Treat Yourself

Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford said it best and who doesn’t love treating themselves every once in a while?! I know I certainly do! Since my internship ended back in April and I became an employee in May, I’ve had the privilege of being able to indulge in a few nice things again and it’s felt really, really good. There were things that had been on my wishlist for years that I’ve finally been able to splurge on, products that were bought to replace old ones I had used up and a few homeware bits to spruce up my bedroom and desk area. Seeing as though it was also my birthday not too long ago, I figured that justified splashing out a little as well, so across beauty, style and lifestyle, here are the things that I’ve treated myself to lately.

Life Lately: September & October

Every time I think I’m finally getting on top of blog stuff again, life happens. It’s been quite an eventful last couple of months (all good things!) and although I wouldn’t say I’ve been busy, I’ve just wanted to focus on spending time with my family and friends without thinking that I need to fit blogging somewhere in between those mere two days off we call the weekend. I knew blogging would be hard once I started full time work and it’s definitely frustrating feeling like you’re always behind and can’t keep up, but it is what it is, I suppose. I’m still getting used to the fact that one or two blog posts a month is all I can seem to manage nowadays (I have to alternate my weekends between writing and photographing!), though I’m certainly not complaining because I’ve actually become so much happier since starting the full time work life. I enjoy the routine, being out of the house, as well as being around people, and of course, the steady income certainly helps too! Hopefully my time management skills will improve as I go along, but I think November’s going to be more of a quiet month, anyway, so that’s nice!

What I Wore in Winter

At long last, winter is finally over and I’m so happy for the warm weather seasons to be back! I’m simply not a winter person at all and although you’d think living in Melbourne for two and a half years would’ve got me used to the cold, I still really struggled this year. At first, I thought I was just being a wuss, but it was Perth’s rainiest winter in 15 years and it even plummeted to 4 degrees one August morning! In saying all this though, I actually really enjoy dressing for the cooler seasons. It even inspired me to put together another one of my style roundup posts and since my last What I Wore in Winter post from three years ago, I’ve got a few new things to show you! I still wear a lot of the clothing from my last post too, so I’ll be referencing back to it in terms of what I’m still wearing and what I’ve decluttered (if I didn’t mention it, I still have it!) just to make things a little more interesting and because my wardrobe really doesn’t change all that much year-to-year. I realise it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense talking about winter clothing now, but as I honestly don’t plan my wardrobe nor my blog that far in advance (sometimes I don’t find the right items until the middle of the season too!), it works better for me to do style posts more like a recap. Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere coming into for winter (lol sucks to be you) may find this useful, but for my fellow Southern Hemisphere folk, let’s get ready for skirts, sandals and sunshine!

Out with the Old, In with the New

It's been a good while since I've featured new beauty products on my blog and the simple fact of the matter is that I just don't buy a lot nowadays. In fact, my last haul was posted all the way back in November! Understandably, being out of a job made it difficult to indulge, but even now that I'm back on a steady income, I've had other financial priorities and it's only just now that I've had enough new products to warrant a whole post. Buying a lot in one go isn't how I like to shop either and as someone who, for the majority of the time, will use up products before buying new ones, I was inspired by my blogging bestie Jess of Little Henry Lee and her Beauty New and Old posts. Rather than simply showing you the new products that I've bought, I thought I'd also talk you through the old products that were replaced and why I didn't repurchase them; I think that makes things a lot more interesting too. With skincare being the easiest to finish, that's mostly what this post is made up of and apart from a couple of makeup bits that haven't been replacements for anything (they'll be featured in a different post), this is pretty much all that I've bought this past year. I'm pretty impressed, if I say so myself! There are some products that have blown me out of the water, while others not so much, so we've got a bit of a mixed bag here!

Life Lately: August

August was a pretty nothing month for me and it's been exactly what I've needed! Having felt like the last few months were quite hectic (at least for this introvert's standards, anyway!), I feel completely reenergised after some slow weekends to myself. In fact, I didn't even need to use my Bullet Journal because there wasn't really much to plan or keep on top of. I spent my weekends simply pottering around the house, watching movies, going to brunch (coconut chai lattes are now my new go-to drink) and I spent a nice Saturday homewares shopping with my mum and sister. I didn't get around to posting all those decluttered items of mine on Facebook Marketplace (it's a never-ending cycle, isn't it?), but ugh, it's such a chore! That's on this weekend's to do list though!

Why I'm OK with Being a "Small Blogger"

When I first began reading beauty blogs 10 years ago, the blogging landscape was completely different to the one we know of today. Blogging as a job probably would've sounded absurd, and you never saw the terms "small blogger" and "big blogger" (or even "influencer", for that matter) being thrown around. Although I'm not really sure if there's a clear-cut distinction between the two, I know that I would definitely fall into the "small blogger" category myself; I don't have 10k followers on Instagram (my social media profiles combined don't even add up to that much!), my inbox isn't brimming with PR opportunities and in the seven years I've had my blog, I've never made any money. Being "small" in such a large, expansive community can feel quite discouraging at times, but of all the things that makes blogging so wonderful, numbers have nothing to do with it for me and I think being "small" is just as valid as being "big". In fact, I don't even feel like I need to be anything "more" than I already am and I'm actually pretty content with my place in the blogging world. As someone who's had quite a different blogging experience to the majority of bloggers who have been here as long as I have, I've written a number of similar posts to this in the past, and it's a conversation I never get bored of having because there's always so much to say and I think it's a really important one at that. I’ve learnt to really own my “smallness” here and I certainly don’t believe that "bigger" equals "better" (hence why you'll see scare quotes throughout this post). My intention of this post isn't to undermine what "big bloggers" are doing, but to simply highlight why being a "small blogger" is actually pretty great too.

Life Lately: June & July

Hi, everyone! Long time, no post! I never intended to go this long without posting, but between adjusting to full time work life, a few busy weekends and the grim winter weather (this one being the main culprit!), I haven't had much of an opportunity to put the same love and care that I always put into my blog. I know I let my perfectionism get the better of me at times, but I'd rather take a little bit longer to get a post up if it means I feel 100% happy and proud of what I do, and I just can't seem to let myself settle for anything less than that. I'm so bloody ready for winter to be over because I all want right now is glorious spring sunshine so I can have more than two seconds to take a decent photo! It's killing me!

Life Lately: May

Boy, has May been a whirlwind of a month! All in the best way possible though. I officially went from intern to employee at the marketing agency I've been at since February and that combined with so many social events going on has kept me quite preoccupied. My calendar for June is quickly filling up with more stuff to do and more people to see, but hopefully it'll be a little less full-on because this introvert needs her time to be alone and blog!

Talking About Toner

When I first began developing my skincare routine back in my late teens and early twenties, toner was typically something that was astringent, clarifying and rather quite drying. Laden with a high alcohol content, their traditional purpose was to rebalance the skin's pH after cleansing, but looking back, all they did for me was leave my skin feeling stripped and tight. Thankfully, toner has come a long way since then, as has cleanser, which you'll now usually find is properly pH-balanced. Nowadays, toner is considered a catch-all term for anything that's basically a lotion and they have a wonderful range of benefits for the skin including providing hydration and a refreshing pick-me-up, prepping and helping with the absorption of serum and moisturiser, as well as containing active ingredients that fight against acne and the signs of ageing. Some people also argue that a good toner will remove excess makeup residue left over after cleansing, but in my opinion, a good cleansing routine will do this all on its own without the need for toner and if you're finding traces of makeup, you're better off changing cleansing products.

Depending on your individual skincare needs, you'll probably have different toners in your routine to cater for different concerns. Some people don't find toning an essential skincare step, but it's something I enjoy and couldn't imagine my routine without, and in today's post, I've gone through my collection to talk about the toners I own, what they do and why I love them.

Life Lately: March & April

The last two months have probably been both the best and worst of my life. In the middle of March, my sister fell seriously ill one night and was admitted to the emergency department, followed by the ICU. I unexpectedly ended up taking a break from blogging as not only did I not have the emotional energy for it and needed to be there for my family, but between my internship and being at the hospital every single day, I physically didn't have the time either. I won't go into detail about what happened just because it's my sister's life, not mine, but I also didn't want to leave you guys in the lurch, so I hope this update on where I've been will suffice.

Anti-Haul #2

From mindless hauls, unnecessarily huge PR unboxings to uninspired new releases, the need for "more, more, more" here in the beauty community can be unrelenting. Truthfully, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me feel jaded, and the way in which it encourages excessive consumerism doesn't align with how I enjoy beauty. As someone who takes pride in carefully considered purchases and is unfazed by most new beauty launches, one of my favourite types of blog post to read are anti-hauls, whereby people think critically about products and talk about what they aren't going to by. Created by the fabulous Kimberly Clark (I miss her videos!), today I'm back with my second instalment (here's Anti-Haul #1) and in this anti-haul, I've tried to stay clear of the more obvious choices and choose products that perhaps you might find surprising coming from me. Sure, Benefit are tacky, Too Faced's cutesy image is gimmicky as hell and I have absolutely no interest in Kylie Jenner/Kim Kardashian makeup, but I hardly think that's anything new! It goes without saying, but if you love any of these products yourself, please don't let my opinion make you feel bad; in fact, feel free to tell me why you hauled them. Here are my reasons, however, why I won't be.

What I Learnt from a Digital Declutter

At the beginning of January, I decided to do a digital declutter of my social media accounts in order to start the year feeling cleansed and refreshed. It had reached the point where scrolling through Instagram was becoming tedious and uninspired, and I realised that it had actually been a fair while since my feeds got a good clear out and tidy. I know I'm not alone when I say that I bloody love myself a declutter and upon this digital declutter of mine, not only were my social media accounts given a new lease on life, but I learnt a lot too. Decluttering brings us a unique joy in life that you just can’t get anywhere else, and for those of you looking to declutter your lives online and have kept putting it off, hopefully my musings can inspire you to finally get it done.

Life Lately: February

February was a wonderful, magical and glorious month all because of one significant life moment: I saw Slowdive live! I'll talk more about Laneway in the music portion of my monthly update, but all I'll say for now is that two weeks on, I am still on cloud nine. There is truly no greater joy in life than live music.

The Joy of Internet Friends and a Beautiful Gift from Divya of The Conscience Fund

Growing up as a teenager in the early 2000s, I spent a lot of time on the Internet making friends with people from around the world who I shared common interests with. Now, as an adult in their late twenties, it remains a huge part of my life today through my blog. Having had my blog for almost seven years now, I've made my own little community of wonderful friends here, one of them including real life angel, Divya. If you don't follow Divya, she runs the blog called The Conscience Fund, which isn't currently active (I'm hoping that will change!), but you can follow her on Instagram for her lovely beauty product shots and mini reviews (she has excellent taste!). Back in December, we got chatting away through Instagram DMs when she asked for my address so she could send me over a few things from the UK that I can't get a hold of here in Australia. I definitely don't feel like I'm missing out on much in terms of beauty where I live, but there are still a couple of brands I wish I had easier access to (I'm looking at you, Glossier!) and I can't quite believe that a friend from the other side of the world would go out of their way for me like that. Despite me telling Divya not go to overboard, this kind soul got me the most beautiful gifts beyond belief, so much so, I was inspired to write about how great Internet friends are and my personal experiences with them, as well as to say a huge thank you to her.

Life Lately: January

I hope everyone's had a great start to 2018 so far! I always relish the fresh start a new year brings and January has had me feeling pretty positive and hopeful. I brought in the New Year with my mum and sister eating a nice dinner out and watching the fireworks in the city, and then spent the first few days of the month decluttering and organising my life. I decluttered my makeup, my skincare, my wardrobe and all my social media accounts, which took a lot longer than expected, but was so worth the effort. I'm feeling cleansed and refreshed!