Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pretty. Rimmel London Everlasting Finish. Undressed

I have never really been that into lipstick. I always think it looks great on other people, but always a bit odd on me. Lately though, I have been feeling a bit 'unfinished' with a full face of makeup and nothing on my lips, so I took the plunge and started looking for a lipstick I could wear everyday that I felt comfortable in. For me that meant a nude colour. My skin is darker, so finding a nude that suited me was a little tricky. I am really happy with the colour I picked, and it feels great on my lips! Rimmel London Everlasting Finish feels moisturising and light on my lips; not at all sticky. I picked it up for $10AUD but it is available on ASOS for $8.14.

What do you think?

xx Samantha Alice

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life. Countdown to London #2

I am drowning (not at all over dramatic of me) in boring university assignments about completely boring things. I'd rather be watching youtube videos, be out enjoying the sunshine or trawling Pintrest for London inspiration. I was feeling all tired and unmotivated, so I went for an invigorating walk, ran up the stadium steps three times, and have popped home to quickly blog. I am off to a local high school to meet the deputy principal, which makes me slightly nervous, so blogging is an excellent way to take my mind off it for the moment!
129 days to go (getting sick of me yet?) and today i bring you some of my favourite photos of my future home.

// one // two // three // four // five // six // 

xx Samantha Alice 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Life. Countdown to London and a chat with Kat

133 days. In 133 days (minus a few between me writing this and posting this) I will be living and working in a city I have never been to, in a country where I hold citizenship but have never actually set foot on. In fact, I have never even been in the general vicinity of England. Yep, that's right, I am a travel newbie. I went to Thailand a few years ago but that's where my travel experience ends. I am unable to imagine what life will be like for me come December 1st, or what a long haul flight is really like, or what the hell I am meant to pack when moving to another country. It is a little overwhelming, but also completely exciting. I won't go over completely blind though; I plan on absorbing as much information as I can about England.

Miss Made from 365 Days of Made also happens to be heading to England for a year in September and we got chatting about the idea of doing some collaborative posts leading up to our departures, so expect to see loads more of these themed posts over the next few months! We thought it would be fantastic to speak to British Bloggers about their lives in the UK in the hope that it will help us when it comes time to settle in, and considering I love Brit blogs the list of people is fairly long. I couldn't go past Kat from jemima.and.ted for the first post though, her blog is super lovely!

I asked Kat about her tips for life in the UK and why she loves it so much, here is what she told me!

What do you think makes living in England great?
For me, it’s the scenery. England is so pretty – it’s so idyllic and quaint, I often think that and I live here all the time, so I can imagine visitors love it! Some places really are how they’re shown in films. And it’s pretty safe, I love that too. And of course, we have a good highstreet selection of shops!
Is there anything about your home country you wish was different? Easier? What makes life difficult sometimes?
It’s tricky, you always look at other countries and think, I wish we had that! Brands, shops, the usual. But I guess the weather would be something I’d like to change! I like the winters, don’t get me wrong, but a decent summer wouldn’t go amiss! We haven’t had one in years and it does get tiring. That would make my life easier, sun!
What are your top tips for getting through the bleakness, the rain and the cold that England is famous for?
Embrace it! It’s cosy and festive. That’s what I think. Invest in some cute coats, scarves, mittens and enjoy it. The rain isn’t all that, but going for a nice walk in the frost or walking to the pub in the dark one evening really can be lovely.
Say you were a first time visitor to England, where is the first place outside of London that you would visit?
For me, because I’m biased, it would be Winchester which is where I live. It’s a really beautiful, quaint city - not too big but so pretty and you can spend some time looking around the shops as well as the history. Other cities like Oxford and Bath are gorgeous too – I like towns with history!
What are your top 5 London spots/shops/events that are a must see?
As I don’t live in London, I guess I’ll probably end up naming pretty touristy things! But I love, Selfridges, Fortnum and Masons (department stores) Borough Market (an awesome food market), Brick Lane (in East London, loads of cool shops, markets and Asian restaurants!) and the V&A for fashion exhibitions!
Are there any parts of London you would recommend staying away from?
It’s tricky as I don’t know London that well, but my sister lives there and my parents used to work there. There are some places in all directions that aren’t that savoury, but you’ll get that anywhere. Just be aware and if you’re unsure of an area, stick in a group. Generally though, I feel pretty safe in London (touch wood).
Which is the best supermarket chain for groceries?
I’m a real Sainsburys lover I have to say. But the big ones (Asda, Tescos, Sainsburys and Waitrose) are all good, you can’t really go wrong. Asda is sometimes cheapest and Waitrose the most pricey, but it depends where you are and what you’re wanting to buy! I think I just like Sainsburys for their doughnuts!
What are your favourite British budget cosmetics brands?
I’ve recently got into MUA which is a mega cheap brand you can get in Superdrug (Superdrug and Boots are our two high-street cosmetic stores!). They’re make up is good and so cheap. I also like Rimmel and 17 for makeup, and Natural Collection. As for skincare, Botanics (which is Boots own) is fab and Soap and Glory (again Boots!).
Where is the best place to buy underwear and affordable basics like leggings and singlet’s?
It’s got to be Primark I guess. It’s so cheap but not always the best quality! But you can get leggings and vest tops etc there and they’re alright! Underwear I tend to go to Marks and Spencer which isn’t mega pricey, but average and a lot better quality. 

Make sure you go and check out both Made and Kat's blogs!
Have any of you spent some time in London? Tell me about your favourite London place!

xx Samantha Alice

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Style. Mint Jeans and where have I been.

Jeans and Jumper from Kmart, Blazer from ASOS, Bag gifted from Chile', singlet top from Supre', scarf gifted

I am crazy in love with these jeans at the moment, and they were ridiculously cheap ($15 AUD) so that makes me love them even more! Would you judge me if I told you I had worn this exact outfit 2 days in a row? Oh well, I love my coloured jeans so judge away. I can't remember if I have shown this bag before, but it is my absolute favourite. My Mum got it in Chile' years ago from a vintage store and I basically nagged her until she gave it to me. It needs some stitching mended and a good coat of leather conditioner but I can't imagine not owning it! 

So as I was taking these photos I realised I haven't actually done an outfit post since April sometime which makes me a very bad blogger indeed. So why the lack of outfits? I have been feeling particularly blech about myself which is not conducive to narcissistic blogger photos. Also, I have hardly bought any clothes in months and my wardrobe is pretty minimalist at the best of times. On top of that, I have had an incredibly busy and exciting few months which, however frustrating for me, hasn't left much time to blog.

I have finished my last teaching prac (Yay!), received my approval to teach (double Yay!!), started looking for casual teaching work, almost finished my uni degree (8 weeks to go!), got my British passport application sorted and last but definitely not least I have booked my ticket for London! (Quadruple bazillion Yay!!).

With all of that behind me I still have a fairly long slog until December when I leave for London; December 1st to be exact. I have too many assignments for uni and need loads of casual work to pay for this extravagant move overseas. I really hope I can keep blogging at least 3 times a week, but sometimes it just isn't going to happen. So don't miss me too much if I am a little absent sometimes, ok?

xx Samantha Alice

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pretty. Winter Skin.

I am sure you all know about my troubles with super oily skin and how frustrated I am by products that claim to help but don't really do anything. I am always on the look out for great products, be it makeup or skin care, that will control my shine and help my makeup last longer. I've always tried new products but never really paid attention to what they actually did for my skin, which is a fairly silly thing! I was lucky enough to be able to try some products from Avene for the last month, and I started paying attention. Lucky I did, because the results were pretty freaken awesome. I was given a whole range of products, four of which really stood out to me. I will do a whole post on the fourth, but the other three were:

  1. Cleanance soapless gel cleanser
  2. Cleanance anti shine emulsion
  3. Cleanance K exfoliating lotion
Firstly, the gel cleanser is lovely. You hardly need to use any, I am talking less than a pea sized amount, to really cleanse the skin. The texture is great, it doesn't get too foamy, and I have noticed a real difference in breakouts and blackheads in the month or so I have been using it. 

I really can't decide which product I like most, the anti shine emulsion or the Cleanance K, because they are both pretty darn amazing. I have never been a big user of primers, but I have been treating the anti shine emulsion as one and it is working so well at preventing that slick of grease that usually builds up on my skin as the day wears on. I am not saying it stops it completely, nothing ever really will I am sure, but it lets me get through about 8 hours without having to worry about my grease ball head or redoing my makeup. I have been using two pea sized amounts of this and smoothing it onto my skin, allowing it to dry and then applying my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation. It has a similar texture when dry to the Este Lauder mattifying primer, though is a touch less 'powdery' which I like. 

The Cleanance K product has low levels of AHA and BHA (all those exfoliating acids) so is designed to remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of blackheads and absorb excess sebum. It also doubles as a moisturiser which is handy. I have been using this every night after removing my makeup and after about 2 weeks I noticed that rather than reducing my blackheads, it had made them much, much, much easier to remove. I have very stubborn blackheads on my nose that not even Pro Activ helps remove, so this little tube has been very useful. 

Overall I am pretty impressed with these products and will definitely be purchasing at least the 2 lotions when my little stash runs out. My only nit pick has to be that most of Avene's products contain mineral oil, which honestly just bugs me. I think these products could be just as great without it, and it probably won't stop be buying them, but it is frustrating that it is so difficult to find great skin care that doesn't contain petroleum by products. 

Have you tried any Avene products? How do you feel about mineral oil in cosmetics?

xx Samantha Alice 

Disclaimer: I received these products for consideration, but was not paid in anyway for this review or my positive remarks.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Life. Sydney Insta #2.

  1.  More Sydney Biennale love
  2. Giant light bulb 
  3. Fantastic coloured mirrors at Art Gallery of NSW 
  4. Shattered 
  5. Mirror selfies with Jac from Ruby Blue Emerald Green
  6. Sunshine in Parramatta
  7. Developed a serious sorbet addiction at Cow and Moon, Enmore 
  8. OOTD on a windy day
  9. Sydney sunshine 
  10. Got swatch happy at Priceline
  11. Seriously cheap Thai at Newtown
  12. Cutest notebooks at Pentimento 
  13. Told you I was addicted 
  14. Blurry and hazy Enmore Road 
  15. Tilt shift train station 
  16. Hanging out at Westmead Hospital 
  17. Sunset from the 5th floor
  18. Early morning getaway 
  19. Out of sequence hazy babes: me and Em from Horsie and Flower 
xx Samantha Alice

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Life. Sydney Insta #1.

  1.  Love a road trip
  2. The awful fake Ularu on the way
  3. Getting closer!
  4. Sydney Sandstone
  5. Fortune telling
  6. Sunshine in Parramatta
  7. On the tracks
  8. Circular Quay waiting for a ferry 
  9. Harbour Bridge 
  10. View off the back of the ferry
  11. View from my Uncles house in Mosman
  12. So much shopping temptation
  13. Loved these neon jeans @Witchery 
  14. Beauty floor @Myer
  15. Amazing installation @SydneyBiennale 
  16. More Biennale love
xx Samantha Alice

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