I’ve been in two minds about writing this blog post as I’m mindful I haven’t done my usual favourites post for 2016, yet alone January or February.  Frankly, I’ve been experiencing fatigue on writing these monthly favourite blog posts, so I think I needed a break. My mojo is back though, have no fear!  So, sod the backlog: I’m abandoning that otherwise we’ll never get back on track. Here’s Lou’s Faves for February!

Replenish Wonderlift Serum by World Organics

world organics wonderlift serum
This is organic botox. I pat this serum on all over my face morning and night after cleansing and toning, including on my under eye area. It’s a one hit wonder for replenishing and renewing skin. I can bloody SEE the difference after nearly 6 weeks of using this premium organic anti-aging product.  My buddy Philly got some a couple of weeks ago and she reckons she can already see fine lines slightly abating.  #winning.

This  serum feels like a super luxurious product – and to be frank, by a country mile, this is the best serum I’ve used. Ever.  I’ve got a quarter of a container left and I’m getting anxious: This is a no brainer for repurchasing. LOVE.

Price: $75 or $60 (Jasmine Club members – click here to find out about Jasmine Club, it’s a cracking deal)
Available fromClick here

Lillium Convertible cream blush by Stila

Stila Lillium blush

This blush was an impulse purchase, I was at my friend Alex’s house for dinner and she said “check this blush out”. After a quick tutu in her mirror I hopped online and bought it there and then from Mecca Cosmetics. It was a warm day, I was hungry and I was a few craft beers down. TBH I should not be left in charge of a smart phone and a credit card under such circumstances.  Let’s be honest: I need more blush like a hole in the head. Alas, there’s no sober buyers regret on this pale rose pink cream blush” She’s a beauty.

Slightly deviating, cream blushes, if you aren’t on the bandwagon, are FAB-U-LOUS, particularly for dry or mature skin. Powder blush can tend to emphasise fine lines. Cream blush on the other hand, look more natural and they don’t fold into lines or creases.  

The finish of Stila Lillium is slightly dewy, giving the skin a luminous glow. I’ve tried it out on a few buddies, it’s a good colour that lends itself well to pale to medium skin tones.  My only gripe is that it doesn’t last longer than 3-4 hours on my oily skin. Oh, and to give a nod to the product name (convertible): Stila say it’s suitable for cheek and lip colour. Sadly, the pale rose pink colour, whilst it looks totes hot on my cheeks, looks minging on my lips.  Minor detail, this is so stunning on the cheeks, I’m in lust.  Application wise: Use your fingers to apply and blend in, I use a fine and dense synthetic brush (from Real Techniques) and that works well.

Price: $39
Available from: Mecca Cosmetica. Click here.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

shantaram review

In my experience there’s a handful of books you’ll read in a lifetime that will become personal classics.  These rare the books that play on your mind for a long time afterwards. They are stories that, given half a chance, you’ll chew someone’s ear off about.  Shantaram joins a small list of books that are Lou Classics. Nevile Shute’s  A Town Like Alice, incidentally, is my No1 Classic of All Time. 

At close to 1000 pages long, thisdoorstop of a book took me the best part of three weeks to get through it. Every night I crawled into bed, slapping away hubby’s advances,: I simply couldn’t wait to be transported to contemporary India to see what was going to happen next. The story follows the journey of Lin, heroin addict and escaped Australian convict, who winds up in Bombay.  He has a whole lotta adventures and, given the length of the book, I’ll be here all day if I try and share some. Check out Goodreads if I’ve piqued your interest.  Special thanks to Michelle Sampson, legendary follower of this blog, for recommending this book to me. #nailedit.

This is classified as a novel, yet research after finishing the book reveals this is based on the life of the author.  Research on the novel has also been quite entertaining, it seems to be a book that polarises people yielding contrasting comments like “a cure to constipation” to “phenomenal!” Suffice to say my impressions fall into the latter category. 

Warning, if you are a hop into bed and read kinda gal, this is a temporary killer of your love life.

Over The Moon – Tomme (cheese)

Over the Moon Tomme

In case you missed the memo, cheese is my favourite food. So much so, when I was little Dad called me “blue cheese”: My capacity to consume this goodness held no bounds.

Tomme is a hard pale cheese, made Gouda style with a blend of buffalo and goat’s milk. I popped into Putarauru’s Over the Moon Deli and bought a small array of cheese for a simple cheeseboard to take to The Winery Tour Concert at Black Barn in the Hawke’s Bay.  My buddy Alex and I enjoyed the cheese so much we engaged in SILENT scoffing, unheard of for us raving extroverts. You can whack Tomme on a lavash cracker, or, be a purist: Slice off a sliver and smile.  Some things are best kept simple.

Note: Take some time to try and find a stockist of Over the Moon Artisan cheese: This is some of the best cheese I’ve tasted… Failing that, get to Putaruru Deli: THERE IS A TASTING ROOM.

Available from: Over the Moon,  Chantals (Napier), some New World Supermarkets.  

Essano Bliss Coconut Oil Lightly Moisturising Body Wash & Body Lotion

essano bliss body wash

NZ brand Essano continue to WOW me with their affordable and kind range.  I was slow to embrace the Essano bandwagon, now I have most of the range kicking around my bathroom. I adore them (read this blog post if you want more deets). 

Their soap free and sulfate free body wash ticks all my boxes:  The coconutty fragrance is right up my alley: It’s a mint price (and it’s often on sale, even better); In terms of cleansing, it gets all the good bits clean. My hubby, who works in the bush, comes home looking like a right dirty minger. There’s oil, diesel and tree sap up his ying yang. This body wash sorts him out. What more can I say?

After showering I slather myself in the matching body lotion and then I usually crawl into bed (I shower at night) at which point Hubby rolls over, breathes in heavily and says happily (everytime a coconut) “you smell amazing”.   The body lotion, one minor gripe, isn’t as moisturising as I would like, but I’ve got a cracking routine sorted: Apply coconut oil all over your body at the end of your shower, THEN apply the body lotion, OMG: An award winning combo. Hello, soft boobies. You’re welcome. 

Price: $9.99 for the body wash, $16.99 for the body lotion 
Available from: Most supermarkets.