My First Beauty Post Of 2019

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Hello readers and welcome to my first makeup-related post! A little bit of background before I start – I started wearing makeup properly when I was 18, got my brows waxed for the first time at 20, started winging my eyeliner perfectly at 21 and wore eyeshadow religiously at 23, so it’s safe to say I was quite a late bloomer to the beauty world.

My skin type is oily/combination, I am acne prone and have tons of scarring from it, my skin is textured and my pores are pretty big, so not perfect skin at all. I would say I am extremely far from having perfect skin, it’s one of the things I’m most self conscious about and I rarely leave home without foundation or at least concealer.

For all skincare, beauty and body products, I try as much as possible to keep them cruelty free. PLEASE TRY TO SUPPORT CRUELTY FREE BRANDS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! As the months pass and as I buy more makeup, I am trying to get rid of all my non-cruelty free stuff that I’ve bought or been gifted in the past as much as I can and not buy any more from companies that sell to China or test on animals themselves. I started doing this in 2016 and I’m going to keep going strong.

I do know that sometimes it is unavoidable, my favourite affordable drugstore foundation is the L’Oreal Infallible Freshwear Foundation (gifted) and I can’t seem to find a cruelty free replacement that works the same, but I also try not to re-buy unless I definitely cannot find anything else that is suitable for my skin and doesn’t break me out.

Without further ado, let’s begin! Here are 10 products I’m always using 😊

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Photo Credit to Doctor Anne

Pixi Skintreats Vitamin Wakeup Mist (Cruelty Free)

I’ve tried 3 types of Pixi Mists, the Rose Glow Mist, the original Glow Mist and finally the Vitamin Wakeup Mist and I have to say the Vitamin Wakeup Mist is my favourite! The Rose Glow was far too sticky for my already pretty oily skin and I wasn’t a big fan of the Glow Mist because of the smell.

The Vitamin Wakeup Mist is named what it is because of it’s energizing orange blossom scent as well its citrus fruit extracts that feel almost like a cup of OJ sprayed on your skin. I mainly use it as a toner, the first step when I get out of the shower before my morning skincare routine followed by my makeup as it doesn’t leave a sticky layer on your skin. This product costs £16, the higher end of drugstore but it is a great product and one bottle goes a long way.

This product also has no alcohol and parabens – 2 things I’ve been trying to stay away from!

OMG. Gotta have this: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara #Mascara #MascaraTips

Essence Lash Princess Mascara (Cruelty Free) 

I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH GREAT THINGS ABOUT THIS MASCARA! Not only does it only cost £3.30, it is by far the best mascara I’ve ever used in my life! I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING. I have recommended this product to over a hundred makeup-wearing friends, I think. It elongates your lashes and gives them crazy volume without being clumpy. The wand is also very easy to use and the packaging is so cute! ALL FOR £3.30!

Sorry for shouting, I get excited about good products that are affordable. This is a definite 10/10 in the drugstore and you should buy at least 2 if you ever see them available as they sell out very very quickly.

This product contains no parabens! 

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Barry M’s Baked Tri-Blend Highlighter in Bronze Deco (Cruelty Free)

I was wandering around a Superdrug in Lowestoft when I came across this beautiful highlighter – only for £6! Bronze Deco is a gorgeous shade and the shimmer is not chunky which I like, and the glow looks great on all skin as you can mix the lighter gold and bronze colour together to get your perfect match.

This product is also vegan and has no parabens in it!

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Innisfree Smart Drawing Blusher (Cruelty Free) 

I was never a fan of blusher my entire makeup-wearing life, not until I found this product. I’d seen many reviews on Reddit about how this was the most natural, blendable liquid blusher ever and I just had to try it out and I’m never turning back. I bought both shades #2 Cherry Pink and #3 Peach Coral to try and I love them both, Cherry Pink is obviously a bit more to the cool side whereas Peach Coral was warmer which I felt suited my skin tone more but it was more subtle too.

You can use this two ways – use the brush directly on your face like a paintbrush to a canvas and then use your fingers or stippling brush to blend, or you could do what I do which is pump the product out of the brush onto your fingertip and gently pat it in. I feel it’s slightly more hygienic because the brush hairs don’t go all over my face, as well as because this product cannot be washed – it would destroy the entire thing!

Innisfree products are 70% natural. It is also free of parabens, animal ingredients, synthetic colors, mineral oils and fragrance. 

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Photo Credit to http://www.beautyobsessed.co.uk

Primark’s Peach Dreams Eyeshadow Palette (Cruelty Free) 

I’d never bought a Primark Eyeshadow palette until I saw this little cutie which is only about the size of my palm and it cost me only £3. The colours are very very pigmented and the palette is easy to match. My favourite colours are the bright orange and shimmery gold.

This product is cruelty free but there are parabens in it which is not necessarily a bad thing but some people prefer to stay away from parabens.

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Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (Cruelty Free)

Ew, I know I really shouldn’t be talking about Too Faced after their whole Nikkitutorial’s scandal, but I’ve had this product with me for almost 2 and a half years now and it’s still going strong. I can only see a little of the bottom of the pan which makes it very worth my money as it cost me about £25.

It smells of chocolate which is heavenly and it is also very easy to blend. I don’t contour, so this is basically my ‘contour’. This product does contain fragrance to get that chocolatey smell, as well as benzyl alcohol – not great for overly sensitive skin.

FYI – A cheaper dupe for this would be the NYX Matte Bronzer in “Medium” which I had and finished using. It’s almost half the price but the staying power isn’t as good.

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Photo Credit to Clayaa

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette (Cruelty Free) 

This palette is so amazing! It has the perfect mix of pinks, oranges and browns that I love as I find warmer tones suit me better. This only costs £4 at Superdrug and it is a great investment – I’ve had it for almost half a year and I haven’t hit pan on any of the colours.

The only downside of this product is that the packaging can be quite flimsy and get scratched up easily, but for £4 and so many good shades I’m not going to complain.

This product contains 2 types of parabens but I don’t really mind as much, I mind it more in skin products or liquid products.

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Photo Credit to ohlolly.com

Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish SPF 50 (Cruelty Free) 

I was never good at wearing SPF most of my life, mainly because most of the ones I purchased made me feel super greasy and gross. I walked into Etude House one day and the salesperson recommended this for oily skin and it has worked a charm!

I barely feel it on my skin and it smells great. Who doesn’t want SPF 50 protection?

This product contains no parabens but does contain alcohol.

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Gosh Brow Defining Gel in 003 Grey Brown (Cruelty Free) 

I was never one to use brow gels because I thought they did nothing. I saw this in Superdrug for £4.99 and thought I’d try it out and I love it! It neatens up by brows ever so slightly (my brows aren’t that thick anyway) and also don’t leave clumps around my brows I’ve seen happen for other people with other brands. It is also very compact which makes it great for travelling with.

This product contains no fragrance and no parabens.

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Photo Credit to Politics Of Pretty 

Last but not least,

Colourpop Brushes (Cruelty Free)

I’ve used Colourpop products for many years but only this year did I get into buying their brushes. I currently use their Large Powder Brush for my loose powders, their Angled Face Brush for contour/bronzer and their Flat Kabuki Face Brush for liquid foundation. The Flat Kabuki is awesome, the bristles are so dense and it makes everything very blendable.

All Colourpop products from makeup to skincare and of course to their brushes are cruelty free, however some of their products are not vegan and contain parabens.

Thank you for reading my first ever makeup-related post! I hope there are many more to come as I venture into different brands in the future as well as on my trips back to the UK where I plan on getting a couple of small hauls from drugstores.

See all of you soon! ❤️

Baylham Farm Adventures!

If you’re ever in the Ipswich or Norfolk area and are a fan of animals, do give Baylham House Rare Breeds farm a little visit! Every time I’m in the UK, my boyfriend and I will put a couple of days aside to visit animal sanctuaries or farms and this was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had with getting real close to the animals themselves.

Open since 1985, Baylham Farm houses animal breeds that are under threat and they also educate visitors about rare breeds.

My boyfriend’s family and I took a 1 hour car drive from Gorleston-On-Sea and got to Baylham bright and early in April 2019. It was a chilly day but still sunny which in my opinion is the best sort of weather for a day out like this. We parked the car and made a short walk into the premises of the farm.

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This is the first ever picture of both of us on my blog – say hi to Chris!

The first thing we did when we got there and paid the entrance fee of £7.50 (such a good price!) was to pick up some animal food. The food is free for children but you can also purchase a bag yourself which we did. Since we were there around Easter time, Chris’s little niece and other children got given a free Baylham Farm quiz which I could see they all thoroughly enjoyed. The questions ranged from pretty simple to having adults help to read the animal information boards to get answers but it was all very fun!

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I was so happy to get up close and personal with the animals!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from visiting Baylham, it is that I LOVE GOATS! I never really got the chance to pet or play with goats in such close proximity and only at the solid age of 25 did I realise what lovely animals they are!

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This big guy was one of our favs! He stuck out his tongue when we fed him and it was so adorable.

The little bag of food we managed to get actually lasted a really long time – even after feeding this big ol’ guy who kept asking us for more and more food. I could tell he was a crowd favourite, lots of people were taking pictures of and with him because of his adorable leathery tongue that we got to touch at one point!

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Who has the better hair?

One of the things that impressed me the most about Baylham Farm were its wide open spaces for the animals to roam. They weren’t cooped up in a small, confined space and they all looked very happy being out in the sunshine with so much room to roam.

Even the chickens had a massive space despite being one of the smallest creatures there.

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Little Shetland Ponies!
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“Mlem” – Goat.

Then came the most exciting part – cuddling with baby lambs!

This was actually the thing that caused me to get adamant about coming to Baylham. There’s a little section where you queue up for a couple of minutes (depending on the crowd that day – we queued for about 10 minutes and there was a massive Easter crowd so I was relieved!) to get into a little barn where a bunch of baby lambs are and you can cuddle them! You’re given one little lamb to sit on your lap with a towel (provided) and you get to pet them for a good 5 minutes and take some pictures.

I’ve said “little” way too many times haven’t I?

So we did!

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I got a little black baby goat and he was so calm and almost fell asleep on me! Chris’s one on my left looked had the markings of a little cow. Asjdhkajsda.
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Chris’s mum with a lovely blue-eyed goat.

I was so happy and I didn’t want those 5 minutes to end but we had to give them back to the farm volunteers for the next few people to cuddle. The goats did seem very happy and not stressed at all which was great! I really wanted to bring one home 😔

You can actually sponsor or adopt an animal from Baylham to help with the upkeep which is amazing. I would sponsor all of them if I could afford it. Sponsorships start from £40 and adoption starts from £60 and you can find more details here!

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Cheesy lil pic next to a nice river 😊

In total, we probably spent about 2 and a half hours there, so that £7.50 entrance fee was definitely super worth it. Under 4’s go in for free. I would suggest going during special events like Easter and Christmas as they have extra activities for everyone. They’ve even got a Halloween Special for October only.

Apart from being a lovely day out, Baylham Farm also sell their livestock and provide farm services such as breeding and training. General farm-related advice is also given!

They are also a great place for you to volunteer if you love being around animals or would just like to give a helping hand. When I was there, a lot of the volunteers were young, school-aged teenagers and I thought to myself about how much I would’ve loved to have that sort of opportunity when I was their age so I definitely would advice young people to not pass this up as it is a very fulfilling volunteering experience.

Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is located at Baylham House Farm, Mill Lane, Baylham, Suffolk, IP6 8LG and they are open every Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm – even on bank holidays! Winter Opening Hours vary, according to their website they close from the 28th October 2019 till 15th February 2020 with the exception of their Farmer Christmas Visits.

They also have a lovely little gift shop where I bought a lamb plush!

What are some interesting animal sanctuaries or farms you’ve visited and loved? Do leave them in the comments below as I’m always looking for new places to see.

Lush Products I Love

I worked in lush as a full time sales ambassador for a little while in 2018 and wow has that experience stayed with me. I was a Lush consumer way before I started working there, and as someone who loved scents, colours and pampering myself, it still remains one of my favourite companies to buy products from.

Apart from meeting amazing friends during my short stint there, I also learned a lot about skincare, ingredients and their benefits. I managed to try a variety of products from Lush in my time, from bath bombs to shampoo bars. Here is just a short list of my favourite Lush products (for now!). I’m planning on a little Lush haul when I go to the UK in December as it’s cheaper to purchase there than back home.

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Mask of Magnaminty. As someone who suffers from cystic acne and hyperpigmentation, pepperminty things feel amazing on my skin. Mask of Magnaminty always felt soothing on my skin, and it smelled great. The organic ground aduki beans in it worked as an effective, yet gentle exfoliant. A big 315g tub could last you till it’s expiry date. Tip – keep it in the fridge for maximum preservation as well as extra mintiness! My mask managed to stay fresh for another month after the ‘stated’ expiry date. Just make sure you don’t see any mould on Lush masks and you’ll be fine.

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Love Body Spray. This one is a bit hard to get by but if you do ever see it in your local lush store or online, get your hands on it! It is one of the most amazing spicy yet woody and citrusy scents in the world and I am obsessed with it even after months. The toffee apple scent is what attracted me to it. Lush Singapore didn’t sell this, so my boyfriend helped me place an online order on the Lush UK website and it shipped from Norwich to his place. The bottle has also lasted me a long time, I’ve had it since October 2018.

Just a note: the Love Perfume, although under the same name and similar ingredients as the body spray actually doesn’t smell quite the same. I thought of getting the Love Perfume in store as I saw it in Oxford once, but after smelling it on one of those famous Lush perfume rocks, I decided against it and went for Dear John instead. It just didn’t smell the same.

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Photo credit : Reader’s Digest

Twilight ANYTHING! Lavender is one of my favourite scents in the world as I am indeed a sleepy soul. Twilight Body Wash, Twilight Body Spray and Twilight bath bombs, Sleepy body lotions – I could live and breathe it. It has an absolutely addictive, calming smell that I think would make a great gift for almost anyone who needs to unwind.

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Tea Tree Water. As mentioned before (and I’m sure you’ll keep hearing about it), I have oily/combination acne prone skin. Lush’s Tea Tree water is a godsent. The best part is that it contains no alcohol like most other tea tree waters do. Their toner spray bottles are great and 1 big 250g bottle would last you forever and it is very affordable at only £12. Another related, interesting product to try is Tea Totaler, Lush’s new naked cleansing balm. It melts between warm fingers and acts as a cleanser and toner in 1 and smells divine. I love the smell of seasalt and rosemary oil!

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Photo credit : Lushuponatime

Magic Crystals shower scrub. The colour purple AND menthol crystals? Count me in! My lovely friend Emma who still works in Lush gave me a dollop sample of Magic Crystals and I love it. The sea salts in it are great for giving your skin a good scrub without being too abrasive and of course, the cooling effect on your skin in humid weather is the best thing ever!

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Last but not least, Mint Julips lip scrub! I think we’re seeing a mint trend here. This not only leaves a tingly feeling behind, but is admittedly delicious. I remember a junior staff member at Lush asking if everything at Lush was edible – this is one of the few things that is completely edible! This same junior staff went along to try to taste a Cosmetic Warrior fresh face mask and it didn’t end very well.

These are some of my pretty basic favourites. Of course I would love to add a bath bomb in here and there but I don’t have a bath at home, so until then most of my favourites will be shower or scent related. But some of the ones I have tried and loved are Dragon’s Egg, Sex Bomb and Creamy Candy bubble bar as a special mention.

What are some of your Lush favourites? I cannot wait to visit the Lush in Norwich so I can stock up on some items. Some of the things on my shopping list include Enzymion, Ultrabalm and Grease Lightning.

Until next time! ♡

I come in peace!

This is a breath of fresh air. I haven’t written a blog post in about 2 years and here I am again, starting anew. I have to admit I’m a bit rusty and my writer’s block is more forceful than ever but I’ll do my best.

My name is Marissa, I’m 25 years old and I recently graduated from the University of Lincoln UK with a Masters in Arts Journalism. I say recently, it was almost 2 years ago. It feels just like yesterday only because I’m vicariously living my life through social media as if I were still in the UK and also because, admittedly, I haven’t felt like I’ve done much since then, let alone with my degree. But I figured, hey, my passion is writing, so my awful work hours of 11am to 9.30pm shouldn’t stop me!

I live in the sunny, constantly sweltering island of Singapore but I hope to end up back in the UK permanently as I have obviously left my heart there, thanks to 4 years of university. I’ve worked as an editor, a proofreader and even a Lush Sales Ambassador at one point.

In this blog you can look forward to nonsensical rambles, occasional travel logs, photography, animal adventures, beauty and makeup reviews and some recommendations on anything and everything to do with life (and how to hack it as I’m a considerably lazy person).

I hope you will stick around for me, and I hope I make more friends in this inner circle I’d like to call my subconscious home. *breathes* This is all about self improvement.

Till next time! 🙂