Thursday, 27 March 2014

Beauty Products I Miss


It's now been almost nine months since I left the UK to go travelling. When I was packing, I aimed to keep my make-up and skin care to a minimum as I was in Asia first and I didn't think I'd wear much. 

To be honest, I never really thought about what I would need once I'd left Asia, and arrived in Australia. For four months I was working in an office and essentially having a regular routine. Having not taken the time to think ahead to what I would want for Australia, it left me wishing I had certain products with me.

So what are those products? It's a mixture of skincare and make up, especially certain brands I can't get over here.

Una Brennan Tea Flower Superfacialist Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask
This is quite possibly the product I miss the most. I was always a firm fan of Origins Clear Improvements mask until I tried this. This works so well with my skin. Whenever I could feel a breakout coming on, it would really help my skin and minimise the breakout or clear it up completely. I come from a hard water area in the UK, but over here in Melbourne the water is incredibly soft. Despite being here for almost five months now I don't think my skin has gotten used to it. As a result my skin has been awful. I feel like I'm back to being a teenager again with the spots I've been getting
Urban Decay Naked 1 & Naked 2
I absolutely love these palettes, but decided not to bring either of them with me. A decision I seriously regret. While I was in Malaysia I tried to buy my favourite shade from the Naked palette - Sin, but typically it was  sold out, and I didn't like any of the similar shades. I ended up buying All That Glitters by MAC, but it's just not quite the same. I have been sorely tempted to order either the new Naked 3 palette or the Naked Basics palette to be sent over here, but I'm so torn. 

Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream
This is a product that I actually brought out with me, but alas it has run out. I can't find Dr Jart out here and when I was in Asia I couldn't find this formula. I was quite slow on the uptake with this BB cream, but once I bought it I could see why it is so popular. You barely need anything and it rubs in without feeling greasy. I always thought it offered a pretty decent level of coverage too.

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush
I only got into the cleansing brush movement within the past year. I really was close to packing this and again, it's something I wish I had. I never got around to review this but I really did feel like there was a difference with my skin, and it certainly felt cleaner. I've been tempted at times to treat myself to a Clarisonic whilst being over here.

Benefit Dallas Box Blusher
Dallas is my absolute favourite boxed blusher by Benefit, but when I came away I decided to bring another of their boxed blushers with me - Coralista which is another of my favourites. After using Coralista almost every day now, I'm getting a little bored and would quite like to have some bronzed-ish cheeks!
I can buy Benefit products out here, but they do feel a little pricey still, but the prices always do sound worse in $!

Are any of these products you can't live without? 

Kate x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Time has passed so quickly that our time in Cambodia was well over six months ago now. Something I have really learnt whilst being away that time really does go quickly - you don't even realise it until you stop to think how great it was. A year away sounds like a long time, but we've already been in Australia for six months exactly of our one year visa.

I was initially a little hesitant about including Cambodia to our itinerary but I am so glad we did. While there we visited Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. The highlight was most definitely Siem Reap where we spent the majority of our time, this included spending three days at the amazing Angkor Wat temple complex. Somewhere I recommend everyone visiting at some point in their lives. 

Our travel into Cambodia from Thailand was quite long and tiresome, but once we arrived and found our guesthouse we were quite relieved. 

Considering how small Siem Reap really is, it's so busy and I was very surprised to find how many foreigners actually lived and worked there. We met at least 3 Americans there all who worked as English teachers.

Sihanoukville, also known as Snookyville was a little beachy town on the coast of Cambodia. We had one day of sun before torrential rain hit. From Sihanoukville, you can also get transport to some of their islands such as Koh Rong.

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, has a completely different feel to Siem Reap. To be honest, I much preferred Siem Reap. I'm sure some may disagree, but everyone has their preferences.

Phnom Penh has most of the memorial sites where the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge occurred. The two notable ones are the Killing Fields which are a little south of PP and Tuol Sleng Prison (also know as S21) which both now serve to remember those who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and to educate visitors.

Cambodia is truly a wonderful place, we even left Siem Reap with new friends who I hope to visit again one day in the not so distant future.

If anyone has the opportunity to visit Cambodia during time in South East Asia, I would whole heartedly recommend visiting.

Kate x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Lush Shampoo Bar in Jumping Juniper

Before coming away travelling, Danny and I looked at ways to reduce the volume of things we were taking, and that included toiletries as neither of us really wanted to take bottles of shampoo with us which are heavy and bulky so we decided on buying a lush shampoo bar each, they are very compact, smaller than many of the bath bombs that they sell and lasting for longer than a bottle of shampoo probably would. 

We both bought jumping juniper (which contains juniperberry oil as well as lemon and lime essential oils) as the lush store we went to didn't stock the one I wanted (can't remember what it was called) the bar itself was £5.50 or $13.95 (AU) and then you can buy a tin to put it in for £2.50 /$4.95. I was a little sceptical to start of with as I am used to my shampoo being in liquid form, but I needn't have been as these have been one of our best travel purchases. They leave our hair clean, and what's more I actually find it easier to rinse out than regular shampoo, I have quite thick hair and some of the places we've stayed in have had very very low shower pressure but with this product I wasn't left trying to rinse my hair for what felt like an hour afterwards. 

The first bar lasted us near enough a month and in this time served as a shower gel when we ran out as well as clothes wash when I needed to hand wash some clothes. It has been so versatile for us and one of the best pre-travelling purchases we made. We're now in Australia and we still have the last bar left - it's still going strong however we have now switched back to liquid shampoo now we're here and are keeping it for our travelling stint around Oz. The only downside is that as this is a solid really it needs to be left open to dry, otherwise we have found the consistency goes a little funny and seems to go down a little quicker.

Next time you're going away for a while or even just using hand luggage, why not give one of these a go? You can also buy a solid conditioner or a 2 in 1 bar!

Kate x

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thailand - Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

Hi everyone!

It has been an unbelievably long time since I last posted, I had really hoped I could have posted a couple of things before I left the UK but unfortunately I was incredibly tight for time trying to get loose ends tied before leaving.

We flew out to Bangkok, our first destination, on the 6th July with a 2.5 hour stopover in New Delhi before arriving to Bangkok on the evening of the 7th. We hopped in a taxi and about 30-40 minutes later we were in front of our hotel in Chinatown. When we booked our flights and first couple of nights of accommodation we decided to treat ourselves and not dive straight into budget accommodation. We spent our first three nights at the Shanghai Mansion which is an absolutely lovely hotel with lovely staff. It was a nice way to ease our way into Bangkok. The first evening we just collapsed after a lot of flying.

Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
The following day we ventured out with the aim of seeing the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, that didn't quite happen and instead we ended up going to the MBK mall to check it out - pretty impressive and very manic, I expected it to be more like Westfields in layout but it was quite cramped and like a little maze. We decided to try the Skytrain to get back to our hotel and we were pretty successful, although we got a little disorientated walking back from the station and stumbled across a nice temple (of which there are many in Bangkok).

Throughout our time in Bangkok we ended up seeing the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Vimanmek and the Throne Hall. It was all suitably impressive. 

You can climb up Wat Arun from the outside as it has steps leading up to various levels - these steps are incredibly steep and I almost didn't climb up to the highest point as they were so steep going up looked like a mission - however I did it which I regretted later. Now I'm not generally scared of heights, but when you're faced with incredibly steep steps down to the next level - verging on vertical - I was quite nervous. In the end my legs tensed and were shaking so much I actually pulled a muscle in my thigh and was hobbling around a bit for a couple of days afterwards.

Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Pho
After our three nights in the lovely Shanghai Mansion (which incidentally make the nicest (Strawberry) Mojitos I've had since being in SE Asia) we moved onto a hotel called Buddy Boutique Inn which is pretty much in the 'backpacker' area of Bangkok - Khao San Road which essentially is akin to a 'strip' you'd see in any European party resort - think Kavos, Magaluf etc. It was a change to what was in Chinatown and things seemed a bit more 'familiar' on KSR but I don't think we'll stay there again, maybe to visit though. 

Our initial thoughts on Bangkok are a little indifferent - we were quite happy to see the back of it and from people I know who have been I get the impression it is a bit of a 'marmite' city. We'll be going back there in before heading on down to the Islands so maybe by giving Bangkok a second chance, we'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Kate x
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest
(This entry was written while I was still travelling around Asia, just in case the last bit confuses anyone!)