lifestyle

Monthly Favourites: May 2017

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

I recently had a week of prac for uni, and when I was deciding what foundation I was going to wear on my first day my hand instantly reached for this. I wanted a foundation I knew was going to apply well with ease, make me look fresh and last well. I know that this product will consistently give me those results without me having to try too hard.

I apply it with a buffing brush and it leaves me with a healthy well-rested look…when I was actually nervous af and hadn’t slept a wink. This baby performs every time.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

This was hiding in the back of my draw and after having rediscovered it…wow! Now I remember why Laura Mercier primers were what got me into primers in the first place! I’m not sure if this helps with longevity but it certainly helps with hydration and application. My foundation applies like a dream, and that perfect application helps my foundation to wear well throughout the day. Imma have to stock up on this one.

Obagi Professional-C Serum 15%

This serum is tres expensive.  Like AU$79.95 for 30mL. I know, my jaw hit the floor too. I was really hoping that this would be terrible and I’d hate it and be able to tell you all to save your dollars.  But, alas, it’s freaking amazing. I apply it in the evening before night cream (making sure to leave it for a minute or so before applying the cream to allow the product to work its way in) and my skin literally (okay not literally) glows in the mornings. I have to check myself out it looks so healthy.  Hydrating af and helps to even out skin tone. And it actually does both of those things, not like other products that just write in on their box.

Benefit Gimme Brow

I don’t have much going on in the brow department.  I really peaked brow-wise in the 90s/00s.  So when I first tried Benefit’s Gimme Brow I really was begging it to gimme some damn brow.  And it does. This baby delivers! It’s not as full on as when I use my MUFE Aqua Brow, but for every day full brows this is my new fave – I much prefer it over the MAC brow set. In fact, I have already bought a backup. I realise I’m late to the party on this, but if you haven’t given this a go I highly recommend it.

I use the shade medium for a natural look.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics  Eyeshadow Palette

This is not as popular as it’s older sister the OG Naked Basics, but I have a serious soft spot for this travel-sized palette. ‘Skimp’ is my all time favourite eyeshadow shade, which is so boring but it is what it is.  It is a satin finish which makes it perfect for all over my lid without making them look or feel dry. This palette is perfect for travel, you can do an everyday natural look or amp it up for an evening smokey eye, and all in one compact.  Skimp all over my eye, Stark in the crease, maybe a little bit of Frisk or Cover in the outer corner, and I’m set for the day. And they’re UD eyeshadows, so the quality is pretty swell.

If you only want one easy to use eyeshadow palette in your life, I highly recommend this.

MUFE Ultra HD Stick Foundation

My skin has been super dry over the last couple of months. Winter has hit me hard and I’m starting to feel like a scaly dragon with eczema. Because it’s been so dry I haven’t worn much makeup but when I have, the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Stick Foundation has been the only thing that works. It’s super creamy and the coverage can be built from a nice light (yet perfected) coverage right up to a super full, smooth finish. I love, love, love this foundation! I’m in the shade Y225 Marble.

Let us know if you would like a full review.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

I recently rediscovered this and have fallen back in love all over again! This is hands down my favourite mascara ever! You need it in your life! I’ve done a full review on it here.

The Maze Runner book series by James Dashner

We have been obsessed with this book series over this last month and have even spent days reading to each other Jane Austen style. It’s not quite at The Hunger Games’ standard but it’s super suspenseful and will keep you guessing the whole way through! If you’re looking for an easy, fun book series you should definitely check it out!

N.B. Don’t bother with the movie! It’s awful.

What have been your current favourites? Let us know what we should try next!

Stay Happy,

N & M xx

 

 

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DIY Christmas Hamper

Christmas is the time for food, family and gifts and we think we’ve found the perfect way of combing all three! There is nothing like giving a homemade gift so this year we decided to make a few big, homemade hampers to give to some of our loved ones this jolly season!

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Although we do love a good sugar/salt scrub we went with the edible hamper route this year (let’s be honest, it’s much more fun eating left over chocolate than lemon sugar). We grabbed a few recipes from taste.com.au and are pretty happy with how our hamper turned out! We might even keep one for ourselves to enjoy after the Christmas season. Here’s what we filled our hampers with:

 

Spiced Banana Chutney

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We know, we know, what is banana chutney?! We though the same thing but thought we’d give it a go anyway and boy howdy are we glad we did! We had a tiny glass left over of it and it was gobbled up within the hour! This is one of the nicest chutneys we have ever tried and we’re pretty chuffed with the end result! It was deceptively simple (considering we could make it), tastes like a heavenly elixir and last 6 weeks in their jars (before opened) so you can make it in advance before the Christmas rush!

If you’re in Australia, the recipe is in the December issue of Taste.com.au magazine.

Chocolate Bark

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Chocolate bark is basically melted chocolate with yummy things on top so you can’t go wrong! We made our bark with dark, milk and white chocolate with three different toppings that are to die for! We still can’t decided which is our favourite and sadly they are all wrapped up and ready to give away so we don’t have any more left to munch on.

If you’re in Australia, the recipe is in the December issue of Taste.com.au magazine.

Brownies in a Jar

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This is quite possibly the easiest, yet most effective gift ever. You basically pop all the dry ingredients of your favourite brownies or cookies in a jar, stick the directions on a label and you’re done! They look super cool with the ingredients piled on top of each other plus, if you’re lucky, your friend might ask you over to eat the finished product.

Here’s the recipe we used, http://www.sixfiguresunder.com/homemade-fudgy-brownie-mix/

Choc-Chip Cookies

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Everybody, yes everybody, likes chocolate chip cookies.  So you know these are a definite winner in your DIY Christmas hamper. As an added bonus, they are super easy to make! Whip up a batch, pop them in a cute little bag/box and Bob’s your uncle. This item will be lucky to make it to boxing day.

We used this simple and delicious recipe from Donna Hay.

Et voila! A thoughtful and yummy DIY Christmas hamper.

We went to our local reject shop and picked up a pack of jar toppers and tags for $2 to make our goodies look a little more appealing, popped them in a basket and they are sitting in our study waiting for Christmas time!

 

Happy Cooking, N & M xx

 

 

Go Coconuts!

Coconut Oil

It seems that every other week someone somewhere is declaring something as the new ‘super food’.  Kale, quinoa, acai, goji berries, freekah; the list is endless.  If you were to eat the recommended daily dose of all these multi-benefit, disease fighting wonder-foods, you’d never leave the kitchen.  I’ve given many a try, and have enjoyed quite a few, but there has been only one that resulted in a lasting love affair.

Coconut oil, I’d seen it around and never really understood its purpose.  As we live in a colder climate, the white solidified consistency intimidated me and so I left it alone.  Then one day the Pinterest boards and YouTube accounts I follow were suddenly taken over with the myriad of uses and benefits of coconut oil, and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve never looked back.

Here are my top 5 uses for coconut oil:

  1. Night Cream

The first time I used coconut oil as a night cream, my skin was glowing the next morning. It might have even been the first time I’ve looked in the mirror, especially first thing in the morning, and genuinely thought my skin looked naturally luminous.; and not in the oily way I had expected.
Coconut oil is amazingly moisturizing for the skin, helping to reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  Its lightweight consistency helps it to easily soak into the skin and makes it perfect as an eye and lip cream as well.

I have certainly seen positive results on my own skin.  One of my friends has been using coconut oil as a night cream for over a year and her skin looks incredible.  Just ½ – 1 teaspoon of oil applied to the face and then off to bed, it’s that easy! It does look oily at first, but it starts to ease after a few minutes, and the scent is so lovely and relaxing.
A careful side-note: I have heard that people with blemish/acne-prone skin should steer clear of oil cleansing, so just be aware that this may not be the best approach for your skin type.

  1. Bath Oil

This was the method that initially had me falling in love with coconut oil. Just 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil in your bath and your skin will feel and smell amazing when you dry off.  No need to moisturize, the oil did it all for you whilst you were relaxing.

A healthy side note: There’s an added benefit from any of you out there that suffer from yeast infections.  Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal; the caprylic acid in the oil helps to kill off the yeast that causes thrush, as well as helping to maintain that healthy balance.  Taking coconut oil internally also helps – see number 5 for more details.

  1. Body Moisturiser

This one is self-explanatory.  Just a small amount on any part of your body and your skin will feel incredible.   It does leave a bit of an oiliness initially, but that soon sinks in.

A word to the wise: The scent does stick around on your clothing, so if you’re not into that you may be best using this method at night – that’s how I prefer to do it.

  1. Make-Up Remover

A small amount on a cotton pad will remove all your makeup, including waterproof mascara, without drying out the delicate eye areas.  It also leaves the rest of your face feeling nourished after a hard day.

  1. In the Kitchen

Adding a little coconut oil to your diet can have wondrous effects for your health.  The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil can help increase energy expenditure, helping you to burn more calories throughout your day. It can also help to fend off viruses, infections and fungi. If these excellent health benefits aren’t enough to convince you, coconut oil in your diet will also help to maintain beautiful hair and skin.
My favourite way to ingest coconut oil is just a teaspoon in a cup of tea once or twice a day.  It’s also a great addition to rum/bliss balls, smoothies and other healthy treats!

-N x

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