Friday, 14 February 2014

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

Here's the makeup I'm taking with me on my trip to Japan. I tried my best to keep the amount of products to a minimum and I think I have done fairly well. 

In terms of foundation, I've packed my Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Linen which will be perfect for daytime. I've also selected Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 5 which is my favourite foundation for the evening when I want a bit more coverage. For under my eyes and to cover any blemishes I will use my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, as it offers great coverage and is long lasting without drying out my skin. 

For bronzer, I've got my faithful NARS Laguna Bronzer which is a lovely bronzer that doesn't look too orange or shimmery. I have packed just one blush and have chosen MAC Blush in Dame as it's a lovely colour that I should use more often! For a setting powder I have MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium which I don't currently use very often but I have packed as it needs a bit more love. 

Moving on to eyeshadow, I have selected my Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette for its compact size and nice selection of matte neutral shades. I have also added a shimmery eyeshadow option in the form of MAC Eyesahdow in Jest for the evening when I want a shimmery lid. To help these shadows remain crease-free, I've got my trusty NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base which is the best eyeshadow primer I've ever used. 

For my lashes I'm currently using Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara which I am really enjoying. It has a plastic wand that works well to add both volume and length to my lashes. Moving on to brows, MAC Eyeshadow in Omega is the powder I use to fill in my brows, which I then set in place with Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

The products I have packed the most of are lips. I like to have a few options depending on my mood! For a lipstick offering that isn't drying on the lips, I've got Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet for a darker red lip as well as Tutti Frutti which is a brighter orange-coral shade. The other two lip products are also by Revlon, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey which is a perfect daytime nude. And Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, one of my current favourite lip products that is a brighter lip option. 

I have narrowed it down to just eight brushes. For filling in and grooming my brows, I have selected my favourite MAC 266 to apply my brow powder, and a MAC 204, which I use to comb through my brows. To apply and blend eyeshadow I have MAC 217 to apply lid colour, a MAC 226 (which unfortunately was limited edition) to apply colour to the crease, and lastly the MAC 224 to blend eyeshadow. For applying my foundation, I have chosen my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush which is a fantastic brush for base makeup. For powder and bronzer I am taking the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush to try out for the first time (hopefully it works a treat!). To sweep blush across my cheeks I have the Real Techniques Blush Brush, which can also be used for other face powders. The two essential tools that are coming with me are my Tweezerman Slant Tweezers and my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I'm pretty happy with the amount I've selected and all the makeup and brushes fit neatly in my MAC "Clearly MAC" Cosmetics Bag

How do you keep your makeup packing under control for a trip? Is there one particular item you just can't help but overpack, for me it's lip products! 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

What's in My Travel Toiletry Bag

Keeping with the travel theme, today I sorted out my toiletry bag and thought I'd take a few pictures and write up what is coming with me. 

My toiletry bag is by the brand Uchi and I purchased it from David Jones, it is the "Bath Bag" style in red leather. It has two large clear zipper sections with a small leather section and hook at the top. This toiletry bag is very spacious and I like how you can see everything easily when it is hanging on the back of a door. 

I've decanted some products into Go-Toob bottles, which are really great containers. 

Let's start with the bottom compartment. In here I have my haircare and shaving essentials:
Top: Nectar Thermique, Comb, Razor
Bottom: Hairspray, Shaving Cream, Leave in Conditioner, Shampoo, Conditioner, Dry shampoo

Let's start with my haircare routine. To wash my hair I've packed Tresemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo. This is a deep cleansing shampoo that is great for removing product build up and leaves your hair feeling very clean. For conditioning, I chose Aussie 3 Minute Miracle as it is a very nourishing conditioner that also has a delicious coconut scent.

Following my shower, I use Unite 7 Seconds Leave In Conditioner to add some additional nourishment to my hair and to make is easier to comb through with my Macadamia Natural Comb. Afterwards, I apply Kerastase Nectar Thermique to the lengths of my hair. This product acts as a heat protectant and also helps my hair to feel nourished. I also love the floral scent!

After my hair is dry I use Klorane Dry Shampoo to add some volume at the roots, and to set it in place I use L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray which is a fantastic hairspray that doesn't leave your hair feeling crunchy but keeps it in place. I also use the dry shampoo when I'm not washing my hair to keep it looking fresh.

For shaving, I have packed my First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream which is a great option for travelling as it does not come in an aerosol can and can therefore be decanted into a container. It's a great product as it nourishes your skin while shaving with my Venus Gilette razor

I also need to add body moisturiser to this compartment. I am thinking of picking up a small Kiehl's Creme de Corps as a treat to myself!

In the top compartment I have my skincare and anti-perspirant:
Top: Sunscreen, Lip balm, Face oil, Toner, Spot treatment, Deodorant
Bottom: Cleanser, Makeup Remover, Serum, Mask, Deodorant, Body soap

If I am wearing makeup, I will use Bioderma Créaline H2O on a cotton square to remove it, especially to help remove mascara and eye makeup. To start off, I have my cleanser which is Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. This is the moist luxurious feeling cleanser I have ever used, it leaves my skin feeling so hydrated and clean at the same time. After cleansing, I use Pixi Glow Tonic on a cotton square, which is an exfoliating toner that helps remove dead skin and clear up blemishes. Following this I use my Sukin hydrating toner which is in my Carry-On Bag. I then use a hydrating serum, Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron, using a pea-sized amount and patting it into my skin. To keep things even more hydrated, I use Rosehip Plus Rosehip Oil and smooth it over my skin and neck. I then use my Indeed Laboraties eye cream and Aesop moistuiser, which are both in my Carry-On Bag. If I have any blemishes I use Origins Super Spot Remover to keep them away!

In morning, I make sure to apply Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen to protect my skin. I have also packed Korres Natural Clay Deep Cleansing Mask which I might use if I feel like a cleansing mask. I love to use a thicker lip balm in the evening and Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm is a great hydrating lip product that stays on all night and feel very nourishing, I can still feel it on my lips in the morning!

Instead of a body wash I have included Aesop Body Cleansing Slab which I received as a generous sample. I thought this would be a great time to use it and it saves me packing a body wash and loofah which are quite bulky. Finally, to keep myself smelling fresh I have Nivea Stress Relief Deodorant for the morning and Rexona Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, which I use at night.

Some not as interesting bits that I have in the top pocket are Swisspers cotton tips,
Swisspers cotton squaresColgate toothpaste, Bobby pinsScunci hair ties and Compeed blister plasters. I also need to add some dental floss in here, I forgot this when packing it the first time!

Here's my bag all zipped up and ready to go! I hope this was a helpful or interesting post, let me know what some of your travel essentials are in the comments below...

Monday, 10 February 2014

Weekly Thoughts

I thought I would try out a weekly thoughts post with a roundup of random things that I have been loving or have caught my attention, inspired by Jessica's blog.

1) I tried this breakfast banana pudding for breakfast and it was a delicious treat. A little more effort than my usual breakfast but it was really yum!

2) I've been loving Siobhan's instagram feed. She posts lots of oatmeal pictures with gorgeous toppings, as well as other healthy food ideas. It makes for great food inspiration.

3) This song by Broods has been on repeat this week, loving it!

4) I have become obsessed with the TV show Scandal, it is so good! The writers have the ability to leave you wanting more each episode and Kerry Washington is great in the lead role.

5) I found this sunflower seed butter at a local organic supermarket and I just had to try it. I've heard of Sunbutter from the US, but had never seen it in Sydney before. It's pretty good, quite a different flavour from almond or peanut butter.

6) Is it terrible that I really want this Emma Hardie gift set mainly for the tiny pot of Cleansing Balm? I already have a full size tub but I just love beauty products that are miniature! I could of course just decant it into a travel-size container, but it's just not the same. Does anyone else have this problem?

7) I picked up the Real Techniques Travel Essentials set recently, mainly to try out the Multi Task brush that looks perfect for any kind of face powder, blush or bronzer.

8) I downloaded this clock screensaver for my laptop and I love the simplicity of the design. So sleek!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

What's In My Carry-On Toiletry Bag

I'm off to Japan on February 12th, so I've started organising and packing for my trip. The first post I have to share with you is what's inside my carry-on toiletry bag. 

I like to keep it fairly simple with my skincare routine for long-haul flights. To start with I wear very little to no makeup on the plane, as I really can't be bothered with removing it all and you definitely don't want to be sleeping overnight with a face full of makeup, your skin will suffer! 

I like my skin to feel as comfortable as possible when flying, as the air conditioning can be extremely drying for your skin. It is essential to ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the flight. This routine is inspired by a video from Lisa Eldridge which is a great watch. 

As soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off, I like to visit the bathroom to start my routine. Firstly, I brush my teeth, then I remove my contact lenses and apply eyedrops. As some of you may know, plane water is not very hygienic as it isn't fresh, so I skip a wash off cleanser and instead use Bioderma Créaline H2O with a cotton square. To add some moisture back into my skin I use Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner which I have decanted into a miniature spray bottle. I then apply a generous amount of my Indeed Laboratories Eysilix eye cream patting it on gently with my ring finger. At night, in place of a moisturiser I use Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which is a thick, hydrating mask that applies clear. This acts as a moisture barrier for your skin and keeps it very nourished, it has a lovely apricot scent as well. This is a fantastic mask and I highly recommend it. I have forgotten to include it in the above picture, but a lip balm is an essential part of my flight routine, which I apply at this stage. With my face finished, I apply Neutrogena Norweigan Formula Hand Cream to keep my hands from feeling dry. 

Throughout the flight I apply some Caudalie Beauty Elixir which I have decanted into a tiny spray bottle, to freshen up my skin. It has a lovely herbal scent which is very energising and refreshing. I also use refreshing eye drops as my eyes can become dry and uncomfortable on planes. Also missing from the picture is a miniature deodorant like this one, which is a must for a long flight. 

In the morning or before the flight is about to land, I repeat the above routine but in place of the Origins mask I apply my Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream. I also use this time to brush my teeth and put in my contact lenses. 

I store my products in a Muji Clear Pouch, which I have in the large size. This is perfect for travelling and very inexpensive. 

What are some of your carry-on travel essentials? Do you tend to go all out or keep it very simple? 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Recipe: Mexican Chicken Soup with Tortilla Chips

Here I am with my first ever recipe post. This soup is seriously easy to prepare, you just add all the ingredients to a slow cooker, cover and heat for 4 or 8 hours depending on when you want to eat. This is a great recipe to prepare in the morning and have it ready for dinner when you get home. To add a little something extra, I've topped it with some crispy tortilla chips, which are better for you as they are made with mountain bread. Top with whatever you have on hand (avocado would have been delicious here but I didn't have any when I made this unfortunately) and enjoy! 

Mexican Chicken Soup 

Serves 6

3 chicken breasts, skinless
1 onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (no added salt)
1 can diced tomatoes, (no added salt)
1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or 2 ears fresh corn)
1 capsicum, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock, salt reduced
1 cup water
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
optional toppings: fresh coriander or parsley, plain greek yoghurt/sour cream, avocado, cheese

1.     Sautee onion in a non-stick frying pan until soft
2.     Add cooked onion, beans, tomatoes, corn, capsicum, tomato paste, chicken stock, lime juice, and spices to slow cooker
3.     Lay the chicken breasts on top of the mixture, ensuring they are covered
4.     Set slow cooker to low heat, cover, and cook for 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high
5.     Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Season with salt and pepper. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and stir gently
6.     Serve immediately or continue cooking on low until ready to serve
7.     Top with mountain bread tortilla chips, fresh coriander or parsley, plain greek yoghurt/sour cream, avocado, cheese, etc.

Mountain Bread Chips:
To make mountain bread tortilla chips, preheat oven to 180C. Cut mountain bread into triangles or strips. Spread them out on a baking tray and bake in oven for 5 minutes or until brown around edges and crispy. You can also sprinkle with paprika or chilli flakes before baking for extra flavour. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Back to blogging!

I cannot believe it has been over a year since my last blog post, I am an awful blogger!

Quite a bit has happened in the past year. I worked full time and saved up enough money to go travelling around Europe with some friends for over three months. I had the time of my life, having never travelled to Europe before there was so much to see and do.

Since I returned home, I have been working and am preparing to start back at university in March. I'm lucky enough to be taking a short holiday to Japan with my family next week. But I'd love to start blogging again and I have actually missed it.

I'm still looking to focus on beauty as I'm pretty obsessed with skin care and makeup, but I'd also like to start blogging about another passion of mine, food. So there will be few recipe posts in the future.

Here's to a new year and fresh start :)