My Favourite Skincare Products

It feels like I’ve been searching for the perfect skincare routine for the longest time. And guys, I think I’ve finally found it. I know, I can’t believe it either. One of the ways that I find new products is from blogs, so I thought I’d share the products with you, just in case anyone out there is interested.

Garnier Micellar Water

I wrote about this way back in August, and I’m still loving it. Over the past year, I’ve used two bottles of this stuff. Considering I use it every single day, often more than once, I’m pretty happy with how long it lasts.

I start off my nightly skin care routine by putting a few squirts of this on a cotton pad. It removes all my makeup and leaves my face feeling pretty clean.

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser

After trying out tonnes of different drugstore cleansers, I recently purchased Cetaphil for the first time, and this stuff is seriously changing my life. I have the one for oily skin, but they have versions for all skin types. I apply it to my face with warm water, after I have used to the micellar water, to get rid of any lingering makeup and give my face a deep clean. Ever since I have been using this, my skin has completely cleared up and is so soft and glowy. Seriously amazing. And to think, I was getting ready to shell out the big bucks for a more high-end product.

Lush Mask of Magnaminty and Lush Cup O’ Coffee Face and Body Masks

I talked about the Mask of Magnaminty when I first bought it, and I am still loving this product. It has this very calming scent which smells delicious and also makes me feel really relaxed. Whilst wearing it, you can totally feel it working on your skin to give it a deep clean, and the morning after applying this, my skin is always clear and blemish free – it’s amazing. I even sometimes just use this as a spot treatment if I don’t feel like covering my whole face.

I love the Cup O’ Coffee mask almost as much as the Mask of Magnaminty. I find that the Mask of Magnaminty is better at treating breakouts, but other than that, the Cup O’ Coffee mask is just as good. It smells delightful as if you are covering your face in coffee and chocolate, which you kind of are. As you rinse this one off, you can exfoliate your face with the coffee grinds. The end result is glowing, soft, smooth skin which smells amazing. I love using this one in the morning or during the day if I’m working at home, to perk me up in the afternoon when my concentration is lacking but it’s too late in the day for a coffee.

Both of these masks are self-preserving, which means they last a lot longer than the fresh masks from Lush, but still use all natural ingredients. I usually do a mask at least once a week – more if I have the time!

What are your holy grail skincare products that I need to try?

Lessons Learnt in 2016

For me, 2016 has been a year of trying to find some clarity, to figure out what my goals and passions are. Looking back on this year, I realize I’ve learnt a few little life lessons, that will be invaluable to me as I go through life. So for all you twenty-somethings out there, here’s what I’ve learnt this year.

You are you, and that’s okay

This one is so important. I often find myself second guessing my feelings, opinions, and actions, based on what I think others would do in my situation. But the thing is, only I feel the way I feel, and like the things I like. No one else is like me, and therefore I shouldn’t judge myself against others, because they are completely different individuals, and making comparisons in entirely pointless. To quote a popular phrase of 2016, “you do you”.

See your problems as challenges

This is something I have only recently learnt, and and it has completely changed my outlook. There are so many hurdles we have to overcome all the time. But rather than seeing them as barriers stopping us from getting results, maybe we should be looking at our problems as challenges, as things that we can work through bit by bit to get to our goals. Seeing my problems as challenges has really helped me to be more proactive at making things happen.

Things will happen exactly when they are meant to happen

This is something my mum told me a few years ago, and the older I get, the more it rings true. For me personally, I can spend a lot of time thinking about what I “should” be doing at this moment in my life, but not really moving forward, because I’m just not ready to take that leap into something yet. I’ve learnt that if you don’t feel ready to do something, then don’t force it. Because when the time is right, you’ll leap straight into it, and be ready to fully commit.

Don’t worry about the future so much

This one ties in with the point above. It’s important to make plans, and have an idea of what you want in your future, to give you something to work towards. But this shouldn’t take over your life. If you want a new job, then work towards that. If you want to save for a house, then do that. But just remember, to enjoy now, and live in the moment too.

Nobody really cares about what you are doing

Okay, well maybe that’s not entirely true, but what I mean is that we spend a lot of time worrying about what other people are thinking about the decisions we make. But really, how long do you spend agonizing over the decision your friend made to leave her job? Do you spend your whole day talking about that person on your Facebook feed who recently decided to ditch her teaching career to become a pilot (or something like that)? Probably not. If anything, when I hear that someone has made a ballsy decision, no matter what it is, I usually think about how brave and awesome they are for taking a leap of faith, even if it’s not something I would personally do.

So those are a few little life lessons that I’ll be taking with me into 2017, I hope some of you out there will find these useful too.

Get To Know Me – 21 Questions

Today I’m doing a “Get to Know Me” tag, because it’s always good to get to know a bit more about the person behind the blog. Thanks to Life Journey With Liyana for inspiring me to do this post. She did a similar one over on her blog recently. I decided to do a slightly different tag, and found the questions below on Ysis Lorenna.

1. Are you named after anyone? 

Not that I know of, I think my mum just liked the name.

2. When was the last time you cried? 

Balled my eyes out last weekend watching the Gilmore Girls finale. Hopefully you won’t be bombarded with my constant Gilmore Girls mentions now that I’ve finished all seven seasons. Lol jk the new season is coming out in two months..

3. Do you have kids?

No kids. Have just been given some plants though, so this will be my chance to see if i’m cut out for parent life.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

Definitely, I know we would share the same taste in TV and movies.

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Never (all the time).

6. Will you ever bungee-jump?

Its not something I’m super keen on, but I live in New Zealand which is pretty much the bungee capital of the world, so you never know.

7. What’s your favorite cereal? 

A nice toasted granola/muesli.

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their smile I think.

9. What is your eye colour? 

Hazel.

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

Happy endings always.

11. Favorite smells? 

Rain or frangipani. Both at the same time is even better.

12. Summer or winter?

Summer summer summer.

13. Computer or television?

Television.

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

The UK, which is about a 24 hour flight from home.

15. Do you have any special talents?

No, not really.

16. Where were you born?

New Zealand.

17. What are your hobbies?

Blogging, listening to music, going to concerts, binge watching tv shows, walking, yoga. The list could go on and on.

18. Do you have any pets? I have a cat that lives with my mum.

19. Favorite movie?

Serendipity.

20. Do you have any siblings?

Yes.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy. Cliche I know, but as I get older, I’m realising that happiness is not actually a given.

 

Okay that’s it, I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about me. If anyone else does this tag, leave a comment below with a link your blog.

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Latest Beauty Purchases – First Impressions

I’ve bought a few beauty and hair products over the last few weeks, so I thought it was about time I did another first impressions post. I grabbed the NYX products from a pop up sale on Once It, and picked up the hair products at an annual pop up sale, which was conveniently located just down the road from my office – the perfect Friday lunch activity.

NYX – Photo-Loving Primer

This is lavender in the tube, but appears colourless on your face. This shade is designed to brighten the skin. It is also available in a green shade which hides redness, and a clear one which covers the pores. I was amazed by how smooth it made my skin feel. I wore it under a foundation that tends to go patchy after a few hours of wear, and I was amazed to see that when used with this NYX primer, it lasted for a lot longer. So far, I’m super happy with this purchase, especially considering I only paid $14.95 NZD. It is just as good as the more expensive primers I have purchased in the past.

NYX Mineral Stick Foundation – Fair

This is the first time I have used a stick foundation, and I had to YouTube how to apply it. The first layer offered a light coverage, but it’s really build-able which means it can be as light or as heavy as you like. I’d say it is more creamy then matte. So far, I’m quite liking it, but I’d need to wear it for a full day before I can really make a decision on it. This only cost me $9.95 which is probably the most affordable foundation I have ever purchased.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder – Porcelain

This comes in a round black compact, with a decent sized mirror. It has a  nice, flawless matte finish, with really good coverage.  I have been using the Maybelline Fit Me powder religiously for the last few years, but thought I would branch out and try something new, and I’m happy I did. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this, especially for $17.95 NZD.

NYX Baked Blush – 06 Wanderlust

I had expected this to be a little more pink, but it is actually a very peachy shade. That’s ok though, I don’t currently have a peach blush, so it’s nice to try something different. This is highly pigmented, and you don’t need to put too much on the brush. It’s also not too powdery – some of my blushes in the past have been super powdery and they go everywhere. It was $12.95 NZD.

Kevin Murphy Body Builder Volumising Mousse

I picked this up at a hair care sale recently. I don’t typically use a lot of product in my hair, because it is super thick and quite long, and I just find it easier to kind of let it do it’s thing naturally. But I thought I’d give this a go for those times when I want to add a bit of extra style. The first time I used it, I massaged a few pumps into my hair and it added a lot of texture and volume. The next time, I just used one pump and it gave it a little more height without feeling like it was full of product.  I think this stuff is going to be really useful when it comes to creating big voluminous waves.

Revlon Professional Equave – Hydro Nutritive Detangling Conditioner

This was the other item I purchased at the hair care sale. I thought this might be good for those days when I haven’t washed my hair and its needs a bit of extra shine. This definitely adds a little bit of extra shine, and it smells great – all good things in my books!

So that is all that I have bought lately. You can find all the NYX products on the NYX Cosmetics website, and the hair products can be picked up online too. What have you bought recently that you are loving?

Guide To Surviving Winter

You might have figured this out from my previous posts, but winter in New Zealand really isn’t my favourite time of year. It’s constantly freezing, it rains a lot, and there are absolutely no public holidays between June and October. It’s a long haul.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. These cold days give me the opportunity to take a step back and enjoy some down time at home, without feeling like I “should” be out doing something.

So what have I been doing to keep myself entertained?

Reading

I’m ashamed to say I don’t read near as much as I used to. When I have downtime, I find myself choosing to watch a show rather than read a book. Reading is something that I have been making a real effort to prioritize this winter, even if it is just fifteen minutes each night before bed.

My favorite book I’ve read lately is Me Before You, which I really enjoyed. It is a sad one though. Check it out here.

Blogging

I’ve really been enjoying working on this blog, whether I’ve been creating content, thinking of ideas and reading other blogs, or working on the layout. It’s been cool to have a new project. I’ve even created an Instagram specifically for the blog, where I’ll post pictures of what I’ve been up to, and pretty, inspirational things. You can follow me @thisgirlinhertwenties.

Cooking and baking

I’ve blogged about my adventures in the kitchen here and here. I’ve been working on creating wholesome and healthy dinners more regularly, more tasty and nutritious breakfasts, and also baking the occasional delicious treat.

To be honest, in the past, I often felt like spending time in the kitchen is a bit of chore. But I’ve actually discovered that if I just potter around the kitchen, put some music on and take my time, it can actually be quite enjoyable.

This weekend alone I baked a bacon and egg pie, made some toasted muesli, and baked some brownies! That’s me sorted for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days.

Binge watching

Of course I’ve spent more time than I should binge watching Netflix. I’m kind of obsessed with re-watching Gilmore Girls right now, and cannot wait for the new season to come out. November 25th is marked in my calendar.

Escaping to a warmer climate

There is no better feeling then trading in the freezing weather for 30 degrees sunshine. You can read more about my recent trip away here.

So that’s what I’ve been up to this winter. What do you do to make the winter months more enjoyable?

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Image found here

 

Those Little Moments of Happiness

When we talk about “finding happiness”, I think we see it as a long term goal, or a project. This great big thing that we are trying to achieve. Like, when I finally get that job I love, or move to that new city,  I’ll be happy. But the thing is, life is never perfect, and it never will be. I might get that dream job, but that doesn’t mean the other aspects of my life will be perfect. Life is forever changing, and forever growing, and what I think will make me truly happy today, may be different tomorrow.

I was once watching an episode of One Tree Hill, and one of the characters said the following quote:

“Happiness is a mood, not a destination”

That pearl of wisdom has always, always stuck with me. But sometimes I forget, and I focus on the bigger, long term picture, rather than the small moments.

Today I went out for a walk. The sun was shining, my current favourite song was playing through my headphones, and I had just had a really nice coffee date with my sister. As I walked through the park, enjoying the sun, I noticed that I had this massive smile on my face, for no particular reason. I realized that in that moment I was feeling so much happiness, that it was literally causing me to have this massive uncontrollable smile. Nothing major had happened or changed, it was just a moment of happiness.

I wished I could stay that way forever. But, you can’t. In some moments you will feel pure happiness, and in some moments you won’t. It’s those little moments that we need to strive for, and appreciate them when they do happen. Yes, we should keep working towards our big picture goals and ambitions. But we need to remember that we are not going to just one day arrive at our destination of happiness, and stay there for ever. We need to enjoy those little moments of joy along the way. There will be happy days, and sad days, and everything in between. And that’s okay.

So for today, I’m taking note of all of the little things that bring that happy smile to my face, and do more of that. For me it’s walking by the water, or in the park, listening to music, and drinking coffee with my nearest and dearest.

What is it for you?

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Throwback Thursday – Fun in Fiji

Thursdays are all about throwing it back to times gone by. Right now here in New Zealand, it is the middle of winter. And these dreary days have got me dreaming of sunnier times. With this in mind, I’m going to throw it back to exactly two years ago, when I was recovering from a terrible flu, and decided to trade in the rainy Auckland winter for the blue skies of Fiji with four of my girlfriends.

We rented a two bedroom apartment in a resort, and had eight amazing days of sun, cocktails, swimming and all those things you do on an island getaway. It is still one of my favourite holidays to look back on.

Fiji is an amazing place to go if you just want a few days of pure relaxation, where your biggest concerns are which pool you are going to lounge beside that day, and where you will go for happy hour. Based on my experiences, the food wasn’t especially exciting, it was all pretty similar to what I can get here in Auckland, but twice the price.  But hey, you don’t go there for the food.

We stayed at the Wyndham Resort on Denerau Island, and spent our days pool hopping around the various resorts in the area. Absolute bliss. We also did a boat cruise out to Tivua Island.

Check out a few of my snaps from the trip below. Soon I’m going on another winter getaway, and I’m pretty glad about that, otherwise I’d be feeling seriously sad looking at those blue skies.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for sunny holiday destinations, for anyone looking to escape the winter?

 


Baking Cookies and Learning Life Lessons

Tonight I decided to bake some cookies. Now the last time I baked would have been a good few years ago. Mostly this is because my house was not equipped with the necessities of baking, but also, I just find it kind of stressful. But, I felt like doing something productive tonight. And if I’m honest, I kinda had this idea that I would end up with these beautiful Pinterest worthy cookies that I could post about on the blog.

As I mixed the ingredients together, I was feeling quite proud of myself. “I should do this more often”, I thought.

As I progressed though, I realized it really wasn’t working out. The mixture wasn’t looking like a cookie mixture should. I put extra butter in, mixed it for a million hours, and still nothing worked. I was all prepared to give up, when I realized that I’d forgotten to add the egg in. Yes, I forgot the egg. Such a failure.

But ya know what, it wasn’t too late. I chucked that egg in the mixture at the very last minute, and although the whole process took about an hour longer than it should have, and left my kitchen in a mess, they still tasted pretty good, and the flatmates enjoyed them.

So what did I learn? I’m not sure really. Maybe that we all make silly mistakes sometimes, but if we keep ploughing on, we will get there in the end?

Although I admit the cookies weren’t a complete disaster, they do not look Pinterest worthy, soooo I won’t be posting a picture. Here are some pictures of what I had hoped they would look like, so just imagine that they look like that.

Anyway, that was my Monday night misadventure. Off to bed for me.

 

 

Travelling Alone – The Best Thing You’ll Ever Do

If you follow any sort of travel blog, you have probably heard it before – travelling alone is possibly the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself.

A few years ago I went on my first ever big travel adventure, and I went all on my lonesome. Before setting off, I was absolutely terrified, to the point of holding back tears at the airport. But I can tell you now, this was absolutely the best thing I have ever done for myself, and I would one hundred percent recommend solo travel to anyone.

So why is this is such a valuable experience? Below are a few reasons why I absolutely love travelling solo.

The people you will meet

When you’re travelling alone, you have two choices:

  1. Talk to that person and potentially make a new friend, or at the very least, have an interesting conversation.
  2. Don’t talk to that person, and spend the day alone.

Some days, you will be completely happy in your own company, and on other days you will miss the company of other humans. Travelling pushes you out of your comfort zone, to speak to people you might not usually speak to. The people you meet while solo travelling are truly special, because they will be the people that you can look back and share those experiences with. I’ll always fondly remember the Singaporean girl who became the person I explored various European cities with. We were two people from completely different life backgrounds, who bonded over a mutual love for Taylor Swift and coffee.

The people I’ve met while travelling will forever hold a special place in my memory banks.

The things you will do

When travelling alone, no one else can choose how you spend your day, but you. The freedom of choice to do whatever you like, whenever you like, is the best. Feel like spending your day shopping? Then do it. Feel like going to a museum? The choice is yours. Feel like sitting in bed and eating snacks? Do it!

The trip will be full of all the things you ever wanted to do, and none of the things you didn’t want to do.

The realization that you can do anything

Travelling is not always easy. There will be flights that get delayed, tours that aren’t quite what you expected, and days when you just miss home.

When you’re alone though, all that you can do is get on with it and sort it out, one step at a time. You will be amazed at what you are capable of, when you have to be.

The discovery that you are your own best friend

My solo adventures have shown me just how okay I am in my own company. There are many hours and days spent alone when traveling on your own. There will be long layovers in airports, walking through cities, and sight seeing all on your lonesome. As long as you have some good tunes, a good book, and a passion to explore, you will be totally fine.

You will learn to appreciate how rare and precious those moments when you are completely alone really are, without the responsibilities of everyday life.

So go on, explore. Just you, your iPhone and a Lonely Planet guide. Have fun.

 

Yosemite National Park, California

Favorite Things Part 1

I’ve been thinking lately about how important it is to have a positive outlook on life. Sometimes it is the littlest things that can turn a bad day into a better one, and so I thought I would share a few of the things that have made me happy this week.

Movie: Hunt for the Wilder People

This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It is heart-warming and hilarious, which made it perfect pick me up for a Thursday night.

It is a very much a New Zealand film, complete with beautiful scenery and thick Kiwi accents. I do wonder if part of the appeal of this film, for myself and those that I have spoken to about it, is that it is in someway relatable. After all, it’s not often that we see our culture and hear our accents on the big screen. I would love to hear what someone who is not so familiar with New Zealand would think of this film.

If you haven’t seen Hunt for the Wilder People yet, check out the trailer here.

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Playlist: Spotify – Songs to Sing in the Car

Ok, this has to be one of the best playlists yet. Every single song is an absolute banger. I’m talking Spice Girls, Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Grease and so so much more. It’s not often that my boyfriend and I can find a playlist that suits both of our music tastes, but if ever there was one, this is it. Next time you’re going on a road trip, bust this one out.

TV Show: Girls

Can we just talk about how amazing season 5 of Girls is. I have been a big fan of this show since I first discovered it a few years ago, but I am absolutely loving the character development that we are seeing this season.

Even though the girls find themselves in some crazy situations that I couldn’t even dream up if I tried, the characters are still so damn relatable. These girls are navigating their way through their twenties just like I am, and I love that. They also get to figure out who they are, while living in New York City, which makes the show even better.

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What have you been loving this week??