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MELBOURNE > ABU DHABI> LONDON: Travel hacks and truths

Restless doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. It is currently 10:27am Australian time and 4:27am Abu Dhabi time and I have been on this plane since 10pm. To say that I am absolutely DONE is an understatement.

On the bright side, in an hour and 39 minutes we should be landing at our first stop over before we reach London, and I am more than ready to get the hell off of this plane. Really, I shouldn’t complain, I got the window seat which is super roomy, I’ve got a killer playlist going, decent in-flight movies, and I conquered the entire Etihad Airlines Tetris leaderboard. It’s funny what you can get done in 14 hours.

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Oh, did I mention I slept for maybe a total of 20 minutes? Yeah, I’ve gone a little more than 24 hours without sleep, I am so agitated that I am grinding my teeth and my butt is so sore from staying in the one place for so long.

I think one major thing that people forget to mention when they talk about the glamour and splendour of travelling is the ridiculously tedious trip you have before arriving at your destination.

I haven’t travelled in over three years, and I completely forgot about this part. I mean, that’s probably a good thing, right? that the holiday itself stuck in my memory and the discomfort didn’t, but let’s be real, this is not a fun time.

However, I feel that, from my experience, I can pass on some tips to those of you who have yet to travel, or have and still haven’t figured out the best way to go about enjoying the flight.

Firstly, do activities that will keep your mind buzzing. For me, this was playing Tetris and beating the high scores of everyone who has flown with Etihad this week, though it’s good to keep in mind that too much screen time will really strain your eyes, which is what happened to me, so I needed to take an hour or two just to listen to music and shut my eyes.

Secondly. test our your meds before you leave. My friend and I have sleeping tablets with us, but we haven’t taken them yet because we weren’t sure how it would affect us, and we don’t want to risk being drowsy in an unknown international airport when we’ve only got an hour to board our next flight.

Thirdly, when in duty free, make sure that you either buy a bottle of water or bring a bottle with you for the hostess’ to fill on the plane. This has honestly been my saviour this whole time, especially because I’ve taken sinus tablets to make sure my ears don’t hurt and it leaves your throat and nose super dry.

Fourthly, If you know that you have trouble flying, make sure you prepare yourself as much as possible. For me, the only trouble I have on flights is the pressure in my ears, which hurts so much that I could faint. Knowing this, I had a chat with a pharmacist who recommended I take sinus tablets as well as a nasal spray. Thankfully, I have had no discomfort and am super happy that I was prepared.

Some people also get anxious or experience travel sickness, and if you know that there may be a chance that it would happen to you, I 100% recommend talking to your GP or a pharmacist and asking their opinion on what you might be able to take on the flight to ensure you have a comfortable and pain-free trip.

I think that in any trip, the best thing to do is to be prepared for anything, and to make sure that you’re organised well in advanced. That means bags packed, carry on luggage sorted with the essentials, and a game plan. I’m all for spontaneity, but not then it comes to travelling. Make sure you know your luggage restrictions and that all of your liquids and gels are 100ml or less, and can comfortably fit into a clear plastic zip lock type bag.

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For example, in my backpack I packed my laptop, my travel journal, travel wallet, meds, and my little zip lock bag. In the zip lock bag I put my favourite Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm (trust me, lip balm is a must on long flights), hand sanitiser, my LUSH Cosmetics bubblegum lip scrub, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume, a Proactiv Solutions moisturiser (not my usual moisturiser, but it’s the only one I had under 100ml), as well as toothpaste and a toothbrush. Think about it, if you’re landing at your destination and are meeting up with family or friends, the last thing you want is to feel gross.

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Another super important travel hack that Maddison and I have been trying to do is to avoid jet lag.

We left Melbourne at 10pm, and instead of sleeping after take off, we decided to stay awake as long as possible so that we can sync our bodies to European time. I had a short nap at about 4am, and have been awake since. We are due to land in Abu Dhabi around midday (5am Abu Dhabi time), and then we have another eight or so hour flight to London, which is where we will be catching up on sleep, because we land in the UK at 12:30pm London time. Sounds confusing, but I think this will work.

So, it’s currently 11am Australian time and 5:10am in Abu Dhabi, and we will be landing in about 20 minutes. The view from our little window is gorgeous, and I can’t believe we’ve made it this far already. This trip still feels so surreal, it still hasn’t hit me that In a matter if hours I will be in the city that I’ve dreamed about since I was 6 years old, with one of my best friends, getting ready to explore Europe. Exciting things are ahead, and I’m glad I can share it will all of you.

Much love.

Thanks for a fab year, 2015

Where do I even begin to describe 2015?

2015 was the year that I met amazing people and made friends I know will be around for a long time.

2015 was the year that I worked my ass off and reached my goals.

2015 was the year that I got a taste of the real world and thrived from it.

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Love me a mini bag

Picture this: You’re super busy, perhaps you’re shopping up a storm, testing out the NARS Steven Klein collection, and suddenly you’re juggling the products and a big hand bag on your arm, and then you start to ache; big red and white lines appear from where you’ve accidentally cut circulation, then finally, you leave the store with nothing to show for your trouble.

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Yeah but can your bronzer do this?

Mine can.

Like I mentioned in my MAC Cream Colour Base review, I am obsessed with products that I can use multiple ways.

Rightfully named, the NARS Le Multiple makeup stick is possibly the coolest product i’ve purchased. It comes in 10 different colours, and I bought the shade Na Pali Coast, which is a beautiful copper colour with a shimmer. The best thing about it is that it’s intended that you use it on your lips, cheeks and eyes, even simultaneously.

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The consistency of the product itself is a cream to powder formula, so when you apply, it blends really easily but still has the pigmentation and durability of a cream.

I use Na Pali Coast as a bronzer more than anything because I find the shade works really well in creating dimensions in my face under my cheekbone to contour, but also doubles as a blush if I build it up. That was actually what persuaded me to buy it, because I was looking at the shade Orgasm, which is gorgeous, but I already have the powder blush, and wanted something slightly more versatile.

NARS

I’ve used it on my eyes as well, and it’s really pretty, but I think it’s more suited to someone with brown or darker eyes, because my hazel eyes were too light for it. I also feel like it’s a colour that looks awesome with a dark crimson lip, which I did, but my skin is also a bit too pale for both products together.

With that being said though, I think Na Pali Coast is a great colour for anyone. It’s so unique and the contrast of the silver shimmer with the copper really doesn’t tailor it to a certain person.

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Overall, I’ve got nothing but praises for this product, and would love to try out some of the other colours in NARS’ The Multiple range.

NARS

MAC cream colour base review

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Usually, I hate the term ‘holy grail’ when people talk about beauty products, therefore I refuse to call this a ‘holy grail’ product, even if it technically should be.

I remember watching a beauty vlog one time and literally, the whole five minutes, this Youtuber pulled out every product she owned and said “this is definitely a holy grail product!”, which really made me ponder whether she knew any adjectives or not…

Regardless, this has to be the best unplanned purchase I have ever made. The MAC cream colour bases are generally used as highlighters, but I also like to use mine as a stand alone eye shadow, and even an eye shadow base. The consistency is perfect for highlighter, because it is creamy but easily to blend and build for effect. I bought the shade ‘Hush’ which is this gorgeous, frosty blush pink colour.

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On the cheeks it gives a beautiful, dewy highlight that makes my contour look really defined, but is subtle enough that it looks natural.

On the eyes it appears a lighter pink than on the cheeks, and I’ve found that it compliments my Naked 3 palette so well because the colour is slightly lighter than ‘dust’ but is more dense and therefore the pigments show more, so it’s the perfect base for a nude and slightly shimmery look.

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I really do love this product, and I think that this colour in particular can suit so many different people. The product itself is so versatile and long lasting that it’s definitely worth more than it looks!

You can purchase the MAC Cream Colour Base here

 

You know your haircut is bad when you would happily take your front fringe back…

So on Tuesday I decided that I really really wanted to cut my hair, and soon. On Thursday I actually did it, and now I cannot look in a mirror without feeling the need to curl up into a ball and sob.

Right now i’m in this really confused state between feeling crap about how I look and feeling crap about feeling crap about how I look… Let me explain…

I’ve never felt so superficially concerned before… ever, and now that I’ve cut my hair and I have an unwanted bob (yes, I said bloody freaking bob) I just can’t deal. Picture this, you take a girl with really curly hair, you cut her hair really short, and you hope for the best. Everyone knows that when you cut curly hair, the curls bounce and the hair seems shorter than it does when it’s straight. Not only is my hair ridiculously short when it is straight but can you imagine how short it’s going to seem when it’s curly?! I am going to look like Shirley Temple and the thought is driving me insane.

Not only that, but last night I went to my cousin’s 21st birthday party and it started to rain, but that wasn’t a problem, the humidity was. My hair has never reacted to humidity. It has always been just long enough to weigh my hair down and stop it from going curly, but not this time. I went outside and within 10 minutes my hair had begun to curl and frizz out! Tying my hair up wasn’t an option because there isn’t enough hair to tie up and there is actually nothing I could do to fix it.

I think what’s really pissing me off right now is that there were quite a few ‘signs’ that I should have listened to, telling me not to cut my hair. I know, I’ve taken it so seriously that I’m reading ‘signs’ from the universe. Firstly, I wore my hair naturally curly since monday and every day, after every wash, it looked great, something that doesn’t normally happen. Secondly, my dad freaked out when I showed him a picture of how I wanted it cut, and for the first time, I couldn’t convince him to like it. Finally, an appointment that was scheduled before my hairdresser appointment ran really behind, and so I called the hairdresser and was about to cancel when the receptionist said “that’s okay, we can just swap your appointment with a later client”. I really, really should have just cancelled.

It’s not that the hairdresser did a bad job as such… The cut was done well in the sense that everything is straight and I didn’t come home with a rat’s tail, but I just feel like maybe if they… the professional person who works with hair on a daily basis, took into consideration the fact that this outcome was inevitable, I would have been able to avoid this whole situation because they would tell me straight out that there’s a possibility that it would look horrible. I ended up feeling really guilty too because my hairdresser said “I think it really suits you” (they lied, by the way) and I replied “really? you reckon?” in a very unsubtle, unstable, ‘I’m about to cry’ type of tone. I tried to redeem my response by saying “I probably just have to get used to it, I’ve never had my hair this short before… it’s, uhh, exciting…!”

I can’t even explain this hair style to you, and no way in hell am I uploading pictures of it! it literally seems like I got a bowl cut and clipped extensions over the top of it… I don’t know how that makes sense but it was the best way I could describe it to you. So now leaving the house without a full face of makeup isn’t even an option, and neither is my trusty top knot that would get me out of a bad hair day every time.

I actually do not know what to do or how to fix it. It’s extremely demotivating and it has pulled my confidence down a lot. I really don’t like feeling like this because I hate the idea of being self conscious because of something superficial, but I can’t shake it off. I really, truly and completely do not want to start uni so soon because my hair is just not on point. When I went to an enrolment day, I was so excited because my hair looked awesome, I had a really cool, chic but casual outfit on, and my life seemed so picturesque. Now I am absolutely dreading this because I’m going to be “that girl with the short hair with no style.”  More than that though, it’s the fact that I had something good and I didn’t realise it until it was gone.

I know, I seem so incredibly shallow, and trust me, out of all people I know that there are worse things in life, but I just wanted to point out how something cosmetic can change your self perception. I always wondered why people would opt for surgery and treatments because they weren’t happy with how they looked, but now I completely understand it. To feel good, sometimes you need to be content with how you look, and I know it sounds ridiculously superficial, but I never thought it was true until now.

Sorry for the rant, but I started writing this at 3:45am because I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about how devastated I am about my haircut. I would actually do anything to go back in time and reverse this. I would even throw it way back to late 2013/early 2014 when I got a front fringe… and I thought that was bad.

2014/2015 beauty favourites!

I know i’ve spoken about some of these products before, but I literally couldn’t have started 2015 with a bang without them!!! They are very basic, simple products that have managed to revolutionise the way I apply and think of makeup.

First up is the Maybelline New York Colour Elixir in Blush Essence

What a little pocket rocket! This lip gloss is literally the only gloss that I like!!! It’s not sticky or gooey and my hair doesn’t get stuck to it! It’s a miracle! The colour stays on, and is durable, especially during work, but I found that it comes off really quickly after devouring tacos so… take care.

favouritesNext is the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer 

This was my first bronzer, which I purchased because I was too scared to spend big $$$ on another brand just in case I couldn’t contour properly. Originally I tried the NARS Laguna Bronzer at Mecca Maxima, when I asked one of the girls to show me what it would be like to contour. She matched my colours to a perfect blush as well, which was the Bobbi Brown Nectar blush. However, I couldn’t justify spending $45 on a bronzer in the event that I couldn’t replicate the look, so instead I went to Priceline and purchased this bronzer. Lucky I did because it’s so good, especially for a drug store label! Since purchasing it, I have worn it everyday, and now i’m addicted to bronzing and contouring. It’s very easy to apply and it’s pressed formula makes it very easy to control when applying. It blends well and the shade is great for many different skin tones!

I also really love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer 

It’s actually perfect in many ways! I find it hard to find a good concealer because my skin has a lot of imperfections and scars, and some concealers crease into the scars or highlight the imperfections, rather than hide them! This concealer, however, makes my skin look flawless!!! Of course, it doesn’t make the 3D seem 2D, but it does hide redness, dark circles, scars and the appearance of imperfections. What I like about this product is the consistency, because it’s quite thick and you don’t need a lot of it. Dark circles literally disappear and there are no creases under my eyes! I have and will continue to recommend this product to everyone I know, because everyone deserves a perfect concealer #you’rewelcome

The best beauty purchase I have made to date is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Trio which included mini versions of Primrose, Fig, and Legendary

I use Primrose on a daily basis because it’s literally the perfect shade of nude ever. It’s visible, trans-seasonal and requires little to no effort! It’s the type of shade you can wear with the most simple base and it seems like you’ve really put an effort into your makeup, when really, you put it on in the car on the way to the train station.

Fig is a really unique colour, and I absolutely love it! It’s a mix of red and purple (but mostly purple) and it’s probably the only purple pigmented lipstick that actually suits me! I’ve also seen this shade swatched a few times on different people and it seems very universal!

Legendary is a great shade of red, however i’m still hung up on my Chanel red (104 Passion), but because of the convenient size of Smashbox’s ‘Legendary’, I bring it with me to touch up when i’m out. It blends really nicely and I love the texture, even when I use it as the base colour.

Only recently have I gotten into body mists, and my favourite is the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell. It’s classic VS and the scent matches perfectly with my favourite perfumes (Vera Wang Pink Princess, Calvin Klein Euphoria, D&G La Roue De La Fortune). It’s a very unique, fresh fragrance but it isn’t very fruity, which is what I like about it. I’m not a massive fan of fruity, light fragrances, which is why Bombshell is perfect because it’s not a heavy scent, but it’s very iconic. It has hints of musk amongst blond-woods and oakmoss which tones down the top notes of tangelo, pineapple, strawberry, and purple passionfruit, which would be a very fruity scent without these dry-down notes. It also has middle notes of Jasmine, peony, and white orchid  (my three favourite flowers). These scents combined create the perfect body mist that blends well with other fragrances and suits many people.

I’ve spoken about the NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok before, but I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. Why? you may ask: because I’ve experimented and have learned the best way to apply it. I always loved the colour of the lipstick, but I had a constant battle with the product once it was on because the matte aspect of it dried out my lips quickly and would peel my skin, making my lips look flakey. I even stopped using it for a while because I was wearing it to work, and didn’t have time to re-apply during my shift to re-hydrate my lips and re-apply. Then I invested in an invisible lip liner from Too Faced, and that’s when everything changed! I would line and fill in my lips with the invisible liner, which not only moisturised, but formed a primed base for my lipstick. Since using the two together, the lipstick doesn’t crumble, it stays on for hours, feels really comfortable, and applies easily! I would definitely recommend that you use a moisturising liner underneath NARSpure matte lipsticks to get the ultimate effect of the product, and value for your money!

These past few months I’ve barely ever left the house without eyeliner on, and I mostly use the Sephora Collection Long Lasting Eyeliner [with] High Precision Brush, which is my favourite liquid eyeliner ever, but sadly I’ve run out, so to save myself from heartbreak, I’ve been using the Maybelline Eyestudio gel eyeliner, which is actually really good! At first, it’s a little hard to apply, especially if you’re used to liquid eyeliner, but once you get the hang of it, it is a really great product! It hardly smudges in my creases (which the Sephora liner does) and it doesn’t flake off (like other gel liners i’ve tried). For a drugstore purchase, it was very worth it! Just be aware that the brush that comes with it is horrible and no matter if you’re an eyeliner expert, you will not be able to get incredible results, or make the most of the product with that applicator! which is why I invested in the

Real Techniques silicone tip brush

I’ve dedicated a whole post to this brush, which you can read here. It still appears in this post because I really do love it!

Usually i’d say that my favourite lip liner is my MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil, but I only have that in one colour, which is frustrating considering I have many shades of lipstick and my MAC liner is hot pink. I needed something that was universal, that I can use for every lipstick that I had. When I found the Too Faced Borderline Invisible Lip Pencil, I wasn’t too sure about how good it would be. Then, when I saw it on sale, I didn’t even hesitate to purchase it and try it. Now, I have never looked back.

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I think this liner has absolutely revolutionised how I wear lipstick. It’s the most convenient product I have ever tried, and not only that, the product itself moisturises and primes the lips, creating the perfect base for which ever lipstick you want!!! This is one product that I think is severely underrated! It’s probably my equal absolute favourite to the…

NARS Albatross highlighter!

I’ve saved the best till last! This is the perfect product that will help you to get the perfect summer, bronzed, glowing look (the highlighter provides the glow… obviously) I use this highlighter on my cheek bones and along my jaw line to give extra definition to those areas, then I use a little bit of blush on my inner cheeks to finish the look. The highlighter also goes above my brows to define them a little more and give them the illusion of perfect shape even if the shape isn’t actually on point. I heard a lot of warnings about looking like a disco ball after using Albatross but I’ve noticed that if you apply gently to your brush, it’s very easily avoided. Also, this product blends out easily if need be, while still being durable. It’s actually the perfect product!!! I recommend NARS Albatross 100% to anyone and everyone who wants the best contour!!!

 

There you have it! My favourite beauty products of 2014/2015! Let me know what you think about these products if you’ve tried them and feel free to ask any questions you may have!