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Top 4 Primers & My Thoughts

For most other beauty products I've found it difficult to narrow it down to my top 5, but when it comes to primers I wanted to only share the ones that I feel strongly about, so even though I've tried a lot of primers in my time (including a LOT of minis & samples), not many of them make the cut. I've become a bit disenchanted, mostly because there are so many different types and it can be hard to get a gauge on which ones actually perform. In fact a lot of people don't bother using them at all because they can seem like they're a bit of a waste of time.

I find them to be a really confusing area of beauty and one where I don't have a lot of faith in the claims that brands make. Some say they're a 7 in one miracle product and other brands release 7 different primers that each do one thing. These days there are primers for smoothing, colour correcting, oil absorbing, acne fighting, pore filling, brightening and hydrating your skin - surely one product could do several of these things at the same time, but probably not all of them. So I wanted to put down some of my thoughts about primers in case it all feels a bit too much like hard work for you as well, and if you have oily skin like me I'm also going to talk about the 4 primers that I find actually help my makeup last noticeably longer.

Top 4 Primers & My Thoughts

Top 5 Palettes

I'm not a huge collector of palettes, when I see a new release I find it reasonably easy to talk myself out of wanting it, largely because I have a comfort zone with eyeshadows that consists exclusively of neutral shades. The most daring I'll go is a muted purple-taupe or a golden olive-green (think MAC's Sumptuous Olive), so you're not going to find any Urban Decay Vice palettes in my collection. But if you're a neutral-only girl (or boy) like me, then you're in the right place.

Top 5 Palettes

My Skincare Routine

I talk about skincare enough here that I thought it was about time I took you through my full routine. I do a pretty similar thing in the morning and the evening but with a few key changes, so I thought rather than split this into morning and evening I'd just talk about the different types of products I use for each step and why. Because this post is so long I haven’t gone into treatments or masks, etc so I might save all that for another time.

For some this may seem like a lot of steps, but I really enjoy my skincare routine and rather than feeling like an obligation, I see it as a way of taking care of myself. No matter how late I get home or how settled I am in bed watching something, I’ll still do my routine. I absolutely notice a difference if I don’t – I may not automatically break out, but my skin can look dull, dehydrated, congested, etc. I completely understand this many steps might be too much for some, but it's what works for me.

My Skincare Routine

Skincare Science: Antioxidants & Anti-Ageing

I'm the kind of person who likes to seriously do their research when I'm interested in something, so of course that applies to skincare as well. I completely understand that not everyone has the time or can be bothered to scour the internet for this kind of information, so I thought I'd put together a guide to some popular skincare ingredients and what they can do for you. Clearly I'm not a cosmetic scientist but I have Googled, read and collected some information and hopefully you find it helpful! And obviously if you have any concerns you should consult a professional because I'm not one.

If you're on the younger side of 25 anti-aging skincare probably doesn't rank too highly on your list of priorities, but I believe that regardless of what age you are, preventing skin damage is always going to be better than trying to reverse the damage later in life. So let's start from square one, in simple terms, our skin is constantly producing collagen which is a protein that holds our bodies together. As we age, our ability to replenish damaged collagen slows down, allowing wrinkles to form. Aside from generally getting older, the main causes of damage to collagen are UVA rays, free radicals and smoking. To combat these we have SPF, antioxidants and y'know, not smoking. I think smoking and sun damage are pretty self explanatory, but I will talk a bit more about free radicals and antioxidants.

Skincare Science: Antioxidants & Anti-Ageing
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Top 5 Concealers

I can't explain why but I really enjoy trying out different concealers and I found it pretty difficult to narrow my favourites down to just 5. For me these tend to be good all rounders and I really enjoy using each of them.

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Top 5 Concealers
little henry leebeauty, digital

Empties

Yeah, I'm coming at you with another massive empties post because I don't have my life together enough to post these more often so they're probably always going to be huge. I thought the best way to do it was to split them into categories and I actually photographed them that way too to make life easier for everyone!

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Empties

California: LA, San Francisco & Big Sur

Los Angeles

Getting out of my airport shuttle and seeing my friend from home, Caitlin, waiting for me and running towards each other to hug, visiting the Elliott Smith wall and Charles Bukowski's bungalow, speculoos cookie butter and pumpkin toaster pastries from Trader Joe's, Amoeba Records, all you can eat Tacos for $5, appreciating the many beards in baseball, Caitlin's first trip to Disneyland (and my third Disneyland of my holiday), the Halloween themed Haunted House and Space Mountain rides and all the Halloween decorations around the park, staying to watch the 7pm parade because Caitlin had always wanted to see it, pick & mix lollies from Dylan's candy bar, Santa Monica pier, hiring bikes and riding around Venice Beach, pancakes and a chai milkshake for dinner with the lovely miss Valerie at the 101 Coffee Shop!

California: LA, San Francisco & Big Sur

Top 5 Powders

It's a little tricky to make a photo of five circles look pretty, but I tried. Continuing on with my Top 5 series, as you may have guessed, these are my top 5 powders. Now I expect a lot from powders, I've got oily skin and need a powder to pull its weight when it comes to oil control without making my skin look horrible and cakey. In my pre-beauty obsessed days the powder I relied on was MAC's Studio Fix which is actually a powder foundation so it has a decent amount of coverage. Good if your makeup tends to wear away throughout the day, but it doesn't really offer the natural, skin-like finish that I'm after these days.

Top 5 Powders

Top 5 Blushes

So you may be a little confused about the title of this post, "Top 5 Blushes" when the photo clearly has six blushes in it, but let me explain - I'm an idiot and I couldn't choose! But there are only five formulas here so that's what I'm going with! I thought I'd start a "top 5" series on my blog, (sorry for cheating on the very first one) because I though it would be fun to work my way through my makeup collection and share my favourite products in each category with you guys. 

Top 5 Blushes
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Boston & Orlando

This might be a bit confusing but I've combined two places into one post because either I didn't have a lot to say about them (Orlando) or I didn't have a lot of photos (Boston/Lowell.) And sorry for posting out of order but in case you were wondering I flew to Boston from Reykjavik because I wanted to visit my favourite writer Jack Kerouac's hometown of Lowell which is about an hour North. So I had a couple of days in Boston and then I caught the train to New York and stayed for a month there, and then I went to Orlando exclusively for the theme parks & the Kennedy Space Centre, and then on to LA.

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Boston & Orlando

New York

Well this post has been a long time coming. It's literally been a year since I was in New York and I'm only just getting around to posting about it (oops.) In case you weren't a reader of my blog a year ago I took 5 months off life and went around the world. If you're interested in seeing any photos from my time in Iceland, Europe or Egypt you can check out my travel tag. I spent an incredible two and a half months in the US so there'll be a couple more posts coming after this one - and no, it shouldn't take me another year to get to them!

New York

In My Secret Life #3

Seems it's time for another round up of things I've been enjoying lately and the first thing I have to talk about absolutely has to be baths. I've been obsessed with having baths about 4-5 times a week and have been telling all my friends how great they are. Of course I've had them before but as an adult they've been few and far between, and mostly only when I'm really tired or not feeling well. The first one I had at the start of this obsession was a bit weird - like how long am I supposed to stay in this bath for? What am I meant to be doing? I was kind of bored. For my next bath, however, I brought my laptop with me, set it up on the vanity and watched a couple of YouTube videos. That's probably not a revelation to anyone else but it changed the game for me. I've also been trying out lots of bath salts and bubble baths from iHerb and my favourite one has to be the Deep Steep Rosemary & Mint Bubble Bath. I've not tried any of their other scents yet but I can assure you I will.

In My Secret Life #3

International Beauty: Best of British

For the final part of my International Beauty series we're heading to the UK. Most brands that are available in the UK are also around in Australia these days, but annoyingly there are a handful that manage to elude us unless we take the long trip across the pond (not just for concealer and dry shampoo, mind you.) If you're lucky enough to find yourself in the motherland, here are some brands and products that are worth keeping an eye out for.

International Beauty: Best of British