Skinfood Premium Tomato Whitening Skincare Regime

I often find it very overwhelming to look for new skincare items. I have oily-combination skin and am prone to redness and not-so-wee little spotties around that time of the month (thanks ever so much Aunt Flow). So unfortunately I can't just pick up any random bottle of lotion and be done with it.
As a result I have become really addicted to sample samples samples!!
And you would be surprised how many places, you can find samples or that offer more affordable trial kits. (Lush, Myer, Cosmo Cosmetics on George street).

I have raved about them many-a-time before, but YesStyle is one of my favourite places to find samples. They come in sets that start at around $12 AUD for a bag with eight (good sized and often really good quality brands) samples.  My favourite and the one I keep going back to is the  korean beauty sample set  and the reason is, that I've found that Asian skincare to be the most effective on my oily,  spotty skin!!! However if you have normal to dry skin you might enjoy  deluxe beauty sample starter kit  which contains a lot of well know brands such as Dior, Clinique, Chanel etc.

In the most recent sample kit I got, they sent me a mini trial kit of the SkinFood Premium Tomato Whitening four step system. Its thanks to this system that I am feeling more comfortable in my skin and have been wearing less and less makeup.

step one : toner 

Its strange water-like consistency made me think that it wasn't going to be any good at all, but Oh my I was wrong. My skin seems to sigh when I apply this toner!!! Though its only the first step in this system, its so super hydrating that I feel I could almost use it on its own. 

step two : essence  

Its in this step that a majority of the magical whitening occurs (it has the highest concentration of tomato extract). Lately, I have actually received a few comments about how light and lovely my skin has been looking. The red tones in my skin have definitely dulled and Im aware that the scars from recent breakouts are fading a good deal faster than usual. YAY !!

step three : emulsion

Like most emulsions its got an almost serum like consistency. It spreads effortlessly and when it completely absorbs, you are left with hydrated, soft, fresh and clean skin. 

step four : cream

On days when my skin is in a good place I sometimes make a judgment call and will skip this step. Its not a reflection on the product, I like that the thicker formula seems to seal in all the moisture! But sometimes with oily skin you have to be careful about adding too much!! 

This whole system has a matte finish to it, which I know is very important to we lasses with oily-combination skin. Also I haven't had any reactions or breakouts occur as a result of using this system. Thats not to say I'm not still getting them, which I am, but really only in the week leading up to Aunt Flow's appearance :P  

In terms of pricing I'd say it falls into the same category as many of those you would find at your local drugstore/supermarket. You don't even have to invest, to invest in your skin.

If you are interested in trying the trial kit, which lasted my around three weeks (although I was only using it in the morning) I have seen it for sale on Ebay for around $9 AUD.

I'm not looking forward to when I run out of this because I can be very lazy and it may be a couple weeks before I have it again :( 
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Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (Carrot) Cupcakes Recipe

If you take away the button eyes, sparkly nose and chocolate antlers, then really this is just your basic carrot cake with cream cheese icing - that is delicious year round!
I absolutely love this recipe and whenever I make it the cupcakes never last very long. They are pretty lightweight but because of the extra water in the carrot they stay all (I despise this word) moist.
I took these ones in to share with my friends at work and they were a huge hit. They definitely made everyone feel festive and jolly. I hope you love them as much as we did.

carrot cupcakes 

2 grated carrots (300g)
1 cup Self-rising flour (150g)
½ cup Plain flour (75g)
1 tsp bicarbonate of Soda 
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup Brown sugar (80g)
¾ cup oil (185ml)
½ cup golden syrup (125g)
3 Eggs 
1 tsp Vanilla essence 
250g spreadable cream cheese 
½ icing sugar (80g)
½ tsp vanilla essence 
24 red smarties or M&Ms (optional red food glitter)
24 pairs of candy eyes 
24 chocolate coated pretzels (sliced in half)

Casualty Reindeer 

  1. Preheat oven to 170*C and grease 20cm base round cake pan.
  2. Peel and grate carrots and set aside.
  3. Sift flours, bicarbonate of Soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into large bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine and whisk brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla essence in separate bowl. 
  5. Add wet mixture into dry ingredients. Slowly stir in with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add carrot.
  7. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. 
  8. To make icing place cream cheese, icing and vanilla essence in a medium bowl and whisk until creamy and smooth. 
  9. Spread over cooled cake and decorate until your hearts content !
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Boohoo and Forever New Haul

I know that as an Australian I am typically supposed to be gloriously tanned, surf all day and night and worship the sun. But in actual fact I'm really quite fair skinned, find all those dark corners of ocean daunting and as for the sun? Well, I have been burned (excuse the pun) more than once by it. So I am counting down the days until winter. Perhaps I should have been born somewhere in England, Ireland or Scotland.

In my eagerness, I have been browsing and bookmarking winter fashion online for months now. You may be thinking "Bit too soon, don't you think?".

well really its not

As you may well know, Australia is situated, pretty much, in the middle of nowhere. Detached from the rest of the world and our strange little country has reversed the order of the seasons. As soon as we go into summer everyone else, everywhere else goes into winter and I am pretty sure that a majority of online shops are based either in the USA or UK. Already half way through winter, brands are beginning to think about the change of season and older stock is going on sale.  

so my preemptive shopping is really very smart !!


Forever New - Melissa Jersey Duster Coat 
I love the structured, over sized, boyfriend style of this coat. Straying away from my usual tapered and tailored coats, I am happy to see that comfort and class can be combined !! It's not a particularly heavy coat, but by having a slightly over sized feature you can pair it with a thick jumper or cardigan. In a recent vlog, I saw Lily Pebbles wearing a gorgeous over sized grey coat from ASOS. She was my inspiration in buying this. 


Boohoo - Rosie Roll-Neck Soft Knit Jumper 
Its only in the last year or so that I have started embracing the turtle or slouch necks. But oh my am I embracing them. They are readily available from just about every brand/ store this coming season.  The body of this jumper sits a little bit shorter than a standard jumper so it would look great with a pair of high-rise jeans or pants. 


Boohoo- Carla Wet-Look Leggings
These Leggings are a mix between the leather and wet look. I am going a bit out of my comfort zone with them as they are most definitely a statement item. This particular pair don't have much give in the material so they hold everything in, giving you more trim and toned pins. It definitely makes me feel more confident drawing attention to myself.


Boohoo - Cheska Square-Toe Deep-Elastic Cleated Boot 
I am a bit late jumping on the band-waggon for this style of shoe. Because of the platform and block heel they are super comfortable and stable to walk in. Just be aware when buying these that you may need to size down. I am usually somewhere between and eight and a nine. I bought them in a nine to be safe and found they were massive!!  

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What I Read In January

Reading is something I love to do. Like so many others reading helps me to quiet my busy mind and feel relaxed. Bust again like so many others I can often find it hard to make the time to read. When I was working full time at the bookstore reading was really part of the job and so as you can imagine over those two years I developed quite the library. However 2014, being my first year working out of the bookstore, I barley read a thing. I'd say I maybe got through five-six books......not very good!!!

So for 2015 I am setting myself a realistic challenge :
two books every month

Now I am not going to beat myself up or feel guilty if it doesn't happen every month. Life can get complicated and priorities can change!!! But I want to encourage a more relaxed and therefore happier and healthier lifestyle. So it's something that I am going to make a conscious effort to do.  

For the month of January the two books I chose were :

the little prince 
antoine de saint-exupery


memoirs of a geisha 
arthur golden 

The Little Prince is a really slim book and as such a really quick read. Infact I think you could probably get through it in a day! It follows the story of a little alien prince who lives alone on a tiny asteroid, no bigger than a house, with three volcanoes and one very beautiful but very vain flower. Before long the prince comes to resent the flower and decides to embark on an adventure across the universe. The little prince himself is (as most children are) very inquisitive and eager to discover. On his travels he encounters many adults, animals and other flowers who leave the prince feeling baffled and only more curious! Until he lands on earth.... 

And that is where I am going to leave my summary.

What I really loved about The Little Prince was the style in which it was narrated. The story has been re-told by an adult from earth who encountered the prince toward the end of his journey. However, every adventure described seems to posses the blissfully ignorant and magical filter with which children view the world. So it was quite an enchanting and unique book. 

Although this book does technically fall under the category of children's literature (as well as a few others), I think an older audience would better understand and appreciate the messages and morals behind the story. Its one of those "food for thought" kind of books. 

Memoirs of a Geisha is similarly not something I would recommend, although for completely different reasons, to anyone under sixteen years. Its got some pretty affronting and heavy scenes. The protagonist, Chiyo, is a young girl living in a simple fishing village in Yorroido, Japan.
Following her mothers illness Chiyo and her sister Satsu are sold by their father and sent to live and work in the bustling Geisha district of Gion, Kyoto. First as a maid, then an apprentice Geisha and a witness/victim of World War II, Chiyo has to face many difficulties that now-a-days would be questioned and frowned upon. But again and again she proves to us how strong and determined she really is!!!

Author, Arthur Golden, actually got in a wee-bettie-o trouble after publishing Memoirs of a Geisha. Inspiration for the book, actually came from an interview he had with Mineko Iwasaki, a retired Geisha who claims that Golden misrepresented her story and accredited as a source, both of which went against their arrangements. big lawsuit right there!!

Despite this, it was actually a great book with a very poetic and graceful writing style. Albeit, it's a much longer read and the time I saved reading The Little Prince I spent on Memoirs of a Geisha.

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