Jessica Bialkowskibeauty

Beauty Anti-Haul

If you've not heard about them already, an Anti-Haul is the opposite of a haul, where you talk about products you're not going to buy and why. The original creator of the idea is Kimberley Clarke and in the last six months or so I've seen them popping up all over YouTube and on blogs. It's essentially a response to the unrelenting avalanche of new releases that brands throw at us, and I think it’s an awesome concept. It’s really important to examine our buying habits and really start to think about what we consume and why, and I know anti-hauls have definitely encouraged me to do that even more.

Jessica Bialkowskibeauty
Beauty Anti-Haul
Jessica Bialkowskibeauty

Beauty New & Old

I figured rather than a traditional empties post I would try something new, where I talk about products I’ve finished up and what I’ve replaced them with, so it’s like an empties and a haul all in one. I got the idea from ttsandra who is a Canadian YouTuber who I think is awesome, and hopefully you guys like this new format.

Jessica Bialkowskibeauty
Beauty New & Old
Jessica Bialkowskilifestyle

In My Secret Life

Well, things certainly have been busy around these parts. Not only do I have a job now, but we had a whirlwind trip back to Sydney for 5 days for my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding, which was hectic to say the least.

Jessica Bialkowskilifestyle
In My Secret Life
Jessica Bialkowskibeauty

The Ordinary: Review & Guide

I've tried quite a few products from The Ordinary now, and since they're everywhere at the moment I wanted to write about my thoughts on the brand and my experiences with their products in case anyone was considering buying a few things but wasn't sure where to start, or wanted some honest feedback before purchasing.

Jessica Bialkowskibeauty
The Ordinary: Review & Guide
Jessica Bialkowskitravel

Don't Mess With Texas: A Guide

This is the final part of my travel posts from my US trip in Feb/March earlier this year. After New Orleans it was time for Texas! Honestly I didn't really know what to expect but I ended up absolutely loving the place, especially Austin. We were very lucky that Mark had made friends with a Houston local through his work so we got all the hot tips for the best places to go (mostly to eat) in both Houston and Austin. Our new friend's girlfriend was also vegetarian which meant the recommendations were perfect for us, and we caught up with them for dinner while we were in town and had such a lovely time.

Jessica Bialkowskitravel
Don't Mess With Texas: A Guide

A Curated Wardrobe: My Way

The notion of having a curated wardrobe, decluttering your possessions, and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is getting more and more popular in the online world these days, and for a long time I didn't pay much attention because I thought it wasn't for me. Although I agreed with it all in theory and I can appreciate it on an aesthetic level,  I also love displaying sentimental bits and pieces on my walls and in my living space, and I have never once found myself daydreaming about a monochrome capsule wardrobe made up of 30 pieces of clothing. It always seemed like there were too many rules you had to follow that don't fit with my lifestyle or personal tastes.

But after looking into it in greater depth and following some great bloggers and YouTubers for a while, I can see that actually, there are no rules, and that it's up to you to adapt the principals of minimalism to your life in a way that works for you, not the other way around. You don't have to be come a hardcore minimalist who counts everything they own and turns it into their whole life. You don't even have to feel comfortable with calling yourself a minimalist, but you can incorporate elements of the lifestyle at your own pace and see where it takes you.

A Curated Wardrobe: My Way

Glossier Haul & Review

Although I'm very excited that Glossier are finally addressing international shipping, it was a bit annoying that they announced they've started shipping to Canada in the same week that I'd already orchestrated an elaborate plan to get my hands on some of their products. We had a friend visiting from San Fran for a weekend and had plans to go to Niagara Falls together, so I had my Glossier order shipped to a mail holding service just across the border and I walked over the Rainbow Bridge to pick it up. You have to go through customs on both sides since you're walking into New York state, so I had to bring my passport with me. I mean, I did get to see both sides of the falls so it wasn't just for the sake of Glossier, but it's still a lot more of a hassle than just ordering something to arrive at your home, but fortunately my plan went off without a hitch. I know that's a lot  of effort to go to for some skincare, but I'm sure half of you reading this would at least think about doing the same. Anyway, on to the good stuff!

Glossier Haul & Review

In My Secret Life

More news from Toronto! So much has been happening lately but we've finally settled in to our new place and are slowly sorting out some finishing touches. I might do some sort of apartment tour in the future if that sounds interesting to you guys? We also squeezed in a trip to Niagara Falls which was awesome. We're hoping to do lots of travelling while we're here but we figured our priority should be getting settled in before we worry about where else we want to go just yet.

In My Secret Life

New Orleans: A Guide to The Big Easy

Oh man, did I love New Orleans! Widely known as the birthplace of jazz, it's a totally different world compared to other American cities I've visited. I'd wanted to go for years so when my boyfriend's cousin proposed to his southern belle I was very happy we were invited to their wedding. The wedding itself was fantastic, and if you didn't know, a huge part of New Orleans culture is the second line - they love a good parade so after the ceremony everyone walked out of the cathedral while a brass band played. We then followed the band and the wedding party, dancing through the streets waving our white handkerchiefs all the way to the reception venue and it was such an awesome experience!

New Orleans: A Guide to The Big Easy

Current Beauty Favourites

It's been a while since I've done one of these! Usually I'll include whatever beauty bits I'm particularly enjoying in one of my In My Secret Life posts, but I've got quite a few things to mention this time so I thought they deserved their own post. I haven't been wearing much makeup since I've been in Toronto because running errands and applying for jobs just doesn't warrant it, but there are a couple of things that have been floating my boat, as well as some skincare and a few other bits too.

Current Beauty Favourites

San Francisco: A Guide

I thought this time around for my travel posts I would write them in more of a city guide style because I love referring to other blogger's guides when I'm going somewhere new. I had such a great time on my trip back in Feb/March and I feel like I have a lot of fun recommendations to share. I am super biased because of my love for the Beat Generation, but San Francisco is one of my favourite cities, and there's so much to see and do there even if all the Beat stuff isn't that exciting for you. And you can expect posts about New Orleans and Texas coming soon!

San Francisco: A Guide

In My Secret Life: Toronto Update!

I'm very excited to say that I'm writing this post from Toronto because I live here now! Although there have definitely been some hiccups along the way, we're both really happy to be here and absolutely love the place.

In My Secret Life: Toronto Update!

Declutter: Palettes

I had planned to get this post up before the move but I ran out of time. This is the last of my initial declutter posts, and decluttering my palettes definitely took some tough decision making, though fortunately I had many months to mentally prepare myself to let go of these. There are some I reach for all the time and have no hesitation about bringing, but the ones I didn't find myself reaching for I made an effort to really test out to see if I fell in love. Palettes are one of the bulkiest makeup items to travel with so no matter how much of a cult product is it, if I didn't think it was worth bringing halfway around the world with me, then I decided to let go.

Declutter: Palettes

In My Secret Life

Boy, life has been busy lately. Not that I expected anything less, which is why I'm really glad I was able to take some time away from working to sort everything out before the move. We leave on Tuesday, May 30, and we both can't wait to just get over there and get started!

In My Secret Life

Declutter: Blushes

As previously mentioned, I'm moving overseas and am downsizing my makeup! Blush is one of those products that I have a thing for and really enjoy using. I've owned a lot of blush in my time and have given most of it away to family and friends, so I thought I already had my blush collection down to a "reasonable" size. But when push comes to shove, as it has in this case, it turns out there's quite a few I can still bear to part with.

Declutter: Blushes

Declutter: Concealer, Highlighter, Brows

Welcome to part two of my makeup declutter series (here's part one in case you missed it). Same deal as before, if you didn't know, my boyfriend and I are moving overseas in a couple of weeks and I need to downsize, big time. Anything I'm not bringing with me is being given to family and friends or will be going in the bin as things like concealer that I've had for a couple of years is a bit gross to pass on to someone else.

Declutter: Concealer, Highlighter, Brows

On Being in a Style Rut

It's taken me a while to realise it, but I've finally come to accept that I'm in the middle of a style rut. I wanted to write about it not just because it might resonate with any of you, but also because you might have some help or advice for me and I'd love to start some conversation. I feel like I'm finally getting through the halfway point and I'm starting to take control and make my way to where I want to be. I know there are far, far greater problems to have in life, but for me and for many people, getting dressed every day is a form of self expression and being in a rut is just like any other creative outlet, so it's pretty shit when when you feel like you've lost your mojo.

On Being in a Style Rut

Declutter: Primers, Foundations & Powders

Welcome to the first instalment of my declutter series! I haven't really seen anyone doing this kind of thing in a blog post before, but declutters are my favourite YouTube videos to watch and this is exactly the kind of content I'd be excited to see, so it's what I've decided to make and I hope you like it too!

Declutter: Primers, Foundations & Powders

Trash Talk: Makeup & Skincare

Forgive me being so crap at empties posts. I feel like they're a really good source of information and I love seeing other people's mini reviews on products they've obviously had plenty of experience using, but for me there's often quite a gap between taking my photos and throwing the rubbish out vs actually posting about it. And if I have to take photos of another lot of empties (which I did before I moved house to avoid packing up literal garbage) then in this case they're going to get combined, and the less interesting stuff gets cut because nobody wants a post that's 6,000 words long.

Trash Talk: Makeup & Skincare

On Blogging & Consumerism

I'd like to preface this by saying most people probably wouldn't look at the amount of stuff I own and call me a minimalist, but over the last couple of years I'd like to think I've become a lot more careful with my purchases and that I'm heading in that direction more and more. I now feel a lot happier letting go of things that I know someone else will enjoy more than me. This goes across both my beauty stash as well as clothes and most things that I used to buy a lot of. I'm really not trying to be preachy in this post and I hope it doesn't read that way, but I just want to share my experience and some of my thoughts in case it resonates with any of you.

On Blogging & Consumerism

New In: US Haul

Hi friends, as I mentioned in my last post I've been MIA because I was overseas in the States for a few weeks. I had an incredible time and am really looking forward to putting together some travel content when I've got a bit of time, but for now I have a lil post about everything beauty related that I picked up on my trip. While I think I was pretty well behaved, I did still pick up a few things here and there. Aside from the fact that my boyfriend and I are trying to be pretty conservative with our money in the lead up to our move to Toronto, it also didn't make sense for me to buy a whole bunch of stuff I would just have to pack up and bring with me. But I couldn't go to the US and not try anything new, so I made a few "necessary" purchases online before we left and got them delivered to our hotel in San Francisco so they would be there when we arrived. That way I didn't have to bring things like cleansers and shampoo & conditioner with me and I got to try a few new things. I was pretty pleased with myself when I came up with that idea.

New In: US Haul
Jessica Bialkowskilifestyle

In My Secret Life

At the risk of sounding like Debbie Downer, life sure is challenging at the moment. I'm very, very grateful for the fact that part of what's on my plate is planning an overseas holiday which my boyfriend and I leave for at the end of this week, but outside of that things haven't been great. I have never planned my own holiday with so little build up time before, and I feel like life doesn't often just hand you these wonderful things without putting you through some difficult shit first, so that's just where I'm at right now. But there's just a few more days to go and then it's holiday time!

Jessica Bialkowskilifestyle
In My Secret Life

I'm Moving to Toronto!

That's right, my boyfriend and I are moving to the home of baby angel Drake so we can run through the 6 with our woes! Actually, believe it not, Drake isn't the only reason we're going. But when it came down to it, the main reason for us was pretty simple - why not? I've always wanted to live overseas but it seemed like such a far off, unattainable thing. But really all you have to do is decide you want to do it and then suddenly it becomes a possibility. Of course there's a lot of work that follows, but step one is changing your mindset because it's definitely not going to happen until you do that.

I'm Moving to Toronto!
Jessica Bialkowskibeauty

New Arrivals

I rarely buy myself beauty products these days, but I was very lucky to be spoiled around Christmas time so I thought I'd share my (very exciting) new things with you guys and my thoughts on the ones I've tried so far.

Jessica Bialkowskibeauty
New Arrivals