Monday, June 27, 2016

Mermaid Julisa Ghost Cactus Manicure!

It feels like forever since I've treated myself to a DIY manicure! I wore an apricot-coloured polish on my nails for my Melbourne trip, and I was so uninspired by it I decided not to blog it. I deliberately chose a light-hued shade so that if it chipped while I was away it wouldn't be as noticeable as, say, fire engine red.

Anyway, I finally got around to re-doing my nails and decided to paint on the Mermaid Julisa polish I won from an Instagram competition! I was able to choose a shade as my prize, and I selected the glittery Ghost Cactus, one of their signature Mermaid shades. It has a silver-blue base with rainbow-coloured holographic glitter, so the fun factor is off the chart! These polishes have a 5-free formula and are vegan friendly, too, with absolutely no animal testing.

This is two thin coats. I probably could have gone three, but didn't. The end result is a really pretty blue-green shade with lots of tiny multi-coloured shimmery particles. I love it. Let's hope it's not a bitch to remove!

You may also like Ruby Red Winter Manicure

I'm linking up to the Fabulous And Fun Life Monday MakeUp Madness Linky Party!

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Disclaimer: I won this product in a Giveaway. Reviews are my honest opinion. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

What are your favourite nail polish shades for Winter?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lunch Series: Gondola Gondola

Gondola Gondola
1 Peel Street
Adelaide SA

I'd read a couple of great reviews of Gondola Gondola, another hyped Peel Street eatery, so took my husband there for a weekday lunch date. We were both pleasantly surprised!

Drinks: I had Besa pressed orange juice which tasted like ordinary fresh orange juice (I don't know if it's meant to be any different?). My husband ordered the Pearl Royal Coconut Water, which arrived in a can. We'd both never tried coconut water before, and declared it to be really yummy!

Steamed Chicken & Corn Dumplings
Banana Blossom
Red Steak

Food: The cuisine at Gondola Gondola is modern South-East Asian. We were only given chopsticks and spoons to eat with so I was fucked from the get-go, but decided to immerse myself in the experience and not request a knife and fork, thereby ignoring my natural instincts. I fumbled through with my choppies and weird spoon, although I'm pretty sure I used them hilariously incorrectly. I popped my dumpling cherry when we opted to order the Steamed Chicken & Corn Dumplings with Sweet Vinegar Sauce for our Entree. They were delicious and had quite a strong chilli kick, waking up my tastebuds and preparing them for the flavours to come. It was somewhat difficult to eat the accompanying sauce as the serving dish was shallow, so we ended up tipping the platter to collect the liquid in our spoons, like the unsophisticated brutes we are. Hubby's meal came a good five minutes before mine, which was the only negative, because he eats twice as fast, so I need a headstart if anything, not a handicap. For mains, he had the Banana Blossom, which is shredded chicken breast, prawn, banana flower, peanuts and coconut cream, and said it was really nice! I tried it, but preferred my dish as I don't like prawns. I ordered Red Steak, which is chargrilled sirloin with mixed herbs, chilli and peanuts. O M G, you guys! The flavour in this thing! It tasted absolutely delicious. The flavours were very fresh and zingy, creating a taste explosion in my mouth. The beef was really juicy and tender and there were a lot of fresh herbs, different salad leaves and possibly some lemon or mint? I don't know, but I can say it tasted clean and healthy, with multiple textures including delicious crunch from the peanuts. Yum!

Fun Fact: Hubby had a ball using his phone to translate the various foreign language phrases on the menu. For example, 'mon an chat luong va huong vi dac biet' is Vietnamese and means 'quality cuisine and special flavour'!

Ambience: This is such a trendy little place, with three long benches in the middle, booths on one side and cute, cozy small tables along the street-side edge. There's a yellow theme running through Gondola Gondola, and it's quite dark inside, although not dim enough to hinder my Instagram photos! Loud music played and the table near us was a bit rowdy, but it never got unpleasant. We were served by a friendly, laid-back dude who was in danger of setting a new benchmark for the term 'relaxed'. I wish I was that chill! When we were settling the bill he asked what we thought of our meals and was genuinely interested in our response, enquiring 'how so?' when we commented the flavours were amazing.

I'm so glad I found this hip little eatery on the corner of Hindley and Peel Streets, as my husband and I really enjoyed everything about our Gondola Gondola experience. Even the little apple lollies we got after paying were tasty! I'd highly recommend this one if you're after somewhere a little different for lunch!

Yummy little lollies!

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Disclaimer: Non-sponsored. We paid for our own meals and all thoughts are our honest, unbiased opinions.

What's your favourite place to grab a quick bite?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Melbourne Haul Pt 1: Target, Myer, MAC, Lush + Jewellery!

Hello! As you may know I recently went to Melbourne for the weekend to shop, relax and for some 'me' time! Well, shop I did! So much so, that I'm splitting my Haul posts into Parts. This is Part One, which will include what I bought from Lush, Target, MAC, Myer, Colette, Lovisa and H&M. Part Two will contain my Sephora and Mecca Maxima hauls, although I may even split that again and do those ones separately, given the amount I bought! I'm so happy with everything I got. Let's have a look, shall we?

The Experimenter Bath Bomb
Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil
Outback Mate Soap
Yuzu And Cocoa Shower Cream
Brightside Bubble Bar
Sesame Lotion (free sample)
Beautiful Shower Gel (free sample)

Lush Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil

I went in with the purpose of buying bath bombs for the hotel room, and did manage to use The Experimenter and the Melting Marshmallow Oil during my trip. Check out this video I made of The Experimenter exploding in the bath! You guys know I love a free sample, but I swear I didn't even request Beautiful and Sesame Lotion, the Sales Assistant just included them!

Chi Chi MakeUp Blending Sponge Complete Collection
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan
NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Tea Rose
Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace
Sleek iDivine Eyeshadow Palette in Garden of Eden

(L): Soft Matte Cream (Milan), (R): Lipstick (Tea Rose)
Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace
Sleek iDivine Palette in Garden Of Eden

Disappointingly, The Balm and Sleek displays were practically empty, and Target had a sign up saying how popular these brands were, and that they were selling out super-fast. Well, duh! Luckily I managed to grab most things off my list, although they were clean out of The Balm Meet Matte Hughes liquid lippies and some of the NYX shades I was after.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy

MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy
Time Check Lotion (free sample)
Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC15 (free sample)

This had been on my wishlist for quite some time and it's finally mine! I actually think I got this from MAC in Myer, but I photographed this separately, so let's not confuse my easily-addled brain.

Hello Myer Sale!

Chi Chi Eau De Parfum Watermelon Gift Set
Chi Chi Glamorous MakeUp Collection Bronzes
Revlon All Over Shadow Brush
Revlon Crease Shadow Brush
Revlon Cherished Love Gift Set {contains Super Lustrous Lipstick in Softsilver Rose, Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Super Natural, Colorstay Gel Envy in Beginner's Luck, Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat, Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow, Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in Addictive, cute red zip-up bag!}

Revlon Cherished Love Gift Set

I didn't plan on getting any of the above but Myer were having a sale! I'm in desperate need of makeup brushes, so I couldn't resist the Revlon eyeshadow brushes and the Revlon Gift Set obviously looks like it was a Gift With Purchase that they marked down to clear out. I loved the contents and for $35, it was great value for money!

I like the red 50% Off stickers most of all!

Various earrings, rings and hair ties.

Um, half price jewellery, yes please! These items were inexpensive to begin with, so seeing the red 50% Off sticker is extra exciting. The only thing I paid full price for was the biggest pack of stud earrings, and that only came to $10 anyway. Score!

Have a ring or two!

Multi-packs of strange rings, 2 x huge rings and a gold Dream bangle

Because you have to Dream!

Wow, I didn't realise I'd bought so many rings until I just typed that out! Again, everything was marked down, either 3 for $12, $2 or $4. How can you go wrong?


Sparkly headband
Flower Garland headband
Gold triangle necklace

This place was packed and the lines for the Fitting Rooms and the checkout were nuts. I also got two pairs of pants for $5 and $10 in the sale section and two tops (only $15 each), not pictured, because I forgot to. I was too mesmerized by all the sparkly jewellery! Fun Fact - I still don't know what 'H&M' stands for!

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I'm linking up to the Fabulous And Fun Life Monday MakeUp Madness Linky Party!

That's it for Part One, how did I do? Remember, there's still my Sephora and Mecca Maxima Hauls to come!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What's In My Travel Bag?

So I'm back from my Melbourne trip, the purpose of which was just to relax and enjoy some 'me time' (oh OK, and to shop!), so I thought I'd post about what skincare products I took with me. I've fallen into the trap, many times, of overpacking not just clothes, but also in the beauty department. I've packed full-sized bottles of toner that leaked everywhere, huge hairsprays most of which I wouldn't need and 17 lipsticks, when three would have been sufficient!

I totally decided to adult and pack smart this time! They don't make travel-sized products for shits and giggles after all! Luckily, the Bloggers United AU Adelaide Event I attended a few months ago provided me with goodie bags filled with beauty products to try, many of them mini-sized. So I raided my goodie bags, sample collection and product stash to unearth a good array of products designed to meet my needs without taking up half my suitcase! Of course, this was another chance to use up the leftover samples from my May Sample Challenge Update post, too!

Now you might be thinking 15 (two not pictured) products just for skincare is a lot to take for a three night trip, and IT IS! But when they're this small, you can totally get away with it!

Skincare Products I Took:
Burts Bees Nourishing Facial Water ~ only remembered to use it once, but it was refreshing and lovely.
NatraSan Instant Hand Sanitiser* (not pictured) ~ absolute godsend, I used this every day during makeup application, as I do at home.
Swisspers Cleansing Eye Make-Up Remover Pads (not pictured) ~ these weren't that good, I felt like there wasn't enough product in each pad for them to work effectively.
Natralus Paw Paw Lip Butter in Coconut* ~ nourishing, moisturising, great for keeping my lips soft.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream ~ I save the luxe skincare samples for holidays when I want to look my best, and La Prairie is my most favourite skincare brand. Amazing results (with an accompanying amazing pricetag, eg the 50ml of this will set you back $530 - which is why I treat my La Prairie samples like liquid gold!).
La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex ~ I use this as a first step under my eyes... BAM! Immediate improvement in dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. If you ever get the opportunity to try anything from La Prairie, for the love of god, do it!
Enbacci Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser* ~ gel cleansers are my favourite, and this Enbacci one was really nice. I'd definitely look into buying this once my trial size runs out.
Enbacci Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub* ~ yas! A clear standout for me. I love the texture of the super-fine particles; this scrub felt great and my skin was smooth and soft afterwards. Love it!
Enbacci Pore Minimiser with Tea Tree Oil*, Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Essential Creme* and Vitis Vinifera Essence with Grape Stem Cells* ~ didn't end up using.
Dr Hauschka Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Cream* ~ this is a beautiful, light formula that absorbed really quickly and smelled delightful. Perfect for before bed because lavender helps you sleep (not that I needed help, I was stuffed after all the walking each day)!
Dr Hauschka Moor Lavender Calming Bath Essence* ~ didn't use because I bought a few Lush bath products to use instead. I couldn't help myself! (see photo below!)
Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum ~ this is OK, but I prefer the Clinique Sculptwear Lift And Contour Serum, mini-reviewed here.
Clinique All About Eyes Serum ~ I used this on one morning when I had puffiness and it was cooling and effective in improving the appearance of my under-eye area.

The reason I didn't use the Dr Hauschka Bath Essence. Oops! #soznotsoz

I'm linking up to the Fabulous And Fun Life Monday MakeUp Madness Linky Party!

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Disclaimer: Products marked * were provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

What are your favourite travel-friendly products?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Short Blogging Break!

Stock image, credit - Gabriel Beaudry

Oh hey, you guys! You may have noticed a decrease in posts recently (or maybe not!), so I just thought I'd quickly let you know that I'm having a short blogging break in the lead-up to and during my little interstate getaway.

Rest assured (because I'm sure you were all worried sick!) I will be back later next week to show you everything I hauled (realistically this may take me a little longer, because I think I'll be hitting the shops pretty hard) and what's in my travel bag. My Lunch Series will also continue, after I've recovered from the excessive walking, eating and shopping of my 'relaxing' (who am I kidding?) holiday.

So if I'm not replying to comments, commenting on blogs or posting to Facebook, you'll know why!

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Update: May Sample Challenge!

My sample stash!

Hello! You may remember my self-appointed challenge for the month of May, to use up as many of my beauty samples as I possibly could. You can read about it in this May: Month Of Samples post. Well, I took on the challenge, and I'm here to report the results!

This was a fun venture and I did manage to find some great products within the huge box of samples. There was no way I was ever going to get through all of them, but I made a nice dent in my collection. I'm going to continue working my way through the samples, just not as intensely as I did during this challenge. I'll list all the beauty samples I finished and give my thoughts on the ones that were noteworthy!

All the samples I got through in May!

  1. Tigi Bedhead Recharge Shampoo
  2. Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream ~ I liked it and will keep the little container for de-potting sample sachets into.
  3. Chanel Le Volume Ultra-Noir Mascara ~ this made for clumpy lashes, but I'm not sure if it was due to the brush within the mini-sized sample, or the formula.
  4. Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap
  5. Banila Co Mineral Salt Clay Pack
  6. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair ~ I've tried this before and really enjoy it.
  7. L'Oreal Revitalift Laser X3 ~ I'm not a fan. It seems like a primer and didn't sit right on my skin.
  8. John Frieda Full Body Shampoo
  9. La Roche-Posay Lipid-Replenishing Body Balm ~ didn't love it.
  10. Kora Organics Hydrating Day And Night Cream ~ smells earthy, is OK.
  11. VDL Naked Cleansing Oil Cream ~ felt nice rubbing it around my face, but was a hassle removing it. Also, it didn't entirely remove my makeup.
  12. Clinique Sculptwear Lift And Contour Serum For Face And Neck ~ I went through 7 sachets of this (received a week's supply). This has a lightweight, almost gel-like consistency. I love how it feels and the results. Would consider buying.
  13. Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser ~ strong smell and not my cup of tea.
  14. Too Faced Shadow Insurance ~ really good. Eyeshadow colour was intensified and didn't budge all day. I would consider buying.
  15. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ~ this is green and smells quite strongly! It says you may experience tingling, but my skin actually hurt. However, my skin was so smooth afterwards and wasn't red or irritated.
  16. ASAP Anti-Ageing Night Cream ~ this is more like a gel and smells lovely, but didn't absorb properly and just 'sat' on my skin. I ended up using it as a hand cream to get rid of it.
  17. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Serum
  18. L'Oreal Revitalift Day Cream ~ did the job.
  19. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream ~ I like it. I've liked every Bobbi Brown cream I've tried.
  20. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam
  21. Dermalogica Clear Start Emergency Spot Fix ~ not a bad treatment, didn't blow my socks off.
  22. La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster ~ absolutely love it as I do all La Prairie products. If only it wasn't so expensive!
  23. Sephora Lagoon Creamy Body Wash ~ kind of fun but difficult to get out of the little round thing!
  24. Sunday Riley Start Over ~ really good, liked the results.
  25. Ren Keep Young And Beautiful Firming And Smoothing Serum ~ weird earthy smell, lovely and gentle but hard to tell if effective due to the amount given.
  26. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ~ OMG, I love this! It really improved the look of my skin. I'm definitely considering buying this.
  27. Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Eye ~ I liked this and was happy with its performance.
  28. Chanel La Solution IO Sensitive Skin Cream ~ this was OK, nothing to write home about. It was gentle and non-irritating.
  29. Kate Somerville Cytocell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream ~ my dark circles were reduced but it didn't have enough moisturising properties for my liking.
  30. Malin + Goetz Facial Cleansing Oil ~ these oils aren't for me. It did remove my makeup but I'm just not into this method.
  31. Estee Lauder Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer ~ I really like it. It improves the staying power of makeup and provides a great base for foundation.
  32. Perricone MD Advanced Eye Area Therapy ~ I love love love this. I got amazing results and will probably buy it.
The best of my samples in my opinion!

So there were five products that were outright winners for me, that I'd consider buying:
Perricone MD Advanced Eye Area Therapy, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Clinique Sculptwear Lift And Contour Serum for Face And Neck.

I still have all these samples to go!

I'm linking to the Fabulous And Fun Life Monday Makeup Madness Linky Party!

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Disclaimer: Reviews and thoughts are my honest unbiased opinion. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Have you tried any of these products?