20 August 2014

The babes behind the blog

I've met a lot of people online through various interests of mine and when I first started blogging, it was a pretty lonely place until over the course of my time here, I discovered some pretty amazing blogs by some pretty amazing girls. I feel so blessed and thankful to say that many of these girls are my friends - some of them real life that have blossomed into friendships more than just our love of the same lipsticks and blushes, and others that are far across the other side of the world. These girls are not only people I admire as bloggers, but as people in general, and I wanted to do a blog post dedicated to the people who make this whole blogging thing worthwhile. This post was way longer than intended, but I'm not even sorry. I have a lot of love!

First and foremost are my fellow Australian girls... because who else do I have to complain about the extortionate markup of prices and lack of brand availability to? From shopping in the same stores to being in the same season, they definitely make this place more relatable and these girls mean so much to me here. The first Aussie girls I ever met were Katrina from Audrey & Belle and Jessica from Little Henry Lee while I was living in Sydney last year. Katrina works in the industry and is studying to be a makeup artist, and let me tell you, the girl's got talent. She has a love for the high end products like I do and I love the way she writes. I'm absolutely loving Jessica's travel adventures and her photos are simply breathtaking. I think to get out of your comfort zone and travel all on your own is truly courageous and something I really admire in a person as I hope, no matter where I go, to one day do the same. To me, the best thing that you can do with your life is travel and see the world, and to see Jessica do this gives me the strength to do this myself one day too. I wish both Katrina and Jessica updated more regularly, but I understand that life gets in the way and for the majority of us, this is just our hobby. Plus, it just makes it that more exciting when their posts pop up on my Bloglovin' feed. Another one of my Aussie girlies residing in Sydney is Brodie from the blog, Brodie Jay. I've known her for years now as we became friends through our taste in music on LiveJournal and some years later, reunited through our love of beauty products. I met her for the first time with Katrina during my holiday in Sydney back in May and we had never-ending conversations about a variety of topics. I love that I've made so many friends through one shared interest, but have ended up having so much more in common. I'm so glad she decided to start a beauty blog this year and I'm absolutely loving her YouTube channel too.

Despite having known Jennifer for a few years now, we only met this year when she came up to me at work (busily reconciling the registers, just so you know) and said, "Hi, are you Tenneil?", ha! I guess it was because she stopped blogging for a while, but after convincing her to start again, she's now back with a new blog called Beauty by Jnfr. Like Katrina, Jennifer also works in the industry and as a trained makeup artist, it's really refreshing reading a blog whose love of makeup is actually more than just a blog and knows what they're talking about too. We've caught up a handful of times now and while it doesn't seem like a lot, our friendship has blossomed so quickly and I consider Jennifer one of my closest and dearest friends now. From our essay-long texts to endless conversations, I can talk to this girl about anything. Through Jennifer, I came across Lisa's Instagram and discovered her beautiful blog, Style with Lisa. She has a keen eye for style and I love her minimalist approach to photography, which you wouldn't even believe is all taken on an iPhone! Both Jennifer and Lisa have amazing taste in products and we recently met up for the first time all together too. It's really awesome having such great bloggy friends living in the same city as I do.

My Bloglovin' feed would be bare without the UK girls. When it comes to international bloggers, I love the Brits because I find their style more relatable and brands they talk about more accessible. I happened to stumble upon Rebecca's beautiful blog, From Roses, a couple of years ago when I was searching for an image of Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. I was instantly blown away by her photography and back then, she only had a couple of hundred followers. Since then, her blog has unsurprisingly grown a considerable amount and continues to go from strength to strength. I've come to know Jen over the past few months since reporting to her for A Little Opulent and it's really lovely working with her while being given so much creative freedom. Her blog, Jennypurr, is filled with amazing products from brands I love, awesome features on blogging/freelancing in general and both her and Rebecca are just two girls going after their dreams, which is truly admirable. I'm so happy being a part of the ALO team with them and I love having another creative outlet where I can talk about my other loves in life. I think these girls really set the standards when it comes to full time blogging and I really look up to them.

I don't follow many fashion blogs as I'm quite fussy, but Hannah's blog, Han Valentine, has been a favourite of mine since I first started blogging. She's been one of my blogger friends since the beginning and this girl's got amazing taste in clothes. Plus, I can really get on board with her love of music. During my most recent visit to the hairdressers, I took a photo of her in because I'm a creep and just really love her hair too! I haven't known Tamira or Kate for that long, but from talking to them on Twitter, they're both such dolls. Tamira's sweet and friendly nature to everyone within the community is something you don't see everyday and her blog, The Guilty Girl, is full of fabulous products, both high end and low end, which makes it really relatable. She also has a YouTube channel worth checking out. Kate's blog is called The Glow Edit and from her chic style to love of luxurious products, this girl's taste is so on point. Her blog definitely makes me want to do some wishlisting.

There are so many lovely ladies in the beauty blogging community, but this post was getting way too long, so I'm sure I'll do another one of these types of posts in the future. I'm still getting to know some of you and I just love talking to you all on Twitter, so don't ever feel shy to Tweet me if you ever fancy a chat. If you're in need of discovering some more wonderful reads, you can also check out my blogroll.

14 August 2014

What's in my travel carry on bag?

By now, I would've arrived in Hong Kong and while this post comes to you scheduled, I like to think I'm having the time of my life at the moment! I'm so excited to be leaving the Australian shores for the first time in two years, so in anticipation of my travel adventures, here's what I'll be carrying with me on the plane on my journey to Hong Kong and then the dreaded return home.

The most important thing I have in my carry on is obviously my passport as I think I'd have just a little bit of trouble leaving the country without it. I love this little book and seeing it getting filled up with stamps from all the countries I've travelled to. I have the cutest case for it too, which says, 'Un jour de reve' and means to 'one day dream'. I don't think that is the literal meaning and I can't remember for the life of me what it was when I first bought it, which is really lame of me. And I call myself a Francophile! I have a pen to fill out that card on the plane when travelling overseas and I love the Kikki K ones as they have the cutest designs. Since I don't need my bigger wallet and all those loyalty cards I just love signing up to, I've got my holographic Marc by Marc Jacobs card wallet to take with me on my travels. It's small and compact, but roomy enough for my cards and cash. My good old Ray-Ban Wayfarers come in handy when the sun is glaring right in my eyes. I know you can easily pull down the window shutter, but I want to watch the sunrise and the pretty clouds!

We're flying during the night on our way to Hong Kong, so a travel pillow comes in handy for some much needed rest. After all, I'm going to need the energy when I hit up those shops! During my Contiki Tour across Europe, my travel pillow was my saviour on long coach rides, though I haven't quite grasped sleeping on planes just yet. If my attempts at some shut eye fail me, I've got my current read to keep me entertained, which helps me relax too. I find reading a book such a great time killer on plane rides and I get so much done as there aren't as many distractions - the worst culprit for me being the Internet. I'm not too big on watching films or TV shows on planes as the quality isn't that great, anyway, so I should be able to smash the majority of this and cross it off the 'to read' list soon.

Naturally, I don't travel anywhere without my iPhone or iPod. How else am I going to Instagram my holiday? I probably won't listen to my iPod that much on the plane, but we're travelling to and from Hong Kong and China by train, which takes a day, so I plan on enjoying the scenery with some chilled out music - those songs then becoming a part of my travel memories. I have the Bose earphones because they're far superior than the Apple ones, as the guys in the TV Hi-Fi department at work told me, and enabled me to buy these. They were right though - the sound quality is excellent and I love that deep base. When my battery's running low on my technological gadgets, I've got my Juice Cube to charge them up on the go. I love the Juice Cube because it's small and when you shake it, it lights up according to how much power is left in it, which is really handy. I've also got my DSLR camera, the Canon EOS 600D, on me, but obviously couldn't include it here as I used it to take the above photo. On my way home, I may have my MacBook Pro in my carry on bag to lessen the weight from the inevitable shopping I'm going to do, but I think 30kg should be sufficient.

Lastly, in beauty bits, there isn't a whole lot here as I hate travelling with makeup on. It was my 26 hour flight to London that put me right off from ever doing that again! I keep all my beauty products in the American Apparel Small Leather Carry-All Pouch in Lavender and while it's small, it's also really roomy. For some much needed hydration, I've got my Dior Crème de Rose and L'Occitane Cooling Hand Cream Gel. I love my Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm for home use, but when I'm travelling or out and about, these little L'Occitane tubes are my favourite. Speaking of hands and Aesop, I've got the Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash as my hand sanitiser of choice. I was getting a little bit bored of the sweet-smelling Soap & Glory Hand Maid Hand Cleansing Gel and I'm loving the refreshing scent of the Aesop alternative. There's also my Chanel Miroir Double Facettes Mirror Duo in my pouch just to make sure I look somewhat presentable while I'm not wearing makeup. When it comes to freshening up, I've got three products lined up here - the Vichy 40 Hour Anti-Perspirant Treatment Roll On, a miniature bottle of the Jo Malone Cologne in Blackberry & Bay and the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. We got the cutest little mini bottles of Jo Malone cologne when Jennifer and I got our hand massages there a few months ago, and they've come in so handy for travelling. It'll be summer in Hong Kong and China, and the Blackberry & Bay Cologne is the perfect light, sweet and refreshing scent for the warmth. While the sun doesn't shy away during the winter in Australia, I'm so excited for some 30+ degree heat and getting out the shorts and tank tops again!

I've got my carry on all sorted out now, but we won't get started on the check-in luggage or the makeup bag, and my inability to pack lightly...

06 August 2014

Vampy lips

A few years ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing anything else besides a nude lipstick. I don't know what was so unappealing about other lipsticks to me, but they just never caught my interest. It wasn't however, until I started watching beauty YouTube videos, that I'd see girls rocking all kinds of different lipstick colours and I especially loved the deep and dark red variety. It was then that I decided to purchase a couple, but even when I got my hands on them, it took me a while to gain the confidence to wear them out. No matter what you're doing to step out of your comfort zone, it can be daunting, and you'll often doubt yourself and worry what people think. Eventually, I got over this, stopped caring about what other people think and I found that they don't really care either. In fact, you'll probably find yourself getting a few compliments. No matter the lipstick colour, I'm confident in wearing the makeup I want to wear and now the vampy shades make up the majority of my lipstick collection. Before the colder months come to an end, I thought I'd do an overview of what I have.

Starting with the lightest shade, MAC's Viva Glam I was my first foray into the darker lipstick shades. It's described an an "intense brownish blue-red" and I find this complements my skintone quite well as the cooler tones suit me a lot more than those that are warm. It's dark without bordering on the gothic side with a matte finish, so if you're looking to get into the vampy lipsticks, Viva Glam I would be a great shade to start with. The Hourglass Rouge Opaque Liquid Lipstick in Icon is a rich, deep red colour that can either work as a classic red lip or a vampy lip. With one coat, it's bright, but you can apply a few more to build it up into something a bit darker. I won't say too much about this colour as I have a full review of it coming soon, but it's absolutely stunning and would make a great transitional colour from autumn to winter.

When I'm lining my lips for those darker colours, I use the MAC Lip Pencil in Beet. It's a dark red with pink undertones, which on its own is too pink for me, but once I apply a lipstick over it, those undertones are taken away. I use this particular lip liner for all my dark lip colours as there's nothing worse than wearing a dark lipstick and having it fade horribly!

Next on the colour spectrum is MAC's Rebel, which is a "vivid pinkish-purple". With one coat, this satin lipstick is a little too bright for my liking, but you can really build it up for a deep berry-toned vampy shade, which I think would suit a lot of skintones. The next lip product I have is from the MAC Posh Paradise Mattenes Collection released in 2011 and while it's sadly discontinued, I just had to include it. The Mattene Lipstick I have is called Unknown Pleasures and while this brown-tinted red is absolutely stunning, I also may have purchased this as a fan of Joy Division. Don't worry though, there's a dupe that comes in the form of the most recent addition to my collection, MAC's Diva, an "intense reddish-burgundy". Swatched side by side, there isn't a huge notable difference in colour apart from Unknown Pleasures being ever so slightly redder. Finish wise, Diva is a matte and Unknown Pleasures has a hint of sheen to it.

Dark Side is a deep burgundy, relatively similar to Unknown Pleasures and Diva, but perhaps two shades darker. It's an amplified creme, which won't dry out your lips like the mattes. MAC's Media is similar is similar in colour, but darker and is a satin finish. Described as an "intense reddish-purple", this is the darkest MAC lipstick I own, perfect for a cold night out.

The last and darkest of my vampy lipstick colours is my only Illamasqua lipstick in the shade, Growl. I had seen Jess wearing this colour in her videos and it looked so gorgeous, I knew I had to pick it up for myself. Well, what a nightmare that was! As there's no Illamasqua counter in the Perth Myer stores, I tried purchasing this so many times while I was living in Sydney last year and each time I visited the counter, it was sold out. On my very last day in Sydney before I was due out to fly back home about four hours later, they finally had Growl in stock and it was definitely a serious case of "meant to be". Pointless story aside, I'm going to be honest and say that I think the anticipation of buying this lipstick was by far more thrilling than actually finally owning it. It's a lovely colour, described as a "rich mahogany brown", but as my lips are already quite pigmented due to my complexion, it looks a little too brown on me for my liking. Plus, the finish is the "mattest" of mattes, making it really drying. I could definitely work with this colour, applying it over a more moisturising, red colour, but for how excited I got over this lipstick, the effort isn't worth it. There is no need to get attached to a product you can't easily get your hands on because you'll probably find yourself disappointed or end up finding something similar and even better. Lesson learnt!

What are your favourite vampy lip colours?

31 July 2014

Life lately

July has been a pretty busy and exciting month for me. I've been busily preparing for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong and China (i.e. making wishlists of things I want to buy), which I leave for in five days (!!!), planning and scheduling blog posts, and reformatting my old blog content for my move over to Squarespace. I wasn't originally going to go on holiday with my family as my main priority at the moment is finding a job and moving to Melbourne, but I've never been on a proper overseas holiday with my family before. My trip to Bali with them in 2012 was cut short as I was leaving for Europe a few weeks later and last year, and I didn't go to Malaysia and Singapore with them as I was in Sydney doing my digital marketing internship. Before that, we'd only been on little holidays down south of Western Australia when we were kids, so it's definitely been a long time since we've all been away together as a family. Plus, who am I to say no to an overseas holiday? The last time I travelled overseas was two years ago when I spent the summer in Europe with my best friend and let me tell you, it's been two years too long. Travelling is something that really means a lot to me and once you start, you never want to stop. We're going away for two weeks and I figure this will be my final hurrah before I thrust myself into the world of adulthood and attempt to find a full time job and move out of home. I've started looking and whole process is so overwhelming. I'm constantly worried about it, but I have to stay focused on my goals and remind myself that you don't get anywhere without hard work.

Blog

There have been a couple of new blog discoveries in the month of July. First up is More Than Adored, which is run by the lovely Sarah. She's a fellow Aussie residing in Melbourne and there's nothing more I love than finding new Australian blog reads. I really love her blog ethic and for someone who only blogs as a hobby, I am just so impressed by how hard working she is. I'm struggling to schedule three blog posts in August while I'm away as it is! I love those kind blog discoveries where you just know the blogger really loves what they do. A newcomer to the blogging world is Jimmy from Amsterdaily, which you may have guessed from his blog name, is from Amsterdam, which I think is so cool! It's not everyday I come across European bloggers outside of the UK (who write in English for me to understand, anyway) and it's not everyday I come across beauty blogging guys either. I love his minimal approach to skincare and makeup, and I think Jimmy definitely brings something unique and refreshing to the community.

Music

You know those amazing musical discoveries where you hear one song by a band and all of a sudden, you've obtained their whole discography because they're just that good? July has been one of those months for me and I welcomed Baths, How To Dress Well and The War On Drugs into my life. After listening to and loving Baths', Ocean Death EP, last month, I went and downloaded his LPs and upon discovering new releases from How To Dress Well and The War On Drugs on a couple of my favourite music blogs, I just knew I needed to check out the rest of their stuff too. I'm absolutely obsessed with How To Dress Well's song, Repeat Pleasure, which reminds of 90s R&B with elements of electronic music thrown in. It's just so damn catchy! Another amazing band I finally got around to listening to that I'd been meaning to check out for a while is the Swedish dream pop band, Postiljonen. I don't even know how it took me so long because they make me dream of sunsets, and I just want to close my eyes and float on clouds when I listen to their music. Their song, Supreme, has been on repeat and brings such joy into my life. Supreme is one of those where you just have to stop everything you're doing and concentrate on because it'll make you appreciate music that much.

Film and television

I haven't watched too many films this month as I've been busy with blog and travel stuff, but I watched an old classic from the 90s, Good Will Hunting, which definitely lived up to the hype. I watched this film upon the recommendation from a friend and I guess you could say the major theme of the film is going after what you're really worth and not settling, which I feel rings true to me at the moment. I'm almost done with season 3 of Full House and I'm still really enjoying it. There are surprisingly some real laugh-out-loud moments in this show and I just love Uncle Jesse and Becky's relationship. I mean, what is a TV show if I don't have a couple to obsess over?

July '14 from likeneonlove on 8tracks Radio.

Tracklist

1. Postiljonen - Help
2. Tycho - Awake (Com Truise Remix)
3. Sleep ∞ Over - Romantic Streams
4. Ulrich Schnauss - I Take Comfort In Your Ignorance (Tycho Remix)
5. Ásgeir - Going Home
6. The War On Drugs - Red Eyes
7. CHVRCHES - The Mother We Share (Errors Remix)
8. Postiljonen - Supreme
9. How To Dress Well - Repeat Pleasure
10. Baths - Rafting Starlit Everglades

25 July 2014

Wishful thinking #3: Hong Kong & Singapore

There's no doubt that the best part about travelling overseas is experiencing a new culture and taking in the surroundings of a place you've never been, but as a self-confessed shopaholic, a bit of frivolous spending definitely comes a close second for me. I managed to score myself a pretty hefty tax return this year (oh, how I love you, end of financial year), so while some of that will be going into my savings account, the rest will be my spending money for my holiday to Hong Kong and stopover in Singapore. I am going to China too, but according to my research, luxury brands are more expensive there. There are so many brands and shops us poor Australians are deprived of and especially for me, being from Perth and all, shopping in Topshop and drinking Starbucks are still novelties for me! Obviously, while I'm overseas, I have to take advantage of the amazing (and cheap!) shopping and I'm definitely glad I have those extra ten kilos for my check-in luggage on my return home.

Let's get straight into it and start with the big daddy of purchases I want to make. I've been wanting to invest in a designer handbag for a couple of years now and I've had my heart set on the Mulberry Alexa for over a year. I'm really picky when it comes to handbags - I only buy black because it goes with everything and I won't get bored of it, and I only buy handbags with silver hardware too. The Mulberry Alexa Black Polished Buffalo with Nickel is just perfect and it's going to be a present to myself for finally getting my driver's licence and a real full time job. The latter hasn't actually happened yet, so I'm not allowed to use it until I do! This is obviously a really expensive purchase, so I want it to be meaningful and feel deserving of it. I'm so excited to invest in my first expensive handbag and have something that will actually last a really long time too.

In Australia, Urban Decay and Tarte aren't sold here and while you can buy them online, it's just not as fun as buying them in real life! As I experienced when I travelled around Europe two years ago, it's so exciting seeing those brands you can't get a hold of in your country in the flesh. When the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette came out, I passed it off as something I didn't need as I already own the original Naked Palette, but when swatches of all three palettes started circulating the blogosphere with the release of the Naked 3, I couldn't help but then add it to my wishlist. Cool toned eyeshadows are just my favourite. I've never tried anything from Tarte before and I have my heart set on the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes in Tipsy and Exposed. Another blush on my wishlist comes in the form of Benefit's Rockateur Blush. Excessive? Yes, but blush is just my one true beauty weakness. Another Sephora brand I'm eager to try is Marc Jacobs and the Remedy Concealer Pen with its cool metal tip has caught my eye so far. I'm so excited to go shopping in Sephora! My mum thinks I'm ridiculous for only wanting to go to one shop in Singapore and I don't disagree with her. There are Sephora stores in China, though they don't stock a lot of brands due to their animal testing regulations, so shopping in China doesn't seem very promising so far!

In other beauty things, there are a few Chanel bits I have my eye on. After reading really amazing reviews on Makeup Alley of the Chanel Resynchronising Skincare, I'm really eager to try these three serums, and the packaging? Oh, my! When I was at the Chanel counter a few months ago, I tried out the Hydra Beauty Essence Mist while waiting to speak to someone, which I just knew I shouldn't have done because I had a gut feeling I would end up liking it and wanting to buy it. Needless to say, it found its way on my wishlist. I'm interested in the #9 Rose Epicuren shade of the YSL Kiss & Blushes. I haven't seen this particular shade at my local YSL counter and I don't know if it's even available in Australia, so I'll try my luck overseas. It looks really gorgeous from swatches I've seen online, though it's not a set in stone purchase I'd like to make as I want to try it out first. Lastly, there's the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. For an Australian brand, it's surprisingly hard to get here unless you buy it online. I've heard great things about this liquid highlighter and I love dewy, glow-y skin.

I have to give Rebecca credit here for the final item on my wishlist. I originally wanted the black Nike Frees 5.0, but she talked about the Nike Roshe Runs on Twitter and then seeing them in her 'Getting back into exercise' blog post, I think I like these even more! What can I say, the girl's got taste. Not only would these shoes be great for working out in, but they make really nice casual shoes for those days you want to be comfy, but not too undone at the same time. I also want to pick up some workout wear from Nike too because y'know, what's a better way to get motivated into working out than nice clothes?

No doubt I'll probably make a few more purchases than this. I'm eager to hit up Topshop, Zara (specifically Home), H&M, American Apparel and Muji too. Do you see why I want to get out of Perth?! Watch this space for a future epic haul!

21 July 2014

Hibernating for the winter

As much as I love summer, this winter, I've found myself appreciating the season a little more as there's something quite comforting about the colder months. Perhaps living in Australia where, let's be real, I've never experienced a real winter before, it's not quite as depressing for me, so I've learnt to appreciate the sound of the rain whilst I'm all snuggled up in bed, and I recently just bought myself a dressing gown, which has been one of the best life decisions I've ever made. As much as I hate the darkness in winter and getting caught in the rain, when I'm in the comfort of my home and chilling out, the colder months aren't so bad.

Baths aren't really my thing during the summertime, but come winter, there's nothing quite like pampering your body with a hot, soothing bath and some moisturising skincare products. I've used up my current Lush stash, so at the moment, I'm using the Elemis Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir* for my baths. A bath just isn't a bath without bubbles and I find this lathers up really nicely in the water. The hot water really lifts the aroma and it's wonderfully relaxing and comforting. I don't exfoliate in the bath, but when I'm in the shower, I use Soap & Glory's The Breakfast Scrub to slough away at the dry winter skin. As the hot water runs over me, I'll just stand there in the shower smelling this stuff because it's absolutely amazing. I particularly love it for wintertime because of the warm, sweet scent that reminds me of porridge. When my fingers have turned into prunes and I'm out of the bath or shower, The Body Shop Body Butter in Brazil Nut is my seasonal moisturiser of choice. Super rich and intensely thick, there's nothing quite like this old favourite of mine. I chose this particular scent as it's super sweet, whereas in the warmer months, I'll go for something fresh and fruity. Of course, for the lips, I rely on my trusty Nuxe Rêve de Miel to deeply nourish them and rid them of dryness. I have a million other lip balms, but this is definitely my go-to for the wintertime.

Winter is the perfect time to consume copious amounts of tea. This time last year, I discovered the amazingness that is the chai tea latte through my best friend, but there really isn't a tea I do not like. Earl Grey, rose, peppermint, chamomile, Chinese, green - you name it, I love it. I'll usually drink my tea as I'm reading blogs or scrolling through my Twitter feed when I get home from work, though I've recently found the joy in immersing myself in a book. Now, I'm definitely no book worm and I only read two last year, which was an improvement from reading nothing the years prior, but I am getting a little bit better at making the time to read before bed. I'm currently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov as I've seen both the Stanley Kubrick and Adrian Lyne versions of the film and thoroughly enjoyed them. Obviously, I don't drink tea with any caffeine at night as I have enough trouble sleeping as it is, so I usually go for a rose or chamomile, which usually helps put me into a peaceful slumber.

During the colder months, it's easy to let your social calendar go to the wayside, but I've always enjoyed my alone time and have seem to become a little bit of a homebody as I've gotten older. It's cold and rainy though, so if you're the same, you have an excuse! I am forever discovering new things to watch and as I just love marathoning TV shows and watching countless films, the colder months are the perfect time to play catch ups. At the moment, I'm watching Full House, which may seem a little silly, but I've basically been on a 90s television binge this year and haven't watched anything new, nor caught up with my current TV shows. I keep a list of what I watch (as well as listen to and read) on my Listography account, if you'd like to see, which if you're nosey and an obsessive list maker like I am, you will.

When I'm all toasty warm in bed with my hot water bottle and either my laptop or a book, I'll usually light a candle for some added warmth and comfort. I don't burn candles every single night as I like to savour my Diptyque candles since they're so expensive, but to me, they're worth it. There's nothing like relaxing at home and filling the room with the warm aroma and glow of a candle, and when it starts raining and you're all cosy inside the house? That is what I call perfection.

How have you Southern Hemisphere peeps been surviving the winter?

16 July 2014

Drawing the line

The first eyeliner I ever purchased came from the $2 Shop when I was about 14 years old, and that on my waterline and a Bonne Bell lipgloss was the only makeup I wore to school. Since then, my makeup world has broadened and long gone are the days of that cheap black twist up crayon in baby blue packaging. From pencil to liquid and to gel, I've tried them all and each one I own serves a different role in my eye makeup look.

To line the lower lash line, MAC's Eye Kohl in Smolder is my pencil of choice. This isn't something I do regularly as these days, I prefer a softer eye look and I usually just line my lash line with eye shadow. If you're after a deeper and as the product name suggests, more smouldering eye look, MAC's Eye Kohls are great because the colour payoff is excellent and the softness of them makes it really easy to blend out. Having said that though, they don't smear and you won't end up with black smudges under your eyes as I used to with cheaper alternatives. If I'm not feeling the winged liner, but still want to line my upper lash line, I love smudging this into it for a "soft grunge" kind of look.

When I was about 19 or 20 years old, I ditched wearing the black on my waterline and opted for white instead. I use another MAC Eye Kohl, this time in Fascinating, and as I have quite small eyes, this makes them pop and stand out against heavy eye makeup. On an everyday basis, you'll usually only find me wearing a few coats of mascara and sometimes a little eyeshadow, but when I go out, I play up my eye makeup more and white eyeliner really helps to brighten up the eyes and make them appear bigger. I had contemplated buying a nude eyeliner in the past, but I don't find the white eyeliner too bold at all. If you've pulled an all-nighter or just simply haven't slept much the night before, white eyeliner can also help in making you look less tired.

While I'm far from mastering the art of winged eyeliner, I'm slowly, but surely getting better at it with practise. MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack and the 209 Eye Liner Brush make the perfect pair for easy winged liner application and although YouTubers make applying eyeliner with an angled brush look so easy, I just can't seem to get the hang of it! If you're experiencing winged liner woes, I suggest using a fine tipped synthetic brush as I feel it's more precise and the 209 brush makes it especially easy and evenly applies the product.

When a brush and gel is too much effort, liquid eyeliner pens are another great alternative for lining the upper lash line. The NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Carpates is one I loved as it helps achieve that perfect flick and neither fades or smudges. It wasn't long, however, until it started slightly drying up and although it still works, applying liquid liner is still difficult when it starts run out because it tugs on your eyelids. It's impossible to get an evenly black line and just generally makes the whole process more frustrating than it already is. I've since discovered a superior liquid liner and that is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black. This stuff really is intense black! It's more "liquid-y" than the NARS counterpart, making it such a dream to apply and on first application, I was so impressed by how easy it was to get my flick looking right as it usually causes me so much grief. I don't know what the proper rules for winged liner application are, but I find my flick looks best as an extension of my lower lash line as opposed to lining it up and angling it with the end of my eyebrow. Before applying, make sure to shake it well and I think the spring in the lid may have something to do with keeping the nib really wet. I don't think I'll ever look at another liquid liner again since discovering this and although I have a lot of love for NARS, I think it's time to toss that one in the bin.

What are your favourite eyeliners?