Exciting News: Welcome to IngStyle!

For the past month or so I have been craving change and I needed it to happen both here and there. Some changes have been small (my new delicious sheets, for instance), and others have been bigger and a little harder to implement. One change I did want to make was here on the inter webs.

After some brainstorming and a lot of list writing I decided on making a new blog with a new direction. I felt like a new start, a fresh layout and I want to put to work the skills I have learnt over the past few years too.

There will still be beauty posts, but also lifestyle, food, entertainment and anything else that suits. I hope you will hop on over to IngStyle and check it out.
Thank you for reading xxxxx


Popbasic - The Lost Collection

I have written about my love for Popbasic before, and their excellent micro collections just keep on coming. If you are not familiar with the concept of Popbasic, it's pretty simple. Once a month sneak peaks of a new micro collection is released and you can then choose if you want to order it. It's recommended that you subscribe to their mailing list to get a notification of when a new collection is available to order, so that you don't miss out. The pricing is very reasonable and shipping is free internationally. Madeline and her team also offer excellent customer service and it's always personalised with a handwritten note which truly sets them a part from the rest of the cookie cutter online shops.

My favourite thing about Popbasic is that the three collections I have bought so far have become complete basics for me. I have worn my Salut top on average once a week since I got it, the black Serendipity dress is stunning and the latest Sofia shirt (shown below) has become an absolute staple for me too. I love that I can pair it with jeans, shorts, a skirt and it's also perfect for layering when it's cold.
In the Sherwood collection I also received a beautiful pink knot bracelet and it goes so well with my other arm parties. The texture is nice and soft, the colour is stunning and the knot looks great.
My favourite piece is this purple Dreamer Amethyst Necklace. The Amethyst is my birthstone and purple is my favourite colour so we were always going to get along well. I love that it's a piece that stands out on its own, but it can also be layered with other necklaces to make a bigger statement.

I was recently paying for something in a store when the sales assistant practically lunged across the counter to look at the necklace. The other sales assistant laughed and apologised for the intrusion but I didn't mind at all. The funny thing was that we had just done a bra-fitting so I figured I had no personal space left. In the end it was all pretty hilarious!
Another nice surprise with Popbasic is that there is always a little treat in the box and this time it was a Twistband which is so clever. I really like mine and it's very gentle on my hair, but it can also be worn as a bracelet for an added pop of colour.
Yesterday I wore my Sofia boyfriend shirt with a Forever New skirt, a Sportsgirl clutch, Raybans, an Equip triangle necklace, Shabby Sisters pearl clusters and the good old Havaianas. I wanted to prove that shirts aren't just for work, they can look nice and feminine when combined right. The fit of the shirt is perfect, it's meant to be a little boxy and not too tight, just like that perfect boyfriend shirt is. When ordering the Sofia shirt I went immediately to a size Small instead of the XS because I wanted to have a little extra room when wearing it.

Have you tried Popbasic before? Do you agree shirts aren't just for corporate occassions?

Xx I


Which Natural Paw Paw Ointment is best? Nude by Nature or Suvana Organic.

I am all for natural beauty products and I often prefer to find a natural version of a bestselling product. Suvana Organic and Nude by Nature are two brands that have created clean paw paw ointments. You may be more familliar with the Aussie iconic Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment which is what all the models and internationals claim are their favourite beauty product. It's also stocked pretty much in every pharmacy and convenience store in Australia. I won't use the paw paw from Lucas because it is not a natural product although they are trying to claim that it is. I am a huge lip-moisturising addict and I also like to keep my cuticles hydrated so I am always on the hunt for the best paw paw out there. For the past two months I have put Suvana and Nude to the test and there is indeed a clear winner.
The Suvana Paw Paw & Honey Balm is certified organic (tick) and the packaging is also incredibly cute. Everytime I scramble through my handbag and find the yellow tube poking it's head up I have to smile. It's the bees knees. What I like about the Suvana Paw Paw is that it's really gentle and hydrating. The balm is a little thick so I rub it into my hands after application. I also think the flavour is pretty good (yes I have tasted it).

Some of the wonder-ingredients in it is Coconut Oil, Vanilla Bean Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Honey and Jojoba Oil. Delicious! I have found that the Suvana Paw Paw & Honey Balm is a natural pocket rocket and you don't have to use very much at a time so the 25 ml tube will last a long time. I have nearly finished mine after two months. My only issue with Suvana is that I feel like I have to re-apply the ointment quite often during the day but that's probably just me.
The Nude by Nature Papaw Ointment and I started out okay, but we didn't really get along. This paw paw ointment is really beautiful, and the packaging is cute. Beautiful ingredients include Shea Butter, Beeswax, Papaya Fruit Extract and Coconut Oil. The only ingredient I am sceptical at is the Parfum aspect because I don't think it needs the added fragrance if it is wanting to be a natural product.  

Whilst I found the Nude by Nature Papaw Ointment to be full of hydration, there was something that annoyed me with it. In the tube are little balls of Jojoba Esters and they just don't pop. I would apply the ointment and the Jojoba Esters would just be there. I understand that they are needed for added hydration but I found myself eating them because I couldn't get them to disappear.
As a result, the winner is Suvana's Paw Paw & Honey Balm because it is a truly excellent natural product and I now use it daily. I have already bought a new tube because I didn't want to end up with an empty tube with no Suvana to replace it with.
The Suvana costs $7.99 and the Nude by Nature costs $5.95 and they are available from most pharmacies and Priceline.

Are you a paw paw fan? Do you prefer natural products?

xx I

The Suvana was kindly gifted to me for consideration. It has not affected my opinion. Please see my disclosure policy here.


My First Ever Halloween Swap

I recently participated in my first beauty blogger swap and it was really cool. The swap was organised by Sweetaholic Beauty's Jasmin and she did a great job. I was connected with beautiful Yessie from the US who writes over at Cinnamon and Zoey Kisses and we share a common blush and lippy addiction.

I was so excited to receive my Halloween goodies and Yessie did such a good job with what she picked. It was all so incredibly thoughtful. The colour choices were excellent and it's all things that I am going to use. It's a lot of fun getting access to some of the brands that aren't available here in Australia too. I sent Yessie some Aussie beauty products and I think we were both very relieved that everything arrived safely.
I received the Wet n Wild MegaPlump mascara which is right up my alley. I love a volumising mascara and being hot pink it won't disappear in my makeup bag. The NYX eye shadow in Cryptonite is absolutely stunning and one that I'm sure will look good on its own and with a coloured eye liner. I'm also a huge glitter fan so the Jewelry Heist from Spoiled is perfect. The eye shadow trio from Wet n Wild brings me down memory lane because I used to wear pink eye shadow in high school and I'm ready to bring it back. I've used Maybelline's Baby Lips before but I haven't tried the tinted version so I'm looking forward to pinking up my lips with Strike A Rose.
The Brazilliance tanner from tarte has me very intrigued, and since contouring is all the rage these days I am really excited about trying out the e.l.f. studio Blush and Bronzing Powder. They both have a beautiful shimmer to them so it's a good sign. Lucky last is another gloss for my growing collection and it's the Butter Gloss from NYX in the shade Merengue. It's such a pretty shade, and one that Elle Woods from Legally Blonde would approve of.
I was also thrilled to receive a pair of cute Halloween socks and some sweets. I didn't even have to do any trick or treating which is an added bonus. I wish I could have made Yessie's gift look more Halloween-esque but at the time I sent it there was no Halloween merchandise in the stores yet.

Are you into Halloween? Will you be trick or treating?

Xx I


Katy Perry - Killer Queen

I remember driving home from uni with my friends in Emily's car singing along to I Kissed A Girl five years ago and ever since I've liked Katy Perry. Her music is great for exercise, parties and yes car singing too. She's a hair model for ghd and she's a fragrance star. I've seen her movie Part of Me three times and it's great to see how her success came about, how she managed to perform after doing the really ugly cry and how her grandma is part of team Kitty Purry. The only thing we disagree on is her love of cats because I'm a dog person but that's okay.
I used to be against celebrity fragrances because I didn't see the point of them but I've come around to them now thanks to Katy (and One Direction but that's another story). Killer Queen is a killer scent and she has done a great job putting it all together. The design of the box is all red and regal which I love. It's all about owning the throne and being a powerful woman.
The bottle design is unusual but it works. I am sure it could be used as some kind of weapon. I like how the gold and red works together and it's essentially a small royal spear. It certainly stands out against my  other fragrances. Killer Queen is an EDP which means that the scent will linger for longer and you can apply less for the same effect.
My first impression of Killer Queen was that it reminded me of Naomi Campbell's signature fragrance which I got for Christmas some ten years ago. They are both quite heavy but what lifts the scent of Killer Queen up is the use of top notes like Dark Plum, Bergamot and Wild Berries. Once they go more subtle, the middle notes of Rainbow Plumeria, Natural Jasmine Sambac and Red Velvet Flower appear. All this is based on the bottom notes of Cashmeran, Liquid Praline and Natural Patchouli Heart. It is a beautiful mix and I have been wearing it a lot lately. It's also got the boyfriend seal of approval which is always a bonus.
On another note, I can't get over how hot Katy Perry looks in her Roar music video. Not only is the song great, but I love her natural look in Roar and it's totally mesmerizing. 
I have been emulating her look of little foundation, a hint of blush and a nude eye look and it's so easy to do. It also looks really good and for night time I've just been adding a bright lippy and a swipe of bronzer. The whole Tarzan and Jane get up is optional and I've been giving it a miss. Can you believe it?
I know we're used to see Katy covered in glitter, fireworks and cupcakes but I like seeing her neutral as well.
Killer Queen can be bought at My Beauty Spot, Myer and Priceline and the prices are $39 for 30ml, $49 for 50ml and $69 for 100ml which is really affordable for a quality fragrance.

Have you tried Killer Queen yet? Thoughts on celeb fragrances?

Xx I 

This product was kindly gifted to me for consideration. It has not affected my opinion. Please see my disclosure policy here.


The Australis Brow Pencil versus the Ardell Brow Defining Kit + Perfection Stencils

I love a good brow kit and I have a few up my sleave. At the moment I'm just using an eyebrow pencil from Australis Cosmetics and it does the job perfectly. It's great for when I'm in a rush in the morning because I only have to swipe it across and I'm done. I have it in the shade Dark Brown and it's a perfect colour match. What I like about it is that it's easy to fill in the brows with the precise liner, and then I comb it out with the brush on the lid. It's so convenient for travelling and parties too and I take it with me everywhere I go.

Another bonus is that it costs $7.95 and mine has lasted me for nearly a year and we're still going. Now it's looking rather ragged and worn but I still don't want to replace it until I absolutely have too. It comes in Light Brown and Blonde too so there is a shade for everyone. Australis can be bought online, and in store at Priceline, KMart, BigW and selected pharmacies.
Whilst I love my Benefit Brows-a-go-go, it's always great to see what other brands are doing. The Ardell Brow Defining Kit is more affordable at $24.95 and it has nearly everything you need for the perfect brow. I got my Ardell from one of the Her Fashion Boxes but Ardell is also available for purchase online at Priceline and Recreate Yourself and other similar stores.
There is also the option of Ardell's Brow Perfection Stencils ($9.95). I don't personally use them (preferring to use Lien's science of How To Create Your Ultimate Brow Shape At Home instead) but you really can't go wrong with these looks. If you've never used one before, just hold a stencil up and then colour in the shape of the brow. When the stencil is removed you can easily see where you should be tweezing to get the brow shape you desire. Always remember to do a little bit at a time because eye brow hairs are easy to remove, but they take a while to grow back and if you overpluck you'll have to fill in your brows for a while.
What I like about the Ardell Brow Kit is that there are three shades for brows and one light shade for highlighting. I am big on highlighting under the brow bone. I know it's really nineties but it's so flattering and lightens up the whole eye area.
When I use this kit I mix the light brown and dark brown shades together and apply them with the brush before I comb it out. I then go over it with the Brow Grooming Pencil because it contains a wax that sets the brow shape in place. The pencil also has a sharpener on the lid which is really clever. My only criticism is that the kit does not contain a set of tweezers because they are so handy to have at hand when tidying up the brows.
Here I am enjoying scones with jam and cream with some fudge on the side (yes I'm an old soul at heart), but it really is all about the brows. Since I was away I took the time to do my brows with Ardell's Brow Defining Kit and it worked perfectly. I don't mind spending time on my brows when I don't have to be in a rush when I'm getting ready and the Ardell kit does a great job, but the Australis pencil does a fantastic job too. Lucky there's room for both in my makeup bag!

How do you do your brows? What's your favourite brow product?

Xx I


The Brand New Colour Theory Range Has Landed In Stores!

Way back in July I attended the Colour Theory Launch and now the products are available at most Amcal Pharmacies and Guardian Pharmacies in Australia. When I was flying interstate last week I noticed that both airports I went to had Amcal and I had a little play around with the new Colour Theory products. The best part is that the price range is super simple, $4, $6, $8 and $10. Here is my pick of the bunch.
The Colour Theory nail polishes are available in over 20 shades and Feel Like Teal is one of my favourites. It reminded me of Ariel's tail in The Little Mermaid and it's got beautiful coverage.
Cherry on Top is another favourite and the dark red is a standout shade. The polishes cost $4 each and the brush is great to paint with. My only criticism is that the lid is quite big and it's inconvenient to hold when polishing but it's something you get used to quickly. Both polishes gave me 3-4 days wear and I was happy with that because I like changing colours often.
The lipsticks cost $6 each and I was pleasantly surprised at the rich coverage it gave me. The packaging is really cool. I like that it's clear and that you can see what goes on behind the scenes. This way you'll never be caught by surprise when the lippy runs out because you can conveniently see when you need to buy a new one. I did have a problem with the lid coming off too easily but the mistake was mine since I hadn't closed it shut properly. Learn from my mistake ladies, that's what I'm here for.
Razzle Dazzle is a gorgeous shade, and it's the perfect mix of pink and red. I have been wearing it with lots of bronzer and a swipe of winged eyeliner and it's a gorgeous look.
Colour Theory offers on-trend cosmetics at an affordable price. Whilst I'm not willing to give up my favourite Bobbi Brown palette, it's great to be able to switch up my beauty routine with CT's products without breaking the bank.

Have you tried Colour Theory before? Can you believe how fast the year is going?

Xx I

These products were kindly gifted to me for consideration. It has not affected my opinion. Please see my disclosure policy here.


My Melbourne Purchases

I didn't do too much shopping when I was in Melbourne, but somehow I managed to pick up a thing or two. Shopping in Melbourne is always great, but I didn't have too much time so I went back to basics as usual. My bag was also full when I left Sydney so I had to keep that in mind too.
I don't usually bring my GHD on work trips because it just seems too much of an effort and a top-knot is much easier, but this time I had packed it. The only thing I forgot was heat protection but a quick trip to Priceline fixed that and the VO5 Smoothly Does it Frizz Free Creme works a treat. I like that it doubles as a frizz control creme and a heat defense creme. I had also painted my nails before I left and as soon as they started chipping I wanted to remove the polish. Sportsgirl had not one, but two different removal options so I decided to buy both because I'm indecisive like that.
The hotel room I was staying at had a bath and that meant one thing: Lush bath bombs. They are the best and such a treat. I picked up Honey Bee and Fizzbanger. Honey Bee is perfect for a soothing soak and it's got a delicious combo of mud and honey. 
Here Fizzbanger is dissolving and it's described as a toffee-apple for your bath: Perfect for the young and the young at heart. It's so refreshing and soothing and it took forever to dissolve.
I also can't go by a Lorna Jane store without going in because they have so much beautiful active wear.
This time I picked up a couple of inspirational tanks. I like them because they are so comfortable, the quotes are great and they are really good quality.
I also bought four mini cupcakes from Cupcake Central as a little shopping snack. They were so good. I had strawberry mint, choc malt milkshake, half baked cookie dough (totally the best) and coffee nut.

What have you bought lately?

Xx I


The Melbourne Diaries

I have just come back from 10 days in Melbourne and it's been a great trip, but I've also been very busy with work. Luckily everything went well, and thanks to my cold & flu medication being pretty efficient I kicked my cold before it advanced further. There is nothing worse than being sick when you are away from home.
In between my work days I had the time to do some adventuring in Melbourne and I went straight to St Kilda since it's one of my favourite areas there. Luna Park was discovered and it was great fun to try the Scenic Railway roller coaster for the first time.
Afterwards it was time for breakfast/brunch and to my delight they had egg chairs there. They are high up on my wish list and I really want one in my house. It's just so fun to swing around in them and they are also really comfortable.
Next up it was time for my favourite Salted Caramel Gelato at Fritz Gelato. It was just as good as I remembered it to be.
Melbourne has so many beautiful bridges and this one called the Seafarers Bridge is high up on my list of favourites.
At the South Wharf I saw one of my favourite signs of all time. It's just genious!
The next day I had an uber-special facial at Made Beauty Space and it was just as good as I had heard it would be. If you live in Melbourne I totally recommend this gem of a salon. It was so relaxing, so inviting and up there in my top three facials of all time. Their attention to detail was superb, the Sodashi products used were terrific and I really enjoyed the whole experience.
Afterwards I met up with a friend from uni who took me to the Rooftop Bar which was excellent. Beautiful weather, great view and a fun vibe. Melbourne was truly showing off!
For the rest of the week I was busy working on a big sporting event which went really well! It was so good to see that it all worked out, and that all the hard work we had put into it was rewarded with a great outcome even though the weather didn't cooperate 100%. 

How was your week?

Xx I


The Three Minute Body Overhaul with Kate Somerville, Goldwell and Pure Fiji!

When it comes to beauty routines, I like them to be quick because it improves the odds of me actually taking the time to do them. Perhaps it's a little lazy, but it totally improves the chances of getting my hair treatment and my body and face exfoliation done on a more regular basis. Thanks to the products below I'm on a twice a week winning streak and it feels great!
Kate Somerville is an LA-facialist to the stars and her skin care range made its way to Mecca Cosmetica last year. I had heard such good things about her signature ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (it's got a 96% approval rating online), but because my skin is sensitive I went with the ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment and I have not regretted it at all. I was sceptical about paying $75 for an exfoliant when there are so many more affordable ones on the market, but I haven't looked back. For each session I only need a pea-sized amount and the 60 mls have lasted me nearly eight months so far.

Another reason I love ExfoliKate is that it actually works. The combination of Microbeads and Fruit Enzymes makes it a powerful combination to fight breakouts, clear up the skin and speeding up the skin's cell renewal, whilst soothing the skin at the same time. It's very green which might put some people off it but I think it's funny to look like the Hulk's little sister. It's not even that bad. ExfoliKate smells a little spicy and I like it. After application it only needs to stay on for 60 seconds so it's a quick and efficient exfoliant. I prefer to use it at night time because my face can then wake up with an extra glow in the morning. Any impending breakouts are also stopped in their tracks by ExfoliKate, especially when combined with the Pure Fiji Dilo Oil.
In the past I haven't been the most regular user of hair treatments. I'm good at buying them, but not so good at making the time for the treatments to do their magic. My one excuse has been the regular application of Moroccan Oil, because it feels like my get out of jail free card. The Goldwell Color Extra Rich has changed it all thanks to it only needing 60 seconds to do it's work, and the pink colour makes me smile everytime I see it. I got it from Buy Haircare Direct which has great deals on hair care products and their shipping is quick. At the moment the treatment retails for $15.94 and it usually costs $20.95.

This treatment is meant for those who have thick to corase colour-treated hair. My hair is neither thick nor coarse, but it's in the need for some intense hydration. Since it's also colour-treated ten times over, I prioritised this as my main concern. At the moment my hair is going lighter again (thanks to the sun) and my boyfriend even asked me the other day whether I had put highlights in my hair which I definitely haven't done. I am planning on colouring my hair darker soon so by using the Goldwell Color Extra Rich I can make sure my hair is ready to absorb more colour. The treatment smells so lovely, it's very floral and I love using it twice a week. I have already noticed that my hair is looking stronger and healthier. When this treatment runs out I have my eyes on the Goldwell Rich Repair which is best for repairing dry and damaged hair.
I have written about the Pure Fiji Sugar Rub before here and here and I'm still not bored by it. I have it in the Coconut infusion, but there are plenty of other delicious infusions to pick from like mango, starfruit and frangipani. Pure Fiji has also just released a brand new Guava infusion and it is simply delicious. This massive jar of body scrub comes with a measuring spoon and if you measure it out right, there should be enough for 15-18 applications, which at my current rate will give me about nine weeks use. It costs $49.95 and is better than any spa body treatment you could have.

The fresh sugar cane crystals create an effective exfoliation which buffs away dead skin cells, and thanks to the cold pressed virgin oils the skin is left hydrated and healthy. It also gives my body a glow that I love. Exfoliation is important in winter, but even more important in summer thanks to the use of sunscreen and fake tans. The Sugar Rub can also be used as a one minute manicure treatment as a prep prior to polishing the digits. It's a great way to give your hard-working hands some TLC.
I usually wash my hair first before cleansing my face with a gentle, creamy cleanser. I then apply the Goldwell hair treatment before applying the Sugar Rub and then lastly I apply ExfoliKate and count to sixty. When it's all done I rinse off, step out of the shower and feel like a new person. It's such a great way to spend minimum amount of time to do something good for your body and soul.

What is your weekly body routine? Have you tried any of these beauties?

Xx I


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