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23.7.17

How to get the best beauty sleep with an easy beauty routine

A bedtime routine should be easy.

Reality: you come home from a really, long mega slow day at the boring office, and all you're thinking about is a hot shower, pasta and going to sleep. You make your piping-hot bowl of pasta and with a full belly, you're now ready to sleep. A huge part of you wants to just flop over on the couch right there and go to sleep. Sometimes, you end up doing just that. But there's one thing looming over your head, the beauty routine you undertake before bedtime. UGH. 

No one wants a lengthy, time-consuming routine that stops you from jumping into bed ASAP. And a beauty routine is something we all have in some shape or form (or should have.)

So how do you find your go-to bedtime beauty routine that'll be quick and will be good for your skin in the long run?


A bedtime beauty routine is ideal for a productive beauty sleep.


Productive, as in taking care of your skin and body while you sleep, so you don't have to worry about it so much during your waking hours. 

While you sleep, your skin cells are regenerating and repairing. And it's the best time to take care of the areas that need it the most, as you're not outside in the elements or doing anything that will, ultimately, damage or hurt your skin. Your beauty routine will take care of your skin when you're not even conscious. It's the best time to do it!

It starts with your face.


Focus on the most important aspects of your body or the areas that need the most TLC.

Before you head to bed, it's important to wash the day away first. 
Remove your makeup with Garnier's 2in1 Eye Makeup Remover to take everything off in just one go. Finish with a swipe of Witch Hazel to tone and further clean remaining dirt. Prepping the skin for a bit of Nip + Fab Kale Fix moisturiser that will sink into your skin while you sleep, and keep your skin soft and healthy. 


And not forgetting the most delicate skin areas.

If you're like me, your hands and lips are dry and cracking during winter and in real need of some moisture. Bedtime is the perfect time to take care of them, as you won't be eating or washing your hands, or doing anything that will damage the delicate skin on these areas. 
Always keep a holy grail moisturiser and balm on your bedside table, so they're easy to reach as you climb under the covers. It will also ensure you don't forget this step. 
Rub some of Sugarbaby's Wonderbalm, or some L'Occitane Hand Cream into your hands generously, so you can wake up with stronger, softer skin.  
Pick a nourishing lip balm like Burts Bees, and smear a generous amount on your lips before tucking into the sheets. 

If you have any other problem areas before bed is the perfect time to smother oil, creams and masks so your skin can repair and recover while you sleep.

Beauty sleep isn't beauty sleep without your bed.


Once your face, hands and lips are moisturised and nourished, it's time for bed. Finally!
We know that silk or soft sheets and pillowcases will protect your skin from wrinkles and your hair from damage. And a good mattress that's no older than 10 years (things you learn as an adult after buying your own mattress for the first time) will take care of your spine for a healthy, well-rested sleep. It's also important for general health. We know this already though. 

With a simple routine that takes care of all the necessary areas and allows your skin to be pampered while you sleep, suddenly a bit of that dread you feel when you just want to get into bed already, fades. 

As this is my bedtime beauty routine, I can vouch for this. 




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20.7.17

Where to stay when in Port Douglas QLD

Thala Beach Lodge  

Although it's technically a fifteen-minute drive outside of Port Douglas, Thala Beach is still close enough so that you can commute into town for your daily adventures, and still rest at night in a private, secluded resort far enough away that it's relaxing and peaceful. Mountain views stretch along the coastline where all you see is beach and ocean. Ensuring that, no matter where you venture, there's always a lush green mountain just on the horizon. It makes you feel so small, and your problems even more so.

Thala Beach Lodge is a resort, a nature reserve, and a tiny town all in one. It's situated in a private section of the rainforest that stretches along the coast of tropical Queensland. And it shares a beach that is almost as private as the resort itself.
The cabins you stay in vary in size and are scattered along the many winding pathways of the resort. They're built with a wooden frame and have a very raw feel. 
Inside, however, is modernly furnished with the necessities; lavish bathroom, cupboard top with a kettle for your coffee, the bed(s), TV and a cute coffee table and chairs to lounge on while you gaze from the balcony doors that provide a view of either the forest or the beach.
The staff are all lovely and helpful, and half of them migrated from Melbourne, as we found out.
Them: "Where are you guys from?"
Us: "Melbourne."
Them: "Omg me too!"
*has a lengthy discussion about which area we're all from and how cold Melbourne is.*

This is the perfect place to get away, you almost forget about reality entirely. If it weren't for your neighbours located just a few feet away, you'd feel like you're alone in the jungle with nothing but the waves and the birds to keep you company.

The best part about tropical QLD is that even in winter it's nice and warm so you can skip the coats and scarves and break out those summer dresses. If you get the sun, the beach is the best place to spend a day!

What you can do within the resort?

Thala Beach provides complimentary little tours and activities you can join to take you around the forest and aid your exploring. Jump on the nature walk, where a guide will walk you through the forest and chat to you about the local wildlife and fauna. You'll hear some stories about the coconut trees and see lots of butterflies if it's not overcast. Or just enjoy the peaceful walk through nature with a bunch of strangers holidaying right along with you. 

If you're lucky, (like I wasn't, too many clouds - damn winter) you can go stargazing at the observatory on-site. Or join a few other walks and informational tours if you're bored. 

The resort restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner (not complimentary, unfortunately) and light snacky meals throughout the day. So, you basically, don't need to leave the resort for much. Well, unless you'd rather get food in the village where it'll be cheaper (what we did, actually.) 

There's a cute little library at reception where you can hire DVD's, books and board games to bring back to your room during rainy days or restless nights. And a shuttle bus service operating several times throughout the day and night, take you into town and back. The bus isn't free, but it is cheaper than if you were to try a Taxi. 

There are two beautiful rock pools available at any time day or night for a leisurely lie-in or dip during summer. While it's warm enough in winter to enjoy the pool, the water is undeniably freezing in winter, so swimming is sadly out of the question. But don't forget the beach! The beautiful beach the resort sits on is practically private. Even when other guests populate the large stretch of sand, it still feels like the entire beach is yours. 


What about when you want to venture out? What do then?

With Port Douglas a 15-minute shuttle bus away 

You can spend entire days exploring the town centre and dining out at one of the many restaurants and pubs. In town, you've got plenty of local shops from clothing to supermarket. And the large array of cafes and food/drink options leave you with plenty of places to eat.
Plus, at night when the pub's boom, the culture is so laid back and fun it's hard not to want to jump right in as all the drunk townies get rowdy and start singing Bon Jovi at the top of their lungs.
If you're visiting with your girlfriends, Port Douglas makes a great spot to have a few drinks and meet some friendly locals.
(I'd love to say this is what I did, but I went with a friend who is just as introverted and anxious as I am. So as much as we wanted to join in, the overcrowding made us run back to our room with a DVD and chocolate instead.) 

On Sundays 

There's a local market held along Anzac Park where it meets the ocean. It was literally, the first thing we did once we arrived and it did not disappoint. We spent the whole day here and it's so easy to do that. You find the time slipping away with each corner you round, and each stall you explore. You can find all sorts here from handmade artisan clothing, accessories, candles and delicious food stalls. It's all locally made and sourced, and a great place to take a stroll on a Sunday morning. And to eat some delicious crepes! (My choice of brunch.) 

If you want more beach while you're in this beach town 

The 4 Mile Beach is located right at the edge of the village centre. It's nothing too particularly spectacular (it's an average beach) but it stretches four miles and is a lovely relaxing walk that will kill some time. Plus, at the end of the day, you can spot millions of baby crabs crawling around the sand. It's horrifying and exciting.  

And if you're feeling like a REAL adventure

A trip to the Reef Marina and a booking with a tour takes you out onto the Great Barrier Reef for a full day of snorkelling. Info centres in the village have many brochures of all the cruises you can book. Once you book one, a transfer service takes you to the reef, where you jump on your cruise and take to the sea.
We booked ours with Calypso Reef Cruises, and I'm mentioning this little piece of info because I recommend them. They took us to three sites. so we got to explore more of the reef. It's such an amazing thing to do if you've never tried it. Even those with anxiety who freak out being in such a scary part of the ocean (me) will soon grow to love it! Just the sight of all the beautiful fish, coral and anemone as you splash about in the water are enough to have to squeal through your snorkel. 

My only regret was not hiring a waterproof camera to take many snaps. They would have made such amazing photos! At $40+ however, I was not about to do that. 

When it's time to wrap up your adventure. 

Thala Beach has an in-house massage studio to unwind and relax in. But at prices that were pretty high, we booked a massage in town instead.  Make sure you return your DVD's and take a final walk on the pristine beach before you board your final transfer shuttle, and make your way back home.

Recommended. 

I certainly won't be forgetting this trip anytime soon.  


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2.7.17

What to do in NSW: Leura Falls

Leura Falls.

Situated in the Blue Mountains, just a short drive (or really long walk if that's your thing) from the Three Sisters and Echo Point in the little town of Leura, is the beautiful natural waterfall and forest walk; Leura Falls. 

Regional New South Wales is my favourite part of the state in general. Towns that surround the city but are still far enough away from the hustle of the city life and often have access to natural paradise's, beaches and mountains. They're quiet and perfect for local tourists who just need a little bit of a getaway. 
Honestly, my goal is to visit as many beautiful regional towns in NSW as possible. The further away from Sydney, the better. If they have beaches and forests, I'm down. 

Recently, it was the Blue Mountains, Katoomba I visited and took full advantage of the mountain landscape and forest surroundings. 
If I were to move to NSW at any point, I'd love to live somewhere like there. 


What is Leura Falls?

Part of the Blue Mountains National Park, Leura Falls is a beautiful natural rainforest surrounding a large waterfall that spans the side of the mountain. 
There is a walking track through the forest alongside the waterfall and rivers for the adventurous to explore. Mixed with steep staircases and flat pathways, it's beautiful, relaxing and you can get your fitness on all at the same time. 

Seriously, it's a workout. 

The air is fresh, and if you're lucky, you may spot some wildlife trawling through the trees. There are multiple lookout points along the way, and a cute little picnic spot located at the beginning of the walk. The further you walk through, the closer you get to the mountainside where you can see the other side of the Echo Point gorge.  

It will only take a few short hours depending how long you take and how far you walk.

So it's a great little outing that won't take too long but is great for a little adventure outdoors. 
If you're looking to explore the natural habitats of New South Wales' ranges, this is one site you'll want to visit.
Take a camera, snap some pics and take a relaxing stroll through one of the few (mostly) untouched natural habitats of NSW. Bring a picnic and enjoy a peaceful lunch, waterfall-side. It's a great day trip that will leave you with a rich feeling of adventure the city won't give you. 

If you're feeling super adventurous, the walk through the Fall's spans through to Echo Point and the Three Sisters, so you can hit up all of the main scenic spots in one day. 
Which, is actually, what I did. 

10/10 would recommend. 

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28.5.17

How to keep red hair looking fresh

I don't like to call maintaining red hair...maintaining. I like to call it, keeping it fresh. Because that artificial colour isn't going to stay the same as it did when you first unboxed it and slapped it on your hair. It doesn't matter what you do, the colour will wash out. The sun and general wear-and-tear will fade it. Even temporary dyes won't make it look the exact same. It'll get darker, the colour will change, it's just not the same.

So, I gave up maintaining my colour a while back and started trying out methods of keeping it "fresh" instead. 
Does it work?
Well, I think it does. 

What is it?

Keeping a colour looking fresh, is simply just ensuring it looks bright and happy even when the colour fades or changes. It's about making your hair look vibrant and healthy each time you wash it. When it fades, you're making that faded colour look rich rather than washed-out.


So, how do you do it? 

Use a colour safe shampoo. 

I am 100% the kind of person who says, "shampoo is shampoo, they're all made the same so who cares." Well, yeah, that's kind of true. However, the difference a colour safe shampoo makes is undeniable. Colour safe shampoos should lack the sulphates that strip colour, and are formulated to help enhance the colour of your shade. A regular shampoo doesn't take as much care and can make your colour look dull, faster. 
Now, I can't speak for every colour safe shampoo out there, because I haven't tried them all. (John Frieda's red shampoo doesn't really, do much at all for the look of your colour though, FYI.

However, *Fanola's After Colour Shampoo works wonders to help keep your colour looking fresh, while also leaving your hair soft and feeling stronger. It smells lovely and is a soft, creamy consistency that nourishes your hair, while also enhancing its vibrancy.
Using this stuff every time I wash my hair, makes a massive difference to how fresh my colour looks after a wash. Definitely, worth a try. 

Add a red coloured hair mask or dye to your shower. 

A red temporary hair dye works for those strapped for options. However, using a red hair mask, or similar product, works just that little bit more. Trust me, I've tried both. 
Mix a red hair mask (or dye) with conditioner and smother your hair with it after a shampoo. Leave it sitting on your hair for the entirety of your shower. This helps add some colour to your hair that has otherwise faded throughout the day. 

This is more effective when done every second wash, rather than every time you wash your hair. If you're adding red into your hair every time you shower, you're more likely to make your colour look darker, or change the colour altogether. 

*Fanola Oro Therapy Colouring Mask in Red is the perfect candidate for this method. I've tried using temporary dyes which do work in a pinch, but they dilute and weaken with conditioner. Therefore you need more to make a difference which means you're using more product. It just doesn't last very long and isn't very wallet-friendly.
This colour mask is strong and helps enhance the vibrancy of your colour. Just two pumps in some conditioner will refresh your colour without making it look darker. If anything, your hair comes out looking brighter and more, well, fresh.  
It doesn't dilute in conditioner and helps to strengthen your hair too. It's not a dye by any means, but it is stronger than a temporary colour. It lasts much longer than a bottle of temp dye too, so you're not burning a hole in your purse everytime you wash your hair. 
Honestly, 10/10 would recommend. 

When all is said and done, don't try too hard.

The more you try to maintain your colour, the more you won't. These two steps alone are enough to help keep your colour looking fresh. I often have people ask me "have you dyed your hair again?" after I've washed it. All I did was wash it following the steps above, and people often think I've dyed it again because it's come out brighter and more vibrant. 

Don't stress about washing it in cold water only, or keeping away from the sun or whatever else. That won't help you in the long run. I wash my hair under hot water.



*Products gifted by AMR, an Australian online hair and beauty retailer stocking a range of high-quality products for professionals and non-professionals alike. They're pretty great, actually.
All opinions and words completely my own.
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29.3.17

How to perfect the morning "snooze" routine


Get completely ready in 30 minutes or less. 

Featuring the sweater dress part 2.

Hands in the air, those who abuse the snooze button every morning to give themselves an extra 40 minutes of sleep. Well, maybe a normal person will only hit the snooze two or three times giving themselves an extra 10-to-20 minutes.
But for a lazy girl like myself who really has nothing to look forward to once the alarm goes off, 40 minutes just isn't enough snooze time.
And you may be thinking, "Girl, why don't you just set a later alarm time?" Solid logic, I'll admit. But that just means I'm unprepared, mentally, when the alarm does go off, and I'll have no time to snooze at all. That's just stressful. 

But one doesn't need too much time to get ready in the morning. Not really. A shower is unnecessary in most cases (have one the night before.) On the go, breakfasts were made for the snooze button. And how dressed up do you really, need to get? 

In most cases, it's very do-able to just do the minimum. Make it easy for yourself. Some things can even be done while you're sleeping so you get the ultimate, "I woke up like this" look.
Okay, enough chit-chat.

How to perfect the Snooze Routine. 

Keep the outfit simple and minimal.

Something that's easy to just throw on, without the need for too much extra styling. A sweater dress or a playsuit works in the way of being an entire weather-appropriate outfit with one piece of clothing. All you'd need is a jacket, and away you go.
In the colder months, a sweater dress acts as an all-purpose outfit. It's warm, feminine and, best of all, easy.  

A cozy-style sweater dress like this one provided by Tobi.com requires no extra styling. Just throw it on and move to the next stage of getting ready. 

Other quick and easy outfit combos:

- A cute dress.
- A basic tunic and skinny jeans.
- A simple tank tucked into an a-line skirt. 

Quick and easy.

Create effortless, undone waves in your hair the night before.

If you can, skip the straightening and heat styling of a morning that sucks way too much time out of your routine. For the girls who'd prefer not to just throw their hair into a ponytail or bun (very do-able for the daily,) you can give yourself perfectly tousled waves while you sleep. 
Wash your hair the night before and when it's about 90% dry, tie it up into a  high bun.

In the morning, take your bun out and gently tousle your mane with your fingers, and let it fall naturally in place. Voila. Your hairstyle for the day is complete.


Keep your makeup as minimal as possible. 

Lazy girls don't generally, have extensive makeup routines anyway. So this part is already a breeze for us. 

For some, a little concealer where it counts and a dusting of powder will suffice and only take about 10 minutes. For others, maybe just a thin layer of foundation will do just fine. 

To make yourself look more done-up than you actually, are, focus more on your eye makeup. Take a smudge brush to some black eyeshadow, and create a quick cat-eye. Just smudge some eyeshadow onto your lashline and drag it outwards a little with the brush to create an extended line for a little flick.
It's much easier than using eyeliner. It's quicker and more subtle. And easier to fix if you make a mistake.

Swipe on a little mascara, and you're good to go.

By keeping everything as simple as possible, you can cut out so much time from your morning routine. Leaving you with more time to snooze and dread having to get up in the first place. 

Life-hack.



Sweater dress: Tobi. Bag: Dolls Kill. Phone case: Valfre. Shoes: Rubi.


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25.3.17

How to style an A/W staple: the sweater dress

The lazy girl Autumn/Winter staple. 

Sweater dresses might not be for everyone, but for me, they're an absolute staple. They're ideal for any lazy girl who just wants to throw on something cute, warm and simple during the colder months without having to think too much about it. It's a dress and jumper all in one. A whole outfit in one item easily dressed up with your choice of outerwear, accessories and shoes.

Am I selling sweater dresses to you enough yet? 

But the question here is, how does one style a sweater dress? Depending on the actual dress, it can either look frumpy and basic. Or it can look effortless, cute and even a little bit 90's inspired.

How to style a sweater dress.

Pair it with a tailored jacket or coat. 

Sometimes a sweater dress on its own can look kind of "blah." You know? But when paired with a fitted coat or jacket, it can instantly add a little "chic" to the look. It can look more put together and complete. A bomber jacket gives the dress a 90's feel. While a long, fitted coat looks sleek, sophisticated and sharp. Just what you want in an outfit. And a pleather jacket adds a little edge to your look for a grunge effect. 

Sometimes, the key to styling a sweater dress is in the outerwear. It's what you pair with it that will make all the difference. A simple jacket thrown over the top makes your lazy outfit say "I totes put so much effort into this." 


Go for a chunky, heeled ankle bootie.

The shoes are the next big part of your outfit when dressing up a sweater dress. Shoes that are too boring and basic can make your outfit look "thrown" together. While a shoe that makes a statement towards the particular look you're going for will give it purpose. 
Any ankle booties will work an absolute charm with a sweater dress. 
Wear a bootie with a chunky heel for an instant fierce injection that will take the dress out of the "blah" zone and into the "cute!" zone. 

If you're going for a more laid-back daily casual look, a flat Chelsea-style boot or combat boot add an instant edge without being too simple.  

That's pretty much it.

A cute handbag and away you go girl. A sweater dress is supposed to be easy and simple, so don't complicate it too much. Keep it cute and lazy.

The outfit.

A sweater dress provided by Tobi.com/au.
Heeled combat boots (similar.) 


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Disclaimer


Any and all posts that are sponsored or include gifted items will be identified in each post with an individual disclaimer at the bottom of the post stating the nature of it (as either sponsored or gifted.)
All photos are taken by ©Sheree Grace for Kindly, Sheree unless stated otherwise. Posts will always have an indication at the bottom verifying photo credits if sourced elsewhere. Photos by Sheree Grace are not to be taken or used without permission and must be credited with a link if given.