My Top 3 Beauty Products under $15

I used to be a make up everyday kind of girl but after some time I realised that I just could not find any make up that worked with my skin. No matter what foundation or BB cream I used, I was always oily within a few hours. It didn’t matter that I primed and powdered. It just didn’t work. So I stopped wearing a full face of make up. And that’s when I realised that my skin was actually getting better.

But I still indulged in beauty products. I bought lip sticks in all shades because I could never quite find the perfect shade of nude or red. I bought them despite having braces and anyone with braces would know it’s quite high maintenance keeping lipstick off your brackets. I wore mascara every single day and eyeliner too. Some times I’d have eye shadow on too, other times not so much. But eventually I stopped all this too because I don’t actually like the feeling of make up. My skin has gotten used to not having any on.

So my everyday beauty routine is really quite basic. Cleanse, moisturise and out the door. It’s really very simple. I have 3 products that I use that I absolutely love which you can find below.

  1. Cetaphil Gentle CleanserCetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserI love this cleanser because it is the only one that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many, many different types) where I don’t immediately have to moisturise straight away. It is also gentle enough for when I don’t have anything on but strong enough to remove everything when I’m wearing make up. A lot of people find it doesn’t remove everything but I cleanse twice regardless and this gets rid of 99% of make up traces for me. My only issue with this product is that it is not natural and not cruelty free. Unfortunately I’m yet to find a product that works just as well for longer than a few months and isn’t $75+.
    $14.49 at Chemist Warehouse for a 500 ml bottle.
  2. Morihata Binchotan Facial ScrubMorihata Binchotan Facial ScrubI bought this a few months ago because I wanted an exfoliator that wasn’t a product. I was previously using a muselin cloth but it just wasn’t doing the trick and seemed to attract dog fur like there was no tomorrow. This has two sides depending on whether you want a gentle massage or a deeper one. I use this twice a week on the gentle side and once a week on the slightly rougher side. It also has natural bacterial fighting qualities so it keeps itself hygienic.
    $11.95 at Nourished Life for one towel.
  3. Jojoba OilJojoba OilSo, I’ve had bad skin for a really long time. It’s not so awful that it’s debilitating but it is enough to make you hate the way you look. No matter what I used my skin always felt tight and oily which I’m told is a very unique combination so finding a moisturiser that worked for me was always really difficult. I settled on a couple and even really like one by Aveeno which they promptly discontinued and I was back at square one. I’d researched natural remedies years ago and came across the oil cleansing method which I tried and liked but was a lot of work. As I wanted something that wasn’t so time consuming I jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon and let me tell you, it worked wonders. For about 3 months. And then my skin went haywire. Coconut oil is just not meant for my skin and in fact it made it worse than it used to be. I did some more research and came across jojoba oil. I was a bit hesitant after my experience with the coconut oil but I tried it and loved it. I’ve been using jojoba oil for about 4 years now with a 6 months break whilst on Roaccutane last year on the advice of the dermatologist but I’m back on it because to be honest, it is the only product that has even come close to perfection for me. Its gentle, non-irritating and seems to balance every skin type imaginable. What I love most is that it is completely natural. And I only use 3 drops of oil per application.
    $11.65 at iHerb for 118 ml bottle.

So there you have it. Each product is under $15 and even if you purchase all 3 it still comes to just under $40.

 

 

Best Time To…

So many articles to read and so little time.

It’s funny that there are so many that focus on the best time to do x. Best time to exercise. Best time to eat breakfast. Best time for sleep. Best time for sex. Best time to shower. But is there really a best time that fits everyone?

I think we all know the answer is no.

Whilst these articles are great, it’s really a matter of finding what works for you. Best time to exercise? Best time to eat breakfast? Most articles would say that early morning is best time to exercise and to eat within 30 minutes of finishing. Well I can do the early morning exercise but I prefer after work. And I can’t eat breakfast that early because my body does not react well to it. This is what works for me despite the advice that I read.iration whilst staying true to my body and what it wants and needs. I now get up at 5.30 am and do a light 20 minute workout and go for a walk before work. But if I’m actually really tired (and not just lazy) or not feeling well I won’t do it. I eat breakfast anytime between 9.30 and noon. If by chance I’m hungrier earlier then I’ll eat earlier. I sleep when I feel the need (except at work unfortunately), same with sex, showering and everything else.

This is what works for me despite the advice that I read. It’s all about finding a balance and finding what is best for your body.

Don’t Involve Me In Your Body Issues

I know we all have body issues. I know we all go through days hating ourselves. I know for some people it feels like that feeling will never go away. I know that and I understand it because I’ve been there.

But I have to say – please, please, please don’t include me in your body esteem issues.

I know your intention is to be complimentary but knowing that you compare yourself to me and everyone else around you doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel like shit. It makes me feel helpless to help you deal with your issues. It makes me want to hide my body around you to protect your feelings and that’s not fair on me. I know I sound selfish and uncaring but to be honest, I don’t really care. It makes me anxious and it makes me question my own body when I’ve worked so damn hard to accept myself and want to improve myself for me. Unsurprisingly my own acceptance and state of mind is more important to me then letting you dump on me in a way that ends up affecting me.

I just want to be clear – I don’t mind if you want to talk about your issues. I really don’t. In fact, I love that you trust me enough to discuss these awful feelings. All I ask is that you don’t tell me how I lucky I am to be skinny or compare the size of our butts, tummy, shoulders to each other or that I wouldn’t understand. Because I do understand. All I ask is that you talk in your own terms, about yourself because really, that’s the key to moving forward.

Why I Don’t Strive To Have A Job I Love

There’s so much talk in my generation about how you have to love your life and live it to the fullest. I blame social media. Instagram especially. Apparently I’m meant to love every single aspect of my life and to tell the truth, I do, except my job.

I’m pretty indifferent towards it. I have no real career ambitions so doing administration for a living is fine by me. ? To me, work is simply a place to earn some cash. And you know what? I actually don’t mind it. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either.

I basically bring it down to the fact that my self-worth isn’t placed solely on what I do for a living. I know I’m a good person, a loyal friend, and a great partner and that’s what matters to me. What I do is secondary and only seems important when other people make it the focus.

My job is a means to an end. It allows me to do the things that I actually treasure.

It allows me a really good work/life balance. I start work at 7.30 am and I finish at 4.00 pm. When I’m not at work I don’t even think about it. I don’t have to field calls at all hours of the day. I don’t have to respond to a million emails during my time. I don’t have to work once I’m home and I don’t have the responsibilities that cause people to stress about work when they’re no longer physically there. I don’t want to be like my friends who are at work at 7 am and leave at 8 pm only to work til midnight at home. That’s not what I want in my life. Yes they make a lot more money than I do but that doesn’t matter to me.

Balance is much more important to me. And I feel I have the work/life balance pretty down pat. Although some wouldn’t agree. But its simply because they don’t get that I don’t want a prestigious job and all that comes with it. They don’t get that I don’t want to move up in the ranks. They don’t get that I don’t want responsibilities.

People think I’m lazy because of the way I view working. I’m not. I’ve work hard at every job I’ve ever held.

But my jobs have allowed me to spend time with my family and friends without distractions. They’ve provided me with the means to buy thoughtful gifts. They’ve given me the financial stability to purchase a home, to own my car and to have my own disposable income. But mostly, they have given me a life that is free from work distractions when I’m not at work.

And frankly, those are the things that are important to me.

Why I Prefer An At-Home Yoga Practice

I’ve fallen in love with yoga. I love stretching and flexing and seeing myself improve with each week.

However as I’m watching my spending I decided that yoga is a luxury that I won’t buy into. It means that I would rather practice at home or outdoors than in a studio and this is for a number of reasons.

Firstly, yoga to me is not always something I can plan ahead for. I want to be able to practice whenever I want. This is something that practicing at a studio doesn’t afford me. I also like being able to mix up practices and with free classes found all over the internet, I’m able to try a range of classes and save the ones I love and discard those that I don’t. I found when doing yoga at a studio I was limited by my availability and was doing classes that I didn’t necessarily love and this waned my love of the practice.

Secondly, classes can get expensive. I found that one class a week wasn’t enough for me but I wasn’t comfortable spending $50+ a week for more classes. However, I know my body. Being a former gymnast and having done calisthenics and dancing for a long period of time I know alignments and posture and what my body’s limitations are. If you’ve never really done yoga or gymnastics/dancing or anything similar, please pay to take a few beginner classes before practicing only at home. Its so important that you are doing things correctly because you can really injure yourself.

On top of classes being expensive, I’m not down with the whole lifestyle that seems to follow yoga enthusiasts. You know the one with the clique of girls decked out in a different $200 Lululemon outfit who then go and get their healthy smoothies and raw slices. I’ve been to enough studios where these girls seem to dominate and although I’ve got tough skin, I don’t want to pay money to have people look down on me when I’m doing something for me.

Practicing on my own also allows me freedom. It means that if I’m following a video, I can pause, skip or stop when I feel like it. If I want to hold a pose for a longer period of time, I can. If I don’t feel like doing a section, I can skip it. If I get halfway through and am just not feeling it, I can stop. Generally stopping and leaving a class at a studio halfway through isn’t looked favourably upon. It also means that I can add sections or mix up videos as much as I like making the practice completely my own.

But lastly I love the comfort of being on my own. Especially when at home. I love that there is no one else around me so I can focus completely on myself and not on others. Being at home means I can practice in a bra and underwear or pajamas if that’s what I feel like doing. I love that I can jump in my shower straight after practice or go straight to bed without having to come home first.

These are the things that make me prefer at home practice but like with anything, it’s important to find what works for you.

What do you prefer?

Feb-Fast Update

December and January, like for many people,  involve a lot of indulgences. There’s usually an excess of food, and for most an excess of alcohol and for some an excess of smoking. Sadly I partake in all 3 and whilst it’s enjoyable at the time, I really do feel like shit the next day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about quitting drinking for a certain length of time. I feel like I could do it because I can go days/weeks without drinking but I’ve never actually tested myself. I’ve had a bit of practice because I’ve been getting regular blood tests since June 2016 to check my liver function and they are most accurate when you haven’t consumed any alcohol for 5 days prior.

So February is the month for me. I’ve also teamed it up with my no smoking for 90 days so I’m hoping overall I’ll feel better and more energetic.

It’s Day 15 and I’ve been doing pretty well. I haven’t really felt like a drink at all and it hasn’t bothered me when other people have been drinking. I did however have some friends try to force a bottle of wine down my throat but that was all in good fun.

To be honest, I think other people have much more of an issue with it than I do. They seem to think its about them rather than about you and that you’re making a passive-aggressive dig at them. But really that’s not my problem.

I haven’t really noticed a massive difference in how I feel which is disappointing. I’m sleeping as much as I usually do and the quality seems to be the same. I do think I’m substituting my evening wine with chocolate but not sure whether that’s a direct link or whether I’m doing it because there are open blocks of chocolate at home and usually there isn’t any.

All in all, I’m doing pretty well. It’s been easy for me which is not a surprise as I don’t drink a lot to start with. I also haven’t smoked so it’s been 32 days since I’ve had a cigarette and I also haven’t had any cravings for it.

Have you ever given up alcohol and if so, how did you find it?

Goal Update – January

January has been an interesting month. As usual, the month has passed so slowly but so quickly at the same time. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot but at the same time I feel that I’ve done nothing of note this month.

But I wanted to check in and see how I’m going with my goals and despite saying I feel like I’ve done a lot this month, I really haven’t when it’s come to tackling the goals I’ve set for myself.

Here are my goals and a breakdown of my progress so far (here’s a hint – I’m not going great!)

Health

  • To reduce body fat by 5% through exercise and eating well in 6 months
    Well, this one I haven’t actually started. I ordered one of those fancy scales that calculates your BMI, water mass, muscle density, body fat etc but I didn’t receive it until the day before I went on holidays. Seeing as I only got back yesterday, this goal will be delayed a month and will start today.
  • To not smoke for 90 days (I’ve changed this goal to 90 days instead of 3 months as it’s easier to measure)
    My last cigarette was on the 14th January – well technically the 15th January as it was around 3am but I’m counting it as the 14th Jan. So far I haven’t smoked in 18 days which is 16.2% of my goal achieved!
  • To exercise 4 times a week for 3 months
    This one isn’t going well and I feel like it has to do with the first goal not starting as soon as I wanted but today is a new day (and month) so I’ll be imploring myself to stick to this one.

Financial

  • To save $250 a month for 20 months in order to enrol into a life/health coaching course.
    This one I will start in February. It didn’t click that my last orthodontist payment would come out of my January pay and therefore I wouldn’t have that money to put into savings.
  • Arrange to pay $200 a month to HECS debt by March.
    Still have a month to do this one which is handy as I had no idea that everyone who works in finance on my site would be away for the majority of January.
  • Only purchase lunch one Friday a month and bring lunch from home all other work days.
    This has not worked at all. I’ve bought lunch 3 times at work because I’d bought in salad and I wanted a burger. This one I will definitely work on.

Lifestyle

  • Declutter, throw out/donate and organise one space each month for 12 months.
    First space done! Redid my wardrobe and have a couple of large bag full of donations. I have no idea how I keep managing to donate so much when I’m only really buying to replace things. I must be looking at my things in a new light and not attaching so much emotion to them.

Personal

  • To be able to do a split on left and right leg by the end of 2017
    Still working on this one. My left split is closer than my right one but I’m pretty confident I’ll achieve this one by the end of the year. If I do it earlier I’ll start working on my straddle split.
  • To be able to do a back and front walkover by the end of 2017
    Backbends are a bit funny for me as whether I can hold them really depends on how I’m feeling. I have noticed that my arms are a bit straighter and my feet and hands aren’t as far apart as they initially were.

So I’m not doing super great on my goals so far but you know what? It doesn’t really matter. The point is I have things that I’m working towards and even if a day/week/month isn’t great, it doesn’t mean giving up.

How are you progressing with your goals?