100 of My Favourite Things 1/5

So the idea of listing things you enjoy isn’t exactly new, but I did steal this format from the wonderful YouTuber Toxic Tears. Because this post would be massive if I did all 100 things at once, I’ll be splitting it into 5 parts. Oh and these aren’t ranked.

1. Coffee
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Coffee is love, coffee is life. It’s the finest organic suspension ever devised.

2. The Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series by Val McDermidwp-1494841600167.jpg
I have to do so much heavy reading for my thesis and every now and then it’s just great to have a break and read something light. It’s a series of psychological thrillers with flawed but relatable characters.

3. Mushroom Soup
Anything with sautéed mushrooms is a big win for me and mushroom soup is essentially that flavour taken to the max. It’s the perfect winter treat when you’re feeling a bit crook or down.

4. Geeky Kitchen Gadgets
If you can make something functional and funny or geeky, then chances are I’ll like it. My tea pot is a Tardis, most of my mugs change design when hot or have some geeky slogan on them, some of my dishes have planet prints on them. It just makes life a little bit better to have things like that around.

5. Fire places
Want atmosphere? Get a fireplace.

6.  Dogs
They are happiness on legs. There are few things that instantly put a smile on my face, but dogs absolutely have that effect. I currently can’t have my own dog but even just seeing one walk past outside does make my day a bit better.

7. Fluffy Socks
Nothing says comfort like a pair of fluffy socks. I wear them when writing or just relaxing after a long day. It’s just one of those small things that helps brighten your day.

8. Smashed Avo on Toast
Apparently this is why I can’t buy a house.

9. Good Wifi
Do I really need to explain why I like good wifi more than bad?

10. The theme for Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?
Holy crap is that a catchy theme tune. As far as themes for kids’ shows go, this is one of the best.

11. Batman.
Batman is one of my childhood heroes (thank you Batman: The Animated Series). Actually, scrap the ‘childhood’ part. Batman is one of my heroes.

12. Swimming
It’s one of the few forms of exercise where you can’t actually feel like you’re sweating – at least most of the time. It’s also just a nice thing to do when it’s hot outside.

13. Sunscreen
See point 12. It’s also the best skin care item there is.

14. Personal Styles
I love it when people manage to develop their own personal badass and flattering style rather than following trends.

15. Jeggings
I don’t care what you say, but with the right fabric they can look amazing. Not to mention that they’re super comfortable.

16. Sabaton
Gotta love a band that uses history as an inspiration for some pretty epic metal songs.

17. Sheet Masks
They’re just super convenient and a good way to look after your skin. Not to mention that they’re super cheap compared to most other alternatives.

18. Dark Green
It just happens to be my favourite colour.

19. Comfortable high heels
Finding a pair of comfortable heels that fit just right is absolutely amazing. Plus, they make you taller – which is helpful since you can look over other people’s heads in crowds and know where things are.

20. Geraldwp-1479997673392.jpg

Hidden Gems

This post is about brands and products that I think are underrated, underestimated, or just not as well known as they should be. They’re not necessarily small indie brands and this is not a hipster post. It’s just about things I think you should look into. Last thing to consider is that products and brands may be well known in one part of the world but not in another.

The first brand I’d like to draw some attention to is Palmer’s. It’s a brand you can find in most drugstores in Australia and they specialise in skin care. It’s not necessarily unknown, but I almost never hear people talk about it. The cocoa body butter included in the photo above is wonderful, smells nice, and is really moisturising. In terms of affordable skincare, look into Palmer’s the next time you’re considering a purchase. I use their exfoliator, body butter, and they used to make the best lightweight moisturiser I’ve ever tried.

Geek Chic Cosmetics is one of my all-time favourite indie brands. Their solid perfumes are some of the very few perfumes I actually like. They’re not overpowering and they don’t stink up the entire house. Furthermore, they make my favourite powder foundation. It’s in the shade Kahlan and I’ll have to re-purchase it soon. They’ve also got a great body lotion that references Silence of the Lambs, which is amazing. They’re mostly known for their eyeshadows, which come in geek themed collections. As a bonus, the brand is cruelty free and at least mostly vegan.

SkinFood is a great Korean brand that never seems to get much attention in the west. They make my favourite eyebrow powder, the gummibear shaped hand cremes I rave about, and some truly awesome skincare products. If you love cute packaging, high quality products, and like brands that try new things – then SkinFood is for you.

TonyMoly – this is a brand you’ve probably heard of. However, it seems to be underestimated by most people I’ve chatted to. This brand makes a mind-blowingly good liquid eyeliner for like 10 dollars. Their steam balm in their egg pore series is one of the best products I’ve tried when it comes to fighting blackheads. Furthermore, their Pokémon themed collaboration that you can still find in a lot of online k beauty retailers was really good. The Psyduck cheese firming cream contains gruyere (seriously) and can be used on your body and face. I typically use it on my legs after shaving and it has been really helpful.

Innisfree – Innisfree is my holy grail skincare brand. If I was only allowed to use one brand for all of my skincare, then it would be Innisfree. They are famous for combining natural ingredients with scientific innovation and the result is gorgeous. In addition to their skincare they also have innovative products in haircare and some really solid makeup products. Their no sebum compact powders are perfect in humid climates.

Guerlain – You’ve probably heard of this brand. However, very few people seem to actually purchase things from them. Out of all the luxury brands, Guerlain is the one given the least attention in comparison to how good the brand really is. I’ve been a fan of their Rogue G de Guerlain lipsticks for years and currently use a light-medium coverage foundation from them. I’ve never tried a Guerlain product that I found lacking in quality, the only time a product hasn’t worked for me was when it was made with a pink undertone in mind.

Paint – I’ve only ever seen this brand in one Terry White’s. It’s honestly on par with OPI in terms of quality even though their range is a bit smaller. I remember buying 5 bottles of nail polish for 10 dollars and not a single one of them disappointed me. The shade I’m showing in the photo above was simply called ‘red’. This means that it’s hard to search for the brand online since both the brand name and shade names are really generic. If you have a Terry White Chemist near you, see if they carry this brand.

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Palette – I don’t know enough about BH Cosmetics to be able to recommend the brand as a whole. However, their galaxy themed palette is heaps of fun. It’s great for creating unusual looks and the colours can be used both wet and dry. If you’re looking for a fun palette that’s really affordable, check this one out.

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

Yup, straight up stealing from Family Guy.

 

  • “Nukular” – it’s nuclear. Nu-clear. And no, it’s not a matter of ‘accent’. You’re pronouncing the bloody word wrong. I bet you also say expresso.
  • Referring to adults as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ – well at least you’re being honest about being a big man-child. Grow the fuck up. I’m closer to 30 than I am to my teenage years, I’m not a little girl, kindly don’t equate me to a child.
  • “Are you REALLY gluten free?” – I was diagnosed in my late teens after a biopsy and would give anything for a real bowl of pasta. I don’t have to make shit up to feel special and I don’t know why people do lie about this. And no, a gluten free diet won’t benefit you unless there’s a real actual medical reason you need to eliminate it from your diet. And if you put gluten in my food because you think I’m ‘faking it’, then firstly, fuck you. Secondly, it’s not a nut allergy – I’m not going to choke to death. I will have severe stomach issues a few hours later and a fucked up immune system for six months.
  • People who look down on swearing – fuck off.
  • People who haven’t read my research or researched any similar topics/fields trying to explain my own research at me – Darling, your hypothesis didn’t hold up against even minimal testing, that’s why it’s not in the conclusion. Come back when you’ve ACTUALLY done research beyond looking at your own opinions. The theory isn’t flawed or wrong just because it’s not what you wanted it to be.
  • “You can’t loose weight through exercise unless you go on a diet” – Twice in my life I’ve lost decent amounts of weight through exercise while barely changing my diet. You just have to do a lot of it. Typically this is said by people who are trying to lose weight but aren’t succeeding. Go rain on someone else’s parade.
  • “What’s it like to be a woman in geek culture/academia/politics/literally anywhere?” – What exactly are you expecting me to compare it to? My secret life as a dog in which I’ve also tried all these things? Fuck do I know, I’m not a token woman who experiences all womanly things and speak for all women. I’m me, I can tell you a lot about what it’s like to be me. You know, the actual person you’re talking to. I don’t get any secret memos on What It Is Like To Be Female In This Field.
  • If you show cleavage you are trying to find a man – I’m showing cleavage because the outfit I picked that day showed cleavage. My process of clothing selection typically goes: find something somewhat clean, make sure it matches the weather, check if you’re doing anything that day requiring specific clothing, pick the remaining option you like the most. You, or any random men for that matter, are not even in my mind when I pick what to wear.
  • Women who grab other women’s boobs – you’re not excused from committing sexual assault because you’re the same gender as the person you’re grabbing. You’re not entitled to groping people regardless of which gender you are. Consent still bloody matters. Have the courtesy to at least ask for permission.
  • People who don’t indicate.
  • “Why are you so quiet?” – Because I don’t have anything to say right now.
  • “Why do you talk so much?” – Because I have something to say right now.
  • “Clean” eating – people aren’t dirty or eating dirty because they have a burger now and then. You are not cleaner or more pure than they are.
  • Elastane – I’m allergic to it. Can’t wear it. Same thing with lycra/spandex….
  • Early access games – I really just like buying finished products
  • Beige
  • “Your tattoos won’t look good when you’re older” – nor will your un-inked skin. Skin ages, regardless of if it has tattoos or not.

Cosmetics & Style Gift Ideas

No matter if you’re looking for gift inspiration for someone or just feel like doing some window shopping, here’s some fun things to consider.

Elements of Good Days

wp-1467097542726.jpgThere is no such thing as a perfect day, but there sure are things that make days better. This post is merely mentioning some of them.

Good breakfast is a great way to ensure a good start to the day. Personally, I can’t eat just after I wake up and thus my breakfasts are typically more like brunches. The photo here shows one of my favourite breakfasts, the smashed avo from the PonyCat. It’s a big breakfast, but most of the ingredients are healthy and it’s a perfect treat if you suspect you’ll need a mood booster.

Work might not be a common thing to put on here, but if I can get some work done during breakfast, I know I’m at least off to a good start. This is usually when I blog, prep cases for debates, work on bureaucracy related stuff, or get some studying done. Work makes you feel productive and if you can feel productive before midday even on a day off, you’ve instantly made that day better.

Animals. I could just have left it there, but seriously, being around animals is one of the best things you can do to boost your mood. No matter if it’s our cat trying to sleep on my neck or laptop, or if it’s spending time in the stable… Being around animals simply makes me happy. My quality of life increased substantially when I moved to a house that came with a cat.

Exercise is another one of those things that can turn a day from average to good. The key to making exercise enjoyable is simple – do something you enjoy. For me, it’s either swimming or horseback riding. Both of those sports make for great exercise, swimming is a full body workout and horseback riding is leg day intensified. When it’s hot outside, going to the pool hardly feels like a chore and you can find me there almost every day. Now that it’s colder, I’ve started to return to my roots as an equestrian.

Social time is a bit hit or miss for me. Some days I enjoy a break from people and on other days I enjoy being around people. If I feel like being social, I typically have lunch with someone, chill with my housemate, or find a bunch of friends to play Cards Against Humanity with. Even just going to the movies together is a great way to enjoy someone’s company even if you don’t have the energy to do something more active together.

Luxurious showers are the poor man’s baths. Or at least my version of them. I’d love to have a bathtub, but in the meantime I’ll settle for a shower with a body scrub and some nice bath products. If you’re suffering from stiff muscles, showers are a great way to relax and loosen up a bit. In winter, one of the best things to do is simply to have a heater on in your room so that you don’t have to walk into a wall of cold after your shower.

Caffeine is my true love. My one addiction. When you’re having a bad day, have some coffee. Don’t spoil it by adding sugar, drink it black or with milk if you’re using instant coffee. If you’re going out for it, keep it to one that is coffee and milk. That’s the best way to actually feel the flavour. If you have to add 6 sugars, stop drinking coffee and just grab a soda instead. Yes, I have surprisingly strong opinions on coffee.

Spare time? Playing some games is a perfect way for me to unwind. It’s also a good way to keep your mind active. If I’m having a day where I need to distract myself from life, I play video games. Strategy games are a way to keep busy and get some intellectual stimulation. RPGs are great for when you need to get involved in a story and get some emotional rewards.

The Most Annoying Aspects of Buying Makeup Online

wpid-20151109_130909.jpgWhen you live in a part of the world a lot of companies simply don’t have stores in, you inevitably end up turning to online options for your makeup needs. As convenient as this method of shopping sometimes is, there’s a fair amount of annoyance often involved in online retail therapy.

  1. Shipping
    Ok, this is hardly a surprise to anyone, but if you live in a remote part of the world (like, Australia), chances are you’ve had to sell a kidney to pay for shipping. Thankfully, more and more businesses are starting to offer “Free international shipping when you spend x or more”.
  2. No Shipping
    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve gotten excited about a product or company, put some items in my virtual basket, and headed for the checkout only to find that they don’t ship to Australia. Or that the company does ship to Australia but can’t send certain products like scents or polishes because the products contain alcohol. Cue the sound of heartbreak.
  3. Discolouration
    It is incredibly hard to truly capture certain colours in photos. Especially if you don’t do swatches. Sadly this has the consequence that sometimes a product arrives and simply does not look like you expected it to. My most recent experience with this was a Zoeva lipstick in the shade Melting Kisses that looks nothing like the colour on the website, it’s to the point where I’m wondering if the label is lying to me and I’ve been sent the wrong colour by mistake…
  4. Excessive Packaging
    It’s not easy to find a good balance when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of the product and making it possible to open. I recently ordered four items: shoes, a dress, and two small makeup items. It was sent in a satchel for the dress (delivered independently) and a big cardboard box for the other items. 60% of the contents of the box were bubble wrap. I also ordered something from Sephora recently and one of the brushes was not only wrapped in bubble wrap, but also has this casing on it. That casing is covered in a layer of plastic that I cannot get rid of. It should not be a major project to unpack minor things.

Makeup I Buy Even When I Shouldn’t

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It is only the last two years that I’ve started buying makeup just for fun. I’ve always enjoyed wearing makeup and I’ve always liked good quality products, I just wasn’t too keen on spending a lot of money or stepping out of my comfort zone.

These days I sometimes take things too far in the other direction and spend too much on products I don’t end up using. So, here’s a list of the type of things I buy even though I know I won’t use them.
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Stress Management

You may have noticed that this blog has been a bit more quiet than usual lately, the reason why is very simple. I’ve been busy as hell.

I’m finally down to the point where I average three jobs per week (I technically have five, but one has just gone into dormancy and another is just one night every now and then). In addition to that, I still study full time and have that little debating thing going on too. Stress has become a way of life for me and most of the time, it works really well. After next week, I should be back to a regular schedule without too much craziness going on. It’s going to be great.

Stress is something I know a lot of my readers struggle with for various reasons. It seems like it’s almost a part of being human these days. Naturally, this means that it’s worth having a discussion about how to manage it.

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Red Lipstick – New to Makeup

Red lipstick is quite possibly the most iconic type of makeup there is. It is a staple in classical, vintage, and modern makeup. In other words, it deserves its own post.

So I put some of my lipsticks in my bag and headed to my local coffee shop to write. These are far from my only lipsticks, but they do illustrate a rather decent range of colours and types.

Here’s five things you need to know about red lipstick.

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