Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Marie Claire The Parcel - Summer Edit 2014/2015

I had wondered if the first edit of The Parcel was going to be their best and subsequent boxes wouldn't be as good but it wasn't so.  I received my Summer Edit of The Parcel today (December 9th) nice and early in the month (as it should be) and it didn't disappoint.  This is fast becoming my favourite beauty subscription box and I hope the other companies are taking note.  I would much rather receive an awesome box quarterly than an average box every month.

Inside this month's box was a trio of John Frieda volumising hair products, a full-size Revlon CC Cream in Medium, Jergens Ultra Healing Body Moisturiser, Essie Nail Polish in Tarte Deco as well as an All in One Top & Base Coat.  Estee Lauder features this month with their Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream as well as a Philosphy Cleanser sample and a small tube of the famous Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.  All round a fantastic box that mixes high end products with drugstore brands and a good variety of hair, skincare, nails and makeup.

This box is $25 a quarter and so far the value has far exceeded the cost.  I definitely won't be unsubscribing to this anytime soon.  A subscription to this would also be an awesome gift for someone if you're looking for any last minute Christmas ideas.

What do you think of The Parcel?

Kayte xx

My fave uncle goes to America for work every now and again and I begged him to take a shopping list into Sephora and get me some things on his latest trip.  I was so stoked that he managed to pick up everything I had put on the list and I'm loving trying out my new makeup.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
I received one of these in a mystery blog sale and absolutely fell in love and needed a replacement.  If you can get your hands on this mascara you need to try it, I'm in love!

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette
The first one was too warm for me but this one is 6 neutral shades that are mostly matte and so far I can't fault it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
I'd been wanting to try this highly raved about brow product for ages and I've finally got it in my hot little hands.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush
I've heard so many great things about these blushers so I had to pick one up to try out.  I got the shade Flush which is described as a berry pink.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
I put on my list for one individual blush because I didn't think they'd have these in stock but when I saw he'd brought me back this instead I was so excited.  Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra & Mood Exposure are the 3 shades included in this palette that is just to die for.

Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray
Another product I'd heard heaps about and wanted to try.  I'm really interested to see if this does 'set' my makeup and prolong the wear time.

I'm so excited to have got my hands on these products that can be hard to get here in Aussie.  A Sephora has just opened down in Sydney which I'll be visiting when the excitement dies down but knowing that the prices aren't US matched and all the brands I'd like to see aren't there I'm not holding my breath for anything amazing.

Let me know if you'd like to see an individual review on any of these items?

Kayte xx

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I had an impromptu visit to New Zealand in September and boy oh boy had I forgotten how miserable the weather can be there.  The place is renowned for it's four seasons in one day and it's so true.  You may see the sun for an hour... but don't be fooled, it's not sticking around.  Needless to say it was cold, windy and rainy for pretty much the entire time I was there and nothing suffered worse than my lips.  

They were not just dry and chapped... they were puffy and peeling and like nothing I had experienced before.  I needed help.  I'd read reviews for this lip balm before but heard people mention the texture was weird and that had put me off.  God knows what they were talking about coz this is a smooth creamy lip balm/cream that feel's like any other lip balm in a pot.  Except that this lip balm actually does something.  Rather than the usual layer of weird slimy shit that lipbalms usually provide, disappearing as soon as you open your mouth,  this little pot of gold sinks instantly into your lips providing instant and long lasting relief.  After about 2 days my lips were completely hydrated and plump again with no signs of peeling and I've been using this on the daily ever since.

It is on the thicker side so probably best for night time or no lippie days.  Divine stuff and Made in France also which always gets a bonus point for some reason.  Cost $20 which I always thought was an obscene amount for a lip balm but the fact that it actually does an amazing job means I'm happy to part with my money.  Quality over quantity peoples.

Kayte xx

Monday, December 1, 2014

Image Source
This is something I have to remind myself of so often.  Never forget that true beauty comes from within.  It's more important to nurture our souls that it is to look after our skin.

Peace xx

Friday, November 28, 2014

I wanted to do something a little different today and bring you a post featuring my current favourite face masks.  I love doing face masks but to be honest I don't do them as often as I should - so when I do take some time out to do them I want them to be effective.  Each one of these mask's gives results that can be seen and felt straight away.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This is a face mask like no other.  Inside this tub is Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay.  It comes in a powder form that you mix with a couple of tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Yes it smells like you've just devoured a bag of Smiths Salt & Vinegar chips (just without the chapped lips and regret) but it's worth it I promise.  This is a deep pore cleansing mask that once applied dries onto your skin and causes a tingling sensation like no other.  You can really feel this mask work and once it's washed off your skins is all refreshed and glowy.
$RRP approx $6 from iherb

Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask
This is one of those face masks that works instantly.  Perfect as a pick me up before a night out or when you've got something special the next day this gives that instant glow.  Can be a bit tingly with the glycolic acid but worth it for the after-glow.  RRP $54 from Adore Beauty

Clarins Hydra-Quench Cream Mask
This is for all the dry and dehydrated ladies out there.  Pop a layer of this on for half an hour and watch your skin drink it in.  I actually sleep with mine on so I wake up with that plump hydrated skin we spend all night dreaming of... or is that just me?  RRP $48

Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream
This is the ultimate exfoliator.  Apply a layer of this and leave to dry (approx 5-10 mins) then use sweeping movements with a flat palm to 'peel' it off your skin.  Then rinse and voila.  Smooth as a baby's butt.  Or something.  RRP $45

There we have it people, four highly effective masks that actually do what they say.  I always like to double up and do a couple of these masks one after each other.  I feel like it makes up for all the times I forget to do any at all.  On that note I'm off to do a face mask.  It's been weeks.

Feel free to comment below and let me know your favourite face mask!

Kayte xx

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I saw this tag going around the blogosphere awhile ago so I decided to do it too.  I took out heaps of it because well, time.

Making: wedding plans... slowly
Cooking: High protein, low carb meals
Drinking: Diet Coke
Wanting: A winning lotto ticket
Looking: for good workout music
Playing: with the Elf Yourself app... lols
Deciding: what to do with my life
Wishing: my Dad was still here
Enjoying: making my own soy candles
Waiting: for my fiance to move to Newcastle
Wondering: what the future holds
Loving: my family
Watching: the final season of Californication
Hoping: to be employed soon
Needing: a job
Noticing: I'm getting grey hairs
Knowing: it's all going to be okay
Thinking: positive thoughts.... mostly... I'm trying
Admiring: My Mum
Sorting: out my health
Buying: things from Kmart.  I love Kmart.
Giggling: at other people's shit on facebook.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Many moons ago I worked as a Clarins consultant at a Farmers Department Store in NZ (similar to Myer here in Aus).  As much as I loved my white smock dress and red jacket and shoes (not) I definitely loved the products more.  I was lucky to receive an allocation of products quarterly but even with that I was still buying more because I loved everything so much.  At the time I wasn't a huge fan of the makeup although I hear it has improved ten fold over the last few years.  The skincare though, oh the glorious skincare.  Okay I'm rambling.  I'm a huge fan, you get it!!

Without further ado my top 5 Clarins products.....

Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream
An amazing mask/exfoliator.  Apply a thin layer, wait till it's dry and then using a dry flat palm slowly rub the product it off.  It peels away taking your dead skin cells with it and leaves your skin all fresh and glowy afterwards.  So much better than a regular beady exfoliator.

Clarins Tonic Body Polisher & Body Treatment Oil
In the rare times that I get to relax in a bath I love to get these two products out.  The body polisher is absolutely divine, it really feels so luxurious.  It's a mix of sugar, salt and essential oils that exfoliate to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.  After I'm rinsed off and out of the bath I apply small amounts of the oil all over my body - a little goes a long way.  It's supposed to help smooth and tone cellulite and stretchmarks but I haven't used it regularly enough to attest to that - rather I love it for leaving my skin hydrated for days afterward.  Definitely one to use before bed, the essential oils combined with the warm bath will leave you feeling all kinds of relaxed.

Clarins Double Serum
This is an anti-aging serum but unlike other serums I've tried this is beautiful and lightweight.  Can be used on its own or with a moisturiser on top to boost hydration.  I've noticed a definite smoothness and evening out of my skin since using this.

Clarins Mens Eye Balm
I'm not sure if this is true but one of the older Clarins ladies told me that the Mens products were very similar to the ladies but priced lower so I'll often check out and pick up the Men's products especially when it comes to something like an eye cream.  This is by far my favourite eye cream, its light and soothing and even though I've used it every single night for most of this year the bottles not showing any signs of running out yet.

Do you have a favourite Clarins product?  Or a particular brand you love?

Kayte xx

Friday, November 21, 2014

Is it just me or does the change in weather just make you feel like changing up everything.  Winter left me all dry and dehydrated and I've spent most of Spring trying to rehydrate, so with Summer fast approaching I thought I'd let you in on some of my fail safe products to revive my skin.  I've covered all the bases in this post with something to cover all your bases... ha!  See what I did there.

BODY//Nivea In-Shower Rich Body Lotion
I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods but the weather has been going from hot to cold back to hot all in the space of a couple of days around here.  This moisturiser makes things so easy - just slather it all over yourself in the shower, rinse off and you're done.  Doesn't leave you feeling sticky - just soft and healthy skin.  I'm probably way too liberal with this and I go through a bottle every couple of weeks.  Goes without saying that I stock up when it's on sale.

FACE//Clarins Double Serum
This is a great serum if you're looking for something that isn't going to over-load your skin.  Serums can sometimes be a bit heavy but even though this is jam-packed full of lovely ingredients it feels lovely and light on the skin.  You can wear this on it's own at night but I like to top it up with some moisturiser.  

NAILS//Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Cream
Not only does this smell divine but it's the perfect pick me up for your sad dry cuticles.  Well mine anyways.  I gave up biting my nails years ago but swapped it for the habit of picking at the skin around my nails.  Gross I know.  This super-thick cream softens up all those dry bits and makes me less prone to picking and just generally makes them look way better

LIPS//Luk Lipbalm
One of those lovely natural products, this lipbalm is full of yummy ingredients.  Personally I reach for this on non-lipstick days.  You know those days when you're lips are a bit dry and you need a bit of colour but nothing too drastic.  Perfect for when you're going for that 'no makeup' makeup.  You can find my full review here if you're interested.

HAIR//Redken Diamond Oil
Aside from it's gorgeous packaging this silicone free oil is just divine.  A couple of drops massaged into the ends of my hair makes such a huge difference in both the appearance and feel of my hair.   You can find my full review here if you're interested.

Bring on Summer!

Kayte xx

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Theme: Dusk till Dawn

Yes yes I know, I'm still subscribed to this thing.  It's just really easy to justify $15 a month on a box full of surprise beauty items.  Well most of the time it's easy to justify. 

This month's box is not very exciting.  Another wash-off tan, another shitty nail polish, a few tiny samples of liquidy stuff.  The most exciting thing by far is the Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sampler.  It's super cute and from a brand I haven't tried before so I look forward to trying it out.  I won't bore you with all the details, the photos speak for themselves.

Kayte xx

November Bellabox Contents

Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sampler

November Bellabox Content/Info Card

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I haven't updated this little space here for a couple of months, and before that my posting was sporadic at the best of times.  On September 11 2014, I lost my precious Dad to brain cancer.  We had 11 months from diagnosis before he was gone and it was a disease that was all-consuming and hideous.  The journey was a personal one and something I won't dwell on here in this little space of beauty.  In saying that, you can't experience something like that and not be changed by it.

My blog isn't taking a new direction...  I'll still just be here posting about beauty products whenever the inspiration hits me.  I won't run on a time schedule, I won't do sponsored posts, I won't advertise weird products and I definitely won't write anything that isn't my true opinion.   So for now I'm back and I have a few different post ideas up my sleeve, feel free to comment with any questions or to ask my opinion on anything.  Always down for a chat about beauty :)

Kayte xx

Image Source

Friday, July 25, 2014

This Sunday is my Dad's 59th birthday.  Short of a miracle it'll be his last.  The emotions sit just out of sight but threaten to break at any moment.  I don't know how to celebrate this birthday without thinking of all the birthday's he'll miss.  What do you buy for a man with a terminal illness?  What material thing could make anything better...

As hard as it will be, this Sunday my family and I will celebrate with my Dad.  
We'll eat cake and drink wine.
We'll be grateful to wake up surrounded by family and great friends.
We'll spend time together.
We'll tell inappropriate jokes and laugh loudly.
We'll hug and hold hands and tell everyone how much we truly love them.

Love is the greatest gift of all.

Kayte xx

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Bellabox arrived yesterday and I was excited to see that the theme this month was "American Beauty".  With a theme like that I expected that most if not all of the products in the box would be either from or made in America. Disappointingly we've got a range of products coming from Australia, Japan, Canada, Italy and America...

The biggest highlight of the box is the product from Anastasia Beverly Hills.  This is the "Lash Genius" Clear Waterproof Topcoat which you can apply over any mascara to make it waterproof.  A pretty awesome idea and I'm looking forward to trying it out.  This is an American brand that is quite hard to get here in Australia so this product definitely lives up to the "American Beauty" theme even though it is made in Italy.

A little sample of the Japanese Yu-be Moisturising Skin Cream made it's way to me for a second time.  This is a concentrated cream which can be used on face, lips or body.

Urban Rituelle is an Australian brand that I love although I'm not a soap user so I'll be passing the Body Soap on to someone else.  Like all their products this smells divine!

A Nicole by OPI nail polish in "Play Fair" is the second product to fit the theme as it is actually made in USA.  I think the colour is quite nice but as I predominately use shellac on my nails I might save this for Summer on my toes. 

I'm not a big fan of Designer Brands but I tried this lip butter straight away as I'm a sucker for anything with Coconut on the label.  Unfortunately this smells more like tutti-frutti than coconut and rather than hydrating my lips it just feels like I've popped a layer of grease on them.  Yuk.

And last but not least a little sachet of a Mary Kay Face Mask for Dry Skin.  I'm not sure if there's enough in there to cover my whole face but I'm suffering with drier than normal skin at the moment due to winter so I'll try it out and see how it goes.

That's all for this month, as always if you want to find out more about subscribing to Bellabox head to their website www.bellabox.com.au.

What did you think of this month's box?

Kayte xx

Friday, July 18, 2014

It was my birthday on Monday and it was a really awesome day.  My sister spoilt me rotten with a birthday for every year I've lived - yup 29 presents in total!!  I loved every single one of them and it's definitely one of the best presents I've ever received :)

I'm absolutely loving Ed Sheeran's new album at the moment.  Tenerife Sea is my absolute favourite, followed closely by I See Fire.  His voice is just perfect!

I got to be in the audience for The Footy Show last night.  Was a really cool experience :)

I'm also off to the Theatre in Sydney next Thursday night with some good friends to see "Strictly Ballroom".  It's been a really long time since I've seen a show in theatre so I'm really excited.

One of my best friends is arriving for a visit this weekend, it's been way too long since I've seen her and we're both engaged at the moment so there's bound to be plenty of wedding talk.

What are you up to this weekend?

Kayte xx

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

lipbalm, lipstick, organic, natural makeup,
LUK Lip Nourish in Orange & Juniper - Dusky Pink

Natural seems to be one of those words that gets thrown around a lot these days.  Anyone and everyone are making products and labelling them 'natural' because it's not really word than can be definitively defined. I've never really been bothered by whether the makeup I wear is natural or not, I mean to be honest I drink a shit-ton of Diet Coke every week and there ain't nothing natural about that.  

However when I received a Lip Balm citing to be 100% natural with information about how there are so many chemicals in our skincare and makeup it sure got me thinking.  I'm not about to turn into a hippy anytime soon and chuck out all my earthly belongings to live off the land but it doesn't hurt to learn more about what we put into (and onto) our bodies so we can make informed choices about the products we buy. 

Okay that's enough serious stuff this blog post is actually about the previously mentioned lip balm... Luk Lip Nourish, a lip product made with all natural ingredients.

This lip balm boasts some pretty awesome ingredients; Avocado Oil, Jojoba, Cocoa Butter, Orange Oil just to name a few. I could already tell just from those, that this lip balm was going to be incredibly hydrating and I wasn't disappointed.  The Orange & Juniper lip balm is tinted to a dusky pink colour which gives a 'my lips but better" finish and leaves my lips super soft and hydrated.  I'm absolutely in love with this lip balm and I keep it close-by all day, it's a definite re-purchase when it runs out.

The Lip Nourish range comes in 7 different flavours/shades and retails at $24.95.  Head to www.lukbeautifood.com to view the full range and to purchase.

What's your favourite lip balm?

Kayte xx

LUK Lip Nourish, Orange & Juniper, Dusky Pink
Luk Lip Nourish in Orange & Juniper - Dusky Pink

*This product was provided to me for the purpose of review.  I was not compensated for my review and as per my disclosure my thoughts are completely my own and have not been swayed in any way.  Honestly always.

Friday, July 11, 2014

So last weekend my boyfriend came up to Newcastle to visit me (he lives in Adelaide - long story) to celebrate my birthday a week early.  On the Thursday night after dinner with all my family he gave me a voucher to go hot air ballooning.  Hot Air Ballooning has been on my bucket list for ever so I lost my shit a little bit when I found out I'd be doing it in less than 48 hours.  Saturday morning we were up at 4am to drive out to the Hunter Valley to watch the sunrise from a Hot Air Balloon.  Needless to say it was freeeezing!  Hot Air Ballooning was better than I'd even imagined - I wasn't even the tiniest bit scared - strangely it feels really secure, just as if you were standing on the ground.  The view was absolutely stunning... but then.... Tristan pointed down to the ground where I saw a man rolling out a banner that said "Will you Marry Me?" I turned around to look at Tristan and he was down on one knee asking me that very question (with a diamond ring in his hand).  Of course I said YES!!!  It was the very best proposal ever; super romantic and a BIG gesture but still private (we had our own hot air balloon to ourselves) and you couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces all day!!  We haven't set a date yet but I wouldn't have a clue how to organise a wedding so if anyone has any tips please comment and share them.  Where do I even start?

After all that I've still got my actual birthday coming up this Monday.  Keeping it casual and just going out for dinner with family :)  I got another early birthday present last week from my favourite cousin - A parcel all the way from NZ packed to the brim with all my favourite chocolates: Pinky bars, Pineapple lumps, Pixie Caramels, Reeses Cups, Peanut Butter M&M's and my fave foundation from NZ that I can't get here.  She also wrote me the most beautiful letter - was totally unexpected and amazing.  Thanks Becks!!

Winter has been making me super dehydrated so I'm trying to make a conscious effort to drink more water.  I'm also planning a blog post in the next couple of weeks of my Top 5 Hydrating Products.

Happy Friday

Kayte xx 

I SAID YES!!  Engaged :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Herbal Essence, Garnier, Rosehip Vital, La Clinica, Burt's Bees, Nutrimetics
June Bellabox
I haven't blogged about my monthly Bellabox subscription since March.  This isn't because I unsubscribed or was unhappy with what I received but rather in April I was in Thailand when it arrived and in May I was in Darwin.  I've been a busy little bee lately but was thrilled to finally be home for the arrival of my June Bellabox today.

My bellabox arrived in a satchel that contained the June Instyle magazine so that was a lovely little bonus before I even got to open the box.

Let's see what's inside this months Bellabox...

Herbal Essence, Garnier, Rosehip Vital, La Clinica, Burt's Bees, Nutrimetics
Bellabox June 2014; Herbal Essence, Garnier, Rosehip Vital, La Clinica, Burt's Bees, Nutrimetics

8 items this month (including the magazine) and I was pretty impressed as soon as I opened the box.  I quite like the Garnier BB Cream so I'm happy to have a back-up of this especially since it's my colour.  I could give or take the Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner but at least they're in a decent enough size to take travelling and get a couple of washes out of.  The Rosehip Vital Skin Boost Roll-on is intriguing and I can't wait to give this a try.  Another product I can't wait to trial is the La Clinica Gly C Refine Gentle Moisture Day Cream; containing glycolic acid to help smooth and balance skin I'm hoping this is as great as it sounds.  Burt's Bees is an awesome brand and this hand creme comes in the cutest little glass jar, I've already tried this one and it feels quite heavy duty, I might save this for putting on just before bed.  The sachet is from Nutrimetics and claims to be an Instant Radiance Beauty Balm... I'm not a huge fan of sachet samples as there never seems to be enough in them... no doubt this little sachet will join the bottomless pit of long-forgotten sachets.

I'm really happy with this box, there's some new things I'm looking forward to trying plus an old favourite and the bonus of a good magazine to curl up and read on a cold winter's afternoon. 

Herbal Essence, Garnier, Rosehip Vital, La Clinica, Burt's Bees, Nutrimetics

What do you think of this month's Bellabox? 

Kayte xx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sachajuan, Dry Shampoo, Dark Volume Powder, Hair Products
SACHAJUAN Dark Volume Powder

I'm a sucker for any products that promises volume...  And dry shampoo for that matter.  So when I was offered the chance to try a volumising dry shampoo especially formulated for Dark Hair I was already sold.  Sachajuan is a Swedish brand that was completely unknown to me before now.  The brand boasts a range of salon quality Shampoos, Conditioners as well as a few Styling products.

Sachajuan Dark Volume Powder* is a powder-based spray that creates volume and provides structure. The product is dry and gives a matt finish and a fresh feel between shampoos. Volume Powder is suitable for both long and short hair. The product is adapted for dark hair.

I've found this post quite hard to write as I'm sure you're all gonna think I've been paid to tell you how awesome this product is, or that I'm only raving about it because I received this product for trial purposes.  But honestly.... this is the best volumizing product I have used so far.  My pet hate with volumizing products is that while most of them deliver on the volume, they leave my hair feeling sticky, or built up with residue so that I'm dying to wash my hair within a couple of hours.  The dry shampoo aspect of this product means that not only am I getting some awesome volume, my hair still feels light and clean which in turn extends the need to wash my hair for an extra day.  This product is housed in an aerosol can meaning an even distribution of product and with the powder being dark it means there's no sight of any white residue in my hair.  It's so easy to use, I simply spray it through my roots and tousle through with my fingers and it's done.  Easy as that!

The only downside that I could find to this product is the price.  At $40 for a 200ml can it's definitely on the pricy side although I've been using mine religiously for nearly 3 weeks now and it still feels like there's a fair amount left in there.  I figure if I add up the cost of my normal dry shampoo ($10approx) and a volumizing product ($20approx) it's only $10 extra to add it all into one convenient product.  I don't know about you but I've now justified it in my mind lol.  Fore more information about Sachjuan or to purchase the products head to www.sachajuan.com

Sorry about the iphone pics but here's a before and after using the product....

Are you a fan of volumising products?  What's your favourite?

Kayte x

 *This item was provided as a sample to trial for the purpose of reviewing.  I received no compensation for writing this review and views are completely my own - please read my disclosure policy for more details.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Newcastle NSW, Newcastle, NSW, Nobby's Beach, Ocean, Beach, Waves
Newcastle NSW - June 2014
I'm back in Newcastle now after my 4 week trip to Darwin.  As much as I love Darwin I definitely did miss this place.  Winter here in Newcastle has been pretty mild so far and apart from a couple of rainy days it's been mostly cool sunny days.  Perfect!

I'm still going with my running and am slowly working out a routine now that I don't have the couch to 5k app telling me what to do.  I'm running three times a week, one with intervals, one 3k and one 5k.  I managed to beat 3 PB's this week with my fastest 1k, fastest 5k and fastest 1mile.  Was pretty effing stoked with myself.  As soon as I can get my 5k under 30 mins I think I'll start increasing my distance and work my way up to 10k.  I also joined the gym this week with my sister... it's so awesome to have a workout partner in crime!

My plan once I'd returned from Darwin was to find some temp work to do to keep myself busy but in my first week back we found out that Dad's brain tumour is getting bigger and the doctors have given him 3 months max. Even though we knew that this was probably going to be the case (although we still clung to hope it would be different) it doesn't make it any easier hearing those words.  I feel like I'm lucky in the sense that I don't have a job right now and I'm able to spend this time with my Dad and helping out my Mum where I can and so I've decided not to look for any work right now.  I'll sell a kidney if I have to but after all the years I've spent away from my family I'm not gonna let money be the reason that I'm not here now.

I ordered some new prescription glasses this week from Oscar Wylee - 2 pairs for $98 - yup prescription lenses and all.  Just trying to use up my health fund credits before the end of the financial year haha!  If you need glasses you should definitely check them out - they have a try at home system where you can trial 5 frames for 5 days (free postage there and back) so you can pick the ones that suit you best and get your family's opinion while you're at it.

This is turning out to be a massive Friday's letter haha but I have one more awesome deal to tell you about.  My very first Red Paw Paw box arrived this week.  Think Bellabox but for food!!  You pay $5 every month and they send you a big box of food and household items to try and then you review them.  I was amazed by how big the box was and there was so much stuff inside.  Mostly all full sized too.. Check out redpawpaw.com.au for more info.

Enough rambling... TGIF

Kayte xx

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Miss Georgia Pink Plum, Miss Sanja Fuchsia and Miss Sally Watermelon

I was looking through the Bellabox online store recently trying to pick something to use my points on when I saw these 3 lipsticks.  I've seen a few reviews on this fairly new brand and all of them were glowing so I was intrigued to try them out.  I picked up the only 3 colours that were available: Miss Georgia Pink Plum, Miss Sanja Fuchsia and Miss Sally Watermelon.  Cool names huh!  

Shanghai Suzy are a lipstick only cosmetics brand that specialise in bright pigmented colours.  The lipsticks come in one of two formulas: Nourish or Matte and each colour is limited edition with the idea that new colours come out every season. At a RRP of $12.95 it makes it easy and affordable to update your makeup with the season.

I absolutely adore the packaging of these lipsticks.  The top has a square of colour that indicates the lipstick shade making it so easy to pick up the one you're looking for in a sea of lipsticks without having to read shade names.  On the bottom is the shade name as well as the formula type.  The lipsticks are housed in a black cube and the lid clicks on securely.

Like everyone else who has tried these lipsticks I was really impressed.  The nourish formula really does feel nourishing on the lips and the colour pay-off is amazing.  I found it needed a top up after a couple of hours but that's to be expected and it feels so hydrating on the lips I was looking forward to re-applying.  The matte formula is surprisingly quite nourishing too - it doesn't seem to pull or highlight any dry parts and again the colour pay-off is fantastic.  The matte formula lasted a lot longer than the nourish and left a nice stain on my lips.  

Miss Georgia Pink Plum, Miss Sanja Fuchsia and Miss Sally Watermelon

I couldn't finish this review without telling you about the scent of these lipsticks.  As soon as I unclicked the lid of the lipstick I was greeted with the amazing scent of grape... reminding me of my child hood days of chewing grape hubba bubba.  The fragrance doesn't last long on the lips but it's a nice little touch to the lipsticks that I was really impressed with.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for each new season's release and picking up some more colours to add to my collection.

If you want to see the current selection of colours available head to shanghaisuzy.com

Kayte xx


Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunset at East Point in Darwin

I've been up in Darwin for the last 3 weeks which is why the blog has been so quiet but  I couldn't leave here without sharing a famous sunset pic with ya.  Watching the sunsets (and now taking photos of it) in Darwin has always been one of my favourite things to do in this lovely town.

It's been really good to be working full-time again and I do feel like I'm starting to get my mojo back again.

I finally finished the Couch to 5k this week.  On Wednesday night I ran for the full 5kms without stopping and it was bloody hard but I was so freaken proud of myself once I'd done it.  Runners high!

I've also been going to the gym while I've been up here in Darwin and I'm glad I decided to join because last week my boyfriend signed us up for The Stampede in Brisbane with friends in August.  It's a 10kilometre course with lots of obstacles.  Completely out of my comfort zone but I'm looking forward to it strangely enough.
One more week left in Darwin and then I'm home sweet home :)
Happy Friday
Kayte xx

Thursday, May 29, 2014

To say I've been excitedly waiting for these new Revlon balms to drop is a huge understatement.  They were realeased in the US and UK what seems like forever ago and finally in March we got them here in Australia.

I picked up the colour Elusive in the Matte range and Flirtacious in the Lacquer to fulfill my desire to have every different shade of pink lipstick possible.

These new Colorburst Balms feel just as soft and easy wearing as the original but I've found they lack the stain effect that the original colours have.  In saying that the Lacquer lasts me a good 2-3 hours before needing to reapply and the Matte even longer at around the 4 hour mark.

I'm really enjoying wearing these new colours and I'm really starting to embrace the matte lip.

Have you tried these?  

What do you think - as good as the original?

Kayte xx

Friday, May 9, 2014

I like to send announcements via snapchat :)

I'm so excited to be flying back to Darwin this Sunday morning.  I lived in Darwin for 3 and a half years and left in December 2012 and have really missed the place.  I'm heading up just for a few weeks to help my old boss out during a really busy time.  The things I'm most excited about are: being warm and soaking up the sunshine, visiting my most favourite ocean spot, going to Mindil Markets, ocean-side runs and catching up with old friends.  I'm also excited to work my butt off and be challenged again, there's something really satisfying about doing an honest hard day's work.

I hit a bump in the road with my Couch to 5k this week.  I'm on Week 5 and got stuck on Day 2... I repeated it three times before I managed to complete it meaning that I'm behind schedule.  I'm not too worried about the schedule though because I know that with every run I'm getting stronger and fitter and it's all working towards my final goal of running 5kms.  My next run is happening tomorrow (Saturday) morning and it's running for 20mins straight.  I know I can do it and I can't wait to fist-pump the air when I complete it. 

I had my hair done this week for the first time in a few months (the photo above was taken before).  It's always scary finding a new hairdresser in a new place but this one came recommended by my sister and she always has amazing hair so I quickly made an appointment.  I came out with a new cut and colour - more layers and much darker - and it's honestly made such an improvement.  I feel like it's made my makeup look better too haha.

We're celebrating Mothers Day a day early this weekend as I'm flying out on Sunday and I'm looking forward to taking Mum out for brunch and giving her a pretty cool present :)

Glasshouse Fragrance candles are amazing - If you get the chance smell the Tahaa candle, It's Vanilla Caramel and is to die for.

I don't think I'll have time for blogging while I'm working up in Darwin so the blog will most likely be on a hiatus for a little while.  Feel free to follow me on instagram @kaytlynz if you wanna see what I'm up to...

Kayte xx

Monday, May 5, 2014

I recently returned from a family holiday in Phuket, Thailand.  Between the 7 of us we managed to do a whole lot of shopping but today I thought I'd show you some of the beauty products I picked up over there.  I'll split the haul into 2 parts (makeup first, and the skincare & nails later) otherwise this post will go on forever.  

I found Thailand to be quite similar to Bali in that there were lots of markets selling knock-off perfumes as well as cosmetics like MAC & Urban Decay.  I have no interest in buying fake cosmetics as it's the quality that attracts me to a product not a brand name.  Because of that, all the cosmetics I purchased were at legitimate cosmetic counters or pharmacy's. 

Let's get on with it....

phuket, holiday, haul, central festival, shopping mall, travel tips
Beauty Haul - Boxed

phuket, holiday, haul, central festival, shopping mall, travel tips,
Beauty Haul - Unboxed
I was pretty damn excited when I stumbled upon the NARS counter in the Central Festival Shopping Mall.  The girls/guys behind the counter didn't speak much English and were happy to give me some brushes and let me test out lots of different things.  I picked up the Sheer Glow Foundation in Gobi and the Orgasm Blush which are probably their 2 most raved about products.  The foundation cost around $55 and the Blush around $37 so a bit cheaper than Australian prices ($68 and $45 here).

Loreal, Maybelline & Revlon
Loreal, Maybelline and Revlon were all a lot cheaper than Australia so I picked up quite a few things from these brands.  I really wanted to pick up my holy grail foundation Nutri-Gold but none of the stores stocked the range.  I snapped up the True Match & Lucent Magique Foundations to try out as well as the Mat Magique Powder Foundation which I hadn't seen before (All around $10-$15 each).  The Super Liner Waterproof Gel Eyeliner fell into my basket as well as a Glam Shine Balm Gloss in Pomegranate Punch... another one I hadn't seen in Australia.

The Maybelline Hyper Glossy Black Liquid Eyeliner was super cheap (around $3) and I got another two colours of the Revlon Matte Balms as they were only $7-$8 each.

Kate by Kanebo
I hadn't heard of this Japanese brand before but I swatched a few things and it seemed pretty good.  I got a BB Cream Gel which I'm already really impressed with and a black felt tip eyeliner.  The eyeliner was around $7 and the BB Cream about $15.

There was a MAC counter in the Central Festival Mall but the prices were exactly the same as Australia so I waited until we went through Kuala Lumpur Duty Free on the way home.  I picked up the Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light Plus ($39) as I had read some really good reviews on it.  I also picked up my first Paint Pot in Vintage Selection ($24)

Soap & Glory
I picked up mostly body products from Soap & Glory as they were in most pharmacy's in Phuket but I thought I'd give this Under Eye Concealer a go.

Tips for anyone travelling to Phuket:
 If you're looking for cosmetics Central Festival Mall (in Phuket Town) is miles better than Jungceylon Mall (at Patong).  
Check your prices (I used the xe app on my phone constantly to convert prices) as some things I checked the price on (Estee Lauder Foundation I'm looking at you) were actually more expensive there than in Australia. 
 Never buy cosmetics from the markets - they will always always always be fakes and God only knows what they're made from or where they've been. 

Because some brands were so much cheaper over there I found it really hard to contain my purchases but I really did try to limit the products I bought to good quality things that I knew I would really use.  Please do let me know if you'd like to see any particular product reviewed.

Kayte xx

baby elephant, elephant, phuket, big buddha, tourist, holiday
Elephants taste weird...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Elephant Riding in Phuket (Me, my bf, brother, sister + bf)

I'm baaaaaack!!!  After a gloriously warm 14 days in Phuket, Thailand I arrived back in Newcastle sometime Tuesday afternoon.  I've spent the last few days unpacking and catching up on missed sleep from the trip home.  

I'm way too excited to write a blog post and show you all my haul from Phuket as I managed to pick up quite a few things.  If you follow me on instagram you would already know I found a Nars counter over there but that's my only spoiler :p

Just before I left to go on holiday my lovely friend Megan hand delivered me an exciting gift from Sephora which she picked up on her recent trip to America.  When she asked me if there was anything she could get for me while she was over there my mind went blank and all I could think of was "ummm everything" haha.  I asked for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light as I knew it was something I definitely wanted and was quite a bit cheaper over there than here.  I'm still trialling the powder over different foundations but I'll let you know how I get on with it.

I managed to do one week of my Couch to 5k whilst in Phuket but I was struck down with a head cold in my second week there so gave that whole second week a miss.  Running in Phuket was an experience as it is so hot and muggy over there.  There are also really bad smells in some places and I'll admit to having my first dry-retching while running experience; it wasn't pretty but I survived ha.  I'm over halfway now and excited to finish it and run 5kms :)

Happy Friday 

Kayte xx

Friday, April 11, 2014

Watching the ships come in (Newcastle)

Today I'm absolutely bouncing off the walls because tomorrow I get to see my boy who I haven't seen for a month.  We are staying in Sydney for two nights before we jet off to Thailand with my family for 14 glorious nights.

We're flying Malaysia Airlines.... nuff said

I've finished my third week of the Couch to 5k app.  I'm not gonna lie it's really hard work but I feel so accomplished every time I do one.  This week consisted of running for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds then running for 3 minutes and walking for 2.  Repeat.  I can run pretty fine for about 90 seconds but the 3 minutes are so hard.  I said this before but I just can't imagine ever being able to run for 1 whole kilometre - let alone 5.

I had my eyebrows threaded this week for the first time in many years.  I forgot how much it hurt but Oh My God it's totally worth it. 

Probably don't need to say it but there'll be no blog posts from me while I'm away.  Feel free to follow me on Instagram (@kaytlynz) if you wanna see some travel pics from me and of course when I'm back I'm sure there will be a haul post ;)

I'm off to finish packing my bags and get a spray tan in anticipation of the best holiday of my life.

Kayte xx

Thursday, April 10, 2014

skincare, serum, body renewal, night cream, luminesce, stem cell, cellular renewal,
Luminesce Essential Body Renewal, Cellular Rejuvenation Serum & Advanced Night Repair

A couple of months ago I was sent three products from the Luminesce Skincare Range* to trial and tell you about.  I was really excited to trial them as they claimed to use Adult Stem Cells to rejuvenate cell renewal and provide anti-aging benefits.

What they say...
The anti-aging skincare component of LUMINESCE™ super-charges the production of young, fresh skin cells. Infused with a potent growth factor complex derived from natural adult stem cells, the LUMINESCE family of products rejuvenates skin cells at a molecular level.
The Jeunesse Youth Enhancement System uses DNA repair and antioxidant ingredients to improve cell performance and longevity. Our patent-pending stem cell innovation helps generate new, vital skin cells in the first place.

This potent growth factor complex is able to rejuvenate skin cells faster and at a molecular level. New cell production is stimulated, resulting in increased collagen and elastin for firmer skin tone. New cells also give your complexion a fuller appearance with a healthy, vibrant glow. With LUMINESCE, skin appears younger, because at the cellular level, it literally is younger.

With claims like that I was really excited to try these out although in all honesty I'm 28 and even with dry skin I'm not quite at the stage where I need heavy-duty anti-aging skincare.  Prevention is better than cure though right?!

The Essential Body Renewal moisturiser is a lightweight lotion that has a significant cooling effect.  I used this mainly on my legs, focusing on my thighs where I could do with some improved firmness.  You don't need a lot of this, a little goes a long way and I found it to soak in really quickly without leaving a sticky residue.  I found this to be quite hydrating and I really enjoyed the cooling effect although I'm not sure if I would feel the same come winter.  After using this every morning for about a month I noticed quite an improvement in the firmness and texture of my legs.  I don't think this is a product you would use all the time but for a targeted specific problem this could help you out.

The Cellular Rejuvenation Serum is the brands star product boasting the highest percentage of the growth factor complex.  This is an incredibly light serum that soaks into skin immediately.  It provided a little hydration but for someone like me with dryer skin I definitely recommend applying moisturiser over top.  It took a little while to see results with this one, but after about a month I noticed a significant improvement in the texture of skin.  There was a definite smoothness that hadn't been there before and my skin -which is prone to redness and freckles - was a lot more even.  

I used the serum in conjunction with the Advanced Night Repair every night which helped boost the hydration factor.  The Night Repair is a cream-gel texture and is just beautiful to apply.  As soon as it's on, skin is left feeling soft, and the combination of the two products leaves me waking up with plump, hydrated skin.  For me the Advanced Night Repair cream is light enough to use during the day but probably best to let it do it's work while you're sleeping.
Serum RRP $134.95  Advanced Night Repair RRP $99.95

I find these skincare products to be on the pricier side but have always believed that good skincare is a necessary investment.  If you're looking for specific products to target the overall texture of your skin and fight aging in an advanced way then these products could be the ones for you.

Kayte xx

* These products were provided for my consideraton but that has not influenced my review at all.  Please see my disclaimer policy for more details.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Urban Rituelle, Maybelline, MUA, Essence, Indola, Revitanail, Dr Lewinns, Anastasia Beverley Hills, Revlon, Sigma,  matte balm, nail treatment, beauty blogger, makeup

I missed last month's post on my Top 10 Beauty Products so it was quite easy coming up with my March Favourites so without further ado...

Urban Rituelle Coconut & Honey Soothing Body Balm
I've mentioned it before but I honestly just can't get enough of this stuff.  They had a sale recently so I've well and truly stocked up on this stuff (as well as the matching body scrub, candle and soap).  This is by far the best body moisturizer I've ever used and I'm addicted to the scent as well.

Maybelline Total Clean Eye Makeup Remover
This is a great dual phase eyemakeup remover that works really well to remove even waterproof eyemakeup.  Have already re-purchased for when this one runs out.

Makeup Academy (MUA) Pro-Base Fixing Mist
I've had this for ages but dug it out again after finishing my sample of Scindinavia spray.  I'm not sure how well this works for making my makeup last longer but I do like the slightly dewy effect it gives my skin.  I spray my face with this after I've finished applying my makeup.

Essence I love Extreme Mascara
I think I've mentioned this one before as well but it really is a fantastic mascara and the fact that it's only something like $5 makes it even better.  This makes my lashes so full of volume it's crazy.  Will definitely be repurchasing this but I'm hoping to find it in a waterproof version (not sure if there is one or not)

Indola Wonder-Blow Dry
I won't go on about this one because you can read my full review here but this is a fantastic treatment applied to damp hair to give various benefits including heat protection and volume.

Dr Lewinns Revitanail
I've been giving my fingernails a break from my usual DIY Shellac and using this nail treatment to get some strength back into my nails.  There has been a significant improvement in the strength and appearance of my nails since using this and I'm looking forward to having them manicured in Thailand next week :)

Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Ash
There's a huge story behind this pencil but I'm not sure if I'll ever be bothered telling it, it really is a fantastic eye pencil though.  The pencil part is really thin so it's great for creating a defined yet natural eyebrow.  The colour is spot on for me too.  It was only just under $40 which I think is quite pricy - will see how long it lasts for though I guess.

Urban Rituelle Perfume Spray in Cotton Candy
This was in my recent empties so you'll have to hear me rave about it twice in one month.  This is my new bottle which I repurchased when the old one was getting low as I couldn't bear to not have it in my bag.  Another fantastic scent from Urban Rituelle - if you haven't checked out their stuff you really need to!

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in 205 Elusive
Finally, finally, finally I got my hands on the new Revlon Balm Stains.  I've picked up a couple of shades of Matte as well as a couple of the Lacquer balms and I'm definitely favouring the matte balms.  This one in Elusive is a lovely dusty pink colour which suits me as an everyday 'not too bright' colour.  These wear really well and if I'm good there will be a review up of sorts soon.

Sigma Small Tapered Blending Brush (E45)
I've had this brush for ages but never used it, until in March I finally picked it up to try out a crease cut eyeshadow look and I've fallen in love.  I'm already a huge fan of Sigma brushes so I have no idea why it took me so long to use this but I'm glad I finally did.  This creates the perfect blended crease cut and has really changed the way I'm applying eyeshadow.  Love love love!

Do you share any of my favourites this month?

Kayte xx

Friday, April 4, 2014

newcastle, nsw, phuket, holiday, couch to 5k, paddleboarding, thailand
Newcastle Baths

I've had another amazing week in Newcastle.  Chucking in my job and moving here really has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I feel so much more at peace. 

In just over a week I'll be heading to Phuket with the rest of the family.  There are 7 of us in total and we have rented a big villa for 14 nights.  I am beyond excited.  I'm planning on ticking snorkeling and paddle-boarding off my bucket list.  I'm also planning on eating bucket loads of Pad Thai. 

People in Newcastle are so friendly.  Every morning I go for a walk and 80% of the people I pass say Good Morning or at the very least smile and nod.  It's made me start doing the same, it's amazing how even just a smile can brighten someone's day.

I've just completed Week 2 of the Couch to 5k app and I have to say it's been a painful week.  I'm proud of myself though and I'm determined to keep going and finish it.

Most days, Dad and I have been heading down to the Newcastle Baths for a swim and some sunbathing.  I love swimming here because it's ocean water but without the whole shark fear thing!

If you've been to Thailand/Phuket I'd love to hear any thoughts/advice/tips!

Happy Friday 

Kayte xx