Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

It’s okay, to not be okay

I have been really saddened recently by the amount of people known to me, friends and family around me, or in the public eye who have been struggling a little bit with life, most silently thinking they have no one to speak or open up to. This is not something new for me, unfortunately growing up I saw this a lot around me and found that people were always very shy or ashamed about it. Fortunately, this seems to be something that with time is getting better and we now have days such as “World Mental Health Day” to diminish some of the stigma that surround it. But I do think that there is more we can do.

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Without walking someones path, you will never really know what it’s like to feel the way that person does or be in their particular circumstances and why they find themselves so close to the edge. Its sad that in our current society, it’s a very common way to feel.

A lot of people I know, including myself, at many stages, struggle with Mental Health. It is something that doesn’t pick and choose, or discriminate. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or if you are perceived to have the perfect life. This has been highlighted more recently with the loss of public figures or celebrities such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
There are probably more people than you realise who are suffering or struggling with their mental health in private.

Everyone handles and deals with their health and emotions in their own way. Everyone has a different mindset. But this, is the reason more people need open up and bring to light these issues and talk about our worries and concerns. Life isn’t always simple. For a lot of people, life can be predominantly more complicated than simple and have more downs than ups. So having the ability to step forward and help another person open up or realise that support is around them can really help those who need it the most.

You may find it hard or not be able to empathise with someone when it comes to mental health but whatever it is that that person is dealing with, being there to be a support, even if its just them having someone to talk to can really help.

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Mental Health should be on the same level as physical health. When you see someone who is in a cast, or wheelchair or has fallen down some steps. Many people will run to the aid of that person, asking how they can help. “Can I push you somewhere”, “Lean on me and ill take you to that chair”, “Are you okay, is anything hurting?”.So why when you see someone who is looking sad, crying or you know might be going through something that we don’t do the same?

How hard is it to go up to someone, whether you know them or not and ask, “are you okay?”, “can I help in any way?” or with that person who you know who has gone through something saying “Please know that I am here for you, let me know if you need anything”

People with mental health conditions deserve just as much support and compassion as people with physical health conditions.

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I am not an expert, nor do I have all the answers. But if this post can help even one person reach out when they need help, or have someone reach out to a friend or stranger in need then perhaps more people can spread the message that it IS okay, not to be okay.  There is no weakness in asking for a bit of help or finding support. Be proud of yourself for doing so. Those around you will only have a great amount of respect for you.

Struggling with parts of life is okay. Just remember, things do get better, especially when you open up and talk about it. You are loved and cherished more than you know.

Continue reading Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

8 Simple Reasons To Love Melbourne

Greetings from the land of very changeable weather, hipsters and great coffee

I moved to Melbourne nearly four years ago, four, years ago. I have no idea how its been that long but I will admit, I love it just as much, if not more than I did when we first moved here. Melbourne isn’t (as) flashy like Sydney, nor hot all year round like the far north neighbours. Melbourne is vibrant, cultural, energetic and completely unpredictable. Of course, no city is perfect, but Melbourne, for me, comes pretty close. Here’s why…

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THE GARDENS

One of my absolute favourite things about Melbourne is all of the public gardens. Although I live in the inner city, I still have many gardens and parks within a 10-20min walk. In fact, in and around the inner city there are 12 well known gardens to visit! All slightly different.

A few of my favourites would be Kings Domain/ The Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens and Carlton Gardens.

I think this is something that really sets Melbourne apart from other cities and part of the reason it has more livability than others. Beautiful.

THE VIBE & STREET ART

Unpredictable personality, Vibrant Laneways and hidden secret bars and restaurants are all of what makes Melbourne so unique. From an outsiders point of view, places such as Collins Street and Bourke Street at first glance are just typical city streets. Loads of people, shops and small cafes. From an insiders point of view, there is so much more.

There are little laneways which are home to small, locally owned cafes and restaurants as well as sellers of coffee utensils, sustainable clothing and probably even a hidden gym or two.

There are the famous laneways such as Hosier Lane and ACDC Lane which are always worth a look, but no matter where you go in the city, behind a random dumpster, there is probably something quite unique and beautiful.

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THE FOOD AND COFFEE

Where to even start.

Food in Melbourne is genuinely glorious. It has everything from high flying Brunch spots (Read here) to weird and wonderful (and crazy expensive) options such as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Plus everything in between. As someone who is somewhat health conscious & enjoys living the health wanker life, there are also many options available too.

Melbourne is called the coffee capital of Australia for good reason. More and more brilliant coffee shops are popping up all around. Not only in the hipster suburbs, but also right in the city centre. I will be writing a blog post soon of all my favs but for now, just do a small amount of googling and you will find some finger licking good places.

THE MARKETS

Since moving to Melbourne and living so close to a few big markets I have really become quite obsessed and going to the Market on a Sunday is a bit of a tradition.  Markets are a great place to start when visiting any new place because you get a glimpse of the local fresh produce, food scene as well finding gems from local artists and creative types.

There are a few markets in Melbourne which are definitely a must see. The first being the Queen Victoria Market. Its quite famous in Melbourne and has everything from food to vintage clothing to live bands and much more. There is also a Night Market which runs out of here at certain times of the year which is quite the experience.

My favourite markets are ones which are a little smaller. Being the South Melbourne Market & the Prahran Market. Both have a great fresh produce section as well as amazing deli’s and restaurants.

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THE NEIGHBOURHOODS

From the quirky health cafes and cozy old pubs in Fitzroy, to upmarket clothing and food boutiques in Prahran, the over the top and elegant leafy mansions of Toorak and  backpackers or wind surfers enjoying the beach vibe of St Kilda. The inner city suburbs of Melbourne really are like mini cities or towns in themselves, all known for different things.

The variety of neighbourhoods is part of the reason I never tell friends and family to only come for a weekend. You could literally spend the whole time in just one suburb or the inner city without getting bored!

TRAMS

As much as everyone in Melbourne complains about the public transport, it really isn’t that bad. Especially in comparison to other big cities around the world. In Auckland, your only option is a bus, in London, you have a really overpriced tube or a bus that takes the long way around. Here, we have it pretty good. Free trams in the City Circle which run pretty frequently and they also look pretty cool, especially the older ones. The trams in the city give Melbourne that little hint of differentness as well as just being pretty cool.

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THE DAY TRIPS

This is such an amazing bonus of living in Melbourne. Whether you like the beach, the mountains, the forrest or wineries, within a few hours on the train or via car you can have a bit of everything.

My favourites have to be The Great Ocean Road & The Otways, The Mornington Peninsula, The Dandenong Ranges and going north to places such as Mt Macedon. Which, as a side note, has a had a fair bit of snow this winter, pretty exciting.

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ALL THE EVENTS

Do you like sports? Food? Wine? Beer? Crafts? Clothing?

Well, then Melbourne is for you. There is quite literally an event for everything at some point in the year and if you get bored in between, no doubt there will be a hit band or theatre show which is bound to be interesting and make for a good night out.

You will never be bored, especially if you have a money tree growing in your back yard, which can be the downside off all these events. Melbourne isn’t exactly the most cost effective city.

To sum up. I love Melbourne, for all these reasons and more. I feel very grateful to live here and find myself realising this quite often. Even the small things, such as appreciating the cityscape at 5.30 in the morning can be enough on a bad day to bring me back to life.

Autumn Reflection

As you may, or may not have noticed, things have been a little quiet around here the past few months. Once my backlog of blog posts ran out, I kind of, lost it.
At this time of the year, I find that I can almost become another person. My mood changes and I generally just feel a bit dull. I think they call this SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder but you know what, that’s okay. It really hasn’t been that bad, I think I just do not respond well to the cold weather & the sun going down at about 4pm!

However, things haven’t been all bad so lets recap the past season and see what I have really been up to!

Jose Gonzalez in Concert

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This was something that happened way back in March! but even now when I think about it, it has for sure been a highlight. We did go and see him once before when he played at the Melbourne Zoo twilights but this was so much better and more personal. There was even an hour of Q&A which we attended beforehand, such a treat!

If you haven’t heard of Jose, or listened to his music, go ahead and have a listen. Its really something quite beautiful & different.

Living in Activewear

Probably the biggest change in the past few months has been that of my day to day. I went from a 9 to 5 office job to completely changing my career and jumping into the world of health and fitness. It was something that I had wanted to do for so so long but didn’t have the nerve to, but finally after much contemplation, I did it and I love it! Weirdly enough, the thing about this I thought I would love the most, living in active wear, has become my least favourite part. Literally no one enjoys pulling on uncomfortable tights at 5am… and there have been a LOT, of 5ams…

Taking my love of Reformer to the next level

& starting a Pilates Reformer course at Elixr School of Pilates.
Because isn’t that was everyone does when they love something that much?
Probably not, but hey ho, that’s what I did and it has been quite the uh… experience. The course itself is very intense and the face to face component is only 5 weekends with the rest being self taught so a liiitttle out of my comfort zone. But so far, so good. Its been really strange to study again that’s for sure and I have definitely had my ups, and downs and moments of ‘whatthehellamIdoing’ but its all part of the fun! I can’t wait to actually be a qualified instructor as I do have some big plans once the exam is over.
Watch this space

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No-Makeup, Makeup

For so long, I was the person who wouldn’t step foot into my workplace with out a full face of makeup on. Part of my morning routine was getting up 20 mins earlier just to be able to do so. Let me tell you, once I started starting work before 6am that went right out the window.
But I am actually really enjoying it.
It has made me more conscious of my skin in both good and bad ways. In the good ways it has made me really stick to my skincare routine & has somewhat stopped me eating chocolate everynight (because no one needs those sugar pimples) but in the bad ways I really do notice every imperfection my skin has, so i’m having to come to terms with that, which I guess is also a good thing right…
So all I have really been using is my trusty Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, L’oreal Baby Roll Mascara & my Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil. And thats it. So simple and easy when its 4:45am!

Walking & Podcasting

This year has really been the year for podcasts. I feel like they are really making a break and you can literally find something for everyone. One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to spend my time walking, being productive instead of just listening to the same Spotify playlist over and over (which I still do sometimes).
So these are some of my favs & ones I would reccommend:

  • Lower your Expectations
  • Talking Tastebuds
  • The Healthcode
  • Wheybox Podcast
  • Ladies who Lunch
  • The Heart of it

This is quite an interesting range, all quite different really but they are what get me through my early moring walk to work without too much fuss.

 

And that’s about it. Autumn for me is definitely one of the more uneventful seasons of the year/ I have been so crazy with all things as above. I will try and keep on top of my blog throughout winter! Especially considering the cold weather gives me a great excuse to sit at home under the heatpump!

 

In preparation for Autumn…

Bye Summer, its been so. so good.

Autumn, apart from the beautiful leaf colours, is probably my least favourite season. It starts to get cold, with the odd hot day mixed in so you never really know what to wear. My least favourite part? The days start getting shorter, especially when daylight savings ends! All of the good Summer fruits and veges are gone and you are basically left with all the boring ones. Who even likes autumn?

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However, I want to try and make the most out of it this year… so here are a few things I want to do & buy to be #fashionable’er… and a bit more adventurous rather than sitting home and sulking about not being able to go to the beach!

Get An Amazing New Coat

Explore a New Garden

 Drink More Tea Get a Pair of Good Quality Chelsea Boots

Read 3 New Books

 Get a Black Pair of Jeans
 Find a Nice Chunky Knit And Another Blue Pair…
 Go To a New Farmers Market  Bake Something Autumny
Mix up my Skincare Routine – Hydration is Key Sort out My Scarf Collection!

My mantra currently is making the most out of everything, find something positive in every day and every situation! So even though the days are ge4tting shorter, its getting colder and beach days are less attainable, its really not that bad!

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

 

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5 Summer Highlights & Photo Diary | 18′

Travel, Friends, Family, Food & a whole lot of sun!

 

 

Summer this year has been one of my favourites in a while! I feel like for one I actually spent enough time outside, went to the beach more often, caught up with my friends and actually visited my family in NZ.

Summer is by far one of my favourite seasons… for at least the first 2 months, then the heat starts to get too much and you start dreaming about coats and scarves. However, for those 2 months, it is BLISS. Only having to wear one layer

 

 

NZ
Because I wasn’t able to go back to NZ for Xmas this year, I decided that it would be worth going back for a long weekend to see the fam. Let.me.tell.you. Arriving at my grandparents at 1pm after travelling for 15hrs really made me question whether it was worth it for 4 days! However, I always love going back and seeing (mostly) everyone, even if it is brief.

Tennis
This summer, finally, Dietmar and myself have taken up tennis. We have lived in an apartment building for the last 3 years with a tennis court & never made the most of it. Well, times have changed.

Now, I am not great, or even good, at tennis and have lost many a ball over the fence (and thanks to trespassing laws, never to be seen again) however, I really, really enjoy it. Not only does it require a bit of exercise, its been a fun activity for us to do together.
I like this Sunday tradition, hopefully we can stick at it for the foreseeable future and my new years goal of ‘starting a sport’ can be ticked off.

Market Shopping
Market shopping can be a bit hit and miss for me. I do love going to the market on a Sunday… but because of the sheer amount of people that also love it, if you aren’t in and out by 10am, you are in for a whirlwind of 100sss of people. However, generally even if its a bit later we have been going anyway. It works out to be a lot more affordable, we like to support local producers and the quality of the fruit and vege is so much better than the supermarket. They also have a lot more affordable organic options which is a huge bonus!
A highlight of our market shopping each week is stopping by Clement Coffee Roasters for a long black and sometimes a cheeky pastry! Check them out too.

Beach
This summer we have definitely made more use of the beach than before. We do live semi close by so we really don’t have too much excuse! But this year I have made an effort to at least try and get down every now and then to soak in some sun, enjoy the sea and watch all the dogs (Screw people watching, dog watching is THEONE).

 

 Being More Active & Meeting Two Inspirational Fitness/Health & Sustainability Dreamboats
This summer has been the first summer… ever. that I have managed to stick to a fitness routine and keep active for the whole season! Seriously proud of myself for that one. My diet as such, has not been perfect but I am trying! I eat a very balanced diet (IMO) and am happy with where I am at (minus the digestive problems but mate, that’s a whole other post).

 

However, this summer I was lucky enough to meet Zanna Van Dyk & Steph Elswood whilst they were on a whirlwind tour of Australia and it was great! They are both so lovely, welcoming and really down to earth. You don’t feel like you are going to a meet-up, more just hanging out with friends! It was so cool. (On another note, Zanna has an amazing blog which you can find here)

Home Made Iced Coffee
This for me has become a solid summery weekend drink. I love coffee, probably far too much.. and am not ready to kick the addiction just yet! but to mix it up I started making an iced version which is DELICIOUS.
Ingredients:
Coffee (Instant or brewed shot of espresso)
Ice – Loads of ice
1 Frozen Banana – Its important that its frozen.
Unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk if that’s your jam)
You could add Stevia/ Coconut Sugar etc if you like it sweeter.
How to: 
Put all ingredients in a blender (minus some ice for later) and MIXX.
Enjoy with the extra ice and a reusable straw with some coconut sugar sprinkled on top (if you are the ultimate environmentally friendly health wanker like myself)
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This summer has seriously been so great! I was happy, fulfilled and just generally in a great place! I am now (kindof) looking forward to the colder weather! (but I will miss my tan!) Bring on the coats and scarves! What was your favourite part about summer this year? And if you are in the northern hemisphere… what are you looking forward to??
 Leave a comment or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.
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Tried & Tested | Concealers

For those days when the under eye circles are just getting a little too much

It has been a little while since my last Tried & Tested post! So I do apologise! I have been trying to get together (& finish) enough products to warrant doing another one and considering I am slightly obsessed with concealers I have finally managed to do so! (you’re welcome).

This is a bit of a mashup of all sorts tbh..  We have some affordable & some, not so much. However, considering I wouldn’t ever really spend a craptonne on a high end concealer, I think you will find something within your budget.

Collection Lasting Perfection

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Unfortunately this first one probably isn’t for the Australian readers as it is REALLY hard to get a hold of here. I have found a few places, one being Fishpond & another being Ebay however, I can not comment on what the delivery etc is like as I have never ordered it online.
If however, you are in NZ or the UK, it will be fairly easy to find and its definitely worth a look. It doesn’t have a great shade range however if you have a lighter skin tone you should be okay. It is a thickish formula with really good coverage. It doesn’t crease on me and doesn’t go patchy at all. I do recommend working quite quickly as it dries faster than some.
I also use this as a eye shadow primer and it does not move!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer

I enjoy this concealer on days that I don’t need as much coverage or I need to cover up a spot as I have this in my skin tone and not a shade lighter (the shade range isn’t fantastic). It blends really well and is light to medium coverage. It sets very easily with a bit of powder and won’t move all most of the day on me. It is very brightening under the eyes as you would expect and is best applied with a sponge.

Mecca Max Life Proof Cream Concealer

On the website this concealer is classed as a ‘eraser for the face’. I don’t think I would go that far, however, it is a great concealer and I do love it. It is very similar in texture and coverage to the Collection concealer mentioned above (maybe the formula is a tiny bit thinner), so for those aussies wondering, this would be a good dupe. It blends SO easily and for that reason + the amazing coverage it has been my current go to. It also has an okay shade range and lasts well on me (with setting powder).

L.A Girl PRO Conceal HD

I wont lie. I bought this concealer because of the hype! If you haven’t bought anything because of Youtube or Instagram, then good on you! But me, I love a good social media recommendation. One thing ill say about this is that the shade range is FANTASTIC. There is literally a colour for everyone. It has about a medium coverage and is great for brightening under the eyes. I have also used it on spots here and there and its covered well. I will say that the lasting power isn’t as good as others, however if it was something you wanted to pop on for a few hours then it would be perfect.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser

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For me, this is the perfect everyday concealer. Its really easy to apply under the eyes, blends like a dream, doesn’t crease, works fine under powder and gets rid of those pesky under eye black circles. The shade range def isn’t great and the coverage is maybe light to medium but when it does the job, lasts all day and goes on special a LOT, its worth a go. This is the one I recommend to everyone.

Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer

This one is at the bottom of my list, not because it is the worst, but because its not one I tend to reach for the most. This is def more of a face concealer and wouldn’t recommend for under eye use (Hence the name I guess…). It does cover spots well and doesn’t go cakey. It’s easy to apply and blends out really well. It doesn’t tend to last all day (although none really do on my spots) but I don’t mind touching up with this one here and there.

Concealers are great. On days where I have ‘no makeup’ on, I will still use one of these as one of my 3 products. My current WishList includes: Urban Decay Naked Skin, NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, Two Faced Born This Way & a few more affordable ones.
PLEASE let me know your recommendations.

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Current Beauty Essentials

Beauty Lies Within..

It’s definitely been a while since I last posted anything beauty related! So I thought why not do a bit of a overview of things I’ve been trying && loving recently.

Although trying out new products is oh so fun, the more time goes on, the less I seem to change em up. I used to try and get a new Primer, Foundation & Brow Pencil every time I used one up but now, I know what I like so I tend to stick to & repurchase what I know works. With, the odd exception because I am still a bit of a beauty addict at heart. So I thought, why not share what I am lovin’ at the mo. Maybe you will find a new gem or two…

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L’occitane Almond Shower Oil & Body Cream

After hearing the constant hype in the beauty community about the renound Bath & Shower oil, it became a.. IMUSTHAVE IT. But, its rather expensive. So I thought I would put it on my Xmas list & I was lucky enough to receive it, in a set with the Hand Cream, Body Moisturiser & a Soap Bar (DREAMY).
After trying it now for a month solid, I can say, it IS worth the hype. I def use it more as a bath oil (You only need the teeeniest amount) and omg I always feel so soft & lush afterwards. I generally follow up with the body cream to get the ultimate effect and it has really become a solid in my pamper routine! The cream is as you would expect, lush. But it also soaks into the skin really well & doesn’t leave you feeling sticky and having to dance around the bathroom for 10mins waiting for it to dry!

Sukin Shaving Gel
Ive never really been one to shave my legs… with a shaving gel. Never saw the point and thought it was a waste of money (whats wrong with a bar of soap?). I still stick to this statement however, I do love this product. It is actually a men’s face shaving gel but it wasn’t being used for such things so I decided ‘wastenotwantnot’ and gave it a go.
Now I wouldn’t say its super magical but, if you do like buying shaving gel for your legs, then maybe pick this one up when its half price because it does the job well and lasts forever!

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Origins Out Of Trouble 10 Min Mask

Of the 3 Origins face masks I have tried, this is the one I would repurchase.. which I find rather funny because it was the one I was least excited to try. It is one of those products that really does what it claims to. I only use this on problem areas of my face when I am breaking out but I know that when I use this at night, the next morning my spots will be half the size and not giant volcanoes. It also doesn’t dry out my face which is magical because a lot of 10 minute masks or blemish masks tend to do so.

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L’Oreal Miss Baby Roll Mascara

This mascara is nothing like I have ever used before. You can see in the close up photos that the wand is really weird! I bought it on a whim because I wanted to try something new and I can almost say, that it is now my holy grail! Which is a huge statement because I didn’t think any mascara would ever make me want to throw out my Cover girl Lash Blast (which you can see me raving about here).
It gives a great amount of volume, without clumping, and is also quite separating and lengthening! It is the ‘doesitall’ mascara I have been wanting for so long.
Also, the packaging is pretty cute which is an added bonus.

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Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Eastend Snob and Stila MECCA20 – Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

I will admit that lip products are not my favourite products in my makeup bag. I love eyebrows & lashes & base. So when I do find lip products that I like, I tend to just use those ones ALL the time rather than mixing it up. I know what colours suit me and work for me. So these two have become my everyday office lip combo.
The lip liner I bought thanks to Amelia Liana and her obsession for Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk as I had heard this was a good dupe and I wasn’t about to pay big $$$ for a lip liner. It’s a very creamy lip liner and doesn’t have to be sharpened (Hallelujah).

The Stila Liquid Lip I bought during Mecca’s 20 Year celebration (read about what I bought here) and now that I have had and used it for a while I can say… the colour is amazing but the formula can be really drying if you don’t prep your lips enough. This is why I decided to see what it would look like & perform over top of the Rimmel Lip Liner and it was such a win! Not only does it last perfectly most of the day, it doesn’t flake off in a funny manner, get really dry or leave your lips with a weird tint. WIN.

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What are some of your favourite bits at the moment? Leave a comment or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.