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Blogmas 2015 Day 31 - Resolutions?

31 December 2015
Wow, last day of 2015. I'm not sad to see it go, it was a tough one. In fact so was 2014, I'm hoping 2016 will be a little easier on me and many other people I know why struggled through the year.

I'm not really one to make New Year Resolutions, when I want to make a change I simply allow a new day to be my fresh start but in saying that I do have a few personal goals I want to reach this year.

Blogmas 2015 Day 30 - Project Pan Finale.

30 December 2015
2016 is just two days away! Time to say goodbye to Project Pan 2015 and start fresh in the New Year!

Blogmas 2015 Day 29 - Empty! | December 2015

29 December 2015
Final empties post for 2015, where did the time go!?!

Blogmas 2015 Day 28 - Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel Brush Cleanser

28 December 2015
A couple of months ago I did a fairly large Real Techniques purchase through iHerb, included in that purchase was the Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel. Figured I do a little review for you guys.

Blogmas 2015 Day 27 - Project Polish Finale

27 December 2015
The end of December is nigh and it's time to say farewell to Project Polish 2015!

Blogmas 2015 Day 26 - Natura Siberica | Oblepikha Siberica Hair Overview

26 December 2015
A few months back I spotted the Oblepikha Siberica hair range in my local Chemist Warehouse and the pretty packaging just dragged me in.

I picked up the Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner, Mask for Severely Damaged Hair & Oil Repair Complex For Severely Damaged Hair.

Blogmas 2015 Day 25 - Boxing Day Sales!

25 December 2015
And so this is Christmas.

I don't expect any of you to read this today, I'm sure you'll all be busy picking up the torn wrapping paper (or trying to salvage it like Nan, this is what happens when you're born in the early 1920's), eating your delicious spreads and just generally enjoying a great day with family and friends.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, then I hope whatever you are doing today brings you some joy.

Boxing day is looming and if you're out for a fashion, tech or beauty bargain I have a few online options for those who are too hungover, hate the crowds or simply prefer the comfort of their own home and extra time with their loved ones. So grab a cuppa and have a read of what online stores are offering this year.

Blogmas 2015 Day 24 - Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette GIVEAWAY!!

24 December 2015
As you probably already know I purchased a Lorac Mega Pro 2 palette recently (review). Kat from Kitsch Snitch and I split the shipping because the AUD to USD conversion makes us cry tears of blood.

While going through the ordering process I mentioned to Kat that I was planning on purchasing a second one for a giveaway, she said that she had also been thinking about that and after about 0.3 seconds we decided it would be a good idea to do a Christmas collaboration giveaway to save our already blown budgets but also make sure that we were still able to give one away.

Blogmas 2015 Day 23 - Sampled Out 2016 Intro

23 December 2015
So you are all very aware that I like to finish beauty products. You have seen me use up hundreds and hundreds of beauty items in the last few years of blogging. Last year alone I used up 115 full size items and that doesn't include sample and single use items like sheet masks.

You have seen me struggle through things I hate and absolutely demolish things I love, this year you saw me do a year long makeup only (oh and perfume!) Project Pan. This will all continue in 2016 but I'll be making room in my beauty life for another panning project. Sampled Out 2016.

Blogmas 2015 Day 22 - NIOD Hydration Vaccine & Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%*

22 December 2015
These items were provided for consideration.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to an event by a company named Deciem recently and they sent all attendees home with a very generous sample bag. I'll be reviewing everything over the course of the next few months, many of the items require fairly long trial periods and since Deciem is essentially shaking up the beauty industry with science based products I want to make sure I'm giving you guys in depth reviews.

Blogmas 2015 Day 21 - Christmas Inspired Makeup #2

21 December 2015
My last makeup look used a limited edition and sold out makeup palette. Sorry about that.

I had intended on doing two looks this year so this time I pulled out a palette that is not limited edition, is easily attainable and you most likely already own it. I did also incorporate a matte red eyeshadow though... Diversify your collection or skip it. Whatever.

Blogmas 2014 Day 20 - Worst Part Of Christmas

20 December 2015
After yesterdays hearfelt post about what Christmas means to me I thought I would write a little bit about the shit side of Christmas.

Blogmas 2014 Day 19 - Christmas Nostalgia

19 December 2015
When I think about Christmas my initial thoughts aren't actually of family or gifts or decorations. I actually think about magic. Magic and the feeling of wonder that comes with it.

As a child I always felt like Christmas was a magic time of year, Santa was powerful and all knowing, I believed Mum and Dad when they told me I had to be good or I would be put on the 'Naughty List', I also believed them when they said I had to go to bed early because Santa couldn't visit until all the boys and girls in the world were asleep. I use to struggle to go to sleep when I knew it was important to go to bed early. I carried that in to my adulthood.

I never tried to stay up to see Santa, although my parents often let me sleep in the lounge room on Christmas Eve where we always kept the Christmas Tree, they obviously knew that I would eventually fall asleep and it would be safe to sneak in the 'Santa presents'. Occasionally I would wake up in the wee hours and see some extra gifts under the tree, wrapped differently to the ones Mum and Dad had placed there in the days leading up to Christmas and the feeling that I would get in those few initial second of groggy sleepiness was one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Santa came, Mum and Dad were right and although I knew I was sometimes naughty I had behaved enough to make the 'Nice List'.

As I got older and discovered that Santa wasn't real, I gave zero shits. Santa made me feel happy so I continued to sleep in the lounge room, my parents continued to sneak in presents and we all continued to have the 'Naughty and Nice' discussions. It made us happy.

Christmas has became less about the presents and some years we don't give any at all (which is perfectly ok for us because that's what we choose!), but the magic of Santa never went away for me, the appearance of Christmas decorations on our local streets, lights in neighbours windows against the silhouette of a Christmas tree, the smell of fresh cut pine trees in local fruit and flower shops and the eternal argument of 'Will we have a real tree this year?'

'No, we won't Hailey'
'YES! We WILL Mum!'

All of these things meant that Santa was coming.

These days Christmas is a guaranteed day that we will see family, we will eat too much food, laugh over the pop of Christmas Bon Bons and their lame jokes, tell cute stories with punch lines that leave people laughing with tears running down their faces and recap the year that was.

When I wander the shops at Christmas, listening to the carols and perusing all the pretty things that I want to buy myself all I can think about is how blessed I am to have a beautiful family, supportive friends and the freedom to do almost anything I want. Santa is coming, and even though there are many troubling things happening in the world, that thought still makes me feel elated to be living this crazy thing called life.

Unfortunately we aren't all so blessed, so don't forget to spread a little Christmas Cheer this season. Perhaps you have an elderly neighbour who's family won't make it for Christmas but you can spare a spot at your table, or you can afford to buy a few gifts for the Wishing Tree, or maybe you know a family who will only have a very small visit from Santa who would benefit from a lovely hamper and a few presents that Santa accidentally left under your tree for them. Small gestures can leave the biggest impressions, so why not make plans to remind someone that Santa always comes.

Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying. Items marked * were sent to me for trial and consideration, all other products were purchased by myself and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Integrity Always..

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Blogmas 2015 Day 18 - Quick Christmas Treats Pt 2

18 December 2015
The time has come for more food ideas and as we near Christmas day I'm whipping out my easiest recipes.

Blogmas 2015 Day 17 - Blogmas Giveaway Results!!

17 December 2015
I know many of you have been waiting for this, the time has come to announce the winners!

Blogmas 2015 Day 16 - Christmas Inspired Nails Pt 2

16 December 2015
Following on from last weeks Christmas inspired nails I thought I would show a few more simple ideas I came up with, like last week nothing here requires any artistic brilliance. It's all about being easy but effective!

Blogmas 2015 Day 15 - Lorac Mega Pro 2 Review

15 December 2015
Ok, so I know this palette isn't really readily available in Australia, last year you could buy the Mega Pro off Amazon and they would ship it to Australia for a very reasonable price but this year they went and made it an Ulta exclusive.

Blogmas 2015 Day 14 - Christmas Inspired Makeup

14 December 2015
I feel like a bit of a dickhead doing makeup looks, I can't imagine why anyone would want to watch them when there are so many other people doing them but the requests keep flowing in so I'm going to do them as often as time permits, if you watch the vlogs you probably know how time stressed I've been lately but perhaps in the new year things will calm down a bit.

Blogmas 2015 Day 13 - Billion Dollar Brows | Best Sellers Kit

13 December 2015
I'm a bit brow obsessed at the moment, I'm in search of the perfect brow gel to be specific but I've been finding it difficult to resist anything brow related really.

Blogmas 2015 Day 12 - Quick Christmas Treats Pt 1.

12 December 2015
Christmas can be pretty overwhelming, decorating, shopping, wrapping, preparing food, visiting everyone, sending out cards, huge crowds and horrible traffic.. It can all add up to a very stressful time.

Usually when we celebrate Christmas day we aren't at home, it's usually hosted by my Nan and she has gotten to the point where it's simply too much work for her, so we try to lessen the load by sharing the food prep, I've compiled a couple of super easy dishes that often result in 'Wow' and 'Yum' responses from other guests. If you're visiting someone elses house for Christmas this year why not take along a plate and make their job a little easier?

First up is an Antipasto platter, I like to put stuff like this together because it only requires some shopping and cutting, I do fry off the chorizo but that is really all that's involved.

I usually pick up all my noms from somewhere like the Prahran Market or Queen Vic Market since everything is available in the one place and I don't have to do major shop hopping, Coles and Woolies don't really stock a lot of specialty products and since this is a once a year kind of deal I like to buy some high quality items.

Meat goes down first, I always buy extra because I tend to eat half of it before it even get's to the plate.

Then for the cheese, I'm a sucker for anything gooey so they are usually the dominant type on the board, I also love a smoked cheese and I try to get a dessert cheese as well.

Next is complimentary noms, stuff that can be sampled with or without the cheese and meats, this is another reason that I like to go to a market for my items, things like the dolmades, stuffed figs and peppers are all hand made by the families that own the shop fronts and you just can't beat a dried and stuffed fig that Nonna made. Bliss.

Next is fresh fruit, I still love melon balls. I'm not sorry and I don't care how daggy they are.

Finally I place the crackers and bread, this is all going to come down to personal preference but a little tip is to make sure you have a gluten free option just in case one of the guests is a coeliac.

Now I'm Hungry..

If you're not trying to photograph your platter while you're putting it together this should only take you about 15 minutes from start to finish. Take a photo at the end and save yourself the extra time ;)

Part 2 will be up next week!

Got any super easy recipes you take along to Christmas events?

Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying. Items marked * were sent to me for trial and consideration, all other products were purchased by myself and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Integrity Always..

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Blogmas 2015 Day 11 - Christmas Inspired Nails Pt 1

11 December 2015
NAIL ART, NAIL ART, NAIL ART. Love me some nail art but fucked if I actually have time to do it more than once a year! This year I decided to put together a few ideas, mostly I wanted to have a play so that I could decide on my Christmas day manicure, so I sat down, stuck some shit on my nails and took some photos.

Whenever I'm doing nail art I take the time to prep my nails properly, I give them a file and buff if they need it and I choose my base coat according to the current condition of my nails, since mine are jacked up at the moment I opted to use Seche Rebuild. Will report back on what I think of it.

After picking out the goodies in my collection that I wanted to experiment with I got down to business.

There are a couple things I need to point out here, the glitter polish does not paint on the way it is shown, I had to purposely place each individual piece to have it sit the way I wanted, the little metal nail art pieces were picked up on eBay and only cost me a few dollars for a bag of 10 (almost all of my nail art supplies in this post are from ebay unless otherwise stated). These will hold just fine on wet nail polish but the hat required nail glue since it only had a small base to sit on.

I used Seche Vite as my top coat for this one and once it had dried completely it shrunk tightly around the little snowflakes and allowed them to have a nice 3D effect.

Super basic tree, takes less than a minute to do from start to finish and looks sparkly, neat and very pretty when done over a full set of nails.

This one is so cute, little snowlady and falling snow. Precious!

There will be a second part to this post going up in a few days.

Do you have any go-to Christmas nail art that you use for the festive season?

Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying. Items marked * were sent to me for trial and consideration, all other products were purchased by myself and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Integrity Always..

Follow on Bloglovin

Blogmas 2015 Day 10 - Look Fantastic Beauty Box | December 2015

10 December 2015
Finally, the last of the special edition Look Fantastic boxes has arrived and this one is brilliant!

Blogmas 2015 Day 9 - More Drool Worthy Makeup Limited Editions...

9 December 2015
Carrying on from yesterday's limited edition post I have a few more items to show you. Get ready to want all the things.

Blogmas 2015 Day 8 - Those Beautiful Limited Editions...

8 December 2015
I'm cutting it close with this post guys!

Why you be so busy life? Whhyyyy? It's up before Midnight though so it still counts!

Blogmas 2015 Day 7 - Gift Guide For Him | Luxe To Less

7 December 2015
Wondering what to buy the man in your life? I feel you girl, it's a tough job. Hopefully this gift guide can help take the stress out of making the final decision.

He's Just A Friend

Blogmas 2015 Day 6 - Gift Guide For Her | Luxe to Less

6 December 2015
Gift giving can be daunting, sometimes even when you know someone inside and out it can be really hard to decide on what to get someone, there are a few tricks that can make the search a little easier though.

Blogmas 2015 Day 5 - The Gift of Giving | Stocking Stuffers

5 December 2015
When I was a kid, the Christmas stocking hanging off the mantle or door handle was always the one item that held so much wonder for me, I could see that it was stuffed full and almost overflowing with little wrapped packages. All the little bumps and bulges in the length of the red felt boot with the black button sewn down the center told me there were tiny little secrets to be found inside, the white faux fur at the top looking like a fluffy soft cradle for all the little treasures poking out the top and balancing precariously on top of each other.

Blogmas 2015 Day 4 - Empty! November 2015

4 December 2015
So few empties this month!

Blogmas 2015 Day 3 - Project Pan Update #9

3 December 2015
One more month.

One. More. Month.

My only original starting products are what is in the Zpalette but I feel like that damn thing just makes this feel like it's never ending, the progress is so slow and I'm looking forward to changing it all up in January!

Blogmas 2015 Day 2 - The Giveaways. Ermahgerd Get Excited!

2 December 2015
This has been months in the making.

Late nights stalking online stores, pockets with holes burnt in them, fighting those crazy bitches on release day (the latter never happened *side glance*).

Blogmas 2015 Day 1 - Intro.

1 December 2015
Merry Christmas my lovelies! 'Tis the season to be jolly and all that, so today I just want to bring you a quick post to kick off the festive season here on The Beauty In Life.