Spring Spa Wellington Review

Spring Spa Wellington reception area.
Spring Spa Wellington reception area.

On a cold, rainy Monday night I was tired, stressed, a bit achy and just wanted to go straight home to bed after work, but then I remembered I had booked into Spring Spa Wellington for a much needed 30 minute neck, back and shoulder massage and suddenly my evening was looking up.

I had previously been to Spring Spa for a Bliss Instant Radiance Oxygen Pod & Facial which was amazing. My skin literally glowed for days (highly recommend) but this was the first time I had gone for a massage here. I like to think of Spring Spa as East Day Spa’s younger, more minimalistic sister. It was created by the owner of East Day Spa and is more affordable, which I love. You instantly feel at ease when you walk in due to the Scandinavian type interior styling with open plan spaces (for pedicures with your friends) polished concrete floors, natural wood and pops of colour. They also sell Bliss products which can be pretty hard to get your hands on in New Zealand so another big tick from me.

Spring Spa Bliss Products
Spring Spa Bliss Products

When I arrived my beauty therapist was running a little late so after I was greeted I was given a glass of chilled water and waited with the latest copy of Cuisine Magazine (I love it when places have the current issue of magazines, small thing but it impresses me!) After about 10 minutes my therapist Maria arrived and greeted me with a big smile and led me up the stairs to one of the pods. The rooms are quite small but they carry that minimalistic theme and make you feel very calm. They have a cute wooden block to put your bag/coat/scarf/millions of layers and a mirror to make sure you don’t leave the spa looking like a hot mess after your treatment.

Spring Spa treatment room
Spring Spa treatment room

Maria left the room while I undressed and got under the blankets. When she returned the lights were dimmed and relaxing music piped through the speakers. Maria started to work her magic starting with a pressure point type massage on my spine/shoulders – I felt my tense muscles instantly start to relax. The next 25 minutes were a bit of a blur as I totally blissed out but I do remember Maria working on my tense neck muscles (ouch!) and the knots in my shoulders (double ouch) yes it hurt, but it had to be done. By the time she had finished working on those areas it wasn’t painful anymore and I felt a million times better and she kept checking the pressure was ok which was lovely. I also remember hot towels being pressed down on my back at the end of the massage (to help remove the excess massage oil possibly?) and it was the most comforting, warming thing ever- such a nice way to finish a massage. I was disappointed when Maria announced the massage was over (could it not go on forever?) but at the same time I knew I felt way better than when I had walked in. Maria encouraged me to drink some water and take my time getting up.

I left the spa in a blissed out state, went home, drunk a bunch of water, went to bed early and had the most amazing deep sleep. I know my body was very thankful for the magical massage from Maria! I am eyeing up the Bliss Peeling Groovy Pod Facial as my next treatment to try.

Spring Spa is located in Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Bali. I visited Spring Spa Wellington Corner Tory and Jessie Street. For a 30 minute Spring Signature Pod Massage it was $50.

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Krystle’s May Empties

Krystle's empties

I am shocking at using up my beauty products. I seem to have so many things on the go at any one time that it can take ages to actually finish a product. But I finally amassed a little selection and surprise, surprise it’s pretty much all products that I love and will most likely purchase again!

Here’s a little run down of each of them

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Parfum

My favourite perfume. It is perfect for any occasion day or night and just brings me so much happiness when I wear it. It has notes of Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Gardenia, Violet Petals and is a fresh floral which is my favourite kind of scent. I already purchased a back up one of these last time I went through duty free as I just can’t like without it. I always go for the EDP as the fragrance lasts a lot longer.

L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo

I had a love/hate attitude toward this product. It was really good at toning my hair and getting rid of those yellow tones every blonde hates. However it made my hair so super dry! I usually use a treatment conditioner once a week so I timed it to use with this shampoo but even then I felt like I needed lots of hair oil/serum through my ends to tame the frizz. I am currently using the Fudge violet shampoo and liking it a lot more than this one so I would not repurchase.

Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo

Can’t live without this stuff. It is a lifesaver on those mornings when you sleep through your alarm and you don’t have time to wash your hair or even when you want to give it some volume and lift at the end of the day. The tropical one is my favourite scent.

Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation Ivory

I remember first trying this when I was low on funds and just wanted a cheaper foundation – I am so glad I tried it! I have gone through about 3 bottles of this already. Its a primer, concealer and foundation in one, it looks really natural on but I can build it up if I am having a bad skin day. I still set it with powder as I can get shiny in my T-zone. The other thing I love is the colour. As a very pale girl it can be super hard to find the right shade of foundation and this is the perfect mix of pale with pink tones. Will definitely be repurchasing this.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

I thought I would love this, I read so many rave reviews that said it makes your hair feel like you have had an expensive salon treatment…but no! I followed the directions- only used it once a week, on towel dried hair but it just didn’t impress me. It’s pretty expensive and I just think there are better hair masques out there as it didn’t even leave my hair feeling silky smooth, but it did leave the shower super slippery! Keen to try some other conditioning treatments so I won’t be repurchasing this one.

Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator

This is a hydrating mask from the famous Joico K-Pak range. I did like it, but I wasn’t wowed by it. The fragrance is quite intense and the product feels quite thick on but when you wash it away the hair doesn’t feel super soft. I think it did help tame my frizzy ends and made my hair a bit shinier but I haven’t added it to my ‘must purchase again’ list just yet.

Michael Todd Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant

This was a great scrub but it seemed to last forever and I started to get sick of it! It did have a lovely fragrance and I loved that the it uses Papaya and Pineapple enzymes to exfoliate the skin. I will probably end up using this scrub again but at the moment I have other ones I want to try.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I purchased this while I was still living in the UK (but you can order it from many international sites that will ship to NZ) It is a cult product and I can see why. I rationed this product as it is pricey but utterly gorgeous. It’s basically a hydrating mist that you can use to refresh your make-up, use as a base, or use as a serum before moisturiser. It tightens your pores, refreshes, and helps with dull skin. It is so nice in summer or even when you are just tired. The fragrance is sort of fresh and herb like- totally addictive. Even Victoria Beckham loves it. If you ever get a chance to try it I guarantee you will love it! I ordered a mini bottle as I couldn’t afford the full size but I can’t live without it now.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost

I use this product every morning and thankfully have a back up already. It is a zesty, silky smooth serum that I apply before my SPF moisturiser. It also provides a great smooth base for my make up and I love the fresh citrus scent- it helps me to wake up in the mornings! Like all Vitamin C products it helps to promote radiance and smooth skin. I notice a real difference in my skin when I don’t use this product so I think it will be included in my skincare regime for many more years to come.

What’s something you have used up this month?

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A Winning Kiwi Eye Combo

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Eye creams- they can be an annoying extra step in your skincare routine but they are so important! I have been using eye creams since I was about 18, when I found out that the skin around your eyes is as thin as tissue paper and gets dehydrated easily which leads to wrinkles. That made me paranoid and I have been dabbing on the eye cream for many years now. I could get away with a light eye cream until my mid 20’s and now I find I need something a little richer and also need to use it twice a day otherwise I start to notice the skin under my eyes gets very dry and red.

I have found a winning eye cream combo that has been working so well for me. They are Kiwi products, they de-puff my eyes in the morning and nourish at night without being too rich. They are slightly pricer products but they really make a difference.

Introducing…Linden Leaves Eye Rescue Serum & Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream

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Linden Leaves Eye Rescue Serum with Organic White Tea $49.99

The thing I love most about this serum is the metal rollerball applicator. It is absolute bliss on my puffy eyes in the morning. It is a clear, super light serum that applies smoothly around the eye area and I find it absorbs quickly so I can apply my make up on top with no worries. The serum contains rose to tone and nourish and grapeseed oil to hydrate and balance the eye area. It contains a white tea fragrance but nothing too strong – I prefer my eye products to have minimal fragrance to lessen the chance of irritation and this ticks that box.

I find that in the winter months this rollerball is cold enough in the morning anyway but I love to put it in the fridge during summer to keep it extra cool and refreshing. Another bonus of Linden Leaves products is that they are cruelty free, have no chemical nasties and they use top quality organic and natural ingredients, fruit and flower oils and unique scent and essential oil blends. I really feel like Linden Leaves have upped their skincare game in the last couple of years and this eye serum is a winner.

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Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream $52

This product is fragrance free which is great for the sensitive under eye area. However I tend to find fragrance free products can have a weird smell so I wish it had a light refreshing scent instead. This eye cream is very moisturising but still feels light when I apply it (dabbing with the pinky finger of course!) In this magical pot which seems to last forever there is; carrot seed oil, aloe gel and 100% pure avocado oil plus Vitamin C from kiwifruit which helps to repair damaged tissue. The cream itself melts into the skin so easily, so no tugging at the eye. It comes in a dark glass jar which does help to protect the product but it can be a bit hard to get out when it’s near the bottom. I definitely prefer squeezy tubes for eye creams, much less messy and germy.

Antipodes claims that this eye cream is “Scientifically shown to stimulate synthesis of collagen production in human skin cells by up to 82%”  I am not 100% sure on this claim but since using this eye cream the bags under my eyes have lightened and the skin around my eyes does feel a bit firmer. I’m actually a bit scared to stop using this cream as I have been looking a lot more awake since using this!

 

Do you use more than one eye cream…or is it just me?

 

New Tim Tam range by Adriano Zumbo

I was very lucky to be sent the range of new Tim Tams from nzgirl as part of their influencer review panel.  The range was created by Adriano Zumbo, a pâtissier who has featured on MasterChef Australia and is known for his elaborate desserts and incredible flavour combinations. When I visited my sister last year she took me to one of his Melbourne shops and the cakes were like works of art.
The amazing cake creations we had
The amazing cake creations we had at Adriano Zumbo in Melbourne

Two new flavours – exotic Coconut Cream and  Choc Raspberry are joining Salted Caramel and Red Velvet. I had never tried the Zumbo range of Tim Tams so I was excited to try all of them. Thankfully my workmates helped me eat them too! Below is a little mini review of each of the flavours.

 

Tim Tam Salted Caramel
Salted Caramel
Nice, but tasted like a normal Tim Tam with an aftertaste of saltiness, wish it had been a richer flavour as I usually become obsessed with all things salted caramel.

 

 Red Velvet Tim Tam
Red Velvet
Thought it wouldn’t taste of much as red velvet cake isn’t a strong flavour, but the layer of cream cheese in it totally made it.

 

Tim Tam Choc Raspberry

 

Choc Raspberry
So yummy, the flavour of the raspberry was really sharp which went well with the dark chocolate. This flavour was my second favourite but wasn’t too popular with my workmates  – that just meant more for me!
 Tim Tam Coconut Cream
Coconut Cream
So dangerously delicious, my favourite one hands down. Smooth & creamy, tasted like a bounty bar without the bits. Wasn’t a fake coconut taste and went so well with the chocolate. Highly recommend.

 

 

The Tim Tam by Adriano Zumb​o range is now available at New World, Pak’n Save and The Warehouse in NZ.
Have you tried any of the new flavours?

New Year, New Goals

This year I did things a bit differently.

Like many other people I tend to make resolutions each year and don’t write them down, feel unmotivated about them/forget them and its basically a waste of time.

Towards the end of 2014 (a pretty tough year for me) I started to think more about what I wanted life to be like in 2015 and what would make me happy. To get some good vibes going I decided to list everything I was grateful for in 2014. As I said before, it was a bit of a rubbish year but I believe there is always something to be thankful for and that in turn makes me think positive thoughts. I managed to fill a whole page pretty easily and it was a nice way of saying goodbye to the year. I think I’m going to make this a tradition at the end of every year now.

Once I had said goodbye to 2014 I started to look ahead. I had read a few blogs/articles that had suggested picking one word that would basically be your mantra or inspiration for the year ahead. Of course I couldn’t pick just one so I settled on three.

WELLNESS… OPPORTUNITIES… GRATITUDE …

  • Wellness because the last few years have been a big struggle health wise with a lot of time spent in hospitals and having surgery. Rather than just saying ‘get healthy and fit’ I felt wellness was a better word  as I really want 2015 to be the year that I start to feel good again and reclaim my health.
  • Opportunities– I want to have fun, try different things and get out of my comfort zone so I will be on the lookout for any opportunities that come my way or that I can create for myself.
  • Gratitude is something that I started thinking about more in 2014 and I want it to be a big part of my life this year. I purchased a ‘Thankful’ journal from kikki.K (cute stationary is always important) and each day has a page to list three things you are grateful for. Since the 1st January I have been filling it in every night before I go to sleep and I can honestly say I have noticed a change in my mindset even just 5 days in. I actively look for the positives in my day and focus on really awesome moments that bring me joy like a great catch up with a friend, an amazing coffee, playing with my dog or even the everyday things we overlook like a comfy bed to sleep in.

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So once I had those three words I decided I would list some goals I wanted to achieve rather than calling them resolutions. Most of them revolved around those three words but there were some random ones plus a couple of big things (I really want to get to Hawaii with one of my best friends for a girls trip this year!) I plan to keep revisiting this list throughout the year to keep myself on track.

In addition to all that, I have decided to create a vision board I can look at everyday that will include some of my goals and of course my three words somewhere on there so I can keep reminding myself what I want to achieve.

This is the first time I have put so much thought into what I want my year to be like and it feels pretty amazing to have a plan- why didn’t I start this sooner!?

Do you make resolutions? What’s one thing you would love to achieve in 2015?

 

Tim Tam Truffles

I came across a recipe for these truffles probably about 5 years ago now and I have been making them on a regular basis ever since. They are pretty easy, you can do a few variations and people always love them. I always find myself making them more regularly during the festive season to take to events so I thought it was a good time to do a blog post on them.

Tim Tam Truffles (makes approx. 15-20)

Ingredients

1 packet plain Tim Tams

100g cream cheese (I find it easier to use spreadable cream cheese)

300g chocolate melts, for dipping

Additional chocolate, edible glitter & sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Method

If you have a food processor use it to pulse up the Tim Tams until they are a fine crumb. Otherwise you can put them in a snap lock bag and bash them up with something like a rolling pin which is quite good for stress relief!

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Tip the crumbs into a medium/large bowl and add the cream cheese. Get stuck in with your hands to mix it all together (a spoon just won’t work) the mixture should be quite sticky. Get about a teaspoon worth of mixture in your hand and shape into a ball, place on tray, repeat with the rest of the mixture.

At this point you can either freeze the balls for about 20 minutes or pop them into the fridge for an hour or so which helps them to hold their shape better when you dip them in the chocolate.

Place the melts into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds, stir, then keep putting back in for 15-20 second bursts and stirring until the chocolate is almost melted. Then if you stir vigorously it should all come together & be glossy. If you burn the chocolate just start again- you can’t save it!

Take the balls out of the fridge/freezer and drop one into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to turn it around and lift out onto the baking paper – after the first few times you get the hang of it. At this point before the chocolate sets you could add edible glitter (from cake decorating shops)  or sprinkles over the truffles. Alternatively you could wait until you have dipped the whole batch, melt a small amount of different chocolate (i.e. white) and drizzle it over the truffles (as pictured above)

You could package these up for gifts, arrange them on a platter with some fresh strawberries or just keep them for yourself. You can try lots of different variations like white Tim Tams rolled in coconut or Mint Slice dipped in dark chocolate. Just keep in mind that some of these biscuits have creamy centres which can make them a little harder to smush into crumbs.

 

Do you think you will give these a go? Let me know if you do.

iHerb Haul

Oh iHerb, how I love thee!

In some ways I wish I had never found out about this website but it is oh so good. Maybe not so good for my credit card though! Basically it is an American website that ships to NZ for a reasonable price and they have so many health, beauty and food products. If I hear someone rave about a product I add it to my wish list and about every 3 months I cave and place an order. The best thing about this website is you can easily find products which are not commonly sold in NZ and the prices are really good.

Here’s what I had in my order this time:

Bdellium Tools, Eyes 776 Blending Brush

Morgan from Hyacinth Girl talked about this brush in a blog post and I knew I had to try it. It’s comparable to the MAC 217 brush which I love. So far I’m pretty impressed it as it blends out eye shadow smoothly and is really soft. Will it replace my 217?  probably not, but always good to have extra blending brushes.

Heritage Products, Rosewater & Glycerin, Atomizer Mist Sprayer

Kiriana & Toni had raved about this spray so of course I had to get it. I can tell it’s going to get a lot of use over Summer as it is so cooling and refreshing, especially when kept in the fridge. It has the scent of fresh roses (not a Nana rose smell!) Officially addicted.

Nantucket Off-Shore, Renaissance Rub, Italian Seasoning for Grilling

I had been eyeing up the seasonings on iHerb for awhile, they have a huge selection. I went with this Italian one and it is delicious. I grilled some chicken breast with this seasoning and I look forward to trying it on different things like flatbreads and roast vegetables. It has the usual Italian flavours but is quite punchy due to the lemon zest and red pepper bits.

Queen Helene, Batherapy, Natural Mineral Bath Salts, Lavender Aromatherapy

One of the awesome things about iHerb is that they have a ‘product trial’ section where you can pick up samples or products for a low price (the idea being that you review them) In the past I have had face & foot masks, teas and vitamins but this time I went with some bath salts as they sound soothing and I love a good bath.

NOW Evening Primrose Oil
This was the main reason I actually made my order. I can’t live without Evening Primrose Oil now. I started taking it about three months ago as I had heard it was good for hormonal skin and general PMS hideousness. It took a good couple of months but I have definitely noticed a change in my skin and my GP even told me to keep taking them so I must be on to a good thing. For a massive tub of these soft gels its $15.93 (US) which is way cheaper than I could get them in NZ.

Alter Eco, Organic Salted Caramel Truffles, Dark Chocolate

I always try to add a food treat to my orders as they have amazing snacks, chocolates and health food. I am obsessed with anything Salted Caramel so these truffles caught my eye. Because they are dark chocolate I find I only need one to satisfy my cravings, definitely going to try some of the other truffles in this range.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman, Miracle Complexion Sponge

I purchased this for a Christmas present as I already own one. I do love my Beauty Blender but this is a great, cheaper alternative. It can be used wet or dry and helps to apply your foundation smoothly.

Hurraw! Balm, Lip Balm in  Chai Spice, Coconut Mint Lemongrass & Night Treatment Balm.

Two of these were for Christmas presents and one for me. These are my favourite lip balms, they are vegan, cruelty free and use organic ingredients. I want to try all of them eventually. They are so creamy and just glide on the lips.

So that’s my little haul. If you haven’t made an iHerb order before you can use the discount code BHV636 to get $10 off orders over $40. (or $5  if under $40)

They recently changed their shipping costs which is a shame. However DHL is still the best option, gets to NZ in about 5 days and has tracking. The airmail option can take up to 4 weeks.

If you need any advice on other great iHerb products just let me know in the comments below or tweet me @KrystleF.

Candle Crush

I am such a candle addict and when the NZ company Candle Crush launched I was so excited. I love that they are hand poured 100 % natural soy candles. I try to avoid other candles as they are usually made with paraffin wax  which is derived from crude oil and can be really bad for you to inhale the fumes as the candle burns…so soy wax all the way for me!

Candle Crush have 20 fun and quirky scents currently and they come in soy melts or candles that burn for up to 50 hours. I love the packaging too, it’s not tacky but they have incorporated cute drawings on the back of the candles and they come encased in sturdy glass. They look gorgeous anywhere in the house. The melts are $3.95 so they are great to try out different fragrances and the candles are $29.95.

I currently have two candles and one melt but I want to add so many more to my collection!

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Stealing the Limelight

I love light, fresh fragrances and as soon as I took one sniff I knew this was going to be my favourite. It is a really clean and refreshing fragrance. I love burning this on a sunny day as it is a mix of fruits and florals so it isn’t too sickly or overpowering. It has notes of apples, oranges, blackcurrant, rose, vanilla plum and of course the star of the show lime. I can burn this for a couple of hours and the scent isn’t too much, it’s like sunshine in a candle.

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Singing in the Rain

This was the first Candle Crush purchase I made as the name and concept sounded so intriguing.  The idea is that it smells like the dewy earthy scent you get after there has been a summer rain shower. For me it has more of a floral scent, like if you were walking through a really fragrant garden after it had rained. It has notes of jasmine, violet, white grapefruit and vanilla bean plus some sandalwood and musk. I find after I have had this burning for more than hour the smell becomes a bit too much for me so I like to burn this one for short bursts. I also have it sitting in my room with the lid off as it has a gorgeous fresh floral scent when it isn’t lit that makes the room smell lovely and I get a whiff of it every time I walk past.

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Grandmas Apple Crumble (Soy Melt)

I am not a massive fan of super sweet candles as they can make me feel a bit sick so I wanted to try a soy melt in this one before I committed to a big size. It is so delightful, I think I will definitely have to get it in full size eventually!  It comes encased in a cute little tin and you need to put it in the top of an oil burner to use. I like to break a little off instead of putting the whole thing in the burner. It has notes of juicy apple and cinnamon then you can also get hints of buttery brown sugar crumble and after awhile it starts to smell like donuts! I have to admit I feel a little hungry when I burn this but the apple scent keeps it quite fresh so it isn’t too much.

Candle Crush have just launched their Christmas candles which sound amazing and I also have Lions & Tigers and Pears- Oh My, Lovely Pair of Coconuts & Italian Stallion top of my wish list. At the moment they have Buy 3 get 1 free on which is very tempting! You can purchase them from their website or at a few select retailers (details on their website here)

Have you tried Candle Crush before? What fragrances do you love?

 

 

 

 

Krystle | Pick 5: Makeup items

I am not the master of packing lightly or only having a few key make up items. I am the girl who has the suitcase they attach the bright orange ‘HEAVY’ sticker to at the airport (mostly due to beauty products) My handbag is not dainty and cute. It is large, has my whole life in it and weighs as much as a small child. I truly do aspire to be like Toni and only take carry on luggage whenever I travel but my fear of being without something I need terrifies me. This is why I found it hard to pick just my top 5 make up products, however I have given it a go.

#1: MAC Lipstick in Crosswires

This is my current favourite lipstick. It is a pinky coral colour in the cremesheen formulation so it is hydrating and smooth on the lips. I feel like when I apply this colour it instantly brightens my complexion and mood. It is quite a bright colour for everyday wear but as I am so pale I find nudes/light pinks can wash me out so I love a pop of colour.

#2: Urban Decay Naked Palette

Toni loves the Naked 2 palette and I love the original. I have Naked 3 also but I find myself reaching for this one more often. It has such great neutral colours to create lots of different looks and as you can see I completely destroyed the ‘Sin’ colour as I loved it so much. When I travel I can take this palette and create daytime looks and easily make them more dramatic with the darker colours. I get so much inspiration on using this palette from other bloggers and YouTube. Shaaanxo recently posted a smokey eye look using it that I loved here.

#3: Eye of Horus Liquid Define

I heard so many people rave about this liquid eyeliner – it’s totally worth the hype. It is so easy to use, dries instantly, doesn’t smudge at all during the day, is opaque black and is easy to remove at the end of the day. It’s in pen form so you have a lot of control when applying it. I find myself reaching for this over my pencil eyeliners even just for an everyday look, but you can definitely make it more dramatic and wing it out/make it bolder if you want. A major plus for me is when the tip dries out/loses the fine point you can pull it out, flip it around and it’s like a new one! This video explains how to do it.

#4: MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study

Last year my Mum was lucky enough to have her make up done by the amazing Hil Cook. The eye look she created on her was incredible and I noticed she used the Bare Study Paint Pot as an eye primer. I decided I needed to have it in my life and haven’t looked back. When I apply this underneath my eye shadow I get no creasing at all, the colours are more vibrant and it lasts longer. It has soft gold pearl reflects in it so it brightens the eye area, especially the inner corner. I even wear this on its own if I am applying make up quickly in the morning or just want a natural look.

#5: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

The ultimate highlighter in my opinion, it gives you that nice glow that isn’t too over the top. I use it on my brow bone, cheekbones and cupids bow, plus it can double as an eye shadow if need be. I like to apply it lightly with a fan brush so it’s not a big stripe of shimmer on my cheek but you can build this up for more of a night time look. It is such a flattering champagne shade that suits so many skin tones and really brightens up your look.

If I really had to pack just a few make up items for a trip away it would probably be what is listed above with a few extras as shown in the picture below. However I did leave out my favourite mascara – Maybelline The Falsies!

 

What I really wanted to include in this post! L-R Eye of Horus Liquid Define, MAC Crosswires lipstick, Covergirl 3 in 1 foundation in Ivory, Mary-Lou Manizer, Pro Longwear Concealer NW15, NARS Orgasm Blusher, Sigma Clean Cut Brow Pencil, Naked Palette, MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.
What I really wanted to include in this post! L-R Eye of Horus Liquid Define, MAC Crosswires lipstick, Covergirl 3 in 1 foundation in Ivory, Mary-Lou Manizer, Pro Longwear Concealer NW15, NARS Orgasm Blusher, Sigma Clean Cut Brow Pencil, Naked Palette, MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.

 

Are you a light packer or do you take lots of make up away with you?

 

 

Basil Pesto & Haloumi Pasta Salad

This pasta salad has been one of my favourite go to dishes for years. I originally came across it as a Weight Watchers recipe and have added a few things to it. This is the perfect dish when you have to take a plate of something. It could be for a BBQ, pot luck, picnic or shared lunch. It suits all occasions (except maybe carb free ones!) I have made this for many friends, colleagues and family over the years and its always popular.

It is pretty easy to make and you can add extra veggies that are in season or subtract things you don’t like. For example I added some cooked asparagus to this one. A popular addition is cooked bacon, you could even go for that low fat chicken bacon and/or wholemeal pasta if you want to go super healthy. The star of the show really is the golden haloumi, it is sooo good and really brings everything together. I love this salad hot or cold. I usually serve it warm and eat the leftovers cold.

Here is how to make this magical pasta salad.

Ingredients 

  • 240g penne pasta
  • 150g haloumi cheese sliced into 1cm slices (I use Collective Dairy Haloumi)
  • 4 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 1 large red capsicum thinly sliced
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved
  • 80g rocket leaves
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • 2 tbs light sour cream
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • Spray or splash of olive oil to cook haloumi

Optional: cooked bacon & any extra veggies you want

Method

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and while that’s doing its thing chop up the spring onion, capsicum, cherry tomatoes and any other veggies you want to add in and set aside.

Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water, following packet instructions, until just tender. Drain. Chuck it in a large serving dish or bowl and add in the chopped veggies and rocket. Toss to combine.

Combine pesto, sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add to salad and stir through the creamy goodness to coat everything and wilt the rocket a bit. At this point I usually decide if I want to add a bit more rocket or leave as is. Now the pasta salad is waiting for the final delicious ingredient- haloumi!

Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with olive oil (or just splash some in) and heat over med/high heat. Cook haloumi for 1 minute each side or until golden. Watch the haloumi like a hawk, do not get distracted, just dedicate a couple of minutes to watching this delicious cheese cook as it only takes a split second (in my experience) for haloumi to go from golden goodness to inedible charcoal.

Once cooked chop the haloumi slices into bite sized pieces and sprinkle over the top of the pasta salad. Season with freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve in the large bowl/platter for a large group or divide up into bowls.

Enjoy the amazing deliciousness, preferably in the sunshine with friends and a drink.

Pasta sunshine