All in beauty

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Banishing Blemished Skin

Beauty is one of my main hobbies and interests not because I'm insecure and want to conform to society's unrealistic standards of beauty, but because it's fun, creative and feels good to indulge. For me, going about my everyday skincare and makeup routines is ritualistic and therapeutic, and less about how I present myself to the world and more about how it makes me feel. In saying this, I can't deny that correcting my blemishes isn't a nice perk about beauty and although I don't let my skin concerns get to me too much (I'm totally fine to leave the house makeup free), that doesn't mean I can't address them. In today's post, I've compiled a list of the different types of skin blemishes that concern me and under each one, gone into detail about the products I use to reduce, conceal and remove them. Nobody's skin is perfect, but this is what comes pretty damn close for me.

The Disappointing Beauty Products of 2017

It's not very often I write about beauty products that have disappointed me and that's because they aren't something I often come by. I'll declutter and pass things on if they no longer suit my tastes or if I have similar products I prefer over them, but for the most part, the products I buy have always lived up to my expectations. Having said this, the occasional product will, however, fall short and although I preach about not buying as much and making considered purchases when I do, I am still human and prone to making mistakes here and there. Other times, no matter how much research you do, a product simply doesn't work or isn't right. I don't necessarily regret buying these products, they're just things that haven't wowed me enough to ever think about repurchasing, and I'm glad I've tried them, but I'm also glad to move onto something different. In an oversaturated market, no one is immune to slipping up and I think it's so important to look at things with a critical eye so we can all make better choices in the future.

The Best Beauty Products of 2017: Skincare & Haircare

Taking proper care of my skin is something I've always been mindful of, but this year, I feel like I took on a more active role by researching skincare ingredients, learning the best way to apply them and understanding the science behind it all. It's really fascinating stuff and the more I learn, the more in tune I become with my skincare needs. I'm dreadfully leaving behind my twenties and turning the big 3-0 next year, so in 2017, I started taking more precautions to prevent anti-ageing while I'm still wrinkle free. In my quest to remain as youthful as possible, I introduced new skincare ingredients and discovered some standout products that have given me incredible results, and across haircare, I developed a really good routine to better suit my dry and frizz-prone needs. It's been another great year in beauty for me and in my final instalment of the Best of 2017 posts, here are the top skincare and haircare discoveries the last 365 days have had to offer.

The Best Beauty Products of 2017: Makeup & Nails

2017 was the year I developed a newfound relationship with beauty and learnt to feel happier with less. Where I was once so easily persuaded by trends and new product releases, I'm now progressively buying less and less each year, and my healthier shopping habits have actually made me appreciate and love beauty even more. I don't get stressed over trying to maintain and use a hoard of products, and instead, my collection feels more curated. Part because I know my personal style well enough to know what I like and don't like, part because new releases are mostly rubbish nowadays, some of my cut backs this year include only buying one blush and one nail polish, and not buying a single new foundation or fragrance. In saying that, I am still a beauty blogger and I've nevertheless welcomed in some wonderful new products over the last 12 months. As always with my Best of Beauty posts, I limit mine to the products that were new to me in the year (I'd only be repeating myself otherwise) and across makeup and nails, these are my favourite products 2017 has brought me.

Improving My Haircare Routine

Haircare is something I don't talk about all too often on my blog and that's for a number of reasons: 1) I'm super low maintenance with it, so my routine doesn't change very often 2) out of all the beauty categories, I think it's the one where our needs are more unique and individual, and 3) it's also the beauty category I'm least interested in. Over the last few months, however, I've replaced old products with new ones and have made a few improvements to take better care of my hair's health. I wouldn't say I'm overly fussy with my tresses, but having a dry, thick and frizz-prone hair type does require a little TLC, so today, I thought I'd talk you through my haircare shake up that's been working wonders for me lately.

A Mecca Haul

With Sephora VIB sales and Black Friday been and gone, it seems like November's been a spendy month for everyone, including myself. It's not very often that I buy a whole lot of beauty products in one go, but I had a Mecca gift card to spend, as well as a couple from Myer, and as I've also used up a few products recently, it was the perfect time to spend them. From swatching every single pinky brown nude lipstick to smelling all the Diptyque and Byredo candles, Mecca is my favourite place on Earth to spend my money. I hit up both Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima  on three separate occasions and after doing a wee bit of damage to my bank account, today's post is a good old classic beauty haul.

How to Layer Your Skincare

Our everyday skincare routines have come a long way since the good old cleanse, tone and moisturise, and with huge advancements in skincare science constantly being made, the more elaborate they become. Being on the right side of thirty now, I've begun introducing more complex and active products into my routine to help prolong the signs of ageing, and as I wasn't exactly sure how to incorporate retinol in with the rest of my products, I began some research into how I should go about layering skincare. While I understand how all too easy it is to get caught up in whatever's popular, sometimes we need to delve a little further and educate ourselves how the products we use work and not just rely on blogger hype. Little did I know that I would be lead down a skincare rabbit hole full of scientific jargon my right-brained head could barely get around, but I learnt a lot and thought I'd share my newfound knowledge with you all.

The Glow-Getters

Where I once used products that were oil free and made my complexion matte, my late twenties has found me taking a more fresh, dewy and radiant approach to my beauty routine. Having developed dehydrated skin as I've gotten older, long gone are the days of opaque foundations that covered every semblance of my actual skin, drying toners and moisturisers that reduced shine. Nowadays, the luminous, lit-from-within look is something I crave no matter the season, so today, I've compiled my go-to glow-inducing products that help me achieve youthful, natural and well-rested skin.

Exceeding Expectations: Skincare

Developing a solid skincare routine with products I know I can rely on and will never fail me is something that has done wonders for my skin. Unless I've run out of something, it's not very often that I buy new skincare simply because I've found what I love and I know what works well for me. Following on from the makeup products that exceeded my expectations, today's post is all about the skincare that has gone above and beyond. Since day one, these products have taken me completely by surprise and have delivered results that were so much more than I ever expected.

Exceeding Expectations: Makeup

While I can safely say that I love and use every single product in my makeup collection, I do still have my favourites that I deem holy grail and there are those outstanding products that have ended up performing above and beyond anything I ever expected them to. Some of them even completely changed my initial skepticism and underwhelming first impression. Naturally, most of the products I'm talking about today have been with me for a fair few years, but there are also a couple of relatively new beauty bits that have ended up wowing me from the get go too. Skincare will be featured in part two of this little series of mine, but for now, here's all about the makeup that exceeded my expectations.