Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Favourites

Crazy that it's already December, but I've finished my Christmas shopping so I'm quite proud of myself. I'm also very impatient, which is a factor in my early prep. November was a month of exams and stress. After finals were over, I took some time out to exercise more, eat cleanly and invest in some 'me time' to improve the way I felt. I've gone a bit mad for almond milk and chia pudding and I considered dedicating a whole post to chia pudding because I feel that passionate about it. I could and should exercise more, but one step at a time! I've also gotten into burning candles and I've learnt how to fix and prevent tunneling (the term for when it's burning down the middle, leaving a wall of wax around the sides) and I've also learnt how to remove melted candle wax spillage from carpet. Oops. I learnt that it's very stressful but ironing the wax out of the carpet onto paper towels is actually quite fun.

White Glo Toothpaste - Coffee and Tea Drinkers' Formula
I used to try every whitening toothpaste I could see on sale at the supermarket and when I needed a new toothbrush after camp a couple of months ago I decided to return to White Glo because it includes a toothbrush, and seeing as I haven't bothered with whitening toothpaste in a long while  I could really use it with the amount of tea and coffee I consume. I'll continue to use it until it's empty but at present I do think I've seen some results with this- more so than when using regular toothpaste in any case. It's promising- and everybody wants whiter teeth, right?

E.L.F. Studio Blush Brush
I bought this brush after much deliberation because (a) I have a lot of brushes that can apply blush however, this one is smaller and more precise so it has a niche in my collection; (b) Lena and Tiffany were singing its praises and you best believe I listen to those girls and their awe-inspiring, discerning taste. I really like this brush for blush placement and pigment- it's more effective and precise than the Real Techniques Multi-Task brush, the EcoTools Mineral Powder Brush or the Essence Blush Brush because it manages to place powder blush right where you want it, and it doesn't cause problematic application like blush not showing up so you pile it on and then it's too pink and dolly so you try to blend it out with your foundation buffing brush and you're left pink and basically screwed. It's not like that- it's nice and packs the right amount of colour on.

Essence Blush Brush
This is a bargain at $5.50 and I still use it regularly to contour with the Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light that I bought ages ago in a joint Sleek order with Tasha. I especially loved using it in November when helping my sister with makeup for her grade 12 formal- she discovered contouring and seemed to really like the effect that it has and we had quality sister bonding time giving her pointers during the numerous trial runs we had in my bedroom. Instructing her to use this brush for contouring reminded me how great it is and what good value it is- I highly recommend it to people on a budget or anyone looking to try out an angled brush. Both the E.L.F. and Essence brushes are made of synthetic taklon and although they are cheap, they are made remarkably well. They don't shed, they wash well, and they function just as well as my other pricier brushes.

top: Korres Mango; bottom: Maybelline NY Oh! Orange!

Maybelline Baby Lips in Oh! Orange!
I was so excited to see these instore- I'm happier with the ElectroPop collection than I feel I would be with Pink Punch, which is the shade I wanted from the US collection. This one smells like orange sherbet. One of my favourite lip balms is the Relieving Menthol Baby Lips and while not quite as intensive and not something you'd wear overnight, the vitamin E and shea butter formula does a good job at being an effective and pretty lip product. I've been trying to dip into my stash of Korres lip butter pots more often but I found myself reaching for this one more often out of convenience. While it's in a similar vein to Mango, the texture of Mango is weird. It's not as balmy as the other three Korres Lip Butters I own- instead it's quite goopy and soft, which turns me off wearing it, especially when I've found a coral-orange alternative that is easier to handle.

Stella by Stella McCartney EDP
I bought this a while ago and I've not stopped loving it since. My usual routine involves looking out my window at the day and depending on the weather and my mood, I'll pick one of my perfumes for that day. I use 3-4 fragrances on rotation but this one holds a special place in my heart for being my first 'grown-up' perfume that I purchased with my wages. Stella is very pretty- floral and rosy but it lingers and develops, with its depth and complexity shining through. I love the scent, I love the purple ombre bottle, and I love the way it smells on me. This has by far the best lasting power of any of my fragrances and I love pulling it out every year.

Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry Shower gel
Dirty Works Buttery Salt Scrub
Indulgent pampering on a student budget- look no further than these two products. I did recently splurge on a Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash, but for the moment I'm using these babies because they do a great job for a shower spa experience. I've only tried the Honey and Shea Original Source shower gel, but I liked it so much that I got my boyfriend using it too. (PS: the Tea Tree and Mint shower gel has an amazing unisex/masculine fragrance!) When I saw the Vanilla and Raspberry variation and had a whiff, I couldn't not get it! It smells so sweet and creamy and at such an affordable price point, it was undoubtedly coming home with me. Unfortunately the scent doesn't linger on the skin after the shower for very long, but it's yummy and does a good job nonetheless.
The Dirty Works scrub is a repurchase- I first tried it ages ago before it had gotten any exposure (trendsetting, woo!) and now it's being stocked in Target with cleansers and masks and all sorts of bath and skincare pamper products in the line. I bought this one from Coles when they were clearing it out so it was discounted and while very abrasive, it exfoliates the skin perfectly (especially with summer coming up and more limbs being exposed!) and smells pleasantly of the Soap and Glory signature scent that is used in their Clean On Me body wash and Hand Food hand cream- not too sweet or overwhelming. As I said in my initial review of it, the exfoliating scrub is suspended in a light fluffy cream, which makes the scrub very easy to use. I've used scrubs that are more loose and those are generally problematic when it comes to using it as the scrub flies everywhere because you get a chance to really work with it.

L'Oreal Hair Expertise EverCreme Nourishing Shampoo
I love this line of haircare- I've tried the EverStrong (green bottles), EverSleek and EverCreme ranges and I've thoroughly enjoyed every bit of them. The EverCreme shampoo (known as EverRiche in some countries) has a deliciously warm 'camelina' scent and it has done such a good job of cleansing- proven because this is a repeat purchase. Since we're moving into a hot summer I've repurchased- but an EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo instead. As long as they keep making these, I don't think I'll be straying. They've bumped up the price to $15.95 from the $12-13 that it was when I first started using it but I only ever buy it on sale at around $10-11. #unilyf

1989 by Taylor Swift
I haven't been the biggest fan of Taylor's pop ventures but I really like the new album. My favourites are still pretty pop-ish; I like Blank Space, Style and How You Get The Girl. I love her cropped hair and new look as well. Pondering whether or not to go see her when she tours Australia in December 2015. More whether or not it's worth the money. I haven't seen enough concerts to know if it's worth it.

Ariana Grande.
Can this girl sing, or what?! She's so pretty and adorable. Major girl crushing.


  1. I've really been liking 1989 too, those 3 songs are my faves too! Ooh, I was about to purchase that Electro baby lips when I first saw it in store - me just being excited for foreign products, but I held off. I'll pick it up sometime though. The Loreal shampoo/conditioner sounds amazing, but so expensive! Will definitely pick it up when it's on sale. I've been liking the Sleek contour kit as well this month, the Essence brush sounds awesome for the price. I have a few of their eye brushes and really like them!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  2. I saw the pink ElectroPop Baby Lips cleaned out of the shelves! I thought the pink was too dolly for my taste- very happy with the orange. I got majorly excited when I saw emmabovary post about them! I've stopped purchasing the conditioners from the L'Oreal line, which helps me justify the cost- I'm happy with conditioner from the Organic Care line (the $3-4 sulphate-free haircare that I use when I'm out of the L'Oreal and there aren't any sales to be seen) and I've been working my way through that because conditioner is just conditioner and the L'Oreal ones don't seem to be as worth the money as the shampoos. I can't get enough of the EcoTools eye brushes; between those and the Sigma brushes I have, I couldn't really ask for much more in my collection!

  3. I like the EverCreme line too, although I probably wouldn't repurchase since I'm loyal to herbal essences haha. Oh Orange looks gorrrgeeoouuss! So tempted to pick it up now. The Dirty Works scrub definitely sounds good. I really liked their coconut purple one, and the blue one smells good too. Yum.

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

  4. Oh and I went to one of Taylor's concerts (Speak Now) and it was amazing! She sings really well live :) Altho idk how this album will be like live.

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

  5. I used to use Herbal Essences but I converted to sulphate-free formulations because using HE and Pantene would cause scalp irritation. Orange tinted lip balm creates such a nice coral tint on the lips- so seasonally appropriate! I don't like coconut so I stuck to the blue line from Dirty Works but I've tried a couple of products and they're really quite comparable to Soap and Glory!

  6. I remember seeing photos from that concert years ago; you lucky girl! A bunch of us are going- booked presale tickets on the 4th because a friend with AmEx got early presale. Hopefully it'll be as good as anticipated! :)

  7. I like the angled shape of the Essence blush brush - it looks like a solid budget-friendly pick for a contouring brush. I'm still favouring/relying on my Models Prefer angled blush brush which I believe is made of natural hairs (a deviation from the majority of my brush collection which is synthetic). It's really soft and it diffuses product well but it's the only brush I have with that angled shape.

    Thanks for the shoutout with the mention of the e.l.f. blush brush, that's really sweet :) I would highly question whether I have good taste though, haha. I've bought some atrocious items in the past and have a tendency to continually buy products that are slightly questionable with my skin tone :p

    I really loved 1989 when it first came out but as much as I adore Taylor (have all her albums, went to her Red concert) I think she's getting overexposed of late. I'm seeing her absolutely everywhere which is a testament to how hugely popular she is and hardworking, but it's fatiguing me somewhat. I love tracks 2-4 of 1989 though, they're such a 1-2-3 punch of pop perfection. Plus she's been looking particularly glamorous and gorgeous of late. I remember seeing her in concert and it's funny that she has this girl next door, "oh shucks, me?", I've-always-been-the-outsider, awkward girl persona, when she's this like, stunning, tall, lean, leggy, blonde, blue-eyed stunner in person.

  8. Yes- Karlie Kloss was quoted as saying she was one of those tall, lanky, awkward girls and apparently that's the winning formula for a supermodel! I love both Karlie and Taylor Swift though- even if her pop ventures were a bit grating (Trouble and Never ever ever getting back together irked me to no end) I love the concept that she's digging at the moment.
    We've all bought some atrociously questionable things that make us doubt our sense of judgement- though I remember balking at that whitish lipstick and those rainbow loose eyeshadow pigments in a post of yours a while back. :P
    I haven't reached a conclusion about natural vs synthetic- the Sigma brushes are natural and I don't think they're hugely better than my synthetic ones, though their ability to put down shadow is quite commendable, it could just be the shape and cut of the brush hairs.