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Packing for a holiday is both exciting and daunting. There’s nothing worse than getting over the other side of the world and remembering everything you forgot. Then doing a mad dash to a supermarket to try to figure out what weird bottle is sunscreen and which is shampoo. I’ve had to do this, google translate in tow, so many times now that it’s forced me to be a better packer.

Skincare (and some haircare) is always the number one ‘must get right’ when I go away. I hate spending money on replacing products, especially when it’s not your favourite go-to. So today I thought I’d share some of my newer choices that are sitting in my suitcase, all ready for my flight on Friday.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Day Serum

A fancy vitamin C serum that’s going to save my skin from the European summer, at least that’s what I’m hoping. For real though, Vitamin C serums are amazing for your skin and Drunk Elephant is known for there’s – the perfect elixir to save sun-exposed skin.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

If you haven’t seen how beautiful this product is, you need to check it out! It’s a gorgeous bronzy shade that you can mix into your moisturizer to give you a skin kissed glow while protecting your skin from pollution and other nasties. This is one of those treat yourself products that you then find you can’t live without.

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm™

Obviously, since I’m going into summer I need to take with me ALL the lip balms. This one I consider my treatment balm because it’s full of different oils that nourish your lips. Kind of like a post-sun drink of water.

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+

Of course, my go-to face sunscreen is coming with me. I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but just wanted to include this in case you were in the market for a new one. I switched to this because it’s ultra-smooth to blend, works amazingly and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky. Plus, my make up applies over this as though it’s a primer. Such a good find and you’re welcome.

Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

Oh baby, if only I could tell you the number of people I’ve got to run (yes, run!) down and get these in preparation for a big night. Well, let’s just say I should be making a commission off these. Anyway – these self-tanning drops are amazing for your face because A. you’ve been a good skin carer wearing your sunscreen and now have a white face and B. they’re so easy to use you can throw on and forget. I mix a few drops into my moisturiser at night and by morning I look like I’ve had a day in the sun, without the UV damage. WIN-WIN.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3

Not exactly skincare, but I thought I’d chuck in a couple of hair favourites. First up is Olaplex which you should all know by now that I love. It always makes my hair feel so much better in this crazy Auckland frizz-loving weather. It’s great for any hair type and I use it as a treatment after swimming a lot at the beach because we all know how intense that can be on your hair. Can’t fault it, just love it.

Pureology Strength Cure Split End Salve

This needs no explanation but I’ll try anyway. Someone wrote that it was a salve that faked a fresh cut and you know what, I feel like they weren’t wrong. This salve is amazing when you’re suffering from those “I should probably get a haircut, but with what money?” moments. I chuck a pump into my ends when my hair is still wet and it miraculously dries kind of together as though my ends aren’t completely shit. Hello, winning product.


Summer Fridays R&R Masque

Look, I get it, Summer Friday’s needs no introduction. However; hello, hi, this is baby R&R – the newest of the line to make it into my collection. With grounded rose powder (yes, it’s that luxurious) and a scent to match, this masque was sure to be a hit. On top of the usual deliciousness though is a masque that not only moisturizes but buffs away dead skin so you’re left with a lovely afterglow. Another product to delve into the Vitamin C realm and without fault. To give my skin the TLC it needs during traveling I couldn’t think of any better gift.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

An eye cream that makes you look like you’ve had a full 12 hour sleep when you’ve barely had 5? Sold. I’ve always been a huge fan of Origins products, for their simplicity and the fact that they just work. This eye cream doesn’t disappoint. For someone who’s navigating that mid-twenties “I feel like I’m aging but am I really?” period, I feel like this is a great addition to my daily routine. It’s light and perfect for summer.

Loccitane Almond Shower Gel

I have 100% mentioned this before but I’ll do it again: I LOVE THIS. I have a big bottle I’ve been savoring and saving strictly for leg shaving only. I do use it for my body on occasion but I can’t get past how great of a shave it gives my legs. I used to use coconut oil but I have switched to this and you best believe all my mini bottles are coming with me on vacay. There’s no better time to have a great shave than on holiday in Europe. Capeesh.

Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss

When I’m on holiday I like to wear minimal makeup. Partly because it will probably melt off anyway, and partly because I get lazy. Either way, lipgloss is my go-to vs. lipstick. The exclusive Mecca Glow shade is a beautiful orange tint that looks amazing paired with your carefree BB cream holiday skin. I’m obsessed.

Bondi Sands Lip Balms with SPF 50+ and Vitamin E

Two more lip blams that are coming with me on my adventures. These two are new from Bondi Sands and as per they do everything you want a lip balm to do. I use the SPF 50+ one during the day and the Vitamin E one at night to repair. Having a lip balm with a good SPF is essential because you forget how easy it is to burn your lips – VERY easy. No one wants scaly, cracked lips so trust me on this one, okay?

Bondi Sands Gloss Finishing Gloss Glow

I’ve gone over this in my previous Bondi Sands:..

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This will be my last highs and lows for a while unless by some miracle I remember to write them while I’m away. I’m currently lying in bed sick, but at least it’s terrible weather outside so I feel less guilty. Oh hey, the joys of winter. Okay okay, I’ll stop complaining now – especially since it’s less than a week before I’ll be in 40-degree weather. YES WE GET IT YOU’RE GOING ON HOLIDAY, sorry not sorry. Can’t wait to spam you all on IG stories…

Highs:
  • FINALLY feeling organised and on top of my workload. I don’t think I have much else to do this week except one meeting and then I’m awayyy…
  • I got my hair done again this week and ugh, I don’t think I’ve ever had a hairdresser this good. 100% would recommend Sam at Stephen Marr in Ponsonby – I’m never disappointed.
  • I was struggling with what skincare to pack while I’m away since I don’t have a lot of room but I got the Syrene Travel Companion pack which has a little bit of everything you need. My skin has been so much better this past week so I’m hoping this keeps it nice and hydrated while I’m away.
  • I love sitting in bed when it’s pouring outside.
  • Thirsty Thursday was so satisfying this week. Maybe it’s because I’ve driven myself crazy with freelance work, maybe I just needed someone to inflate my ego. Either way, all was fulfilled the other night and if that was the catalyst to me getting a cold, it was worth it.
  • I rented this new Zimmermann set from Designer Wardrobe which is beautiful. I’m so obsessed with the cinched top, it’s so flattering and easy to wear with jeans. I want to take it with me but it’s definitely not 40 degree weather friendly. Can we say sweaty!?
  • I’ve been really into Crime Junkie podcast lately when I’m bored at work. The girls that do the podcast don’t get too deep into each crime and mix it between mysteries, theories and murders so it’s kind of work-friendly. Podcasts honestly give me life when I’m editing for hours at a time.
  • Music: One Way – 6lack, That Far – 6lack, U Say (feat. 6lack) – The Bonfyre, Don’t Let Me Down – Sabrina Claudio vs. Devault Remix, Ballin – Parisalexa
  • So I’m in the middle of packing (so much makeup, so little time to experiment) and I stumbled upon The Man Repeller article “Unconventional Life Hack: Pack Your Suitcase Irresponsibly” and it’s made me feel a lot better about what I’ve got.

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Lows:
  • As I said I’m currently lying here, feeling sorry for myself sick in bed. These are the days when I’m jealous of those who live close to their family or have significant others. All I want is snuggles. Send help.
  • I think I’m all out of Feijoa Sorbet from Kapiti Ice Cream and you know, that’s the sole reason I feel less shit now.
  • I’m in that mood where no music sounds good and it’s more frustrating that my sickness.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #66 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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It’s funny how everything always comes together at once. I’ve been planning my trip since the start of the year and had a reasonably quiet time on the freelance front. Now a week out, I’m standing in the kitchen burning my tongue on dumplings straight off the pan, starving, while typing this so I get it up on time tonight. In addition to returning home late from my day job because I was submitting freelance work for approval. Walking home from work seems to be the only time I get to myself lately. Nevertheless, next Friday is going to feel that much sweeter knowing I’m leaving it all behind for three weeks. I haven’t actually talked about what I’m doing while I’m away yet so it’s about time we tackle that.

Wearing: Aje Bennett Dress (It’s On Sale!) Witchery Mini Bag (Similar Here) Mi Piaci Boots (Similar Here) Ray-Ban Sunglasses Reliquia Necklace
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I’ve just walked in the door from my friend’s place and thought I’d better get this done before I start packing for the next trip. I booked to go to Europe at the start of the year and I can’t believe it’s only two weeks now until I leave. TIME FLIES. And to be honest, it’s been so long since I traveled last I’m kind of nervous. In the best way, adrenaline pumped way though – there’s no better feeling.

Highs:
  • I was meant to have a party free weekend (lol, that didn’t happen). It was so nice to wake up late yesterday then head out to Grace’s place to hang for the night. I find it so hard to say no/unwind on the weekends so being nowhere near the party is my safest bet. Plus, she’s a great cook! We spent the time planning things for her wedding, watching The Hills: New Beginnings and eating great food. Bliss.
  • This month I’m featured in the Jetstar in-flight magazine so if you’re traveling, keep an eye out! I’m yet to see it in person but hopefully, I’ll snag myself a copy when I leave the country next week.
  • I also watched Katherine Ryan Glitter Room which, as a female, I found pretty funny. Probably wouldn’t recommend watching with your boyfriend but I found it hilarious.
  • I also got to hang out with my NYC gal Renee this week which is always a good time. Not long until we take this party over to the USA.
  • ALSO, if you’re in the market for a new lippy you need to try the Laura
  • While I’m writing this you best believe I’m eating snacks. Kettle Salted Caramel Popcorn is bomb but definitely making me feel a little guilty about my so-called “European diet” I’m meant to be on.
  • I got some beautiful new Drunk Elephant products in the mail this week which are beachy themed so you know these are coming with me. I’m especially excited the use the D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops which they call ‘sunshine in a bottle’. Perfect to start off my new tan!
  • The new cafe in Newmarket ‘Newbie’ is ridiculous. From the interiors to the food to the baristas, they’ve absolutely nailed it. I would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area!
  • You know when finally something just clicks and you feel like you understand how things are going to go? I had that this week and for once, I feel more satisfied with my own approval vs. others.
  • Music: Want It With You – Sinead HarnettRollercoaster – Ivy Sole, Honest – Pink Sweat$, Music To My Ears – Keys N Krates, Paper – Johnny Yukon
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Lows:
  • Just girly problems etc. etc.
  • I feel like I’m putting my life on hold until after this trip which is both good (for my stress levels) and bad (because I need to buy a damn car).
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #65 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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It’s summertime in the USA and with that comes new season clothes! The latest drop from Reformation focuses on all their classic summer staples. Think florals, linens, and a heap of cute silhouettes. Reformation does summer better than anyone else in my opinion. Even though it’s freezing here, it’s the perfect time to stock up before summer or even better, before your next European adventure. The only bad part: it annoys me like no other that you can’t ship to New Zealand without a huge tax price tag. So, I thought I’d go ahead and find these pieces for less from sites that are more NZ friendly.

If you’re unfamiliar with these posts, Look For Less is a series I do on my blog where I find cheaper alternatives to some of your favourite brands. So far I’ve covered ZimmermannRealisation ParAre You Am I and Reformation – you can find all these posts here. If there are any pieces you’d like me to find a dupe for or brands to do in the future, please leave me a comment down below.

Current Reformation Wishlist:
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Reformation Real vs. Dupes

Hogan Top

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Grazie Top

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Leah Top

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Fraise Dress

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Pigalle Skirt

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I think this work full time-have a social life thing is catching up to me. With arriving back from Melbourne on Monday, to catching up for drinks on Thursday followed by leaving on another trip on Friday I just ran out of time to do a mid-week post. Sorry! I actually hate not sticking to my schedule but you know, some weeks just don’t go to plan. Anyway, now that I’m back home from a relaxing weekend and have a lot to talk about let’s dive into the highs and lows of the week, shall we?

 

Highs:
  • Ending my week the usual way – Facetime-ing my friend Tori while organising my life AKA unpacking from three weeks ago. After all, they’re not your true friends if you haven’t cleaned your room over the internet in front of them… haha.
  • I’ve just come back from spending the weekend with family down at Mount Maunganui and it was heaven. I’ve missed living close to the beach so much and it was just nice to feel like I have had an actual holiday. Especially after how hectic Melbourne was the last weekend.
  • Our family friend down at the Mount has a farm and I got to go visit it for the first time in years. It’s insane the number of animals he has and how friendly they all are. Also just SO nice to get out of the city for a while. You can take the girl out of the country…
  • I was feeling pretty flat before I went to Melbourne. I think winter just gets to me. Anyway, this week I’ve run into so many random scenarios that gave me a better perspective on life. Honestly, I think sometimes you need to be rattled to appreciate what you have.
  • Drinks at Chapel on Thursday with Kara. Love the spontaneity and finally a breather from work. Also, how good are wines at a pub vs. fancy restaurant?
  • I got sent a heap of Mecca goodies and I’m so excited to try them. I’ve already used the Hourglass lipgloss in Mecca Glow which is super pretty, and I’m so into the Laura Mercier Rogue Essential Lipsticks. Also, the Goldfaden MD Skincare Doctor’s Scrub feels amazing.
  • Also I was gifted the Garnier SkinActive face masks with some Cali Press health shots. I drank the shots which were interesting but #health and I love the Vitamin C Shot mask. I am desperate to fix my skin before I got to Europe so you know the other one is going on my face tonight.
  • Music: Sculpted – Tobiahs, Without You – Lapalux, Satisfied – Robotaki, My Heart Knows – Mark U

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Lows:
  • I updated my phone last week and then my alarm stopped working so I ended up late to work. Plus side, I had fun liming to work but the downside, that shit is stressful. Now I keep waking up waiting for my alarm.
  • Life’s too damn short to take it early.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #64 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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Coming to you from Melbourne. It’s my last time visiting here before my Mum moves back to New Zealand, so I’m making the most of it. So far I’ve bought all my usual lollies, wasted half the day in David Jones and spent some quality time with the fam. After feeling off kilter in Auckland it has been nice to get out of my usual setting and reset.

Highs:
  • $1 Coles raspberry straps. Hands down my favourite Australian lollies.
  • Brought my Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask with me and put it on when I arrived. I have to say – hands down the best product post travel. My skin has never felt so good after a flight!
  • Spending quality time with Mum. Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve been over here and it’s never quite the same on Facetime. I’m looking forward to having her living in the same country.
  • If you find yourself in Richmond, Melbourne make sure you check out Reunion & Co for a great breakfast or lunch. Hands down my favourite in this area – the tacos are bomb.
  • Kara and I went to Coco’s Cantina for the $13 happy hour pasta which I’d been meaning to try for ages. So worth going in early. Plus, the staff are always so lovely!
  • I also have tomorrow off so I’m stoked.
  • I can’t say that I’m the biggest believer in star signs and the likes, but I love the app Co-Star. Sometimes if offers little gems of insight right when you need them. I liked this, this week “everyone experiences their version of the truth.”
  • I swear everything in Australia is on sale at the moment and I scored this Aje dress so cheap! It’s definitely going to be perfect for Europe next month.
  • Music: Dangerous – Parsa, Objects In The Mirror – Mac Miller, Focus (feat. 21 Savage) – Bazzi

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Lows:
  • I have to go home tomorrow… boo.
  • I thought this trip would help me make up my mind about where I want to be within the next year. It hasn’t.. I’m just as confused.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #63 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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It’s 8:30 pm – I’m sitting in bed with a tea in one hand, my iPhone in the other and my laptop in front in preparation to write. In the past 30 minutes, I’ve managed to already check my phone at least half a dozen times as I rack my brain for a topic to write on. I check Instagram to reply to any new comments, I check my DMs for any memes I’ve missed from friends and I mindlessly scroll for inspiration long before reminding myself that I actually have work to do. Did I mention I also have music playing? This is a routine I’ve become all too familiar with, as my day-to-day is entwined with distractions, like an addiction I just can’t quit.

I read an article the other day that said “we are a generation that marches to the beat of background noise.” and it’s been on my mind since. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t handle the silence. The pause. Any point in a day where you have nothing to focus your mind on. I mean, I sit on the toilet planning my next Instagram post and I’ll shower to my latest audiobook. Sometimes I’ve even walked the entire way to work before realising, too engrossed in choosing new songs for my weekly playlist to notice.

Wearing: Lonely Hearts Pop Sweater (Similar Here & Here) H&M White Jeans (Similar Here) Mi Piaci Snakeskin Boots (Similar Here) Deadly Ponies Bag (Similar Here) Photos taken by the lovely Sophie

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If time is money, we are generationally doing well. We squeeze more into those spare seconds than anyone else. Day-jobs are propped up by side-hustles, yoga slots in as easy as our morning coffees and we can fit an entire season of Netflix into a week, between baths and cleaning. We binge on productivity porn to make sure we get from A to B quicker than before so next time, we can fit in another task. We are running a fast race, picking up the pace every mile until that level of fitness feels like the acceptable standard. But what happens if we take a second to stop and breathe?

To do nothing almost feels like a guilty pleasure for me now. Boredom – a sick joke. If I stop for just a minute I instantly feel a mini-wave of panic wash over me. Heart rate quickens, mind races. No matter how far ahead I technically am, I always feel like I’m a step behind. Can I shoot that content today? Make $X before this date? Can I see this person before they fly out? I’m a seasoned runner of a race that has no finish line. Every step carries the feeling of disappointment as I am no closer to the end. And you best believe I’ll continue pushing myself forward until I’m exhausted.

Then the 4 am’ers hit. So high strung that in the early morning hours my worries strive. Usually, it goes something like this: I wake up with the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something. Did I leave the gas on? Was the heater in the living room turned off? Do I need to pee? Then one thought tumbleweeds into another until an avalanche of worries resurface, dating back to three years ago when I said: “your crush is a dick” to one my friends while drunk. By this time it’s been 40 minutes; I still can’t decide if I’ve actually forgotten something, I’m too cold to go pee but now I’m wide awake. And wide awake I’ll stay for another hour (and herbal sleeping tablet) or so.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a saying we all know too well, and maybe that’s the problem. I can’t help but feel as though we’ve become accustomed to speeding through life with tunnel vision, leaving most of the good stuff in the rearview. Then we’re left playing catch up in the middle of the night, dealing with the aftermath of the day. By which time, after the stress of a sleepless night gets added into the mix, we’ve long forgotten anything decent that happened.

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Is it me or are the weeks flying by? We are already well into June, I’m leaving the country in exactly a month and everything is now officially booked. The only thing I don’t know is where I’ll be on the other side of coming back. I can already sense the post-vacation depression. For now, I’m going to enjoy looking forward to something that’s still a little while off and keep busy until then. Which is a big roundabout way in saying that sorry this wasn’t up on Sunday – I was busy keeping busy.

Highs:
  • I stayed at home sick today and spent the day watching For The People. It’s another law drama from the creators of Scandal so you know it’s a good and easy watch. There are two seasons out and I’ve already binged the first. So good.
  • I went for dinner with Caitlin at Farang in Kingsland to catch up, finally. It was so good to chat and the food was pretty good too. I love going to Kingsland for a change because there are so many good places to eat there. I’d recommend the Sweetie Boys Buns for sure.
  • I found Krispy Kreme in town and I am stoked. Doughnuts are my guilty pleasure for sure. The apple crumbles flavour is the best.
  • The Espresso Martini’s from Saint Alice are pretty damn good.
  • I got the most extravagant package from Mon Purse on Friday – it made my day. I got the Long Line Bucket Bag and the black travel set for my trip overseas and I already know it’s all coming with me everywhere. What I love is they monogrammed my initials on all of the pieces too which make them extra special. Honestly, the best way to end my Friday.
  • As I said, everything for my trip away is booked! EEEK, so excited!!
  • This week had been a weird one. I’m glad it’s over.
  • Music: You Got It – Vory, Let You Down – NF, Foreplay – Jalen Santoy, I C Light – Crooked Colours
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Lows:
  • I put it down to hormones but I’m stuck in a cycle or not sleeping and headaches. Fun times all around.
  • The waiter at Saint Alice was so rude and I don’t know what his deal is but I don’t even want to go back because of him.
  • Life really has a way of wearing you down sometimes.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #62 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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Winter brings out all my nasty habits. I’ve quickly traded nights out with friends for evenings in with Netflix, wine and a cake of chocolate (which yes, I do finish alone). Instead of going for a walk after work I now dive into bed for a nap. Then, to top it all off, there’s no way I’m getting out of my warm bed to wash my face before I got to sleep. Cringing reading that? Same. Apparently, that’s also how my skin feels too since it’s been breaking out for the past few weeks consistently. Winter blues, you really know how to knock a girl down.

For most of the year, and until recently, I’ve always had pretty good skin. I get spots here and there, but nothing I can’t cover up or sort out with some proper skincare. My skin had also been less dry since moving back to Auckland, a major win. So when my skin started acting up recently I knew it was time to stop indulging myself in my bad habits and nip it in the bud. Especially since I have so much travel coming up – no one wants to have a pizza face on holiday.

After a lot of trial and error, I can say with confidence that these products work. My skin has been much clearer, I don’t have as many blocked pores and generally, it looks pretty good. The biggest difference in routine since changing it up has been adding in a toner to ensure my skin is completely clean before applying moisturiser. Who knew a simple added step into my routine would be such a savior? Before I give it all away though, here are my the 8 products that are saving my skin this winter and how I have worked them into my weekly routine.

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My Top 8 Winter Skin Savers:
1. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

This serum is one of the newer products I’ve introduced into my routine. Stocked at Mecca, Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum contains salicylic acid which is a known enemy of breakouts. I apply this all over my face when I feel like my skin is acting up, after toner and before moisturiser. The one downside of this is it does have an interesting smell but it’s nothing too crazy. So far the combination of this and my spot treatment tackles every blemish well, no matter how big.

2. Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

Another one of my newer products, but by far the highlight of this routine. I have been using this morning and night since I got it and I think I’m in love. Sunday Riley is a known luxury brand and this toner doesn’t disappoint. It’s called the Martian toner because it pumps out green but once you apply it to your face it glides on and doesn’t dry out your skin. The bonus of this toner is that you can easily apply it with clean hands so you don’t need to worry about cotton pads (the one thing I never have). I attribute my skin clearing up so quickly to this because it clears absolutely every last bit of makeup off your face. I can’t believe I never used toner before – this is a face saver.

This is my OG spot treatment. I’ve been repurchasing this since I discovered it at university in 2012 and I haven’t found anything I’ve ever liked more. I’ll use this on any spots as soon as they appear before I go to bed and by the morning they’re usually gone. That, or they’ve dried up enough that I’m not tempted to touch. I’m a squeezer, guilty as charged. Despite its small bottle, this stuff lasts ages if you only use it when you need it. Just an all-around handy product to have in your collection.

You can probably tell from the packaging that I use this often. One of my best friends Sam recommended to me years ago and I finally got one for myself this past Christmas. Pretty self-explanatory but this lip balm is THE best and doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients. AKA the ones that get your lips addicted to balm. It also has SPF which is a must. I love this particular Christmas edition because it’s a nice pink shade tint with gold reflects. Super pretty and a staple in my handbag.

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