SKINNYDIPPING

I briskly stride towards an imposing cliff, overhanging this end of the beach. I unzip my blue Lorna Jane Studio ’89 hoodie and toss it onto a large rock. I hastily unwrap my sarong and feel the breeze kiss my skin. The water entices and calls me.  I dash towards the indigo floating carpet, abandoning all my inhibitions behind me.

The waves lap at my legs and I grin – with happiness, excitement and liberty. I wade further and further out, an insignificant obstacle in the path of the moon and gravity.

A wave looms over me and I dive underneath. My whole being is exposed. All my senses are activated and I feel free – freer than I’ve ever felt. I giggle as I surface, trawling my hands through my hair and dragging it from across my face.

My flesh is strangely illuminated in the twilight. My waist glimmers and the light dances across my chest.

I float on my back, gliding over the water. It embraces me, without constricting me. It’s like a hug from my mum – warm and reassuring.

The water cleanses me spiritually and physically. I feel incredibly refreshed and carefree. My stress is being absorbed by the water and my mind is clear. I’m content with myself – my body, my mind, my conscience and I forgive myself.

I want to stay here forever – free from all 21st century, first-world problems. I wouldn’t have to worry about my hair, my body, my diet, bitchy girls, ‘player’ boys, relationships, sex or any of the other topics that are omnipresent in a teenager’s daily life.

The ocean has made things so clear. It’s like looking through a freshly-cleaned window and seeing the world as it is, with the good and the bad. Skinnydipping has opened my eyes.

Now it’s up to you.

Have you ever skinnydipped? How did you feel? Did you enjoy it? Were you by yourself?

Leave a comment below.

 

 

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January 2015: South Coast Holiday Packing List

I’m going down to my family’s holiday house at Narrawallee (South Coast) tomorrow, with my best friend, mum and sister. I’m packing my bag today and I thought I’d share my packing list with you all. Please keep in mind that this is for a 10 day holiday, in the middle of Summer. We go to the beach everyday and it’s generally very warm, if not hot. However, it can rain and it can get cold, so I pack for all weather.

SUITCASE

  • 10 undies
  • 4 bras (strapless, flesh, black and sports)
  • 1 singlet
  • 3 socks
  • 1 pyjamas
  • swimmers (I pack my 4 bikini tops and 1 black bikini bottoms, so that I can wear whichever swimmers I feel like)
  • sun hat (broad-brimmed is preferable, as it provides your face and neck with maximum sun protection)
  • 2 shorts (I pack one pair of denim and one cotton pair)
  • 4 T-shirts (I pack at least one loose, flowy shirt, as it’s perfect for pairing with denim shorts over swimmers)
  • 2 long sleeved shirts
  • 2 cardigans
  • 1 tracksuit pants
  • 1 jeans (I pack my full-length, black skinny jeans and roll up the ends a little bit, to add a casual, summery vibe)
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 beach dresses
  • 1 nice/’formal’ dress (Perfect for going out to dinner, or on a summer-love date)
  • 1 zipup cotton jacket (I pack my Lorna Jane Studio 89 hoodie that I got a few years ago. It’s light, comfortable and perfect for wearing walking the dogs on a cool morning, or going for a run)
  • 1 raincoat
  • 1 thongs
  • 1 converse shoes / canvas shoes (I pack my pair of Piping Hot Converse-imitations)
  • 1 joggers
  • 1 flat sandals (I pack my Betts for her Coast sandals in Tan – RRP $69.99)
  • 1 wedge sandals / high heels (I pack a skin-coloured, low wedge sandal)

TOILETRIES

  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • hairbrush
  • razor
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • argan oil spray
  • ‘formal’ perfume (for me, this is Eternity Moment by Calvin Klein)
  • ‘everyday’ perfume / perfume oil (for me, this is Urban Rituelle Hibiscus & Cranberry Perfume Oil – I talk about it in my 2015: January Favourites post)
  • 1 deodorant
  • feminine hygiene products
  • 1 lip scrub 
  • 1 body scrub 
  • 1 facial scrub
  • 1 soap
  • 1 body lotion
  • coloured nail polish 
  • clear nail polish
  • medication pouch

MAKEUP

  • hydrating mist toner
  • facial moisturiser
  • BB cream
  • eyebrow & eyelash brush
  • eyelash curler
  • mascara

HANDBAG

  • iPod 
  • lip balm
  • lip crayon
  • tissues
  • sunglasses
  • wallet
  • fan pen
  • SPF 50+ suncream

EXTRAS

  • 5 books
  • iPod charger
  • movies
  • pen
  • lyric book
  • handbag

I hope that this list has helped you pack for a summer holiday.

2015: January Favourites

Monthly favourites are a hit on YouTube, so why can’t they be a sensation on blogs?

Here are my ‘one true loves’ from January …

Beauty/Makeup

Urban Rituelle Hibiscus & Cranberry Perfume Oil

I was given this exact perfume oil by a friend, for my birthday, several years ago. I loved it from the first time I smelt it. Unfortunately, I had it in my makeup draw in the bathroom and when I next went to use it, I saw that there was a crack in the perfume bottle, so I had to transfer what was let of the perfume, to a huge jar. It was definitely not so easy to apply after that. Eventually, I think I threw it out, due to lack of use. However, for Christmas 2015, one of my mum’s best friends gave me this perfume. It’s in a beautiful box, containing the tube with the perfume oil, subtly decorated with floral patterns. It’s so easy to use – you just roll it onto your wrists and decolletage. It’s a fruity, spicy scent that is casual enough to wear every day and is special enough to wear to a party. Currently, it’s on sale for $12 online, so pick it up now. Don’t worry – I’m taking extra-special care of it this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub

I bought this scrub, after I ran out of the trial-sized St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub (which I received in a hamper at a stall at a fete). St. Ives is a very affordable brand, with the Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub setting me back just $10 at Priceline. When I bought this scrub, I didn’t read the back, which said Exfoliation Factor – Moderate, so I got a little surprise when I applied it on my face and the exfoliation crystals/substances weren’t as coarse as I had grown accustomed to, when using the Apricot scrub. However, I have fallen in love with this scrub and use it once every two – three days. (Tip: I dampen my face with water before applying the scrub (as advised), rub it vigorously onto my skin and leave it on for at least 10 minutes, so it really soaks into my skin and scrubs away at my face, before rubbing the scrub off, with a cloth dampened with warm water.) This scrub leaves my skin feeling super soft and rids my face of any makeup residue that didn’t come off, when I cleansed and toned my face.

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing

Target Everyday Multi-Way Strapless Bra – Skin

My mum got this for me the other day, because I needed a balconette (?) style strapless bra, to wear underneath a sheer top, that had a bit of a racerback on it. It may have only been $15, but it stayed in place all day. I didn’t feel it dropping or sliding down my chest and onto my tummy. The slight push-up provides support and a subtle “oomph” to your breasts. I’m wearing the bra – strapless – underneath a singlet right now and I feel as well supported as I would, wearing a t-shirt bra or exercise bra. I highly recommend this – you won’t regret buying it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seafolly Field Trip Scuba Triangle Bikini Top

My grandma bought this beautiful bikini top for me, when I went on a holiday with her. I fell in love with it from the first moment I saw it. It’s even more gorgeous in real life! No, it might not be super affordable, but because it’s such a great brand and it’s made out of neoprene (a hardy, durable fabric used in wetsuits), it’s guaranteed to last for years. It looks very flattering on me and because it’s not heavily padded, it portrays the breasts in their natural shape – none of that super-padded, pushup nonsense. (I didn’t get the matching bottoms, as that was even more money and I already had a pair of black bikini bottoms, which go very nicely with the top). If you’re in the market for a top-quality, cute, neoprene bikini, then I highly recommend this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

Typo Biggest Fan Pen

My aunt gave this to me yesterday and I’ve barely stopped using it. In fact, as I write, it’s lying next to me. You see – my antidepressant medication gives me hot sweats and cold chills and this little fan pen is a fantastic cure. It cools me down and helps to clear my mind. It’s very affordable – costing $10 – and is available in a variety of colours. It’s very easy to operate – just hold the button – and it runs on one alkaline AAA battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish List

Threaded Chunky Necklace – $7 reduced from $16.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera – $99

 

 

 

 

 

Hope 2015 has started well for all of you. xx

2015: New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never been more eager for a new year.

God. In the last few days of 2014, I was practically counting down the hours until 2015 arrived. I won’t bore you with my moaning and groaning about the various shitty things that happened. Don’t get me wrong – great things also happened – but when I look back at 2014, the year seems to be obscured by the poop emoji.

 

 

 

I’ve got a feeling that 2015 is going to be a fabulous year and, in the hope that I can do some things to help guarantee it, I’ve come up with some of my own New Year’s resolutions.

Before you roll your eyes and make a quick (but dumb, close-minded) escape to a “cool” blog like Who’s That Girl? or Emily Jane, hear me out.

As a general rule, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They can be really tacky and unrealistic and 97% of the resolutions are suspiciously forgotten about 75 hours after they were announced.

However, some resolutions are achievable and practical, (however, they still aren’t dirt easy), and I have acted upon for a decent amount of time, (whether or not I kept them for the entire year – that’s another matter).

So … Here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2015.

1. Begin doing gigs and busking locally.

This is my seventh year of playing guitar and over the last three or four years, I have sung and played guitar. I play for family and friends, but I get nervous about performing in front of a crowd. So … I have decided that this is the year. The only way to conquer your fear is to face it.

2. Visit my step-grandma once a week.

Recently, my grandad passed away and now my step-grandma is alone in her quaint little cottage. Well, she’s not alone, if you count the two half-feral cats, Sooty and Tiger. I want her to know that even though I’m not connected to her by blood, she means so much to me and I love her to death.

3. Visit my nan and pop once a week.

Since my grandad died, I have thought long and hard about life and death. (Morbid, aren’t I?) My nan is 81 and my pop is 84 and has midstage dementia. You never know what is around the corner, so I want to spend as much time with him (especially).

4. Get fit.

I’m not overweight, or underweight, but I just feel weak. I used to be strong and have a six-pack. I used to feel really good about my body. I loved it. I still think it’s great, but I feel a bit more ‘meh’ about it now. I felt great when I ran every day and went to yoga/pilates with my mum. I want to get back to that and be able to be much more confident about my body. Well, let’s be honest, a Seafolly bikini is gorgeous, but it’s loving yourself for who you are – inside and out – that really makes it look amazing.

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5. Post once a day (minimum: or once every two days).

I get frustrated with myself and other bloggers – especially full-time ones – who post haphazardly and randomly. I love a blogger who posts regularly, on set days. Of course, if all they write is shite, then I wouldn’t complain if they post something in January, then in March, then in August, then in September, then in October and then in the following June. Obviously, if what they write is rubbish, then I wouldn’t even bother keeping up with their blog. That brings me to my next point. (Oh dear, I just sounded like that boring-ass high school English teacher you had that smelt of mothballs mixed with some cheap and nasty Avon perfume). I feel that Lizzy Caplan (aka Janis Ian, in Mean Girls) sums it up perfectly.

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You do have to work out the balance between quality and quantity. If I’m pushed for time and I only have a crummy idea for a post, then I will wait until the following day, or when I am inspired or get a good idea from somewhere. My goal is to post fantastic stuff, fantastically regularly.

Happy New Year! Let’s hope it’s a good one.

SUMMER 2014/2015: Affordable Makeup Essentials & Routine

Summer means sun, sand and sweat. And let’s face it: sweat – along with tears – is makeup’s arch nemesis. How I hate the feeling of those little drops of perspiration smuggling their way up to the surface of my skin, providing this awful, greasy shine. What’s even worse is when you’ve heavily applied makeup – you’ve contoured, bronze-d, wing-ed and eyeshadow-ed – you’ve laboured over it and spent such a ridiculous amount of time on it – and all that work – all those expensive, designer products that you spent way too much money on – including the $98 Chanel Vitalumiere Loose Powder Foundation – all just for shrieking, “I’m melting!”, as you watch your “face” slide away, into a pool of grease and grime.

I'm melting!

There’s no need to be Wicked Witch of the West 2.0. Follow these tips for great products to use, along with my simple, quick routine and you’ll be Glinda the Good Witch of the North all over again. It’s a makeup routine that doesn’t have you looking like you just entered into a beauty pageant for Mardi Gras.

I’ll just run through the products that I will be using, before going through my everyday makeup routine.

1. Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner (125mL)

This is a gorgeous mist toner that is alcohol and paraben-free and I use it all the time. I’m not joking. I use it when I wake up, before I apply makeup, after I apply makeup, throughout the day (as a way of cooling me down on a hot summer’s day or when I’m stressed or just as a nice scent) and before I go to bed. To quote Sukin, “Combines chamomile and rosewater to soothe and tone the skin. Suitable for all skin types.” Now, I have sensitive skin and I have had no problems while using this toner. Some other things to note: it won Beauty Heaven Beauty Awards 2014, it costs less than $10, it’s free from animal testing, all ingredients are natural, it’s Australian owned and made, it’s 100% vegan and it’s 100% carbon neutral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser (125mL)

This is a silky moisturiser specialised for sensitive skin. There is also a moisturiser for regular skin. I use it before I apply makeup and before I go to bed. It glides onto my skin and has a natural, gentle scent. It’s paraben-free. Sukin says, “Shea butter and aloe vera with rose hip, sesame and jojoba oils to promote moisture and balance the skin.” Some key points: it was shortlisted for the free from skincare awards 2013, it costs less than $10, all ingredients are natural, it’s Australian owned and made, it’s 100% vegan, it’s free from animal testing and it’s 100% carbon neutral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Natio Pure Mineral Skin Perfecting BB Cream SPF 15 – Fair

This is a BB cream that provides good coverage, minus the feeling that you just shoved your face in a cream pie. It hydrates, with just the smallest amount of product. My skin positively glows – a healthy, natural glow, not this Barbie doll-like glow that you are unfortunate enough to acquire with illuminator. I use the BB cream over my entire face, or just to help cover up my dark under-eyes and blemishes. You can purchase the product in 3 different shades: Fair, Medium or Tan. This BB cream blends into my skin very nicely and gives the illusion that I’m barely wearing any makeup, aided by the fact that I’m using the BB cream in Fair – the shade that suits my skin tone and matches it nicely. The BB cream looks and feels 10 times lighter than foundation and is much less “fake”, if you know what I mean. Less is more, with this beautiful product. To quote Natio: “Even natural coverage. Lasting hydration. Conceals imperfections. Healthy glowing skin. Green Tea and Chamomile to soothe redness. Vitamin E, Jojoba and Shea Butter for lasting hydration.” Some things to think about: Natio is Australian owned & made, the BB cream costs less than $15 and is free from animal testing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Natio Extreme Volume Smudge Proof Mascara – Brown Black

I am in love with this mascara. Firstly, it doesn’t apply all lumpy and clumpy like some mascaras can. Secondly, because it is a dark brown/brown black, it is a far more natural look. (I have dark brown/almost black lashes. Black mascara can look quite severe and a bit too “much”/over-the-top on me. Tip: For everyday makeup, wear a mascara that is of a similar colour to your lashes. However, if you have blonde lashes, opt for a light brown mascara). Thirdly, it’s classy. Fourthly, it makes my lashes look longer and more voluminous, without looking tarty. Fifthly (that sounds terrible, but it is a word, so I shall use it), it set me back just $15.95, which is basically what you’d pay for the chemical-packed, animal-tested, cruelty-loving Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama mascara. Remember that: Natio is Australian owned & made, the mascara cost less than $16 and is free from animal testing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Natio Lip Smoothies Lip Crayon in Peony

Now, this is a product that I could rave about forever. It’s absolutely divine. I wear it everyday, because it is not a lipstick that screams “Fake!” “Awful!” “In your face!” from the other side of the road. It’s a lip crayon – combining lip balm (moisturise) and lip stick (colour). It glides on effortlessly. It conditions the lips. Tip: Although I probably don’t need to, I do apply a lip balm before I use the lip crayon, purely out of habit. This cost me $12.95 and was worth it. I’d encourage everyone to have a look and decide on a colour (or colours) that they love. I chose Peony, because it is versatile, soft, subtle and not too pink. (Honestly, what is up with the obsession with those hot pink lip colours that really should belong in a child’s dress-up makeup collection?) Once again, it’s a beautiful Natio product, so the product is Australian owned & made, the lip crayon cost less than $13 and is free from animal testing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. NIVEA Repair & Protection Lip Balm – SPF 20

This lip balm is a MUST HAVE. Keep it in your bag, by your bed, in the bathroom … it helps lips to recover and repair themselves. I must say, when you first apply it, it feels like  you’ve just wiped a thick layer of cream or body butter across your lips, but after a few minutes, it sinks in and your lips feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom. (Did I just say that? Oh dear …) Now, I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but you can get it for $4.49 at Priceline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, for the Everyday Makeup Routine

1. Wipe your face with a damp facecloth.

2. Apply the NIVEA Repair & Protection Lip Balm.

3. Spray the Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner all over your face.

4. Pump out a (roughly) pea-sized amount of the Sukin Facial Moisturiser (Sensitive or Regular).

5. Rub between your hands and pad it onto the face, rather than rubbing it in. This massages your skin and gets the facial muscles moving.

6. When your skin feels nicely but subtly moisturised, squeeze a tiny amount of the Natio BB Cream onto the palm of one hand and using the ring finger on the other hand, dab dots under the eyes and pad into the skin with fingers, blending it in nicely. If you have a pimple or blemish you wish to cover up, repeat the process on the mark.

7. If you feel the need, comb your eyebrows and eyelashes, before curling eyelashes. Otherwise, skip to step 8.

8. Apply the Natio Extreme Volume Mascara. Use as little or as much as you like, but for me, I touch it on the ends of my lashes (which are blonde) and gently apply the mascara, little by little. If you’re like me, you want to avoid “spider legs” eyes (read: thick, black lashes that seem to measure 2cm in length).

9. Now apply the Natio Lip Crayon in Peony.

10.  Finally, spray your face once more with the Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner – to give a dewy glow to your skin – and you’re ready for your day.

*You can use any or all of the afore-mentioned products, or you can use your own. However, these are my favourites and are the ones I use every day.

**This routine usually takes me between 5 and 10 minutes.

 

Makeup Product Brand Directory:

Sukin

Natio

NIVEA