Sunday's Snaps (on a Wednesday) | One - Maldives and Sri Lanka

1/22/2014 07:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Welcome to the first Sunday's Snaps of 2014!
This is more than a Sunday's Snaps post, this is actually more of a December/ January Snaps kinda post, featuring my festive adventures and my wonderful holiday!  Hope you enjoy!
The most relaxed week of my entire being!  The Maldives is stunning, relaxing and a wonderful place for a short break =)
Now this is where my heart lies - in Sri Lanka with my maternal family.  Beautiful country, wonderful food, and most importantly, my wonderful family.  As you can see (bottom right) my tiny, tiny niece was born 5 days before we arrived, my little nephew, eating the crisps up there - utterly naughty but ridiculously funny, and in the bottom left, myself, my Australian cousin and a little of my sisters face!  Holidays like this remind one how important family is, and how much fun they are - now that I'm home, my house feels too quiet and the weather too cold: I need the noise of millions of cousins and aunties and uncles and nieces and nephews! So this post is dedicated to them =).
Love Ani x

A Tale of | 2 Mascaras

1/21/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Last Christmas (2012) I received a Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara, and - long story cut short - I used it right up until this Christmas (shock, horror, eek!!).  I love a good mascara - my criteria is thick, dark and voluminous.  My first foray into the world of expensive mascaras was Diorshow Blackout - I still reminisce fondly.  Then along came Dior Extase, and again I was smitten - Dior do my kinda lashes very, very well.  And then the lovely Givenchy.
As it had been a year since my last high-end mascara, I decided to treat myself in duty free, but shock of all shocks, nothing enticed me, and the prices were very, very similar to the regular prices.  What I ended up with in the end was one mascara I had never heard of - Mascara Princess BOB, and Revlon's Lash Potion.  Lash Potion I had seen on blogs before, and after using it for about a week, I have to say it really is quite wonderful.  Firstly, completely judging a book by its cover, but the "cover" is beautiful!! Bright and girlie, it appeals right to the heart of my shiny self and my eyes!  The brush is a big, fat fibre brush - my favourite kind, and easily coats the lashes with inky pigment, leaving thickened, darkened, voluminous lashes.
The Mascara Princess BOB was actually a Sri Lankan find - of course the name appealed to me straight off the bat, but actually both the brush and formula are lovely.  The brush is a thinner fibre brush that really works its way into the roots and base of the lashes, darkening the lash for a framed-eyed look.
All in all, I love these two mascaras - they are much better than the random 10 or so I picked up during last year, and look wonderful layered together on their own =).
Love Ani x

Bee Venom Oil | Kate Middleton's Fave!

1/20/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Most of us know a little about bees: we know that they produce honey, that they sting, and that they were wonderful in Bee Movie!  What we have learnt in the past year in the skincare and beauty game is that bees produce something that could also be the secret of eternal youth – venom.  Before we go any further, and before you get scared, lets look at the myriad of people in the public eye who use Bee Venom skincare: of course, one of the world’s most photographed women, Kate Middleton, as well as The Duchess of Cambridge – both of whom prepped their skin before their respective weddings with the use of skincare products.  Supermodel Jourdan Dunn, Victoria Beckham, the Minogue sisters, and many of the cast in Made In Chelsea are now hooked on the wonder that is Bee Venom.
A wonderful product with highly reparative properties, Bee Venom helps to repair a whole variety of skin concerns, from fine lines and wrinkles, to uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation –  Bee Venom helps to soften and calm the skin.  What we have now done at skinChemists is a complete world first – fusing the wonderful potency and efficacy of Bee Venom with the luxury and comfort of an oil to make looking after your skin extra pleasurable.  What makes this oil so fabulous is the ingredients that we have hand-picked to complement the Bee Venom itself: Alpine Rose Stem Cells further beautify the skin by guarding against external polluters and stresses and Almond and Bassabue oils soften and add suppleness, whilst Vitamins E, B and stabilised Vitamin C add to the general health of the skin. 
As a special offer for readers of my blog, use BEEOIL2014 at the checkout here to buy at the amazing price of £29.99 instead of the £98 RRP!
Love Ani x

Life | Illness

1/17/2014 07:00:00 pm
Hola Munchkins.
I don't normally talk about my personal life on the blog - I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable or to think I'm asking for pity! But today I make an exception - this is MY Blog and sometimes it's the only piece of the world where I can say what I want. Truth be told, life is a little hard at the moment - and when I say a little, I mean a lot. You see, my mother is very ill, and I don't quite know what I expected but I didn't think it would be this hard. Of course, it is harder for her, but no one tells you that cancer is also hard on the family. I find myself a little lost and stuck, and it creeps into the rest of my life. Cancer is a weird one - they say it is treatable but the treatment is horrendous. I am not squeamish at all, but the iv line makes me feel weird. The treatment is as long as a school day, 9-5, and in this case, as well as chemo, involves injections to stimulate bone marrow, a bone marrow extraction, cleaning and transplant. It is a very long process.  We shall see what happens.
Ani x

Winter | Perfume

1/17/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Winter, believe it or not, is a cold creature, and I as a person, live generally at a temperature that is a couple of degrees below most people.  As such, winter tends to kill me.  And this year, I die doubly, due to the fact that since Christmas day I have been living it up in the most tropical of climes (35-45 degrees)!!  So I will do almost anything to warm myself up, including tricking myself with a warming scent.  
Enter YSL Belle D'Opium - my favourite scent of the moment.  I was lucky enough to be gifted it by my wonderful uncle, aunty and cousins.  I love this scent, and have always loved the idea of the original Opium, but found it to always be too woody and oppressive for my personal tastes.  Belle D'Opium (as it's name suggests) adds a dark sweetness (imagine opium dens) to the scent - think Jasmine, Sandalwood.  Truly addictive, this is a heady, seductive scent that definitely lives up to its name =).
What are your winter perfume faves?
Love Ani x

PICS SAT 20TH Current | New Year Skincare

1/16/2014 03:15:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
Whilst I was on holiday, my skin was very, very happy - all I used was coconut oil for cleansing, and goodness is that stuff some kinda magic!  The tub of solid coconut oil that I tool away (God knows why I took it away - Sri Lanka is the home of coconut oil!) became the most liquidy liquid I have ever seen in my life - thank you heat!  And so, to avoid a Ross-from-friends-shampoo-explosion-situation I left it for my cousin in the heat.
As I am skincare mad, I browse skincare wherever I go, and treated myself to ____ Papaya Enzyme Cleanser and Toner, and so far I am loving them!  I use one pump in the morning to refresh my slept-in face, and 2 pumps of an evening to get rid of all traces of make-up, including heavy eyeliner and mascara.  The foam is luxuriously soft, almost to the point that you don't know if it really exists at all, and smells comfortingly to me of a cleanser an ex-colleague used to use on me before a glycolic peel.
In terms of other skincare, I'm trying the less is more approach - not something that I am famed for at all: Kiko's ___, Atom's Sun Beige SPF50+ and Hydrocortisone cream used for the eczema that is appearing under my eyes.
And that is more or less it! Let's see how long I can last sticking to a simple routine - I am already craving a cleansing balm to add to the routine, but can't decide which to go for!
Any suggestions?
Love Ani x

Holiday | Duty Free

1/16/2014 08:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
It has been 3 whole years since I had a holiday of any sort - 3 entire years!!  But this year, myself and my lovely family made up for it big time, by visiting family in Sri Lanka and stopping off for a few days in the Maldives - it has been a while since I have felt so spoiled and relaxed!
Of course, apart from my holiday, which I will be saring with you, I picked up a few bits and pieces from duty free - how could a product junkie like myself resist?!
There were so many wonderful products from such a lot of different brands, that I had a hard times narrowing down my list - in the end I ended up with 5 things, and thankfully I am more than happy with them all.
So we have the Atom Sun Cream Beige in SPF 50+, Givenchy Teint Couture, Givenchy Matissime, Revlon Colorstay Powder and Revlon Lash Potion.
Of course I will keep you updated, but everything I have here I have used and loved.  The SPF 50+ got my face through holidaying in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The Teint Couture is making me look alive and well for 6am starts and 7.30pm returns, the Colorstay mattifies and adds a hint of colour, and the Lash Potion does every volumising trick I need for my everyday lashes.
What's on your duty free wishlist?!
Love Ani x

I'm | Back

1/15/2014 03:13:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
It's been quite the while since I've said those words!  Life got hectic to the max - work, Christmas, New Year, illness in the family and Holidaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.  But today I thought I'd get my act together.  I popped into Paperchase at 8.05am on the way to work, and I picked up a load of new bits (from the sale of course) to inspire me back into the blogging world. So here I am, armed with my attempt at organisation so that I can find the time to do what I love and write.
Of course, nowadays you can also catch me over at where I now edit =)
All in all, a rest has done me the world of good, but being back has its downfalls - I do wish I was back in Sri Lanka with the fam, having fun, but life's not all a box of roses! 
So I will be back tomorrow with duty-free purchases (always such an exciting part of a holiday!).
Love Ani x