imageHere’s a round-up of my favourite beauty foodie things for December!

Skinnies Sungel –  As the weather warms up it’s time to get serious about sun protection. Skinnies has been my family’s choice in sunblock for the last few years and I wax lyrical about this product so much I’ve been asked if I get commission from them.  As I write this post from our holiday at the beach our friends have been out and purchased it and are now Skinnies converts!

Skinnies Sungel is long lasting, dries fast and is both waterproof and sweatproof : Hot Hubby does a lot of cycling and this sunblock will see him right on a 100km bike ride in the heat of the day.  I absolutely detest sunblock that applies white and takes forever to rub in and stinks like, well, sublock.  The great news is that Skinnies is unscented, applies with no colour and blends in like a dream. It’s made with all good stuff, rest assured this baby has no parabens, preservatives or water!

Lastly, don’t let the NZ$35 pricetag be a deterrent: The Skinnies tagline ‘a little goes a long way’ is perfectly apt, a pea-sized amount will do both legs.  I happily use this on my face (under my makeup) and am pleased to report no breakouts. And if anyone is going to get zits from sunblock, it’ll be me.
Price: NZ$35 (100ml tube, it’ll last you for ages).
Available from: New World, Macpac and a variety of retailers, or buy it online from Skinnies  (free postage within NZ!)

imageRimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eyeliner Aqua Sparkle – Bright turquoise blue, this industrial strength eyeliner is a beautiful way to add a pop of colour to your eyes for summer.  I road tested this in Thailand in July and was impressed when it held it’s own during swimming and 35 degree heat with horrendous humidity.  I love wearing this eyeliner as a day look with a sweep of medium matt brown shadow in my crease and a sparkly cream eyeshadow on my lid (like Mac’s Naked Lunch eyeshadow).  Another great way to wear it is paired with a bronzey coloured eyeshadow all over the eyelid (like Mac Bronze or Woodwinked). Just add Aqua Sparkle applied to the lower lashline: A knockout combo!  These eyeliners from Rimmel are incredible quality and rival eyeliners three times their price.  A great beauty find.
Price: $13 from Farmers

Essie Splash of Grenadine Nail Polish – Mum gave me this for my birthday just before Christmas and I’m obsessed with it.  I’m so rapt Essie is now available in NZ (through Farmers) as I’ve been coveting this unique dark pink nail polish shade since I saw photos of it on a blog 18 months ago. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to find a dupe but now I don’t need to keep looking! Yahoo.
Price: NZ$23 from Farmers.

imageMac 219 Pencil Brush – An eye pencil brush was the one type of brush missing from my (substantial) brush collection, so I treated myself a few months back.  Although, clearly, I’m getting too used to cheap online beauty shopping as I nearly had heart failure when the sales assistant told me it was NZ$65! Eek!  But I really wanted it, so I gulped and bit the bullet. Luckily I did as this is now one of my favourite brushes! It has soft smooth fibres that gather together into a pencil-shaped tip which makes it perfect for blending eyeshadow and eyeliner.  I use it in several different ways: To apply a light sparkly eyeshadow to my inner eye corner (this as an instant eye brightener;)  To apply a highlight colour to my browbone; To blend my eyeliner to give a subtle smokey effect; To apply eyeshadow to my lower lashline.  This brush is a must have!
Price: NZ$65 from Mac.

SAMSUNG CSCTomato Chilli Jam – This is usually a staple in my pantry and we ran out a few months back. Luckily I made four batches of this for Christmas foodie presents and kept some back for us – and now I’ve remembered how good it is!  We’ve been having this with everything lately: With BBQ meats, on poached eggs, in Asian stirfrys (in place of Sweet Chilli Sauce).  It was also damn good with my Christmas Ham.

Homemade Speedy Mayonnaise – I showed a (non foodie) friend how to make this the other day and she was so wowed at the technique and the taste she pledged there and then never to buy storemade mayonnaise again!  This is a genius recipe, based on one from Annabel Langbein.  All you need is a handheld stick (wand) mixer and a narrow jug. Place all of the following ingredients in the measuring jug:

  • 1 1/4 c flavourless oil (use canola, or rice bran – not Olive Oil – it’s too peppery!)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tlb lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Good pinch of white pepper

Whizz with the stick mixer, it will thicken really quickly to make a creamy mayonnaise. Done! Transfer to a clean jar/container with a lid. Note, If you like it a little thinner, add more oil, or some hot water to get the desired consistency.

imageNYX Powder Blush in Peach – A girlfriend went to the USA last month and bought back a tonne of (very inexpensive) NYX beauty products for me (thanks Mel!). This blush is a standout: It’s really soft, easy to blend and the colour is a lovely subtle pink/peach shade. I’ve used it in a few makeovers lately and it’s flattering on fair to medium skin tones, as well as those with very pale complexions. It last good lasting power, it’s stayed put for a good 7-8 hours on me before fading into oblivion (I get similar longevity out of my expensive high-end blushers).  The packaging isn’t my favourite, it’s plastic and cheap looking, but heck, the blush itself is great!  The good news is you can get NYX in NZ through Cutie & Beautie or Beauty Bliss. They retail for around NZ$14.50 (or US$5 if you can get it straight out of the USA!). This colour is definitely one to grab. I’ve got my eyes on the shade Tickled Pink next!
Where to buy in NZ: You an only by this online. Try Beauty Bliss or Cutie & Beauty.