A swap with my good friend, Tamira, all came about after we exchanged a few Tweets about Tim Tams and Cadbury's Vegemite chocolate. Being the good person that I am, I wasn't going to deprive my poor British friend of these true Australian greats any longer, and with a few emails back and forth and sharing each other's wishlists, we were well on our way to organising parcels for one another. It was in the works for a fair few months (because of money and all), but it was so worth the wait. Having said that though, I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't dying of anticipation and checking the mailbox twice a day! I'd never done a swap before and I was really excited to do one with Tamira because although we can get most beauty brands in Australia now, there's still a few brands and products unavailable to me and more easily accessible (cheaper too!) in the UK. More than that though, Tamira is one my favourite blogger babes here and someone who I consider one of my closest friends who I've met through this amazing online beauty blogging community. To be able to pick out a few treats for her inaccessible in her own country and bring a little joy into her life when she was unable to spend Christmas with her family was what really made doing this swap worthwhile.
For those of you who don't know Tamira, she runs the lovely beauty and lifestyle blog, The Guilty Girl. She's a really great writer and an even greater friend. I'm hopeless at keeping track of time, but I think we've been friends for about two years now and I was drawn to her warm, kind-hearted and friendly nature within the community. When people make comments about how bitchy beauty blogging has become, I'm grateful to have not been exposed to any of that nonsense because I honestly feel like I'm surrounded by the most supportive and encouraging girls here. To me, community is the most important thing about blogging and I truly cherish my online friendships and those that have even blossomed into "real life" friendships. Be it Australia or the UK, I can't wait for the day Tamira and I finally meet in person!
A little over a month ago, I received a beautiful package full of goodies all the way from across the other side of the world, including products from Charlotte Tilbury and Soap & Glory, which I believe to be two iconic British beauty brands. Charlotte Tilbury is a brand only available online in Australia and I was so excited to try more of her products as I absolutely adore everything that I have. On my wishlist, I had her Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria, which I was happy to be able to tick off thanks to Tamira! Iconic Nude is a beautiful brown nude and like Pillow Talk, is creamy, pigmented and feels really comfortable on the lips. Now that I own a Matte Revolution Lipstick, I can say that they're definitely on par with Charlotte Tilbury's K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks. For a matte formula, they're not at all drying and the shade Very Victoria is a your-lips-but-better colour on me - a great one for everyday wear.
Stila's Lip Glaze in Sugar Plum was a totally unexpected gift, but one I was still excited to receive. Although I'm not much of a lip gloss wearer these days, I've heard amazing things about the Stila Lip Glazes since before I even started beauty blogging. Sugar Plum is that typical pinky-mauve-nude shade I'm so drawn to and for the days when I do feel like like a little gloss, I love this as it makes the lips look so sultry and plump!
When I opened my parcel and saw that little white box with minimalistic black text, I swear, I could've died. I had mentioned to Tamira that Mecca Cosmetica don't stock all the Diptyque candle scents nor the minis here (apart from the Baies, Figuier and Roses Set of Mini Candles) and that I'd had the Ambre Candle on my wishlist. Low and behold, this angel from above included it in her swap for me and I couldn't believe it. I mean, you can't really do better than Diptyque! I haven't burnt it yet because it's so cute and precious, and I want to preserve its newness for just a little longer, but like all Diptyque candles, you don't even need to burn them to get that beautiful scent throw. Ambre is a little deeper and more masculine than the typical light, fresh Diptyque scents I tend to go for (such as Baies, Roses and Mimosa), but it's equally as beautiful and will be a nice one to begin burning now that autumn is here.
When beauty products run out, it can feel like such a bore restocking on those items when you'd rather spend your money trying new things. Tamira, however, was kind enough to restock Soap & Glory's The Breakfast Scrub for me and this is an absolute staple for me come autumn/winter time. It smells like the sweetest and most delicious warm bowl of porridge you'll ever eat and it's a true crime that Soap & Glory products aren't edible. In other Boots brands, Tamira also surprised me with the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Pore Purifying Clay Mask and the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in Eat My Dust. I haven't tried the face mask just yet because my skin has been a little on the dry side lately, but also pretty well-behaved as I haven't broken out in the longest time, but when I do, I think this could also make a nice spot treatment. Barry M's Eat My Dust nail polish is a stunning greyish pastel blue colour. I just love those cool-toned dusty shades - this girl knows me so well!
I've heard British beauty bloggers rave on about Teapigs tea for years and I've been dying to try their Popcorn Tea for the longest time now! It smells deliciously of actual popcorn and has a really subtle toasted rice flavour. Originating from Japan, it's a green tea (my favourite kind!) also known as Genmaicha tea and I'm so sad I'm down to my last couple of teabags. I will savour every last drop of this and I can't wait to try more from the brand in the future. I've been drinking the tea from my "blimey" mug, which Tamira also gifted me and I can't think of a more fitting British souvenir to have been given!
In things not pictured, Tamira also gave me a mini Bath & Body Works Merry Cookie Candle, which has been burnt now, and Cadbury's Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Rocky Mallow Road and a box of macarons, which have been eaten! I ate the entire block of Cadbury's within two days and it was the best.
My first swap experience was so much fun and I'm so, so happy Tamira and I finally did this after talking about it for so long. I find gift-giving just as enjoyable as shopping for myself, if not more, and I think swaps make for a fun way to cross things off your own wishlist. I did mention this in my last post, but please read Tamira's blog post, A Swap with Tenneil from Like Neon Love, and watch her YouTube video on the swap to see the all goodies I got her! And to Tamira, thank you for all of the beautiful things you sent me, but more importantly, your beautiful friendship.
Have you ever done a swap with an online friend before?