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iHerb Beauty Haul & Review

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
With a new chapter about to start (Uni), came my last pay check from a fulltime job so I decided to spoil myself with a few purchases from iHerb.com, an online US shop, stocking all things health and beauty.  It was my first time using this website (hello $10 off coupon!) and I was SUPER impressed with the results, both shipping and product-wise.  Considering it usually costs an arm and a leg to get anything sent here from America, a measly $5.12 was almost unbelievable! I placed the order on the 6th Feb (after 5pm) and it was expected to arrive between the 16th-19th Feb (standard shipping), so it was a pleasant surprise to find it on my doorstep on the 13th (just in time for the weekend!)

Ok, let’s get stuck into what I ordered:
 
I have been a huge fan of the Real Techniques makeup brushes since trying out the ‘Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Set’ back in July, after hearing so many good things about them in the YouTube and blogging community. The only problem is, they are so bloody expensive in Australia, so I was thrilled to find them significantly cheaper on iHerb, and decided to stock up on the rest of the sets to take advantage of the ‘$10 off first time order’. 

I haven’t really had a play around with these brushes yet, but am super keen to give them a go. Plus, $38.42 for 5 good quality brushes? Such good value. 
 
I didn’t really know what to expect with this set. I had never used or even felt “duo-fibre” brushes before, and didn’t really know what it meant, so I was curious to try them out and my first impression is good. They are super soft to the touch and although they take a little getting used to (they don’t hold as much product as normal brushes) I think they are a great addition to my makeup collection.
 
I think this purchase was just a result of me getting slightly carried away with online shopping (if I don’t physically swipe my card, it doesn’t seem to hurt my bank account as much…Right?) considering I already own two of the three brushes, and don't use them daily, but hey, TREAT YO' SELF!
I have wanted to try out the cult classic 'Beauty Blender' for a while now so I picked this baby for under half the price instead! I ended up using it for the first time this morning to apply some tinted moisturizer and concealer, and was blown away with how well it works. Considering I am still fairly new to makeup, I have always used my hands to apply face products and have recently been using the 'Buffing Brush' from the 'Real Techniques-Your Base Flawless Core Collection', and can safely say that using a sponge applicator if definitely my new favourite method. It blends everything super fast, and seemed to help the products absorb into my skin without leaving streaks (which I find happens often when using a brush). I didn’t actually mean to purchase two but a spare can never hurt, right?
While browsing, I also came across some EcoTools brushes, which again, are a LOT cheaper on iHerb than at Priceline, so I grabbed 2 sets. I LOVE that these brushes 'have incredibly soft synthetic bristles, sleek bamboo handles, recycled aluminum ferrules, and are 100% cruelty free' I mean, how can you feel guilty about spending money of something that is so eco-friendly!?

These sets are great for me because I don’t really wear makeup often enough to warrant frequently washing my brushes (although I probably should anyway!), so I like to have a few brushes of each kind so I can designate a brush for each particular product and not mix colours. Adding a few cheaper (but still good quality) brushes allows me to do just that! I have been happy with the ones I have already tested out, and the 'Finishing Brush' from the Touch-Up Set, reminds me of the duo-fibre brushes.

Last but not least; 

This reminded me of my long-time wishlist item 'NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Dragon Girl', so I decided to give this a go as a MUCH cheaper alternative in the meantime (AU$3.95 compared to AU$34.00). I have already given this a little try and love the colour and smooth application, however the wear is definitely not anything to rave about. It had rubbed off my lips within a few hours, and was a little smudgy even after drying. But, for a little under four bucks, what can you expect?
For a comparison, I added some items to a Priceline cart to see just how much I saved, and for the 4 items I could find to match what I had purchased (Real Techniques- Sponges, Travel Essentials Kit, and Duo-Fibre kit), it totalled $131.91 (including standard shipping). For all 8 items from iHerb it was $112.29 (including standard international shipping). HOW CRAZY IS THAT!?
 
I honestly cannot recommend this website enough, it’s incredible! I would absolutely  order from iHerb again, and cannot wait for another excuse to whip out the mastercard, and buy some more goodies. 
 
-Caitie x

A Day Trip to the Central Coast // Explore

Monday, February 02, 2015
(Get ready for a very picture heavy post)
 
Last Saturday was the happiest I have been in a long time. I had to take my car in for a service at 6:30am in the morning (don’t ask me why on earth I did that to myself), and figured that if I was going to get up that early I would definitely make the most of my day, especially seeing as though I was dragging Bryce with me. As well as that, petrol is currently at an all-time low of 98c a litre so I figured that it would be the perfect opportunity to go on an adventure! 
 
 
After we took my car to the mechanic, we decided to continue on for a mini road trip to the Central Coast (about an hour and a half drive). We didn’t really have anything planned but my grandparents used to own a holiday house right on the beach so I have lots of good memories from the area and thought it might be nice to revisit them.
 
We started off with a little drive around to spark some memories for me, and then headed to Wamberal beach (just in front of Wamberal Surf Life Saving Club) for a walk. The waves were HUGE and some people were even crazy enough to jump in for a swim! No flags, no board, NOTHING! We walked through the water and just enjoyed the calm of watching the waves for a bit. The weather was incredible. Sunny, no clouds, only a slight breeze, and about 28 degrees all day, absolutely perfect! 
 
After the beach, it was about 9am and we were starting to get quite hungry so we drove around to Terrigal beach and walked up and down the main strip about 3 complete times before finally settling on a little cafe called ‘Bar de La Coco’, which won our vote with some delicious looking (and smelling!) crepes. 
 
We sat down and ordered, and couldn’t believe how cheap it was! Bryce ordered a $12 ‘Big Breakfast’ which consisted of roasted zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, thick cut toast, AND a coffee, what a BARGAIN! I opted for the slightly sweeter (and in my opinion, better) option of Nutella and Strawberry Crepes ($10) with a Hot Chocolate on the side ($3.60) and have got to say, that as delicious as it was, I really enjoyed having a few bites of Bryce’s savoury dish to give my taste buds a small break between mouthfuls of pretty much pure sugar (remind me to make a dentist appointment sometime soon…).
 
The vibes of the Central Coast are incredible in general, and on a Saturday morning, the whole place really comes to life. People biking, breakfasting, busking, beaching, and there was even some sort of race/lifesaving competition going on so we had something to watch from the shore. We agreed that if we ever get rich, a beach house in Terrigal is a must.
 
At some point during brekky, a busker had set himself up right next to the cafĂ© and after listening to him while we ate, I knew I wanted to hear more. His name is Nathan Hawes, and he was incredible, very James Bay-esque (my favourite kind), and only 17! I actually ended up buying his EP and am so happy I did. The album ‘Left with the Wolves’ features four songs, all of which are great. Check out his YouTube channel here (excluding the EP tracks, I especially love his cover of 'Kids' by MGMT).
 
 
After that, we headed further around the beach and found an area full of gorgeous rock pools. They were stunning and we couldn't help but stop and take a thousand photos, while pointing out every crab, piece of coral, and cool shell we came across. I felt almost child-like, feeling so curious and excited at the smallest things, running around and shouting to Bryce every time I found something interesting.
Prepare yourself for quite a few photos of rocks & water, and trust me, this selection has been narrowed down...a lot. 
After the rock pools we found a big hill that lead to a lookout over the ocean. We walked up to the top and the view was spectacular. The breeze was cool and I was content. I felt so happy and we just stood there admiring the beauty of it for a while. 
 
After a few polaroids and a lot of “Look at that!”, and “WOW, did you see that wave!?”, we jumped back in the car and headed to Erina Fair Shopping Centre. My camera battery had annoyingly died by that point so I don’t have any photos from the last part of our day but it was a great shopping centre and I bought some gorgeous black sandals while we were there as well!
 
All in all, an absolutely fabulous day, it reminded me that I need to plan (or not plan!) days like this more often, it is so good.
 
-Caitie xx