Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretty. Bourjois Plower Perfection Foundation.

This foundation from Bourjois is their 'long lasting' base, that like most of their liquid foundations aims to boost radiance and natural glow. It is a thick consistency that splits a little in the bottle so needs to be shaken before use. I was really excited to try this as I love Bourjois foundations and I had heard it was great for people with oily skin. I am always on the lookout for foundation that will last on my skin and not end up in a greasy slick. However, I really didn't get on with this foundation and here is why!

  • It is pretty difficult to work into the skin, even with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush (which usually makes foundation go on like a dream).
  • It stick to any dry patches like crazy
  • It tends to sit on top of my skin rather then blend in with it
  • I have figured out that I really don't like full coverage foundation and this is very full coverage!
  • It highlights any problem areas, like my large pores and acne scars
  • It has a very unattractive matte finish that makes my skin look dull and awful
  • The sponge applicator that comes with the product is useless
  • And last but not least, it actually doesn't hold up all that well as the day goes on.
I was really disappointed so I am still on the search for my favourite liquid foundation!

Have you tried it and liked it? Let me know in the comments!

xx Samantha Alice 



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Monday, August 20, 2012

Life. Made is off (and I wish I was too).

So I am nearly down to the 3 month mark for my London move and am starting to have a think about some of the practicalities. I finished paying off my ticket to day (freaken yay!) so now all I have to do is  save like crazy and get on the plane! Oh and sort out things like a bank account and a UK phone number all all that other stuff. My lovely blogger pal Made is leaving for the UK in 20 days and I thought it would be good to chat to her about the move as I will be in her position in no time at all!

1. So you are off to the UK; what takes you there?
I'm very lucky to be able to go on exchange to the University of Leicester for 12 months through my home university, Deakin University. After going to an information session in March 2011, I realised just how much of an amazing experience living and studying abroad for a year would be, and so I embarked on a crazy 18 month journey of paperwork, saving money and researching my new home! 

 2. What makes you want to experience living in England?
For many years I've dreamed of making the move to the UK, for several reasons. I'm currently studying journalism, and have always been a massive fan of any comedy show, documentary or panel show that comes from the BBC, and I've always harboured a desire to one day work amongst the BBC elite. I figure that my living and studying in the UK for a year might give me the upper hand one day if I do decide to move back and try cutting my teeth in the media world of London. I've also got a bit of a romantic notion of the old country; green pastures, tree-lined laneways, the craggy mountains of the north, and the oh-so-cute accents of the local boys. I'm hoping to fall in love with the people and the lands of Britain! 

 3. What has been most challenging about organising the move?
All the paperwork! The fact that I'm staying in the UK for more than 9 months means that I have had to undergo quite a long and tedious visa application process, although being an Australian (and part of the Commonwealth) has helped a lot. Trying to juggle two jobs, full-time studies at university, living alone in the city and attempting to keep a social life whilst saving for this trip has also been stressful. But that said, one of my dearest friends Tara is coming along with me on exchange to the UK (although she is going to a different university) so we've both relied on each other quite a lot through-out these last few months. We both check in on each other frequently and set aside time to see each other socially without mentioning work, saving or how far away our trip was! 

 4. Now that you have less than a month until your departure, what have you still got to do?
I'm pretty organised at this stage, which is a great relief! According to my To-Do List, I've still got to go to the dentist, enrol for voting, organise my banking details for the UK, put all of my belongings into storage and pay a parking fine. After that I'm pretty much ready to board that plane! 

 5. The flight to England is epic and long. How do you plan on entertaining yourself and not going stir crazy?
I've been asking myself this question a lot lately! I've only been overseas once (to Japan in 2007) and that was the longest 11 hours of my life! This time I'm planning on filling up my iPad with plenty of books, movies and heaps of episodes of my favourite TV shows. Again, I'm lucky that I'm travelling over with my friend Tara, and I'm sure for at least the first half of the journey we'll be bouncing off the walls with excitement! However, when the energy leaves my body and the battery on my iPad dies, I'm planning on putting on some Ugg boots, having a strong Vodka and Tonic, wrapping my head in a blanket and getting some serious shut-eye! 

 6. What is your first port of call when you arrive in London?
 Harrods department store. I'm packing pretty lightly heading over to London, and so we'll be spending the first day indulging in a little retail therapy: buying some nice winter coats, stocking up on some essentials, and treating ourselves after starving ourselves for over a year of any new clothes and nice things! After that though, I'm very keen to see London Tower, Big Ben, the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, Hyde Park, Camden Market and the changing of the guards. I've got 14 days in ol' London Town, so I'm very keen to get out there, see the sights and begin my life in England! 

 7. What will you miss most about life in Australia?
 I'm a country girl, and when I first moved to Melbourne, I missed the gumtrees, the wide open spaces, the friendly nature of the locals, and the security and sanctuary of the bush. This is something that I struggled with when I moved to the city, although now I love the big smoke! I think I'll miss being out bush the most. I'm in my element up in the mountains, or out on the farm. It is where I feel most as ease with myself. That being said, I've been dreaming so long of exploring the wild and misty moors of the Midlands, the White Cliffs of Dover, and the ancient mountain ranges of Scotland, so I think that I'll find myself a new home in the spirited land of England. 

8. What will you not miss at all?
 I'm very much looking forward to being 'the Aussie girl' at university. I'm a bit of a show-pony, and I love being unique, so I'm looking forward to standing out a little bit and being an international student. I won't miss just being an ordinary girl wandering around Melbourne! 

 9. What do you think will be the biggest adjustment in your life in England?
 I think that the biggest achievement of my life has already passed: I've managed to spend the last year or so working two jobs, renting a house in the city, going to university full-time and being a high-achieving student (gloats!) making incredible friends all while saving for and organising the trip of a lifetime. I feel like I've grown so much in the last year, and whilst it has been hard, I feel like I can do absolutely anything in life, and I'm confident that I will thrive in the UK! 

10. How are you planning on spending Christmas away from your family?
 I haven't actually thought about this that much. I'll be away from my family for the first time for Christmas, as will my friend Tara, so I'm assuming that we'll both make a massive batch of egg-nog, Skype our families, get drunk and enjoy each others company. That being said, I'm sure that by then I'll have met some amazing fellow international students who, like me, will be away from their families for Christmas, so we'll keep each other company through-out the festive season. I'm actually really looking forward to have a white Christmas. I really want to get a knitted festive jumper and play in the snow! I'm so excited!

Thanks Made! So jealous of you leaving so soon but I wish you all the best in your adventures!

xx Samantha Alice



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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pretty. Australian Beauty on a Budget.

I have been really enjoying the '$20 makeup Challenge' videos that have been on Youtube lately, they are great for budget friendly tips. Watching them however, makes me a little frustrated. Here in Australia we pay ridiculously high prices for cosmetics and makeup, and I really can't imagine being able to pull off the challenge with any kind of success shopping in Australian pharmacies. I'll try to put it in perspective a little through a couple of price comparisons.

  • Revlon Lip Butters: Australian price $20-22AUD which is equivalent to $22 USD and 15 GPB. By comparison, in the UK you can expect to pay around 8 GBP ($12 AUD). That really is an enormous price hike. 
  • Real Techniques Brushes: Australian prince at Priceline Pharmacy for the Core Collection is $45 AUD which is equivalent to 30 GBP. You'll pay around 22 pounds for the same product in the UK which is around $33AUD. 
I really don't know why we are forced to pay such expensive prices but it may have something to do with the fact that we really only have a couple of what the Brits would call 'high street' pharmacy chains that stock semi affordable cosmetics. It may also be that our wages are higher in general, but trust me, they aren't that high!

If you want to be well stocked in makeup and skincare here, you have to be pretty savvy about how and where you spend your hard earned dollars. Hopefully I have a few tricks up my sleeve and thought I would share a few!

  • Shop online! I know this is fairly obvious, but if things are cheaper overseas, buy them from there! I am an ASOS addict; they always have amazing cosmetics available and great sale prices. I tend to buy foundation on ASOS. Bourjois foundation is around half the price compared to pharmacies so that is a real saving. Plus they have free shipping! iHerb also have fairly reasonable prices, though the makeup brands they stock may not always be what you are after.
  • Budget brands to look for: 
    • BYS (Kmart) you'll pay around $4 for a nail polish and $5 for an eyeliner/brow pencil. I am in love with their automatic brow pencil in blonde, it is super creamy a great colour and so affordable. 
    • Models Prefer (Priceline) This brand has an excellent range of very affordable makeup brushes as well as some great eye shadow palettes. I have tried a few of their mascaras and they are great!
    • ELF (online HERE) ELF is well known in the US and the UK but not at all readily available here. However, it is insanely cheap, thought not as cheap as elsewhere. Obviously the quality isn't going to be amazing, but if you are careful about what you buy you can get some great stuff. I have their gel liner and a few eyeshadow brushes. Check out my review here
Of course there are other budget brands available, but these are the ones I have tried and been happy with. For more tips on budget beauty in Australia have a look at this video from Goo Roo Beauty

xx Samantha Alice 



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Friday, August 10, 2012

Life. Where have I been?

I feel like my posts these past couple of months have been a series of random life updates, and I don't like it! I love blogging dearly, but lately other things have taken the front seat, leaving my little blog behind. Trying to finish uni, working loads and organising myself for an overseas move are all pretty big, but I still want to have time and energy left for the things that make me really happy like being creative. I'd like to say that things will slow down a bit soon, but I doubt they really will. I have a massive weekend ahead finishing a huge technical drawing assignment, and once that is done I have only 4 (count it, FOUR) assignments left at uni. My official end date is September 21st and it could not come sooner. Once uni is out of the way I really only have two and a bit months until I leave, and something tells me they are going to fly by.

 I wanted to give a little update about what I have been up to this last month.

  •  I have been getting plenty of casual teaching work which is a relief and amazing; I worked four days this week! 
  •  I have paid off most of my ticket 
  • Sorted my travel insurance
  • Got an enormous super high tech suitcase that spins around on the spot and weighs nothing
  • Turned another year older (which reminds me, I need to do my new list!)
  • Applied for and received my BRITISH PASSPORT. I literally ran around screaming when I opened the package. 
  • Realised that December 1st is really not that far away and keep thinking 'holy crap I am moving to another country am I mad?)
  • Started clearing all my unwanted junk ready to pack away things I won't be taking with me, which is practically everything I own
  • Started looking for accommodation for when I first get to London (any ideas?)
  • Watched more sport than ever before in my life thanks to the Olympics (P.s totally claiming my Brit status because Australia are going rubbish)
Here are some Instagram shots from the last few weeks. 

  1. Bun selfie!
  2. View from my window at work
  3. Getting my hair done. Do you like my reusable coffee cup?
  4. Kitten face!
  5. The loveliest leather gloves for my birthday, will be perfect for London!
  6. London savings jar. May or may not have dipped into it for shoes. And jeans. And makeup. oops 
  7. I'm a Brit!
  8. Favourite new breakfast; soy yoghurt, banana, stewed rhubarb and ground linseed with cranberries 
  9. I have been doing a daily circuit workout, check out my weights. I am going to be so buff. haha

xx Samantha Alice


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