Friday, 29 August 2014

Commuting

Zombies. Commuters must be zombies. Whilst I was travelling to attend interviews in London, this is the conclusion I came to. When else does a group of people doing exactly the same thing for for a good half an hour every day completely ignore each other's existence? I think this is the first blog post I've ever written that doesn't contain a photo. Why? Because there is no way I would feel anywhere near comfortable taking a photo whilst surrounded by zombie-commuters. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

For instance, this morning I caught a man’s eye on the train. (Not in that, way, I’m engaged people). We were both looking around the carriage (how dare we) when we happened to look at each other for a split second and it felt like (I’m sure for him as well) that I’d broken some age-old commuting law: Though shalt not make eye contact with another commuter. Don’t even think about actually speaking to a stranger on your journey to work: I tried this once and was met with a colossal wall of silence. On Friday morning though, a small commuting miracle happened. One gentlemen was in such jovial end-of-the-week spirits that he spoke two whole sentences when I asked if I might take the seat next to him! Obviously this act of human interaction did mean some weird and worried looks from the other passengers, but I was telling everyone who would listen over the weekend that I’d actually spoken to someone on my commute! 

When I first started partaking in this crazy circus that we call the daily commute, I found it really quite disheartening to see so many people sit in silence with blank (or grumpy) faces; it made me consider how self-absorbed and selfish people will naturally be when put in a monotonous routine and a long working day. I kind of want to just stand up in the train and tell everyone that it's not that bad! We have the opportunity to work and provide for ourselves and our families in a pretty amazing city, while so many people in the world would give anything to do that. I have a feeling such a speech wouldn't go down to well with my fellow commuters, but I'm going to try to not fall into the seemingly commuter culture of self-pity and boredom, and give a smile every now and then.

So it seems I've committed myself to at probably at least five years of commuting. It's certainly not the most welcoming way to travel, but hopefully I can make it a just little more welcoming and little less zombie-like for the next new commuter.

Monday, 25 August 2014

NEW Clarins Autumn Make-up Collection




















































Ombre Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadow in Sparkle Grey * | £19
Ombre Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadow in Nude Pink * | £19
Perfect Eyes and Brows Palette * | £ 35

Clarins has always been a sophisticated brand, and with this newest collection named the 'Ladylike Autumn' make-up collection', it's no exception. I've been playing with three of the selection - two shades of the Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadows, and the Eye and Brow Palette, but there's also a limited edition brown shade of the 3-dot Liner, an Eyeshadow Primer, an Eyeshadow Quartet (with the most gorgeous beiges and taupes) and some beautiful 'Rouge Eclat' lipsticks. All packaged in reflective gold, it's a visually stunning collection. The Perfect Eyes and Brows Palette is perfect for that bit of luxury whilst travelling, as it's got everything you could need in a tiny space. There's three shades of powder which can be used through the brows and/or along the lashline, brow wax, and highlighting powder, tweezers, a spooly and an angled brush. 

Whilst the palette is lovely, it's the little pots of eyeshadow that really impress. Both shades are incredibly pigmented and give a beautiful look on the skin. 'Nude Pink' is a great base for a 'no-make-up-make-up look, and 'Sparkle Grey' has a gorgeous sheen which makes it great for along the lash line, or for using in a smokey eye look. All-in-all some gorgeous luxury products in Clarins' new collection.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

An Update | Is This Real Life?




How did I even get here? If you’d told me on New Years Eve 2013 (as I sat around a dinner table in Copenhagen with my boyfriend’s family) that by August I’d have a first class honours degree, a fiance and a job in the city, I’d laugh in your face. That’s not to say that they weren’t in my plans for the year; I just thought I was aiming rather high with 2014’s set of resolutions! That New Years night feels like several years ago now - so much has happened eight months for me. You’ll probably have read a lot about my getting engaged, but click the Wedding button in the header to see all things related to that if this has somehow passed you by. To fill you in on the job front, I attended a few interviews before being offered a role at a media company in London. I feel so ridiculously lucky to have found myself in a job within a couple of months of graduating, and even more lucky that my colleagues are such lovely people.

In a brief moment of nothing-ness on the stuffed but silent (zombie-commuters) train to work, I was hit with realisation of how quickly these life-changes have come about, and how I haven’t had much time to adjust to them yet. I have a do-to list as long as my arm, and whilst I can get a little stressed about how much I have to do, I have to keep reminding myself of how blessed I am to be so busy. I’m sorry to say that due to all this, my blog has suffered a little neglect recently. Looking for work, attending interviews, planning a wedding and starting a job tend to be quite time consuming (who knew?). As I continue in a new job, plan our Wedding and start looking for a house (!!!) there will be a few changes to the blog. I won’t be trying to stick to my now unrealistic schedule of posting every alternate day, but the posts that I do write will hopefully have more substance and be of a higher quality. I love writing about beauty products, and will continue to do so, but I’ve really been finding myself longing to write more ‘lifestyle’ type posts on topics from relationships, religion, student-life and marriage. I want this blog to have more variety and more depth, and be somewhere where I can express myself better. Lots of you actually commented that your favourite posts to read are lifestyle and wedding type ones, so hopefully you will enjoy reading these types of posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

So that’s my little life (and blog) update. Whoever you are reading this post, whether a regular reader or if you just stumbled across this post, thank you. I hope you’ll stick around to see this little change in direction, and do let me know any ideas for posts you’d like to see in the comments, on twitter, or send me a message at thelittlekoalacontact@gmail.com 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

July Degustabox Review | Food to your door




















































July Degustabox * | £12.99 including delivery

It's that time of the month where I've been munching my way through another Degustabox of treats and I share the best bits! This month there were two different boxes you might have recieved, one with alcohol and one without. You will actually 6-7 products in your box, but so that I could sample everything, Degustabox kindly sent me the products from both boxes, so I got to try 8. As usual, there was a really nice mix of products - snacks, something for a main dish, a desert item, a baking product and drinks. Mealtimes are so much more interesting when you've got a new thing to try, especially some of the intriguing products in this month's box. The Portlebay Popcorn was one of the first things I went for - the Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup flavour is so more-ish! We tried one of the Maggi Cooking Packets, which make for a really easy meal if you're in a rush. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Green&Blacks chocolate which was a shame, but that's just because I'm not a lemon person. The ZEO drinks were interesting but not delicious, and there were mixed reviews for the Hornsby's Blueberry Ciders from my friends (bascially stay clear of it if you don't like really sweet drinks!). I've still got a few items left in the larder/fridge to try, and that's the great thing about these boxes; you've got new stuff to try all month! Here's the full list of what I received this month:

ZEO Drinks
PORTLEBAY Popcorn
MAGGI Meal Packets
DR.OETKER Eton Mess and Violet Crystals
GREEN&BLACKS Lemon Bar
FRANK Snack Bar
THE BERRY COMPANY Red Tea
HORNSBY'S Blueberry Cider

Degustabox has also been lovely and given me a coupon code for you - just use Q5M8Q when registering to get a £3 discount!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Organic Surge | Soothing Sweet Blossom Body Cream Review





























I've only tried one other Organic Surge product before, and that was their Awakening Body Wash, which I absolutely loved. I think that those beauty products that we use everyday like Shower Gel and Body Creams are the ones that we just buy the same old product again and again, when there's actually some amazing alternatives out there. This Soothing Body Cream comes in the most satisfying fat screw-lid tub, and has an indulgent and sophisticated scent that lingers on your skin. It's incredibly moisturising, thanks to a concoction of pure sweet orange and cedarwood essentials oils, as well as aloe vera and shea butter. It takes a few minutes to settle into the skin, but not as long as some other super-hydrating body lotions. The real winner for this product for me is the company behind it - Organic Surge are a company committed to providing environmentally friendly products whilst giving back to charities, and have a growing range of products all of which are not tested on animals and 100% free of harsh chemicals. So, as you're doing your daily moisturising, you know you're also helping the world!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Giveaway! | Feat. MAC and YSL



























It's Giveaway Time! I thought it was high time for a giveaway here on TheLittleKoala. I can't think of a single excuse (no follower-milestones or anything), but I truly appreciate every one of you who reads my posts and leaves me such lovely comments. Blogging is such an enjoyable thing for me, and I'm so thankful for those of you who share my blog with me. Gosh, this is getting soppy. Let's just get on with it. I'll be honest, I've been hoarding these three prizes for some time, but as I'm not going to use them myself, they'll be going to a happy new home! You can win:

A beautiful blue Shamballa bracelet
A YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in shade 110 Fuchsia Symbole
A Limited Edition RiRi Hearts Collection  MAC 187SE Brush with Rose Gold Handle

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below - Good Luck!
There is just one mandatory requirement, to follow this blog on Bloglovin, and lots of other optional ways to gain entries.




Saturday, 2 August 2014

Summer Beauty Favourites






















































I haven't done a 'Favourites' post in what feels like foreverrrrrr, but for the last couple of months I've been inseparable from quite a few beauty products which really haven't got the love they deserve on my blog! I've been using these six products a LOT during the summer, so here goes:

This one is actually empty I've used it so much. *Makes mental note to put this on my shopping list* It's a fresh light moisturiser that doesn't break me out, makes my skin feel incredibly healthy and has the most incredible orange-y scent! 

Yes, it's water, in a bottle. It seems ridiculous. But it's fresh thermal spring water, which sprays out in the most amazing refreshing mist. Because it's thermal spring water, it does wonders for sensitive skin, and can be used for all kinds of things. I've been using this as a toner, a cooling mist on slightly sunburnt skin and just to cool down on hot days. I've also bought this in the tiny travel size and taken it on holiday.

Actually, this one's been a firm favourite of mine for years now; I must have repurchased this nearly a dozen times. In the summer months though, this stuff is absolutely vital to keep any kind of base in place on my combination skin. The mist actually cools the temperature of your makeup (it's basically magic) and keeps it looking dewy and fresh all day.

Another product for keeping makeup in place, this is a high-end primer that really delivers. It gives such a smooth base for application, and keeps makeup in place for hours longer than without it. This is the blemish control one, but I love the 'Light' version too, for when my skin is behaving itself.

Balance Me Super Toning Body Oil * | £20 for fullsize
This is just a sample size, but this oil is absolutely gorgeous for drizzling on dehydrated skin, after roasting in the sun. It's got the most luxurious spa-like aroma and contains the best quality moisturising oils to tone and firm up your skin.

Once you've figured out how to use these powders, they give you the most amazing air-brushed illuminated glow. I've written a post explaining the concept of these powders here


A little heads up: My next post is going to be a beauty and jewellery GIVEAWAY, so make sure you're following on Bloglovin to catch that one!