Hey guys! Long time no chat. I've been so busy with "mum life" and with the arrival of our 3rd daughter my blog has been a bit quiet.
Today I have something a bit different for you, my other passion in life - interior design. One thing we regretted when we built this house was not being able to complete our laundry due to the budget just not stretching that far.
The area we had been left with along with the amount of laundry I have to do for a family of 5 didn't leave me feeling very inspired. The space just didn't work either, and washing would pile up on the dining room table for days on end.
We hadn't planned on doing any thing to it any time soon but then Vinyl Home got in touch and wanted to know if I would like to come on board as a brand homie and I jumped at the chance!
I had used their products in the past and loved how I could revamp a space in a quick and affordable way - and even better I can change my mind if I was to restyle it down the line and not make the hubby shake in his boots with the bill.
I scoured the internet drawing inspiration and was able to put this mood board together. I decided to go with the Metro Blanco tiles and Marble Marmi Grey sticky back plastic to create the finish I wanted for a fraction of the price it would have otherwise cost.
I started with the tiles, and managed to get the wall done in just a couple of hours when bubba was sleeping. It's a pretty straight forward process and once measured actually sticking them on was a piece of cake.
Before and after using the Vinyl Home Metro Blanco tiles
Next step was for my husband to build me a bench space, somewhere I could sort and fold washing and store my laundry basket and cleaning products. Thankfully he's a pretty handy guy and whipped one up in a couple of hours. The bench only cost $47! You can see the work in progress below.
From there all that was left to do was cover the bench in my marble and style the space! I likened the process to covering kids school books but on a larger scale lol (I have a video of me showing this on my instagram account @seb_loves under the highlight "laundry reno" if you want to see!)
Overall this took me about 30 minutes to do! You just need to pre cut the corners, and then remove the backing and secure into place while removing any air bubbles.
I saved some old coconut oil jars for my laundry powders and Lisa from Owl & Monkey kindly sent me some labels for them. Other than the gorgeous print from Five Acre Wood I used things I already had from around the home to style the space. The faux plant is from Adairs and the old crate I had used for the kids books. I picked up a new washing basket and some tins from Kmart too. Overall a really affordable reno and I'm so inspired to do laundry now (don't tell the hubby!)
Will share some shots of the finished space below and if you have any questions ask away!
If you wan't to try anything from Vinyl Home they have given me a 5% discount code. Just follow this link and use the code "SEBLOVES" x
Vinyl Home affiliate code bit.ly/2xAE9pM
There are a few things I've been absolutely loving lately so I thought I would share them with you!
A few weeks back Remington kindly sent me their Silk Ceramic Ultra hair dryer and straightener and I've been using them both daily, as well as on my clients ever since. With a RRP of just $149 and $199 these are both great options for a more affordable hair styling system. I've been known to spend $400 on just one item in the past and had it break 6 months in which was not ideal.. and I've been searching for a replacement ever since. These have given me the results I want, without jeopardising the integrity of my hair, and at an affordable price!
The Body Shop has always been a favourite for me, ever since I worked there in the early 2000's... and with this pregnancy my skin has been so dehydrated and horrible! So I picked up an their Almond Milk and Honey Body Butter. This rich emolient moisturiser is specially formulated for sensitive, dry skin. I love that the products are sourced from Ghana & Ethiopa through fair trade and are all 100% cruelty free. Go The Body Shop!!
One product I just absolutely adore is Dermalogica's Age Smart skinperfdct Primer. It's velvety texture helps to smooth and minimise pores and even out textured skin. I often wear it on it's own (handy when you're late for the kindy run!) as it very noticibly reduces the appearance of my pores, which are probably my biggest skin insecurity. It's most definitely a luxury item with a RRP of $98 - but it's money well spent in my eyes as it helps me feel more confident in my own skin on the daily.
I see Gemma at Bare Waxing in Belmont every couple of months for Dermalogica facial, where she recommends the right products for me and tailors my skincare to suit.
Nude by Nature have released the most gorgeous sets just in time for Christmas. I've been loving the Sheer Light Pressed Bronzer & Sheer light liquid Bronzer Minis that came in a set with a kabuki brush and compact vanity bag for just $39.95 (RRP $72.80). I've been mixing the liquid with my foundation for a summery bronzey fresh glow.
Nude by Nature is available at Farmers as well as online
My current go to foundation has to be LA girl Pro Coverage HD. It's a lightweight formula but gives a medium coverage. It sits beautifully on the skin, works with both dry and oily skin and the best part... it retails for just $16NZ for 28mls of product! I get mine at my local pharmacy but you can find it online here
Lastly I want to talk about this brush that I was sent by Designer Brands. It's incredibly soft dense fibres make it perfect for packing on powder products, ensuring a long lasting matte finish. I've been using it on my clients for a while now and I reach for it first every time. Cruelty free and vegan, these synthetic brushes retail for just $14.99!! I am definitely going to pick up more from the range. Check them out here
Tell me below what your current favourite beauty products are, I would love to know! X
I've definitely had my fair share of issues with my skin, I didn't experience too many breakouts until my late teens when I got terrible acne and I can tell you 17 years later I still struggle! Pregnancies & hormones, suffering from auto immune disease and never really finding my holy grail skin care all attributed to my struggle.
Skin care is something I have always been interested in, and I have tried it all. From spending thousands on high end medicated regimes to going all natural - but I have never had a whole lots of success.
A few months back I was lucky enough to be asked by Dermalogica to exclusively try their products to see if they could finally end my search. I booked in to see Gemma at Bare in Belmont, who took me through the best products for my skin and treated me to the most amazing Ion Active facial.
From Bare on why they use Dermalogica:
"We only stock one skincare brand for a reason. We believe Dermalogica is the most effective, results based professional skin care range on the market. And because our skin therapists can focus their energy on a single skincare line – they know the products inside and out. All of our therapists performing skin treatments are certified as Dermalogica Specialists or Experts."
A bit about the facial itself:
"The IonActive treatment uses thermal activity and facial massage to deeply penetrate key ingredients into the skin. Still encompassing the Dermalogica standard of double cleanse and exfoliation the client is then able to select their area of concern from the following list to achieve super glowing and healthy looking skin. Skin heaven.
For my skin I had a few issues I needed to tackle. Not only adult acne but also signs of ageing as I get closer to 40.... eeek!
Step 1: My routine begins with removing my makeup, and the Pre Cleanse Balm is the first step in my double cleanse routine. This balm-oil product offers a deep cleanse, removing makeup with ease and leaving the skin soft and clean.
Step 2: Here's the double cleanse bit. I use the Special Cleansing Gel to remove any traces of makeup that may have been missed with the Pre-Cleanse Balm. This gel removes impurities without disturbing the skin's natural moisture balance. It has a calming effect on the skin and doesn't leave my face feeling dry or my skin itchy like a lot of cleansers I have used in the past.
Step 3: Daily Micro Foliant is a rice based powder which actives upon contact with water. It releases powerful ingredients to reduce pore size and brighten the skin. It's gentle enough to use daily which for me is great as I have always been a huge fan of exfoliation and really notice a change in my skin when I do use it daily.
Step 4: Active Moist oil free lightweight moisturiser doesn't break me out! 99% of moisturisers I have used have caused severe break outs, as it seems I cannot use anything with an oil base. It's light enough to wear under makeup, and leaves my skin feeling fresh.
Step 5: Skin Hydrating Booster. I use this at night instead of my Active Moist, but it can also be mixed with your daily moisturiser for an extra boost of moisture. It is a water based product that increases hydration levels and helps reduce fine lines (YES PLEASE!) It absorbs instantly which I love as I hate that greasy feel of most intense hydrating products.
Step 6: Lastly I add a little of the Oil free Matte Sunscreen which we all know is a must when it comes to preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Now that I am pregnant again I also get a lot of pigmentation in my face so I've been ensuring I wear this one daily to prevent this!
So here is my face makeup free and clear after using this range exclusively for 2 months. This past year I also worked a lot on gut health and diet and this certainly helps too. I believe the right mix of skin care and inner health has been the answer for me, and I'm so grateful that I was finally able to sort out my skin!
If you want to experience your own Dermalogica facial and get products specific to your skin type, then I highly recommend seeing Gemma at Bare. You can book here http://www.barewaxing.co.nz/online-bookings/
To check out all the amazing products Dermalogica has to offer you can find them here http://www.dermalogica.co.nz/
There is a lot of talk all over social media about the way that we look. Some of it how to better ourselves, some of it all about self acceptance and love, revealing our "flaws" at every opportunity.
I've certainly been both over these past few months where I've greatly altered the way that I live my own life, but I wonder if we are somehow missing the point. Does it really matter what anyone else thinks? When quite often us as women, are our own worst enemies.
Below you can see how hard I have worked, and when I posted this I did hope to inspire others and I was proud of how far I had come. Truth is the second image is taken at a flattering angle, in swimwear that I couldn't wear in real life. It's not real.
This is real life.
My husband took this photo (below) of my daughter and I last summer, and I've always hated it. It shows a special moment as we walk out into the crystal clear waters of Rakino Island. It's a memory I want to keep forever, yet I've hidden it away because of what? Society thinking I'm too big to be in a swimsuit? Not really. To be honest there are very little fucks I give about societal norms and it's levels of acceptance, so then why? Why do I hide this image like a deep dark secret?
When I sat and truly thought about why, I had to be honest.
I am my worst critic. I am the one who cannot live up to my own expectations.
I didn't have positive role models growing up, my mother always complained about how "fat" she was. By the time I was 15 I was bulimic. I was always called the "chubby" one by boys as a teen. I was a size 12 and I had boobs, and grew up in the 90's when Heroin Chic was everything.
I let society shape me, my inner most thoughts of how my value was counted by the way that I looked.
As I grew older and more self assured those thoughts stayed with me, so even though I may no longer care what society thinks of me, the damage is done. Now it's all about learning how to change my mindset so I can set a proper example to my girls as they grow.
So I guess to answer my own question, it's both. We are all at fault, and it's up to us to take responsibility in changing that.
Are you also your own worst enemy?
I have to preface this blog post by saying, well admitting... reluctantly.... that I am essentially a fake tanning novice. I have had a couple of average spray tans back in the day, and I've used the kinds that are like moisturiser that build up as you go, which are fool proof really.
So I admit, I have never had the guts to use a proper tanner. I am pretty pale, and I've kind of just accepted that, until now.
Introducing Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Mist. Enriched with Aloe Vera, Pro Vitamin B5, paraben free, NZ made & cruelty free - this has my name written all over it.
I have the Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Kit (RRP $55) that comes with a 120ml bottle of Tanning Mist (6-8 uses) and a flawless Blending Glove made from velvet - enabling a simple, streak free application.
I made sure to shave and exfoliate my legs the night prior to tanning. You need a very small amount of product, and it builds up and blends beautifully.
Best thing about it is that it is dry to the touch in just 10 seconds and fully develops in 4 hours. No stains on my white sheets! YAY!
Before & After (4 hour development time) using Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Mist
I will definitely continue using this kit and look forward to holding on to my summer tan a bit longer than usual. Feeling like a little bit of a tanned goddess, just quietly.
Little Honey is available at Life & Unichem Pharmacies, Smith & Caughey Department Stores & online here www.littlehoney.co.nz
INIKA is 100% natural, Australian owned & vegan.
INIKA launched their new look and collection for Autumn '17 recently, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the event. The new look and launch of their products comes as they celebrate the brands 10 year anniversary. It is sold in over 30 countries, and has won 35 international awards for excellence & innovation.
Certified Organic BB Cream RRP $69
This 3 in 1 beauty balm acts as a primer, moisturiser & foundation. Available in 6 shades Porcelain (the palest I've ever seen in any brand) through to tan. Pictured is the shade "Cream"
Baked Mineral Fundation RRP $74
INIKA's best selling foundation comes in 8 shades. It is super convenient for women on the go, a quick dusting of this is all you need as it builds from a sheer to full coverage. Hypoallergenic & Dermatologist tested.
Baked Mineral Bronzer RRP $74
Named "Sunkissed" this pressed bronzer is lightweight, easily bendable and long wearing. I use it to warm up the skin tone and create dimension to the face after foundation application. Contains zero talc or additives.
Baked Mineral Illuminisor RRP $74
Used on the high points of the face this highlighter is subtle enough to be worn daily, and gives a youthful glow to the skin. I have been wearing this on it's own for a quick pick me up before the school run.
Mineral Mattifying Powder RRP $44
Absorbs excess oil without adding extra coverage, this finely milled powder is perfect for setting the BB Cream.
Mineral Blusher Puff Pot RRP $49
Comes in two shades "Pink Petal" & "Rosy Glow" this blush sits beautifully on the skin and blends like a dream.
Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream RRP $44
This may be my fav from the range. This illuminating cream can be used on cheekbones, brow bones and eyelids to illuminate the skin while reflecting away from imperfections.
Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow Duo RRP $69
Available in 7 duo combinations. "Black Sand" (pictured below) is a combo of a pigmented matte black & iridescent champagne pink. Super blendable and long lasting.
Certified Organic Lip Glaze RRP $39
Containing organic Carnuba Wax & Vanilla Oil, these hydrating yet long lasting glosses are a must have. They come in 4 shades, Mocha (pictured below) Lychee, Watermelon & Berry.
Certified Organic Vegan Lipstick RRP $44
Award winning lippies, containing avocado and Jojoba seed oils for hydration and rich colour payoff. Pictured below is the shade Pink Poppy, one of 12 available shades
Certified Organic Vegan Lip Tint RRP $34
This product promises soft, nourished lips and it delivers. Contains Shea Butter & Vitamin E and comes in 5 shades.. This one (Rose) lives in my handbag.
Certified Organic Eye & Lip Pencils RRP $34
Eye pencils come in 9 shades. Pictured is Black Caviar & Dusty Rose (lip pencils are available in 6 shades). These are soft, totally blendable and best of all no nasties around the eyes and lips.
Overall I was so impressed with this brand and definitely intend to stock up on more products for my kit, as clients are requesting more and more to only use cruelty free/vegan & organic products on their faces.
You can purchase INIKA at selected salons & Health Stores and also online https://www.inikaorganic.com/nz/www.inikaorganic.com/nz/
Wearing INIKA Organic products
Everyone knows I love the Karen Murrell lippies due to their staying power, the extensive range of beautiful colours, the fact they smell like cinnamon & mostly because of their all natural ingredients. How stoked was I to learn that they are launching a line of lip pencils, each perfectly paired with the iconic lipsticks.
These lip pencils are smooth, easy to apply and contain some pretty epic natural ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, candellila & antioxidant vitamin E. The sleek packaging gets even better, each dual ended pencil includes a lip brush to keep your pout looking perfect.
Karen Murrell lip pencils launch March 1st www.karenmurrell.com
This beautifully packaged, sleek & elegant collection landed on my makeup desk this week and I couldn't wait to get it on my face.
From M.A.C - "Caitlyn Jenner has fearlessly shared her transition with the world, and her new M·A·C collection continues that mission, proudly championing All Ages, All Races and All Sexes. Elegant, classic shades for lips, eyes and cheeks are beautifully suited for those who embrace life, in whatever form they choose."
The collection includes Whirl lip liner, a long time fav for makeup artists and celebs alike, a perfectly matched Lipglass in Beautifully Bare, Mineralise skin finish natural in Compassion and a very wearable, sheer but deep red - aptly named Authentic Red.
I love this collection. I think Caitlyn Jenner appeals to me because I see beauty in so many forms, especially in those who portray authenticity, those who are unapologetic and most of all those who are brave - despite predjudice & judgement for being different.
The collection launches January 16th on counter across NZ.
Before & after - using The Convertible Brow, Clear Brow Gel & Highlighter Pencil
New to NZ, The Brow Gal products offer unique and practical brow products developed by LA based brow expert and makeup artist Tonya Crooks.
Brand new to the market is a multi use product called The Convertible Brow, which can be used dry as a powder for a more natural but sculpted look - or wet like a pomade for a defined, structured finish.
Each compact comes with three colour shades that compliment an array of skin tones & hair colours. They are highly pigmented, easily blended and give definition without a heavy application.
Highlighter Pencil & Convertible Brow swatches
I was also sent the Clear Brow Gel, precision Angled Brush & Highlighter Pencil and am head over heels for each one! My brow routine has stepped up its game!!
I use the gel to set the hairs in place, always brushing upwards to achieve a fuller look. The highlighter pencil has one matte & one shimmery shade and is the perfect tool for sculpting and perfecting the brow. The brush is a must have item, double ended with a super fine angled brush and spoulie for combing out any excess product - perfect partner in crime for the Convertible Brow!
Verdict? Instant holy grail items that have conveniently made their way into my personal makeup kit for every day use.
You can find out more here https://thebrowgal.com
I received some goodies in the post this week from Mellow Cosmetics, a NZ based brand who are vegan and cruelty free.
I've been a long time fan of their lip products and they have now launched a new range of Brow Powder Duo's, Brow Gel's and Pomades in four fabulous shades. The staying power of these Pomades was what impressed me the most, will definitely be using these on my clients!
I was also sent the "Treasure Chest" eyeshadow palette, which contains 6 gorgeous shimmering shades and four perfect warm and cool tone mattes.
See below for swatches of these fab new additions to the Mellow family.
The brow powders and pomades come in correlating shades - Taupe, Caramel, Mocha & Chocolate - offering both warm and cool tones to suit everyone. They have great colour payoff, are easy to apply and like I mentioned above, super long lasting.
NZ based hair and makeup artist, Mum, wife, beauty blogger, & advocate for self acceptance & empowering women.