Beauty Misc

Ten Christmas Present Ideas That Won’t Break the Budget

Last year I did a blog post last Christmas with ideas of affordable pressie for beauty geeks and foodies. A gift that’s certain to delight its recipient is one of the fruit baskets from Gift Tree, especially for the foodies out there! It was a hit, so, here’s 2016’s version.

Please note: I still reckon last year’s post had cracking recommendations so definitely check that out. Oh, I’m about to recommend a new twist on the Go Vino glasses.

Bonbon Vegan

bonbon vegan

I adore Bonbon Vegan. This Kiwi (Whakatane) beauty range is all 100% vegan, natural and unprocessed. Nice. (more…)

Get some spring in your makeup bag

I did some spring cleaning last weekend. Actually, that’s a total exaggeration. I blasted the front of the house with a hose to get rid of the cobwebs and then supervised the ten year old while he cleaned the outdoor furniture. After this burst of energy I moved on to having a makeup clean out and updating my makeup bag for spring. As you’ve probably gathered by now, I own a heck-tonne of makeup and regularly I put products on rotation, least I stick to the same ‘old look’*. The start of spring heralds a little more thought than my usual “oh, haven’t used this for a while, I’ll give this a go” efforts. In thinking through what I look for in my spring makeup products, I realised this would make a good blog post! I found lots of great makeup. I bought a few bits from a website like Beauty Shop UK a few months ago and I’ve only just got round to using them! I have way too much makeup but I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

So, here’s five tips to get some spring in your makeup bag!

Lippy – Think BOLD

bold lipsticks

Four years ago I owned eight lipsticks and they were all. ,more or less, the same shade of nude. Honest – ask my husband!

These days it’s a different story: I am a raving fan of the bold lip and berate my former self for not getting my big girl bold lip pants on sooner. There’s something sexy and alluring about a woman that wears a bold lip. It’s also a statement of confidence and frankly, there’s nothing sexier than a confident woman. Oh and it’ll change an outfit: You won’t need new clothes. The first time I wore a bold lip, I won’t lie, I felt so self-conscious – I had to work up to it. But I broke through that ridiculousness: Now there’s no stopping me.

Lipstick colours are such a personal thing, I’d totally recommend rocking up to your local pharmacy or Farmers, looking for a sales assistant who has MAKEUP ON THAT YOU LIKE (this is important) and say “Please help. I want a bold lipstick. What would suit me?” That’s totes what I do and how I’ve found my two bold lip favourites (MAC’s Up the Amp and Body Shop’s Damson in Distress).

I’ll let you in on a secret too, if you are bloody knackered and look tired, a bold lip will detract from tired eyes: People will focus on your lips. (more…)

My skincare routine

skincare routine the beauty foodieI’m mindful that I talk a lot about the products I use – but I haven’t really talked about how, or when, I use them. So, this is that blog post: My current skincare routine.

Before we get down to skincare business, I need to get a few important things out of the way:

  • DISCLAIMER: This routine is for an oily skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin – I’d be thinking differently. This skincare routine is what works for me – an oily chick!
  • There’s one beauty guru who I avidly follow, who has been a massive influencer on my skincare routine. That’s Caroline Hirons. I recommend you read this blogpost in conjunction with this post – to save me repeating myself in terms of why I do what I do! I’ve deviated a bit in the last two years in terms of what I do (as mentioned in the afore mentioned link) but you’ll get the gist!
  • I carry out the routine below every night and every morning. The last time I went to bed without washing my face was December 2014 and, prior to that, it was under similar (extraordinarily drunk) circumstances in 2012. That’s enough said on that, what goes on tour, stays on tour.
  • The products that I’m using right now might not be the products I’m using next week: Being a bit of a lover of change and anything new (as well as being a dedicated blogger) trying out new skincare products is one of my favourite hobbies.
  • I’m not loyal to any one skincare brand. I don’t buy into the ‘use all of our range’ sales pitch. I mix it up. My face hasn’t fallen off…

Brace yourself. Seven steps in the morning: Eight steps at night (most of the time).

How do I have time? (I’m always asked this, I heard it coming). Look, this takes me FIVE minutes. It’s an investment and I’m worth it. FIVE minutes. I choose to take time to look after my skin. I have all of the products I use close on hand – if you have to go hunting in your drawer for a toner you are going to waste valuable time! I choose to take time to look after my skin. On another note, I’m rubbish at making time to exercise. Each to their own. Often than not you will find people going out to get a face mask put on or you’ll see them going out to get a wax from as an example rather than doing this themselves.

Products used: Noting the above comments about being a product whore (i.e. I’m not a loyal to any brand) I’m really happy with all of the products featured in this post on a couple of levels: I love how my skin is responding, I like that most of the products are easy to buy (Farmers and the supermarket) and, importantly, the cost of most of the products makes my wallet happy. I’ve spent a bloody fortune on some skincare products that aren’t half as good as what I’m using right now… Go figure.

My routine

First up: Cleansing

skincare routine the beauty foodieMorning: I cleanse using a cleanser and a clean flannel (I use a fresh flannel daily). Nothing fancy here, I wet my face with warm water, apply cleanser to my flannel – and cleanse away. Rinse with warm water. I’m currently loving Moreish’s foaming cleanser (which, despite the name isn’t really foaming at all – and certainly not drying on my oily skin like other foaming cleansers I’ve tried).

Night: At the end of the day I’ve got an extra cleansing step: Pre-cleansing to take off all my makeup. How? I just get a little bit of product on my fingers, smooth it over my skin, including my eye makeup and rinse off. Boom: Ready for cleansing. I sometimes may use products from the Waterlilies And Company but I’m yet to fully try out there whole range of products, which I keep meaning too!

I’ve waxed lyrical for years about Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm as a pre-cleanser and as far as I’m concerned this is still the dog’s nuts of pre-cleansers. However, confession time: I’m not using it at the moment because I’m busy trying out other stuff like organic extra virgin coconut oil (from my kitchen), or Lipidol’s Cleansing Face Oil ($10 from Farmers) – both are great! Also, at night, because I do wear a shit-load of makeup usually, after pre-cleansing I always go on to double cleanse (using the same cleanser). On ‘low makeup days’ I’d just cleanse once… Make sense?! .


I tone twice, once with an exfoliating toner and then a hydrating toner (neither of which contain alcohol). Why do I use two toners and what’s the difference between an exfoliating toner and a hydrating toner? Have a read of my Caroline Hiron’s blogpost: That’ll explain everything. At the moment I’m using Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid toner (applied to a cotton pad and swept across my face). After that I spritz my face with a hydrating toner. Currently I’m adoring Evolu’s Facial toner.

Eye Cream

snoxin blog review

I’m a big advocate of using an eye cream and I’ve been using it twice a day since I was in my early twenties. I suffer from droopy eyelids (damn genetics) and I have puffiness under the eyes that I’ve always hated. More recently, as I zoom towards my fortieth birthday, my crows feet and laughter lines around my eyes are screaming out for TLC. So for me an eye cream is a ‘must’!

I apply eye cream straight after toning. Why? This is what Caroline Hirons has to say on the topic, she makes me snort with laughter.

Don’t apply your eye cream last. No matter how careful you apply your serums/moisturisers you will always get some in the eye area and then your eye cream won’t absorb where you want it to. Pointless. Eye cream first. Everything else afterwards (and on top if you like and it’s not a contra-indication). Applying your eye cream last is like wearing knickers over your trousers.

Application wise, I dispense a very small amount of eye cream – about the size of a rice grain- onto my fingertip and dot the product under my eye (around the orbital bone first) and then I then go back and lightly pat or press the formula into my skin under my eye. I use my ring finger for thisb ecause this is the weakest finger and therefore the least likely to unnecessarily pull or stretch the delicate skin around my eyes. I’m currently using L’oreal’s Revitalift eye cream (from the supermarket). I can’t decide if I like it or not so I’ll try something different next [shrugs shoulders]. When my eyes bags are super puffy (as a result of a salty dinner the night before, not enough water or a crap sleep) I’ll use Natio’s Roll On Eye Serum (Farmers or a pharmacy) before my eye cream. I think this is a cracking little product – it definitely works on me!


Serums treat your skin concern and this is the one area of my skincare routine where I’m prepared to part with some serious moola. My main skin concern is wrinkles. Currently I’m using a serum from Indeed Labs called Snoxin (ha ha, sounds like a mix of snot and toxin) which, pleasingly, doesn’t require a home re-mortgage (it’s $49.99 from Farmers). This is gel-like substance is a concentrated multi-peptide treatment that targets the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I like it, it’s not the best serum I’ve used – and not the worst. I haven’t seen any vast improvement in my fine lines – but I feel like it’s doing good things. To apply, I put a half-size pea-sized squirt on the end of my finger tips and pat it in to my skin. Easy.


Moriesh day cream review

I find a lot of people spend tonnes of cash on a moisturiser without giving a lot of thought and attention to the steps before hand (like what I’ve wittered on about above). A $100 moisturiser isn’t going to slow down the onset of aging because your moisturiser is your coat – it offers protection (that’s not my spiel, it’s Caroline’s, FYI), it’s, errr, not going to stop your boobs from sagging. Key takeaway: Use a moisturiser for your skin type (dry, normal, combination, oily etc).

What am I using on my oily skin? In the morning I use either Moreish Day Cream or Skinfood Light Moisturiser. Both of these rock my world. Love them as a product as well as their price points: Moreish’s offering is $25 (from Countdown) and Skinfood’s moisturiser is only $14 (available from most supermarkets). In the evening I’m currently using either Moreish Night Cream or Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Cream (which is ‘bleh’ but I’m determined to use it up).

Note: Sometimes, if my skin is dehydrated, or simply because I feel like it, I’ll use Moreish’s Argan Oil in the place of a moisturiser. Astonishingly, my oily skin is less oily since I started using facial oils…

Before I forget:

  • Apply sun cream: I use Skinnies (on my face, it’s rad) before moisturiser. I’m a bit lax with this in the winter (I hermit inside), but I do it religiously in the other seasons.
  • Moisturise your decolletage! Go hard! I either apply moisturiser or Argan Oil here every morning and night. I was going to write a blog post on this, but bet me to it. Good on ’em.

Lip Balm

We’ve given everything else a tonne of attention and love, why forget the lips? These need moisturising too. I’m currently using an EOS lip balm which is great (especially on price – I think it was $6 at a Beauty Bucket sale). My favourite lip product of all time though (and I’ve run out) is Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex from Image Skincare: What a mouthful of a product name. They should just call it ‘crack for lips’. I’ll be getting a new one when I visit Napier and see Fiona from Simply Indulgent (if you are in Hawke’s Bay – go visit her, she’s AMAZING).

And that, is it: Congratulations if you made it to the bottom of this blog post – it’s a biggie! What’s your skincare regime? More steps than me, or less? Any product recommendations for me? I’m thinking of trying out some skincare from Paula’s Choice next. Thoughts?

My Holiday Makeup Bag – a Sneaky Peak

My holiday makeup bagI love reading ‘What’s in my makeup bag?’ articles from other bloggers so I thought “why not do one of my own?”

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I just can’t pack light  in the makeup department. I try: But I really struggle….Well, I’ll have you know: I dug really deep packing for my holiday to Rarotonga and challenged myself to be sensible! Here’s what I packed.   Note:  I’m mindful that whilst I may have packed light for me, the makeup I’m taking on holiday is probably still the contents of a lot of people’s entire makeup collection! Oh well, a girl has to have a passion in life.


Seven Deadly Sins of Makeup – Beauty Tag

I’m still reasonably new to this blogging malarchy – it’s not even The Beauty Foodie’s first birthday yet! Today I was kinda chuffed to get my first ever tag by not one, but two fellow bloggers: The lovely Christel from Makeupper and from Sarah at Lily Mint Blog. Two great blogs to check out!

The Seven Deadly Sins of Makeup

1. Greed: What is your most expensive beauty item?

MAC makeupI’m honestly not copying Christel, it’s just we are into the same stuff. Mine is also my MAC eyeshadow collection. There’s around 18 of ’em and I’m feeling ill at the thought that most of these cost NZ$38 each. I’m not a makeup artist, I don’t do this for a crust, albeit I take the occasional client through word of mouth. This is just a super expensive hobby that gets a little out of hand sometimes. Thank goodness Hubby doesn’t read this blog. Gulp, I hope Mum doesn’t… I’m feeling ill. The good news is: There’s no MAC eyeshadows on my wish list at the moment, but if there was, I’d be buying these out of the USA via the Mac website and using You Shop to get ’em to NZ. I’ve smartened up! Why are they so good? They are colour pay-off is intense, they wear well and MAC’s range of eyeshadow colours is unrivaled by any other cosmetic brand – except, perhaps, Inglot (see the answer to number 3!). (more…)

Findation – The easy way to choose your foundation!

Had a shocker in the past where the wrong foundation shade left you looking like an Oompa Loompa?

Keen on purchasing a new foundation online but a bit stuck as to which shade of beige you are from swatches on your computer screen?

Haunted by an experience where a well intended makeup artist or makeup counter assistant sold you the wrong shade? (I am deeply traumatised about this).

Have you answered yes to any of the above? Read on: This blog post is for you.

Introducing This is a blinkin’ genius of a website that is almost foolproof in helping you identify your perfect foundation shade. This is a must visit website ahead of a visit into town, online makeup purchasing (fellow web-shopaholics will love this). It’s also brilliant if you are in-store and want to check on your Smart Phone that you are definitely about to buy the right shade!  I do this. Full confession.


Caroline Hirons: Cutting through the skincare crap

Caroline (aka The Beautymouth)

During a mindless You Tube surf last winter, I chanced upon a video that I’ve now watched countless times. Caroline Hirons, UK beauty and skincare expert was interviewed by Pixiwoo, who are, incidentally, my all-time favourite makeup artists. That interview with Caroline, followed by hours and hours of research on her blog (and a bit of shopping at places like KollectionK) has had a profound effect on my beauty regime. Lots of people out there give beauty advice… I swear by Caroline’s and I now ignore everyone else’s views! So, here’s a post dedicated to Caroline’s frank and cut-through-the-crap words of wisdom on skincare which completely changed my thinking. I share this in the hope that you’ll stumble on a golden nugget in here that will help your skin too!

DIY Body Scrub – Great gift idea!

SAMSUNG CSCLooking for some last minute Christmas presents?  Not feeling brave enough to join the crowds and hit the shops? Or maybe your wallet is crying out ‘no more!’ Look no further than a super easy DIY body scrub! It’s bodylicious…. If you like scrubs from Lush, you’ll love these and they are a smidgen of the price! (more…)