Shellac vs. SNS – Which one do you prefer?

I haven’t always had the best nails. They were always very weak and brittle and for many years I would bite my nails right up to the skin. It wasn’t until a few days after I finished school that I had my first proper manicure and they really started to grow.

The first time I had my nails done I got shellac. I was very sceptical about getting shellac because I had heard very mixed reviews, some people swear by it and some hate it. At the time though I was about to go on holiday so I wanted something I knew would last longer than a few days without chipping. I must admit when they eventually started chipping, I started to peel it off myself and then I was so disappointed in shellac and thought it had just completely ruined my nails and I would never get it again. After some thought, I realised that it probably wasn’t the shellac itself but my peeling it off and the removal process that damages your nails more than the polish.

For the next 2 and a half years, I continued having shellac on and off and getting it removed properly. I literally thought shellac was the s***, soon did I realised that shellac was not nearly as good and my new found love!.

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SNS!!!! I have only recently been introduced to SNS. For those of you who don’t know, it is basically a gel polish with a powder formula. They paint your nails with a gel base, dip your finger in the coloured powder and then repeat the process 2 or 3 times and then buff the nail and apply a gloss top coat. It also has zero drying time. It has a similar appearance to acrylics but isn’t as bulky so it looks a lot more natural.

It is supposed to be infused with vitamin and minerals that help your nails grow (whether this is true or not I am not sure), but I honestly think it has helped my nails grow a lot faster. For me, this is a positive as my nails hardly grow. I also love that it lasts so long, the last time I had it, it lasted well over 3 weeks no problems.

As great as this product is there are a few cons such as the price. At my local nail bar, it is $50 AUD as compared to shellac which is $30. In saying this it lasts a lot longer than shellac and it helps to maintain the strength and length of your nails. So for me, I am not bothered by the price if I can actually get my wear out of it. Another downside is that you can not get refills, again for me this usually is not a problem because after a few weeks I’m sick of the colour anyway.

Let me know what your favourite nail polishes are and if you have every tried SNS.

xxx

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Pamper Evenings

I love a good pamper night, especially when I am not feeling so great. I thought I had got away with not getting a cold or the flu this winter season but I was wrong. There is nothing worse than feeling poorly and all you want to do is stay in bed day after day. Then you finally get the energy to have a shower and it is like you are a new person. I haven’t been nearly as bad this time and have actually managed to have the energy to shower everyday. As it is Sunday today, I thought I would take some extra time out of my day and just relax and have a nice pamper session.

I tend to have a routine when I want to really relax and pamper myself. I start by cleaning my room, this always makes me feel so much better and it just helps to declutter the mind when you have a clean space. Then I will pick out some comfy pyjamas and bed socks and set them on my bed. I’ll then head to the bathroom and pick a Lush Bath bomb or Bubble Bar. I’ll run a nice hot bath and just soak in there for about 30 minutes. This really helps to clear the sinuses especially when you are sick. After I have had a bath I will usually have a quick shower just to rinse off and wash my hair.

Once I get out I’ll wrap my hair in a hair turban. Then I will apply a nice thick body lotion. At the moment I have been using the Zoella Beauty Creamy Madly Dreamy Body Lotion. I love this becuase it soaks in super quickly and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. Then I’ll light a candle. Depending on how my skin situation is going, ill probably use a face mask as well. When I am sick I love the Soap and Glory No Clogs Allowed. This mask is great when you are sick because it has that menthol sort of scent which helps clear your nose. It also heats up on your face which feels really relaxing. I will leave this on for about 5-10 minutes and then wash it off with a warm face cloth. I also really enjoy sheet masks when I am sick. My personal favourites are a Korean brand SKIN79. They have a great variety for different skin problems. Once my face is super clean I’ll moisturise it and apply spot cream to any spots if I need to.

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After all my hygienic pampering is done I like to head downstairs and make a cup of tea. I mean usually it will be a classic English Breakfast but when I am sick I like something more herbal. Today I decided to have a mint matcha. I’ll then take my tea upstairs and I’ll set up my bed and watch a movie or catch up on a tv show. At the moment I am catching up on Keeping up with the Kardashian because I am a sucker for reality tv.

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This pamper routine is great for any day of the week and any occasion. It is really nice to include take some time out of your week at least once as it encourages you to just be yourself, relax and rewind. That’s why I like to do it Sunday afternoons/nights as it helps me prepare for the week.

Hope you enjoyed todays post. Let me know what your go to pamper products are!

xx

Favourite Mascaras 

 

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If I had to pick one makeup product to use for the rest of my life it would probably be mascara. I love mascara and I have had my fair share of them over the years. For the most part I will usually wear waterproof mascara only because I feel it holds the curl better although it is such a pain to get off.

When it comes to picking one brand for mascara I will have to say Maybelline (considering 3/5 of the mascaras I have picked are maybelline). I feel like I havent had a bad one from them yet! They all hold the curl really well, they don’t flake and they dont clump. I’m not a clumpy eyelash sort of girl. I need to have they separated, false lashes kind of look.

Today I am going to share with your my top 5 mascaras. THey are in no particular order except for the first which is my current favourite.

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The Colossal Volume Express Cat Eyes: Now this mascara is probably my all time favourite. I have naturally quite long lashes as it is but the mascara just takes them to the next level. It is very lengthening and gives quite a lot of volume. It separates the lashes really well and for a non-waterproof mascara it doesn’t flake or leave black marks under the eyes.

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Heroine Make Long and Mascara: I’m always on the look out for some alternative brands of makeup. I tend to google things like best waterproof mascaras and 9/10 of the time I can’t get them where I am from. Although this little find is a japanese brand (don’t quote me on that) I found in Hong Kong. I really like how this mascara makes my lashes look, really volumising and gives great length. The only downside is that it is “super” waterproof and one of those mascaras that you need to have clean lashes before you apply it for the best results.

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The Falsies Volume Express: This is a cult classic mascara and another one of my go to makeup products. I tend to reach for this mascara on those days where I may have had mascara on the day before that hasn’t completely come off. I find it just works no matter the condition of your lashes. Works great for length and volume and the formula is easy to build up.

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The Magnum Volume Express: I hadn’t seen this mascara where I live when I bought it. I found it in Hong Kong at the end of last year which makes me think it was a fairly new mascara from Maybelline. I love this mascara, it is very similar to the original colossal mascara except the wand is curved. It gives great length and volume and last forever (well until you wash it off). As far as a water proof mascara it is fairly easy to remove.

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Benefit They’re Real: As you can see this is the only high-end mascara I have in my top 5. This is purely because I haven’t tried any others and I always tend to stick with my Maybelline ones. If you do have any suggestions let me know! This mascara also makes my lashes look super long, it doesn’t make them as thick as some of the Maybelline ones but it is great for length. I do find though for my lashes they need to be super clean for it to give me the result I want.

Thank you for reading about my favourite mascaras! If you have any favourites you think I should try let me know.

 

 

“Healthy” Banana Muffins 

Today my friend and I decided we wanted to bake something. I thought why not write a blog post about what we baked. So here it is our “Healthy” Banana Muffins. As a nutrition student I am always looking for ways to consume less processed food and try to make my own versions using more natural ingredients. Now we all know how good a processed chocolate cake or a really nice bakery banana bread is, but we don’t always know what goes into them. On the other side of the situation, “healthy” foods always get a bad name for being bland or boring. Which I am the first to admit that yes this may be true but that’s only because you are not making the most of the things like spices which can completely change a meal. These muffins were not the best banana muffins I have ever had but they were definitely a good healthy alternative and really helped hit the sweet craving. The bananas could have been a bit more ripe which would have helped enhance their flavour, but all in all I was very happy with how they turned out! The full list of ingredients will be listed below 🙂

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It may seem like there are a lot of ingredients but you basically just measure them all out and then mixed them together.

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We started by mixing all the wet ingredients in the Kitchen Aid until they were all well combined.

Then we added the dry ingredients until everything was well mixed and then transferred them into muffin tins.

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Now the recipe we took inspiration from said it made 11 muffins, like who makes 11 muffins? Muffin tins come in a set of 12 for a reason. As you can see from the picture above we were able to make 12 muffins from the mixture.

We then baked them in a preheated oven at 165 c for about 15 minutes, but they did need a few extra minutes so it ended up being about 20 minutes cooking time.

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As a result the muffins turned out pretty well! They tasted better than I expected and definitely a healthier alternative to your traditional banana muffins.

As you can probably tell the pictures weren’t great but we thought it would be a good opportunity for me to try out something different. I will definitely be trying to improve my photography skills as I further with this blog. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you can think of any healthy recipes I should try out let me know!

“Healthy” Banana Muffins

  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup of oats

 

Current Skincare Routine

As someone who has suffered from acne, a solid skincare routine is very important to me. I have since almost completely cleared my acne apart from the rare spot and a few scars. Now I am going, to be honest, and not try to convince that there is some miracle skincare product that works because quite frankly I don’t think there is (unless you know of one let me know).

The only thing that worked for me was going on the pill. I was fairly apprehensive about going on the pill after hearing lots of bad things but after trying multiple things I just needed something that worked and for me the pill was the answer. After about a year my skin was 100% better than what it had previously been. Saying this my skin was always quite oily, so I used a lot of toners and scrubs to try and minimise the oil as much as I could. Now my skin is completely dry, so a new skincare routine it was.

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I have always had fairly sensitive skin so I don’t like to use anything too harsh. For cleanser, I have always used Cetaphil Cleansers. The only difference now is I just use the cleanser now for normal skin rather than oily skin (although I still use the oily/combination as I have a huge bottle to get through). At the moment I am using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I like this cleanser because it doesn’t have a fragrance as such just smells fresh and I feel as though it does a good job of getting the dirt and oils off my face.

As for something to give my skin a really deep clean, I am loving the St Ives. Smooth and Hydrated Oatmeal Scrub and Mask. I find it is very gentle on my skin but still gives a deep clean. You can either use it as a scrub or as a quick mask to help moisturise the skin.

Once I have washed my face, again I like to use a gentle moisturiser, Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturiser  SPF 15 does the job. I will apply this morning and night after I have washed my face. On the nights where I want to give my skin some extra moisture I will massage a generous about of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask (which I will leave on overnight).I just find that when I wake up in the morning my face is so much more hydrated and because of its thick formula you can still feel it on your face in the morning which I like.

An extra step I may take every now and then is applying a small about of acne cream to any spots I may have. I use the Epiduo cream which I was prescribed to by my doctor to help fight my acne. This cream just minimises the size of the spots overnight. As it is quite a strong cream it tends to dry out my skin quite a bit so I will always apply moisturiser on because I apply the cream.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my skincare routine. Let us know what skincare products you use or would recommend!

Thank you 🙂

Origins Face Masks

I love a good face mask, whether I am needing to give my skin a really deep clean or I just feel like pampering my skin I always reach for a face mask.

I have tried quite a few face masks from cheap to more high end and I always find myself reaching for the same ones. Some of the cheaper masks I like include Formula 10.0.6 Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask and the Montagne Jeunesse (any really). As for high-end and just in general Origins are by far my favourite brand for face masks!

For Christmas, I received a set of four face masks by Origins. I also really like that the products are all travel-friendly which means I am table to take them away with me without taking up too much space. The set included four mini products: Clear Improvements (charcoal), Out of Trouble, Drink Up Intensive and GiZzing mask.

The charcoal mask is an all time favourite of mine and I actually own a full size of it which I had before I got the set and have loved it for a while. I find it just makes my skin feel really clean and helps to clear any redness over time.


When I received the set I was excited to try out the other masks. By surprise, my favourite was actually the Drink Up Intensive mask.


As I have always had the quite oily skin I use to stay clear of anything overly hydrating and just stuck to light moisturisers, but as my skin has cleared I tend to have very dry skin and in winter especially it will crack a lot quicker and easier. I just find that when I put the mask on at night and wake up in the morning my skin is instantly hydrated and any dry patches I had are completely gone. It’s a great mask for when you have a cold and get especially dry around your nose. The hydrating mask is one of those moisturisers that you can feel still feel on your skin when you wake up, which to me means it is doing it job in locking in the moisture.


I also really enjoyed the Out of Trouble 10-minute mask, it just seems to calm any redness and spots I have instantly. Unlike the charcoal mask the texture is not quite as smooth so it is a little harder to apply but a little goes a long way. The smell is also quite soothing and great for when you have a stuffy nose as it has that menthol scent.


The only mask I am still yet to really try is the GinZing mask. As I don’t tend to use a mask in the morning I had really had the need to use it and I a more inclined just to wash my face with a cleanser and then moisturise rather than using the mask.