End of Year Makeup Detox


We are getting super close to the end of the year, and I'm about ready to lose my shit. After hearing about the death of one of my favourite actresses and role models, I'm in a sad mood. I would like the new year to come around already because I'm done, I'm so done. I'm shattered that Carrie Fisher has passed away, it sucks so much because she is such a wonderful and amazing person. I had the experience of meeting her in person at Supernova a couple of years ago and it was exhilarating.

She was outgoing, affectionate, witty and friendly. Instead of taking some time to herself when the camera stuffed up during our photo, she came back to hang with us for several minutes as we waited and even offered a drink of Coke from her glass. The amount of generosity and enthusiasm she showed towards her fans were like no other, and I am so lucky to have had the honour to spend those precious few moments with her.

Before I start crying a river, I'm going to move along with this post. It's already hard enough for me to gather the motivation to write, let alone think properly and string words together. I'm also sad that her mother has passed away today. Rest in peace, Debbie Reynolds.

Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas

Hark, she speaks! I'm fully aware that I've been absent over the past week, not just on my blog but also on all of my social media accounts save for a few chats on Twitter and likes on Instagram. Christmas makes me one very busy chickadee, and that was why I've been AWOL from blogging. Such is the reason why I couldn't get all of my Blogmas posts up in the last two weeks.

Seriously, one should not set themselves the task of writing Blogmas posts at the last minute of every day and not expect to be sidetracked by Christmas baking, shopping, visiting and all of the other things that happen without a moment's notice, including a funeral last Friday. I decided to do a bunch of baking in preparation for Christmas so that some of the treats could be given in a hamper to my grandparents and to Sean's mum, and then the rest for dessert after Christmas dinner.

Blogmas Day #20: How To Prepare A Vegetarian Cheese Platter

It's time for today's Blogmas post! I didn't upload anything for the past two days because I wasn't getting the opportunity to take photos for them, let alone for the rest of this month. I was busy on Sunday helping mum with the bungalow to make space for more stuff. Yesterday was taken up by shopping which took way too long. Today, I was trying to make my grandmother's almond biscotti recipe but like with the vegan pavlova I attempted last week, the meringue expanded like there was no tomorrow and left a huge hollow in the middle. I strongly believe that the oven is the culprit, and so I'm going to find out why. I'm going to try this again tomorrow using a slightly different recipe to see if there is any difference.

On another, unrelated, note, I've been offered a job, so now I'm going to be working as a café all-rounder at a school just outside of the city starting late January. I'm going to see if I can find another job as well to supplement it as it's only 2 days a week, and I'd like a bit more work than that. I'm still going to work on my blog, so never fear.

Blogmas Day #17: Five Perfect Red Lipsticks for Christmas

I've been putting off writing this post for several hours, as I was more interested in Instagram and antagonising my sister on Facebook. I think this whole Blogmas idea is more stressful than I initially thought, and I've been trying to keep up to date with the posts. I keep running out of ideas to write about, and then I'll find something and not be able to upload it until the following day because photos need to be taken. Such is the case with tomorrow's post, as I've yet to take photos for it, and won't be able to do so until Monday as I'm going to be out all day.

Today I was in the city with my friend Funda for our birthdays. Normally we would hold it somewhere in the middle between our birthdays (hers is on the 18th of November) but we wanted to wait until the order from Makeup Revolution arrived. It arrived before my birthday but other things got in the way too. We had lunch at Rice Workshop and then chai lattes at Soul Cafe. Funda picked up theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer from David Jones and I was so proud of her, it's such a lovely highlighter!

Blogmas Day #16: A Christmas Tag

I saw this tag over on Rhaea's blog, which she posted on the second day of Blogmas. I'd been wanting to do it for a while but I kept forgetting to complete it. I saw it again the other day after being stuck with a blogger's block and went 'ah-ha!'. I have to admit that some of my answers are a bit unsatisfactory, as December as a whole did not go well at all last year. As a result, I can barely remember much about it except for the good bits and the really horrible bits.

Blogmas Day #15: The Worst Christmas Gift I Got

Oh, ho, ho,  this will be a very good post, and you guys might be quite surprised by this one. Well, there were two Christmas presents that were the worst, and in my opinion, they are pretty much on the same level. This is because the person who gave them to me was none other than my father before he left the family, and he really was not to be trusted to buy presents for any of his offspring. The kind of presents that I got really showed just how much respect he had for us, especially for me.

See, while my brother was spoiled a lot more than me (no offence, brother dear), my father didn't quite like the fact that I was deaf, and he really showed it, so to experience that kind of ostracisation from your own flesh and blood is quite heartbreaking.

Blogmas Day 14: My Least Favourite Things About Christmas

I meant to have this uploaded earlier this morning so that at least it was just a few hours late, instead of an entire day, but I had to get some photography done for it, and then I had to leave home to make it in time to see Star Wars Rogue One. The movie was great, though some things kinda threw me for a loop. I wish I could talk about it, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone planning to see it.

So, in my previous Blogmas post I wrote about my favourite things about Christmas, and now I'm going to talk about what I don't like about the holiday. There isn't much, but there are quite a few things that grind my gears, and I'm sure it grinds other people's gears too.

Blogmas Day #13: My Favourite Things About Christmas

Blogmas Day 13 is right on time! I didn't do anything particularly exciting today, except that I had to do some quick shopping for gifts. I haven't finished buying everyone's presents, but I got what I needed for now. I also picked up a set of three ink pads from Typo because I found out that the Kaisercraft pigment ink just would not dry completely on the pages of my journal, which is weird. I tried heat setting it with a hot iron, and that did not even work - the ink kept smudging!

A friend of mine came to visit and we played a bit of Towerfall, before having dinner. We then watched Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which I thought was alright, though Anna Kendrick's wig and Aubrey Plaza's makeup bugged the hell out of me. I mean, her face was three times darker than her neck in some scenes!

Tomorrow, I have a job interview as a café all-rounder at a cafe in a school. Fingers crossed that all goes well.

It's My 25th Birthday!

I came out of my mother's uterus on this very day 25 years ago, kicking and screaming as everyone tried not to let the heat get to them. Luckily, mum didn't have to be in labour for very long, as I was out in 2 hours flat, around 2:30pm. The little girl in the above picture is indeed me, blowing the candles on my 6th birthday. I'm wearing a headband that was gifted to me, with my name written on it in glitter glue.

Unfortunately, no one told me my hair would look like shit in this picture.

Blogmas Day #12: My Birthday and Early Christmas Haul

It's my birthday! I know, I know, my birthday isn't on Christmas Day, but being a December baby means my birthday is often lumped together with the holiday.  I don't mind that so much anymore because I can get heaps of presents for myself and no one can stop me, bwahahahahaa!

Such is the case with most of the gifts I got on my special day - most of them were self-bought purely for selfish indulgent reasons. I mean, who doesn't want a huge haul from Makeup Revolution? I know I do, and I did! Funnily enough, a couple of days after I made my order I got an email telling me that MUR came out with new highlighting palettes in the cute melting chocolate bar packaging. They really remind me of the Candlelight Glow and Sun Bunny powders that Too Faced has. I really wanted it, but because I had already made my order I couldn't add them to the cart. It'll just have to wait until later next year. They just came out with a new chocolate eyeshadow palette, the Golden Bar, and, my, the colours look beautiful.

So, let's see what I got for my 25th special day! I am now a quarter of a century old, and I feel old now.

Blogmas Day #11: Last Minute Gifts Under $25

Another late Blogmas post! I intended for this one to go up last night, and write most of it on the way home last night from Mum's house, but I was quite sleepy by the time I got home. I aim to have the rest of Blogmas uploaded to schedule, including today's one, which will be released later this afternoon/this evening. It's my birthday today, and I'm spending it chilling at home, writing/uploading posts, taking photos for the blog, and eating my favourite foods. I'm looking forward to going out for Thai food for dinner tonight!

Blogmas Day #10: Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

This is a little bit late, but considering how it's my birthday weekend I think I can be excused. I had another lazy day on Saturday in which I really could not be bothered doing anything except reading fanfiction after a disastrous baking attempt. I wanted a pavlova for my birthday cake, and I was faced with the issue of my sister-in-law not being able to eat dairy for the time being as my baby nephew still gets a rash whenever she consumes it.

I made pavlova out of aquafaba instead of the traditional egg white because I wanted to try making a meringue from the liquid from a can of chickpeas. I'd heard about it a lot over the past year and it sounded awfully interesting. The meringue turned out perfectly as I followed the recipe to a T, but it quickly spread like lava in the oven while baking and I couldn't salvage it. I was incredibly disappointed because that had never happened before with egg-white meringue and I was a qualified pastry chef, damn it! I still haven't figured out why or how it happened, but I felt much like a failure for most of the day.

In the end, I went with a storebought pavlova, intending to top half of it with coconut cream. That did not go very well either, as it just would not whip. Needless to say, I had to serve a portion of the pavlova with just fruit.

Aquafaba, I WILL CONQUER YOU ONE DAY! (ahem, and whipped coconut cream...)

Blogmas Day #9: DIY Pinecone Ornaments

Here's another tutorial for Blogmas! We are on Day Nine, and I am horrific at boosting my motivation levels because all I want to do is read Bagginshield fanfictions, and I found this awesome one today and I cannot tear my eyes away from it. It pains me so much to have to write this entire post because I want nothing more than to sip tea and read, read and read some more. I'm seriously all too tempted to just go "bugger it", close this document, and go to the other tab where Bilbo and Thorin wait for me in their angsty glory.


Me: I'm going to get into Speedy Gonzalez mode and churn this out in record time. 

Also me 3 hours later: Ah shit, I failed.

Blogmas Day #8: DIY Clay Poinsettia Ornaments

It is now the second week of Blogmas, and I'm stressing out a little. I feel so behind already, and I'm trying really hard to catch up and get ahead of everything. I've got to write several more posts and take photos for them too. It is frightening how quickly this month is flying by, and I can scarcely believe that there are only two weeks and three more days till the big day. I'm rushing to complete the other Blogmas posts because I only wrote about half of them.

Up today is a tutorial on how to make your own poinsettia ornaments out of cold porcelain clay. I made these ornaments for my tree, inspired by a few pictures that I found on Pinterest. I couldn't find a tutorial that I liked, so I went with something that was both easy, made use of what I had, and didn't require a lot of effort.

The Latest Additions to My Highlighter Collection

It's no secret that I have a weakness for highlighters, and I'm not talking about the markers that you use to highlight text. I'm talking about that glow that we all find on Instagram every single day when those cheekbones could cut butter. I'm not one for contouring, I've never dabbled in it aside from very lightly applying a matte greyish bronzer to the hollows of my cheeks, but give me a highlighter, any highlighter, and you'll find me adding it to the tops of my cheeks, my cupid's bow and underneath my eyebrows. I tend to avoid applying it on my nose and chin because these areas get pretty dewy.

Several months ago, in May, I showed you guys my highlighter collection, and since then that particular section of my makeup kit has doubled in size. I have a problem, I admit that wholeheartedly, but I just cannot stop hoarding them like there's no tomorrow. In fact, I've got a few new ones on my wishlist! At this rate, I'll need to make a separate section in my makeup drawer just for my growing pile of highlighters.

Someone send help, please?!

Blogmas Day #7: 10 Tips to Survive Christmas In Summer

Because we're in the Southern Hemisphere, we don't get the chance to experience snow, cuddling in front of fireplaces, hot chocolate topped with too much whipped cream, ugly but festive sweaters, or even roasted chestnuts fresh out of the oven. Now, I'm of the mindset that we should have Christmas in July, despite the lack of snow, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

Instead, we're stuck with Christmases that are often warm, sometimes humid, sometimes dry, and once, stormy (but hot) with flash flooding and hail stones the size of golf balls. I call that day the only time Melbourne ever had a chance at a white Christmas.

So, how does one survive a hot Christmas smack dab right in the middle of Summer, especially without a swimming pool nearby to boot? Here's how:

Blogmas Day #6: Gifts for the Geek

Day Six of December is finally upon us! I got quite excited while writing this post because thinking of all the things a geek would love makes me giddy. I'm quite the geek and have my own collection of paraphernalia and collectables, including a comic or two. I mostly collect things that are from Harry Potter, but I do have quite the collection of Tolkien books (17 copies, including duplicates). Aside from them, I do have a small collection of Doctor Who and Star Wars goods, such as an Obi-Wan Force FX Lightsaber with a Removable Blade.

The last one was a gift from Sean for my birthday slash Christmas present a few years ago, and the year after that he bought the Lionel Hogwarts Express Remote Control Train Set.

We used to buy our geeky gifts from Thinkgeek, but we haven't ordered from them in a long while since shipping can be a tad pricey to Australia, especially if you have a large parcel.

My Blog Photography Setup

I think it's about time I showed you all exactly how I do my photography on the blog. It's been a while since I adopted this new method, and I've finally found something that I am super happy with. Granted, I'd like a set of reflectors and diffusers, but what I've got at the moment will do for me for the time being.

I use an Olympus E420 Digital Camera. It's not a very good one, especially in poor lighting, but for the time being it's all I've got. It often corrupts the memory, and it happens when I'm in the middle of taking photos. I have to pause, import everything to my computer and then reformat the camera before I can keep on snapping away. Very, very annoying, and it only recognises one memory card at a time, even if there are two cards in the slots. I hope to get a new camera next year if I can.

Blogmas Day #5: Gifts for the Beauty Addict

I've got another post for you today, and that is a gift guide for the beauty addict in your life. Over the past month, I've had to write a few wishlists for people that wanted to get me a gift but had no idea what to buy. So, now that I have an idea of what gifts to get, it was time to write a list for you all, so that there was something within each price range for that special someone.

Of course, all of the gifts that I've mentioned are cruelty-free, so you can rest assured that you'll have an easy time.

Blogmas Day #4: Gifts for Him

Blogmas Day 4 comes with a list of gift suggestions for men, woot-woot! I've not been doing much over the past few days where Christmas is concerned, as my partner has been working since Tuesday. Today I went to the Deaf Christmas Rally where a whole bunch of people in the deaf community met up at Hays Paddock for a picnic of sorts. I chatted with a few people, and met a newcomer. We, of course, bonded over our love for Harry Potter, and the new Fantastic Beasts movie

I'll get started on today's post.

Blogmas Day #3: Decorating My Vanity For Christmas

Day three of Blogmas is here! This is another decoration post because I've got my Blogmas posts organised in a certain way. I thought about mixing it up, but I like it this technique, so I'll stick with it. My first day of Blogmas had me unveiling my Christmas tree. Yesterday I showed you my Christmas Decoration Wishlist. Now, we have my vanity! I wonder how many of you guys have been wondering about my battlestation. I spend a lot of time at my battlestation, especially when Sean starts work for the day. It's the brightest room in the unit, and it's the most comfortable place where I can sit and work on the blog, than anywhere else.

I wanted to decorate my vanity a little bit for the festive season, so I decided to go with a putz house.  I made this little house myself, though it was really time-consuming. I had a crafternoon with Mum when I slept over at her place the other weekend, and we had heaps of fun painting our little houses (both built by me), and then applying the other details such as wreaths and glitter. The glitter went everywhere, especially when my sister opened a container of red glitter all over herself, thinking it was empty.

"Bitch, I'm fabulous!"

Blogmas Day #2: My Christmas Decoration Wishlist

I think I am the only person among my family and friends that love Christmas decorations the way I do. It is, in fact, my favourite part of the holiday, not the gifts, not the food (yes, I know!), not the gatherings, and most certainly not the weather. Summer can suck my gonads for all I care.

Every year I always anticipate the Boxing Day sales when the decorations are at their cheapest and I can add a few more pieces to my proper collection. I say 'proper', because I have two sets of ornaments one comprised mainly of glass ornaments, and the other of plastic. I'd get rid of the plastic ornaments if it were not for the fact that they would come in handy for when I have little children with butter fingers. My cats didn't seem to be particularly interested in climbing my tree or bringing things down to an Earth-shattering halt, so I went with the glass ones this year.

My To-Do List for December

Alert, alert, this is not a Blogmas post! I'm uploading that later this evening. I wanted to try and maintain somewhat of a normal routine with my original posts. It looks like I've got another busy month ahead of me, and I see little to no room in which I can relax and recharge at home in solitude, being the introvert that I am. December has always been one of the busiest months of the year for me, I'm always running around trying to get things in order. For one, it's my birthday month so I'm often having to catch up with friends and family, and I'm always on-the-go looking for gifts for everyone else, wrapping presents, keeping up-to-date with family events, so on and so forth.

So what have I got planned for this month?

Blogmas Day #1: My Christmas Tree!

Welcome to my very first issue for Blogmas! This is my first time doing the Blogmas ever since I started blogging, and after seeing the hype last year, I wanted to try it out this year. Blogmas is basically an advent countdown on the blog, one post a day, up until Christmas day. As I'm not getting a beauty advent calendar (as I haven't found a cruelty-free one that I liked) I thought it would be fun to give you guys a little gift by way of a post for every single day of December.

I decided to start with showing you all my Christmas tree that I put up and decorated yesterday. Usually, I would decorate the tree on my birthday, but then Sean said that it wouldn't be fair to the (future) kids, so, now the tree goes up on the first day of December. Well, I did it yesterday because I had a really shitty morning and needed some way to vent, and decorating the tree is therapeutic for me. I included an anecdote in my last post about why my morning was so shit, so if you wanted to have a read, here's the post.

My Monthly Skincare & Makeup Favourites - November Edit

We are finally on the eve of December, when the halls are decked with boughs of holly, when the frantic search for gifts begins and when family pets decide that the tree must be toppled over. Not that that has happened to me.


I decorated my tree today, a day earlier than planned, because I had such an awful morning as someone most likely stole a parcel right from my doorstep.

My sister paid for a lipstick from Besame Cosmetics on Wednesday for my birthday present, and it was sent out on Thursday. The problem was that I never received a tracking number in any of my emails from them, so I was waiting blindly for the parcel. Finally, on Monday, I called them and requested for the tracking number to be sent to me, and they said they would do so immediately after the call, but they didn't. Yesterday, in the afternoon, I contacted them again and they sent me a copy of the number late in the evening. That was when I found out that the parcel was marked as "delivered" only that I never received it.

The Cruelty-Cutter App Review

This is another late post and I apologise for that. Sure, I was a little bit busy, but that was not the main reason why I couldn't update a new post over the past week. The reason was because Sean took a few days off of work as part of his special leave and he's been using his MacBook most of the time, the laptop on which I do my blog work and photo-editing on. I decided to wake up earlier today to get the chance to use the laptop to finally upload this post, but I didn't get up until after 10:30am because I kept waking up very often. I'm still taking this opportunity to try and get some work done anyways.

Recently I discovered an app that I found on Twitter, and I was intrigued. Seriously, I was intrigued, because I never thought I'd see the day where there would be an app that let you scan the barcode on a product and that was all the work you had to do to find out if something was cruelty-free.

I spent quite some time playing with the app, and even whipped my phone out while shopping so I could test the parameters and see what worked, what didn't and what needed improvement. I went to Kmart to test pretty much all of the brands in store, and I got a really good grasp on how much the app covers, and what areas they needed to work on. Shall we begin with this review?

What Won't I Buy Online?

So it's time for my next post! And thankfully this one is right on time. I had a little bit of an internal debate as to whether I should post this because I don't want to come off as preachy or a know-it-all. This post is all based off of what I personally feel, and if you happen to prefer the other way around, that's cool, I don't mind. I try not to force my opinion on other people, so you won't be finding me preaching about vegetarianism, going cruelty-free, politics or whatever. I find that being pushy doesn't do anyone any favours, but if they have an interest in a certain subject, I don't mind explaining my view.

Such is the case with this post, I'm only trying to explain why I won't buy these particular products online, not to besmirch others for choosing to do so.

The Mission to Improve My Skin #4

This update is ridiculously late, but I've had to prioritise other things, and even now, I'm still quite busy. I've pretty much finished my putz house but I need to add some trees and put glitter on the base. other than that, I've had a pretty full week, and there was no end to it. I had my friend Livi's Anything But Clothes 18th birthday party on Saturday night, and I went as a Greek philosopher, donning a couple of sheets and an olive wreath on my head. Today, aside from doing a (long-ass) grocery run, I had to wash clothes, plant more tomatoes, do some tidying up, and write lists. I'm now sitting in the lounge room with all the windows open in hopes that there will be a cool breeze blowing through the house. It was too bloody hot today, mate!

Anyhow, I had planned on writing a skincare empties post before this one, but because this was meant to go up last Friday it ended up being a cross-over, so not only do you get the newest edition to the Mission, you also get to find out what I've used up lately. I aim to have the posts for the rest of this month uploaded to schedule, but as always, I can't promise anything.

Milani Cosmetics Rose Blush Review and Swatches

I feel like I haven't uploaded anything new to the blog in over a week when the reality is that it's only been a mere three days since my last update. I've had a really full few days, starting with yesterday where I had to visit Mum for a bit, do some shopping, visit my lovely Nonna for her birthday, and then head back home early enough to put together an outfit for a last-minute group interview as a travel consultant for Flight Center this morning. I had to wake up at 6:30am to make it in time, and I thought I did quite well. However, I didn't get the job. I'm a little bummed about it, but life (and this blog) goes on.

I'm running on so very little sleep over the past two days, so I'm sorry if this post is a little boring or low in quality. I really wanted to get this review up, as I've had the blushes for so long now it didn't make sense to keep putting it off.

My Birthday and Christmas Wishlist

Since my last wishlist, I've long since discovered that readers do not like seeing wishlists on blogs, which is weird because I love seeing them. However, seeing as how my birthday is coming up in a month, followed by Christmas, I thought I could give my family and friends a friendly nudge on what I would love for my Birthmas present. Since my birthday is less than two weeks away from Christmas, I'm often forgotten or I've been lumped in together with it.

There's exactly a month till the big day, so I thought that I'd take the guesswork out for everyone stumped on what to get for me. Not everything is beauty-related, I'll tell you that. There's a pasta machine thrown in too, for goodness sake!

Make Your Own Photography Boards!

Hola, amigos! I've been hard at work churning these projects of mine out, and the timber boards were right at the top of the list. I was getting really bored of the same old marble print for every post, and I'm sure you guys would agree with me on that. Marble is gorgeous and timeless, but you can't have too much of a good thing lest you get sick of it. Hey, Murphy made the law, not me!

I tried sample sheets of wallpaper that I bought from eBay, but I really disliked them - they were cheap, lacked depth, and looked quite unrealistic. I wanted the real thing but never got around to making them until now.

My To-Do List For November

I saw a similar post like this over on Sophie's blog, Sophie's Makeup, and thought it would be a fun way to show you all what I've planned for this month. If anyone wants to get all up in my grill because I may have missed an update, this is why!

I would have this up at the very start of the month but I had other posts planned for those days, so now you guys get this post on the 7th/8th of November. I've got lots of projects on my plate and I'm so excited to start on each and every single one of them. I've already finished putting together the boards, and now all I have to do is paint/stain the rest. I've got one of the boards in the photos for today's post.

A Little Bookshelf Tour

I've been wanting to show you guys my overall book collection for quite some time, but I kept putting it off. I needed to dust both of the bookcases before I could take photos, and guys, I'm too lazy for that! I took my chance the other day because I went on a cleaning spree in the living room, that is if wiping down the coffee table and dusting the TV unit qualifies as a cleaning spree. And because I already had a duster in hand, I went and attacked the bookshelves until not a speck of dust was in sight.

Dusting done, I took the photos as soon as the sun hit the windows at just the right angle so I had the best lighting possible. My place isn't very well lit, to be honest, even with the skylight, mainly because we have a dark-coloured brick wall along one side of the lounge. So, the subliminal lighting results in photos that are rather grainy, and there's only so much I can do with my, just as subliminal, camera. I made do with what I could on Photoshop to get rid of the noise, but I'm no wizard.

At least the lighting in my bedroom is the brightest and easiest to work with!

My Latest Cruelty-Free Beauty Buys

I've been of the cheeky sort this month. Sure, I've been thrifty wherever I could, but I had to replace a couple of skincare products because I'd run low on or finished, finally found a foundation that I could use, and a few other things. Not to mention I also picked a day planner for next year, because I cannot stand having my day all jumbled up and missing something because I forgot about it. I don't just write down birthdays and appointments, but reminders, to-do lists, ideas for posts, and checklists for my water consumption, skincare and blogging tasks.

Actually, I never write down birthdays in my diary... I should probably get around to doing that from now on instead of letting Facebook do the job of announcing birthdays on the spot.

My Monthly Skincare & Makeup Favourites - October Edit

We are now at the end of October, and I swear that my brain is still stuck somewhere on the 12th/13th of October. This month, I find, has gone by so quickly and once I blinked, I found myself at the cinema at 10:30 in the morning last Thursday to see Doctor Strange. I've completely lost track of time, and it's sad to say that I'm already pretty excited about Christmas now that Halloween is almost over.

Australians don't view Halloween in the same way as everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere, mainly because it's approaching summer here, so we don't get the whole fall scene - we have green, green, and more green with some flowers here and there. However, in recent years there's been a growing interest in Halloween, with stores putting on their best orange and black displays, bats and witch hats placed precariously on shelves and little kids running around the shopping centre in Elsa costumes. Tonight we've had two groups, two, that's one more than last year, of kids come to the door, and yet again we were unprepared and had nothing to offer. It's weird seeing children come to the door for Halloween in broad daylight, though.

I've gotten a bit too old to get into the Halloween spirit, but I'm always up for Christmas, and even though they start putting up the decorations in stores late September, deep down inside, *whispers* I'm loving it! I know, it's too early, but I really like seeing them!

Wet n Wild Eye Primers Comparison & Review


The day has finally come when I can confidently publish a post on the two primers by Wet n Wild Beauty and tell you with absolute honesty that these are the best primers that I have ever, ever, come across. They are my holy grail primers, and without these, I would have never been able to begin my obsession for eyeshadow palettes. I kid you not, I've been collecting eyeshadows like there's no tomorrow, now that I'm able to wear them without the damn thing melting off within seconds. All thanks to having greasy hooded eyelids.

Wow, I got a tad bit emotional there. It's what finding a brilliant eyeshadow primer does for me.

I've tried several cruelty-free primers in the past year, from e.l.f. to essence, from Too Faced to Cover FX, and none of them have performed half as well as these two products. Well, technically it's 'one product when you think about it. They are practically identical in every way - the ingredients, the texture, and the lasting power. The only thing that differentiates them two from each other is the packaging and the name. Wet n Wild kept to their word when they said they were going to absorb the Fergie primer into their regular catalogue, just with new packaging, as the Fergie Centerstage collection was limited edition and therefore discontinued earlier this year.

Makeup Revolution I Heart Makeup Pink Fizz Eyeshadow Palette


This review has been a long time coming. I wanted to review this sooner but I didn't have enough experience with this palette to give a full, in-depth review. I actually wanted to get this one up after the Wet n Wild eyeshadow primers comparison, but I needed to do a morning vs night shoot to show the results, and I failed to get some photography done on Saturday before my cousin's wedding. The perks of getting ready at the very last minute.

I reviewed the I Heart Chocolate palette a couple of months ago, which happens to be an exact dupe for the Too Faced Original Chocolate Bar palette, and I love it to bits. However, with this palette, there are some slight differences that need to be pointed out. I chose this palette over the Naked Chocolate one as I figured I could do with a more colourful palette for the spring and summer of this year, as it had pinks, blues and nudes that all worked with each other. The palette is a bit on the cool side, but that worked for my neutral-leaning-yellow skin tone.

Going Cruelty-Free: How & Why Did I Do It?

The last time I did this kind of post, it was way back when I first started blogging. I had amassed a small collection (far smaller than what it is right now) of makeup at the time and spoke about some of them. Now, however, I've got a deeper understanding of what it means to be cruelty-free and the different levels of being cruelty-free, and my collection has grown to reflect that. Going cruelty-free is not all black and white, there are various shades of grey in between, but I'm covering two main umbrellas first, and then I'll expand on them.

Firstly, there are brands that are certified by a cruelty-free organisation, having passed certain criteria to be considered truly cruelty-free in that they do not test any ingredients or finished products on animals, nor do they do it through third-party suppliers/labs, and do not sell products within countries where there is a law that products must be tested prior to sale. Seventh Heaven, Sugar Baby Beauty, Sukin, and Australis are such brands that have been carefully assessed before being certified as cruelty-free. They may feature an official bunny logo, a statement, the PETA bunny logo, or they will be found in lists run by organisations. However, I really do not consider PETA a true cruelty-free organisation, because they do not consider parent companies when it comes to giving brands the tick.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Illuminating Palette Review and Swatches

Drumroll, please! Today, I'm bringing you guys a review on the e.l.f. Cosmetics Illuminating Palette along with swatches of the shades in the palette. I got this in my care package from Cat last month and have used it at least a few times. Cat picked it up for me at my request because I had always wanted to try it out, and I think she bought it from Target.

I think there must have been a manufacturing issue because the packaging for this palette is different to what I've seen on the internet - the palette doesn't have openings on the bottom where you can push the pans out and swap pans with other palettes such as the blush palette, contouring palette or even the foundation palettes. There's literally no way for the pans to come out of the palette. Also, the front of the palette only has "e.l.f." printed on it, while the back has "Illuminating Palette" along with a little silver sticker that has the batch code and product number on it.

The Mission to Improve My Skin #3

Sunday 25 September
I've discovered a few things since my last entry. One, high-end brands don't always equal amazing skincare. I tried a sample of Argan Cleansing Oil from Josie Maran and that didn't improve my skin. If anything, I think it dried it out a little bit. Two, I must not get within a 10-foot radius of products containing alcohol. I put on a mask last week and it took me a very long time to restore my skin. Finally, rose hip seed oil has to go. I used it twice a day to help heal the dryness, and while it did help, it clogged my pores to the point where they were raised, red and fat with sebum. Since I stopped using the oil my skin has settled down.

Australis Killer Curves Mascara Review

It's finally time for me to review this mascara from the Australian-owned brand, Australis. I think, by now, every Australian makeup aficionado knows of Australis, the brand having been around for three decades. I remember their old handwritten logo with the sun next to it, sometimes in rainbow lettering. I had a few of their products including a clear mascara while growing up. These days their logo is a crisp pink text on a black or transparent background. Personally, I find the current a little boring considering how the old logo was really reminiscent of what makes Australia; the sun, the beaches and just being casual. Now, Australis has taken on an edgy, punk-rock style with their packaging.

The quality of their products is quite good for a drugstore brand, even if the shade range for bases are quite narrow, with three to six shades for each type of foundation and concealers that they stock, which is why I've yet to find my foundation shade in their collection. I enjoy their nail polishes and do like the banana powder even if I don't get to use it as often as I should (I keep forgetting to use it).

My Five Favourite Beauty Brands

I was planning on posting this yesterday, but I failed to succeed in taking photos while the skies were grey and pooptastic. I had no motivation whatsoever so I spent, literally, the entire day watching Gilmore Girls. I didn't even get the chance to tick off washing clothes from my To Do list yesterday. I did, however, burn holes into the bottom of a bucket to make my own bokashi compost bin which didn't take more than five minutes.

I don't know if you guys remember but last year I tried my hand at growing pumpkins, and that somewhat failed (it failed pathetically) but this time I'm using my green thumb to attempt growing tomatoes, spring onions, chilli and some parsley. Only time will tell if I succeed in having my own supply of fresh home-grown cherry tomatoes to pop into my mouth like popcorn. In the meantime, I'm setting up my compost, stocking up on fertiliser and crossing my fingers for a lifetime supply of chilli.

I really digressed from the topic of this post there, but I thought you guys would like to know what I was up to these days. I also managed to find some marble adhesive at Kmart the other night, so that really put a spring in my step. I actually like it better than the one I currently use as the backdrop for the blog, it's got a semi-matte finish that makes it look quite natural, and there's not so much contrast between the black and white. I'll need some more foam board so I can stick the new one on, but for now, it's nice knowing I have a backup for when I need it.

A Butterbeer Recipe You Can Make At Home!

I promised all of you my Butterbeer recipe, and here it is! Butterbeer is well known for being a very popular beverage in the Harry Potter books and can be found at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for all the fans to sample. My recipe here was adapted from a few that I found online. The reasons why I adapted them from the ones I saw online were because they mostly asked for butterscotch syrup, marshmallow fluff, freshly whipped butter, condensed milk, ice cream and so on and so forth. The drink at Universal Studios wasn't as complicated in terms of flavour and texture, so to speak. It was a fizzy, transparent, deep brown liquid and creamy froth that was a bit on the buttery side.

I hunted down the basics and put it together, and I pretty much got the proportions right on my second try. My first try had the same amount of butterscotch schnapps to vodka and I found it too sharp and quite alcoholic in flavour when butterbeer in the books were meant to be sickly sweet and does not inebriate kids and adults alike. This adaptation tastes very, very similar to the one at the park. I don't have a non-alcoholic version of this recipe, but I imagine a butterscotch flavouring would do the job of replacing the schnapps just fine, and skip the vodka.

The Versatile Blogger Award

First of all, I want to thank Romina, of Romina's Little Corner, so much for this nomination. I had seen this award make the rounds last month or so and never thought I'd get it, especially because I didn't think I was out there as a blogger. I haven't had much of a chance to really snoop through and read every blog post on Romina's blog, but I already love it from what I've seen so far. I highly recommend that you guys go and visit it.

Romina, once again, thank you so much!

Much like the Liebster Award, this is given by bloggers to bloggers and is a way for us guys in the community to help each other get our blogs out there, as well as discover new blogs to read. I think it's a fantastic way to support each other.

My Monthly Skincare & Makeup Favourites - September Edit

Damn, this year is going by really quickly, and I cannot believe we've just finished September. Blink and you miss it, and I feel like that will happen with the rest of the year. There're almost three months till Christmas, and already they've got the decorations and trees up for sale in the stores. It's gotten me in the mood to draft up a Christmas (and birthday) wishlist for a few of my favourite brands, pin together a whole bunch of baking recipes and found a few projects that I could put together in time for the Christmas season, especially for my Christmas tree.

Now, where does one find pine cones for next to nothing in the middle of Spring?

If I Could Only Have One Of Each

I saw this post over on The Makeup Directory and figured that it would make a great post for the blog. I definitely have a few favourites, and the rest of them are all up in the air. However, I thought my readers would like to know what I love to grab on a regular basis and would recommend every time. I just need to let you all know ahead of time that I actually don't have very good answers for some of the categories, either because I don't own one, or because none of them have worked for me as yet.

Here goes.

Pumpkin Pasties Recipe - Sweet and Savoury

Hello, everyone! Some of you might remember that I hosted a Harry Potter Board Games Day a few weekends ago, and on the menu, I had sweet and savoury Pumpkin Pasties. I promised that I would share the recipes for these pasties, and I'm here to deliver on that promise! Pumpkin Pasties are a popular treat in Wizarding Britain, and I think that whenever a Potter-phile is asked what food they would love to try from the Harry Potter books, these treats would most likely be in the top five, among Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

I did a lot of research on pumpkin pasties recipes, and it seemed like they were all some variation of the pumpkin pie; sweet, crusty and full of spices. Not a problem for me, though a lot of the recipes required so many ingredients or canned pumpkin puree. As I had to keep costs down, I found recipes that used fewer ingredients, though it still asked for pumpkin puree. I got the recipes from Bijoux and Bits and altered a couple of things to make it easier. I used puff pastry instead of pie dough as I wanted a flakier experience and it was quicker to buy puff pastry than it is to make pie dough from scratch when I was strapped for time. I also had to prepare my own pumpkin puree as I couldn't find canned puree. Oh, and funnily enough, we don't have pumpkin pie spice in any of the supermarkets here in Australia, so I had to make them from scratch.

My Go-To Spring Picks

It is Spring here in Australia at the moment, and I saw nothing more fitting for a blog post than a spring-themed one. I love looking at other blogs' spring-themed posts, it always makes me feel cheerful on the inside just thinking about crisp fresh air, clear blue skies, flowers in bloom and even standing in the sunlight for a few short minutes just to feel the warmth. Lately, Melbourne's been under the weather (pun intended) so all we've had are lots and lots of cloudy days, with rains here and there that are sure to make lots of gardeners happy. Not for me, though.

As much as I love to stay at home, keep warm and not have to worry about wearing a bra, days of cloudiness that threaten to make my backyard very, very muddy just makes my cats, and me, very very miserable. I prefer to keep my cats inside when it's cloudy or wet, so when they're cooped up inside all day for a few days straight, they go straight up ballistic. I kid you not, Phoebe literally jumps up the wall for no reason and bounces off of it (broken window, anyone?), whereas Luna takes to running around the house like a loon (another pun intended - I hope someone got this reference!) and making shitloads of noise before she settles down in my bedroom.

Exploding Bon Bons Recipe

Those of you that have tried the real thing from Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in Japan or Orlando, did you find yourself utterly disappointed at how pathetic they were? I did. I spent close to $10 on a packet of five Exploding Bon Bons, and they did not even come close to what I was expecting. Hell, it did not even have a teeny bit of fizz to it. I ate one, glared at the disappointment that they were, and didn't touch the rest.

I decided that that wouldn't do and I had to find a way to properly portray my idea of how Exploding Bon Bons should taste. The bonbons are meant to contain dynamite coconut and pure cocoa powder, but the version at Wizarding World had neither. Dynamite Coconut is an entirely fictional food item, but I could replicate it with regular coconut, could I not? The recipes I found online were similar but not quite what I had in mind. None of them contained coconut, so that failed to tick one of the two most important boxes.

Unveiling The Battlestation!


It's finished! It's finally finished! I've finally added the finishing touches that pull everything together. It's taken me more than a month to set the vanity up just the way I liked it, but the overall project, including the planning, took much longer. I started planning this project late May, but because of my spending ban and the fact that my then-housemate had yet to move out, I couldn't get started on it until the beginning of August. It took a while for me to figure out what kind of style I wanted, what I wanted on the desk, and what I needed to buy versus what I could upcycle/DIY. Along the way, I realised that the style I had in mind was Kate La Vie meets Kate Spade, with some animal motifs thrown in. The main mirror and hexagon tray were definitely inspired by the blogger.