It was a hard cull this month to only identify five favourites. Here’s what made the cull!

Body Shop: All-in-One 5 Action Perfection Instablur & Colour Crush lipstick (240 Damson in Distress)

Body Shop instablur review

The Body Shop is getting mega brownie points from me this month with two products I’ve developed OCD over.   I’ve got a bit of a long standing love affair with The Body Shop:  I worked at their Bond Street store in London for a while (the busiest Body Shop in the world! FACT: In one week we had the following famous people through our doors: The Queen of Spain, Boy George, Anita Roddick and Derek from Coronation Street – no shit).  

First up:  Instablur – 5 Action Perfector: I feel a bit bad featuring this as this is the second primer in a month that’s made my favourites list (last month it was this one but the price makes my bum pucker). Holy smokes, Instablur product requires a STOP PRESS: It’s my beauty find of the YEAR (so far) and I could easily write an entire blog post essay expressing my adoration for it. I’ve done a few makeup workshops and lessons lately: This is the product that’s making everyone’s “Must buy” list and I’m taking it into work next week for a demo.  Shout out must go to the fabulous, helpful and knowledgeable Rotorua Body Shop ladies who have been wowing me with their customer service.  They gave me a tester of Instablur to try out and they weren’t surprised to see me back a few days later to buy it – they know it’s the schizzle!

What’s so amazeballs about Instablur? This silicone primer does a bunch of important work: Reduces the appearance of pores; Helps hide blemishes; Smoothes out your complexion and, critically, as a foundation primer it extends the appearance of your makeup.   But, the fifth reason (as stated on the Body Shop website) is the Number 1 reason I love it – “Shine controlling 12h”… Yeah, they’ve got that nailed! I’ve been applying Instablur after my moisturiser, prior to foundation for the last two weeks and I’m delighted to report it’s totally keeping my oily skin at bay. I had a full face on at a Crossfit session this week (bad form wearing makeup, I know) and everyone commented how good my makeup looked after (and I was actually about to die).    At the very least, go in and ask for a tester! Trust me on this!  Check it out online: The Body Shop.  Price: NZ$46.25. 

Second up is this Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick (colour 240 – Damson in Distress) I’ve been looking for a colour like this since winter started. I combed the MAC, Nars and Stila, stands at Wellington’s Kirkaldies and Stains looking for a suitable shade, to no avail. I tried Revlon, Maybelline, L’Oreal, along with every other mainstream brand under the sun, but nothing measured up to the colour in my head. So I was full of joy when I popped into the Body Shop on a whim, and there it was! Boom! It’s reasonably long-lasting (as long as any lippy lasts on me), not drying and full of bright and bold fuchsia goodness. This is the perfect winter lip brightener and seemingly my friends agree, after several of them have toddled off to get this after seeing me rock it.  My husband also comments positively on the colour when I wear it (he knows his makeup). That’s always an affirming sign.  On a side note, actually, sod it being a winter appropriate colour, I’ll be rocking this year round.  Price: NZ$27.75

Body shop damson in distress lipstick


 MAC Mineralize Blush – Warm Soul

Mac Mineralize blush warm soul

This a barely-there natural blush that I relented and got after three months of coveting it. Usual story, I should have got it after it passed the 24 hour test. This is a must-have blush if you are a ‘pale face’  or if you have a medium complexion and like the natural look. This is a pale peach colour with a subtle shot of gold shimmer through it, but for those of you who don’t covert the disco ball look, I assure you, it’s not glittery, rather it’s a stunning ‘wake me’ up colour (which is good if you are short on sleep, like I usually am).

Colour application wise, Warm soul is reasonably pigmented but not opaque, which is grand as you can’t overdo it (well, you probably could, but you’d have to try super hard). The lasting power is pretty good too. On the downside, I’m not sure Warm Soul will get much wear from me in summer, as my Portuguese throw-back gene kicks in and I go quite tanned so I don’t reckon it’ll show up too well. But for autumn,  winter and spring, I’m full of adoration for this gem. Note, Aside from using this as a blush, I’ve also been using it as an eyeshadow on a fluffy blush – it looks stunning used above my crease colour (usually a matt brown), blended up towards the brow bone. NZ$48 from MAC Cosmetics.

 Kewpie Japanese Dressing – Roasted Sesame

If  you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a fan of unprocessed food and making stuff from scratch. In relation to salad dressing, I can’t tell you the last time I bought one – my cupboards are groaning with vinegars, mustards and oils: I make my own!   Anyway, my buddy Lisa made me try this and, as a lover of the Japanese mayonnaise Kewpie, I fell head over heels in love with this dressing – and it was off to the shop I went.

This is a nutty and creamy dressing with takes any simple salad to a whole new level. I made a salad this week made up of Japanese coleslaw,  roast orange kumara wedges, diced mango and roast chicken and whacked this over the top. Delicious (see photo below).  This was such an easy way to get salad into my salad-dodging husband, in fact he asked if we could have it for dinner again the next night?

Where to buy? Check out the international section of your local supermarket, failing that, try your local Asian grocery store.  I found mine at my local Asian fruit and vegetable store (I got the last one, eek…. I’m going to have to go back in and show them this photo and ask them to buy a tonne more OR I’m gonna have to work out how to make it from scratch… Ooooh – I could just go and nick Lisa’s… I have a key to her house. Ha).   Believe me, it’s seriously worth trying to track this down.  I can’t remember how much it was, I’m guessing around NZ$6 – don’t quote me!

Kewpie roasted sesame dressing

kewpie roasted sesame dressing
Good quick and easy meal for salad dodging husbands: I’ll blog the recipe soon – standby! 

T2 Coco Caramel

This actually isn’t my tea, it’s my nine year old son’s birthday present, but, he was raised well, and he likes to share a cuppa with his Mumma. Yes, I’m unashamedly growing a tea connoisseur (can’t fight those English genes). Coco Caramel is a special edition tea from tea legends T2 and it’s a black tea, infused with dark chocolate chips, chunks of caramel and a hint of coconut. It’s probably dessert appropriate, but sod that, this is good any time of the day, well it was, before #sugarfreeseptember started.  Available from T2.

T2 tea coco caramel