break-up makeup balm // a gift to the universe

I think the Goodness Break-up Makeup Balm is the best thing since coconut oil. And that could be because the main ingredient is coconut oil, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a gift to the universe.
Remember how coconut oil was supposed to give us softer skin, whiten our teeth, fix our straightener damaged hair, make our farts smell like lavender and make your ex boyfriend want you back? Well… while it hasn’t delivered on all of those promises, you can bet your sweet bippy that it makes a fucking fantastic makeup remover. The Goodness break-up makeup balm is like coconut oil on steroids. It’s all that, and a bag of chia seeds.

How does it work?

You just warm a small amount in your hands and then smoosh-smoosh (technical term, ladies and gents) all over your face. Watch as it breaks up your no-budge eyeliner and gently dissolves your mascara without snagging all your lashes out. Then, once your face is an oily grey blur of mascara and foundation, take a hot flannel and wipe it all off. For best results, lay the flannel on your face for a few and give yourself a wee sauna facial (this is my mum’s trick from aaages ago, she swears by it) to help the coconut oil melt properly so you can wipe it off easier. 

What don’t I just use coconut oil?

Remember when I said it’s all that and a bag of chia seeds? It’s also packed with all the other ingredients you pay $25 for at brunch with the girls. Avocado oil, chia seed oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil… basically all the reasons why you don’t already own a house in Auckland. But then it’s also vegan (which means unlike most makeup balms it contains no beeswax – great for me since I’m allergic!)

The packaging is boss, once this is all used up I can see myself keeping things in the tin. It’s made in New Zealand. It’s all natural. It smells awesome. It’s also available for $19.99 at Countdown.
Honestly, I can’t find a fault. 

If you guys try it, let me know what you think! 

on starting a new job (and not having a total stress meltdown)

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should… obviously my page is excellent) you’ll already know that recently I changed jobs/careers/my sleeping patterns/my entire life. It was quite unexpected, I was out of town working on a fashion show and I got a phone call asking how soon could I start. So I arrived back in Christchurch and walked straight into a new and scary job unlike anything I’d ever done before. 

The scariest part of all of this is I haven’t been the New Girl in three years. Not only am I leaving behind a community of people I knew, a community where I knew my place and knew what to expect in any situation, but I’m leaving behind an entire industry and toeing the waters of something that (I’m sorry to my clients for this buuuut…) interests me more than fitness ever did and is completely new and almost overwhelming to me.

Anyway, Michelle, get to the point. My top 6 tips (because top fives are for chumps) for surviving the first couple weeks in a new job are as follows:

1. Watch and learn. 

The most important thing when you’re trying to figure out where you fit in a new environment is to watch and observe said new environment. Are people chatty with each other at their desks or do they save convo for the staff room? Are people using their phones during the work day? What kind of senses of humor do people have? This kind of stuff may seem inconsequential but you don’t want to be that new girl who started making inappropriate jokes cause it was cool at her last work. 

2. No saying no.

Obviously to an extent with this one, if they start making ridiculous demands remember to set boundaries for yourself. But if your new colleague needs help with something and they ask you to do it, just do it. In my first few months at my last job, I said yes to every single shift I was offered. Even if it meant doing a 5am-9am shift and then coming back for a 5pm-9pm shift. I proved myself to be reliable and cemented myself as irreplaceable. 

3. Write everything down.

When you’re learning eight hundred new things a second, you’re going to forget a lot of it. So write it down. There are only so many things you can hold in your brain at one time. And with your personal life, too, when you get busy it’s easy for stuff to slip your mind. So it’s not uncommon for my schedule to have stuff like “bring sneakers” or “lunch in fridge” popping up at 7am so I remember to chuck that stuff in my bag before I leave for the day. Also, if you’re like me and suck at replying to texts when you’re busy, a little reminder in your diary saying “text Ria back” doesn’t hurt.

4. Take initiative.

I know, common sense isn’t as common as we’d like it to be. But seriously. You’re new at this job. Make yourself look like the sparkling team player you are, and help out with stuff you haven’t been asked to help out with. You see something that needs doing? Don’t wait to be asked to do it. Also, be proactive and don’t sit around at your desk waiting to be told what to do. Ask people if and how you can be useful and then just do it, even if it’s not technically part of your job description.

5. Thou shalt not talk shit about thy coworkers on Facebook. 

I mean, really. Keep your drama off the net. It’s unprofesh as fuck. And not just Facebook: zip it on Instagram, twitter, even snapchat. Just don’t. 

6. Stay positive.

Starting a new job is super stressful. You have to learn so much, meet so many people and remember so many names. And a job is still a job, no matter where you go. It’s still work. When I first started working, I had a string of hospo jobs lasting no longer than three months because I’d always hate it where I was, decide the grass was greener somewhere else, then discover that regardless of the cafe I was still making coffee, washing dishes and serving assholes. Focus on the good stuff, like the stuff you enjoy doing, or… I don’t know, pay day.

And that concludes my top 6 tips. If you guys have any of your own, I would love to hear them – help a freshly minted office girl out!

the balm autobalm Hawaii face palette review 

I think that, by now, we all know The Balm absolutely slay at packaging. As a brand, The Balm has consistently given us cute, kinda retro, pun-heavy and slightly silly products. I mean, a mascara called “Tall Dark and Handsome”? Yes please. So when they came out with these travel sized palettes, they took product that was relatively simple – a blush and three eyeshadows – and they came up with a really fun idea to make it look like a driver’s license.

The palette itself is roughly the same size as a driver’s license, it’s quite compact and not particularly deep so it’s easy to pop into your makeup bag or handbag. The packaging is cardboard with a magnetic close and a sturdy mirror. It’s gorgeous to look at, fun and quirky, and very on point with the brand’s style. The pans aren’t huge, the blush especially is tiny for what you would expect for a blush, but perfect for a travel sized product. 

As for colour selection, I honestly didn’t really see the colours working together. There is a very hot pink blush (very bright) a satiny “highlighter/shadow” which is almost matte and not particularly highlighting but works great as a base shade, a dark matte purple “eyeshadow/liner” and a metallic silver eyeshadow. With only three eyeshadows, your options are always going to be limited to basically one look. But when I first saw the palette my first thought was “silver and plum..? Really?” but then I gave it a go and was surprised at how well it worked. 

The eyeshadows are high quality, pigmented and soft and blendable with minimal to no fall out. If you lay down a good base of the highlight shade, then mix the purple slowly and softly through you get a really lovely crease colour even without a transition shade. Which goes against basically every YouTube dos and don’ts for eyeshadow video. Ever. It also lasted really well. I put it on at 6:45am (over the Too Faced eyeshadow primer) and wore it all day at work, through a 60 minute spin class and a shower and when I took it off at 8pm, it hadn’t faded or smudged or anything. It still looked awesome. 

And now for the stuff that I didn’t like, which was, in a nutshell, the blush. It’s too much. To be fair, I am a very light touch with blush because I feel like your face makeup should look as though you’re not wearing makeup at all… but this stuff? Well, I used an incredibly light hand and I still looked like a clown. And no matter what I did, it wouldn’t blend out. Two of the girls at work even admitted it didn’t look very good. I’ve heard that people with darker complexions haven’t had any issues, but personally I was really not a fan.

This palette (and her sister California) sell for NZ$39.99 at Life Pharmacy, which personally I think is quite steep for three small eyeshadows and a blush. They are high quality, though, and something I could see myself continuing to use regularly. The blush, on the other hand, I will probably never use again.

TL;DR: awesome little palette, blush is way too awesome, maybe a little bit spensy but I think it’s worth it.

As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. I was gifted this product however my opinion is still completely honest.

thoughts on affectation and social media identity 

I have a confession to make: I’m a fraud. I don’t actually have beautiful marble surfaces in my house, I don’t wear that much makeup every day, I don’t keep my jewellery and handbags artfully strewn around in well lit areas, I also don’t really burn candles or write in notebooks. Nor do I wear reading glasses. 

And yet a quick scroll down my instagram feed will tell you that I am that person, that girl that wears gold rings and bangles and beaded handbags and drinks black coffee. Which is, to be totally honest with you, fucking awesome. 

I’m pretending, but then I’m also not pretending at the same time. Similar to the way you can photograph your face from certain angles to show the best of you (my good side is the right one, by the way) you can choose which parts of your life you want to share with the rest of the world. Your social media identity can be whoever you want it to be, and I find that really empowering.

We all do this to some extent. It is the minority who will take and upload a selfie when they don’t feel like they look good and we tend not to make public the issues in our relationships and what’s really going on under the perfect facade. Taking control of the you that’s on social media is powerful, it tells a story, and -honestly – it’s art. Who cares if it’s not entirely honest?

That girl is me, just not all the time. And the real me is one that I get to share with the people closest to me. 

the dreaded motivation slump and how to get out of it

My mum says motivation comes from action. If you’ve hung around me for more than five minutes you’ve probably heard that exact sentence come streaming out of me at least once. And with mothers day looming ever closer, it’s time to take a moment to appreciate that motherly wisdom for what it is. Mum, you’re totally right.

But what does that actually mean? 

Well, we all know what a motivation slump is. You know those days when going to the gym just seems too hard so you skip it and then the next day you get too busy so you skip it and then you haven’t been for two days so you feel guilty so you skip it and that one day turns into a week and then somehow that week turns into a month… and then because you haven’t been in so long, it’s too hard to find the motivation to go back. That, my friends, is a motivation slump. 

And it happens with all things, not just your training. Think back to any project that started off so exciting (blogging, a reading challenge, doing up your own furniture – whatever!) and remember that point where it starts to get difficult or you get a bit bored and so you take a tiny break… how much harder was it to pick back up? Did you manage to pick it back up at all?

Now that we’ve clarified we’re all on the same page, we all know what a motivation slump is, how do you get out of it? Let’s ask mum:

“Motivation comes from action.” – My Mum

Basically, just… just do it. It’s not going to be easy the first time. It probably won’t even be easy the second time. But once you’ve got momentum, it’ll be so much easier than it was at the start. A rocket uses more fuel in take off than it’ll use for the rest of the flight and human motivation is the same.

Tick, tock!

You’re also never going to feel like doing it. So if you’re waiting to suddenly have the desire to get started, you’re either going to be waiting a long time or literally forever. And while you’re waiting you could have got so much further. So start right now. Seriously. Click out of this blog post, schedule whatever it is you need to do in your calendar, and stick to that. 

Come back here when you’ve done it, and tell me in the comments how it went. 


getting inspired: the 2017 mood board 

Let’s do this pseudo-deep tumblr-girl style and skip the small talk and head straight to the deep questions: What do you want to get out of 2017? Who do you want to be in 2017?

Motivation is hard – trust me, I’m a personal trainer. But once you have inspiration, it’s so much easier. Trying to be motivated without inspiration is like shopping without a list: you have no idea what you’re getting or if you’re picking up the right things because (to be honest) you don’t even know what you’re cooking tonight, you’re just kind of hoping it turns out okay.

So one of my favourite ways to get inspired for the new year is to create a mood board/inspiration board/vision board – whatever you want to call it. There are heaps of different ways to create them: step one is to find pictures or things that inspire you. You can find them on the internet (pinterest and instagram are great places for this) or from magazines. Step two is to put them all in one place. Stick them on a big piece of paper or cardboard, to your wall, on a pinboard. Or you can create a virtual mood board on pinterest.

2017 pinterest mood board

So put on your mom jeans, get your craft glue and your paper scissors. We’re collagin’.

My 2017 mood board

Last year I had a combination of print outs and magazine cut outs, pictures of people I admired, decor and prints I liked, nail polishes I liked. This year, since my printer is broken, I just flicked through a bunch of magazines and cut out pictures that appealed to me.

The important thing is just to think about what inspires you. Which images make you happy? What colours appeal to you? What do you want to change this year?
Mood boards for inspo:

Jasmine Dowling’s mood board

Jasmine Dowling

Colour: Think about colours you like, perhaps colours you wear a lot or would like to wear more. What colours would you like to decorate your home with? What colours make you happy?

Erin Hiemstra’s photoshoot mood board

Erin Hiemstra – Apt. 34

Pegboard or pinboard (or old fashioned bluetack and a wall!): These are cool because you can have it up on a wall where you can be reminded of it every day, but it’s also really easy to move things around and add and subtract as your inspiration evolves.

Silkie’s January mood board

Silkie from Rosehip Cards – original post here

Texture: Don’t feel limited to pictures for your mood board. Silkie makes beautiful cards and paper products so texture and colour are featured strongly in her mood board. You can use fabric, ribbons, dried flowers, anything that inspires you. 

Idols: I like to put pictures of people who inspire me on my mood board. I’ll also put up pictures of people in my life who I want to spend more time with in 2017 and other women with hot bods for gym inspo. That kind of thing.

Krystal’s 2017 goals mood board

Krystal – simple_girly_blog

Goals: What do you want to achieve this year? My dad’s wife made a really cool mood board one year that had her cut up credit card glued onto it because she wanted to pay off her credit card debt that year. It also had a magazine cut out of a beach in Rarotonga because she wanted to go on a holiday.

There’s no wrong way to put together a mood board, just find things that inspire you and put them all together. Having them all in one place where you can see them and remind yourself of what inspires you can be a great way to focus on what you want out of life. What would you guys put on your mood boards? I’d love to see!

on being a multi-potentialite

You know what was really frustrating for me when I was a kid? I was good at a lot of stuff. And I don’t say that to sound braggy. What I mean is, I was good at a lot of stuff – but I wasn’t great at any one thing. It was fine when I was quite young: at nine or ten I was considered really good at art, singing, writing, drama… Basically anything creative. And then as I got older I kept trying to pursue all of these things at once, so by the time I reached high school I was only good at these things and not really good like I had been at nine. Then I met people in my year who had been really good at one thing and had actively pursued that one thing and were now excellent. It all left me feeling a bit lost.

I’ve already discussed my thoughts on being a slashie (personal trainer slash makeup artist, read that here) but I think this might be a little different.

What is a multi-potentialite? It’s a term coined by Emilie Wapnick (there’s a fantastic Ted talk you can watch here) that is described as:

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

Are you a multi-potentialite? Are you the kind of person who picks up a hobby, for example photography, buys a camera and gets really into it for a few weeks or months, then suddenly discovers painting, buys an easel and paints and brushes and all the required paraphernalia and gets really into it for a couple of months and then discovers guitar… do you see where I’m going with this? If you’re nodding along right now and remembering all the discarded projects you were passionate about for a few months, congratulations: you are are multi-potentialite.

And guess what? It’s actually a good thing. I started my working life in a cafe, serving coffee to strangers. Then I did the first year of a business degree. Then I decided to go and be a personal trainer. Then I decided I wanted to be a makeup artist too. I’m sure you could probably argue that I wasted my time on all the early stuff, that I would have been better off if I’d discovered earlier on that I was passionate about makeup (perhaps before getting myself into massive student debt) because then I could have just pursued that and would probably be further along than I am now. 

But here’s the thing: working in a cafe taught me how to work fast and perform well under pressure, it also taught me how to provide exceptional customer service to people who basically were treating me like dirt. The first year at business school taught me so many things, I have a good understanding of contract law and commercial law, I know how business structures work and what creates a good culture, I know how to communicate professionally. Personal training has taught me how to run my own business, not quit when things get hard, pay my own taxes, relate to people and make them feel comfortable and understood.

Fitness and fashion?

So now, when I’m training people, thanks to working in that cafe I can provide exceptional customer service regardless of how I’m feeling. Thanks to Commercial Law 101, when I’m getting my clients to sign a contract before they start training with me, I know my contract is solid and is going to protect me and my business.

And when I’m working back stage on a fashion show, thanks to that cafe, I can work under pressure and stay calm. Thanks to personal training, when I’m doing makeup on someone I can make my client feel comfortable and motivate and inspire her so she feels better when she heads out the door for her big event. Thanks to running my own business, when I get handed a wad of cash after doing someone’s makeup, I know how much of that gets put away for tax.

Even if you don’t stick with your current interest, you can take what you learned from it into the next thing. You can go back to it later, or you could be a slashie and be two things at once. Just remember: it is never a waste of time to pursue something that you’re drawn to. 

Are you a multi-potentialite? Do you know a multi-potentialite? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!