Tuesday, 3 March 2015


It was quite a month for asian lip products this month! I had an order from TesterKorea and a friend I met up with bought me a couple goodies back from Hong Kong! Let's go through them shall we?

Here's the five newest additions to my huge and growing collection. An Aritaum Honey Melting Lip Tint, another Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, an Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk (the packaging makes me feel like a princess, *sighs* ~), an Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk (can you really turn down a bow? Like really?) and an Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge.

L-R: Aritaum Honey Melting Tint, Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, Etude
House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk, Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk,
Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge.

The Aritaum Honey Melting Tint; which I have in the shade #2 Sugar Syrup; has sturdy black packaging with a slanted, flat retractable product. (What do you call it, cause it's not exactly a bullet..? Anyway.) The name of the shade is clearly printed on the other side of the cap; which is the exact colour of the product; and it smells like peach hi-chews. Those amazing lollies, *sighs* it brings back so many memories. 

The Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk; which I have in JPK002; has a really thick and sturdy lid (thicker than your average western lipstick lid) and a bullet that has the really cute heart swirly thing above their logo engraved in the bullet. It's a nice, extra princessy touch that I love. The actual packaging is a pearly white colour with this cute bead like accent around where the edge of the lid rests, in the colour of the bullet. Smells identical to their Kissful Tint Choux, sweet and jelly bean-like, but not really. iT JUST SMELLS GOOD. 

The Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk; which I have in BE102; has a really thick and sturdy lid like the previous product. The bullet is flat and slightly raised unlike a typical lipstick bullet which I don't really mind, although some don't like it for accuracy, but meh. The packaging is really nice, and the cUtE LIttLE bOw how does one resist? Doesn't really have a scent, but you can pick up on hints of rose. 

L-R: Aritaum Honey Melting Tint in #2 Sugar Syrup, Etude House
Dear My Jelly Lips Talk in JPK002, Etude House Dear My Wish
Lips Talk in BE102

The Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge; which I have in #10 Raspberry Red; doesn't have the cutest packaging. It's not super adorable like Etude House or Tony Moly packaging, but I like it. It reflects the natural, earthy theme that Innisfree carries, and I like how the colour can be seen. It's practical, and it's all about the product inside right? The applicator is a doe foot applicator with a little dip in the middle to pick up more product. It holds the right amount of product for my lips and on the inside it has a really nice scraper that the applicator pops out of, not bringing too little or too much product, which I really appreciate. It has a subtle sweet, fruity scent. 

The Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint; which I have in both RD301 and OR202; are probably my favourite lip tint. The packaging is fresh and cute, the applicator is a typical doe foot applicator and it smells like asian grape lollies. Mmm, my favourite.

L-R: Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge in #10 Raspberry Red and
Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint in OR202

Now for the performance, opinions etc. ^-^

Aritaum Honey Melting Tint in Sugar Syrup is a beautiful colour, is moisturising and melts into my lips with a glossy finish. It wears well for 2-3 hours without eating, and after that the colour sinks into the lines of my lips and clings to the dry patches of my lips that start to form, which isn't a pretty sight. It's something that would need to be wiped off and reapplied, well at least for me. It doesn't stain my lips, but it does tint my lips with a nice sheen and a lip balm like formula. I like it when I'm not wearing it for a long portion of time. 

Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint in OR202, despite it's packaging colour and the colour of the applicator, it applies on my lips in a sheer peachy pink, evening out my lip colour. It's a subtle hint of colour on my quite pigmented lips, and it's extremely natural. It stays for 4-5 hours without eating. It's not the most moisturising tint, but it doesn't transfer and stays put. I love the red shade for when I want a brighter option. 

Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk in PK002 is described as a sheer lipstick with a high shine. It really is a sheer lipstick and the colour is definitely buildable. It gives my lips a nice shine, a nice fuchsia tint that isn't too bright pink (as I'm more of a rose-brown pink, natural lip colour girl who's trying to be more daring and out there with my lip colours). It's super moisturising and reminds me of the Kissful Tint Choux in a lipstick form that doesn't stain as much. 

Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk in BE102 is the smoothest lipstick I've ever used, literally. It glides on my lips like ACTUAL BUTTER. IT IS THAT SMOOTH, NO JOKE. Not only does it glide on my lips like butter, it keeps my lips as moisturised as a lip balm, has the pigmentation of a really good quality lipstick, and wears off evenly. The shade I bought wasn't the most out there colour, but I will definitely be getting more. BEST. LIPSTICK. I'VE. EVER. TRIED. If you are a lip product junkie like me and don't own these yet, you need them. Trust me, you really do. 

Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge in #10 Raspberry Red is pigmented, moisturising and has a nice gloss. The colour is slightly darker on my pigmented lips, but I don't mind. It does transfer, but it does stain my lips. Only thing I don't like is that when I smack my lips together it tastes like soap. Other than that, I love it. 

L-R: Aritaum Honey Melting Tint in #2 Sugar Syrup, Etude House
Fresh Cherry Tint in OR202, Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk
in JPK002, Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk in BE102, Innisfree
Vivid Tint Rouge in #10 Raspberry Red

Above are the swatches of the products on paper. The Aritaum one a coral-pink (swiped three times), the Etude House tint a peachy pink (although the bottle and applicator look candy orange, swiped once), the Etude House Jelly Talk a sheer, vibrant fuchsia (swiped twice), Etude House Dear My Wish a rosy brown (...? not sure, swiped once) and the Innisfree tint a raspberry red (swiped once).

If you've gotten anything out of this, I hope it's that I need help and self control when it comes to lip products, which I'm probably going to refuse. Hope this review helped at all, and if it didn't, meh, I'm off to buy more things to review! xD (I'm kind of broke, so I'll probably go read heaps of review and add things to my wishlist instead, don't try and deny you don't do this for hours).

In other news, a bird pooped on my head yesterday. Wishing you luck (that you don't get from a bird pooping on you, because that gives me anything BUT luck, and the instant need to shower and scrub myself ten times). On a happier note, I won some fabulous MOR goodies from a competition, which definitely made me happy! 

Bye for now! 

- Jess xo


Friday, 13 February 2015


It's my first asian beauty haul on this blog! I bought one item from BeautyNetKorea and a couple items from TesterKorea. It was my second time shopping from BNK and my first from TK, so let me share my experiences with them and my haul! Yay! 

My TK order was purchased on 24/01/15, shipped 02/02/15 (9 days later) and received 13/02/15 (11 days later), so a total of 20 days. My BNK order was purchased on 21/01/15, shipped on 22/02/15 (1 day) and received on 13/02/15 (22 days) so a total of 23 days (shipping to Australia). They both arrived today and it made me super excited! Let's get on to the items!

TonyMoly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream. So cute right? ^-^

I only bought one item from BNK, and that was the TonyMoly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream. It came in a cardboard box, individually bubble wrapped like the last time I ordered. The product comes in this ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE green apple packaging which makes so super happy because I'm and absolute sucker for packaging. Even the little 'leaf' makes me so happy! *smiles with glee* 

It smells like apples, but not an artificial asian candy scent. More like fresh, crisp apples. It comes with a plastic lid inside the cute packaging to keep the product from transferring on the lid and into the grooves of the lid. Only thing is that the lid kind of screws on unevenly, so I don't know if that's just mine. Also, it didn't come with a little spatula thing which means hands, and makes it less hygienic. But the packaging is so cute, that it can be forgiven.

TesterKorea items all packaged up nicely!

My TK order came in this yellow box, kind of a plastic-cardboard? I don't know. It came with a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom, top and these foam thingies in between the products. A bit of a nuisance when all I wanted was to grab all my products and inhale their scents as well as slather them all over wherever they go, but I restrained myself otherwise. At least they kept my items well cushioned! 

L-R: Mizon Water Volume Aqua Gel Cream, Skinfood Wash Off Rice Mask,
Innisfree Green Tea Pure Gel Hand Cream, Etude House Dear My Wish
Lipstick in BE102, Aritaum Honey Melting Tint in 02 Sugar Syrup and
Holika Holika Jewel Light Waterproof Eyeliner in 15 Burgundy Garnet.

The Mizon Water Volume Aqua Gel Cream comes in this pretty blue tube and box, which the colour alone makes me feel happy. The product feels light, moisturising and quite like a serum. It's got a gel texture that's quite thin, and it has a slight fresh scent. I haven't used it long enough (since I got my order today) to give a full on review, but I like it so far!

I've heard heaps about the Skinfood mask line, and after reading a couple reviews, I wasn't sure if the black sugar mask would be too abrasive for my dry and sensitive skin, and if the rice mask would be too gentle and not scrub enough. I figured that it would be better to be safe, and if it doesn't exfoliate enough I can always buy the black sugar one another time! It doesn't come with something to get the product out, making it lose points in the hygiene department. It comes with a plastic lid with the brand name like a lot of asian skincare products so that the product doesn't make the lid all messy. It has a faint floral-ish scent which I don't mind, it's nothing too harsh though.

The Innisfree Green Tea Gel Hand Cream is 50ml and comes in a foil sealed green tube. I love the packaging, 'cause it has similar packaging materials to the L'Occitane and the Crabtree and Evelyn hand creams and that makes me feel rich! I haven't used it yet as it's a backup for my current green tea gel hand cream, but it smells divine! 

I was debating which lipstick to pick up from the Etude House range, since I'd heard heaps about their lipsticks (and wanted to limit myself to buying one, since I have waay too many lip products), so I chose the Dear My Wish Talk in BE102, since I heard that they were creamier and smoother than the Dear My Blooming Talk lipsticks. The packaging is very sturdy, and EXTREMELY, BEYOND MYSELF CUTE. I CAN'T GET OVER IT. IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL. The actual product is extremely smooth, creamy, pigmented and moisturising. I had some swatches, but I realised how horrible the lighting was and that it didn't represent the shade properly in real life, so I skipped on them, as by that time it was too dark to take more pictures (and I wanted to get this post up asap). BE102 is a pink-nude and is a MLBB on me. 

Aritaum Honey Melting Tint is one of my favourites. It smells sweet, almost slightly fruity. Not only is the colour super cute (a nice medium pink with hints of coral shade) but the formula is super pigmented, super moisturising, and feels like a balm. The packaging may not be as cute as the Etude House products, but the product inside is definitely a love!

Holika Holika's Jewel Light Waterproof Eyeliner is the smoothest, creamiest eyeliner I've ever tried! It glided on my hand like butter, and is really waterproof! I thought that my Rimmel ones I was using were creamy, but they pale in comparison to these! They're also super cheap, half the price of some of the Rimmel ones (in Australia at least). Only problem is that I'm pretty sure that it is retractable, but when I opened it the retractor didn't work...?

edit: I forgot to write about the eyeliner, and only realised when I woke up T_T

Samples bought: Skinfood Royal Honey Hydro Essence, Innsifree Green
Tea Serum, TonyMoly Intense Care Dual Effect Sleeping Pack and TonyMoly
Red Appletox Honey Cream.

TesterKorea has the cheapest and widest range of samples than any other website I've known of, so I picked up quite a few. The Skinfood Royal Honey Hydro Essence and TonyMoly Appletox Honey Creams were just impulses since they were quite popular and I had heard good things about them. The Innisfree Green Tea Serum was something I wanted to try, but didn't exactly want to purchase it just yet, so samples were the way to go. The TonyMoly Intense Dual Effect Sleeping Pack is something I bought for my mum. I've heard of quite a lot in terms of it as a good anti-ageing product, and although the samples might not do much, it would be good to make sure she's not allergic to any ingredients before purchasing a full size.

Skinfood brush I bought for use with the mask, which I forgot to
photograph in the overall haul.

The Skinfood mask brush I bought for my Wash Off Rice Pack for better hygiene when dispensing the product out, and for spreading it on my face. I can also wash it and use it for some of my other masks which is great!

The free samples included! Left is BeautyNetKorea and right is TesterKorea!

I received some TonyMoly I'm Real sachets and a TonyMoly Panda's Dream Eye Patch from BeautyNetKorea (as they have this deal where every purchase gets a Panda's Dream Eye Patch). I got an assortment of other samples from TesterKorea. There's a The Face Shop Concentrate (a toner I'm assuming..?), Missha Super Aqua Snail Moisturiser, Missha Timeless Revolution Toner and a Missha Gold Snow Emulsion (I think).

So yay, that's me for my haul! Hope you enjoyed reading! Now I'm about to oogle at my lipstick's packaging and sniff my Appletox cream all day!

- Jess xo

Monday, 9 February 2015


So as my little bio to the side says, I may or may not be extremely addicted to lip products. I am, as it says, a firm believer that one can't have too many lip products, so I'm starting this series (or whatever, call it what you will) lip buys. If I think that I've purchased a sufficient amount of lip products in one month, or two or three, I'll make a blog post displaying all my buys with swatches and reviews! Hope you'll enjoy!

L-R: Red Velvet, Tiramisu, Devil's Food Cake

First off is the NYX Cosmetics Pure Decadence Butter Gloss set. It's one of their limited edition Valentine's Day sets, and especially since they had 25% off all NYX at Target until this Wednesday, I got this for around $10.45, making them around $3.50 each. Considering their RRPs are $9.95 each, they're definitely a steal! They come with three shades; Red Velvet; what I think is a blue toned cherry red on my skin tone, and what the NYX website says is a 'deep red'. Tiramisu; a pink toned nude on my skin tone, and what the NYX website says is a 'brown', which I definitely don't agree with. You can see in the swatches below that it does look brown, but it has pink tones, and not a brown brown. Devil's Food Cake is my favourite out of them all, as it's a dark plum purple, and what the website says is a deep plum which I do agree with. I like wearing it with a sheet wash over my lips, and building up the colour as well. I'd been wanting Red Velvet and Devil's Food Cake for a while now anyway, and even though I already own Tiramisu, it can be a great gift anytime! The formula smells HEAVENLY and are so smooth and do glide on like butter on the lips (without the taste and the oily feel) and set well. They do need touchups like any gloss, but they're one of my favourite formulas. Not too sticky, and not too slippery. Only drawback is that after a while (2-4 hours) they get quite sticky and gather in the lines of my lips which can be noticed close up, and clings to the inside of my lips which is where my lips start to flake first, and I end up picking it off. Other than that, I'm up for a great deal, anytime.

L-R: 107, 111, 103

Next up are the Kate Moss by Rimmel Lipsticks. Chemist Warehouse were having a 50% off all cosmetics a couple weeks back, so why not take advantage of that? I picked up two of her matte formulas in 107 and 111, Kiss of Life. I also picked up one of the regular formulas in 103. 107 is a nice dark, vampy berry red on me, 111 is a beautiful cherry red shade, and 103 is a nude on my skin tone. The formulas are beautiful - smooth, creamy and moisturising. 107 and 111 are extremely moisturising as far as matte lipsticks go, and although some people hate the smell, I honestly don't mind it. The matte line is more transfer proof than the normal ones, and wear like normal lipsticks. If you were to wear them for a while with eating, sometimes they cling to dry patches and stain unevenly, so it's better to reapply. They're great buys and I definitely recommend! The shade range is pretty good too, and definitely more affordable than Revlon Matte Lipsticks when they're 50% off too!

L-R: Maybelline Colour Elixir in Raspberry Rhapsody
Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic

My next two buys were also a result of the 50% off all cosmetics sale at Chemist Warehouse, and they were the Maybelline Colour Elixir in Raspberry Rhapsody and the Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be more daring with my lip colours (as I tend to gravitate towards the rose-pink, natural and brown shades, the MLBBs), and I quite like the purple trend. I'm not that into pinks, as I feel they don't really go with my skintone and I just don't really care for pinks. If I were to go bold, I'd go red or purple, or a deep shade. The Elixirs have a lovely scent, are moisturising, glossy, not too sticky and are great. Raspberry Rhapsody looks like a beautiful purple shade, but it looks pink with a hint of purple on my lips. I like it, not too purple (like the Vision in Violet shade they offer), and not too pink! The colour is also extremely buildable, which I like. Only downside is that the security seal ruined one of the sides of the shiny silver lid, and after a while (4-5 hours) when it starts to fade away and dry, it becomes sticky and the pigmentation clings on to the dry flakes of my lips that start from the inside, so it looks like I have bright pink inner lips. Not the best look, so it's better to wipe off and reapply often. 
The Rimmel Apocalips is like a liquid lipstick - smooth, moisturising, extremely pigmented with a semi-matte finish. Apocaliptic is like a pink-red shade, and it's beautiful. The scent is just like the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks. Only problem it's not transfer proof, and transfers easily and doesn't really stain the lips. If it were to be somewhat transfer proof, I'd love and wear it to death. I haven't tried setting it with transluscent powder though yet, so maybe I'll try that. But other than that, I love it!

L-R: NYX Butter Gloss in Red Velvet, Tiramisu, Devil's Food Cake, Rimmel Kate Moss
Lipstick in 107 (matte), 111 (matte), 103, Maybelline Colour Elixir in Raspberry Rhapsody
and Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic

As you can see with the swatches, I added in pictures of the applicators for the various products (minus the lipstick as theyre just regular bullets). NYX butter glosses are typical doe foot applicators with a spongy feel. Maybelline Elixirs have a slanted tapered applicator with a pointy tip which is perfect for getting in the cupid's bow and the corners of the lips. It also feels super nice on the lips, and it's my favourite applicator to apply with because of how it feels. The Rimmel Apocalips have a doe foot applicator with a well in the middle to pick up more product and also has a spongy feel. The Maybelline Colour Elixirs have the best neck of bottle to take off excess product.

I hope you liked this lip product and haul/review! 

Love, lipgloss and heaps and heaps of lipstick,
- Jess xo

Friday, 23 January 2015


It's the last week of holidays before school goes back (ew), and so far I've done quite a bit of baking. Over the Christmas period, I made a whole lot home made ice-cream, I think enough cupcakes and icing to swim in, and used enough butter to give someone a heart attack. In January, I've tried vanilla macarons, which did taste pretty good, but were kind of burnt (and not exactly the most photogenic out of them all). I've gotten the shape right, I just needed to get the buttercream right and not burn them. The next ones I'm going to try are matcha green tea ones, and I'll definitely do a blogpost when I get around to making those! I also made some banana bread, because what else do you do with ripe bananas that are ripe beyond freezing and putting into a smoothie? Along with that, my family tried creme brûlée, which worked, except our blowtorch decided not to work. Amongst all these other sugary treats, I made what I like to call my babies, cream puffs.

I'd heard so much about how choux pastry is so hard to master, and that they can deflate and go wrong like a balloon that has a tiny hole in it. This recipe makes the thought of making choux pastry not as intimidating as I thought it was. On top of all of it, they taste delicious! They don't look exactly perfect, and they're pretty lopsided, but they're delicious, so that doesn't really matter does it? (Unless you're like Donna Hay).

I like to call them my homemade dream puffs, heheh ^-^ 

- Jess xo

Monday, 12 January 2015


Hi All,
It was my birthday on the tenth, and let's just say that it wasn't my best day. I felt quite sick, and it just wasn't great. But on a happier note, I wrote up my full list of goals for 2015, and mentioned my major ones last post. One big one that I forgot to mention was to appreciate everything. Appreciate the smallest of things, not just the big things, as if I've learnt anything it's that we often take things for granted. We take our friends for granted, we take our family for granted, and you end up falling into a routine where you're so used to it, that once it's taken away, you realise how much they actually mean to you. I want to get more into photography this year, and since we do have a pretty nice DSLR camera just sitting around with it's battery uncharged most of the time, I figured I'd learn how to use it a bit. 

I was about to close the curtains tonight when I looked outside to see the sky streaked colours, the clouds a beautiful shade of scarlet, and the sky going from a light blue, to blue grey, to a candy orange and then pale yellow. It was one of those things I had to capture to appreciate before it was gone, because that's what sunsets do. They appear, and before you can blink they're gone, as if those beautiful streaks of red, orange and yellow didn't even exist.

Rainbow streaked skies and amateur photography,

- Jess xo

Thursday, 1 January 2015

HERE'S TO 2015

A new year, a new me. At least, that's what everybody else likes to say, or think.

2015; it sounds pretty daunting right? Especially for some people like me who will probably find themselves writing the date as 2013 at some point this year. I'm not really into the whole 'New Year, New Me' thing and 'New Years Resolutions' because honestly, if you think about it, going into 2015 is the same as going from the last day of August to the first day of September, or just from the 15th of May to the 16th of May. If you were to say that with a new year comes a new you, wouldn't it be the same as saying a new day comes a new you? Saying that it's a new year is just a way of drawing a line in time, or all that jazz about the earth orbiting the sun. I'm not even sure if any of that made any form of sense, but let's move on from that. 

New Year's Resolutions aren't exactly my thing, because I find that year after year I make resolutions which I convince myself I'm going to keep and keep them for the first two weeks; most of which have to do with working out. It's always 'only a little bit', but I had to face that there was absolutely no way that unless with some real hardcore dedication, I'd be able to do my 'workout' every day for 365 days. I would tell myself at the start 'that it's only fifteen minutes of my day, and that's the time I probably spend instagram stalking every day', but nope. I find it funny that despite the defintion of resolution; 'A firm decision to do or not do something' it's hard to keep that firm decision to do it. I just personally prefer goals. Although both being quite similar, I see resolutions as something that I tell myself I can do and eventually drop. Goals are something that you can see in the distance and continue working hard to achieve. Again, i have no idea if any that actually made any sense, but oh well. I thought that I'd list my goals for this year.

Jess' Goals for 2015

- Improve My Handwriting; Some people like to say that my handwriting is neat, but sometimes it's so messy that not even I can understand it. I went on instagram and took screenshots of handwriting that I like and put it in an album called 'handwriting goals' :P

- Work Harder; I am happy with my grades, and although they are above average (academically; I've given up on physical education -.-) but there's always room for improvement.

- Procrastinate Less; I procrastinate a hell of a lot, way more than I should. Last year I left way too many tests to study for the day before, thinking I could rely on my class knowledge and go on Twitter, YouTube or any other form of social media and ended up producing a mark where I could've gotten better. Procrastinating less is just goes hand in hand with the previous one.

- Be Nicer and Love More; because sometimes I find myself being not as nice as I should be, and not watching what comes out of my mouth. I also want to appreciate everything in my life including my family and friends, because sometimes I realise that I don't treasure them as much as I should. 

- Grow Closer to God; I don't know how many read my blog, and I doubt that there's many, but I am Christian, and I feel that sometimes I slack on my relationship with him (a lot more than I should) and I want to improve on my relationship with him.

- Not Be Afraid; sometimes I find that I'm afraid to try new things, to speak my mind, to do things in general in fear of being judged. I'm slowly learning, but I want to be less and less afraid to not care and worry what people think, to not hold back on new things and speaking my mind, because we only regret the chances that we didn't take. 

Despite what I said earlier about not believing in the whole 'New Year, New Me' thing, I do believe in the whole starting over. I know people like to see the new year as a blank page; a clean slate; that with a new year comes a new start. I believe in this outlook, but I prefer to believe that instead of with a new year comes a new start, that with every day comes a new start. A new year is just another 365 new starts to me. Here I'll leave you with two not very good photos of the sunset today, because I'm not very good at photography. 

I hope you all had a lovely and safe New Years, and here's to 2015. - Jess xo

Saturday, 20 December 2014


Christmas, the holliest, jolliest, happiest time of year, a time to have some good family time. Not only is it the time where little kids get super excited at the idea of Santa, leaving cookies and milk out and trying to stay up to get a glimpse of his shining sleigh and prancing reindeer; it's also the time when, depending on what you enjoy, we can get excited for food, giving presents, receiving presents, wearing a cute Christmassy outfit, wearing your favourite red lip, the sunshine (or snuggling up in your warm blankets and pyjamas for those in the northern hemisphere), the smell of a fresh Christmas tree (or an artificial one), making your room and house all festive (basically making everything you can think of festive) and some nice family time. 

I love decorating the tree. Most years I go away with my family to another part of Australia to visit the rest of our family, but this year we're staying here and they're coming down here. Since it's the first time we've been able to have a tree in years, we borrowed a tree from a friend who's was much bigger and nicer than our lame, short, artificial tree from over seven years ago. We figured we'd borrow one since she was going away and didn't need the tree, and it's the first time we weren't going away, so save money yeah? :P I was so happy with the decorations I was able to get. We ended up getting some glass and ceramic ones from Myer since they were 35% off and some ceramic and porcelain ones from Lincraft since they were 50% off. I went for a red, gold and white/silver theme. I intended going for a red and white/silver theme, but I wanted an angel ornament and the only one I liked was in gold, so I thought I'd add some gold to it. I was really scared that the glass baubles would fall off and break (or I'd drop them), but I didn't, which I'm happy for. We also found these really nice scented stick ornaments that smell like fresh Christmas trees and hollies. We hung some up and the tree smells so nice! Too bad you can't smell it...

Here are some shots of our tree an my favourite parts of it. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and my glass ones and the snowflake are definitely my favourite ornaments. If you might see, I did hang one of my Domo's up on the tree as an ornament too. I figured that his mouth does have some red in it, and he's pretty cute anyway, so why not? ^-^

Another thing that I believe is a big part of Christmas is the crackers. The thing is, I find crackers to although be fun to pull apart, the jokes are lame (and some don't even make sense), if it does come with chocolate, it's the bad dollar store kind and the other things inside useless and junky (which is not worth what you pay for them). I thought I'd make my own! I found these make your own cracker kits at Lincraft in their 50% off sale, and picked up a couple. Yeah they do come with the lame jokes and the paper crowns, but I left out some of the jokes because some of them were so lame and didn't make any sense. I still kept the crowns and stuffed them in because even though they're useless, they're kind of traditional for crackers. I made some for females and some for males, since I thought some cute rubbers from Daiso and EOS lip balms I found at Costco were great cracker stuffers along with some good Lindt chocolate balls.

I've also been thoroughly enjoying wrapping the presents. I wrapped all of the presents for cousins and everyone else under the tree except mine. I alternated between a cute light brown wrapping paper with red birds and various swirls/designs with red ribbon and brown kraft paper and red ribbon. I got both of the paper at K-Mart, and I got the kraft paper for only $5 and 10m of it? I thought that was a steal, 'cause I love the look of it with a nice brightly coloured ribbon. It's much thicker than wrapping paper, but it's still tearable, so it doesn't take too much fun out of it for the people who like to rip their paper, despite making me sad as I watch what I thought looked beautiful and took time ripped into shreds in a matter of seconds...and yes, I am one of those people who care about how pretty wrapped presents look. ._. 

I also love cooking and baking. We're doing most of the cooking, and I'm helping my mum out in the kitchen. I love potatoes, so I have to make huge amounts of roast potatoes (because who would say no to roast potatoes?) and I'm also making tiramisu and two ice-cream flavours with mochi. Mochi is one of my favourite toppings for ice-cream as it adds a bit of chewiness and texture to it. Mochi is made out of glutinous rice flour, water, sugar and optional colour and flavouring. When I eat it with ice-cream I prefer it plain with no colour or flavouring. This is the recipe that I use (which is not mine, but adapted from Honeysuckle Catering's Mochi Ice-Cream Recipe):

1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Cornflour for dusting

Combine glutinous rice flour and water in a bowl. Once combined well, add sugar and mix until combined. 

Cover with some plastic wrap and put it in the microwave and microwave for 2 minutes (since I have a 1100 watt microwave, I do 1 1/2 minutes to be safe). 

Take it out and stir so it doesn't burn, and recover and microwave for a further 30 seconds. Take it out of the microwave and let it cool. 

Once it's cool enough to touch without burning yourself, put it on a well floured surface and knead until it's not sticky and well covered with the cornflour. You don't want it too sticky that it sticks all over your hands, and not too floury that all you get it flour when you eat it. 

Roll in out into a sausage shape, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before you're ready to serve, cut it into bite sized pieces and top your ice-cream with it. 

It tastes better if you eat it the day you make it, or the day after (if making at night) as it gets hard after a couple of days. 

For the ice-cream I'm making this year, I haven't fully decided on the flavours, but I'm tossing up between caramelised pecan, candy cane, matcha green tea, vanilla bean and strawberry (which some I haven't tried, but will probably have to go with trial and error), not only because they're super festive (colours and flavours), but also because it's a great way to use up those candy canes that lie around. I love peppermint hot chocolate, but since we're blessed with the sunshine at Christmas, hot chocolate isn't the ideal drink. I don't really like eating candy canes plain, but in ice-cream? Everything's better in ice-cream! This is the recipe I use (which is not mine, but adapted (to Australian measurements) from Gemma Stafford's 6 Holiday Ice-Cream Recipes):

400ml condensed milk
500ml whipping cream/heavy cream

1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup candy canes/peppermint sweets

Put the whipping cream in a bowl and whisk with an electric beater or stand up mixer until stiff peaks form. Pour in condensed milk and whisk until well combined. 

Split mixture in half. For caramelised pecans, place pecans, brown sugar and butter in a pan on medium-low heat. Once sugar has melted and browned, pour on to baking paper and when set, crumble into pieces. Mix into the ice-cream base. For candy canes, crush into small bits and fold into ice-cream base. Put into containers and freeze. It makes about 500ml each and tastes absolutely amazing.

I've used this recipe and added macadamias, honey nut cashews, vanilla extract and honey and it tasted amazing! I figured it would be Vanilla Honey Nut? It tasted good though, and that's what matters right?

For beauty, red is where it's at. Red and white is my kind of Christmas, since I'm not too fond of how green looks against my skin. I mean, where can you find green lipstick in the store anyway? I leave the greenery to my Christmas tree ^-^

I love my Etude House Fresh Cherry Lip Tint in 01 Cherry Red and Etude House Kissful Tint Choux in 01 Red Choux for my lips. It looks like a cherry pink-red on the lips rather than a true red though. I prefer the tints over lipstick because I can choose if I want slightly red lips or the full on red look. It's also super moisturising and doesn't come off when I eat and drink, avoiding those lip prints on your glasses, food and it won't get on your teeth! Although the lip print might be a good way to tell your cup apart from everyone else's! 

I've also been loving the NYX Butter Glosses in general. First of all, they smell absolutely amazing (compared to the Mega Shine Glosses; the artificial cough-syrup cherry scent is what put me off them despite their amazing reviews), like sweet sugar and vanilla cupcakes. As someone who loves to bake often, it's definitely a good scent in my books. The colour range is really nice, and I have the shades Red Velvet, Tiramisu and Angel Food Cake. Red Velvet is a nice red wit a blue undertone. which I really like on. Tiramisu is a pink based nude on my skin tone and Angel Food Cake is like a mauve-pink. Also, thumbs up for all the names, they make me crave cakes and desserts!

For nails I love the Kester Black Nail Polish for Bellabox in Coral Me Maybe, the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Brick Wall and the Essence Colour to Go Nail Polish in Fame Fatal. They're all very different kinds of reds, Coral Me Maybe being a bright coral-red, Brick Wall being a dark wine red and Fame Fatal being the true red. I have Coral Me Maybe on my nails right now. I got it in my October Bellabox, but it is available on the Bellabox store as it is made exclusively for Bellabox. It says on the Bellabox store: 

Exclusively created for Bellabox, this chip-resistant nail polish introduces a high-shine finish to your nails with a striking bright peach/coral shade. Made in Australia, this environmental friendly vegan polish protects our surroundings while helping you strike a trendy statement. It is free from toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin.

You can get away with two coats, and it goes on smoothly and has worn well for five days until chipping to the point where you need to redo them. Maybe it's my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat, but I like it. The formula is great and the colour is nice and bright, but personally I wouldn't spend $20 on a nail polish ($6 is where I draw the line, considering I tend to want so many of the colours; I can't afford to want 10 colours and pay like $15 for them xD). Brick Wall is an Autumn/Winter favourite, but I thought I'd throw that one in there too. The formula is thinner than most polishes, but the Hard as Nails line wears really well, better than all my other nail polishes without a top coat (but the opaqueness of the colours do vary). The Essence polishes are always a fave for me, since the majority of the shades are really good. They go on smoothly with two coats for the most part, wear pretty well and the brush is fat, making it easy to apply the polish. For around $3 a piece, they're really worth it. I'll probably be wearing the Kester Black and the Essence one more. I mean, it's summery and bright days for us here, so why not embrace that? (Meaning, I still wear heaps of grey and black, but the colour on my nails make me somewhat summery..?)

Christmas music - one of my favourite aspects of Christmas. Can I just say now that Michael Buble's voice IS Christmas? It makes Christmas even more Christmas if even possible and I just love it. It's the album I've been jamming to since October (no shame) and puts me in the Christmassy mood. I love the whole album, but my favourites are 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas', 'Jingle Bells', 'White Christmas', 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town', 'All I Want for Christmas', 'Winter Wonderland', 'Santa Baby', 'Holly Jolly Christmas', 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' and 'Blue Christmas'. 

I'm also loving Glee's Christmas Albums Volume 1 and 2. My favourites are 'Deck the Halls', 'Baby it's Cold Outside', 'Last Christmas', 'Jingle Bells', 'All I Want for Christmas is You', 'Santa Baby', 'Extraordinary Merry Christmas', 'Christmas Eve with You' and 'River'. 

Also, I've been obsessed with Amy and Ellen's Christmas single, 'Jesus, All We Need'. I love it, not only because their voices are absolutely breathtaking (as are they), but also because I love the lyrics 'cause to me, they perfectly represent the true meaning of Christmas. Also because the tune is lovely and, ugh I just love it. I mean, does the forty times I've listened to it in the past three days and the 5 stars I've given it say anything about it? 

Well there is one Christmassy full blog post, and by the way, less than a week 'till Christmas? WHO ELSE IS SO FREAKING EXCITED??!???!!

- Jess xo