au revoir, bleach damage

au revoir, bleach damage

I feel like I’ve found the holy grail.

Can you imagine being able to wake up with perfect hair?

We are so, so awful to our hair. We dye it, bleach it, flat iron it, put it up, take it down, tease it, curl it and then wonder why we wake up with a frizzy mop that refuses to take a chill pill. If you have ever bleached your hair, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I bottle dyed my hair black for about seven years and then, on a whim, decided I wanted to be a redhead and the damage was catastrophic.

Gone were the days of being able to wake up in the morning, brush my hair, and go.

Suddenly I was in a never-ending game of battling my damaged tresses with my straighteners which in turn led to more damage and more straightening and more frustration.

And then I found the answer.

I’m not going to attribute my success in winning the war against my locks purely to this one thing. I do also use a number of styling and conditioning products (which I’ll go into in a bit) but I genuinely, truly feel like this makes such a huge difference that I just had to tell you about it.

Are you sitting down?

The number one thing that you can do to help your freshly bleached locks is to go get yourself a mulberry silk pillowcase.

Silk doesn’t absorb oils and moisture like cotton does so you get to keep all that goodness in your skin and hair where you need it. On top of that, the smoother surface reduces friction on the hair cuticle so you wake up with sleeker, silkier hair that hasn’t been roughed up all night.

I’m not even slightly kidding when I say this thing has been a complete game changer for me.

Once again, I wake up in the morning looking semi-decent like the good hair days of my youth. I cannot recommend this enough.

As for products, my ride or dies for battling bleach damage are as follows:

  1. Olaplex, baby, yeah. It’s a salon only product that works on a molecular level to repair broken bonds in your hair. My hair dresser mixes it into every stage of the lightening process to help ease the damage from bleaching. I also use the take-home mask once a week, the longer you can leave it on the better.
  2. Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening Shine. I slather this onto my ends when I get out of the shower and also use it to slick down flyaways. I can run my fingers through my hair 5 hours after brushing it without getting stuck on knots. Can you?
  3. Redken Color Extend Magnetics shampoo & conditioner. The thing about bleaching your hair is it basically gives up on holding onto your colour. Using a lower sulphate or sulphate free shampoo makes a huge difference.
  4. Nak Heat Beat Protective Sealant. If you’re not using a heat protector and you straighten or curl your hair, you are literally not allowed to complain about damage. It’s against the law. This one doesn’t weigh my hair down, doesn’t affect the texture of my hair and it smells yummy like roses.
  5. A detangling hairbrush. It doesn’t have to be a branded tangleteezer or anything. I use a $9 one from Kmart (linked) and it’s amazing. Make sure you start brushing from the ends of your hair and work up in stages so you don’t end up forcing all the knots down (which leads to breakage). Brush your hair gently and try not to stress it out too much.
  6. An amazing hairdresser. Okay, Jordi isn’t a product. But she’s worth mentioning. If you’re in Christchurch you need to hit her up. A crap hairdresser can wreck your hair in one sitting. Jordi is the shit. (So take a big whiff)

If you have managed to successfully bleach your hair and not have to shave your head and hide in a cupboard for the remainder of your twenties, I’d love to know your secrets. Leave me a comment and let me know!

As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. I paid for all the products I have mentioned.

glow on the go / essential travel makeup

Mini size sample travel makeup for travel new Zealand Australia
I have never been a minimalist when it comes to beauty products. I have an entire room to keep my makeup in, I can easily spend an hour on my evening skincare, and even just shampooing my hair is a four step process.

But with my Sydney trip looming ever closer, I have started thinking about which products I absolutely can’t live without for four days.

So without further ado, I present to you my top, can’t-live-without, international-travel-friendly hair, makeup and skincare product guide.

Makeup:

Lipstick – I always take one red lipstick and one nude lipstick. I like a long-wearing matte, but never matte liquid (because when I’m on holiday I’d like to eat without fear of my lipstick going all crumbly).  This particular trip, I will be packing MAC Russian Red and MAC Spirit – both of which you can buy online for NZ$40 here.

Brows – Since the aim of the game is saving valuable shopping space in my suitcase, all I’ll be taking for my brows is my Benefit Gimme Brow.

Eyeshadow – The teeny Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is perfect as it has all the shades you need for a complete neutral eye look. It’s sleek, minimal and really is just the basics. You can get it from Mecca for NZ$52.

Mascara – Currently obsessed with the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, it does a pretty good job of curling on its own so I don’t need to pack a lash curler and it stays on all day without flaking, running or losing the curl. Get it from Farmers for NZ$26.99.

Eyeliner – The Tarte So Fine Liner is incredible – and it’s slim and easy to chuck in your makeup bag. For travel I wouldn’t pack a gel liner and brush, this is much easier. You can get it here for NZ$33.

Face – I wouldn’t do foundation on the go, especially if I’m travelling somewhere hot where I’m likely to sweat it all off anyway. All I’m going to be bringing with me is the Maybelline Master Contour palette as it has a bronzer, blush and highlight all in one – separate packaging wastes space and this palette can be used on bare skin.

Skincare:

This is always a tricky one as you can’t take anything bigger than 100ml on an international flight. The Goodness Grab & Go Try-Me Kit has everything I need, ever, in tiny adorable bottles and tubes – and there’s nothing bigger than 25ml. Seriously, it has a moisturiser (with SPF!), a cleanser, a night cream, a facial oil and an exfoliating scrub – and they’re soo cute!

Haircare:

I’m very lucky and have an incredible hairdresser who hooks me up with samples so I recently acquired an adorable, tiny pack of shampoo, conditioner and a blow dry primer. You can try asking your hairdresser to hook you up too, or you can go to Kmart or Countdown for little miniatures.

 

And so there you have it! Let me know which products you guys can’t go without in the comments, and if you have any tips for packing to keep my suitcase space free I’d love to hear them!

 

As always, this post is entirely my own opinion – I do not represent anyone or anything. This post features products from Goodness and Maybelline that were gifted to me but I would not be posting about them if I didn’t genuinely love them.

toofaced natural love palette review

Well, New Zealand, the Too Faced Natural Love palette is here. After all the hype, I’m honestly a little disappointed. There are 30 shades, but when I look at this palette I don’t feel inspired to create.
I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but Too Faced uses a tried and true marketing scheme for all their new products. They start by posting elusive “sneak peeks” of the product, usually zoomed in or cropped, with no other info. This sparks interest and gets the ‘grammers tagging each other and making guesses about what it is. The closer we get to the release date, the more bite-sized pieces of information about the new product we get. By the time the product is on sale, there has been so much hype circulated that there is a mad rush to get it before it sells out. It’s really quite clever. They use our curiosity and our fear of missing out against us.

We started being drip fed sneaky peeks by Too Faced’s founder, Jarred Blandino, in about December of 2016. I knew, straight away, that I needed it. I don’t know if it was the cute, storybook illustration packaging or the shimmery pinks and nudes – but something about that palette was screaming “BUY ME!”

It’s not a cheap palette, at NZ$95, but with 30 eyeshadows and the looming FOMO (damn limited edition!) I justified it to myself and snapped it up. I ordered mine from Mecca with free express shipping and it came in 3 days. Gift wrapping was free so, naturally, I got that shit gift wrapped with a love note to myself.

A lot of people have been talking about the poor quality of the eyeshadows and I have to say, I don’t agree. I think the quality is fine – it’s not overwhelmingly good, but it’s pretty good. I would never use eyeshadow without a primer, so I don’t judge shadows on how they fare without it. There is a lot of fall out with some of the shimmers so I always have to wipe down my cheek and undereye area.

I also don’t have an issue with the fact that 13 of the 30 eyeshadows exist in other Too Faced palettes. I usually use one palette for an entire look, so it’s nice to have everything in one place.

For me, it’s the finish selection. There are an overbearing amount of shimmer or glittery finish shades and very few mattes. This makes coming up with a pretty look quite limiting as your only matte crease options are taupe, chocolate brown or black. I would say it has an even distribution of lights to darks, but most of the dark shades are too shimmery to put in your crease. It is a “natural” palette but with such beautiful pinks and lavenders and I would have liked perhaps some blush toned mattes to go along with it.

I think that for an everyday palette, perhaps for a beginner, this is fantastic. I could imagine a teenage girl receiving this for her birthday and being proud as punch, showing all her friends, and using it every day until she hits pan on every shade. But it’s probably not worth NZ$95. I’ll still use it as I really love some of the shades, but I’ll have to use another palette to bring colour and drama into my crease. I think it’s a shame, a couple of peach or blush or purple matte shades would have made this palette a total winner for me.

As always, this is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. I paid full price for this product and everything I have written here I believe to be true.

five basic rules for good selfie-esteem

You know what really annoys me? When I’m looking at someone’s selfie on Instagram, thinking about how beautiful they are, then I read the caption and it says something like “excuse my eyebrows”. Immediately my eyes fly back up the picture and, sure enough, the eyebrows are unplucked or messy. The reason this annoys me isn’t because I have something against messy eyebrows, but because I never would have noticed the imperfection had it not been pointed out to me.

You guys have probably seen this, and maybe even done it yourself. I can totally understand it, too. When you’re feeling a bit self conscious about the volcano of a zit growing on your chin it’s kind of a defense mechanism to point it out before anyone else can. That way, you own it. If anybody else says “wow look at that pimple!” you can be like “I know, I already mentioned it.” But the thing is… nobody would have mentioned it. Chances are, nobody would have even noticed it. But if you bring it up yourself, they definitely will.

This is a nice picture, right? It got over 200 likes on Instagram, so I’m guessing it must be. Now I’m going to take one for the team and point out a few things: first, my unplucked eyebrows. Second, the pimples on my forehead. And third, the light dusting of hair on my upper lip. Go ahead, look again. Do you see these things now? But be honest, did you see them before I pointed them out?

Here are my five basic rules for having good selfie-esteem:

  1. Do not point out your flaws or make excuses.
  2. Stop captioning them “shameless selfie”, because if you truly felt no shame you wouldn’t feel the need to say that.
  3. Don’t worry about getting likes. They don’t mean anything and it doesn’t change how beautiful you are. Share the picture because you like it, not because you want other people to.
  4. Focus on your good features. Focus on the stuff you like about yourself, not the stuff you don’t like.
  5. Don’t delete it after you’ve posted it. Be confident, stand by your selfie.

Another thing to remember is that for every good selfie, there’s about 50 awful ones. Nobody is actually as perfect as they look on the Internet. 

Do you guys have any tips for feeling more confident about your selfies? Leave me a comment! xx

the skinny on sugar scrubs // sugar cube co review

Unless you live under a rock in the middle of nowhere with no mobile phone reception and no WiFi you’ve probably noticed at least some of the hype buzzing around sugar or coffee scrubs. They promise to remove dead skin and leave your skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated. 

Of course, exfoliating is nothing new: it dates back to ancient Egypt and so many different forms of exfoliation exist that, really, we’re spoiled with options. But are sugar scrubs really better than just a good, hard scrub with a loofah? 

Short answer: yes. There are three main reasons why sugar is good for your skin. The first is that the gritty grains are, naturally, a fantastic exfoliant for removing the top layer of dead skin cells. Like microbeads in an exfoliating cleanser, except they don’t end up passing through the drains and polluting our waterways and… y’know, killing the planet. The second is that sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid which penetrates the skin and encourages cell turnover, meaning your skin looks younger and fresher. The third is that sugar is a natural humectant which attracts and retains moisture from the surrounding environment. Basically, that means that when you rub it into your skin, it takes the moisture in there with it. 

Sugar Cube Co are winners in my book for a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s a Christchurch business run by three women, and it really is fantastic to support local businesses. The second is that they use good, natural ingredients and they’re vegan friendly so you know no furry friends were harmed. 

They also make a damn good product. I’ve been using the Lime & Mint Body Detox Organic Sugar Scrub (one quick criticism – what a long name!) for just over a month now and I absolutely love it. It smells amazing – definitely more on the citrus side, personally I can’t smell a lot of mint in there although the ingredients do list cold pressed spearmint oil so it’s definitely in there. It’s also really simple to use: scoop a handful in the shower, rub it on your body until the sugar dissolves and it stops being gritty and then rinse it off.

After you’ve washed it off it the coconut oil and other oils leave your skin feeling slightly greasy under the shower water, then once you’re all towelled off you’re baby’s bum smooth – no need to moisturise. 

I get really dry skin and, on bad days, patches of red and itchy dermatitis so generally I avoid exfoliating or being rough with my skin so I don’t anger the skin gods and have a dermatitis break out. Regardless of how gentle I am, I always have rough, dry patches on my arms. The best thing about this product is that while it didn’t make those patches go away completely, it definitely improved them in a way that normal shower+body butter-ing didn’t. 

All in all, fantastic product. Would definitely repurchase. You can buy it here on their website for $24.95. It also comes in two other flavours which I haven’t tried, so the question now is… what flavour next?

As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. Nobody paid me to write this post and everything I have written here I believe to be true.

my NZ anastasia beverly hills haul and review

Following on my theme from the last post (my experience with Colourpop), this is for my kiwi girls sleeping on full carts at anastasiabeverlyhills.com because… girl, I see you. I see you crying inside when you see the shipping total. I see you settling for the scant selection at Sephora.nz or Beauty Bay. I’m here to tell you it’s okay, you can feel the fear and click purchase anyway.

Again, this post will be broken down into sections so you can just read the parts that interest you. 

How much did I spend and what did I get for it? I spent US$107.95 which was NZ$160.02 and I ordered the So Hollywood illuminator, Pure Hollywood liquid lipstick and the Modern Renaissance palette. They actually screwed up my order and sent me a contour kit (which is worth an extra US$10) instead of the illuminator but they quickly fixed that. I just sent them an email explaining the mix up and without even getting a reply, like the next day I had a shipping confirmation email saying my illuminator was on the way. I didn’t even have to send back the contour kit, so I basically got that for free. It was awesome.

How much was shipping and how quick was it? It was US$17.95 which equals NZ $25.63 which is pretty spensy BUT it arrived in less than a week which is awesome for international shipping especially over the holiday period. It also included tracking and y’all better believe I sat there refreshing the page waiting for my package. Of course, I did have to wait an extra 4 days (I know, tough life) to get the illuminator I ordered. But… y’know, free contour kit.

How was it packaged? It was really securely packaged up in a small cardboard box completely filled with shredded paper. There was no way anything was getting broken in there. Even the illuminator came in the same size box, kind of over kill and a bit of a waste, but if you have a pet that has a litter box it could be useful? 

But wait, why didn’t you just order from Sephora or Beauty Bay? Well, I really, really wanted the Modern Renaissance palette and at the time, Sephora was out of stock (as it always is) and Beauty Bay didn’t even have it listed. For one thing, Beauty Bay takes about a month to get your product to you. ABH took less than a week. And neither of them sell the lipsticks AND they didn’t have So Hollywood. Also, I’ve had Sephora send me a damaged product and instead of sending me a replacement and letting me keep the damaged/incorrect product they expected me to send it back – which is totally normal but a complete pain and ABH was happy to just send me a replacement and let me keep the contour kit. Win for ABH.

Modern Renaissance price comparison for the three sites:

Sephora.nz – NZ$75.00

Beauty Bay – Β£41.00/ NZ$71.75

AnastasiaBeverlyHills.com – US$42/NZ$59.98

I think if you’re only gonna buy the one thing, and it’s actually in stock, you’d be better to buy it on Sephora.nz because they do free shipping for orders $75 and above, but if you’re ordering a couple of things the $25ish shipping disappears into the mix plus you can get all the products and shades you’re after and shipping is SO QUICK.

Would I recommend anastasiabeverlyhills.com and would I purchase again? Yes, absolutely. Super quick shipping and the full range available. You just have to be able to look past the shipping fee. I probably wouldn’t purchase again until they had something I really wanted, though. 

As always, this post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. Nobody paid me to write this post and everything I have written here I believe to be true.

my NZ colourpop haul and reviewΒ 

I think I speak for all NZ girls when I say we have been missing out for far too long. I mean, we’ve all been there… filling our carts, selecting international shipping… then laughing at the total and closing the tab. In all seriousness, for the cost of shipping to little old New Zealand, you could probably get another mascara or a lipstick  or something. So when I found out that Colourpop was doing free international shipping over $50, I immediately warmed to the brand.

(This post is broken down into sections so you can just read the stuff you care about. I got you, boo.) 

How much did I spend and what did I get for it? US$50 is still like over NZ$70 (at the time of writing this post, anyway) so I had to fully commit and ended up spending just shy of NZ$85 and I got three lipsticks, two lip pencils and seven eyeshadows. I think that’s pretty good value.

How was it packaged? I was actually really surprised at how nice everything was. It all came in a well packed cardboard box with lots of foamy packing stuff to protect everything. There was the little handwritten note just like what I’ve seen on everyone else’s instagram posts, slightly disappointed to discover they aren’t actually handwritten but only slightly. There was also a little information booklet telling you about the products and how best to use them.

The individual products:

I got a kit set called Party Trick with 6 eyeshadows and I was kind of expecting the eyeshadows to be rattling around in a flimsy cardboard box but they came secured inside a sturdy box with a magnetic close and a good sized mirror. It came with four metallics, one pearlized shadow and one satin luxe. You can see the box is a little bit crumpled in the middle but other than that it is a very sturdy box, comparable to the Cargo Cosmetics palette boxes. 

Party Trick swatches

As for the eyeshadows themselves, I was honestly expecting pressed powder (because that’s what they look like in photos) and what I got was a whole bunch of moussey cream shadows pressed into a little coin, encased in a tub that screws open and closed like a lip gloss. Because it’s like, a cream type product you are better off using your fingers to tap it on which I actually don’t like because I feel like you can’t be as precise, but you can use a flat synthetic brush it’s just not going to give you as much colour pay off. They’re really blendable with a brush once on your eyes, which is a positive. All in all, I absolutely love them. They are so shiny and glittery and sparkly on my eyelids that sometimes I need to sit down and just breathe for a minute in case I get overwhelmed.

Party Trick

One of the eyeshadows, Valley Girl, came kinda crumpled up inside the little tub and when I opened it, the whole thing just fell out into my hand. Eek. But I just patted it back inside and now I’m super careful every time I open it. I don’t think this happened in transit, I think it just wasn’t secured into the tub properly. 

Broken Valley Girl

As for the lipsticks, I picked two Lippie Stix and their matching lip pencils and one Ultra Matte Lip
The Lippie Stix are great, I got Nevermind (a dark purple with a matte finish) and Skimpy (a pale nude with a glossy finish). They both smell amazing, like vanilla, only thing is that the Lippie Pencil in Skimpy is a couple shades darker than the Lippie Stix in Skimpy. Nevermind seems pretty consistent across both products.

LAX is just beautiful. Before we go any further, let me state for the record that I absolutely hate matte liquid lipsticks. I’ve tried em all: Australis, Limecrime, ABH, Gerard Cosmetics, La Splash, Stila… I just hate them. They look gorgeous for the first couple of minutes and then you start to feel like you have a thick, heavy coat of dry skin on your lips and God forbid you eat anything or its a whole different disaster. But this one… it was just so comfortable. It’s a lot darker than the deep red it appears in the tube and in the swatch pictured above. I did notice that it wore off the inside of my lips (as all lipsticks do) and left behind a hot pink lip stain which wasn’t unpleasant? But looked pretty stark next to the deep, red black of the lipstick. That and when I went to wash it off, it left behind that shocking pink which would be pretty neat if you suit hot pink but unfortunately I do not so I had to scrub pretty hard to get it off.

Party Trick on the eyes and LAX on the lips

I also got an eyeshadow called Tassel, I haven’t got any pictures of it but it’s perfect. Individually, the tub came in a little box.

The packaging of all of it (bar the Ultra Matte Lip) is white plastic with silver holographic writing on it. It’s kinda teenagerish when you compare it to say, the sleek gold and black Chanel bullets. The Lippie Stix are longer and slenderererer than a traditional bullet lipstick. The Ultra Matte Lip is sleek and has a clear bottle and a silver top, it looks more grown up than the rest.

How long did it take to get to New Zealand? Honestly, it was way quicker than I thought it would be. I got free tracking, another huge bonus, and I got to watch on a little map as it journeyed across the sea. I think there was a bit of delay with my order because I ordered on the 29th of December and obviously the holidays slowed things down a bit but it still got to me by the 7th of January, which is impressive for an international order. I think if you ordered not around the holidays it would get to you even quicker, but I obviously can’t say for sure.

Would I recommend Colourpop and will I order again? Yes and yes. Pray for my bank account.

As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion. Nobody paid me to write this post and everything I have written here, I believe to be true. Please buy me a kitten.