November and December empties

Wednesday, December 21st 2016 Uncategorised

Cetaphil, simple, trilogy, za cosmetics, burts bees, living nature, the balm,, australis velourlips, stila,

This post is a combined November/December empties post since I didn’t finish many products during November. There’s also a section of the post which aren’t empty products, but they’ve either expired or somehow earned their space in the bin. I was just going to throw them out, but some of them I had never blogged about and wanted to say my piece. This is a fairly makeup heavy post, but there’s also skincare, nail care, and hair care included in there as well.

What’s in my shower? Body, skin, and hair products galore

Friday, October 14th 2016 Body

Tresemme Botanique, Sebastian Hydre, Fudge Violet Shampoo, Cetaphil, Trilogy exfoliant, Giovanni body scrub

As a beauty blogger, I am lucky enough to be sent a massive amount of beauty products to try and review. What that means in reality, is that my bedroom and bathroom is overflowing with products. Recently on Instagram I posted a picture of everything that is in my shower at the moment. People were shocked/impressed with the sheer quantity of products. Then my mum added ‘what’s in my shower’ to my blog post ideas list on my whiteboard so I knew I just had to write about them all.

In this post I’m going to run through all of the products I’m using at the moment, and what I like about them. It’s heavy on the hair products, but also includes skincare and body products  – a bit of something for everyone.

Daily Skincare routine

Monday, February 22nd 2016 Skincare

My skin has never been great, and the last few years that has been particularly true. I’ve been trying every skincare product under the sun, especially because I’m lucky enough to get a lot sent to me, but I haven’t had any great success. Finally, I said enough was enough, and I needed to develop a consistent daily skincare routine. This routine includes products from Skinfood, Trilogy, Cetaphil, La Roche Posay, Antipodes, and Clinique.

December Empties

Sunday, January 3rd 2016 Makeup

Bossy cosmetics brush shampoo, benefit roller lash mascara

After last month’s epic empties post, I have a significantly emptier empties box for December. At least that means I can actually to do a decent review of each product without my post being thousands of words long! I have 7 items this month, mostly skincare and mostly full sized too which is impressive.

Lush lemony flutter, garnier micellar water, cetaphil moistursing cream, benefit rollerlash, body shop hand cream, mediheal tea tree mask.37

My evening skincare routine

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014 Skincare

In the early days of my blog, about six months ago, I wrote a post about my skincare routine. In that time, my routine has changed a bit AKA become more complicated so I feel like now is the time to update you all on what I use. This is going to be a long post, so settle in as I go over allll of the skincare I’ve been using in the evening. My products of choice seem to change fairly often, but these have been staples for a while now, and I would recommend them. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, but this is keeping my dry, acne-prone skin in reasonably good shape.

Garnier micellar water, cetaphil cleanser, plantae eye cream, paulas choice benzoyl peroxide, hydraluron,

Inside my travel makeup bag

Wednesday, August 20th 2014 Makeup

By the time you read this post I will be on holiday in Australia, for a girly holiday with my friend Laura and staying with my mum, yay! I always like looking at peoples’ travel makeup bag posts, so I’ll share mine with you now. It was hard to whittle down my collection, but I managed to fit it all into a reasonable sized bag!

Clinique Super City Block, NYX Anti redness primer, Clinique CC Cream, MAC Studio Sculpt, Rimmel Stay Matte, ELF Blush, ELF Under eye concealer and highlighterThe base products I chose were Clinique Super City Block, NYX Photo-loving primer, Clinique CC Cream light, MAC Studio Sculpt NW20, Rimmel Stay Matte primer, ELF blush Peachy Keen, and ELF Under Eye concealer and highlighter in light. I wanted to have the option to do a full coverage base, as well as just swipe on some of the CC cream. I haven’t featured the CC cream on here before – here’s a swatch.

Clinique CC cream light vs MAc Studio Sculpt.

Maybelline Big Eyes, NYX wonder pencil, Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, Maybelline Color Tattoo, Benefit they're real eyeliner, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

Eye makeup was another set of difficult decisions! The mascara was a no-brainer, I chose Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes which I’ve been using for a little while now and loving. The Sephora eyeliner pencil is handy because it’s got brown and black, and the NYX wonder pencil is perfect for the inner rims of my eyes. Then there’s Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink, Chi Chi Rock With You baked eyeshadow, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment in Potent Purple. I’ve got my ELF brow kit of course, and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion, as they’re essentials for me. I’ve also packed my Benefit They’re Real eyeliner sample so I can continue to experiment with it.

NYX soft matte lip cream, NYX butter gloss, art deco lipstick, Milani gloss stain, revlon sugar plum

I whittled down my lip product choices to only five! NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan, NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait, Art Deco lipstick #23 Sandal, Milani Power Lip gloss stain 07 Mango Tango and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. Although to be realistic, more might be chucked in my handbag at the last minute!

XO Beauty, EcoTools, Sephora brushes

Brushes are always an essential for me. I’ve got here my Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty flat top foundation brush, a random angled brush I use for my brows, Sephora blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner brushes, and my Ecotools travel kabuki brush. I love ectools brushes so much – I get mine from because they are so cheap there.

I was terribly slack and didn’t take photos of my skincare, but I’ll tell you what I’ve got with me! For a previous trip I decanted my Cetaphil cleanser into a bottle from the $2 shop, so I’ll be taking that along with me. I’ll also take some Simple makeup remover wipes, and a mini Simple eye makeup remover, for stubborn mascara. For acne treatments I’ll take my usual Differin and Benzac. Of course I’ll take my Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum which I have previously raved about. I’m taking Dove SPF 15 moisturiser as well as a mini Trilogy Rosehip oil, and the Linden Leave eyes treatment which I received in last month’s Goodie Box.

I’m meeting up with Sarah from BowsandPleats for some shopping, so keep an eye out on my instagram and other social media for pics of all the makeup I’m certain to buy!

Lena x


Monday, July 7th 2014 Makeup

This post has been a while in the works- because I have sooooo many beauty products and like to switch around what I use, it takes me forever to use things. However, I have finally used up enough things to warrant a post. I like reading empties posts because if someone has used an entire product they must have a really clear idea of how it worked, and what they thought of it – much more in depth than a first impressions post. I have 6 products to review today, so let’s get to it!


MAC Face and Body N2 – $60NZD
I bought this just as I was getting into makeup – it was a nice way to start getting used to applying a full face of foundation. It’s not a very heavy coverage, but when combined with some spot concealer – usually MAC Pro Longwear concealer it was great for me. I usually applied it with a basic foundation brush, it’s a bit too runny to use just with your fingers. I only ever wore it on my face, not my body, but you have the option to, apparently! I don’t have any high quality photos of me wearing it unfortunately because I finished it before I started blogging but here’s one I pulled off instagram. I wear NW20 in other MAC foundations but the shades work differently in Face and Body so I wear N2. It costs $60 in NZ, and it’s an 50 ml bottle.
Repurchase? Maybe. I prefer a heavier coverage now. It is a good product if you’re after a nice light foundation.

Me wearing MAC Face and Body foundation

Me wearing MAC Face and Body foundation

L’Oreal Professionel Smooth Velours thermal blow dry milk
This isn’t the sort of thing that I would usually buy, I tend to keep my hair products fairly simple because with a lot of hair it can get expensive using a lot of fancy products. I got this in a goodie bag from my hairdresser, and I quite liked using it. You apply a hazelnut sized amount – quite specific I thought. I used more than that because I have such thick hair, and then rub it all through my damp hair before I blow dry it. It definitely made my hair much smoother, sometimes after I blow dry it it can be a bit fuzzy – I am not a blow drying champion like hairdressers are.
Repurchase? I can’t find out how much a full-size costs as it seems to be salon only, but if it’s not too expensive I would buy it.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
I’ve been using this cleanser for over a decade, and continually repurchase it. It’s gentle on my skin – never leaves it feeling dry or tight like some other cleansers do. It does have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in it, which I know is drying for some people but it’s lower down the ingredients list than other brands, so it doesn’t foam as much or have as much of a drying effect. The 500ml bottle lasts me forever, and it usually is about $30 which is such a bargain. I just transfer some to a smaller bottle if I’m travelling somewhere. It removes light makeup but I do need to use a makeup remover to get mascara and heavier eye makeup off. It’s available at supermarkets, pharmacies, Farmers – just about everywhere.
Repurchase? Already have, and will continue to do so probably forever.

Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara
I finished this recently, and accidentally threw it away without photographing it – oops! So below this is a picture I found online of it, to show the great brush. I’d had it for a bit longer than was probably hygienec, but it was discontinued and I couldn’t bear to part with it. I really liked the small comb, I used it on my bottom lashes and they were never clumpy. But, now I have my Maybelline mascara with the bottom lash wand, so it’s a decent substitute, and also more affordable. I bought the Clinique mascara overseas where it was $16 USD but in NZ it’s closer to $40 as far as I know.
Repurchase? If it existed!

Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara

Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara

Silk Naturals Organic Olive Oil Moisturiser
I got this as a sample when I ordered my Lactic Acid toner and some makeup, and it was a great little hand cream to carry about in my handbag. It has Olive oil and Jojoba oil, both of which are very moisturising. There isn’t any added fragrance which is good for me, as fragrance can be irritating to the eczema I sometimes get on my hands, and really I don’t care if my hands don’t smell like flowers. With winter coming I need a heavier hand cream so I wouldn’t use this at the moment but if I order from them in the future I would get another mini size of this. Silk Naturals is an indie company that’s online only – here is where to buy the Olive Oil moisturiser. It costs 4oz (118ml) is $11.99 USD, or the size I have is $2.99 USD. 1 oz (30ml) is 
Repurchase: If I was ordering other things, I’d pop it in the cart, but wouldn’t order especially for this.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip oil
I have waxed lyrical about how much I love this product before, but since I finished it this week it deserves to be included in this post. I love using rosehip oil on my face, it’s incredibly moisturising and not greasy, and I’m pretty sure it’s helped clear up pigmentation from my acne. I have an entire post on rosehip oil which you can read for more about my love for it.
Repurchase: Definitely!

Have you tried any of these products – what did you think? Am I the only one who never finishes any beauty products because of having so many on the go at once?Lena x

My skincare routine

Wednesday, April 23rd 2014 Skincare

In recent years, I’ve found myself becoming more and more interested in skincare. Partly due to neccessity, as my skin has become less ideal, and partly out of pure curiousity. I’m always interested in the types of skincare that other people use, and their reasoning for it, so I thought I would share my routine with you all. For context, my skin is acne-prone, and fairly dry due to the antibiotics I’ve been taking for that acne.

Morning routine: I don’t cleanse, as it can make my skin dry and I don’t feel like it’s needed. I apply moisturiser, which may be either Sukin sensitive facial moisturiser, or Dove SPF 30 moisturiser.  If I’m going to work I don’t wear sunscreen beyond the SPF 15/20 in my foundation/BB cream, even though you really should use 30+ every day. But the nature of my job and life means I spend probably under 10 minutes outside, and that’s well outside the peak burn time, so I don’t think it’s really needed. If I’m going anywhere else, not trapped at a desk far away from windows, I use Clinique Super City block SPF40.

Clinique Super City BlockSukin sensitive skin moisturiser

It’s a physical sunscreen which means it doesn’t need to be reapplied as long as it hasn’t been sweated or rubbed off, this means it’s perfect for wearing under makeup. It can be slightly greasy once the necessary 1/4 tsp has been applied to my face but I apply it in layers and let it sink in for a while before adding other products on top.


 I often moisturise during the day, at the moment I have Clinique moisture surge on my desk which I apply if needed. It’s a nice product but I’m not sure it’s worth the money.

Evening: I have a few variations, so I’ll list them all. If I wear my full foundation and everything I remove makeup with baby oil. It melts all of the make up off perfectly and I just wipe it off with cotton pads. Then I wash my face with Simple face wash and a face cloth.  If I’ve only worn light  make up or none at all I wash my face with Cetaphil  gentle skin cleanser and a face cloth, and follow up with Nivea eye make up remover. Then I dry off with my dedicated face towel that I change regularly. There’s a sign in the bathroom so my BF and brother don’t wipe their hands or use it!

Cetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserNivea extra gentle eye make up remover

Following my cleansing, I either apply Silk Naturals AHA toner by spraying into clean hands and rubbing in, or I apply my Differin gel (0.1% adapalene). I alternate nights with them, as I like them both but using them at once a) would be too dry and b) wouldn’t be that effective as the pH of the AHA toner would make it too low for the Differin to work properly….okay getting into skincare nerd territory here! I really like the Silk Naturals toner as it’s a lactid acid product, which is a fairly gentle but very effective chemical exfoliator. The Differin is a prescription retinoud cream that I got from my GP, and it has worked really well for me. If I have time, after about 20 minutes I will apply Benzac 5% cream* on any pimples I have – it’s a benzoyl peroxide cream which is a very effective pimple treatment. I wait about 15-20 minutes before applying moisturiser after any treatment, to give them time to work.

silk naturals trilogy

FINALLY I moisturise, using either Cetaphil moisturizing cream, Trilogy Rosehip oil or a Nivea Naturals night cream. The Nivea night cream is one I wouldn’t rebuy, as the jar formula is a pain for travelling, plus I don’t really buy into the whole ‘naturals’ thing. I have been using the Cetaphil moisturiser on and off for years and it’s great. It’s fairly thick, unlike my morning moisturisers, but it doesn’t clog my pores or break me out. Rosehip oil is lovely for acne-prone skin and also for dry skin, which makes it a perfect product for me.

If I’m feeling tired/lazy/drunk then I just wipe off the makeup with Simple face wipes, rinse my face and smear some moisturiser on. It’s very very rare I go to bed with my make up on. These wipes are the only kind I’ve tried which don’t sting my eyes or skin.

Once a week or so I do a mask, I have Oatifix by Lush because I had heard a lot about their masks online. It’s nice enough, but I wouldn’t repurchase as it was $18 and I don’t feel like I got a great amount of value. It’s a kind of fun thing to do as a bit of pampering though.

Lush Oatfix mask

That routine sounds really intense, and like it has an excessive amount of steps – and it does take me a while, I’ll admit, but I feel like the results are worth it. My skin is glowing, and is generally fairly clear, I only have 3 or 4 small pimples at the moment. Also, sun protection is important to me, I don’t want to age prematurely or get skin cancer. Most of these products are fairly cheap and available at supermarkets and pharmacies, my cleanser is usually $20-30 depending on specials and is 500mls which lasts a long long time. With the help of Reddit’s Skincare Addiction community and Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, I’ve been able to get a good routine going without being sucked into too many advertising claims. There are so many myths out there about skincare, and I could rant all day about them, but I’ll leave that probably for another post.

So what do you think of my skincare routine? Do you use any of the same things as me, or have any recommendations? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

Until next time,



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