Sunday, 2 July 2017

bellabox x Nourished Life

Bellabox is a beauty sample subscription box that delivers a box of deluxe beauty samples to your door, every month. I was a huge fan of the service a few years back and when I was approached to review their newest box, I was very interested. This new offering is a Limited Edition in collaboration with Nourished Life. It's jam-packed with a range of vegan, cruelty-free and organic brands covering skincare, haircare and makeup giving you $250 worth of products for $79.95. Unlike their usual subscription service, you can purchase this as a one-off. So what do you actually get in the box? 

Haircare

Ethique Sampler RRP $20.00 - I'm a huge fan of the Lush shampoo bars so I was really excited to see these included. They are solid shampoos, designed to help reduce the amount of plastic you use. My sampler has bars for normal to dry hair which is perfect as winter is killing my poor scalp. Very keen to try these out. 
Skincare 

Happy Skincare Good Vibes Omega Facial Oil RRP $38.50 for 30ml - This one is designed to "deeply hydrate and nourish stressed skin". It has a quite strong scent (think natural/essential oil) but is meant to absorb very easily. Facial oils aren't my cup of tea but if you do like them, this seems like a good one. It's made with 87% organic ingredients too which is always a good thing. 
*Sample size*
 
Rosehip Plus Organic Daily Cream Cleanser RRP $16.95 - I have actually tried this one before and while I loved the consistency, it ended up being way too rich for my skin. If you have dry skin, I think it a real winner though. Plus rosehip is great for scarring and the cream cleanser makes for an excellent makeup remover. 

Mukti Organics Age Defiance Vital C Elixir RRP $109.95 for 30ml - I originally thought this was an oil but it's actually a serum. It's always nice to see a sample of a very pricey product so you can test it out before handing over $100. This is meant to be an anti-ageing product and claims to "fight against photo-ageing, free radicals and environmental pollution". I don't know if this little sample is quite enough to test out all those claims but it's a really nice serum and left my skin feeling plump and glowy. 
*Sample size*

Pure Papaya Ointment with Calendula RRP $9.95 - I can never have enough papaya/papaw ointment! I always look out for ones that are petrochemical free, like this one, which also contains calendula to nourish and soothe. This will definitely be going straight into my handbag! 

Life Basics Activated Charcoal Body Soap with Lemongrass RRP $9.95 - This is one of my favourite items in the box! The charcoal helps remove dirt but it's also packed with coconut, sunflower and olive oil to soothe dry skin. Really keen to give this one a try. 

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream RRP - $49.95 for 118ml - This is a cult favourite skincare product containing just 6 ingredients (olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, propolis and Royal Jelly). I personally found it way too greasy for my face but it's nice for dry skin on your hands/body. Personally, this isn't my cup of tea but I know a lot of people who do love it.
*Sample size*

Salt and Glow Be Still Lip Balm RRP $8.50 - I am very keen to try this one out! A lip balm I've been using has left my lips dry, cracked and bleeding so any TLC I can give them would be amazing. I like the flavour combo (lavender and orange) and the packaging makes me very happy too. 

Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste RRP $18.50 for 75g - I'm a big fan of natural deodorants, although some work a lot better than others. This one is vegan and certified organic and smells vaguely pepperminty. I'm very excited to try it out as my last experience with natural deodorant left me sweaty, smelly and very unhappy! 
*Sample size*

Makeup

Inika Organic Baked Illuminisor RRP $65.00 - I am in love this this highlighter! The packaging is amazing and the product is to die for. It reminds me of Cindy Lou Manizer by The Balm. So so pretty and also vegan *winning*

Inika Organic Vegan Fan Brush RRP $39.00 - This is everything you could want in a fan brush. Soft, good quality, pretty and did I mention soft? 

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Gloss RRP $24.95 - As soon as I tried this, I was transported back to my primary school Lip Smacker days. The difference is that this one is that this version is cruelty free and made with natural ingredients. The colour is quite sheer but it's not tacky or sticky and really nice to wear. 

Other 

Zen Green Tea Matcha Powder RRP $29.95 for 60g - My trip to Japan earlier this year gave me a new love and appreciation for matcha! It has all sorts of amazing heist benefits including boosting immunity and increasing energy. I also think it tastes great and really soothes the soul! 
*Sample size*
I did mention this was a jam-packed box! I think it's really good value for money and all of the brands included are cruelty free, some are also organic and vegan too. You can get your Nourished Life box from bellabox from July 6

Will you be picking up one of these amazing boxes on Thursday?

Dani xo

This box and contents were provided as a PR sample but, as always, my opinions are my own.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Divine Winter Glow

Let me set the scene for you. Winter has set in. Your skin is dull, dry and hidden under several thick layers. The bits of skin you do glimpse have lost their golden summer glow. Enter, The Divine Company!
I was lucky enough to attend a really awesome product launch for this brand last year. They have an amazing range of organic skincare and have just release their latest additions, The Exfoliating Body Scrub ($32.95) and The Naturally Bronze Gradual Tan ($34.95). Both are certified organic and I personally haven't come across or used a certified organic tanner before.

I'm not a bit fan of straight up fake tans. I almost always manage to stuff up. Gradual tans are definitely my jam, so I was very keen to try these both out.

The scrub was definitely my favourite of the two. It's got a very strong citrus scent, because it's packed with lime, which I loved. I found it very refreshing to take a warm, citrusy shower, scrub up and step out feeling fresh and smooth. The scrub isn't overly gritty but it does get the job done. It did a really great job on my knees and elbows, which always get super dry in winter.

The gradual tanner was easy to use and wasn't too drying. It did have a bit of a floral scent mixed with the classic fake tan smell which I wasn't a big fan of, but it faded pretty quickly. I used it over 4 days and ended up with a definite bronze glow. It's very subtle but added a nice warmth to my skin. If you're after a full on, super golden tan, it's definitely not for you. If you just need to beat the winter blues and fancy adding a subtle glow, this is the product for you!
If this sounds like something you'd like to try, then you're in luck. The lovely team at The Divine Company have given me a code (WINTERGLOW) that will give you a free Exfoliating Scrub when you buy a Gradual Tanner. They're a winning combo and you'll save yourself $32!

Dani XO

*Products in this post were provided as PR samples but, as always, my opinion is my own. I do not make any money from readers using the promo code. 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

10 Reasons Why Shaving Your Head is Amazing


1. The first and most obvious reason, to raise money for a great cause. I raised nearly $1,000 for the Leukemia Foundation and that's a pretty damn good feeling!

2. You save so much time getting ready.

3.  You save a tonne of money on shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products.

4. Bad hair days are a thing of the past! No hair = no bad hair days.

5. You get to start over with a clean slate. My poor hair had definitely seen better days. Years of colouring and heat styling had left it in pretty bad shape but now, I get to start fresh with completely natural, untreated hair.

6. Your style changes. I've found that things I used to wear no longer seem to suit my new look. I've definitely noticed some changes to the way I pick out my wardrobe these days.

7. Your makeup game changes. I feel like having a shaved head has brought out my eyes and my cheekbones a lot. It really changes what I choose to focus on when I do my makeup.

8. You don't have to worry about how many days you've gone without washing or how your gym/hair washing schedule is going to play out for the week. My hair is so short that I can wash it whenever and it takes literally 5 seconds to towel dry.

9. The future is an open book! Will I keep it short? Grow it out? What style will I go for? The opportunities are endless.

10. A whole new world of accessories has opened up for me. Hats, beanies, bandanas, scarves, so many accessories, so little time!
 
Dani XO 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Travel Capsue Wardrobe - Japan

In the past, I have been a notoriously bad over-packer. I would tend to pack a lot of "just in case" items. Things that I would never wear at home but somehow thought I'd love on holiday. Then I would end up wearing the same three outfits on repeat anyway. For my recent trip to Japan with Kate from The Minted Blog, I decided to give the capsule wardrobe a go. This was mainly inspired by the fact that we were only taking carry-on bags, so they had to be as light as possible.

The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that you pack a minimal number of items that you can mix and match to create a much larger number of outfits.

A little disclaimer; I used Polyvore to create this layout and they didn't have the exact items I have in my wardrobe BUT you get the general idea. I also haven't included the (hopefully) obvious things like undies and socks because who wants to see those? I also threw in a few singlets for warmth and layering.

My Travel Capsule Wardrobe

1 pair of khaki jeggings

1 pair of denim chambray joggers

2 long sleeve, turtle neck shirts (1 black, 1 striped)

1 long sleeve grey shirt

1 black knitted jumper

1 3/4 sleeve striped dress

1 navy blue duffel coat

1 pair of black trainers

1 pair of flat, brown ankle boots

1 striped cotton scarf

With this teeny tiny wardrobe, I had a pretty decent number of outfits I could pull together. I did end up picking up a few items of clothing over there to supplement my capsule wardrobe but I could have easily managed without them.

My top tips for packing a capsule wardrobe are:

1. Stick with a basic colour palette.

You're going to be mixing and matching everything so while your red jeans might be an absolute favourite and your green jumper a staple, you don't want to end up looking like a Christmas tree when you put the two together.

2. Pick durable items.

By this I mean that if you aren't able to get to a washing machine, is your wardrobe still going to work? You don't want to lose a huge chunk of wardrobe options because the jumper you picked needs to be dried on a medium heat for 45 minutes every second day. Pick things that are stain-resistant and easy to wash and dry.

3.Limit your number of shoes

This has been the downfall of so many travellers! I packed 2 pairs of shoes, and honestly, I could have gotten away with one. You free up so much space and realistically, one or two pairs of shoes is more than enough for pretty much any destination.

Here are a couple of shots of my travel capsule wardrobe in action:
Dani XO


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Blog Update - Where the Hell Have I Been?

Remember that girl who used to have that blog? Whatever happened to her? Here's an update on where I've been and what you can expect for this blog for the future. 

Last year was a scary, crazy, hot mess for me. Blogging just ended up taking a back seat. And then I kind of fell out of love with blogging. I always said that if I stopped enjoying blogging and it stopped being fun, I wouldn't push it so I didn't. Blogging, for me, was originally a way to connect when I was in a job that made me feel very isolated. It really helped me in a huge way and I will always be grateful that I found the friends and amazing community out there. 

After about a year or so of blogging, I started trying too hard. I noticed people were doing better than I was. They had more followers, their pictures were better, they posted more often than I did. I started losing some of my originality and my blogging voice became, let's face it, pretty boring. I'm not saying I went out and copied people, but I did let what I thought was more popular or what was going to get me more likes drive my content. Instagram became a chore and I freaked out if I missed a post because my whole theme fell apart. I decided that blogging was going to have to take a break. 

I took some time out for myself. I went to Japan with my bestie, Kate, from The Minted Blog. I moved house, I went back to uni, I did Shave for a Cure and I forgot to post on Instagram for weeks. And I felt a whole lot better about life. I love writing and I love having an online voice and presence but I don't want to go back to a place where being on social media constantly and the need for popularity drives me. So what am I planning for the future?

A few of you may remember that I originally started out as a 100% beauty focused blog called KaBOOM! Cosmetics. I then decided that I wanted to talk about more than just beauty and changed my blog name to Dani the Girl XO but I never seemed to quite find my groove and ended up focusing back on beauty again. From here on out, I'm planning on turning my blog into something else entirely. There are aspects of beauty that I enjoy and will still write about but you can expect everything from food to travel to random ramblings on life to my favourite to shows and everything in between. I want to write more about the things that make me happy and less about what I think people want to read

You might see less frequent posts, you might see more frequent posts, I'm just going to take things as they come and try to focus less on churning out content. Thanks to everyone who has stuck around through this roller-coaster ride, especially those who have been around since the beginning. 

Big love and talk to you all very soon. 

Dani XO

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Beauty Roadtest - Cosmetic Injectables

If you'd asked me a year ago whether I would ever consider Botox, my answer would have been a resounding "hell, no!". Visions of old ladies with too-tight faces would swim before my eyes. Flash forward to today's blog post and here I am to tell you all about my experiences with cosmetic injectables. 

First of all, a little disclaimer. I understand that cosmetic injectables aren't for everyone and that's fine. As always, this is just my personal experience. I completely get that some people don't want to change the way they look, and that's also fine. I'm not saying you have to use cosmetic injectables to look beautiful or age well or whatever. So please don't think I'm trying to push my values on you, I'm not. I'm just letting you know what my experiences have been. 

Now, onto the important stuff! I've now had anti-wrinkle injections twice, to counteract the annoying wrinkles I get on my forehead. I've had them for years and they always annoyed me during the day when makeup would settle into them. They weren't pronounced but I noticed them and I wanted to see what I could do to get rid of them. 

My first experience with anti-wrinkle treatments was at Injex Skin Clinics. The ladies there were lovely and happily explained every little step. I had also been a tiny bit afraid of the pain but it was really just a tiny little pin prick each time. My initial results lasted around 4 months, which is apparently pretty normal. 

My second, most recent, experience was at Evolve MediSpa in New Farm with the lovely Carlie. I was lucky enough to win a voucher at the spa opening and decided to put it towards some anti-wrinkle injections as my last results were almost gone. The experience was very similar, but also involved a Skype session with the doctor to make sure everything was fine before moving ahead. You have to remember that this is still a medical procedure and the injections are always prescribed by a doctor and administered by a nurse. 

So what do anti-wrinkle injections feel like? As I mentioned, the initial injecting feels like a tiny pin prick. There's pretty much no down time afterwards, my skin looked and felt completely normal. Some people may experience redness or bruising but I didn't experience either. You're advised not to massage your face, wear makeup for the next 12 hours or sleep on your front. After a day or so, the freezing effect comes along. It does feel odd and depending on how much you get injected, brow movement might become non-existent! 

I personally think that my face still looks very natural, just without those lines I've always hated. To me, it's worth every penny to be able to wear makeup and not have it crease up on my forehead during the day. I look and feel fresh and I don't regret taking the plunge and trying out anti-wrinkle injections at all. 

Have you ever thought about or tried cosmetic injectables?

Dani XO

Thursday, 8 December 2016

World's Greatest Shave

As some of you might know, I'll be taking part in the World's Greatest Shave next year.
World's Greatest Shave is a charity event that raises money for The Leukaemia Foundation. Leukaemia (or blood cancer) is the third most common cause of cancer death in Australia. The funds that I'm raising will provide "emotional and practical support to families facing blood cancer and fund vital research that will mean more people survive, while improving their quality of life".

Obviously, the primary goal is to raise as much money as possible to help people who have been affected by blood cancer. However, I also want to prove to myself that my hair doesn't define who I am. Throughout the years, I've invested so much time and money on my hair. I've let it define how good or bad I look and feel on a particular day. I want to prove to myself that I can look and feel beautiful without my hair AND raise very important funds to help The Leukaemia Foundation.

The shave itself will take place in March next year and I'll be working as hard as I can to raise as much money as I can between now and then.

If you would like to donate, please head to >> http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/danismith

Every little helps! I am accepting any and all donations.

Dani XO
 

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