Beauty Review – National Lipstick Day, Send Nudes

The ‘historical’ origins of National Lipstick Day, celebrated on Sunday 29th July, may be slightly dubious, but, pfffttt, who doesn’t love a day dedicated to the transformative powers, and endless range of options that lipstick gives us.

I definitely haven’t been wearing lipstick my entire adult life.  In fact, it’s really only been around 3 years since I fell in the love with the click of the cap, the swipe of colour, the perfect palm size bullet, the smell, the rainbow of shades and the effect that applying lipstick can have on both a person’s outward appearance but also upon the way they feel.

Lipstick can be magic.

So in honour of National Lipstick Day, I’m bringing you three of my favourite nudes in three different formats; one matte, one creamy and one gloss, something for everyone.

Enjoy beauty babes!

Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit Nudist Peach RRP$11.99

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Beauty Review Nude LipstickExactly as the name describes, this is a legit, peachy nude, liquid matte lipstick, perfect for brightening up my winter complexion.  Touted as Megalast, I certainly can’t fault the staying power of the Liquid Catsuit range, micellar water struggles a little to budge these beauties after application and they wear well for a good few hours.

I much prefer liquid matte lipsticks over solid, simply because (in general), the application is much more pleasant.  Matte lipsticks can be really waxy and hard to draaagggg across your lips, but this formulation glides on, absorbs quickly and transforms to matte without feeling incredibly thick and drying.  Even a couple of hours later, my lips feel quite hydrated.

The Liquid Catsuit range of lipsticks have great doe foot applicators.  Small and well formed, I find them much easier to create a clean lip line and do touch-ups during the day.

There are 7 colours in the core range, available in-store and online at www.farmers.co.nz

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Liquid Lip Gloss Nude Beam RRP$41New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Beauty Review Nude Lipstick

Fresh on counters from the NEW Bronze Vibes Colour Collection, the range of Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Liquid Lip Glosses are certainly on-point to get beauty lovers excited for New Zealand Spring.

Nude Beam (Limited Edition), delivers high-shine gloss with zero sticky feel.  True story.  Not just a pretty face, the addition of Aloe Vera and Vitamins C and E leave lips conditioned, moisturised and make this a super comfortable gloss to wear.  Nude Beam is a delicately tinted gloss with just the right amount of iridescence – a great everyday gloss that would also work perfectly over lipstick or to enhance lips when wearing a darker shade by dabbing in the middle.

The applicator?  One click and the perfect amount of gloss is dispensed, the pen-style packaging feels great in your hand and looks as luxe as this gloss feels.  

New fave, love it.

Available from Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide, find your nearest store here.

Karen Murrell Blushing Rose RRP$32

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Beauty Review Nude LipstickReleased in 2017 as part of Murrell’s Princesses of the Golden Petals lipstick range, Blushing Rose is the BUSINESS girlfriends.  I have most of the lipsticks in the range and this is my fave.  It’s day-to-day perfection, in the perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade of nude pink.

Super creamy, Blushing Rose glides on easily and the shade is so forgiving you can apply in a flash, on the run, and get that instant polished, pick-me-up feeling that lipstick is so known for.

Of course, every Karen Murrell lipstick is cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and created from premium all-natural ingredients.  Winning!

Available in stores all over New Zealand and online here

Fitbit Versa: My Winter #Fitspo

Nevermind how truthful such statements might be, I’ve never been one to live and die by mantras such as;

Summer bodies are made in winter.

The facts are, the gym and I aren’t ever going to be friends and my natural inclination to hibernate during winter is strong so, if there is a season in which all good intentions fall off the wagon – winter is it.

Despite this, the past few months have been revelatory for me, and it all kicked off with a throwaway comment during lunch with a friend.  We were discussing the frustrations of living with our middle-aged-mum bodies and the struggle of deciphering what advice/diets/workout plans we should or shouldn’t be prescribing to.  I’m not running at the moment (more on that later!) but mentioned to my friend that monitoring your heart rate during workouts was a good way to ensure your activity matched whatever goals you might be working towards.  This was a lightbulb moment for me as I remembered the Fitbit functionality that automatically maps your heart rate zones during exercise.  Right now, I want to be burning fat during workouts and maintaining an (almost) daily exercise routine – that means power walking.  6kms per day, around an hour, putting me in the fat burning zone for approx 50 mins and tracking this daily on my Fitbit app.

Put simply, moving and doing it more often are my top priorities.

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I love checking in with my Fitbit app or the desktop site to see the results of my daily walks – in the zone baby!

The past 6 weeks have seen me create space in my day that I didn’t think I had, and dedicate that time to myself.  Exercising has to be a non-negotiable part of my routine and I think I’ve finally arrived at that sweet spot where the habit is sticking, yay!

I’m a total magpie and LOVE my gadgets so no surprises that the latest Fitbit iteration, Versa (RRP $349.95) caught my eye – as they always do – and I was excited to review it.  There’s a lot to be said for the persuasive power of measurement and accountability and as I’ve been a Fitbit user for years now I know first hand how effective wearable tech can be when it comes to keeping you on track.  I definitely lean towards Fitbit’s fully functional range, loving the multitude of features in the Ionic (built in GPS) and now the Versa.

What I LOVE about the New Fitbit VersaNew Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

  • The battery life is awesome.  Specs say ‘over 4 days of battery life’ and this is legit.  Plus, the new charger is the best Fitbit charger yet, secure and FAST.
  • Slim profile.  Guys, let’s face it if you don’t need a built-in GPS then why pay for one or make room for one in your watch?  When I’m running (soon, baby!), I love the accuracy of the Ionic, but, you pay for this in size.  The Versa is gorgeous, no joke.  It’s all slim and curvy and is super comfy to wear.  10/10 for design.
  • Water-resistant to 50m!!! yus.  I’m no swimmer but Mum life dictates I’m washing dishes, laundry, dogs and children multiple times per day and as a Rugby mum (and Rugby Club Captain) I’m out in the weather a LOT.  I’ve always been a little bit precious about my Fitbits getting wet so love that my faves, Versa and ionic are both water resistant.
  • Improved sync:  I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t use one of the big 2 phone brands (currently Huawei Mate 10 Pro),  but sometimes syncing was a bit iffy with previous Fitbit products.  The Versa syncs easily and quickly with my on-phone app which makes me soooo happy as my Fitbit dashboard is life!  
  • It’s just SO pretty.  This is a BABE watch team, that just so happens to look equally good on both men and ladies.
  • Fitbit app.  I’ve been using this for years and it just gets better and better.  I’m loving the addition of the Female Health module, which is helping me track my period – and associated moods (gasp!), plus I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is for me to consciously increase the amount of sleep I’m getting each night.  The Fitbit app tracks sleep beautifully and provides such great feedback and info that you seriously can’t help but want to do better for your body and your life in general.

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How I’m staying motivated this winter

  • Using my Fitbit Versa as my support team and my coach.  Gyms don’t work for me, being personally accountable DOES.
  • Podcasts are GO.  I can easily smash out my hour-long walk by zoning out and listening to some awesome content.  I use Podcast Player on my android phone and some of my faves are; Death in Ice Valley, Fat Mascara, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, The Minimalists, This Sounds Serious.
  • Doing less gives you time for more.  I’ve stopped saying YES to other peoples demands so I have more time for what I need to do – which is scheduling exercise for my mental and physical health.  Blocking off 1 hour per day for me is NOT a sacrifice, it’s something that positively impacts my life and has a flow on effect on my family.
  • Embrace the weather and prepare for it.  Winter sucks, winter in Auckland sucks more.  Walking in wild, winter weather is kinda liberating.  Embrace it, wear a hat so the rain stays out of your eyes, put a jacket on and go for it.  Letting go of excuses is priming me for great things I can feel it!

I’m so pumped on my daily walks right now, I’d love to know how you’re pushing through during this awful weather and getting your workouts in,  leave me a comment below if you’d like to share!

PS – Versa also has on-screen workouts so if dodging hail isn’t your thing, squeeze in a 10-minute ab workout while you’re hibernating with Netflix!  

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Travelling with Kids? 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Travel InsuranceSome people are obsessed with shoes, some with working out, hipster coffee or mastering their winged eyeliner.  I’m a sneaker-wearing, Nespresso-drinking, tinted moisturiser kind-of-girl who’s allergic to the gym, hence, my passion is slightly more far-flung and requires a little more planning than simply co-ordinating my active wear.

I absolutely LIVE for travelling with my family.  And by family, I mean hubby and the kids.  Our ongoing partnership with Jetstar over the past couple of years has meant we have been able to keep our Wanderlust at bay with frequent trips exploring New Zealand and further afield to Australia, Bali and Japan.

As we’re flying 5 times in the next 9 months (eek!!!), I need to get organised.  That means getting itineraries locked and loaded and life-admin such as travel insurance sorted with minimum hassle and expense.  It also means revisiting our family travel hacks and implementing everything we learnt on our last BIG trip, which was to Japan in January. 

Travel insurance – done deal.  This year we are using Holiday Rescue Travel Insurance.  They are new, they are different and their benefits for us as a family are soooo good.  Kids 17 and under are covered for free, and medical services (fingers crossed we won’t be needing them but hello Nixon on skis lol) are provided by the best of the best, as opposed to the cheapest bidder which is whom other travel insurance providers tend to use.  Check out this Q&A from Holiday Rescue for more info – travel insurance in everyday, easy to understand language = amazing!

5 Tips for Stress-Free Travelling with Kids

  1. Avoid airport stress:  Departing the house, airport arrival and check-in is a stress-minefield when you’ve got kids AND luggage in tow (which inevitably means a shit tonne more luggage than you ever imagined could possibly fit in your car!).  Allow an extra 25 minutes to leave the house, kids move as slow as molasses, slower when they know a situation is time sensitive.  Park at or near the airport if at all possible.  There are heaps of inexpensive, open-air park ‘n ride options which mean you won’t be relying on someone else to get you to the airport on time – cue reciprocal airport-drop-off-obligations :::::shudder::::::  Invest in a little hanging luggage scale to take with you ($10 from Kmart) and you’ll easily avoid the trauma of rearranging your families dirty undies on the floor at the check-in counter.  Double check VISA requirements and passport expiry dates.  I’m going to leave that one there as I’m still recovering from the fiscal shock of needing 2 emergency passports before we left for Bali last year!
  2. Transit times matter:  Scoring cheap flights are epic and often necessary when you’re planning a holiday with your entire tribe, but, sometimes the real price is paid via long layovers and extra stops.  If you’re particularly keen on your kids losing their marbles, keep them in a transit lounge for 5+ hours – works every time!
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  3. Go easy on the itinerary:  After 14 days of travelling in Japan with only ONE day unscheduled, I realised that ‘more’ is not always best when your travelling with your kids.  As adults, we can fuel our adventures day after day with coffee and adrenalin and wind down at night with a herbal tea (or glass of wine!), but kids simply crash and when they’re away from all that’s familiar they crash hard!  Alternate your Big Adventure Days with low-key, relaxed time spent exploring or simply being together as a family somewhere new.
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  4. Mealtimes are KEY:  Don’t skip them, keep dinner times early and don’t disregard how grounding that 3-meal-a-day routine can be for little people who are out of their comfort zone.  It’s super easy to want to make each meal an ‘occasion’ when your travelling, but sometimes a takeaway pizza eaten on the floor of a hotel room with a family movie playing can be exactly what the doctor ordered for holiday-makers of all ages.  Pressure to behave in a restaurant may be the straw that breaks the camels back for Littles at the end of full-on day abroad.
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  5. Accommodation options are endless – choose wisely.  Gone are the days when cramming the family into one quad-share hotel room was the best/only option.  In my family, we don’t need a whole lot of space, but everyone needs their OWN space.  Renting apartments, villas and townhouses have proven cheaper and much more convenient whenever we travel with the boys.  Access to kitchen and laundry facilities cuts down on life-admin, allows us to travel lighter and means we can whip up eggs and toast for brekkie on those 5 am mornings when ONLY eggs and toast will do for Master 4!
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This post was sponsored by Holiday Rescue Travel Insurance and I’d LOVE to keep it updated with more tips around reducing stress when travelling with kids so please leave me a comment below with your ideas and experiences!