My Minimalist Dream

Hi friends!

This may come as a surprise to you (or it may not) that I am in the middle of a complete lifestyle change. It has become my life goal to clear the clutter from my life (and house) and to downsize. I never thought I would live like this – and I certainly never thought I would like it – but here we are.

I find that the amount of physical clutter I have lying around directly corresponds to the amount of mental clutter filling up space in my mind.It’s just how it goes with me (and most people?). Getting in on the whole minimalist thing (or trying to, at least) has also changed the way I see things. And I mean things. Like, actual things. As in, I don’t really crave that much anymore, because when I look at something in a shop, I think about having to store that at home, and that stresses me out and I just don’t want to own it. I see it for what it is: a burden and a responsibility.

I don’t mean that in a bad way – since when is responsibility bad? However, I do think that owning things takes more of a toll on us then we realise. I am the first to admit that I am the worst perpetrator of this and it is something I am literally working on every day. It’s hard going from a hoarder to a… I don’t even know what I am anymore, but I sure am changing. Slowly, but it’s happening (I think).

Feel the zen!

Feel the zen!

So, what spurred all this on? Well, Gavin is obviously a big influence on my life and he also happens to be Mr Minmalist. Like, the sort of person that only takes a backpack for a 10-day holiday. I’m not quite there yet, but I am increasingly understanding that carrying less stuff – and owning less stuff – is an easier, lighter way to be.

I think of it like excess weight: there are all sorts of ramifications that we don’t necessarily see straightaway. If you are carrying a few extra pounds (and who isn’t?), it doesn’t just affect you aesthetically. There are all sorts of things going on under the surface (skin) that we can’t see, but they are definitely there. I feel the same about clutter: it’s not just about having too much stuff. It’s also about all the lost time, extra stress and general mess that slow us down mentally and physically.

If this is coming across all preachy, please know that I am still struggling with this and fighting the good fight every day to have less stuff in general. It’s really hard making a change like this! So I’m really trying to motivate myself, too. And honestly, I know what it’s like to have too much because my bedroom back home in Australia is full to the brim with old dresses and unread books and I cannot wait to get back there and clean it all out in December. I am hanging out for that! In the meantime, I’m trying to get a handle on my life in Korea, and yeah, it can be difficult. A few tips that I have found helpful for anyone interested in (or trying) decluttering:

  1. Do it one thing at a time. This may sound obvious (and it is) but I try not to focus on how much stuff I have to get through, and instead keep my eyes on how much I have finished. This is why I am now obsessed with empties and throwing things out. It feels so good and lets you know you’ve made progress.
  2. Stop shopping! This is another big change I’ve made and I’m still working on. The less stuff you bring into your house (or your space, whatever you may have), the less you need to look after, clean, tidy and find space for.
  3. Take your own shopping bags. This is a big one for me because in Korea, they are hardcore about their recycling and you can’t just useany old bag for trash. Having extra bags lying around isn’t helpful, because there are assigned bins for every type of material (glass, paper, plastic, etc) and you just need to empty your stuff into them. There is a bin for plastic bags, but I feel like it’s wasteful to just use one once and then recycle it. I try to get as many uses out of things as possible, because it takes a lot of energy to make anything and, you know, Earth.
  4. Keep unfinished things readily available. By this I mean, if you are trying to finish something in particular, keep it in sight so that you use a little bit every day. Again, slow and steady progress is often the best way, and if you keep using a little bit every day, eventually the whole thing is finished. To me this is moisturisers and cleansers, but it could be notebooks, pens, food, candles, whatever. Keep close and use it up, goshdarnit!

So what is my minimalist dream? Maybe a day where I don’t open my closet and feel a slight dread at the thought of tidying up the mess before me. That would be nice! No matter how much I seem to clean and tidy, the fact of the matter is that I just have too much stuff. Even after working away to finish up all of my product (not quite there yet…), it still sometimes seems like I’ve gotta climb Mt Everest and I’m not even wearing pants. Or something.

How about you? What are your thoughts on minimalism and decluttering? I could use some inspiration/support! ^^

Until next time,

Steph x

All Rose Everything

Hi friends!

Well, slap a sweaty palm against a steaming car window and call me Jack because it’s getting all rose up in here (you like that?). Seriously, it just occurred to me that I have a bit of a tendency for this fragrance and wanted to share a couple of things that have been tickling my fancy recently.

My idea of a rose garden

My idea of a rose garden

Maybe it’s because I am terrible at keeping flowers (not that it’s hard, it’s just that all of mine happen to die), but I do have a thing for florals in general. In summer, I pretty much live in a floral dress and my perfumes always err on the flowery-fragranced side. It’s a bit of thing. Rose, however, has always been more my mum’s bag (in fact, it’s half of her name) while I’ve favoured myself to be more of a lily kind of girl. Not that I would really know, because I’m terrible at keeping flowers, did I mention that?

Anyway, a few years ago Gavin bought me Bvlgari’s Rose Essentielle perfume and ever since then I’ve had more of a fondness for the classic British scent. Yes, it’s very distinct, yes, it’s not to everyone’s taste, but by golly, it’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Something about this fragrance harks back to a simpler time and makes me feel more… simple? No, I meant refined. Definitely refined.

So, with that in mind, let me introduce you to my three little rose wonders. First off, is L’Occitane’s Rose 4 Reines Shower Gel. I received this as a birthday present from my Korean co-teacher last year, and I tucked it away (with my millions of other beauty items), saving it for a “rainy day” or something. Well, as you know, I am trying to change my ways and declutter my life, and so I have started using up anything and everything that I can. I’m on a rampage, I tell you! So, this means that I have recently cracked open this amazing shower gel, and I am really glad I did because it is BEAUTIFUL.

L'Occitane & friends

L’Occitane & friends

The scent, oh, the scent. It doesn’t feel fake or forced; in fact, it’s a really subtle, genuine rose scent. Of course, you would expect this from L’Occitane, who provide high-end products for high-end prices. Still, that doesn’t guarantee that everything will be this good. It’s delicious and lathers well and did I mention it smells amazing?

I was also recently gifted L’Occitane’s facial mist and hand cream from the same (slightly modified?) Roses et Reines line, and I’m quietly chuffed about that. I love this scent so much, and although I am yet to open these, I have sniffed them in the store and they are of the same quality as the shower gel. To say I’m excited to use them is a rather large understatement!

Next up is su:m37’s Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. I first read about this on The Wanderlust Project, and tried to order it online to no avail. It’s been selling out everywhere and it now is apparently discontinued, which makes my heart hurt. However, when I went to Thailand for the world’s most amazing holiday, I read The Beauty Wolf’s review of this product while at the airport. No joke, straight after reading I realised there was a duty-free shop with su:m37 directly opposite me, and I went straight over to buy this beauty. It happened pretty much instantly, and I am not ashamed.

Can't you just smell the rose petals from here?

Can’t you just smell the rose petals from here?

I just recently opened this (again, saving it for a “special occasion”… when?) and oh my goodness, it is divine. It has ACTUAL ROSE PETALS in it and is really smooth and creamy even though it’s in a stick form. I don’t know how they did it, but they sure did it. You basically just wet your face and then roll this around, and then it lathers up into a gentle foam and cleans the skin really softly. My face feels really nourished afterward, which is definitely a good sign for sensitive skin like mine.

I don’t know if you can get this anymore but… if you can, it’s amazing <3

Lastly, have a look at that beautiful little Nuxe Rose Petal set. I bought this on a whim a while back (when I used to do such frivolous things!). This contained their Micellar Cleansing Water, Micellar Foam Cleanser, Rose Petal Floral Toner and Clarifying Cream Mask. Did I mention that all of these also include rose petals? It’s like all my Christmases have come at once! Again, I tested this in the store but have been holding onto it because I felt a bit too indulgent buying it (that’s sometimes the problem with splurging). Whether or not this stays with me or gets passed on to someone, it is a beautiful set and again… smells DIVINE.

So that concludes today’s rose-heavy offerings! What are your feelings on this classic British scent? If you couldn’t tell, I am a little bit too into it these days… and I’m bloomin’ proud (geddit?)!

Until next time,

Steph

Sample Sundays: feat. Etude House, Skinfood, Tony Moly and more!

Hi friends,

Whaddaya know, Sample Sundays is back 2 weeks in a row! How’s that for consistency?! In all seriousness, I’ve been working hard to plan posts in advance so that I don’t leave you guys for so long again. Also, in case I contract another appetite-killing, joy-destroying virus, at least you won’t have to know about it (until later)! So it’s a win/win really. Which brings me to today’s Sample Sundays, and boy do I have a big one for you!

My massive sample hoard... aw yeah

My massive sample hoard… aw yeah

I seem to be on a rampage to finish and use up and throw out everything in sight, and the first port of call is my sample stash. I’ve been pretty ruthless/obsessed and have a lot of used up samples (and opinions) to show for it. So let’s jump right in!

Etude House Hello Wash Raspberry & Cranberry Body Wash

I received this one with a birthday gift from a friend and was quite excited to try it. I don’t really go to Etude House much (well, especially not these days, but I never really did) so it was something a bit different for me. Plus, a body wash is always useful and who doesn’t love showers? Only thing is, this one has a sickly sweet scent that was a bit too much even for me, pancake-lover extraordinaire. I wouldn’t purchase this full-sized, but I’m glad I tried its fruity explosion.

Tony Moly Dr. Tony AC Control Acne Cleansing Foam

I found it! I was supposed to review this for a single product-focused Sample Sundays a while back, and then time passed, and I couldn’t find it and… yeah. I can be a bit of a mess. But the good news is it’s here! The even better news is… I liked it! It’s not too harsh on the skin, despite being targeted for acne. The guy gave me these samples once when I was breaking out and I took it as a not-so-subtle hint. My skin’s been fine recently, but I would be curious to try this again when hormonal flare ups occurs. A decent product IMO.

Cremor Lab Essence Tonic

I received these freebies in a previous Memebox and set them aside for… no reason in particular. I hadn’t heard of Cremor Lab before I purchased Memebox, but that’s the whole point. This essence is thin, light and absorbs quickly. It has a pleasant scent too and didn’t irritate my skin. There’s nothing too crazy to report, but I never feel that essences are too different, anyway. Thumbs up from me!

Skinfood Tomato Whitening Cream

When it comes to whitening products, Korea knows no bounds. However, I do believe that they don’t really whiten/bleach the skin; rather, it’s meant more as a ‘from within’ glow. The Wanderlust Project did a post on this if you’re interested. This cream is one I stashed away and finally tried recently, and… it was a nice cream. Am I whiter? No. Is that possible? No. But still, if you want to get your glow on and feel nourished at the same time, give this a whirl. Everybody wins.

Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam

Now this product is something I was really hoping would be good… and I was sorely disappointed. As it says, it is a foam cleanser, although I thought it would be more of a mask. It was thick and fun to apply, but it left my skin feeling that too-squeaky-clean feeling and that ain’t good. Sorry, Skinfood, I’m not a fan!

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair

This one is a blatant ripoff of Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, and is part of the reason why I love Korea so much. They can just rip anybody and anything off, and do it with such flare and panache. In fact, the copies are often better than the originals, and that is how they have turned it into an art form. Anyway, I haven’t tried the original but this one seemed nice. It’s an apricot-coloured, thick ampoule meant to fix your skin overnight and rewind the years (who doesn’t love a good year-rewind?). The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the scent. I just couldn’t get on board with it. Otherwise, this is a nice product – but there are a bunch of other ampoules that would do the same thing (such as Estee Lauder’s?).

Holika Holika Good Cera All in One Master: previously reviewed here

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Oil: previously reviewed here

Laneige Water Bank Essence: previously reviewed here

Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Scrub Wash Off: previous reviewed here (AMAZING)

And that’s it for now! I told you it was a big one, I just barely got through that without getting up for another snack – and trust me, I’ve had many snacks this evening. Of course, I can’t repurchase these because I’m trying to only purchase cruelty-free items. However, I wanted to use them up and these are my honest opinions. Let me know your favourite Korean products and what you liked the sound of!

Of course, if you’re keen on any of these products, you can purchase them (with FREE worldwide shipping) here. Use my code 055347810 to get $5 off your first order!

As always, thanks so much for reading. Until next time,

Steph x