|OOTD : Black on Black with a POP |

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Blazer : Zara 
Top : ASOS
Jeans : ASOS
Boots : Dune 

I am such a fan of wearing lots of neutral colours & then adding pops of colour or pattern in the form of my accessories. There’s just something so chic about it & it makes those unique accessories really stand out against an otherwise simple outfit.

I had a business meeting this day & wanted to look trendy yet professional without looking boring – hence the pop of personality with the leopard print boots. I LOVE these boots – comfortable yet full of attitude!

I’d also like to mention that if, like me, you’re a lady with hella’ long legs (I have a 34″ inside leg and I’m only 5ft8!) then ASOS is a fantastic place to buy your jeans. Many of their styles offer longer leg lengths which is an absolute heaven send as buying jeans when your legs are longer than average is still so difficult. Let me hear an AMEN!

 

 

|My June Goals |

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I just cannot believe it’s June already – where is 2017 going?! I’ve been feeling a little out of sync because it is at this time of year that I’m usually getting excited for the arrival of summer but instead it’s my first year in South Africa where we’re now going into Winter. It’s all very strange! Although, in reality, South African winters are something similar to Irish summers so I really can’t complain.

I have decided that at the beginning of every month I will post my goals for the month ahead as I think it’s important to reflect on our lives & to try improve them wherever we can. These posts will also allow you, my lovely readers, to get more of an insight into my life so that you can get to know me that little bit better.

My goals for the month of June are as follows:

Goal 1 – Have a digital detox

Being an entrepreneur I spend a lot of time on my computer & unfortunately this just cannot be avoided. However recently I’ve been finding that I spend between 6-8 hours on my computer a day & then in the evenings I’m on my phone browsing social media & messaging friends & family. While I know that technology has become an essential part of our lives & is an essential tool in the business world, I just don’t want to spend my entire days wasted on it. What kind of life is that!? So in the month of June my goal is to become aware of my digital time & limit it to my working hours. Once I shut my laptop for the day – my phone will be switched off too.

Goal 2 – Write my wedding speech

So my darling sister is getting married in Italy next month & I couldn’t be more excited. By the time the wedding comes around I won’t have seen my family in 7 months so you can only imagine how much I’m looking forward to being reunited with them! Even though my sister didn’t ask me to, as her sister & only bridesmaid, I felt that it was important that I speak at her wedding. I have been putting off writing this speech for a while, but now that the wedding is next month I think it’s time that I get started so that I have plenty of time to perfect it.  While I am not a confident public speaker, & I am almost certain that I will be shedding a tear or two during my speech, I know that it will be more than worth it to see the smile on sisters face.

Goal 3 – More quality couple time

My boyfriend & I are both business owners which means that we both work from home a lot & we don’t ever really stop working. Recently I’ve noticed that we’ve both been quite consumed with our businesses & that we haven’t been spending as much quality time together as we normally do. This month I want us both to find that balance again & to take more time out to go on ‘date nights’. Making a success of yourself is important but spending time with the one you love is more important.

Goal 4 – More ‘pamper’ time

This point leads on from the previous one – I’ve been working from home a lot & I’ve been so busy with business this past month that I just haven’t been taking care of myself the way I normally do. Lately I’ve only been wearing makeup once a week, I mostly have my hair up & only style it approximately once a week & I haven’t been treating my skin to my usual weekly face mask. While to some these may seem like trivial things, to me these things are important as I always like to take care of myself. When my skin is looking good, my makeup is on & I’m having a good hair day the world is just a better place & I’ve not been pampering myself enough with these things. This month I want to go back to the more glamorous side of me.

Goal 5 – Write in my diary more

I’ve kept a diary on & off since the age of about 14 because for me it is the best way to spill my heart out & get everything off my chest be it good or bad. My bestie bought me a journal just before I moved out to SA so that I could document my journey & I have only been writing in it about once a month. Too much happens in one month to just update it once every 30 days & I want to keep a better record of my time here. We’re only young for so long & how wonderful would it be to read back on my life when I’m an old lady & remember everything I went through & all the adventures I had in my prime.

What are your goals for the month of June?

| My Most Loved Perfumes |

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Over the years I have owned countless perfumes, some great & some really not so great. (the days of Charlie perfumes anyone?!) Over time however I have found my ‘signature scents’ and I just couldn’t imagine opening my bathroom cupboard & not finding these particular perfumes there.

Perfumes are an individual thing with everyone having their own unique personal taste and preferences. I love softly sweet smells that aren’t over powering or sickly sweet – if I smell a fragrance & it’s so soft that it feels like it’s tickling my nose – then that’s my kind of scent.

So let’s take a look at my favourite perfumes!

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Emporio Armani Diamonds 

I have worn this perfume since I was in University making it about 4 years since I first purchased it (which scares me to think that I graduated 4 years ago!) When I first took a sniff of Armani Diamonds I completely fell in love & couldn’t stop smelling my wrist where I had sprayed it. Armani Diamonds is described as:

Gourmand-floral – The top notes are litchi and raspberry, the middle notes – freesia and lily of the valley, and the base are vetiver, cedar wood, patchouli and vanilla.

From the description it’s easy to tell that this is a floral perfume, however, I am pretty fussy when it comes to perfumes with many floral notes as they can sometimes smell too ‘old lady-ish.’ This perfume however doesn’t make me smell in any way like an old lady. It is such a delicate, soft scent but one that lasts throughout the day. It can be worn either during the day or in the evening and also one that can be worn no matter what the season. Out of the perfumes I am discussing today, this is the one I have been buying for the longest & is one that I will continue to buy for more years to come.

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Emporio Armani Diamonds Violet 

I have already talked about this perfume in my Handbag Essentials post so I won’t go into quite as much detail on this particular one. This perfume was released back in 2015 and as a lover of the original fragrance, I had to test this one & much like the original I fell in love with the Violet version too. Armani Diamonds Violet is described as:

A delicious, floral-fruity-gourmand, intended for a night out. Top notes include juicy and exotic fruits of raspberry, passion fruit and lychee. The heart captures flowers of violet, Bulgarian rose and lily of the valley, on the base of sweet praline, patchouli and vanilla.

The original Armani Diamonds & the newer Armani Diamonds Violet have similar notes however Violet has a slightly stronger scent & is more fruity than the original which I think comes from the addition of the passion fruit as that note comes definitely comes through. If I had to choose between the original scent & the Violet version I think I would pick the original just because it’s slightly softer however I do still very much love the Violet version.

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Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder

I’m not quite sure if I can call this a perfume as Estee Lauder describe it as a ‘skin scent’ but I’m putting it in here anyway. This was a purchase last summer from Duty Free while on the plane journey back from Greece. I was clearly still in the summer holiday mood because this fragrance just encapsulates the smell of summer. Bronze Goddess is described as:

A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot, warm Amber, Tiare Flower and Vanilla combined with delicious creamy Coconut.

To me this perfume smells of coconut, sun-cream & flowers. Could it be any more perfect for the summer months? Estee Lauder have always marketed this scent as a summer fragrance as you can only buy it during spring & summer. It is perfect for taking on holiday or wearing on those hot summer evenings. It has quite a strong scent however I do find that it doesn’t last quite as long as some of my other perfumes so do bare that in mind!

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La Nuit Tresor by Lancome 

Can we talk about how pretty this packaging is?! I cannot tell you just how much I love this perfume. While all of the perfumes I am talking about today are favourites, this one is most certainly my ultimate favourite. I purchased this after sampling it in Dubai duty free & instantly had to have it. When I bought this perfume it was a travel exclusive so could only be bought in airports. Why? I have absolutely no idea, but thankfully I’ve just discovered that they now also sell it in stores! La Nuit Tresor is described as:

Discover La Nuit Tresor, a sultry, smouldering perfume for women with notes of fresh raspberry, frankincense, and vanilla, with a bewitching heart of Black Rose essence.

This perfume is just DIVINE. It’s really quite sweet with a slight hint of floral and yet has so much depth with the addition of frankincense & papyrus. Because I love this perfume so much I like to keep it as my ‘special occasion’ perfume & I have had so many compliments when wearing this it. It’s also very long lasting & I can still smell it on my skin at the end of the day. This baby is never leaving my collection. Ever!

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What are your favourite scents?

| My Travel Essentials|

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Being an Irish girl who now lives in South Africa I am no stranger to long-haul travelling. I have spent a heck of a lot of hours in airports and in planes and with this comes knowledge of what items you should & shouldn’t pack in your hand luggage. Today I’m going to tell you all what I perceive as my carry on essentials.

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Travel pillow Being perfectly honest, I travelled for a long time without a travel pillow because I didn’t really think that I needed one. Boy was I wrong. You don’t necessarily need them for short flights but if, like me, you can spend between 6 -11 hours on a plane at a time then it is an absolute essential to get a better sleep (if that’s possible in economy class) and to avoid a painful, stiff neck. I like to use mine not just on the plane but also on those uncomfortable airport seats if I need some rest on a long stop over. If you’re a woman who wears makeup while travelling opt for a darker coloured pillow a light colours will show up all of those unsightly makeup marks.

Sleep mask Is it just me or does my black sleep mask look like a bra?! This was a little cheapie that I bought here on eBay and it turned out to be a great purchase. It’s very comfortable to wear as it has a contoured shape around your eyes so that the mask doesn’t press against your eyes. Eye masks are a must if you intend to sleep on your flight and actually get a half decent sleep. Some people are too embarrassed to wear an eye mask for fear of looking like a ‘diva’ but I will shall continue to wear my sleep mask with pride.

Power bank This is such a handy little item to travel with if you’re going on a long distance journey. A lot of airports do have charging stations now but you’ll usually find it difficult to get a free plug in those areas as many people flock to them. Therefore it just makes sense to carry a handy dandy power bank with you to avoid queuing for plugs and to avoid your electronics going dead. No one needs that stress on arrival.

iPod This one goes without saying for a lot of people as many just can’t travel without music. For some reason I never listen to my iPod once I’m on the plane as I much prefer to watch movies and sleep once on board. I do however like to listen to my iPod while I’m waiting in the airport to make waiting that little bit more enjoyable.

Locks Now for the safety advice. (“how exciting” I hear you say!) On a serious note, locks are very important and you should make sure that you use them for both your checked in luggage and your hand luggage. Unfortunately a lot of theft happens in airports and it is important that you protect your belongings as best you can.

Lip balm When I travel I feel like moisture is being sucked out of every single inch of me so I cannot travel without my moisturising essentials. I always make sure I pack a lip balm and I apply it LIBERALLY approximately every hour to avoid my lips drying out & cracking. When I travel I am usually travelling home to Ireland to see my family. This means that I will have lots of cheeks to kiss as I greet my family so dry lips are a big no-no!

Face wipes I am one of those girls that will wear makeup (though it may be minimal) in the airport but when I get seated on board one of the first things I do is take it off. It is almost guaranteed that every time I fly I will find a pimple or two popping up on my skin within the couple of days following. Therefore I like to take every step to minimise this & taking off my makeup & making sure my skin is clean plays an important part in this. I use my beloved Nivea cleansing wipes (You can find more about why I love them so much in my Current Skincare Routine post) both to take off my makeup when I get on the flight and also to clean & refresh my skin before I get off the plane again.

Face Mask The pictured mask is The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. I couldn’t find any of my travel containers to photograph but I always decant my face mask into one so that I can take it on board. When deciding on which face mask to take when travelling I opt for one with hydrating properties to infuse as much moisture into my skin as much as possible and I also like to choose a mask that is as subtle on the skin as possible.

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Book I always add a book into my carry on luggage as travelling is a perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading both on board and in the airport. I always like to make sure it’s a book I’m going to love because there’s nothing worse than beginning to read a book and not enjoying it and as a result you’re left with nothing to read.

Cosy socks Aeroplanes are quite a cold place to be and I am a frequent cold feet suffer so it is an absolute essential that I bring thick, cosy socks to keep my feet as warm as possible. As soon as I get on board off come the shoes & on go the cosy socks.

Watch To some this may be an obvious choice but wearing a watch when you’re travelling is a must. This little beauty is a Fossil watch and is very comfortable to wear when travelling because of it’s leather strap. When travelling through airports it is absolutely essential that you’re on time to avoid being late and missing flights so wearing a watch is, in my opinion, just non-negotiable.

Headphones I do not like using the headphones that are given out on aeroplanes. Maybe I’m a germaphobe, but I just don’t like using them and not to mention, they’re really not that comfortable to wear. Instead I prefer to pack my own Apple headphones so that I can watch movies in the comfort that my ears stay clean & infection free.

Perfume Travelling is quite the unclean activity and when you travel long distances it is important that you try to keep yourself as feeling & smelling as fresh as possible. That is where perfume comes in. I like to clean my body with body wipes and afterwards finish off with a squirt of my favourite perfume to freshen up & make myself feel much better between flights and on arrival.

Water  Travelling is a dehydrating business so I always buy at least 2 litres of water once through security so that I can sip it on board to avoid dehydration. It makes me feel so much better when I drink lots of water while I’m travelling.

Hand-sanitzer Aeroplanes and airports are full of germs and I cannot tell you the number of times I have gotten sick once I get back from travelling. Carrying hand-sanitzer or anti-bacteria wipes is a great way to keep your hands clean and reduce your chances of getting sick, while also avoiding a ton of trips to the aeroplane bathroom to wash them. This hand-sanitizer smells absolutely delightful and can be purchased here

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The makeup bag travel essentials 

Deodorant This one really doesn’t need an explanation – no one wants to sit beside the stinky person on the aeroplane so don’t be that stinky person. I always carry my Mitchum Solid Deodorant as it is my holy grail deo and I can rely on it to keep my under-arms smelling fresh throughout my journey.

Moisturiser Unfortunately I have just discovered that the featured moisturiser has been discontinued (sorry!) but you can find a similar one here. Moisturiser, and lots of it, is a huge must for me when I am flying to stop my skin drying out. I literally slap this stuff on when I get on board and every time I wash my face before arriving at my destination.

Eye cream There’s nothing like a good eye cream to give your under-eyes a hydration boost. Just like my face moisturiser I like to lather my under-eyes with eye cream so that they are as moisturised when I leave the plane as when I boarded. You can find more info on the featured eye cream in my Current Skincare Routine post.

Concealer Before arriving at my final destination I like to re-apply a little makeup to avoid looking like an exhausted mess on arrival. I like to avoid applying foundation straight after a flight as the dry air we’re exposed to on board makes my foundation difficult to apply. Instead I like to cover my under eyes and any problem areas with concealer. You can find out more about the featured concealer on my previous The Products I Can Trust post.

Lipstick I find that when you’re wearing very little makeup a subtle lip colour can go a long way. When travelling I like to apply my lip colour with a light hand & i always make sure to moisturise my lips first to avoid the lipstick settling into any lines on dry lips. Pictured is Rimmel Kate lipstick in 045 which is the perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade for carrying on board.

Mascara When I am wearing minimal makeup I just cannot go without mascara. Mascara makes my eyes look more awake and I like apply a light coat to avoid my eyelashes looking too heavy against a bare face. I normally wear waterproof mascara however I prefer to apply a non waterproof mascara when I travel to make it much easier and quicker to remove.

Eyebrow powder Just like mascara I cannot prevent myself from applying an eyebrow powder to my brows when I am wearing minimal makeup – my face just looks much better when my eyebrows are filled in! I prefer to use powder eyebrow products when I travel as I find that they look more natural against a minimal face. I love to carry my Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder in my travel makeup bag as it is lightweight & provides good coverage while keeping my brows looking natural.

This turned out to be such a long post. I hope you made it to the end! What are your travel essentials?

 

My Current Lifestyle Favourites

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I thought it was time that I posted something a little different than my usual beauty posts & let you see more into the life of me, Megan, the girl behind Beauty & The Blouse. So today’s post will be all about my current lifestyle favourites including what I’m enjoying doing, reading, watching & drinking.

What I’m enjoying:

Reading I love reading, I always have, but over the past couple of years I’ve found that I was reading less & less. In the past 2 months I have made a concerted effort to make sure that I take time out of my day to read & I feel so much better for it. I am now giving up unnecessary time on social media to benefit & grow my mind. Sitting down in a quiet room with a cup of tea or coffee and pouring over an open book is one of life’s little pleasures & I am so glad that I have started doing this again.

Learning Spanish After moving to Johannesburg and finding that almost every person I meet can speak at least 2 languages, I felt that it was time to grow myself & learn another language. I did study both Spanish & French back in my school days but over time I had forgotten most of what I had been taught so I decided that I was going to learn Spanish because I think it is such a beautiful sounding language. After doing a little research I discovered DuoLingo – an absolutely fantastic language learning app that can teach you a range of different languages. It teaches you how to read, write & speak Spanish in a fun way & I must say that I am picking up the language fairly easy with the teaching methods they use. And did I mention it’s a FREE app!? If you want to learn a new language I really recommend downloading DuoLingo!

What I’m reading: 

The Secret This book is fantastic. I have never been one of those people that loves to sit down with a self-help book, it’s just not my thing & I never enjoyed reading them. However, since I turned entrepreneur these kind of books are so important for self development & this one has been recommended to me several times. After finally listening to those around me and reading this book I feel like my life will never be the same again. This book is based on the law of attraction & teaches about the power of positive thinking to attract everything that you want in your life. I am aware that this is a controversial read but I do believe that our minds have much more power than we are aware of & that is why I believe that The Secret can work.

What I’m watching:

Narcos I have been watching this Netflix Original series this week & both I & my boyfriend have been enjoying it. It’s a series about the life of drug lord Pablo Escobar & is an exciting watch full of crime & conspiracy.  It does have a lot of subtitles as most of the time the actors are speaking Spanish but if you don’t mind reading subtitles this is a good watch!

Luther I just recently finished watching every season of this series & I just had to tell you, my lovely followers, about it. If you haven’t yet watched Luther and you love a crime series full of tension & excitement – watch this! It is exceptional & I found myself looking forward to watching it in the evenings. I found this series really quite creative compared to a lot of other crime series out there & many times I found myself very tense while watching it. The seasons are very short so you can binge watch & get through it very quickly & trust me, you WILL binge watch it.

What I’m drinking:

Nescafe Cappuccino sachets I am a big coffee lover! There is nothing like the smell & the taste of a cup of coffee in the morning to wake you up & get your day started. Lately I’ve been having these Nescafe cappuccinos as a treat on weekends & they are an absolute delight to drink! If I’m drinking coffee I’m usually drinking a cappuccino so I like to think of myself as a little bit of a cappuccino connoisseur & I must say that these sachets make some of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever tasted. They are however a little pricey at R59.99 for 10 sachets which is why I drink them as a treat but a treat they certainly are.

 

What are your current lifestyle favourites?

April Empties

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This month I used up quite a few products which is really quite rare for me as I usually take ages to go through a product. From the products I’ve finished it’s pretty obvious that I was needing the moisture this month. So let’s get right into it!

Sanex 0% Body Wash for Dry Skin I bought this product because the skin on my upper back seems very sensitive to perfumes in body washes. After getting fed up of continually breaking out in that area I purchased this product as it is made with moisturisers of natural origin, it is mild & it has fewer chemical ingredients & very little perfume. Since using this body wash daily my skin completely cleared up & I haven’t had a single breakout on my back since. What is this magic?! Definitely a repurchase for me!

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk Let’s just start by saying this body lotion smells DIVINE. When I lather myself in this I literally smell good enough to eat. It took me quite a long time to use this product up which is a bonus when you live in Johannesburg where dry skin is a constant burden & moisturisers are a daily essential. I do find this lotion moisturising although not as much as some of the other moisturisers I own. I prefer the Soap & Glory butters rather than their lotions for the extra moisture factor. I’m not usually into products that smell as sweet as this but Soap & Glory seem to create sweet smelling products perfectly – they really have a knack for it. I won’t be repurchasing this as I don’t believe it is available in South Africa yet, but if Soap & Glory lands here I would recommend buying some of their products as they are fab! Although I would recommend their body butters over their lotions if you need extra moisture.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream I absolutely love the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop. They have a nice, subtle scent, they’re moisturising & not to mention any product with Vitamin E attracts me as I am all about preventing wrinkles rather than trying to fix them later. I find this particular product very moisturising  without being greasy & I also find that I don’t need as much product to cover both my face & neck as I do with some other creams.  When I wake up in the morning my skin still feels moisturised which is a big thumbs up for me! This a product I would repurchase.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion Another little beauty from the Vitamin E range & a product I have repurchased before. When I first bought this product I was wary of the small 50ml tube but don’t be deceived – it lasts! I do very much enjoy this moisturiser as it is moisturising without being heavy & it also sinks into the skin very quickly which is great when you’re in a hurry & just want to put your makeup on fast. It does contain SPF which is an absolute must for day cream although I prefer a higher SPF than the 15 included in this product. This is a product I have previously repurchased & would again.

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream This is a tiny lip cream at just 5g however does last longer than expected as you really don’t need very much. To be completely honest I was quite underwhelmed by this product. I love the medical minty smell & the cooling feel when I apply it to my lips but for an ‘intensive’ moisturiser I didn’t find it so intensive. It does moisturise my lips but just not to the level that I was expecting. It is a white cream which unfortunately, when too much is applied, turns your lips a shade of white-horribleness. I prefer to apply lip balm without being careful of the amount I use & without worrying about it turning my lips an unwanted colour. I wouldn’t repurchase this product.

All in all I think I used up some pretty good products this month but unfortunately no makeup products were finished up – I don’t know about you ladies but it takes me SO long to use up makeup!

 

 

 

The Products I can Trust

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We all have those products that we can always rely on to be exceptional & to do exactly what we want them to. While I love to try products that are new to the market (like most beauty bloggers out there) I also firmly believe in showing those all time favourites some love now & again. Today’s post is all about the products that I can always trust to do a good job & why I always come back to them time & time again.

The Makeup

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Mac Lipsticks I won’t go into too much detail because I have a post on my favourite MAC lipsticks shades here but MAC lipsticks will always be my favourite. I have lipsticks from many brands but I find that I reach for my MAC lipsticks the most as they are easy to wear, they are long-lasting, the shades are beautiful & the formula is dreamy.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation This is said to be the number one foundation worldwide & when I first bought this foundation about 4 years ago I completely understood why. When I need my foundation to stay on the entire day this is the most reliable product I own – it just does not budge! Being a dry skin girl I do like to add a little extra moisturiser before applying this foundation for a smooth application & finish. I wear the shade Fresco & as this foundation doesn’t have a pump I use the MAC foundation pumps to make things that little bit easier.

Mac Fix + Once I started using this product I was completely hooked & I just cannot live without it. Fix + is a multi-purpose product but my favourite ways to use it are either underneath or on top of my foundation. Under foundation it provides my skin with an extra blast of moisture that makes my foundation go on beautifully while spraying it onto my skin after my makeup is finished removes any powdery finishes & makes my skin look glowy.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer This concealer is my holy grail! It’s of a light consistency but has great coverage. I always opt for the lightest shade which is shade 1 Fair because it’s light enough to really brighten my under eye without looking like a clown. I have several back ups of this because unfortunately they don’t carry it in South Africa & I just cannot live without it!

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter If you love a highlight that POPS & you haven’t tried this…where have you been?! This highlighter is just the bomb & I find myself reaching for it most days as I know it will always give me that great highlight. It’s a light goldish shade & it matches perfectly with any makeup look. If you told me that I had to bin all of my other highlighters & just keep this one I’d still be happy – It’s that good!

The hair & body products

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Batiste Dry Shampoo Batiste offer many different scented dry shampoos but I always buy the Tropical one again & again as it smells absolutely delightful. I am not one of those girls that likes to wash my hair every day because frankly it’s just too much effort. Instead I like to wash my hair 2-3 times per week & use dry shampoo in between if I need to. (trust me, it’s much healthier for your hair as it stops the natural oils being stripped away) This product is so great for refreshing your hair in between washes & making it look freshly washed again. It’s also great as a styling product on its own to give you a little body & root lift & I do actually use it just for this purpose sometimes too.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam (Dark) & Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry-Oil I am an avid fake tanner & I have been for years as I just feel so much better when I have a tan. I have tried many different tanning brands on the market & this brand has been my absolute favourite for the last few years. The self tanning foam is incredibly easy to apply (with a tanning mit) as it has a guide colour so that you can prevent any ugly streaks from appearing once it is fully developed. It takes about 6 hours to fully develop and by the end I’m many shades darker & a whole lot healthier looking. The dry-oil was a later addition to my Bondi Sands love & it too found a place in my heart. This product takes a little longer to get to grips with as it doesn’t have a guide colour so it’s important that you take your time applying it to avoid streaks. It takes about 12 hours to develop & gives a lighter more natural colour than the dark foam. However, you can get dressed straight away after applying the oil as it doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky & it also won’t transfer onto your clothes. I love both of those products & I alternate between the two depending on whether I want a super dark tan fast or a slightly lighter tan that lasts that little bit longer. And did I mention that Bondi Sands products all smell like coconut? Delightful!

What are your most trusted products?

 

My Current Skincare Routine

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Hi all my lovelies!

Today I want to talk to you about my current skincare routine. I am STILL on the hunt for a skincare routine that works perfectly for my skin. After moving from Ireland to South Africa my skin really struggled – I broke out much more often & my skin was the driest it has ever been. For these reasons I have had to completely change my skincare routine and incorporate a few natural, moisture rich products and this has helped with my skin moisture levels greatly!

 

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Nivea make the greatest smelling skincare products – they have a soft, clean smell that I just love!

Nivea 3 in 1 Gentle Cleansing Wipes(For dry & sensitive skin) I have tried so many different make-up removing wipes but after discovering these Nivea wipes a couple of years ago I have repurchased them again & again. For a dry skin gal like me I always found that wipes left my skin feeling dry & tight but with these I never have that feeling – they leave my skin feeling SO moisturised. In fact, on days when my skin feels extra dry I quickly rub one of these over my face just for added moisture! They are also great at removing makeup so I pre-cleanse with them on heavier make-up days or I do occasionally use them on those rare nights when I just do not have the energy to go through my usual nightly routine. (I get mine from Clicks as they occasionally have them on offer)

Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover  I’ll admit this is the only eye make-up remover I have ever tried but I just haven’t felt the need to purchase a different one as this Nivea one does exactly what I want it to. It doesn’t irritate my eyes, it smells delightful & it gets all of my eye make-up off – even those tough waterproof mascaras!

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For the longest time I did not believe in using a toner. I had read articles that pass them off as a gimmick & an excuse for cosmetic companies to sell you more products. In all honesty, I’m still not 100% sure what they really do. (I can hear many horrified women at the thought of me saying such a thing) However, a few months ago I decided to bite the bullet & purchase a toner to see if it made a difference. I follow the general rule & apply my toner after cleansing.

Simple Soothing Facial Toner I picked this up when I was visiting back in the UK after reading that people with dry skin should choose a toner without alcohol to avoid drying out the skin. Since adding this toner into my skincare regime I have found that every little bit of make-up is now being removed in the evenings (I was shocked when i first started using it & I looked down at the toner-soaked cotton pad to find traces of make-up on there!) and my skin also feels that little bit cleaner without feeling dry or tight.

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Clicks Sweet Almond Oil After doing research into natural oils for dry skin, sweet almond oil kept coming up again & again – and for good reason. I use this morning & night to remove my make-up & to cleanse my skin. Oils are fantastic for removing makeup as they just melt it away quickly. This oil is light in texture and gets right down into my skin to remove dirt & debris & because it contains vitamin A it can help to reduce any break-outs. I just rub it over my skin, wash it away thoroughly with water & then follow with toner to remove any traces left on the surface of my skin. I got mine from Clicks but Dis-Chem also do the same oil for a very similar price!

SOIL Organic Argan Oil I purchased this from Dis-Chem & I use this as a daily moisturiser both morning & night. Argan Oil is full of vitamins A & E so is great for anti-aging while its high linoleic acid content helps to reduce spots & keep future spots at bay while also reducing inflammation. This oil feels so light on the skin & is quickly absorbed making it great a great moisturiser even before you apply your make-up. It’s such a great product as it leaves my skin soft, moisturised & glowing!

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Serums are an absolute must for protecting against the signs of ageing. Even if you’re in your twenties like I am I would still recommend incorporating a serum into your routine as prevention is better than cure. I follow my cleansing & toning with my serum before applying my moisturiser.

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Plumping Serum The name of this product is incredibly random & I’m not such a fan of the packaging but I do like what is inside. Being in my mid-twenties I (thankfully) do not have wrinkles or sagging skin yet so I haven’t noticed my skin feeling/looking plumper or my fine lines reduced. However, I love this serum because of the extra hydration it gives me. I love that it is lightweight & easily absorbed into my skin. It’s a great product for dry skin gals before you apply your daily moisturiser to give you a hydration boost & anything that can help to prevent future wrinkles is good with me!

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Like the toner scenario mentioned earlier I’m going to make many women out there gasp – this is only the second eye cream I’ve ever bought in my life. For the longest time I didn’t believe that we needed an eye cream but now that I’m in my mid-twenties I thought it was about time that I started using one. I use my eye cream every evening before applying my nightly moisturiser.

Superdrug Vitamin E Nourishing Eye Cream As mentioned this is only the second eye cream I have ever owned so I am in no way an expert. That being said, I purchased this particular one when I was in the UK because the Superdrug Vitamin E range is both affordable & good quality. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that protects the skin from free-radicals which can damage collagen & lead to skin dryness, fine lines & wrinkles. This means that a vitamin E rich eye cream is going to do wonders for your under eye area. This cream comes in a handy squeezy tube, isn’t greasy & leaves my under eyes feeling so hydrated!

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Last but not least are the face masks – my favourite part of any skincare routine. I switch between these two masks & I use a mask once per week to control breakouts or twice a week if I’m having a particularly bad skin week!

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask Yikes that was a mouthful! If you are a fan of charcoal face masks & you haven’t tried this one you need to rush to The Body Shop & buy it – it is absolutely delightful! This mask is only left on for 10 minutes which is great if you’re in a hurry & it leaves my skin feeling so soft & so clean. It contains (lumps?) which exfoliate the skin as you wash it off & it has a delightful tingling feeling which makes your skin feel just wonderful. I truly cannot recommend this mask enough & I’ve heard that its a dupe for the super expensive Glam Glow mask!

L’oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask When the Pure Clay mask were released by L’oreal last year they exploded & for good reason. This is the only mask I have tried from the range but it has really helped to control my break outs. After I first used this mask I broke out but that isn’t a bad thing when it comes to charcoal masks as they pull out all of the impurities in your skin. Now I use this when I can see a break-out starting so that I can pull all the crap out of skin before it gets worse or it fast-forwards my break-out to make my skin clear up more quickly. I prefer The Body Shop mask because of how my skin feels afterwards however this is a great cheaper alternative & I have already repurchased it!

What are your favourite skincare products & what would you recommend?

My Favourite MAC Lipsticks

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So if you didn’t know, I am a massive MAC lipstick fan. They’re the only high-end brand of lipstick that I buy because of their fantastic colour range, their great formula & because they are priced somewhere between drugstore & high-end making them a relatively affordable choice. If I want to buy a new lipstick then MAC is usually my first stop above anywhere else because, the majority of the time, they will have the colour that I had in mind.

Today I want to take you through my favourite lipsticks in my MAC collection and tell you why they are my favourite. You’ll find that most of these lipsticks fall within the same colour category as I am a creature of habit & a big fan of pinkish/brownish medium toned nudes, although I have also included a couple of brighter shades that I reach for when I fancy a bold lip.

Satin Finishes

The satin finishes are my favourite finish of MAC lipstick – I haven’t found one that I don’t like! They are long-wearing & look almost matte but they are more moisturising than MAC’s matte finish.

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From left to right: Faux | Brave | Twig | Rebel

Faux is described as a ‘muted mauve-pink’. This is the lipstick I reach for when I am looking for a lighter, pinkish nude. While it is a lighter shade it is very wearable and in no way makes me look corpse-like, which is usually how I look when I wear a lighter nude lipstick shade! If you are fair-skinned like me it’s a great wearable shade & I especially love to pair it with a slightly darker shade of lip liner.

Brave is described as a ‘pink-beige with white pearl’. I don’t see the ‘white pearl’ in this lipstick but this shade is without a doubt a holy grail! I wear Brave at least once a week & I think that this colour would also look good against any skin tone. It’s very much a pinkish nude lipstick & is very versatile as it compliments both a simple and a smokey eye. I pair Brave with MAC’s Soar lip liner & it is such a winning combination!

Twig is one of my newer lipsticks but it very quickly found its place within my favourites. It is described as a ‘soft muted brownish-pink’ although I think it leans a little more on the brown side with a rose tone. Twig is one of the darker shades of nude that I own and I find it very easy to wear both with and without a lip liner. While this shade leans a little more brown it has enough of a warm, pinkish tone so that it doesn’t wash me out in any way. A great darker nude for most warm skin tones!

Rebel is one of the few bold MAC lipsticks in my collection but it is one I reach for almost every time I feel like a plum lip. It is described as a ‘midtonal cream plum’ & is a very easy to wear plum shade. I find that this shade doesn’t run as dark as most of the plum shades on the market & it has a hint of magenta which makes it a lot easier to wear as it doesn’t wash me out. I love to wear this shade with an earthy toned smokey eye in the autumn/winter time.

Matte Finish

Matte finishes are my second favourite from the MAC lipstick finishes as they are very long wearing. Some of the lipsticks in this range require you to apply a lip balm underneath or, trust me, every line in your lips will be on show for everyone. However saying that, in terms of a matte lipstick they are very easy to wear when compared to many other brands out there.

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Left – Velvet Teddy | Right – D for Danger

Velvet Teddy is probably one of the most hyped MAC lipsticks after Kylie Jenner named it as one of her faves. Velvet Teddy is described as a ‘deep-tone beige’ which is exactly what it is. This is such an easy shade to wear as it goes with almost any look although I personally LOVE to wear it with a sexy brown smokey eye. There are several different MAC lip liners that you can pair with this lipstick but my personal favourite is Spice lip liner.  I am almost out of this little beauty & I can promise that I will be repurchasing it again & again.

D for Danger This was an unusual purchase for me as I am not a big pink lipstick wearer but one day I decided I wanted a magenta lipstick so I picked this one up. D for Danger is a great deep pink shade as it is a plum-magenta with a warm tone which is great for us ladies that just don’t suit a cool-toned pink. I love to wear this lipstick with more natural makeup when I want to add a pop of colour.

What are your favourite MAC lipstick shades? I’d love to try some new ones!

 

My Handbag Essentials

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I am one of those women that loves to know what another woman carries around in her bag as it so reflective of our personalities & no two women carry around the exact same things. Laying out the contents of my handbag has made me realise that I’m really quite a boring person who is clearly obsessed with good dental hygiene. So let’s take a look at what I love to carry around with me on a daily basis.

My Purse This Michael Kors purse was a gift from my darling mother & it is positively beautiful. Our mothers always know us the best & she picked this one up for me in the perfect oxblood colour. I always recommend getting a real leather purse if you can because they just last so much longer – especially with all the abuse that our purses tend to get on the daily. This one is also pretty big in size which is an absolute necessity if you carry around as many loyalty cards as I do!

Chewing gum & toothpicks I am obsessed with fresh smelling breath & clean teeth so I just cannot leave the house without either of these two things. Lately I’ve been buying Orbit’s professional white chewing gum because it tastes great, although I haven’t noticed any changes in the shade of my teeth but I wouldn’t really expect chewing gum to give me that blinding Hollywood smile anyway. I also love to eat out quite a lot & having food stuck in your teeth is NEVER a good look so these little wooden toothpicks from Superdrug (bought in Ireland) are great & they come in a handy little travel container too.

Perfume Like most ladies out there I always want to smell good so carrying a perfume with me is always a must so that I can top it up between meetings or get togethers. I am currently carrying around Armani Diamonds Violet. I am obsessed with the original Armani Diamonds so when this new version came out I had to buy it – it smells amazing! It is described as a ‘delicious, floral-fruity gourmand’ and that is exactly what it smells like. I always go for sweet, soft & feminine smelling perfumes & Violet encapsulates all of those elements that I love. It is also a long-lasting perfume so I haven’t felt the need to re-spray as often as I do with some of my other perfumes – a must for a busy lady!

Sunglasses When you live in a sunny country like I do then sunglasses are something that you just cannot forget unless you do not wish to be able to see the world around you. The little beauties that I am currently wearing are a Lacoste bargain that I picked up from TK Maxx when I was at home for Christmas (£25 instead of £110 kind of bargain!). I have a small face with delicate facial features so I find that black sunglasses look too harsh on me which makes these brown sunnies perfect! The lenses also have a great fade which I find makes for a very chic look & not to mention the black & white stripes on the inside of the legs are a cool little addition – well done Lacoste, well done! (And an even bigger well done to TK Maxx for your fantastic bargains!)

Tissues I’m not going to talk about tissues because I think I will put all of you to sleep but when you are an allergy sufferer like me these are ESSENTIAL. You can buy a 10 pack of these girly ones from Clicks for an absolute bargain of R21.95!

Lip products The lip products that I carry in my bag change from day-to-day but you will usually always find a lipstick, lip liner & a lip balm in there. (Unless I forget to take them out every day & I end up with 10 lip products in there instead. Does this happen to anyone else?!) At the moment I’m carrying around Nivea’s lip butter in Coconut. It isn’t the most moisturising lip balm I’ve ever tried  but it’s still pretty good and it smells absolutely divine – I mean, who doesn’t love coconut?! Today’s lip combo was Mac’s Velvet Teddy lipstick & Spice lip liner which are two lip products that are found in my handbag quite often as it is one of my go-to lip combos.  These two lip products together make an absolutely fantastic combination if you’re like me & you love a brownish nude.

Daily Planner I am a freak when it comes to organisation so it’s important that I carry around this planner to jot down any meetings or appointments and to keep my life planned & in order.  This beautiful daily planner was a purchase from Typo – they have the best selection of planners & diaries so if you’re on the hunt for one definitely pop in there! This planner gives me enough room to plan my to-do list & my goals for each day which I then work through & tick off as I complete/achieve them. I started using a planner religiously this year & it has truly been one of the best things I’ve started doing as I utilise my time better & I get SO much more done in the day. Setting goals & to-do lists is one thing but when you have them written down & you are constantly looking at them,  it just makes you work that bit harder to make sure you achieve more!

I know that the contents of my bag are really quite simple but these are just the handbag essentials of an everyday woman. I hope you enjoyed!