Work beauty supplies

Sunday, May 18th 2014 Uncategorised

I spend around 40 hours a week sitting at my office desk, and for someone as beauty obsessed as me, that means that I need to keep some supplies with me. Of course I have a fair bit of things in my hand bag – lipsticks, hand cream, hair brush etc, but I like to have them at my desk as well. The people I work with find it a bit amusing but they have benefited from it from time to time. I’ll be showing and explaining what they all are, and why I think they are essential. Your needs and situation may vary of course, so let me know in the comments section what you have at your work.


Top left: Deodorant – pretty self explanatory why this might come in handy. Next is Batiste dry shampoo which is an incredible invention, and it’s useful if I get to work and realise my hair is a little bit greasy. it has a pleasant cherry smell which is a nice bonus, and doesn’t leave any white residue. Then there are some eye drops for if my eyes get dry from staring at the screen all day. The hair brush is for if my hair is knotted, or needed to brush the dry shampoo through. I have a hand sanitiser because the world is a gross place, and our bathroom soap at work dries out my hands. Next up is Clinique Moisture Surge – this is great if my skin is dry during the day. It was $10 for this little pot at Mecca Cosmetica which is probably excessive but it’s nice to feel fancy sometimes. Then I have a sample of Marc Jacobs Dot perfume which is really lovely – I sometimes forget to put perfume on in the morning and I like to smell nice. Nivea Lip butter in Caramel cream is an incredible lip balm, smells delicious and is very moisturising. Speaking of moistursiing balm, I have Lush Lemony Flutter. This cult item is a great cuticle butter and all over hand lotion. Again, it smells delicious – scents seem to be a bit of a recurring theme here.

I got sent the Carmex lip balm for free, and I don’t even know why I’ve kept it as I was not a fan of it at all. You can read my scathing review on Beauty review here. The small bag with cotton buds and balls and a nail file were part of my gift from my Twitter Secret Santa, and so were a few of the other times coming up. The fresh breath spray comes in handy after coffees or a garlic filled lunch. I do also have a toothbush and toothpaste which aren’t pictured here. My secret santa also included the Malin + Goetz lip balm and moisturiser. I’ve never seen these products in NZ stores so that was a bit exciting for me. The Kiehls body lotion sample and the Dr Hasuchka hand cream sample were also from my secret santa. The Lucas Pawpaw ointment is one of my favourite lip balms. If I have a dry nose in winter from being blowing it a lot, or just the dry wing, I can even put some on there. Last of all is my Planet Earth hand cream. I don’t use it as much recently since getting the Lemony Flutter but it is an old favourite.


It may look like a lot of products but most of them pack away into the bag from my secret santa. My most recently used products sit out by my computer monitor so that I can easily access them.


I feel a bit high maintenance for having so much of that stuff there, but I like to be prepared. I also have a big tea and food stash as well, which has been very useful to me. I’ve never been a scout or anything but I do like to be prepared. I don’t really have any make up there, mostly because I don’t have duplicates of any of my products because a lot of them are fairly pricey. I rarely retouch anything but lip products during the day as my base routine and use of primers means that my foundation holds well.

What sort of things do you keep at your work? Are you inspired by this beauty hoard and are going to stock up your desk? Let me know!

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,



follow along @lenatalks