Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Sunday Summary #7

| post exercise snack | the reason my towels put fur on my face | clothes purchase | breakky on the boardwalk | boyfriend's Sunday baking | Australia Day chillin | 

I hope you've all had a tip top week!

Rachel x

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

How I beat the heat!

For those of you who aren't aware, Australia has just come out of one of the worst heatwaves we've experienced. Temps hit mid to high 40s (Celsius) and night time low were in the 30s. It was bad. It was made even worse by the fact that there is only one little air conditioner in our house and it's definitely not in my bedroom. And so we spent a week sleeping on a very uncomfortable fold-out in the lounge. Fun.

As you can imagine, my skin started to feel pretty disgusting by the third day of non-stop heat. It was about this time that I began to notice some products which stood up to the test. I guess, in times of need, we find out what's really there for you and what falls by the wayside.

First of all, the REN Clarifying Clay Cleanser really did it's job as I struggled with oil overload! While I'm generally a combination skin, this heat had me constantly feeling sticky and this lovely little cleanser managed to downplay that greasiness well. I've already done a review on this product from REN - you can read my ode to it here.

Secondly, in the heat you can't go past a good facial spritz. This one from Kora is the Energising Citrus Mist and it's incredible. Again, I have done a review on this which you can read here. What I will say is that this was perfect for when I needed a pick-me-up: it feels refreshing and restorative.

Next up, though it seems a little old fashioned, is a good old talc powder. I actually picked this up specifically during this heatwave as I found that I'd get out of the shower feeling just as sticky as before I got in. This one from Fleurique is lovely and light and comes in a range of scents - I chose frangipani.

A moisturiser which stood out and I ended up using morning and night is the Origins Ginzing Energy-boosting Moisturiser. It feels lovely and light on the skin and soaks up really quickly, so I wasn't left feeling oily or sticky. What made this feel even better to apply was the fact that I'd taken to putting my serums/moisturisers/balms etc. in the fridge to preserve them. Let me give you the heads up, nothing feels better on a hot night than a cold moisturiser. I might just do this all the time now!

Finally, when it comes to the outdoors in Australia - be it Summer or Winter - you really do need an SPF on your skin. When it's 45 degrees, I really don't have to think twice. I have two picks which do the job for me. The first being the Nivea Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30+ which I often use as a moisturiser under my makeup. This isn't too oily and certainly prevents my face getting burnt. When it comes to the rest of the body none compares to the Le Tan Coconut Lotion SPF 30+. While this is no longer the highest SPF on the market, nothing comes close to the smell of this stuff. I adore it and would be willing to put it on in the dead of winter just to smell this good. It makes me think of holidays, bikinis and the beach - all the good things! 

And so there you have it. Should Australia find itself hit with another heatwave like this, at least I will no what products to turn to!

Have you got any personal faves for battling the extremities of Summer? I'd love to know what they are in the comments below!

Rachel x

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Sunday Summary #6

| Fighting the heatwave with water and Superman | Sunset on Portarlington jetty | Splices fix everything | Sunday evening walk |

I'm sorry that I've been absent this past week guys! I'll be back next week with a vengeance! I have lots of exciting things that I can't wait to bring for you all so make sure you keep checking back at The Beauty List!

Rachel x

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Sunday Summary #5

| Face for a day | Soft serve joy | Obligatory roadtrip photo with the sister | Frankie's first birthday | Best view for an afternoon | Butterly in the tide | Ready for sunbaking | Sunday lunch | Bringing out the big guns in this heat |

What have you all been up to during rhe week? Let me know in the comments below!

Rachel x

Friday, 10 January 2014

November/December Empties

I was a little bit naughty in December (read: lazy) and didn't quite find the time to get my November Empties up. As I did in my Favourites post, I intend to rectify this by combining both months together in one big post!

I have done a post on this range a little while back so I won't ramble too much in this one. You can read about it here. What I would add to this, however, is that I found my hair got a little lack-luster by the time I was finishing the bottle. It definitely maintained my colour nicely, but I feel it's a little heavy for my fine hair in hindsight. 

Certified organic ingredients such as rosehip and almond oil; 100% biodegradable materials; free of nasties such as parabens, alcohol and petrochemicals. These wipes are kind of impressive. I know facial wipes should be avoided, but I actually found these really handy. I took these to a party which I intended to sleep over at where I wore quite a lot of makeup for a costume. These took everything off (including mascara, eyeliner etc.) and left my skin feeling reasonably plump still. The wipes were definitely not harsh or drying on the skin. I also liked the feel of the material itself, surprisingly thick and strong, yet soft on my skin. I loved using these and am really impressed by the brand. I'm always looking for certified organic products!

I've always been loyal to this toning shampoo. I love Matrix and think I will always go back to them when it comes to hair care. This is about my fourth bottle of this stuff and I'm always so sad when it's all gone. I love how luxurious it feels in my hair - it suds up well (not necessarily, but I like it) and feels thick and rich. It's always kept my blonde fresh and free of brassy/yellow tones. It's always a winner in my eyes and, without doubt, I'll end up with another bottle in my shower.

I still don't know whether this spray did anything to my skin, but I really liked using it! It had no scent or colour, so it really was like spraying water onto my face. It's not meant as a toning spray, so you can't feel any effect on the skin. What I can say, is that it always felt refreshing and soothing. Which makes sense as it's recommend on irritated skin (sunburn, dermatitis, etc.). I used this in my nightly skincare routine between toner and serum/moisturiser. While I can't be absolutely certain, I felt as though my skin was better hydrated - both immediately and for longer. The only thing I'm still not entirely comfortable with is the aerosol can. I'm not big on the idea of spray things from cans onto my skin and, even less, onto my face. No irritation occurred - it's just something to think about.

There's not a lot that needs to be said about this liquid gold. It's basically cemented cult status and it's all for good reason. It's lovely and nourishing. It doesn't weigh down my fine hair too much. If nothing else, it smells amazeballs! I've already got a brand spanking new bottle of it and probably always will.

I've said it well too many times already, but this really is my favourite mascara of all. Nothing has pushed it off it's perch yet. You can see this little sample size has been well loved. It gives awesome volume; brings them out to a decent length; doesn't clump; layers well; is lusciously black. I love it. Period.

I promise I will be far more organised from here on in! I hope you've all had a lovely holiday period. Have you used any of the products that I've finished up recently? Let me know you're thoughts in the comments below! And while you're there, give this post a +1  - it'd make my day!

Rachel x

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

November/December Favourites

December was a somewhat busy month and I somehow managed to forgot about posting my monthly favourites and empties for November. I'm rectifying this now by compiling my favourite products from the last two months into this one little post. You may expect the empties to follow very shortly! As it happens, I don't have too many products that differed for each month so here they are!

Topshop Smokey Eye Pallet in Golden Aura:

This little pallet has been pulled out everyday since it arrived. You can see I've already made a serious dent in it. I'm pretty much smitten with every colour in this quad. The top nude is perfect for a base yet has enough shimmer to allow it to play well on it's own should you want a minimalist look. The grey-beige that follows is gorgeously shimmery and is a really lovely crease colour. It's the perfect blend colour and provides a great transition into the third, chocolate-y red shade that follows. This third shade is beautiful in the crease and run under the eye - it can easily create a sleek, evening look or a messy grunge look. The final shade is a black with a gold shimmer through it. I haven't used this as frequently as the others, but it creates a really lovely soft eye line should you want to add some more definition to your lashes and, I imagine, would also work beautifully blended into the crease when you want to go for a more bold, evening look. Basically, all of these shades are great and they blend absolutely gorgeously. I haven't had too much trouble with them lasting throughout the day either. This is my first venture into Topshop's makeup line and I'm very much impressed.

If you haven't already heard me ramble about my love for this, I'll save you the hassle here. You can read about it in it's very own post. What I will say is that my love for this hasn't waned. I've actually incorporated a new REN cleanser into my routine recently as well which I will enlighten you all on in future weeks.

I've had a recent change in hair care over the last couple of months. Being blonde with highlight hair, I've always been loyal to my Matrix So Silver Shampoo. However, when a friend offered me this (it was actually too strong for them and irritated their skin) I snapped it up. For the record, I've been using this for almost two months now and it hasn't irritated my skin yet. I actually really like this product. It has quite a luxurious smell and leaves your hair lovely and soft afterwards while keeping brassy/yellow tones out of my locks.

I've had this for quite a while now and have only just got back into it. I got in a bit of a rut with my makeup (really I just go from one rut to another) and forgot that I how much I love a nude eyeliner on the waterline. This, in conjunction with my Topshop Smokey Eye Pallet is a dream and can give off quite the Kardashian vibe - which I love. I've now made a mental note to always keep this in my makeup bag whether I intend to use it or not. You never know when those eyes will need opening!

This is a relatively new addition, but I must say, I'm impressed. It's definitely not taken over from my favourite - Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme - but it's undoubtedly gotten a little workout of late. I haven't really tried this kind of wand before - it's curved with rubber bristles - but I do get what the fuss is about now. I'm a shocker when it comes to putting on mascara - 3 out of 5 goes I'll touch the wand to my nose/eyelid/cheek. This makes applying much easier because it grabs more of your lashes in one go. It's staying power isn't too bad either. I wouldn't say it's the best volume mascara I've had, but it does the trick.

I know I'm a little late to this train but, whoa lordy. I'm in love. I never thought this would happen to me, but I've fallen. I received this little tester in a beauty box recently and have not been able to apply foundation without it. I'll definitely be grabbing myself the full size when I'm next near the Benefit counter because I just can't believe what a difference this makes. My skin is instantly blurred and feels like the perfect canvas when I put this on, and that's saying a lot because lately my skin has not been behaving! My foundation last so much longer and it just adds that extra help when you want that flawless effect. Rant over.

So my love for Sheer Glow has come back with a vengeance. I recently repurchased and got my colour re-matched. This shade suits me so much better and has only increased my pleasure in using it. Yes, I know how weird I sound about a foundation, but I'm not lying. I genuinely get excited to do my makeup simply because I get to use this baby. It's coverage, it's glow, it's silkiness... It's simply beautiful. Nars, you just bring it.

Around mid-November I decided to venture into the world of facial oils. Like many newbies, I was hesitant. It didn't quite make sense to me and felt very odd to rub oil all over my face. However, I decided to go for it and now I understand what all the fuss is about. I chose to go with just pure rose-hip oil for it's healing and moisturising properties. I was, pretty much, amazed when it sunk in within minutes and left my skin feeling super soft and plump. I haven't been using this nightly or anything - I really don't think my skin needs it. But it definitely adds a bit of luxury, however, to my weekly bath/facial ritual. I'm so glad that I gave this a go, it's definitely opened up a whole new world of products for the future! As for the product itself, I'm really comfortable using this on my face. It's organic and cold-pressed which means the majority of its goodness hasn't been lost through packaging processes. Win!

So there we go. A reasonably extensive list, but these products have all received a fair whack over the last few months. 

What have you been using and loving lately? Let me know in the comments below and give me a +1 if you're feeling kind!

Rachel x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Sunday Summary #4

| No more Christmas baubles | Cocktails for NYE | My very own personally signed Jamie Durie book | River serenity with my sis | A bit of class to bring in the new year | Home-made rosemary lenonade by the campfire |

Hoping you all had a fabulous week too!

Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Have a Happy New Year!

Somehow Christmas has been and gone and already we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year. I've never been one for New Year resolutions because I rarely follow through with them. So this year I have some things in my life which I would like to aim at improving without setting myself specific goals. Think of this as "Things Rachel Would Like To Keep In Mind This Year" - such a catchy phrase. I know I usually write about beauty related topics, however, I just feel like sharing my thoughts on the year to come.

Firstly, I would like to improve the quality of food I eat and the amount of exercise I partake in. Now, this sounds like the most common of all New Year resolutions. However, anyone who knows me will vouch for me when I say, I hate exercise. I lack the motivation. It'll take a lot to actually get me up with the specific intention of getting my heart rate up. I know I sound incredibly lazy, but I also know I'm not alone. So this year, I am not making a regime, a routine or a goal to reach. I simply want to be more active. I want to go for more walks and enjoy myself as I do it. 

Secondly, I want to do more of what I love. Since starting university two years ago, a lot of my passions have fallen by the wayside in order to focus on study. It turns out I miss a lot of these things. I love my music and theater; I love beauty and fashion; and I love reading. Whilst I'm currently studying Literature, I'm certainly getting my fill of reading. With the help of this lovely blog, I am able to delve further into the world of beauty and fashion. However, my first love and something that brings me one of the biggest joys is music and theater. In 2014 I want to participate more in this field. I want to play in front of people again, perform on a stage, and see more stage and concerts. It's too easy to let each opportunity slip by and I want to say I've seen and done things that I can be proud of at the end of this year.

Finally, I want to do well. I've managed to get through my last few years in a cruisey fashion, doing what need be to pass my subjects and keeping people happy. In 2014, I want to make sure that whatever I do is done to the best of my ability. I want to be proud of what I do and succeed at what I choose to put my mind to - whatever that may be. I don't think I've been lazy; however, I do think that I could surprise myself if I put my mind to something. This year I'm going to do just that. 

Each of the above aren't really goals. They don't contain steps to follow that will lead to an objective. They are simply things that I want to be aware of as I make decisions in my life. Now is not the time to take the easy road - after all, where will the stories come from if I did? I want to make 2014 a time in my life that I did things that made me happy and feel fulfilled.

Do you have anything that you would like to achieve in 2014? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Have a lovely and safe start to the year!

Rachel x

On a final note, I'd just like to give you all a heads up that this little blog is taking a big leap too as we move into 2014. There will be more updates, more beauty, more fashion and more of me. I can't wait to get going this year! Xx