we never hug.

 

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This post goes out to a chick I call best friend. To most she’s one of those perfect people that intimidate you just by being near them. She’s not mean or harsh she’s just beautiful and perfect. She holds herself well and welcomes everyone around her with open arms. She’s that person you meet with the tough but amazing job who somehow still manages to resemble a goddamn model. Yes sometimes I have an inferiority complex when I’m around her, but who doesn’t with some friends? You’re meant to surround yourself with good, positive people and she’s definitely one of those… it’s probably inevitable that at some point you compare yourself to your friends.

Unlike every other friendship I have we’re not affectionate. Well we’re not affectionate in a physical way. We don’t hug hello or goodbye, we don’t randomly lean on each other or randomly hug the other. In fact to look at us we’re pretty passive. We sit opposite the other and talk. We say goodbye and walk to our cars, and that’s usually that. Once upon a time before boyfriends, careers, study or general life shit we were inseparable. We were those friends who were lumped into the same breath because we went everywhere together. After finishing high school those precious few years of blissful fake adulthood were spent doing everything together. We learnt how to drink together, took mini road trips together, would  see each other whenever we were bored. I guess you take those years for granted. Those blissful years of zero responsibility were so easy that you forget to savour them.

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To be honest the thought never occurred to me until the other day. We had lunch together, spoke for a while and then left without a hug. I hug all my other friends and some I’m much more affectionate with than the others. However something about our friendship doesn’t seem to call for hugs or kisses on cheeks. For my part I’m almost subconsciously seeking approval from her because I view her as the ultimate person. I almost want to somehow become this unattainable perfect person because that’s how I view her. Sometimes I’ve even found myself feeling as though I’m not good enough for her. That somehow deep down inside I’m just not perfect enough. I suppose that speaks volumes about my self worth views….
More often than not I get jealous of other friends she speaks about, not because they’re friends but because of the way she talks about them. They’re spoken about with such love and affection that I begin to think maybe I’m not on the same level. People may assume I view her as a frenemy but that’s not the case at all. We’re not in competition, I just find myself comparing who I am to her. Which is unhealthy but I’m sure we all have that one friend who we look up to.

With all this being said though I can honestly say I have reached a place where I celebrate my flaws, attempt to change them for the better, or I’ve simply accepted that there are just some things you cannot change about yourself. To be fair I think we’re friends, and have been friends for ten years because we’re both exact twins and exact opposites. We think the same when it comes to most things but not everything. I am the person who always puts her foot in her mouth and says something stupid, but she pretty much always says the right thing. In many ways we balance each other out. I’m the dysfunctional Bart and she’s the together Lisa (or Maggie, let’s face it she was in charge).

To my perfectly beautiful girl. You know who you are and I know you don’t think these things about you, which is why people want to be around you. You’re incredibly humble and I honestly believe you have no clue how much I do look up to you and admire you.

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splurges worth the extra moolah.

Recently I have become enamoured with luxury makeup, or high end brands. I don’t know why but something about these brands is hypnotising. The packaging is gorgeous, the brand itself usually holds some mystifying effect on people, and the ad campaigns make you believe these little goodies are worth the extra cash. So I took it upon myself to try some of these well known ridic expensive brands to see if anything was worth that pricey a tag.

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CHANEL 

There’s something mystifying about Chanel. The woman, the myth, the brand, it’s all so wonderfully intriguing. I grew up obsessed with Chanel, to me it was the pinnacle brand. A clothing and beauty house founded by a woman for women. Mademoiselle Chanel is one of the strongest women in modern history. She began a brand in the 20’s and 30’s, a time when women had little, if any influence over the world. And yet she conquered and created one of the most prolific brands in the world.

Everyone and their momma has talked and raved about the Soleil tan de Chanel and it took me almost a year to finally try it out for myself. After months of testing it in store, watching and reading reviews I thought I may as well try this bad boy out. Holy shit am I glad I took the plunge and splurged on this product. The price tag may be steep but I have never used a bronzer with such a beautifully natural finish. As this product is a mousey creamy whirl of deliciousness, it melts into the skin instead of sitting on top of your foundation like a powder normally would. I love using this as an everyday contour product that bronzes up the skin in a really subtle way. I’m sure there’s other products out there that do the same thing but what the hell… I’m gonna use this anyway.

There’s something special about a Chanel lipstick. When you carry one in your purse or the second you apply it to your lips you just feel… sexier. I don’t know why but wearing a Chanel lipstick gives me confidence. The two shades I own are; Rouge Coco in 402 Adrienne (a great everyday pinky nude); and Rouge Allure in 104 Passion (a bright perfect red). As lipsticks go there’s nothing uber amazing or special about these, to be honest my Maybelline and MAC lipsticks do the same thing, BUT they’re Chanel and the colours are amazingly beautiful. I will say these do not dry out my lips or sink into my fine lines. The Rouge Coco especially hydrates the lips throughout the day. If you love Chanel then you have to have these.

Laura Mercier 

The Laura Mercier translucent finishing powder is an epically raved about product on YouTube. I have been using this powder for about 6 months and I love it. It is totally worth the splurge, nothing compares to this powder in my collection. This lovely little container of loose white powder helps to set my under eyes like no other. I also love using this to set my concealer and foundation if I need it to stay in place for a whole night. Although I haven’t tried the RCMA no colour powder… and have been told it is very similar and about half the price and twice the size…. Unfortunately some things are harder to get in Australia.

As highlighters go I love natural finish highlights. Although I can appreciate a NikkieTutorials or JeffreeStar style highlight I feel I can’t wear them with confidence. HOWEVER I love a good natural finish product. My first ever highlighter was the MAC mineralise skin finish in Soft and Gentle (a cult original favourite), so I gravitate to highlighters similar to that. KathleenLights has raved about this Laura Mercier highlighter countless times. I have been searching for it for months but it always seemed to be out of stock somewhere. Until one day I finally stumbled upon the Matte Radiance Baked powder in Highlight 01. It was as if the heavens opened up and dropped this beauty in my lap. Although it says ‘matte’, it is by no means matte. This highlight leaves your cheeks with a perfect natural looking sheen. Be warned this does not swatch well in store, but on the cheeks it is stunning. If you’re into natural highlighters without few bells and whistles than this is for you. It’s probably very similar to the Hourglass ambient lighting powders, but cheaper.

NARS 

I find that people are either MAC lovers or NARS lovers. As it goes I own more MAC products (I mean they’re cheaper), but the few NARS products I do own are wonderful. This little contour duo is the perfect little palette for anyone intimidated by contouring. I found the world of contouring scary, up until now I had only ever used a bronzer to contour or create shape. However this little duo changed the game for me. The contour shade is the perfect cool toned colour for my skin. Honestly this stuff blends so well it’s fool proof, and as contouring goes I’m pretty standard with my ability. The matte highlight shade is great for under the eyes or tidying up your cheek contour.

MAC 

If you’re anything like me then you’re probably scared of MAC pigments. This little tub of colour is the first pigment I have ever owned and I am so glad I chose this colour. The MAC pigment in Melon is pretty well known and I understand why. I use this solely as a bulk lid colour to add a bit of drama to a standard browny/goldy smoky eye. Wetting the brush first with some Fix + or any setting spray will help make this pigment metallic and stick to your lid all day. Melon is made of gold and rosy pink. Usually I shy away from rose golds and pinks but lately I’ve been intrigued by them. As price tags go for the size it’s pretty big, but the quality is totally worth it… plus I don’t think I’ll finish this for a while.

staying off the sweet shit.

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Since about November last year I made the decision to stop eating sugar. By sugar I mean added sugar in foods and overly dense fructose fruits. It was tough I’m not gonna lie but it wasn’t anywhere near as hard as it could have been. To be fair I’m not into sweet foods all that much so giving up chocolate and shit wasn’t exactly that hard for me. What was challenging was pre-made sauces like pasta sauces, tomato sauce, and most pre-made curry sauces. Over the past 8 months I have been trying hard to iron out the creases and shit moments of actually quitting sugar.

First off I decided on changing my diet and lifestyle when I reached a plateau in my exercising and gym routine. I’m sure a lot of you ladies out there feel me when I say there’s only so much lifting weights and doing cardio will do for you. I really needed my diet to match my workout pace. Usually by mid afternoon I would be flat lining in my energy. I was bloated and just couldn’t budge any of the fat around my stomach and thighs. When I workout I work every part of my body so there comes a point when no amount of exercise can make up for a bad lifestyle. That’s when I found Sarah Wilson. Obvi most Australians know who this wonderful woman is, she is the founder of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program. It started out as a book which outlined an 8 week sugar quitting program, now she has an empire and community and online program for people to sign up for.
Although I follow her philosophy on food and diet I decided to just take it at my own pace and use her program and books as a guideline. The first book I ever purchased was ‘Simplicious’ which is amazing and is still my favourite cook book ever. Simplicious promotes a very sustainable, minimal waste food lifestyle and attitude. I hate food waste so this was a no brainer. The other two books ‘I Quit Sugar’ and ‘I Quit Sugar for Life’ are also amazing and filled with wonderfully simple recipes to help with quitting that sweet shit.

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For anyone with a sweet tooth you’ll find the lifestyle shift challenging. You’re basically giving up sugar in your coffee/tea, soft drinks, juices, lollies and chocolate, cake, and a lot of very sweet fruits. I found the easiest way to make the transition was adding a tiny bit of Stevia into my coffee or tea just to ween me off sweeter drinks. As for soft drink and juice, well I gave that up cold turkey and I definitely noticed mood swings for a couple of weeks afterwards.
The biggest challenge for me was being prepared enough in my food preparation to eliminate unnecessary food purchases at work or uni. If I’ve been lazy and haven’t made dinner or left overs then I always make sure I have a simple little dish I can take to uni or work. My favourite simple meals are; brown rice (easy microwave cups, plain) with tuna (usually chilli, lemon and pepper or vinaigrette, any canned tuna without sugar); corn thins with avocado, vegemite (I’m Aussie give me a break) and cheese; quinoa salad (this can keep for at least a week and is great if you add some protein); natural Greek yoghurt (full fat as there is a lot less sugar and it fills you up faster) with either blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, OR plain; and homemade muesli bars (courtesy of Sarah Wilson who has created sugar free packet mixes identical to her recipes in her books). As for cooking I use virgin coconut oil, not only cus it adds a little something to your meat but also cus it’s environmentally friendly and eco conscious. I tried my darnedest to be eco conscious and make an effort to try and source products I can use instead.

The only thing I can honestly say is don’t limit yourself too much. If you’re giving up sugar then don’t automatically give up carbs and protein, your body actually needs those. Just try and match your food intake to you energy output, I mean Doctors have been pushing this idea for decades so how about we actually listen?
I have never more healthy or comfortable with myself than I do now and I think that’s what we need to realise. That our healthiest version of ourselves if the self that is happy and energetic.

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recent loves.

So over the past few months while studying in my final year of uni I have been going a bit HAM on the makeup and skincare purchases. Trust me my bank account is legit crying I’ve been abusing it so much. I try to have some level of self control but when I’m stressed or upset I shop, that’s my therapy and time alone. Aside from going to the gym, shopping is the time I get alone, a time to myself. I love not having to speak to anyone or care about anything. Seeing as though I’ve been f**king lazy with posting anything, not that anyone has missed me, I thought I’d throw up a little something about some makeup and skincare stuffs I’ve been loving.

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Colourpop – Lippiestix Matte X, Pillow talk; Lip Liner, Tootsi; Matte Super Shock Shadow, Cornelius; Pearlized Super Shock Shadow, KathleenLights.
Ofra – Liquid Lipstick, Staten Island.
Bare Minerals – Complexion rescue gel
Maybelline – Age Rewind dark circle eraser, under eye concealer.
Real Techniques – Large Powder Brush.
Soap & Glory – Hand food, hand cream; Righteous Butter, body moisturiser.

So this little collection is rather random but I have been loving these. I have to admit I was given the brush a few days ago by a friend but I love it already and I’ve been dying for a good large powder brush. As for everything else well I’ve been using it and loving it.
Colourpop makes such amazing products for such a tiny price. Even though I have to get this shit shipped all the way to Australia it’s totally worth the shipping fee. Because cosmetic products are so expensive down under, sourcing products online is always a cheaper option. My lipstick collection from Colourpop is f**king huge, BUT I have fallen in love with the formula of their eye shadows. They are so buttery and creamy, like almost a cream shadow. All their shadows are individual because of the formula, these suckers will dry up instantly if left open too long so shut them tight. I found these apply best with a finger and then blended with a blending brush. As for the Lippiestix, well these bad boys are well loved and talked about. The new MatteX formula is amazing, although I’ve heard there are some hit and miss colours. Pillow Talk is beautiful and instantly plums the lips, using a lip liner helps prolong the life on the lips. My favourite lip liner by Colourpop at the moment is Tootsi, this is a gorgeous grey/brown/nude that works pretty well under a lot of nude brown shades. I love this liner paired with the Ofra liquid lipstick in Staten Island. Seriously this lipstick actually makes my lips look larger, for realsies. I love the formula of Ofra liquid lipsticks, they are mousey and light and just amazing. They don’t dry the lips and don’t sink into the fine lines of your lips. Although I always use lip liner with liquid lipsticks because they can be super drying.

So my little rant is gonna happen here… I recently purchased the much talked about NARS velvet matte skin tint, and I had such high hopes for this because NARS is a great brand and I love their lipsticks, contour duo and concealer. But I did not love the skin tint. It just dried out my skin, and I usually have oily skin so that’s definitely a task. It broke up and caked all over my face. So I exchanged that for the Bare Minerals complexion rescue gel, this stuff had pretty good reviews and Estee Lalonde loves this stuff so it has to be good. I have been loving this stuff. It applies beautifully and can be built up to a medium coverage without being cakey.
On top of this I have been loving the Maybelline dark circle eraser. This shit is the actual shit. It hides my dark circles without being thick and heavy. It’s just beautiful and easy to apply and doesn’t crease that much, especially if I set it with a powder. And using my Real Techniques powder brush is the perfect partner for this. I have been searching forever for a nice large powder brush and the other day my friend gave me this… what a gem!

I have never tried Soap & Glory but have always heard wonderful things about their products. So I thought I’d pick up a few mini travel size products from MECCA. I have to say these little babies are wonderful for my disgusting dry winter skin. I usually have pretty good skin but during the Melbourne winter it just dies and cracks, especially my hands. In my job I have to wash my hands almost every five minutes so the Hand Food is literally hand food, my hands soak that shit up like no bodies business. As for the body butter, it’s really thick but not greasy and just soaks into the skin really quickly.

strong body… sometimes strong mind.

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It has taken me years to finally reach a place where I’m happy with how I look. I know we all say we’re happy with how we look, whether that’s our body or face… But I believe I have actually reached a point in my life where I no longer criticise every tiny imperfection I see in the mirror. I no longer use makeup as a mask but as something to have fun with, as a means of enhancing the parts of my face that I love, that I find pride in.Some people may look at this as a girl bragging about losing weight, but it’s not. I may have lost weight but I never wanted to lose it as a means of feeling skinnier, but I wished to become stronger. My aim was to change my habits, to feel strong and healthy. Our bodies turn into what we wish them to be, and I wished for it to be a pillar of strength in my own life.

I was terribly self conscious as a young girl, but lets be honest what teenage girl wasn’t? I hated that I wasn’t as skinny as every other girl seemed to be. I hated that things just didn’t turn out the way I expected them to. When I started high school I didn’t expect for girls to be that mean, for boys to be that cruel and their humour that hurtful. Most of my early years in high school involved avoiding being seen and trying to find good people to be around. It wasn’t until I met the girls who would become my lifelong friends that I began to realise that there was nothing wrong with me, but there was something wrong  with my self value. I didn’t value my contributions. I didn’t value my friendship towards others. I didn’t value who I was and what kind of person I was growing into.

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It became my mission to change my outlook. At first I thought it was changing my body and for a time that seemed to work. I began eating better, exercising more, and just taking the time to look in the mirror and say aloud all the things I loved about how I looked.
Except I forgot to compliment the single most important part of who I am…. my mind. When it comes to feeling self conscious nothing makes me feel more inferior or insignificant than my intelligence. I hate feeling dumb. I hate those days where I openly call myself an idiot. It’s an ugly word. It’s a word we learn to use as children and we carry it with us forever. When someone subtly patronises my intelligence I want nothing more than to crawl into bed and cry. I’m never as self deprecating than when I fail. And I fail often. I have failed several university assignments and one whole unit. In those moments of failure I doubted everything I was. I doubted everything I believed in. I have been close to giving up more times than I wish to admit. Giving up and quitting would be the easiest way. It’s the easiest way to avoid more disappoint and pain.

Except quitting is too easy. As corny as it is those moments of failure usually make me work harder. They make me try harder and actually give a damn about what I’m doing in my life. I still have days where I think I’m possibly the dumbest person ever. I honestly think I’m not cut out for this, that I’m just one of those bound to fail at everything they care about. I mean I fail at relationships so why not intelligence?
I still look at my friends and think, why can’t my brain work that way? Why can’t I be smart? Why can’t I feel confident in my mental abilities? I sit there and curse whatever godly thing there may be in universe that some of us just aren’t born to be successful or aren’t born with the intelligence we want. It’s not until we realise that maybe we bring some of this failure on ourselves that we can begin to make a change. Yes I may be lazy sometimes, or just not try hard enough, and by doubting my abilities I was bringing my failure upon myself.

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Inner demons aren’t always full blown mental health issues, they can be small and they can eat away at you if you let them. Self doubt plagues most of us every damn day of our lives. It’s the thing we run away from in our dreams, the thing that’s laughing at us when we actually try and fail. But if we try, it can be the thing that makes us stronger. It turns into the thing inside pushing you to be the best version of  you, and the best you is always different from the best that your friend can be or that smart girl in your course. It can be that thing that makes you want to become stronger, whether it’s physically stronger or mentally stronger. Physical strength if sought after for the right reasons can help the mind grow and trust your own body to always pick you up in your moments of doubt and failure. Because as long as we can stand up and keep our feet moving forward, we are capable of trying and trusting that in the end we are our own saviours, we are our own teacher… we are our own protector.

lip care.

I honestly think that lip care is something we often forget to include in our skincare and beauty routine. But why? I don’t know about you guys but my lips take more of a beating than my skin does. Aside from the fact that Melbourne is like the windiest place ever, I don’t really help the situation by constantly wearing matte lipsticks. In fact I think I only own about three regular lipsticks, everything else is either liquid lipsticks or just matte formulas.

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Lush sugar lip scrubs – Popcorn and Bubblegum
Eve Lom Kiss Mix
Go-To Skincare Lips!

Before I even think of putting any liquid lipsticks on my lips I always exfoliate them. Not only does this make the lipstick sit better on your lips but it helps to reduce the risk of drying them out to the point of being prunes. Nothing feels better than exfoliating your skin so why not do the same for your precious little lips? Because I’m just a super lazy bitch I buy lip scrubs, but they’re super easy to make. All you need is pretty much sugar and a binding oil. But if you’re like me and you can’t be f**ked making some then head to Lush and pick these up cus they’re amazing… the popcorn actually tastes like popcorn and the bubblegum tastes and smells like redskins (the lolly).

I get sucked in pretty easily at MECCA by the staff, so when I went in looking for a lip primer or product that would help with keeping my lips hydrated while wearing lipsticks the girl took me to the Eve Lom section. For those of you not aware this brand is hella expensive but this stuff felt amazing despite the price tag. I don’t know if I’d repurchase this only cus it’s pretty expensive for what it is.

Last but not least is my absolute favourite lip balm of all time, Go-To Skincare ‘Lips!’. I mean I’ve got three of them and two are basically empty so it’s pretty obvious I’m in a committed relationship with these lip balms. This stuff is the only thing that hydrates my lips effectively. It soaks in really quickly and doesn’t leave you with that gross slimy feeling. I gave up on Paw Paw cream as soon as I got a tube of this stuff.

music haul.

Yes I am one of those freaks who still buys actual real life 3 dimensional CDs. Weird right? I actually really love owning proper CDs and books and even DVDs. They seem so much more tactile and real compared to downloading everything. I really miss those days when you’d head out to buy the latest album or even single track from Britney or Beyonce. Having actual CDs makes me feel connected to the music. Plus my car is pretty old and has a CD player and most of the time it’s easier playing a CD than setting up my iPod.

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So Frenchy So Chic
100 Classical Masterworks
Ella Fitzgerald – 5 Original Albums

Obviously these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but nothing relaxes me like these kinds of music. Jazz and classical music are made for reading to, studying to, or just relaxing to. As for the french album, well even though I can’t speak French I love French music. I don’t know why or how but French songs are so much more beautiful than English. Obviously it’s the sexiest language in the world.