Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Rainy day and Ecoya Candles

I'm mildly obsessed with candles.

They just smell so good and I love coming home from uni or work and light one and having the whole room smell gorgeous.

I even have what my mum and I refer to as "the candle lady". This woman makes candle wax and fills up old antique glasses with different flavours. She's local to us and lives just outside the city in the country, not far from where I live. My favourite fragrance of hers is Chanel No.5. It's delicious.

One of the brands sold at my work is Ecoya. I actually own three of their candles but the ones that i own all look the same and all come in this lovely glass jar that lights up on the inside. So I didn't bother putting up a photo of each. The one that I own is called a Metro Jar (the one pictured here). Ecoya promises up to 80 hours burning time for the 400g candle that is pictured above. This specific one is the Vanilla Bean and is absolutely gorgeous. I also have the French Pear, and the Sweet Pea and Jasmine.

Ecoya is an Australian brand and according to their website can be found in 15 countries worldwide. In addition to this, all their candles don't contain harsh chemicals found in other candle waxes and their body products are hypoallergenic and free from parabens. My kinda stuff!

Today I'm home from Uni already, and it is 11.26 by my clock on my laptop. It's also pouring with rain and the street lights are still on. Seeeeeeeeeee? Perfect day for lighting candles and drinking hot chocolates. :)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Tangle Teezer

For those of you who don't know, I am obsessed with all things British. Therefore, when I saw this video of Cara Delevingne I had to buy one. One what you ask? Oh, ya know, just a Tangle Teezer.

What's in Cara Delevingne's handbag?

Now I know that this may seem silly to many of you, but I do tend to buy a lot of things because I think "Oh so-and-so has that" or "Oh that was mentioned on there" and therefore because of those reasons I must have one. It's a sad fact of my life. It's one of the many reasons why I never seem to have enough money.

As I was saying, I had to buy a tangle teezer because Cara had one. Here is my tangle teezer arriving in the post. It came all the way from England, which I was super excited about. I bought the Bubblegum Pink colour because I love pink. I did contemplate the orange however.

(I was reading the magazine SHOP when my mum gave me the parcel all wrapped up in a little white box. Sorry!)

I love using it already. I have really long hair - it's almost down to the top of my bum - so brushing it is a nightmare, especially when it's wet. This however makes my life so much easier. It doesn't snag or pull my hair. But it does detangle it with it's soft bristles. I hate brushing your hair and finding half of it having snapped off and littered onto the floor and this product doesn't do that! Something that I'm so happy about! It's great for my hair.

The website says:
"Tangle Teezer Original professional detangling hairbrush is loved by hairdressers and used in professional hair salons. It's a super smooth operator that works the minute hair is lathered and rinsed. Glides through wet, vulnerable and colour treated hair with no pulling, tugging or yanking. Hair peace at last!" (here)

So all in all, thanks Cara, thanks Tangle Teezer. My hair is very grateful. :)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

My favourite things of the month of April:

1. Make Up: Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick, colour 111

This I really struggled to fill; not because I am not in love with a certain product, but because I am in love with many. That is always the way with me. But ultimately, I have decided to put in one of the new Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipsticks from Rimmel. The shade that I bought was 111. It's quite a nice general red for every day or evenings. It's not too dark or too strawberry like (I hate strawberry red lipsticks with a passion). Also it is very hard to find a Matte Lipstick these days so I was thrilled when Rimmel came out with these. Plus, I adore Kate. I immediately bought 111 the day we got them in-store. The lipstick itself is creamy and not drying - another thing I hate with lipsticks. I've yet to try it out to see how long it lasts on a night out, but I'm not expecting extreme results, a lipstick is a lipstick. All in all however, I love the shade and that they are matte. The range comes with 10 shades.

The first picture is of the lipstick case, and I do love how their lids go on a slant. The bright red is a change too. The second photo is the actual colour, the first makes it look more winey, but it's a nice red, not burgundy at all.

One that I am really liking recently is the Kiehls (believe me when I say that I have to type this word into google just to know how to spell it) Ultra Facial Cream. It's lightweight in texture, but moisturising enough that my skin doesn't feel dry. There is also nothing worse than having a sticky skin from some moisturiser that claims to be super hydrating, and I can safely say that with this gel-like texture you don't get that. A huge big tick for me as far as I'm concerned! It means that I can use it and then put my foundation on immediately. Which is absolutely great for someone as time conscious as I. As a beauty addict and someone who works with skincare and beauty, I am forever trying and buying new products. But this is one that I might actually stick to. It's quickly becoming a favourite moisturiser of mine. The only issue is the price! :(

For Christmas I asked my parents for the fragrance Alien by Thierry Mugler and I am so pleased that I did. When I work in the Cosmetic department I am often spritzing around fragrances like a little fairy. One that I absolutely adore spraying is this one. It's so feminine. It's quite vanillary I find, which I love since I also love Dior's Hypnotic Poison. The top note is Sambac Jasmine, the middle Cashmere Wood, and the base White Amber. (Suddenly feeling very silly for thinking it's vanilla-ry...) I feel like a woman every time I wear it, which is most days to be honest. I always get compliments on it with people going as far as to say that it is this fragrance they associate with me. This is what I would say is my signature fragrance.

4. Website: The House of Coxhead

I love this website. It's great. They list any up and coming artists that are of interest or relevance at the moment. They also list albums coming out and remixes of songs by DJ's. For any music obsessive person like myself, it is a must. It lets you in on the know of who's who in music and who's done what with what song and who's written it, remixed it, DJ'd it. Believe me, once you scroll through a page, you wont stop scrolling.

This song is very quickly becoming a favourite of mine. By the band Violet, with the lead singer Pixie Geldof - daughter of Bob Geldof and a famous British socialite - it has the dreamy voice of Pixie along with capturing guitar playing and sentimental lyrics. Both easy listening and addictive, it has me listening to it on repeat for hours. The song puts me in a dreamlike place and is simply beautiful. I can't get enough of it! Way to go Pixie!

6. Celebrity: Zoella

Somebody whom I'm currently obsessing over is Zoella. I'm not sure if you could call her a celebrity, I suppose in a way she is. She's certainly reached a high level of fame through her blog and youtube. She's just adorable and lovely and always recommends such great products. I love watching her vidoes and reading her blog. It makes me feel that there is hope for people who are shy to receive the recognition they deserve. I too struggle with being in big crowds, and Zoe is an inspiration. Thank you Zoe! :)

7. Book: I Heart London

This is by Lindsey Kelk. You can check out her official blog here. I have read a few of her books, but I've just finished this one. I really enjoyed it. Mainly because, firstly, I absolutely adore London even though I've never been, and secondly, I love anything chick-lit that talks about any beauty, clothing, accessories, shoes etc. Plus, this has the added bonus of planning a wedding! Spoiler alert!
Her blog Lindsey Kelk is hilarious. I frequently read it and love hearing what she is up to in what part of the world. She has a way with words that makes me giggle several times throughout one of her short articles. Utterly brilliant woman! 

8. Purchase: Guess Handbag and Wallet 

So I've been looking for an "everyday" bag that will fit everything I need in it; umbrella, wallet, gum, water bottle, six zillion lip products, phone, headphones etc etc. But I bought this one and I am in love with it. It's a brown taupe colour and I like brown accessories more than black, black can be so harsh and with coloured things or brown flats it just goes. It's just big enough to fit everything in it without looking like I'm carrying a small carryon for a plane. The wallet is a gorgeous peachy colour and opens up each side so there is enough room for all my many cards - I have a card for every shop, I'm one of those. Overall, for the price that I paid for them (there was a huge sale at massively discounted prices so I got it for a quarter of the price it retails at) I am incredibly happy. They are both going to get so much use!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Such a pretty shop. Sigh.

Today I went to Ballantynes

It's an absolutely beautiful shop here in New Zealand and has been around for the last 100 or so years. It sells everything upmarket and I am forever going and window shopping because lord knows I can't afford anything. They have a gorgeous sweet collection, as you can see by the photos below. They also have beautiful displays of all their counters, this one being the Antipodes which I spoke about in my last post here. Their cosmetic counters are to die for. I would kill to have every product from all ranges. There is the sweetest guy working on the Kiehl's Counter. We had a good chat about the Epidermal Re-texturising Microdermabrasion Cream. I want to try it so badly. Apparently that shit is like gold - works miracles. I may as well slather on unicorn sweat all over my face because that is the chance of me ever being able to afford it here at the insane prices everything is in New Zealand. Ugh. Sigh.

These next two photos are from Chantecaille's new collection. It's called The Elephant Palette and I absolutely love it. Not only do I love the little elephant imprints on the eyeshadows, I also love their colours. They're earthy and gorgeous for everyday use. The case is very chic with a lovely ivory colour and then a black elephant with its' trunk raised. On their website, Chantecaille, the palette aims to raise awareness to orphaned baby elephants in Kenya. So not only are you getting a lovely eyeshadow palette when purchasing, you are also donating to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where 5% of all proceeds go.
Even the names of the eyeshadows are lovely; Ivory, Grasslands, Iron Ore, and Red Earth. This palette is perfect as far as I'm concerned. I absolutely want it and fell in love with it when I saw it at the Mecca counter today. It's just beautiful. 
Besides, I adore elephants.

Someone buy this palette and tell me how amazing it is.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Maybelline Fit Me

I work in Cosmetics and have tried many many foundations. But, and I do mean but, I have never found a cheap foundation that I think is on par with those that are more expensive. That is until the Maybelline Fit Me range was released.

Firstly, this is incredibly cheap. I looked at it online and Feelunique has Fit Me for 6.79pounds. I can safely say that it has never been this cheap in New Zealand. The department store I work at retails it at $25.99 NZ dollars. Comparing with Estee Lauder's Double Wear which retails at $80 NZ dollars,  Revlon's Photoready at $45.99 NZ dollars and Clinique's Perfectly Real at $66 NZ dollars, and even Nars Sheer Glow at an absorbent amount here, this is an incredibly cheap product. Let's not even mention MAC's prices in New Zealand, let alone Dior or Chanel, all of which I love. (My mother is a Chanel addict.)

Secondly, the coverage is perfect I feel. It's not too heavy or too light. All discolourations and blemishes on my skin are covered with one light coat over my skin using a foundation brush. I add a little more to my cheeks or my chin sometimes just to get a little more coverage over spots or redness. But overall, the coverage is great for something so cheap. When comparing to Moisture Mist's Beauty Cake - which like the name suggests, cakes - or with Australis foundation's (which are popular here, though they give little coverage) at around the same price of $19-$26 NZ dollars depending on the foundation, and even compared to Maxfactor's Xperience Foundation which I think is very good, the Fit Me is still incredible for its' coverage. I find that some brands can be oily and tend to sit on the skin, but I find that this foundation doesn't do that. The coverage and feel is much nicer than other cheaper brands.

Thirdly, this range comes in eighteen different shades. As a cosmetician, I am aware of how hard it can be to match some people's skin. With eighteen different shades to choose from it should be near impossible for you to walk out of the store looking orange. When choosing a foundation always remember that you can always, always darken your makeup with bronzer, blusher, powder etc. But you can never lighten a yellow or orange face. Think of it like your washing; if you put a black item in with your whites, all your whites will come out grey, but if you put in a white with all your coloureds or blacks, only the white will be affected. So, you can always darken your face, but you can never lighten it so that it will match correctly. If you're unsure, go for the lighter shade. Never buy a foundation wanting to "not look like a ghost", trust me, you will end up looking like an oompa loompa. I bought 125 during the summer, but now that it's winter here the shade is a little too dark for me. I pop on a translucent powder over top rather than a coloured powder because I don't need the extra colour on my face at this time of year.

Overall, this product is very good. Just put on a slick of a simple shadow and a swipe of blush on the apples of your cheeks, and finally some mascara to darken and lengthen your lashes and you're good to go for the simplest of every day make-up.

The other products featured in the picture above are:

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in Place Shadow Creme in colour 21 Buttercreme
MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Peachy-Keen
MAC Studio Fix Boldblack Lash in Black

Monday, 22 April 2013

Antipodes Skincare Review

I'm going to let you in on a secret; I love organic and natural products.

It's probably something i'm a little overly obsessed with at the moment. I can't stop using organic or natural skincare or eating healthier foods. It's become obsessive to the point that I check for parabens, chemicals, and where things are made on every product I use. In food I check the contents that are in it and if it's not pointed out, I won't eat it. I almost never by food from somewhere like McDonalds any more. I just can't stand the thought that those chicken nuggets are made up of scrap meat. Because of all of this, I am over compensating in what I'm using. This post is going to be about a range that most of you probably won't be able to get in your parts of the world, but that I absolutely love and just had to write about anyway. The range is called Antipodes.

Antipodes is a scientific organic and natural skincare range. It is New Zealand made. For something to be certified organic it needs to be 100% natural and over 70% of all ingredients must be organic natural. Not only is Antipodes natural, it is also dermatologically approved and scientifically validated to improve the collagen and elasticity in ageing skin. Their products are also Vegetarian approved. As you can see, it has many benefits, all of which I love.

The first product that I'm going to introduce to you is by far my favourite. It is the Deliverance Kowhai Flower Hand Cream(Centred in the photo in the white full tube - it's a new one!) With avocado oil, orange, and cedar-wood  it is moisturising without being oily. It's also super rich in vitamins, and the more vitamins you can have, the better. I love this hand cream. It's one that I regularly use purely because it doesn't leave an oily residue on my hands. It absorbs fast and smells delicious. A definite fav.

The second product is almost a cult product amongst Antipodes users and definitely one of their top-sellers where I work. It won Harpers Bazaar Beauty Award for 2012. This would be the Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream(In the little pottle on top of the square box.) This is an anti-ageing product and helps improve collagen levels which reduce as you age. Young woman produce their own collagen whereas older woman need help to re-boost and kickstart their production. Vinanza Grape is a staple for Antipodes and this product contains loads; the ingredient helps improve elasticity in the skin which lacks in more mature skin. I like this product because even on my combination to oily skin it doesn't leave it feeling oily and it keeps it hydrated throughout the night.

Another product that I have recently begun using again of theirs after not doing so for about a year is the Grapeseed Butter Cleanser(On the left in the round big container.) This has also won an award, the Health Food Business Award. This must be applied on a damp face and massaged on. I usually like to leave mine on for a couple of minutes before using a hot facecloth to wash it off. Even leaving the steaming facecloth on your face for a few seconds is like a mini facial. You only need the tiniest amount to do your face, but since it's a balm, make sure that you do indeed use a facecloth to wash it off. Otherwise, when you dry your face with your hand towel it will be yellow. As it suggests, it is definitely luscious and soothing. Plus, It's certified organic! Yay!

If your skin is anything like mine, aka combination to oily and prone to breakouts, then using an exfoliator is a must. I try to do mine twice a week, but sometimes I forget. This next product is one of their exfoliators that has microscopic beads that are great for getting into the pores without aggravating the skin. It's called Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator. It also contains jojoba seed (pronounced ho-ho-bah) which is very hydrating. I like exfoliators that aren't grainy, and this one isn't, which is great! (This one is the sadly almost all used white tube on the right of the photo.)

The final product that I like is the Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream(The littlest pottle at the front of the picture.) Coming in a cute wee glass pot, it has no fragrance (perfect for sensitive eyes) and contains avocado oil and jojoba seeds too. This product even won the Harpers Bazaar Beauty Awards in 2011. Make sure when applying an eye cream that you don't put it directly onto your eye but only on the bone above your checks and below the eyebrow. Press lightly with your ring finger. So many people rub it all over your eye, but what will happen if you do is that your skin will soak it in and keep it in a clump that will form under your eye and give you even bigger bags than you get after a night out drinking with no sleep. Trust me when I say that no one wants this.

You can buy Antipodes here:

Or at any Department retailer, or pharmacy in their listed countries found here.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

OPI Nail polishes

Recently I went out for an evening with my mum and her bunch of friends; they're all in this book club together but none of them really read books, they just drink loads of wine and gossip. When I was out with them, one of her friends showed me this new app on her iphone, and I love apps so I was immediately intrigued. What it is is the new OPI app that shows you all the colours of the OPI nail polishes and what they would look like on your hand. Of course I was immediately transfixed and downloaded it on the spot.

This of course led to me realising how many OPI nail polishes I actually already own. So this is going to be a master post of all my favourite OPI colours. These are the OPI nail polishes that I currently own.

1. Cozu Melted In The Sun.
2. Altar Ego.
3. Samoan Sand.
4. You Don't Know Jacques!
5. Lincoln Park After Dark.
6. Do You Lilac It?
7. Black Shatter.
8. Top Coat.
9. Base Coat.

My absolute favourite OPI nail polish is Samoan Sand. It's the third one in on the left in the picture. It's perfect if you want a nude nail polish. When it chips, you can't tell for a few days because it is so light on your nails. The bottle itself is so used that I had to shake it a few times and then take the picture quickly so that you'd hardly notice.
Unfortnuately this trick didn't work so well with the Top and Base Coats. I feel like for the price that you pay for them, the top and base coats aren't as good as I would hope for. Nonetheless, I do use them and I do find them alright. I managed to buy mine in a set which worked out that I got one free. 

OPI has the most glorious range of nail polishes. No one else's collection near compares to that of OPI's and if you're after any colour, you can guarantee that OPI will have it. Every time a customer is wanting to match a nail polish with something they've got to wear, I head straight over to OPI because they are bound to have a colour that is similar if not exact. The amount of pinks and reds they have alone exceeds other brands entire collections. Absurd. However, I'm not complaining. I love that they have so many colours!

These are the ones that I wish to own:
1. Matte Topcoat.
2. The "It" Colour
3. Charged Up Cherry.
4. My Private Jet.
5. In My Back Pocket.
6. Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine.
7. Dulce de Leche
8. The entire Oz The Great And Powerful collection.

How gorgeous is the Oz The Great And Powerful collection?! I am in love!

Check out OPI's collection at http://www.opi.com/

If you want to know about the app I downloaded, it is called OPI. It's great, it shows you each nail polish they have and what it will look like on a hand. You can even change the skin colour of the hand! It's fantastic!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Marriage Equality: New Zealand makes it legal


Wow is all I can say.

I cannot express just how proud I am of my country in this small little box and with these little words in this little world. New Zealand has just passed the Gay Marriage Bill. It became the thirteenth country to do so. Little New Zealand has managed to realise just how important each individual person is to the world and that their rights should be equal no matter whom they love.

It makes me incredibly proud to be a New Zealander today. You can read about it here.

I want to share something with you that I wrote when I was all of seventeen.

"I believe in full equality for all. Martin Luther King made a change in history when he protested for equality amongst blacks and whites. So why has it taken so long for same sex relationships to receive even a small amount of what they have fought for?
It makes me pleased to know that young people, of my age, are content with homosexuality, or bisexuality. Not all people are, but most are. I met a lovely gay couple at a friends’ party. He brought me over to them and said “I want you to meet some very special friends of mine”. He said their names, which I apologize as I have forgotten them. And then he said they are together, implying their relationship. They however, quickly informed him and I that they had split up. Later on I saw them kissing and sitting on one another, holding hands, and doing all things coupley. They had reunited. I was so pleased to see that these two guys were busy being in love in a room full of teenagers. The venue was packed, and everyone could see what they were doing. Yet, nobody seemed to mind. This makes me feel so happy. To think that teenagers, and the generation looked down upon most by society, were content enough that they knew what love was, and that it doesn’t matter who you love, to let these people comfortably express their love. It made me happy is all. 
Homosexuality is not a sin people. It is love. And love is experienced by all.

I wrote this several years ago. It makes me proud today to think that the older people, the government, and the public in general have decided that New Zealand is a country that needs equal rights for ALL its' citizens.

I am so proud to be a New Zealander today. x

Monday, 15 April 2013

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish and Girl About Town Lipstick Review


So my parents went to Sydney a couple of weeks ago. I sent them on a mission to get me a few things. Some of things were a few MAC products that I have been dying to have but seeing as they're so expensive here in New Zealand, not to mention hard to get a hold of, I asked for them as a present. Firstly, let me just tell you how pretty the bag was. It came with a bow! And I do adore bows.

The first item is a Mineralise Skinfinish in the colour Porcelain Pink. It's a beautiful light iridescent pink colour that leaves the skin with a healthy shimmer. Any beauty addict will tell you just how gorgeous the skinfinish's are. My friend has four! That is how amazing they are. So when they came out with this colour I couldn't resist adding to my collection either.

The second product I asked for is a MAC lipstick in Girl About Town. It's a beautiful pink that's extremely bright. And since I am in LOVE with bright lipsticks at the moment I just had to have it. I know all of you beauty addicts will be going, "that is so yesterday" but just remember that I come from little ole New Zealand and that MAC is not sold frequently here, and for that reason alone I have not bought it. However, I am now near obsessed with the colour.

I also have been a big fan of MAC's statement packaging for a while now, so I just had to put one up of their classy black lipstick cases and the square boxes. So clean and perfect.

I did some swabs on my hand. The first is the Mineralise Skinfinish and the second the Girl About Town Lipstick. It's a shame that the skinfinish doesn't really show up on my hand - It's probably because I'm so pale. But like I said about the lipstick, it is just gorgeous. Pair it with your mineralize skinfinish and some simple natural eye make-up and some long lashes and you are good to go. :)

I'll share some more of my MAC products, because i'm an obsessive person, at a later date. As for now, that is all.
BYE :)

Twenty things about me:


Well, let's start off with an introduction. My name would be Ashleigh (hence Smashleigh) and I live in New Zealand. It's a far distant place from probably most of you; there's only just over 4 million people living here. It's a little boring at times, but I travel quite a bit, though it's so incredibly expensive to get anywhere.

I decided to start this blog as a way to put not only my knowledge on beauty to use, but to share with you the experiences I have and the things that I love. I want to somewhat organise my life some more - please note that when I mean somewhat I mean to attempt, not that I will probably succeed. I probably will most definitely not succeed.

Some facts about me:

1. I'm 20.
2. I've been to Asia, Europe, and Australasia. 
3. I love the Teletubbies and Sesame Street.
4. I hate almost all television. I'd much rather watch a movie.
5. I study at University.
6. About 8 months ago my family started a health kick (more exercising and healthier eating) and since I have lost quite a bit of weight and exercise usually 4 times a week.
7. I have worked in make-up for 4 years.
8. One Direction are one of my favourite bands.
9. I also love Ed Sheeran. I've seen him live the two times that he has come to New Zealand.
10. Marmite is one of my favourite foods and when we went out of stock of it in New Zealand (and worldwide) I almost died. Seriously.
11. I tend to over-exaggerate.
12. I suck at sports, but I've discovered I quite like running at the gym.
13. I have two dogs and two cats.
14. One day I hope to publish a novel.
15. The beach is one of my favourite places to go.
16. I can drink several cups of coffee and tea a day.
17. Online shopping is disastrous for my bank account.
18. Mascaras are probably my favourite beauty product - I currently have five that I'm using. (I will list a post on them.)
19. New Zealand is both cold and hot, something which after 20 years I have still yet to come to terms with in coping each summer and winter when it exceeds my expectations.
20. I hate poor grammar.

I hope that you enjoy this. I'll definitely enjoy talking to all of you. :)