade match - it comes in three shades, 'Light', 'Medium' and 'Tan', and I'm tossed up between 'Medium' and 'Tan'. Some companies make a very dark 'Medium' and others make it very light - what even constitutes 'Medium', anyway?! For my NC30-ish skin, it's always a bit of a challenge - it'd be nice if there were a Becca counter nearby so I could test it out before purchasing.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée ($27 for approx. 5g) - I'd actually been eyeing these for ages, but put it in the back of my mind, as they aren't readily available here in Australia. But with recent news that Mecca Maxima is now carrying Josie Maran, my interest was instantly reignited. I have a particular soft spot for cream/gel blushes, and considering that the mark up isn't ridiculous for once, compared to US prices, this has certainly earned its place on my list of potential purchases.

Ecoya Limited Edition Guava and Lychee Sorbet Candle ($39.95 for 400g) - Uh oh. Not again! You may recall that I had been eyeing the Sweet Apricot and Orange Blossom candle from Ecoya's previous limited edition offerings, and ended up purchasing it. I stumbled across the current limited edition candles while (somewhat less-innocently) browsing in David Jones. While I wasn't so taken by the other candle, Sea Grass and Water Lily, I was immediately enraptured by this gorgeous, fruity-scented one. I mean, as if the name alone was not appealing enough!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Perfume ($60 for 30ml, $90 for 50ml, $120 for 100ml) - Being quite a fan of Marc Jacobs' Daisy perfume, and Daisy Eau So Fresh as well, you can imagine how excited I was to see Daisy Dream launch at Myer. It reminds me of Lancôme Trèsor Midnight Rose (which I also adore) - Daisy Dream a little headier than Daisy, which is lighter and fresher. While I definitely can't justify purchasing another perfume for a long while, I can't deny that it smells delightful - and the bottle is seriously adorable!

*Images from Google

What are you currently eyeing? Do share! x

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


These past couple of months I've been intrigued by the concept of a 'minimal wardrobe' - a coherent, streamlined collection of clothing where each piece matches harmoniously with the others to create a multitude of different looks. A wardrobe that revolves around quality pieces, core basics and added fun bits (and not the other way around). Now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes and still claims to have 'nothing to wear'. Come on... Anyone? Anybody? Just me? Okay.

I'm quite taken by the idea of having a few select items of clothing that I love and wear to death - and know I can rely on - rather than a closet full of clothing that I don't make the most of. Which is my current situation. Lately I've been reading up on ways to cull and organise my wardrobe, in order to make the most of what I have.

I especially love the quote by Vivienne Westwood above, about being selective and choosing carefully - the emphasis is on quality, not quantity. In order to help me with being more intentional with my purchases and to create a curated collection of clothing, I've decided to shift my shopping habits in line with the 5 Piece French Wardrobe Principle.

The Principle:
- Invest in classic pieces and well-chosen basics
- Add only five statement pieces to the basic wardrobe each season to update your look
- Basics, socks, accessories and underwear don't count
- Everything else (e.g. coats, shoes, bags) counts
*And I'm also 'breaking the rules' like Sophie (see below) by allowing second hand shopping and thrifting.

Here's the recommended reading/watching list:
- Sophie of The Private Life of A Girl has done an awesome collection of posts on her own 'minimal wardrobe in the making', which I found to be incredibly helpful, and which is what inspired me in the first place. See here and here to get started.
- WhoWhatWear has also written some great articles on editing your wardrobe, such as this, this and this.
- Here's a fun wardrobe spring cleaning video by Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup and another one by Lily of Lily Pebbles.

I think my greatest struggle with this will be not spending excessively on 'basics' and everything else that is justifiable (i.e. on the list of essentials). I'm in the middle of clearing out my closet, but I admit that I'm not very good at being ruthless when it comes to getting rid of clothes - wish me luck!

Image via At Home In Love

Have you heard of the '5 Piece French Wardrobe'?
Is your wardrobe "organised chaos" like mine? ;) x