LIFE | How to make going to the gym a little less unpleasant


I’ve started going to the gym regularly again, but don’t worry – there’s no chance of Hyacinth Girl becoming a fitness blog. It’s still a slog getting my shit together and actually making it to the gym, and my endorphins aren’t winning out over my preference for sitting down or getting an extra hour’s sleep. That being said, there are a few things that have definitely helped make going to the gym slightly less miserable.

NAILS | Essie Gel Setter review (and one for you, too!)


You all know by now that essie is my favourite nail brand, some percent due to it being, you know, actually good, and the rest because nail polish bottles of all shapes and sizes stress me out a little bit. Square essie bottles are simple and practical, and the brush is nice and flat and wide, and (with a few exceptions) the polish is really good quality and stays around for ages. I’d almost say essie didn’t need to launch a gel-like top coat, but they did it, with Gel Setter* available now, and it’s bloody great.

If I were the type of person to be embarrassed about how much nail polish I own, I would say I have an embarrassingly large nail polish collection; as it happens, despite adding to it frequently, I never quite feel I have enough colours. It does mean I often reach for bottles on the essie stand at work only to realise that I already own them. Luckily for you, though, this means I have a brand new bottle of Sand Tropez as well as a new Gel Setter to give away!

LIPS | Lipsticks you can find quickly in your bag, goddamn it


Last time I properly checked I had eleven lipsticks loose in the bottom of my bag, and I suspect I’m not the only person who does this. I want to be able to have a quick rummage to find my lipstick for a top-up, so bags-within-bags don’t make a lot of sense to me; or, they do when I’m trying to be tidy and organised, but they don’t function so well in real life. What this means is that I spend a lot of time groping around for a lipstick, finding a tube, then pulling it out and uncapping it or scrutinising the little sticker on the bottom to see if it’s the one I want. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Lipstick tubes that are the same colour on the outside as the product on the inside are both enchantingly cute and mind-blowingly simple. Need your dark red lipstick? It’s the dark red one! Genius.

LIPS | The A-Z of Lip Balm

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Recently I got pissed off with how much clutter I had on my makeup desk and did a big cull; in the wreckage was more than a few half-used Chapsticks well past their use-by date. I gave up on Chapstick some time ago in favour of lip balms that work properly. There’s no one favourite, now, but a selection spread around the physical space my life takes place in, and each serves a slightly different purpose.

FACE | Maybelline Matte and Poreless Fit Me Foundation


Since starting work at Clinique (I work at Clinique now, but if you don’t follow me on Instagram you might not know that) I feel like I spend two thirds of my working life matching customers to foundations, but it was either genius or pure luck that my PR sample of the Maybelline Matte and Poreless Fit Me Foundation* was the perfect match for me (115 Ivory, jsyk). I skipped out on trying the regular Fit Me Foundation because nothing was really selling it to me, but the Matte and Poreless is designed for oily skin like mine. And while I love a dewy finish I know that it’s not for everyone, so I’ve been road-testing this one out over the past few weeks with the knowledge that I haven’t reviewed a foundation for a while. Or written a blog post for a while. You know.

FACE | Ultimate Makeup Lesson at Bobbi Brown Queensgate


Last Friday I braved a shopping mall in the school holidays to visit the new Bobbi Brown counter in Farmers Queensgate, in Lower Hutt. Queensgate is somewhere I spent a lot of time, as a teenager growing up in the Hutt, but I generally don’t have reason to return as an adult. I mean, I really like shopping, but I also like natural light and the ability to sit down somewhere that isn’t a food court.

The cosmetics part of Farmers is getting a big re-jig at the moment, with Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown and MAC all opening counters in there this month. I actually really like that MAC is starting to open some counters in Farmers stores, because hopefully the brand will get more accessible to the average New Zealander who doesn’t live in a big city (cost aside). Likewise for Bobbi Brown. And Bobbi Brown is a brand I haven’t actually had much exposure to at all – I didn’t own a single Bobbi Brown product before this – so I was really keen to go check it out.

EYES | Essence Metal Glam eyeshadow


With my discovery of an Essence stand at the Cuba Street Farmers last week, I thought it might be time to write about the Essence Metal Glam eyeshadow that’s been bashing around in my drawer for a while. I bought this in Australia last year before Essence was available here, but now that the brand is available in New Zealand and costs, on average, less than an hour’s parking, a review is in order.

FACE | Depotting Australis’ AC On Tour palette, an exercise in destruction


Wow, time is really passing, huh? This week was my last at school so fingers crossed this will be the last post apologising for not posting in a while. Anyway, let’s continue my journey through depotting everything I own. After my success with the Benefit tin I though I’d give depotting the Australis AC On Tour palette a whack. If you recall, I hate this thing pretty intensely so if it didn’t go well, I wasn’t going to be too fussed. And while the palette on its own isn’t too cumbersome, it’s always useful to condense things, so this might be a useful post for other people out there too.

FACE | Depotting Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot (a success story)


The Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes was something I coveted highly approaching Christmas last year. I audibly gasped when I first saw it on Temptalia. I think it’s because individually the Benefit blushes are quite expensive, and don’t have anything else particularly desirable about them (apart from the scent of Georgia, which was sadly discontinued like most things that have my heart). The tin was affordable, and novel, but it too is discontinued.

As soon as it arrived I was like, okay wow, they really committed to this novelty tin vibe. It’s big and cumbersome. It doesn’t really make me want to use these blushes. It’s also kind of ostentatious and Benefit’s cutesy packaging isn’t the most professional thing to pull out on a makeup job. Until I remembered that depotting was a thing. So join me on my journey of depotting Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot.