August Beauty

August Beauty Favourites | alovelylook.comAnother month, another beauty favourites. It’s so cliché to say this but I just have to – this month has gone by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s almost September and almost spring!

This month things have felt a little hectic and my morning routine has been a little out of whack so I’ve been going for the same makeup look over and over. My skin has been fairly well-behaved but I have had a few spots show up.


Rimmel Nail Polishes for Winter

Rimmel Winter Nails |

I planned to do this post a while ago but somehow it never made its way into my schedule and sat in drafts for ages. I thought about scrapping it as we’re nearing the end of winter but I thought it might still be of interest to some of you. Plus readers from the northern hemisphere who are going into Autumn could find it useful.

My love for the Rimmel Salon Pro nail polishes is well-documented as I’ve talked about them many times before. You can read more about the polishes here and here but to quickly recap they’re a bit of a hybrid between base coat, nail colour and top coat and the brush is the perfect width.


Backgrounds for Blog Photography

Tips and tricks for blog photography backgrounds on

I’ve really been enjoying writing about blogging, in this post I’m sharing my tips and tricks for backgrounds for blog photography. If there are any topics you’d like me to cover then please let me know.

One of the best bits about blogging is the community you get to be a part of. Here in New Zealand we have a really great community – with a few Facebook groups for asking and answering questions and just generally supporting each other.

The other day someone asked a question about backgrounds for photos so I gave them some tips and explained what I use.

For the longest time I was so unhappy with my photos – I still feel like I’ve got a lot of improving to do – but in the last two months or so I feel like I’ve really got my backgrounds sorted.

A few other bloggers also commented on the thread and suggested I do a blog post on the topic so here we are!




White desk as background in blog photography

I just love clean white backgrounds and for a while it was all that I was using. I used to use pieces of paper for this but they’d always get crumpled and ruined and I hated wasting paper just for photos. I also often struggled with getting pieces of paper big enough for some of my photos. I ended up buying a $40 white desk from The Warehouse and using the top of that. It was a flat pack so I just never put it together.





You may have seen these photos and assumed I had a bunch of tables around my house. These are just some boards that Myron and I made. We got a bunch of cheap decking wood, nailed it together and painted one white, one black and stained one. If you’d like to see a proper tutorial on how to make these then let me know.




Sprinkle Nail Art Tutorial


I’ve got another nail art tutorial for you – this time I decided to do it as a video. Ever since i did my confetti nail art tutorial I’ve wanted to do a sprinkle nail art tutorial.

Just like the confetti nail art, this look is perfect for a birthday or any other fun celebration!


Australis Sitting on a Cloud
OPI Dating a Royal
OPI Mod About You
OPI In My Back Pocket
Sally Hansen Kook A Mango
Essie Play Date
Topshop Green Room

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Oh the Places You’ll Go Print

Oh the Places You'll Go | A Lovely LookI wasn’t a huge Dr. Seuss fan growing up but like any 90s kid his books were definitely a big part of my childhood.

Throughout the years the title of Oh, the Places You’ll Go has stuck in mind – I find it so optimistic and inspiring. I like to think that no matter what, our lives are and will be filled with great experiences and success. Not knowing where we’ll go next is a little scary but it’s what makes life exciting.

You can download this print here.

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Podcasts About Blogging & Business

Podcasts About Blogging & Business | A Lovely Look

Next up in this blogging series we’re going to talk about podcasts. I used to listen to podcasts avidly about six years ago. Then I stopped for the longest time. Last year I saw on Joy’s blog Oh Joy that she was featured on an episode of The Lively Show. From that first episode I was hooked and I’ve since subscribed to a heap of other shows. I’ve found podcasts to be helpful (and entertaining) for all areas of my life, not just blogging, so even though I’m focusing on blogging and business podcasts today I will do another post sometime soon about all the podcasts I love! Without further ado, here are my favourite blogging and business podcasts:


June Beauty

June Beauty Favourites | A Lovely Look Beauty Favourites

I’ve never been consistent with doing monthly beauty favourites – I think I find the pressure of finding lots of new favourites each month a little overwhelming. I’m obsessed with beauty products so I do try a lot of new ones but not many make their way into my regular routine. I also do have some months where I don’t try any new products. I like sharing my favourites and new finds with you though so I’m adjusting this popular format to suit me a little better.

At the end of each month I’m going to do a beauty post with a handful of products (3-5) that will be a mix of well loved favourites and new buys that I’m trying out.


Essie Nail Polishes for Autumn & Winter

Essie Nail Polishes for Winter | alovelylook.comThe Perfect Cover Up | Chinchilly | After School Boy Blazer | Skirting the Issue | Stylenomics

Winter is well and truly here – my new woollen coat is a daily wear and my gloves make several appearances a week. On my nails I’ve swapped out red for burgundy and pastels and brights for deep and dark colours.

Essie Nail Polishes for Winter |

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Essie. I love the colours but I don’t always love the formula. The dark colours are gorgeous but pastels can be a hit and miss – which is such a shame because the selection of pastel colours is gorgeous! With that in mind, I find Essie is a brilliant nail polish brand for winter.

Essie Nail Polishes for Winter |

After School Boy Blazer is the perfect dark navy blue. The Perfect Cover Up is one of the most unique colours I’ve ever seen, I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s kind of a deep navy teal. Stylenomics is a stunning deep forest green. I just bought it recently – I’d been looking for something like it for months! Chinchilly is an Essie collection staple – it’s a wintery grey with a slight purple undertone. Skirting the Issue is a burgundy red – it’s a little lighter than I usually like my winter reds but it’s gorgeous all the same.

If you’re interested I buy most of my Essie nail polishes from Farmers.

Essie Nail Polishes for Winter |

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Shake it Off Print


As Taylor Swift would say… shake it off ah ah shake it off. I absolutely love everything about this Shake it off Print! The sentiment behind the saying, the design and the fact that it’s Taylor-inspired. I think this saying is perfect for so many situations in life so it’ll be nice to have it hanging in the lounge or above my desk as a little reminder.

I’ve been trying to implement shake it off as one of my life mottos – I have a few sayings I like to live by. I talked about this in my being kind to myself post but I’m fairly type A so I tend to get a bit stressed about things that I don’t necessarily need to stress about. For those situations I’m now just telling myself to shake it off.

You can download the print here.

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Hostess Gift: Pancake Mix


One of the most important things my mom ever taught me is to never show up empty handed. It may seem really simple and trivial compared to the many other meaningful things she’s taught me but when you think about it, it really says so much about her values. She’s kind, generous and truly caring – I think the act of showing up with a hostess (or host) gift really speaks to that.

Sometimes it’s easy to figure out what to take to a party but other times the host insists on nothing – I recently remembered Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere writing about a friend who brought her breakfast for the next day. I thought it was just the best idea! Pancakes are my go-to weekend breakfast when I’m wanting something special so I thought they’d be perfect. I put the dry ingredients of my favourite pancake recipe into a jar and then paired it with a ribbon and a block of delicious Whittaker’s chocolate. Chocolate chunk pancakes really are the best! Make sure to write out the pancake recipe so your hostess knows what ingredients to add.

I really enjoyed getting creative with this hostess gift and you can be sure I’ve now got some other ideas I’ll be sharing.

Do you have any go-to hostess gifts?



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