St Tropez Review Self Tanning Products Review

St Tropez Self Tanning Products ReviewSo, I’m right into fake tan, all tanning products for that matter. I’m a pale and pasty English/Irish girl  (albeit with some throwback French and Eastern European presenting itself) and, whilst  I’m fairly olive and tan up beautifully – I don’t ordinarily attempt to naturally tan: The sun scares the shit out of me (hello melanoma). So, I’ve taken it upon myself to frequently partake in stocking up my bathroom cupboards with self-tanning goodies so I can do a DIY tan job. When St Tropez contacted me recently to ask if I’d like to try out some of their (newish) self tanning products to review, I was all over that like a rash. “I’m your girl”, I replied with gusto.

I got sent:

* St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion 200ml – (Medium)
* St Tropez Gradual Tan Body Lotion Tinted 200ml
* St Tropez Instant Tan Face & Body Lotion – Medium/Dark 100ml

I gave all of these self tanning products a good bash for a week and a half before penning (aka filming) my, erm, rather unfavourable thoughts. Here goes. Sigh. I hate being a Negative Nellie!  I’m really  (truly) grateful to be sent these self tanning products to review… I just didn’t think they worked – and I think there’s better products out there (for me at least).  

In the event (unlikely event, that is) that you are utterly inspired to try out these products after watching this… Head to Beauty Lounge, Farmers, Pharmacies and the like.   I’m not a newbie to St Tropez, a few summers back I used one of their self tanning products. Whilst I can’t remember what it was called, I do recall it was awesome, so it seems these three products I were went sent are a bit out of the box! Note, this is my opinion, I’m sure there are people out there who love these products. Simply… They didn’t work for me.

Oh, here’s the instant tan on my face – the before and after. Barely a difference, eh?

St Tropez Instant Tan

My Emergency Makeup Look

Emergency makeup lookI haven’t done a makeup tutorial post for ages. Truth be told, they are a pain in the ass to photograph and the posts take 100 years to write… And I don’t have the time nor inclination! If I knew how to edit videos maybe I’d do a start to finish quick and easy video tutorial (remember last time I tried that and I poked myself in the eye with the tube? #fail).

Anyway, for the last few days I’ve worn this super quick and easy minimal makeup and I’ve had a few compliments about the “low key Lou look”. Thus, I thought this would make a good tutorial, whilst also putting it out there that I don’t always wear a full face (just most of the time, ha).

Note, as I have oily skin, I don’t get a lot of wear out of this look – as I don’t bother to prime my face, nor set my foundation with a light dusting of powder (necessary for me to lock my base in place). But, it’s a quick and simple look that, longevity of wear aside, is fit for purpose. I guess you could say this is my ‘Makeup in an Emergency’ look!

Products used are below, there’s a new find in there – a McDaddy brow product at a hamburger-like price. I know you guys like it when I find good yet mega affordable products. (more…)

Lou Loves – July 2017

 

Chanel Perfection Lumiere VelvetChanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet (Smooth Effect Makeup SPF15)

I don’t want to love this coz it was $90 for bloody 30ml. Shiiiit. This makes this item one of the most expensive items of makeup I’ve ever bought. 

This foundation was, fessing up time, an emotional “make me feel better purchase”.  I’ve been a bit down in the dumps lately.  I didn’t expect to love, love, LOVE it… But I do.  It’s perfect for my oily skin. Did I mention it goes on like velvet? This pricey liquid foundation delivers a stunning sheer to medium coverage. Great news: It’s totes buildable so it’s great for me for day wear as well as a night out. Brace yourself for this next comment: It’s the best foundation I’ve ever used. My skin looks flawless.

Chanel perfection lumiere foundation review
Foundation on my mug. Taken in my car, coz, you know, lighting is always better in the car.

Brownie points deducted for alcohol being in the ingredients list, not a huge amount, but potentially unnecessary, so worth a mention. Also it’s quite fragranced: I love the smell, personally, but this could put some off. As for the SPF, who the hell relies on sunblock in their foundation these days? Not me. That’s why the folk at Skinnies invented their sungel.

Will I be replacing this foundation when it, gulp, runs out? Hell yes. Bring on Duty Free I say.

Note: If you’ve got normal to dry skin, I’d check out Chanel’s Vitalumiere. I received a tester of this: Gorgeous, but when push came to shove, the lady at Chanel’s counter suggested that Perfection Lumiere would be better on my oily skin. She was right.  My Mother-in-law text me last night from Duty Free saying “I need to get a foundation, what should I get?” I sent her in Chanel’s direction. (more…)

Dreamy Full Noise Potato and Bacon Bake

potato and bacon bakeMost people have a potato bake ‘go-to’ recipe, eh?  Not me, my efforts are always slightly different and TBH always a bit ‘meh’.  However, I’ve nailed it: This is the potato and bacon bakes of All Potato Bake recipes. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I’m not even a massive potato fan (apart from chips… #nuffsaid).  In the midst of a cold Rotorua winter, danger: For me, this is comfort food at its finest.

Hang on, if you are calorie counting, stop right here. Exit out of this blog. This dish is totes not conducive to weight-loss, in fact hubby said to me, and I quote “Shit, we’d better not eat this too often we’ll get fat’. In our house, hence, we call this ‘Full Noise Potato Bake’.

Firstly, as a bit of a disclaimer, the origins of this recipe don’t like with me, nope. They lie with my buddy Portia.  We went to her house for dinner a few weeks back and she dished up her version of this. I asked nagged her for the recipe, as it was WAYYYY better than my potato bake. Finally she relented and shared the secret. The two secrets are, incidentally:

  1. Dried Maggi Chicken Soup (you know,  the one that comes in the packet, like the crucial Kiwi Dip ingredient, Maggi Onion Soup).   Now, I’m not usually a fan or a supporter of pre-packaged foods, but I’m not so LANA* about it that I can’t make an exception.  
  2. Par boiling the potatoes. My potato bake efforts have yielded dishes with semi-hard potato. Meh. Nobody likes it semi hard.

The next day after Portia wowed us, which was a Sunday, we all had a hankering for Portia Potato Bake.  The hankering was so bad that, in the torrential rain I set off to Countdown on a mission for Chicken Soup and potatoes (cupboards were bare).  Me being me, I had a fiddle with Portia’s recipe and this was the result. I nailed it, if I do say so myself: It’s same, same, but different, to Portia’s Potato Bake.  The addition of bacon and onion knocked it out of the ballpark, IMO.

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Fresh Start with Nadia Lim – Review

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim. The newest kid on the block from My Food Bag. We’ve had it for one week – here’s my review of Fresh Start, which, for the record, we paid for (this is not an advert of any form of sponsored post). However, before I forget, if you’d like to give a My Food Bag, err, bag a go, go to the bottom of this post: I have a referral code for you to use – we’ll both get $10 off our next order! 😊

First,  I’m going to assume, for the benefit of keeping this post as brief as possible (noting I always have too much to say) that you are all over the My Food Bag concept. If you are, in fact, not ‘all over that’ – read this blog post from a while back where I reviewed My Food Bag (long story short: I super complimentary things!).

My Food Bag’s newest bag, Fresh Start with Nadia Lim, is essentially, same, same but slightly different to other My Food Bags.  Fresh Start is the option for those wanting to get ‘healthy’ and/or drop some pies.  All meals are 450 calories or less per serve. Meals come with lean protein, a shit tonne of veges, and the meals are lower in gluten and dairy to boot. Check out  My Food Bag’s website for all the deets on Fresh Start here. 

Whilst I’ve been wittering on in recent times about the astronomical cost of groceries in NZ, potentially leading you all to believe we are poorer than church mice, we signed up for Fresh Start for the pricely sum of $200 for 20 meals. Why? I’m quite porky at the moment. Uncomfortably so.  Why I am porky is, to be honest, bloody boring and predictable. I’m not going there. I am, frankly, I’m sick of reading blogs/Facebook posts about curvy birds like me who have seen the light and have dropped 20kgs and are now a size 10 and lifting their own body weight at the gym. I AM NOT GOING THERE.  This is Not That Blog.  I am not aspiring to get crazy fit, nor be a size 10 (though I am joining a new gym opening up down the road)… Yes: I’m happy with fitting back, comfortably into my smaller size 14 jeans. I like my curves, albeit some of them are more like rolls at the moment.  Anyhoo, we thought give Fresh Start a nudge. There we go, rationale, done. #simple.

My Food Bag, as I’ve bleated on about before, is a winner in my view: It’s one less thing to think about in a week. No meal planning, no McDaddy grocery shop, just a quick trip to the supermarket to get breakfast stuff. Yes, I know, it’s not a huge task, but it’s one less thing to think about. If you are reading this and have a husband who takes care of all the groceries and cooking and you don’t have to think about it: Good on you. I’m envious. I’m not in that situation and frankly, I get sick of all the organising and planning that goes with running a family. I am not a naturally organised creature, I have to put a lot of effort into it and I find it exhausting. If I lived the single life I’d be the kind of person who would ponder all day what I felt like for dinner. I would pop into the supermarket every night on the way home: Sod that planning malarkey, I’d revert to type! So, scene set, the Number One reason I love My Food Bag is that they cater to my gourmet taste, whilst eliminating all that thought about meal planning and organisation. It helps my ENTP* Personality Type out, tremendously (using the Myers Briggs Framework, but I digress).

What does Fresh Start cost?

With Fresh Start, there’s two options, as shown below.

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

I signed up for the Lite 20 option, so we had meals for two adults for dinner, with leftovers each for lunch the next day. Hubby had no say in the matter: He does as he is told when it comes to meals. If he took charge, he could make such decisions. He doesn’t.   We are, for the record a family of three, our 10 year old vege dodger has been eating separately from us (he’s cooking his own meals with my help, get ‘em in the kitchen early I reckon).

$200 per week, which sounds on the high side. However, this is just under what I spend a week on groceries anyway, so, being pragmatic, by the time I get breakfast stuff in: Our total weekly grocery cost is more or less the same. 

So, scene set, how have we found Week 1 of Fresh Start? Thanks for asking: Here’s a blow by blow.

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Lou Loves – June 2017 Faves

I was going to write a full on, full noise blog post for Lou Loves – June 2017.  But life in the last week has been CRAZY busy and I’ve been zooming around the North Island. Subsequently I had no capacity to sit down and write a post (well, I did, but I prioritised my family life)! So here’s a video. Again.

Now, I have worked REALLY hard to not say ummmm. I also tried really hard to look at the camera more. I tried really hard to not talk too fast. 

How did I do?

Products rambled on about in this vid

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Delhi Hut Rotorua – Review

Delhi Hut Rotorua

We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.

Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather:  I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.

Delhi Hut Rotorua

As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign.  My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.

Exec Summary:  The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water). (more…)

See you in September Book Review

See You In SeptemberSee You In September is Charity Norman’s latest novel. I’ve been waiting for this book to be released for, ages. Now, just in case you missed the memo: I’m a BIG Charity Norman fan and I’ve been checking out stalking Charity’s Facebook page, so eager I was for updates on her writing process of her latest book! I knew that when See You In September came out I’d get it – and write a book review.

Oh. It was worth the wait. I loved See you In September.  It was gripping in a way that was, I must add, slightly disturbing, upsetting, heart-in-the-mouth, captivating, kind of way. Mum read it before me. She enjoyed it too, noting she also used the word ‘disturbing’ to describe it.

But first, some background. I fell madly in love with Charity Norman’s work when I read her cracking book, The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone. If you haven’t read this… Do. It’s the best book I read last year and, funnily enough I had a Facebook message from blog follower Emily, who is currently sunning it up on holiday in Fiji. Emily took The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone with her, on my recommendations. She’s been ignoring her family. She reckons the book is fab too. 

My Review – See You In September

See you in September is the tale of Cassy, a young and intelligent English girl, who is heading on a short break to New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish, before returning home for her best friend’s wedding. Meanwhile, temporary escapism beckons for Cassy, who feels the the weight of her Dad’s expectations on her shoulders.  Cassy’s Dad Mike, who has his heart in the right place, simply wants the best for his beloved daughter and he is relatively forceful in his ‘encouragement’ of Cassy to achieve a high-flying law career.

Cassy, meanwhile, usual story: Has other hopes and dreams for her life and resents her Dad for putting his sticky beak in, because, you know: What does he know?  A tiff unfolds about this difference of views in the car, en-route to Heathrow Airport. Meanwhile Cassy’s Mum, Diana,  takes on the role of peacekeeper. Diana, incidentally, would do well working for the UN.  Scene set: Tension is rife as Cassy farewells her loving family as she boards the plane bound for En-Zed.

Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. ‘See you in September,’ she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

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