Beauty Spotlight: Makeup August ’17

Need-to-know news / Beauty Reviews from New Zealand’s most loved Health & Beauty Brands

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Clarins Spring Collection

Clarins Spring 2017 Make-Up Collection

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Clarins Spring Collection
Pictured: Joli Rouge Lipstick RRP $50, Face Contouring Palette RRP $66

Put visiting the Clarins counter at the TOP of your to-do list ladies because the 2017 Spring Collection is incredible.  Combining classic faves with innovative, beautiful packaging and product delivery, Clarins has produced an outstanding collection this season that has me obsessing.

Inspired by, and incorporating trompe l’oeil effects in the make-up has resulted in beautiful essentials, perfectly paired to enhance natural beauty whilst creating depth.


The 4-Colour All-in-One Pen is an absolute must-have for a quick day-to-night make-up update.  A perfect homage to the classic 4-colour biro, this is a on-the-go essential. Touch up both eyes and lips with 3 shades of eyeliner – intense black perfect for a graphic look, a chocolate to gently warm the eyes and an indigo blue to enhance the colour of the pupil. The fourth universal nude shade lines the lips and invisibly shapes.

RRP $50

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Clarins Spring CollectionNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Clarins Spring CollectionDuo Pores & Matité – Pore Perfecting Foundation & Pore Perfecting Kit

Make-up + Melissa  = shiny skin.  Things start off looking great and then 2 hours later, I’m reflecting my phone screen lol.  I don’t have oily skin either so it’s probably due to not finding the right foundation for my skin.  

Pore Perfecting Foundation is…..soft.  That’s the best way I can think to describe it.  Light/medium coverage that blends like velvet with a powdery finish that hides pores and absorbs oil.  Not cakey, not artificial, not what you are looking for if you want to look like a beauty YouTuber.  Think natural, light and luminous.

Clarins Pore Perfecting Kit IS my new bff.  The compact itself is exquisite and what’s inside is so incredibly effective against shine you’ll take it everywhere. First, absorb excess oil with blotting papers. Hello matte skin!  (Refills are available).  Second, leave skin smooth and matte with a translucent powder. Hello flawless skin!  I’m even more excited about summer’s arrival now that I have these two on hand to help even out my skin tone and protect against shine.

Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation 30ml- RRP $64, Pore Perfecting Matifying Kit- RRP $68 

Available at Farmers, David Jones and selected Pharmacies.

Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Inika Vegan Mascara

The classic black mascara, remastered from 100% plant derived ingredients.  

Since 2006 Inika has been excelling in the creation of high quality, ethical cosmetics and can now call themselves one of the world’s highest certified makeup brands.

The latest addition to the brands organic, cruelty-free and vegan line is the Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara.  An update on their current Vegan Mineral Mascara, this deep black formula contains nourishing jojoba oil to condition lashes and glide on easily for all day wear.

My verdict?  The applicator brush is longer than most and certainly delivers on it’s no-clumping claim.  I applied it without curling my lashes and they looked amazing.  Very impressed, best new mascara I’ve tried this year.

RRP $52 Available from Smith & Caughey’s and selected health stores around NZ.

Wet ‘n Wild Launches in New Zealand!

August saw the arrival of veteran Peta-certified, cruelty-free cosmetics brand Wet n Wild to New Zealand.  Boasting a huge range of 250 products and an enviable price-point (RRP $2.99-$13.99) Wet n Wild is sure to become a beauty-junkie fave here in New Zealand.  Well known in the states, Wet n Wild has long been a brand that women begin their makeup journey with, but remain loyal to as they discover their favourite products.

My picks are the MegaGlo Illuminating Palette RRP $ 12.99 and the Comfort Zone Eye Shadow Palette RRP $8.00 – the placement locations are stamped into the palette which is soooo good for eyeshadow-challenged people like myself!

Available from selected farmers stores and online at

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Wet n Wild

Designer Brands Luminous Hydrating FoundationNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family DB Luminous Hydrating Foundation Vegan

Another company bringing great quality, Vegan makeup to mainstream store-fronts in New Zealand is Designer Brands.  Dewy skin is always IN (in my opinion) and the new Luminous Hydrating Foundation is all about delivering glowing skin that’s hydrated and subtly illuminated.

Containing proven, much-loved beauty staples such as Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea and Vitamin C, this is a really well-priced option for a medium coverage, buildable foundation – and it’s vegan!

RRP $24.99 Available in 6 shades from pharmacies nationwide.


I heard rumours of this brand about 6 weeks ago and have been waiting for it’s launch ever since.  Designed to capture the imaginations of beauty junkies, the mark. range delivers products across the face, eyes, lips and nail categories, with on-trend staples in each.

My picks would be the Be Blushed Cream Blush Stick (LOVE a good cream or liquid blush) RRP $23.99, the Skinny Precision Kohl RRP $17.99 and the 3D Plumping Lipstick in Cocoa Kisses RRP $23.99.

Available exclusively online at or through reps nationwide.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family mark cosmetics


Five Cook Once, Eat twice Family Meal Ideas

No-one’s got time for endless hours of food prep – at least no one I know.  Or maybe just me.  Either way………saving time in the kitchen allows much more time for other enjoyable pursuits, such as leaving said kitchen and venturing out to eat food other, more talented artisans than yourself have prepared.

The days are finally getting longer and my family is itching to spend more time outdoors in the evenings.  As such, I’m getting my ducks in a row and starting to think of ways Dave and I can create ‘Cook Once, Eat Twice’ meals and incorporate them into our weekly meal planning a bit more often.

Obviously, time-saving is a big reason why anyone would meal plan or want to smash out two meals in one prep session, but it also makes economic sense.  Bulk buying or meal planning so you can make use of larger cuts of meat can save you heaps at the grocery store and encourage seasonal eating which is always less expensive and exactly what our bodies crave at any given time of year.

Saving on energy costs is yet another way to benefit from your brilliant meal-planning and forward-thinking – pat yourselves on the back!  Heating an oven to cook one meal and utilising ONE oven rack makes no sense.  Turn that sucker on and load it up to maximise your power usage.  Even better, level-up your Kitchen Super Hero status by cooking during your off-peak, FREE Hour of Power from Electric Kiwi.  If you haven’t switched yet do it!  The 9-5pm off-peak slot is perfect for us SAHMs, or get up at 6am and get dinner ready before the kids wake.

Let’s get into it, here are 5 family-friendly meal ideas that will help you cook once but eat twice!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Travelblog Thai Chicken Meatballs in Coconut Curry Recipe

5 Ways to Cook Once, Eat Twice!

  1. Meatballs – instead of purchasing a 500g pack of beef, chicken or pork mince, lookout for specials and pick up a kilogram pack.  Whip up an extra-large batch of meatballs, freeze half or go meatball crazy two nights in a row.  Think spaghetti, stir fry, meatball subs, on top of fried rice, with a banging salad, or try my own delicious Thai Chicken Meatball Recipe here.
  2. The Kiwi Roast – Pop a roast on the weekly menu, bulk the meal out with heaps of seasonal veggies and a salad and you’ll be good to go for two nights!  De-bone the meat and get creative with some hearty pizzas or pies on night two.
  3. Tacos/fajitas/stir-fry – Using schnitzel cuts of meat is a great way to lighten up your family’s servings of animal protein – a little goes a long way.  Lightly pan fry or bake your schnitzel (beef, chicken or pork), divide in two and season half for tacos or fajitas while the other half is ready for inclusion into your fave stir-fry or stroganoff recipe.  Try my Shrimp Fajita Recipe here.
  4. Chili – Try a vegetarian version and have a meat-free meal once a week!  Chili is amazing just served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese, but try it in a quesadilla on night 2, or on a pizza, in a toastie or – my fave – pick up some large roasting potatoes, twice roast them and top with your chili!  Soooo good!
  5. BBQ Chicken Salad / Pasta Bake – I always buy in bulk when I see chicken breast on sale for $9.99kg.  Dave has started slicing the breasts in half through the thickness as this saves on cooking time and helps decrease our portion sizes.  Marinate your chicken and cook on the bbq for a quick, easy, light meal.  Serve with a fresh, green salad and you’re ticking all the nutrition boxes.  For night two, cut up your leftover chicken and combine with some seasonal veges (try grating courgette and carrot if your kids are picky eaters), pasta and your favourite sauce for a hearty pasta bake.

If you’ve got any amazing Cook Once, Eat Twice meal ideas please add them in the comments below, as I absolutely LOVE expanding our easy-dinner menu xx

To take advantage of Electric Kiwi’s free daily Hour of Power, make the switch here, it’s fast, easy and they do all the work for you – isn’t that a change lol!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Cook Once Eat twice

Image credit: Nicole Abalde.

Thanks so much to Electric Kiwi for partnering with us this winter, love your work guys!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Electric Kiwi

How I learned to Love my Hair in 45min

I’m addicted to my hair dryer.

And my hair straightener.

And not looking just like “I woke up like this’.

I don’t know exactly what my hair would look like if I didn’t see my hairdresser every 8 weeks to colour it.

My hair, quite simply isn’t ‘me’.

Age has taught me how to appreciate some wrinkles – I think of them as my happy lines, it has taught me how to say ‘No, I really can’t do that right now, I need to stay home with my kids’, and be entirely comfortable with that statement.  I rarely experience fomo or jealousy, I understand the importance of always being sincerely nice, even when I don’t want to be and as a (mostly!) fully-functioning adult, I can cook, work, spend and save in some semblance of responsible order.

I really should be able to leave the house with my hair in its natural state.

I scrolled through my Instagram profile and as I suspected there are no shots of me without straightened hair.  Not.  One.  On a sub-par hair day I simply wear a cap, even in winter.  I’m 37 years old and don’t know how to wear my hair so I look like myself.

That’s kinda sad right?

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

My hair today is all cowlicks and volume, there’s lots of it and not one strand is straight.  My waves go in all directions, without rhyme or reason, which is why I have always struggled to style it in a way I’m comfortable with.  I’ve thought about this a lot; how it is that, despite seeing more hairdressers than I can count and spending more money than I care to remember on my frizzy tresses,  I’ve never left a salon loving my hair.  I mean, sure, I walk out the door loving how the stylists have made my hair look……………….but that’s an entirely different thing.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

Last week as part of the Dove Love Your Hair campaign, I met with a new hair stylist for the first time.  She had no preconceptions about my hair or about how I usually wear it.  She looked at it, she washed it and she naturally styled it, following its own (unruly) direction.

And I LOVED how it looked.

How it felt.

How it made me feel.

It was the fastest, but most meaningful hair appointment I’d ever had in my life.  Without projecting all of my standard, hair-hate onto yet another stylist (“it’s too frizzy, boofy, messy, unpolished”), I had allowed her the opportunity to respect my natural waves and run with it.  Something I’d never attempted to do before.

Ironically, wearing my hair naturally would cut styling time, reduce damage and require less product than my regular dry and iron routine – which I can’t be bothered doing most days anyway, hence the hat.

How do I feel now?

Liberated.  Seriously.

It may seem a little melodramatic, after all, we are only talking about HAIR, but, over the years I’d constructed a little ‘curated’ template of how my hair should look and feel ie straight, shiny, and contained!  What I learnt was how to style my hair in a way that’s quick, totally doable at home and which celebrates my quirky waves in a way which makes me feel amazing.  I’m finally ready, after 37 years, to wear my hair naturally, with confidence and love my hair.

Tips for Styling Wavy Hair

  • Brush hair before washing
  • Wash gently, not vigorously.  I’m using Dove Nourishing Oil Care shampoo and conditioner.
  • Use a mitt diffuser rather than a rigid model.  This dries hair while maintaining curl without frizz
  • Twist curls to give shape and prevent fly-aways

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

This awesome opportunity was made possible for me thanks to Dove and their fab #LoveYourHair campaign.

The Little Laundry Appliance that Could – Meet my Spindel

My favourite household chore (if I’m going to say that I actually have a favourite chore!) is definitely laundry.  I really don’t mind rinsing out muddy rugby gear, sorting washing, hanging it out, getting it in.  In fact, the only step in the process that I don’t enjoy is putting clean laundry away.  That’s what my floor-drobe is for.

Despite my enthusiasm for washing clothes, it doesn’t seem as if there is a whole lot of innovation and tech to get excited about in the laundry.  There hasn’t really been a game changer since the electric dryer became a consumer fave so it’s definitely time for a shake-up.

Meet Spindel!

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-kids-spindel-reviewLaunching in New Zealand this month, Spindel is already a firm fave in South African homes.  I’ve been test driving mine for the past month and I’m totally convinced that kiwis are going to love these specialist laundry dryers that cut fabric drying time significantly.

Here in New Zealand we are a nation that’s pretty committed to our clotheslines and drying racks, generally looking to avoid the expense of using the dryer at all costs.  Winter makes this hard and a wet winter like we are having this year makes it near impossible.  Air drying clothes inside using a drying rack instead of a dryer may save some money on your power bill but it might be a false economy as you switch on your dehumidifier to remove the excess water that’s evaporated from your clothes into the air.  This is where the Spindel comes in.

I’ve been completing my usual wash cycle in our fairly late model Bosch washing machine, then running the finished load through the Spindel before hanging it out to dry.  Here’s where it gets amazing; I’m spinning around 1.25l of water (more than what the website suggests) out of each load after my washing machine has completed its spin cycle!  That’s a lot of water right?!

Spindel uses no heat, just a large amount of centrifugal force to spin excess water out of your washing.  Spinning at 2800rpm (more than twice that of most washing machines), an energy efficient, 3-minute cycle is all it takes to cut down air drying time or the amount of time you need to run your costly electric dryer.

Genius.  Imagine how much water would come out of a load of super-absorbent cloth nappies?  Totally a laundry life-saver.

I really can’t recommend Spindel enough, it’s slotted into my laundry routine beautifully and is so simple to use – pop a bowl under the spout to catch the water and turn the latch.

The 6.5kg Spindel is now available to pre-order for New Zealand delivery!  Head to and click on shop or, email directly here