Review: LUSH Halloween Collection 2017

Halloween is one of the things I miss most about Canada. Here in Australia, a lot of us don’t celebrate the holiday so it always feels just… underwhelming here. When I lived in Canada though, the excitement and fondness people have for the season felt like Christmas all over again. I’m a bit of a sentimental idiot and I love the vibe of the holidays so I loved having a whole extra dose of fun and goodwill. Fortunately, LUSH is bringing some of that fun home with their 2017 Halloween Collection. I was kindly sent quite a selection (yes, I did squee like a little girl and run around the room in excitement), so today we’re going to be reviewing a stack.

Before we get into it, I want to give a huge shout out to LUSH for the focus on cutting back their packaging with this collection. So many of these were “naked” products. I’m becoming progressively more active in cutting back the waste that I create so it was a breath of fresh air.

Read on to find out what I thought about the LUSH Halloween Collection for 2017!

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Review and Full Face First Impressions: Priceline and Adore Beauty Hauls

If you follow me on Instagram and can put up with the rambling often present in my Insta Stories, then you’ll know that I recently bought a bunch of new products during the Priceline 40% off cosmetics sale (NOT online, for reasons I’ve outlined before). Coincidentally, this happened the same day that my order from Adore Beauty arrived and I thought it might be a good idea to review a heap of the new products at once (because hey, that always ends well). I was particularly curious to see how such high-end products would pair with such affordable options.
Being reviewed today are the Becca First Light Priming Filter, NIOD Photography Fluid, NIOD Fractured Eye Contour Concentrate, NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, Luma On the Glow Highlighter Stick in Cashmere Casbah, Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, Maybelline Hypersharp Liner, and Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara. I purchased these items myself because I have a problem and can’t seem to stop buying stuff I don’t need.

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Review: LUSH Father’s Day Collection 2017

Ahhh Father’s Day. As someone whose father is notoriously difficult to buy presents for, this time of year inevitably causes me to break out into a cold sweat of anxiety. Dare ask the man himself and the usual answer is “I don’t need anything”, as if gift giving were even based upon need. If that were the case people would be paying my phone bill for my birthday (actually… not a terrible idea really). LUSH has the answer, naturally. Today I’ll be reviewing the LUSH Father’s Day Collection 2017, which was kindly sent to me for review purposes. The collection will be available in store and online from now until September 3rd unless sold out prior.

My father himself tends to approach skin care products with a typical blokey “meh” attitude. In saying that, my mother informs me that he started using the Nivea Post Shave balm I left on his counter. Apparently he’s even gone so far as to start using the occasional face wash and moisturiser. Perish the thought! My strategy is therefore to leave these products in his bathroom and see if I can get him using them by osmosis. In the meantime, I decided to test them out for myself. I like a lot of the scents targeted a more male audience – basically my entire goal in life is to make my house smell like a pretty boy without ever actually needing a pretty boy to enter it. I’m one of those people who wants a partner just so I can choose his cologne. In the absence of that option, I’ve been searching for a candle or other scented products to fill the gaping hole in my life instead of weeping into a tub of ice cream most weekends (I’m lying – being single is pretty awesome. But so are pretty smelling boys I guess).

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Self-Criticism, Creativity and Being a Pretentious Jerk

This blog is a bit like a time capsule filled with self loathing. I know this because any time I’ve engaged in any form of self expression, it’s ended with me looking back on it later and groaning in disgust about how I’m a sanctimonious asshat who pretends she has more knowledge than she actually does. Sometimes this effect takes only minutes, depending on the level of pretentiousness my writing reached.

Writing is the act of freezing yourself in time. The problem is that I’ve never liked photos of myself much and they’re essentially the same thing. A snapshot of a person, especially one when they’re yelling at the camera operator for taking the photo, is never the best representation of who they are as a person. The same is true for writing. Me writing at 10, 16, 20, 24 and 27 are all vastly different from one another. At ten years old I think I largely concerned myself with writing Sailor Moon fanfiction. Suffice to say, I think I’ve moved on slightly. I have no doubt that given a few more years, I’ll find my current writing as cringe-worthy as I find those short skirted adventures I penned all that time ago. This is why despite my ambition to write a novel, I doubt I ever will. By the time I finish a section and edit it to my satisfaction, I’ve gotten older and find the writing a painful reflection of my previous lack of skill and experience which I have since slightly improved upon. Perhaps on my death bed I will at last pen an ode worthy of the literature I pretend to aspire to (don’t believe it – I’d totally write porn if it paid the bills), but in the mean time I’m left in an odd limbo.

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Review: Happy Scrub Subscription Box

If you’re the kind of person who finds the scent of coffee as alluring as most people find a giant cheesecake (or maybe that’s just me), then I’ve got a treat for you today. We’re going to be reviewing new-kid-on-the-subscription-box-block, Happy Scrub – the answer to all your morning coffee dreams.

Happy Scrub is my kind of subscription box. Based out of Melbourne, it promotes a bunch of passionate producers and brands and keeps me stocked in delicious smelling scrubs. Given my propensity to completely forget to tend to body care and consequently end up with skin like a lizard, this suits my needs perfectly. Read on to find out more!

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Why A Good PR Model Should Be Your Approach To Life

I had two very different and very odd experiences with brands this past week, both of which demonstrated a point I’d never really thought much about before. Namely, they showed me that we should all be approaching relationships in our life with a way better Public Relations model than we’ve currently got going on.
The first was an outstanding positive: a brand, who I have never worked with professionally but who I have purchased from and mentioned on my instagram stories a few times, reached out to ask me how I was enjoying their product. They were actually seeking genuine feedback from their consumers about their products to see if they could improve. I raised a small concern, and they immediately took it on board and offered a solution. The other happened almost simultaneously and was initially less fun. A brand had reposted an image of mine without giving credit. I’d asked them to amend it. They apologised sincerely, addressed my concerns directly and suggested a possible solution if I were okay with it. I was, and it was all resolved neatly with me walking away feeling warm and fuzzy as opposed to frustrated and upset as I had been prior to their response.
The whole exchange also reminded me of a conversation I’d had with a pre-service teacher (a student teacher, for those of you unfamiliar with the new politically correct lingo – yes I am rolling my eyes) earlier that day. I’d been giving her feedback on a lesson and mentioned how I’d noticed her taking time to get to know the students.
“Relationship building is probably hands down the most important skill you can have as a teacher,” I told her, no doubt striking a pose that reflected the great wisdom my many years of experience and knowledge has afforded me (*cough*).
Despite my total lack of right to claim any life knowledge whatsoever, I think I was kind of right. It’s just that I missed the part where it’s valid in life, not just teaching or blogging.

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April to July Roundup – All Things How To Girl

So it’s been a while since I’ve done these monthly roundups… whoops. Truth be told, there were a few things I wanted to cover in this post which hadn’t been made public yet so I’ve been biding my time (insert evil cackle here). Now that said things have been announced (see the ever-so-creatively titled section called “Announcement” below), I’m ready to post the roundup. Not only that, but unfortunately my health took a bit of a dive so I wasn’t really in a great position to be blogging. Nevertheless, read on for what April to July brought to the table… apart from a lot of chocolate.

Like… a LOT of chocolate.

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Review: Obsessed Beauty Duo Beauty Drop

The idea of silicone sponges has been pretty hyped up in the beauty world, but the results seem fairly mixed. As with any beauty tool, how well these sponges will work for you depends on a variety of factors. If you’re curious to try out the trend, then the new Obsessed Beauty Duo Beauty Drop* might be a good place to start.

So why buy this particular silicone sponge as opposed to the various others out on the market? Two very good reasons: for one, a portion of your proceeds goes to a cause I happen to think is awesome. Obsessed Beauty donates 30% of their profits to Mind Blank, an organisation dedicated to educating youth about mental health issues. You can read more about it on the Obssessed Beauty Mental Health page as well as Mind Blank’s page. The way I see it, if you’re going to try the trend anyway, then what better way to do it than to buy from an organisation that is supporting a fabulous cause? Another reason this silicone tool is worth trying is because of the addition of a sponge on one side, giving you flexibility that’s not found with other models. Read on to find out how it worked!

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Review: Matrix Total Results So Silver and Brass Off Shampoos

It’s no secret that I change my hair colour about as often as I change my mind, which is to say… a lot. I’ve gone from brunette to ombre blonde, back to brunette, to brunette with purple, to bright purple and finally to blonde in the last couple of years alone. The blonde has been the look which I’ve loved more than any other (apart from maybe the purple), so I’m eager to maintain it. Because my hairdresser (Cara from Daly Salon if you were wondering) just gets me, my blonde is a bit of a balayage style because I’m a lazy, lazy individual who would be very unlikely to bother getting her roots redone as often as they would need to be if I went fully blonde. Consequently, I have quite a few different tones of blonde through my hair and the darkness varies depending at what length on my hair it is. I was thus pretty intrigued to hear about Matrix’s new Brass Off shampoo which is designed to remove the brassy tones that come along with being blonde, especially if you’re naturally brunette.

I had a chat with the amazingly lovely and helpful Josephine from L’Oreal Australia (who are the parent company of Matrix along with a whole host of pretty awesome brands) via email to figure out if Brass Off would be right for me. Based on that conversation, she very kindly sent me both the So Silver and Brass Off shampoo to try. Today, I’ll take you through my thoughts and how to tell which would be right for you.

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Stop Telling Others to “Choose Happiness”

We’ve all been there before: standing in the stationery store surrounded by pretty colours, oohing and ahhing at the swirly patterns and rose gold embellishments, when suddenly an overly cheerful affirmation printed in giant cursive screams the message “Be Happy!”. You see it and wince, finding yourself feeling vaguely affronted for reasons you can’t quite pin down.
I know I’m not alone in cringing; the exasperation people are beginning to feel with such orders is not unique to my own cynicism, as the popularity of Sarah Knight’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k” demonstrates. Yet there are many hardcore believers who continue to offer well-intentioned advice to the tune of “just choose happiness!”
These affirmations spring from the positive psychology movement which has been a trend of the past decade. Its influence is felt everywhere from the workplace to our home décor. I’m here to tell you that it has to stop.

For those of you gritting your teeth and telling yourself “just be happy” and finding it ineffective, this is for you. Breathe in, breathe out, and read on. As for all those well-intentioned people who offer up these tidbits of advice, I’d like to offer you an alternative which will probably serve the very people you’re trying to help far more effectively.

 

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