What’s in my travel bag

Friday, April 8th 2016 Uncategorised

colette handbag

‘What’s in my bag’ posts are always fascinating to me, and it’s been a really long time since I did one so I decided to show you what’s in my travel bag! By the time you read this I will be in Melbourne, visiting one of my best friends and attending as many comedy shows as we possibly can.  The flight is only about four hours, but I still need to bring a fair few things with me since I’ll be travelling for most of the day. These items include beauty products, of course, and I’ll go into detail as to what beauty essentials make the cut for my travel bag.

Life: Taking Stock

Monday, February 8th 2016 Uncategorised

Mairangi Bay Beach - Lena Talks Beauty.59

Making: Plans to move house! My brother and I have been flatting together for 5 years but we are finally going our separate ways,
Cooking: One Sheet Pan Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli for dinner tonight. One of my goals for the year was to learn to cook more things.
Drinking: Plunger coffee with almond milk.
Reading: Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari 
Wanting: To buy a new handbag – mine are too big or too small, I need one that’s just right.
Looking: Out my bedroom window, hoping for the weather to improve
Playing: Zayn Malik’s new song on repeat
Deciding: What to wear on a date tonight.
Wishing: That I was at the beach.

Piha Beach

I took this photo overlooking Piha Beach a month ago

Enjoying: The beautiful summer weather (not today obviously!)
Waiting: To hear back from one of the flats I looked at this week – I’d love to move in there.
Liking:  My new job. I suppose it’s not that new any more, it’s been almost four months but it feels new to me still.
Wondering: Where I’ll be this time next year, what I’ll be doing.
Loving: How supportive my parents are. Really means a lot to me.
Pondering: how I feel about social influencers and sponsored content, have been having some interesting discussions about the ethics of it lately.
Considering: taking some photos for a post about some new lipsticks.
Buying: The last thing (other than food/drink) that I bought was some workout tops from Kmart.

kmart activewear - lena talks beauty.45

One of my new tops

Watching: Brooklyn 99 has been keeping me company lately
Hoping: that wherever I end up living, the people are nice and the house feels like a home.
Marvelling: At how far this blog has come in almost 2 years. I’m so impressed.
Needing: Some calmness in my life. Hopefully in the next month or so.
Questioning: My life plans. I thought I’d planned it all out at age 18 but life has not gone according to plan. What next?
Smelling: My vanilla perfume (more about it in this post)
Wearing: A black maternity dress from Kmart hahaha. I’m not even pregnant but their maternity clothes are nicer than a lot of their frumpy plus size clothes.
Following: Awkward Bloggers on Instagram. These girls make me laugh so much – very relatable as a blogger

Crafting the perfect flat lay involves proper lighting, a clean background, and a variety of items to choose from. Unfortunately, when the best lighting and background is on your bed, you gotta awkwardly hover above your masterpiece to get the perfect shot. All of my debris started pooling by my feet as I stood and wobbled on the edge of the bed. I wish there was a better way 😭 Share your blogging bloopers with us by DM, email or tag #Awkwardbloggers 💕 Happy Friday!

A post shared by Emily & Rachel (@awkward_bloggers) on

Noticing: That I’m starting to develop muscles. I’ve been doing Les Mills pump classes lately and working so hard.
Knowing: hmmm…it’s hard to say what I know for sure (like the Oprah segment!)
Thinking: About whether or not it’s time to start getting ready to go out.
Admiring: Bloggers who take amazing photos.
Sorting: Through 5 years worth of things in my bedroom.
Getting:  Excited for my upcoming trip to Melbourne for the Comedy Festival and to see one of my besties.
Bookmarking: Creative Convex by PinkPot. I don’t like using stock images but sometimes one just comes in handy and these are so beautiful.

Coveting: A coffee machine at home. I’d love one, but I drink most of my coffee at work so can’t really justify the expense. Also, since I was a barista throughout high school and university I’d want a really nice machine that I probably can’t afford.
Disliking: What’s going on politically in NZ. How soon until the next election??
Opening: A sample of Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream that I got at the mall todaty.
Giggling: More like full on L-M-A-O, listening to Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen’s podcast TOFOP, as mentioned in Lena Talks Podcasts
Feeling: Excited and nervous. I’m going on a date tonight. 
Snacking: on nothing. My brother is at the supermarket though and I put in a request for corn chips.
Helping: Gosh, I’m not sure if I’m helping anyone at all?!
Hearing: Cicadas chirping away outside

lena talks beauty logo by elese dowden

While we’re here – do you like my new logo? My friend Elese now has an Etsy store where she does custom hand-painted logos like my one. I think it works so nicely with my new theme. I made my original logo with stock images and free software, and had a default wordpress theme, and I LOVE how much prettier and more professional it looks now.


It was nice to sit down and take stock of my life – I’d love your comments to see how things are with you, dear readers.


Outtakes: take 2

Thursday, December 24th 2015 Uncategorised

A few months ago I published a post that was a collection of outtakes of my photo shoots for blog photos. That was well received so I’ve decided to do another one! A lot of these are due to my brother – he often acts as my photographer when I can’t be bothered getting out the tripod and often he is quite naughty. He will snap away when I am NOT ready, and when I look at the photos afterwards I always laugh out loud. I hope you have a giggle at these, and I’ll also link to the posts which contain decent photos!

mac holiday lipstick

I did not authorise this photo being taken. I don’t even know why I was making that horrible face! I just wanted him to take photos of some arm swatches for a post about the MAC Enchanted Eve Cool Face Palette* and this got snapped! The lipstick I’m wearing is also from the MAC Holiday collection this year and it is  Evening Rendezvous lipstick from the Magic of the Night collection. You can read more about all the MAC Holiday collections for 2015 in my post here – I promise there are no terrible photos of me on it.

VO5 Christmas Giveaway!

Wednesday, December 9th 2015 Uncategorised

It’s an exciting time of year, with presents and all sorts of festivities. Thanks to VO5 I get to play Santa, and give away some gifts! I have three prize packs of VO5 hair products to be won by some lucky readers.

V05 Christmas Giveaway

Each kit includes:

o   1 x Vo5 Give Me Moisture Shampoo
o   1 x Vo5 Give Me Moisture Conditioner
o   1 x Vo5 Give Me Texture Dry Texturising Spray
o   1 x Vo5 Smoothly Frizz Free Crème

Now, I haven’t actually tried this range of products but I have used VO5 in the past, and they’re a brand that I’ve liked using. I’d love to hear from the winners to see what you think of them!

Enter using the rafflecopter widget below – sorry international readers, this is only open to NZ residents

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!! I will contact the winners via email when the giveaway closes on Wednesday 16th December, and announcing who they are on Facebook and Twitter.

lena signature

The year that was

Friday, November 20th 2015 Uncategorised

I know, it seems to be a bit too early in the year to be reflecting on the year that’s been, but for me, this year really began for me around this time last year. It was late November when I ended a relationship I had been in for six years – my entire adult life! It was a massive decision, but it was totally right for me, and for him. In the year that’s passed, I feel like my life has radically changed in so many good ways. I was reflecting on this last night while having a bath, and wanted to take the chance to get away from the beauty, and be a bit personal with you readers.

Looking out at the year

Reflecting on the year that was

MAC Enchanted Eve Face Palette

Monday, November 16th 2015 Uncategorised

MAC Enchanted Eve Cool Palette - Lena Talks Beauty

MAC Cosmetics have released two Face Palettes as part of their Enchanted Eve holiday collection this year. One is cool, and one is wam, and I was sent the cool version of the palette as you may have seen in my post showing an overview of the 2015 MAC Holiday collections. I have done my best to do an entire face of makeup using the palette. Obviously it doesn’t include some products like foundation or mascara, but almost everything else on my face is from this palette. It goes to show how well coordinated the different product are, since they come together so nicely. The Enchanted Eve palette comes in a sturdy case, with bright acrylic across the front the kits in with the colour scheme of the wider MAC Holiday collections this year.

MAC Enchanted Eve Cool Palette - Lena Talks Beauty

RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner

Wednesday, October 7th 2015 Uncategorised


I’m generally happy with the shape of my brows, but I feel like they’ve always been a bit sparse towards the start (closer to my nose). I was using another brow growth product but the less said about that the better, because it did literally nothing despite months of dedicated use. Then, I got sent  RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner! I have heard so many people, like my friend and fellow beauty blogger Steph from Beauty Lust rave about Revitalash, so I felt like it was a company I can trust! I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, so I wanted to write a bit about Revitabrow and also show my ‘before’ photos.


Botox – Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, September 21st 2015 Uncategorised


A little while ago I posted an interview about my stepsister’s experience with getting lip fillers and everyone was very interested in that post.  So on the topic of cosmetic injections I decided to interview another friend who gets Botox since I’m sure people are curious about it too! As with the last post, neither of us profess to be experts, so if you are interested in getting Botox I recommend having a consultation with a professional. Now with that caveat – let’s get into these frequently asked questions about Botox!

Botox Frequently Asked QuestionsBotox Frequently Asked Questions

Botox by EC-JPR under CC 2.0

My favourite perfumes

Monday, August 17th 2015 Uncategorised

Kardashian Khaos

I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for about a year and a half and I don’t think I’ve ever written about the perfumes that I wear and love. I have a few different fragrances, as well as other favourites that I don’t currently own but have in the past. I find perfume terminology kind of confusing, but typically I like light and sweet scents. These perfumes are by One Direction, Trilogy, Kim Kardashian, and Urban Rituelle.

One direction one moment, trilogy raha, kim kardashian gold, forever new vanilla

Karen Murrell lipsticks giveaway

Thursday, August 6th 2015 Uncategorised

Karen Murrell lipsticks giveaway

I adore Karen Murrell lipsticks, as I have mentioned on here many times before. Every time I write about them, you all seem to be very interested in trying the lipsticks too. I’ve paired up with Karen Murrell to offer a giveaway! Two lucky readers will each be winning two Karen Murrell lipsticks – Red Shimmer and Fuschia Shock.

Karen Murrell lipsticks giveaway

To enter, please visit my Facebook page and comment which of the shades is your favourite. Liking the page isn’t a condition of entry, but I’d love it if you did! It’s a great way to keep up to date with my latest posts, as well as other snippets of my life, and photos of different things I’ve been trying.

The winner will be chosen at random, and entries close Wednesday 12th August at 11:59pm NZ time. Entry is restricted to NZ residents only – sorry!

Thanks to Karen Murrell for providing these lipsticks as prizes. For more about Red Shimmer and Fuschia fever, including swatches, visit my recent post. Good luck to all the entrants!



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