I’m Ba-ack!!! So….Whatcha Been Up to Lately???

Well, hello there!  It’s been uh, a long, LONG time since I’ve been around, no?  And I left without barely saying goodbye, please forgive me!  The days leading up to my trip to New Zealand were absolutely insane – all the plans I had for pre-trip posts and a handful of scheduled posts pretty much went right out the window, unfortunately.  It was a truly stressful week – thankfully at the end of it I was on vacation for 5 weeks :D  How’s everyone been doing since I left!?

A rainbow just outside of Queenstown, NZ

I won’t go into major detail about the trip, because this IS a beauty blog after all – and it’s hard to sum up 5 weeks of some of the best times of my life!  It was an absolutely amazing, wonderful, fantastic time, and I can’t wait till my next adventure (no, I don’t have anything planned yet but I hope to soon!).  I made some truly solid, lasting friendships with people from all over (most notably: Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and even some fellow Canadians!); saw some of the most beautiful landscapes; did some daredevil stunts (SO unlike me!); and even had a wee bit of a romance ;)  I even got a tattoo (I will post pics!)!  I guess I could summarize the trip by saying, I got majorly out of my comfort zone and did things I never thought I’d do, and I came back a better person for it all.  It was the trip of a lifetime, and in all honesty, I struggled to come home.  But alas, here I am! :D

90 Mile Beach in the Bay of Islands, NZ

One thing I did NOT do, was think much about beauty (for shame!).  I wore minimal makeup on the best of days (most days I skipped it altogether) – opting for concealer, mascara, and a dab of cream blush when I did wear any.  If we went to a bar, I put on a bit of black eyeliner to really go crazy (lol).  I wore my hair au natural without any product most days, and actually loved how it looked – kind of beachy-kinky.  Unfortunately, I’m trying to recreate the look now that I’m home and it is NOT working for me – it’s too humid here, and it just does NOT look the same.  Boo :(  Anyway, makeup etc. was the furthest thing from my mind on this trip (though I confess when I was in the LAX airport en route to NZ with 7 hours to spare, I DID buy a MAC mascara – Haute ‘n’ Naughty – because I was planning to buy it when I returned, and with duty free and the price difference ($23.50CAD vs $20US), I ended up saving $7-8 bucks – sweet!  Will review soon!).  Oh, I’m lying, I did buy one other thing, but I think I might use it for a giveaway soon, so I’m gonna keep that to myself for now!

Pauanui, in the Coromandel Penninsula of NZ.  Check out that hair!  No product whatsoever :)

Anyway, enough rambling – time for pictures!  Since this could easily get lengthy, in this post I’m just going to summarize the ‘beauty’ portion of the trip – tomorrow I will post actual photos of New Zealand itself :D  (I know, waiting sucks, but it’s tough to find time when you’re majorly jetlagged – I keep sleeping in till the afternoon :S – and trying to fit in seeing everyone again…it’s crazy-busy!).

What I packed for cosmetics:

I put Bumble & Bumble deep conditioner in the Ojon jar, TIGI styling lotion in the Aveda container, and TRESemme conditioner in the Bioderma container lol (reuse and recycle!).  Everything in this picture was entirely used except for all of the styling lotion – still some left!

The Curel lotion was used up in about two weeks, max – I had to give in a purchase a small Aveeno lotion to get me through the rest of the trip.  I’m just finishing the Glysomed hand cream, the Dove soap is still kickin’, and I barely used the Vichy sunscreen – I know, I know, and they have a big ol’ hole in the ozone layer over NZ which on bad days can burn you in 2.5 minutes (no, I’m not exaggerating, this is fact!), but dudes – it was pretty damn chilly there!  I wore sleeves and pants almost every single day… :(  The Burt’s Bees cuticle cream took a beating, and the deodorant was entirely used up, it lasted *just* until I made it home!

I bought the travel size of the Purity cleanser before I left – even though I’m leery of the ingredients, I still really like this cleanser and don’t have any issues with it.  The Simple cleansing cloths I had bought a while ago but had only used a handful – these were awesome when you were out in the wilderness or if you were sharing a bathroom/shower and wanted to get it done quickfast.  They also served as my exfoliant on the trip, and worked quite well! 

My trusty facial SPF standby, Clinique’s City Block Sheer, is still going despite using it every day; the Clarins Sun eye cream is on it’s last legs and expired at the end of Oct so it’s going in the trash now.  The little pot beneath it is my 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine eye cream, which I squirted into this container – I used almost the entire pot to try and combat those late, excessively boozy nights of which I had FAR too many.  Vaseline – the cureall, and of course not even near finished.  Next to it is Weleda’s Almond Facial Lotion, which was very nice and which I used up completely.  The Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion and the Moisture Surge samples I’ve finished only since I got home, though note I did have TWO of the Moisture Surge packed.  I used the Clinique Even Better SPF20 sample up the first week I got to NZ as the weather was still cold enough to justify a heavier moisturizer.  I carried the La Roche Posay moisturizer sample around with me everywhere and dabbed it on when needed – that tiny thing lasted about two weeks!  Lastly, the sample of Clinique’s All About Eyes serum I used in the AM and it’s still probably half full, it lasts ages!

In an effort to get rid of the millions of perfume samples I have, I brought a handful with me – but forgot to apply it most of the time!  As such, I only used up the Escada sample (last one on the right), which was a sweet scent and perfect for summer (not that it was quite summer in NZ…brrr!).  The rest (3 Jo Malone and 1 Bond No.9) were worn sporadically, and still are quite full :S

Lastly, we have the makeup.  I also threw in a green Urban Decay 24/7 liner in the mix just before I left for a little color, which I did wear sometimes on the lower lash line when we went out.  For the most part though, I just wore one of the two Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges (or sometimes both at once), a touch of mascara, and concealer (which I forgot to feature here).  When we went to a bar, I’d add one of the two black liners, a bit of foundation (in the contact lense case – learned that trick online somewhere!), and some lip gloss.  Out of all this makeup, which was mainly the dregs of my collection – items that were near done or which I wanted to use up – NOTHING was finished, because of the infrequency of wear.  DAMN.  The samples of primers, the loose shadow in the jar, and the sample Burberry lippies weren’t even touched.  BOO :(

I stored all my makeup in this little case:

Cute, eh?  Don’t know where I got it, but it was the perfect size, and I liked being able to see what was where. 

I think my cosmetics stash was pretty reasonable for five weeks, for a beauty junkie – don’t you?  Actually, one day I was unpacking my whole backpack (which I had to do EVERY day because it only opened from the top – super annoying!), and the girls in my room were shocked at how little stuff I had overall.  It sounds great, but honestly I was NOT prepared – for all the partying!  I had brought one black tank top, one dressy sleeveless shirt, one pair of jeans, and two dresses (each of which I wore only once because it was NOT a dress kind of trip) for ‘going out’ clothes.  I had NO idea that I would be out dancing my ass off at bars and clubs for half of the trip…FAIL.  I thought I’d be off hiking every damn day, not getting wasted in Queenstown at World Bar where drinks are served in teapots, or singing kareoke at the Establishment bar in Wellington!  Not one other person packed as ‘practically’ as I did, either.  Dammit all to hell.  Ah well, I still had the BEST time a gal could have! (but I did buy a whole new outfit once I returned to Auckland near the end of my trip – at least ONE night I was well dressed lol).

My totally awesome new pants, as part of my brand new outfit – that got only one use while away lol

Alright, that’s it for this installment – I go back to work tomorrow, and actually have to get up at a respectable time!  I will post photos of the actual trip tomorrow!  In all fairness, this IS a beauty blog, so I had to get the business side out of the way first :)

I’m really glad to be back, I missed you all!  I can’t wait to catch up on the goings-on in the beauty/blogging world, I hope I didn’t miss anything too crazy!  Let me know all the gossip – and what I NEED to know regarding makeup collections, etc.  I am so MAJORLY out of the loop!!!!

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  1. #1 by Amy on November 13, 2012 - 11:23 pm

    Yay! So glad to have you back :) And that you had such an awesome trip! Can’t wait to see more pictures :D

    • #2 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 1:56 pm

      Thanks so much Amy!! I can’t wait to share them with you!! :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. #3 by Sparkled Beauty on November 13, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    I think the best kind of trip is when you do things out of plan and out of your comfort. Surprisingly, I’m more interested in what happened (the romance part) than what you brought lol. I’m glad the trip turned out so well for you, and welcome back!

    • #4 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 1:57 pm

      Haha thanks Anh :P We should do lunch again and I’ll give you details!

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. #5 by Sparkled Beauty on November 13, 2012 - 11:43 pm

    Btw, you just missed Sephora’s VIB sale :)

    • #6 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 1:58 pm

      I actually was back in time but wasn’t in the headspace to get on it in time :S

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. #7 by Buggsiebee on November 14, 2012 - 3:17 am

    Welcome home:))
    Gee, another 5 weeks have past me by without anything new & exciting happening. How lucky you are to have filled those same weeks with a HUGE adventure!! New Zealand looks so beautiful. It’s always been on my list of places to go see. Did it rain a lot? Did you enjoy at least one glass of their famously fantastic Sauvignon Blanc?

    • #8 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 1:59 pm

      I enjoyed many glasses of their Sauv Blanc, Buggsie lol. It was definitely an adventure, one I’ll never forget! It was a bit rainy till the end, but it didn’t dampen the trip one bit!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. #9 by satine89 on November 14, 2012 - 5:52 am

    Welcome back, I’m glad the trip was amazing!!!
    The rainbow in the first picture it’s so cute!!!!
    New Zeland must really be worth a journey, uh? I’ve been wanting to go there since The Lord of the Rings! ahah =)

    • #10 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 2:01 pm

      Hehe I know exactly what you mean! It was amazing, quite the trip to get there but well worth it. You should definitely make the trek!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. #11 by Larie on November 14, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    It sounds like you had an amazing time, Toya! I’m so glad! I can’t wait to see more photos and to hear more about all of the things you did :) And I think it’s perfectly reasonable to take a break from beauty and to relish it!

    • #12 by Latoya on November 14, 2012 - 2:03 pm

      It was nice, Larie. I still love beauty but it was freeing to forgo it for a while! The trip was truly the best, so much more than I even imagined!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. #13 by Eugenia on November 15, 2012 - 2:23 pm

    This past week, I confess to stalking your site a few times to see if you had returned, as I figured it was nearing the time…and of course, totally missed checking on the day you posted this, lol!

    WELCOME BACK, MY FRIEND! Boy, did I miss you! Plus, I’m dying to hear all about your trip – New Zealand is definitely on my bucket list.

    As to trying to catch up on makeup/beauty news, my advice to you is: DON’T. You, of all people, should know that it’s a never-ending cycle and that something new always looms on the horizon. Get back into the swing of things first…the rest will follow! Hugs! xx

    • #14 by Latoya on November 17, 2012 - 1:38 pm

      Sage advice, as usual Eugenia – I’m going to take it and try and just start from now, moving forward. There’s just too much to absorb otherwise!

      I missed you too!! xx

      Sent from my iPhone

  8. #15 by Emi at Project Swatch on November 15, 2012 - 10:05 pm

    Glad to see you back! YAY :)

    • #16 by Latoya on November 17, 2012 - 1:39 pm

      Thanks Emi!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. #17 by BeautyReflections (@BeautyReflectTS) on November 16, 2012 - 9:38 pm

    WELCOME BACK!! I wanna hear more about it!

    • #18 by Latoya on November 16, 2012 - 9:46 pm

      Coming right up, Tracy! :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  10. #19 by Liz (@Reductionista) on November 16, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    This post gave me some giggles while I was reading it at the office. :D Mostly at what you were saying about being unprepared to party but so clearly right in the thick of things, LOL. (THAT’S OUR TOYA.) I’m so impressed with those pants. Hope you wore it again today. ;)

    • #20 by Liz (@Reductionista) on November 17, 2012 - 7:26 pm

      Are my comments invisible????????

      • #21 by Latoya on November 17, 2012 - 8:42 pm

        LOL! No! They just required a longer response :P I was going backward replying to them today and got interrupted by an inquisitive little girl on the bus – will reply ASAP Liz! :D

        Sent from my iPhone

    • #22 by Latoya on November 19, 2012 - 7:54 am

      I haven’t worn the pants again Liz, sadly…they’re more spring-y (since – I bought them during NZ’s spring!), but maybe I’ll have to just go for it anyway :D

      I was definitely unprepared to party, but that would NEVER stop me lol. I’m glad I gave you a chuckle, it’s needed at work, AMIRITE??

      Sent from my iPhone

  11. #23 by Maggie (@MaggiesMakeup) on November 18, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    WOW!! That is all I can say. That looks like an amazing trip!

    • #24 by Latoya on November 19, 2012 - 8:01 am

      It was! What else can I say? I think the pics say more than I really could, Maggie :)

      Sent from my iPhone

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