This monthly round-up of beauty and foodie goodness is overdue, did anyone notice I didn’t do one last month? I had my hands full and I just couldn’t get laptop time!  Sorry folks. I hope this one makes up for it 🙂  Enjoy!  Lou  x

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

I’ve been hankering after a Bourjois foundation for ages: I’ve heard from a variety of sources that they are top notch. However, Bourjois was only available overseas, until…. I stumbled across a stand in Farmers! I was euphoric.  Bourjois, which used to be owned by Chanel, is a well-known French brand that I use regularly when I lived in Paris in my early twenties. To celebrate their NZ launch I treated myself, courtesy of my Farmers beauty points, to a foundation.

In terms of coverage, Healthy Mix Serum offers a medium to full finish, which, as a lover of a relatively light finish I need to be careful with. So, I use about three-quarters of a pea sized to do my whole face (or a whole pea for a night out), taking my time to buff it in thoroughly with a foundation buffing brush. The finish is flawless, it covers all of my acne scars, takes away any redness. The best thing is that it lasts pretty much a full day on my slippy skin: You can still tell I’ve got it on at 5pm (though I’ve noticed it lasts longer with a primer). This is, hands-down, the best foundation I’ve come across – in fact, I haven’t used any of my other foundations since I got this five weeks ago. I got shade 53 ‘Light Beige’ which gets brownie points for having a yellow undertone, which is rare to find: Despite getting a lot of my foundations colour matched they always seem to develop have a pink undertone, which I dislike after a few hours wear on my pale (yet olive) skin.
Available from: Farmers. Price: NZ$40.

Evolu Facial Toner

Evolu Facial Toner Review

Whilst I’m rapt that Moreish has re-launched in NZ, I’m slightly dark that their hydrating toner has disappeared from their new-look and improved range. So, I was forced to take drastic measures and venture to another NZ skincare line, Evolu, to give their facial toner a whirl (I felt like such a traitor). Anyway, I’m over that, I’m so glad I branched out, this is lush. I’m a big fan of hydrating toner, it’s fantastic for refreshing, softening and readying the skin to get it ready to accept all the helpful ingredients that are in our moisturiser. I spritz my face morning and night with this bad boy after cleansing, before moving onto serum and moisturiser. This is a definite repeat purchase for me, partly as it’s hard to find hydrating toners, I’m not sure why?
Available from: Farmers and pharmacies. Price: NZ$39 (I think!)

REM Sleep Capsules

REM Sleep capsulesI’m a crap sleeper. I blame it on a busy and over-active brain, going to bed too late, playing on my smart phone too late, oh – probably coupled with not exercising or relaxing enough. I’m really careful about taking prescribed sleeping tablets: I had some prescribed by my GP to help with prolonged sleeplessness when I was having a bout of being seriously down in the dumps six years ago and, unfortunately, I got addicted. Coming off sleeping tablets was horrific and I’ve got no desire to end up back there again! Luckily A fellow crap-sleeper friend recommended these REM sleep capsules to me and I’m so glad he did! They contain a combo of vitamins, minerals and herbs and I pop two capsules before bed. They definitely help with both getting me to sleep, as well as keeping me asleep – and I’m not stressing myself out that I could get hooked. Note, I’ve been really disciplined for the last week (yeah, it’s early days) with getting into bed by 9.30pm with a good book (keep reading!) and nodding off to sleep by 10.15am. I’m sleeping through till 6.30am. Bliss! Find out more here.
Available from: Most pharmacies. I’m off to get some more tomorrow, I’ve just run out. Bugger. Price: $33.70 for 60 capsules.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 girl on the train reviewThank goodness, a new good book. I’ve been struggling with every book I’ve picked up lately, I just can’t get into the groove. Mercifully the spell was broken recently when my friend Alyson loaned me The Girl on the Train. This book has compared to Gillian Flynn’s widely acclaimed Gone Girl and I can see why. This gripping thriller centres around Rachel, an alcoholic, who catches the same commuter train every morning and night. As the train stops on each trip at the same signal, she perves into the life of the same couple, watching them go about their daily routines. Their life is perfect, or so she thinks, not unlike the life she recently lost. Then, one day, Rachel sees something that shocks her and… I’ll stop there least I give something away. Paula Hawkins has done a stunning job with this debut novel and I’ll be looking out for more of her work.

The Paleo Way’s Butter Chicken Recipe

paleo way butter chicken recipeI’ve mentioned this recipe on my Facebook page before – but it needs another mention as this is now a firm family favourite, not just with us – but the neighbours too. Their nine year old daughter popped over a week back or so and asked if we were having this for dinner and, if so, could she stay and eat with us. Now there’s an assertive young lady! I’ve dished this up to dinner guests too, it’s that good. You don’t have to be a Paleo convert to enjoy this – it’s wholesome cooking at its best (and of course you can serve it on rice, it doesn’t have to be cauliflower rice, hell, biff in a poppadum while you are at it).

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

Hourglass Mineral Veil PrimerThis is the best foundation primer I’ve used. No contest. Half a pea sized ‘splodge’ smoothed over my forehead, on my nose, chin and sides of my cheeks keeps my foundation on all day, smoothes out my fine lines, minimises the appearance of my pores and, best of all, stops my oily shine coming through. It also has a lovely satin-finish and is formulated with SPF 15. No other primer I’ve used has come close to being as stellar to this (not even the ones I thought were great!). Sounds good, right? Can you feel a ‘but’ coming? You are right: It costs an arm and a leg: $30 for a 8.5ml trial size (which is what I got from Kirkaldies & Stains because I’m sceptical and thought it couldn’t be as good as I’d heard – what do I know?!). The 30ml size is NZ$83 with a $60ml bottle retailing for NZ$115. Ouch. (Note, I love the combo of this primer with my new Bourjois foundation!)

I’ve reached a conclusion on my “should I really repurchase this?” dilemma. The answer is: Yes.  You see, this is liquid gold and this is one product I’m not going to bother trying to find a dupe for. Luckily you use a teeny tiny amount so my 8.5ml trial size will last a bit longer yet… Hourglass, you go to the top of the Primer Leaderboard. Top marks.
Available from: Mecca Cosmetics