favourite base.

So I have been asked recently by a few friends what I use as my base, for my face obviously. My favourite base can change as time goes on, like once upon a time my go to base was good old Covergirl or Nude by Nature, but my skin changes and so does my knowledge of how a good foundation sits (well sits on my face anyway). For the record, in summer I have quite oily skin, whereas in winter I find that I move more towards combination dry patches with a usually oily T-zone. I have only included primers, foundations and concealers, so after this post I will put up my favourite powders.
I have a mix of high end and pharmacy (drugstore) favourites so pretty much anyone can afford this list.

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Primers… 

Laura Mercier oil free foundation primer. 
I quite like this primer. The main attraction being ‘oil-free’. Nothing makes me jump faster on a product than oil-free. As someone who can become an oil slick by the end of the day, especially in summer, I find this product does a pretty good job of preventing that. Although I always set my T-zone with a powder. This primer has a very tacky feel which means there’s glycerin in it, which if you watch NikkieTurotials you know helps foundation stick to your face. I can wear a face of makeup for up to 12 hours with my job hours, and I have noticed this keeps  it all in place pretty darn well.

Australis Primer, The Original.
Many moons ago I used to own a Face Of Australia primer that I suppose worked pretty well, I can’t remember, however since then I have never used a pharmacy primer. I find that cheap primers are often ‘you get what you pay for’ so I kind of avoided them. Except one day I was testing out the NARS velvet matte skin tint (which was horrible on my skin) and needed something cheap to test out with it, so I opted for this little primer as it helps moisturise your skin. Honestly I actually love this primer. It works well beneath matte finish products and gives my skin a healthy glowing boost beneath my foundation.

Foundations…

MAC Studio Fix Plus in NW18.
This was my first ever MAC purchase and since then I’ve never looked back. Honestly this foundation is my holy grail product that I’ll use for going out or weekends (I’m on a budget for f**ks sake). If I could afford it I’d use this thing all day everyday because nothing has sat on my skin better than this. It has a demi-matte finish which is perfect for me and I find it doesn’t move around or transfer throughout the day. This little bottle is definitely a soul mate and I’ll continue to repurchase for as long as they keep making this. AND it’s like a perfect colour match.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel.
Ok so everyone and their mamma has been talking about this little tube and I understand why. This has become my go to everyday product for quick easy makeup. Technically it’s just a tinted moisturiser but has a gel-like formula that helps your skin breathe. I really love this and I wasn’t sure if I would cus of my oily T-zone, but if I set this with a powder I’m shine free. Hydrating products can be hit and miss, some are too hydrating and some are just shiny, but this gel gives your skin a nice dewy finish. The coverage is sheer to medium (if you build it up enough), but I find a light coverage gives me a nice natural looking “my skin but awesome”. I apply this with only fingers.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 hour foundation.
I don’t know about the 24 hour part but this stuff does last the day and beyond. I freakin love this foundation, I actually find it’s a slight dupe for the MAC studio fix but not exactly the same. This foundation again gives a demi-matte finish to the skin. It has pretty good coverage, ranging from medium to full. I find I only need to do about two layers to get a full coverage and it doesn’t look cakey on the skin. Definitely a repurchase product I love it, plus great for the price!

Concealers…

Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser.
What I did before this concealer I have no idea. Maybelline once again knocked it out of the ball park with this little tube. The formula is so lightweight that it doesn’t crease much at all! Which is amazing for under my eyes cus anything and everything creases. This stuff actually hides my dark circles pretty well and the applicator is super easy to work with. It has a little sponge on the end that is easily used to draw the good old triangle beneath the eyes. I use this pretty much all over cus it works so well. To push it into my skin I just use a brush or sponge and then set with powder as always.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.
This product is either a hit or miss for people, you love it or you hate it… I f**kin love this concealer. This was my first NARS face product and it’s definitely a win. This shit is hardcore and hides the crap out of my dark circles and any blemishes on my face. Likewise with the Maybelline concealer I use this all over. Usually I use my concealers a shade lighter to highlight my nose, forehead, chin and of course under eyes. This stuff needs to be set immediately under the eyes with a good powder or else it creases like crater style.

Tools. 

So I thought I’d give a shoutout to the tools I love using for applying my base.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush.
If only this brush was sold as a single cus I would definitely repurchase! However Real Techniques are cruel and only sell this in a set of brushes, which is a shame cus this brush is amazing. Before this I was using a standard paddle brush which pales in comparison to a buffing style brush (oh how young and ignorant I was). This brush works foundation into the skin so well and produces a really natural looking finish.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
This sponge is freakin amaze balls. I love the finish this gives, which is basically air brushed. It’s easy to use, just make sure you bounce don’t rub the foundation or else you’re just wasting product. AND use this damp as it works a million times better. This works really well with concealer and gets right under the eyes perfectly. Also little tip, apply loose powder with this damp, the powder melts into the skin beautifully giving you a lovely flawless finish under the eyes.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.
So apparently I love Real Techniques… I use this brush solely for applying or pushing concealer into the skin. I don’t use this on the face as it’s too small. Despite the name this isn’t great for the face (for me anyway). BUT it is great for blending in concealer. The small shape helps with getting under the eyes perfectly and working the concealer into the skin.

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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.

the high road.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I thoroughly enjoy hearing about my ex’s hardships. I’m not ashamed at all because, put simply, he broke my heart continually after we broke up without even saying a word to me. So my friends for the past year have been updating me on his now crazy ex-girlfriend and how much he’s been suffering. At first it just made me smile. I’ll put my hand up and say I was a bitter ex-girlfriend who would’ve slapped him in the face if I ever saw him in public. However deep down (unfortunately) I always aim to be a classy lady, reminiscent of Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. So when I finally did see him again I took the high road. Obviously there was the awkward few hours of the gathering where neither of us actually spoke to the other and just avoided eye contact. BUT I was not about to be the one to speak first. I may be a lady but I’m stubborn. To be honest our first few words to each other were random awkward comments. Neither of us knew the rules. There are no rules for taking to an ex, especially if there’s some bad blood in the past. Unfortunately for me his friends are my friends… so I have to play nice…

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Our first real conversation in over a year began because my friend drew on his face with lipstick while she was drunk and he couldn’t get it off. So being the classy as f**k lady that I am, I offered to clean his face with some of my makeup wipes and trusty micellar water. Should be noted we were at a house so this was on hand.
So there we were… me wiping his face and him trying not to make awkward eye contact. All ya can do is laugh right? I just couldn’t hold back the giggles. Who’d have thought a year ago we would be alone in a room, me wiping lipstick off his face and us actually smiling at the other. It was honestly like one of those awesome break up moments from a movie or something. We were talking, but actually talking about real things. To be honest it was really nice speaking with him. We were close once and there was a reason we dated once… does that reason just fade away? For us, I actually felt really comfortable being alone with him and just talking. To be fair actually chattin with him made me miss being around him. Not in a romantic way, but in a friendship way.

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Can ex’s be friends? It’s like the ultimate question when it comes to a failed romance. Can two people who were once emotionally and physically intimate actually be friends without sex confusing everything? I would say no… just for me I know myself and if I were in a certain situation I would totally have sex with (or try to have sex with) my ex. For some reason there will always be a chemistry there. For some weird reason I still myself attracted to him and let it be said I still randomly fantasise about us having sex. Only because the sex was great, because we were friends.
To be fair we probably will be forced into some form of a friendship because we’ll always be connected in some way. I think that’s comforting. Knowing that he will be there in some way is strangely nice to know.