Friday, 31 May 2013

Oils on Rotation

Wowser, that's a lot of oils. But as dry skinned girl, oils are a must (I also recommend it for the oiler skinned too!).  They will save you from flakes and balance your skin if you naturally produce oils already. They are multi-functional products that can be used with other products or on their own, but this post is just about facial skincare.  My biggest tip if you layer you skincare like me, apply oils last to trap in the moisture from the previous layers, especially since most products are water-based. 
Now, going from lightest to heaviest, here is a tour of my favourite oil discoveries so far..

Rosehip Oil
A fad oil indeed but deservedly so. This number has helped brighten up my skin as dry skin can look a little dull. It is also the one I recommend to try first if you're hesitant about oils as it's the lightest of the bunch and will suit many skin types. I've got some of my mates on this one with good reports back, so lots of points there. Where it loses points is hydration for those with dry skin, but will definitely be enough for the normal and above.

Balance Me Radiance Face Oil
This was the first fancy oil I've ever tried, it's a concoction of many oils including almond, kukui and good ol' rosehip thrown in there too. The texture is similar to the Acure Argan Oil and so the hydration levels have been revved up. This isn't a favourite but I thought I would mention it in here in case you're wondering how it stands up to the others. Why it doesn't stack up might have to do with its price - at £30 a pop it is a bit too pricey and doesn't outperform it's more inexpensive sisters. I do recommend you get a trial like I did, you might still like it.

Acure Argan Oil
Oh, my first love. This will always be in my stash because it's the first skincare product that really changed my skin and I've repurchased it numerous times. I've raved about it before but in short, it's a hydration hero that will deliver pre-pubescent skin (weeell, one can hope!). It's got a thick texture which I love, and I'm a stickler to the one by Acure because they are a fair trade, organic brand and this bebe is around the $12 mark (!). Lots of skin types have reported good news on this so go on, give it a go!

Essential Care Superfruit Concentrate
Now this little oil concoction is well, gorgeous. I was about to buy this at full price at £33 but on a super lucky day, I found it for half price and it was the last one! But lemme tell you, I would be prepared to spend the full price amount on this, because it's good (I actually forgot that I didn't until I just looked it up then). It's not quite as thick as argan oil, but it is dense. It just feels like it's packed with lots of skin goodies. It's so good that sometimes it's the lone product I slap on my face and I still wake up with soft skin. I initially thought this was a serum but it's really an oil so I definitely recommend to use this as a last step. A bonus is that it smells nice too, which adds to the luxe feel of this product. My one gripe is the packaging, this really should be in a dropper bottle, no matter what I do the product leaks and hence why it ain't looking pretty in the picture.

Sophyto Super Skin Concentrate
Now this, is the big daddy of the bunch (even though I got the little guy version). No more mucking around guys, this is the most moisturising blend of oils I've ever tried and it's worth it. I can't even..
Its the densest of all the oils mention with the same thickness as the argan oil and I highly, highly recommend this for the dry-very dry skintypes. I only have a small vial of this so I only use it once a week after I exfoliate to get the maximum benefits out of it. If you're afraid of the price tag, mybeautyemporium sells the mini for £13 which is a good chance to test it out (they also often have discounts too). A definite repurchase is on the cards next winter.

Writing this post is getting me excited to take of my makeup and splash on some oils. Love..

Have you tried any of these or have any other recommendations? 
x mai-anne
Continue Reading…

Saturday, 25 May 2013

TWTW #14 - Figuring it Out

Every time I think I'm starting to figure myself out, something hits and I'm lost again. Tis the path of life I guess, and I don't think I'm ready to be "sorted" anyhow (though if you ask me, I really would have wanted to be in Gryffindor and would've begged the hat to get me out of Hufflepuff! :P ).

The Makeup Area (a sneak peek!)
Ahh, I de-cluttered and simplified my on the table stash and I'm lovin' it. Too many products out and I feel guilty and overwhelmed. I started feeling like I had too much makeup (damn youtube) after talking to a friend who is just starting to get into it, but it honestly is one of my loves and I put a lot of thought into what I buy. Self-justification...

Mariah Carey + Miguel - Beautiful / Lana Del Rey - Young & Beautiful
Oops, didn't realise how similar these titles are but both songs are gorgeous. I just love the production on MC's new song and it's been awhile since I've loved a new song of hers. She was my absolute idol in my young in' years and I'm not ashamed to admit that anymore. I'm not a huge fan of LDR but a piano student of mine showed me this song and it's got me. I initially couldn't take her seriously since I saw that video on SNL but there is something so unique yet authentic about her voice that I love in this song. 

(Home / ) Inspiration
My little room is starting to feel sorted, with of course space to grow. I moved some bits around and have found a little corner to be able to store things for fashion inspiration. Now I'm not a big Harper's Bazaar reader, I'm not a high fashion girl at all, but I'm definitely looking forward to collecting magazines to help me 'hone my style' so to speak, and above all, to be inspired. I don't like the word fashion, but clothing is definitely another creative outlet for me so I'm glad to have found this spot to well, stir that pot..

Hope you've had a lovely week!

love, mai-anne
Continue Reading…

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Topshoppin' [Haul]

Some new pieces I found in the Topshop sale, one of the benefits of living in the opposite pond :P But boy, I didn't realise how pink everything was until now! O_o
Continue Reading…

Saturday, 18 May 2013

TWTW #13: Be Yourself

Nawww how sweet. Hehe, in all seriousness, I've had a soul-searching past few weeks and this month has been about getting my sh*t together. At home, uni, life etc so I'm sorry for ally my "deep and meaningful" posts, it'll get more fun soon :P

Wayne Goss Eyelash Tutorial
Lord I've got stick straight mamas hanging off my lids. I've also got thick hair so my lashes are the same and they don't have too bad a length on them but this combination means that most mascaras drag them down almost instantly. I decided on a whim to find some answers on youtube and Wayne Goss (you beaut) answered me. This technique works. *fist pump* Now I just have to find a better mascara that doesn't flake on me. On the other hand, doing this without mascara does keep my lashes curled all day so it's good for those lazy days. 

Microsoft Zune, 30gb
Yup, I spent $55 on "old" 2006 technology. What?! I missed having my home travelling with me - I've gone from a walkman, to a discman, creative zen, an ipod classic to just an iphone and it wasn't cutting it.  So I decided to get a fat mp3 player to bring it back and I love it, makes me feel whole again. It was actually hard finding something like this. You would think old technology like would be easy to find and be cheap, but most devices are such multi-taskers that simple devices are hard to find (without a hefty price tag). It don't look pretty but I like that - makes me worry less about scratches and an extra device means that I can always have my headphones wrapped around them. Lazy bones..

Find / Book
Blog Inc by Joy Cho
I've been itching to get my hands on this book and I'm so glad I got the physical copy and one for my kindle. I've loved having a blog and even though it's a small fish I know I need to have it in my life. But I've really struggled with direction since I've been in such a strange place in my life. I'm only in the beginning chapters but it's really got me thinking in ways I didn't expect. I think everyone would benefit from this book, with or without a blog, as there are some really interesting points and stories that Joy shares. It's really helped me find my feet with myself and blogging.

Well the titles does say it all. We're always making steps and leaps at becoming ourselves and I was reminded again this week, thanks to Joy Cho's book. It is so important to do things that we believe in and fight for it, in whatever situation, big or small. I'm a very happy duckling at the moment, feeling settled and determined, a cool combo.

There isn't much in this week's post as I'm in the midst of a uni paper and assessments, which may explain the more introspective posts these TWTW can turn into.. how have you been fairing? :)

x, mai-anne
Continue Reading…

Friday, 17 May 2013

New in: Home Decor ft. Daiso!

I've been a bit of a home decor monster lately, painstakingly perusing numerous websites to spruce up my living space. My home is my base, and I really want it to reflect and inspire me. 

The other day I found out about Daiso and that a few had opened in Sydney! Daiso is dubbed the "100 yen" store in Japan, as everything inside is 100 yen. 100 yen is roughly $1 in Australia, but of course, being Australia, it has been marked up to $2.80 (more thoughts on this later..). So yesterday I trekked up to Chatswood Daiso before uni, and Ikea afterwards and these were the items I scored..

At Daiso, I picked up some cute little fruit plates and a heart one which I thought would be adorable as tealight holders. I also was curious about the eyelash curler since $2.80 was a very bargainous price. Don't recommend these. I tried them today an they do feel very cheap and rather than curling my lashes, they bent them 90 degree up! It didn't even help my lashes stay curled after mascara. I didn't go for much more since at $2.80, some things felt like a rip off and are more expensive than our normal dollar stores. The range was nice and I think if you're looking for utensils and what not it's a possible option but at that price point it doesn't really invoke a shopping spree as I imagine it would in Japan or the States where the price is $1.50. I think it should have been priced at $2 or $2.20 for the Australian market, I would be happy with that price.

I also had a quick look around at Ikea. I ended up with the kvarna table lamp for $8 which wasn't too bad (is it like 45 cents in the states though? lol) and the infamous white pot plant holder. I really didn't plan on that one but when I saw the small potted plant inside the white one, I thought it was too cute a combo to miss.

(can't wait to keep decorating this little spot..) 

I also threw in some bunting in the pictures as I ordered them off ebay recently. Am currently trying to make work in my room, it's not working...

So there it is, more things I've been picking up! I'm on a bit of a roll, there probably is more coming..

Do you have any home places you like shopping at? Do share! :)
Continue Reading…

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

the skincare drawer

a sneak peek into my skincare home..

Skincare is my first love, can you tell? I thought I would show you the contents of my beloved top drawer which is filled with all these goodies. I definitely have more than the average amount where I can rotate the products but still can be finished before expiration. I put a lot of research (*cough* online shopping *cough*) before buying products so I usually will like what I buy but I don't tend to break out and am not particularly sensitive which does make it easier.

I'm a stickler and champion of natural/organic skincare which makes me love this drawer more. Beauty doing a good thing for us, the earth and our farmers? Win.

There will definitely be more in-depth reviews on lots of these products and I'm open to requests. Are you a skincare fiend too? :P

x mai-anne
Continue Reading…

Saturday, 4 May 2013

TWTW #12: Brave

Sara Barielles - Brave
I just discovered this song the other day and it somehow put me back in my place - in a good way. It helped me put back in focus what my heart is about aside from all the distractions, I am grateful. I love how Sara crafts her lyrics and how strong she is when she performs. Inspired.

My Ethos
I think I finally am able to express where I am at with my beauty ethos and it's taken me awhile. I went from being a green-eyed monster, to wanting to rebel against myself like a geeky teen in highschool, since I discovered makeup shortly after and felt like I was "missing out", to feeling guilty about that and to where I am now. I've hesitated calling myself a green blogger (or even a beauty blogger) because I'm not completely perfect about it and was afraid of the judgement if I wasn't - silly, I know.  I've also started a move towards cruelty-free products but I really don't know anything about it, so I'm no resource and therefore not a very good activist. But I've come to realise that for me, its not necessarily about "converting" or "switching" into an eco, cruelty-free person etc, but appreciating companies that are thoughtful and not just profit driven. It's not about the rules per se but the thought put in when purchasing, blogging etc. And it keeps it fun - I don't just buy green products because it's good for you, but because I genuinely love it and appreciate them, sappy

Gilmore Girls / Kim Sam Soon
I started watching Gilmore Girls again, this was my favourite show back in highschool. I still find Rory inspiring, and it gets me going with my blimmin' uni work. Kim Sam Soon? Well whenever a big change in my life happens and I'm feeling a bit, well, emotional, I seem to gravitate to this series and its soundtrack. I'm not hypo about Korean dramas but this is one of my favourites, if not THE favourite and I highly recommend it. Think Bridget Jones but Korean :P

Just some little snippets from the week. I love these posts, it's a nice way to look back while writing it and someday in the future as well, I hope.

x mai-anne
Continue Reading…

Friday, 3 May 2013

First Beauty Emporium (Mini!) Haul

So a crazy day back in April, Beauty Emporium had a 50% off off on their entire site for 24 hours. Yes, the entire site.  I had never seen a place offer that before and so even miss careful-shopper me placed an order quick smart. It's a UK based website that offers an unusual range of brands with many organic brands such as Trilogy and Priti, to mainstream brands like NYX. I like that it offers harder to find brands and am slightly kicking myself that I didn't pick up more, though this is quite a lot for a very slow shopper like myself. 

The first thing I was all over was Wild About Beauty, a makeup brand that includes lots of natural ingredients mixed in with some chemicals. I find that the ingredients can vary across products so more greenie eyes may scoff. I decided to pick up the Smooth Cover Concealer Kit, which is a duo concealer with a setting powder and the Ultra Dewy Creme Blush in 03 Phoebe, both of which had ingredients lists I was happy with. I'm planning a more in-depth post on these soon as there isn't much written about them.

For skincare, it was a great time to try something high-end on the cheap and a brand I've never heard of and is therefore harder to source. I went for the Sophyto Super Skin Concentrate which was featured in my last pamper post, and Cupcake Organic's Frankincense and Orange Day Cream as frankincense always seems to agree with me. I'm planning on some reviews on these soon too.

I was really impressed with the service from Beauty Emporium, the package came much quicker than expected (roughly a week-1 1/2 weeks) and was nicely wrapped. They also included their shopping bag which made it a more luxe experience, as if I had actually just gone shopping. I shop online mostly so it was nice to feel that way (sad). I definitely recommend this site and definitely sign up to get their offers, as they are clearly very good ones!  Now if only they offered free shipping.. Am I starting to ask for too much?

x mai-anne

Continue Reading…

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pamper Night #3: The New Stuff

Pamper nights are always that little bit more special because of new products, as long as they don't cause some formidable breakouts, of course. I've had some newbies enter the camp and I have been itching to test them out..

After exfoliating with the Ren Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask (of course) I applied a healthy dollop of Antipodes' Manuka Honey Mask. This has been on my wishlist for ages and I miraculously scored it as a gift with purchase by surprise - don't worry I played it cool at the counter while I was holding my breath.  But my, am I impressed. It's still early days but I'm a very tactile person and I have a very good feeling about this.  The combination of these two masks was amazing, just bright and healthy. Glow from the former and the hydration from the latter - sigh. I do warn thee, I did feel a bit of a tingy sensation so whilst it didn't burst into redness on my skin, it may for the more sensitive skinned.

I then followed up with my night time routine and whilst it's not new, I cracked out my 2nd bottle of Antipodes Apostle Skin-brightening & Tone-correcting Serum. I couldn't imagine life without this beaute and so I had to restock. It was because of this mama that I scored the amazing aforementioned GWP  even though I wasn't supposed to - the freebie was supposed to be for those that bought two Antipodes products. Hence the holding of my breath! So 25% off and a highly raved mask = ultimate win. *Happy Dance*

Okay cheap man's dance over, I finished my routine with a new oil in the family, the Sophyto Super Skin Concentrate. And it's heavenly. It reminds me of the Essential Care Concentrate, in both the smell and the texture. I waited till the next day to write this post so I could see if there was anything noticable by the morning, and while it is early days it is very moisturising, so far so good

I love these posts, they're a quick taste of some new products in the stash and it is so nice to take time out to care about yourself.  Do you enjoy pamper moments?

x mai-anne
Continue Reading…