Archive for March, 2010

Beauty Rituals

I thought of the idea for this post while preparing for a relaxing evening on the couch with my computer, tap-tapping away.

Wuuuhhh? Preparing?” you say. Yes, preparing.

While I do regular full body beauty rituals (hair, face, body, nails, skin, feet), usually on a Sunday afternoon/evening, (whenever I get the chance really…or remember) sometimes an urge hits to have a proper relax. Sometimes, my should-have-been-washed-a-few-weeks-ago Bonds sloppy Joe and whatever trackpants I can find just don’t cut it. So tonight, I prepared a little.

Which included;

-A double face cleanse, using Nude Oil Cleanser, followed by my regular cleanser. (Hint: if you wear primer/sunscreens regularly, double cleansing is great)

Image courtesy of Nude Skincare website

-Massaging in my new Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil (FYI: Day #2 and my skin is so smooth!) Followed by a light application of moisturiser.

Image courtesy of Trilogy

-Applying Jurlique’s Herbal Recovery Eye Gel to tighten and moisturise the eye area. (I also have the gel for the face – such a great product)

Image courtesy of Jurlique website

-An exfoliation and quick tan using Swissper’s Tanning and Exfoliation Wipes

-Finally, a few spritzes of Victoria’s Secret Cashmere perfume which comes boxed in a gorgeous little cream cashmere (faux?) bag. The vanilla and jasmine scent is perfect for a luxurious relax session.

I completed the ‘ritual’ by donning the nicest (if you could even call them that, I need new ‘lounge wear’!) trackpants I own, and a sheer, oh-so-soft cotton top I bought while in Paris.

I’m relaxed, and loving the clean and prepared feeling that follows a routine like this.

Do you have your own ‘beauty ritual’? Weekly? Sporadically ?

Do you ever prepare to relax, or have a scent dedicated to relaxing?

Or do I sound crazy and this was a whole waste of time?

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Packaging Tweaks

There is a product, among many, that I love and use daily.

This product is Benefit High Beam:

I love how it can slot into any level of make up that you chose to wear for the day.

Want to wear barely anything? Great! Mix your daily moisturiser (the one with broad spectrum SPF right? Of course!) with a dab of High Beam and you’ll get a just-there radiance that will have people wondering what you’ve done differently.

You can step it up to the next level by mixing it in with your tinted moisturiser for the same kind of effect.

Really get glowing by adding a streak up your cheekbone over the top of your foundation, and lightly blend, taking the extra product left on your finger across your brow bone. Luminous!

Extra fabulous points go to making me look alive after a night out – I mix it in with my foundation and then do the cheekbone application for a double hit when my skin is showing no signs of life.

Point proven, it’s great.

However, one thing does annoy me, if only for the fact that I’m greedy and wish to use up every last drop of this pink magical elixir.

See the excess product around the top of the bottle and the cap?

It’s quite built up. This is my second bottle of High Beam, and I thought it might have just been a less-than-tight cap, but after checking with a friend who also has the same problem (including leaking into her make up bag) I’ve concluded it’s a slight packaging flaw.

If I was a Benefit packaging designer (do they have an official title? I imagine them with perfect make up and white lab coats) I would change it to a pump dispenser. That may translate to a slightly higher product price, but would make up for the product that you lose around the bottle neck and cap. Trés sad for the product loss.

Which brings me to my point: if you were a packaging designer for a day, would you change any of your favourite products?

A little tweak, or a major overhaul?

I’d love to hear!

How do you know when you’re ‘there’?

The problem with having a slightly flexible and evolving goal is knowing exactly when you’ve reached it. I think, for me, it would be a series of mini-accomplishments that lets me know I’m on the right track to being ‘there’.
It’s got me thinking; what will these mini-accomplishments be? What will induce that feeling of self-satisfaction and pride I’m seeking?

One of them, for example, would be getting paid to write about things you enjoy and are interested in. Actually, I think I would take being paid to write about anything! But eventually, that would be one of the goals.

Having a desk that is mine at a job that I love, and being able to personalise it with pictures, mood boards and other tidbits – if you can do that, you know you’re going to be sticking around for a while!

Having people ask you for advice. I think being seen as someone with experience or knowledge, and being asked to share that would definitely make me feel I’m on the right track.

I will continue to think about this and add to the bundle, eventually having well-rounded views, goals and expectations on what it means to ‘get there’.

What are your mini-accomplishments you need to tick off on your way to getting there?
Or if you’re there, what was it that made you realise it?

Bright times ahead!

For those of you who read PRIMPED, you may have come across Ed Zoe Foster’s post on her thoughts that bright lips are no longer a trend, but a classic.

In the third paragraph, Zoe mentions a lovely young girl who likes cupcakes and is also worried about the fact that while she thinks a big bangin’ bright lip looks faaantastic, she is worried that you need crystal clear skin to pull it off. You know, ‘cos the lips and the surrounding area are the focus, pinky/reddish tones in the skin (aka blemishes) might be highlighted by the colour on your lip.

Well, that girl was me. It’s true; I love cupcakes, bright lips, yet am worried that my ‘problem area’ (nice way of saying hideous hormonal war-ground) won’t allow me to wear said lip. Nothing worse than looking like my lipstick has smudged all around my chin into some kind of pash rash outbreak. Hang on, is that better or worse than a breakout?!

So, desperate to be a bright lipped girl (having always been a pale gloss kinda gal) and lamenting my skin, I decided to heck with it! I received a beautiful shade of Revlon lipstick from my last batch of PRIMPED VIP Club goodies, (review to come) which was the decider – this pink is pretty, I will put it on my lips.

Today was the day, and knowing that luminous clear (as possible) skin is essential when going for the bright lip, concealer and a bit more concealer was needed over my foundation, some illuminator on the cheekbones and then a dusting of bronzer. Reminder – keep the eyes light and fresh, it’s the lips turn to hold the mike. Lipstick applied….and this is the result!(Hrm, picture darker than real life sighting…)

Please excuse the bad lighting, slighty fuzzy image and my got-rained-on hair.

What do you think?

I like! After applying and walking out the door I felt…fun, and almost cheeky! Wearing an outfit of black top and jeans, I thought the pink gave just the right amount of ‘pop’. I think a few second glances were thrown my way too, Ms. Revlon ‘Carnation’ tells me not to be alarmed, this is a common side effect.

So props to me, breaking out of my ‘appearance rut’, one change at a time!

The colour in question: Revlon #025 ‘Carnation’

Revlon's Carnation pink. Lovely!

Do you like bright lips? Would you? Do you?

Where ideas grow.

When do you do your best creative thinking?
Do you know your optimum time for writing?

While I’m not yet sure of my peak time for pumping out prime prose, (it’s usually under self-inflicted deadline pressure) I do know that I have my best ideas, imagine colourful scenes and create the best phrases during the phase when I am just drifting in and out of sleep.

I’m a person with a mind that is constantly buzzing and whirring with a hundred different thoughts at once, and unfortunately, sleep time isn’t really an exception.

New ideas and lead sentences? Great! Sign me up for some of that sleep stuff, every night! I know, but the drawback is that these thoughts are whizzing around while my body is shutting off. As in – doesn’t want to leap out of bed and grab a pen to jot that beauty down. In order to stay safely ensconed in cosy blankets, my brain assures me that of course it will remember what it’s thinking about, and that by just repeating it a few times, it’s a sure deal to be banged out on the keyboard the next day.

Can you guess? I forget. Damn. Sometimes I remember to leave paper and pen by the side table, but even then I’m lucky to: a) remember I put it there while half asleep, and b) be able to decipher my scrawl come the morning.

Writers and bloggers, how do you grab hold of that idea or inspiration when it hits?

My foray into Shapewear

When I first voiced my desire for shapewear, it was met with mixed reactions. My mum said I was ridiculous and was ready to ship me off to some kind of body dysmorphia clinic. Boyfriend gave apathetic sort of shrug, realising his opinion wasn’t really going to have much influence. However, a friend was all for it, professing her love for hers and how everything feels “tight and hard” under dresses. I was sold.

It wasn’t a matter of size really. As a relatively slim (size 10) girl, there a still bits that wobble, and lumps that bump. All fine; but under slim-fitting party dresses, it would be nice to feel…enclosed? And with this year being the year of the 21sts – it’s a sound cost-per-wear investment. I’m going to be in and out of too many party dresses this year to remember!

With my first of the year held last Saturday, I set off in search of my first set of shapewear early that morning. First stop was La Senza (note to La Senza: please open a store in Melbourne as I do love your wares. Please.) where I found a nice selection of tummy control briefs, seamless underwear and bras, and thigh and bottom control shorts. Those were the ones I had my eyes on. Reasonably priced at $49.95, ( I wasn’t prepared to spend much more than that) they have both nude and black options. I tried both, as a tug on their legs led me to believe that the black was tighter than the nude, and I wanted to check I wasn’t going crazy. Sure enough, the black certainly was more restrictive, proved in the fact that it took me an extra 2 minutes to get the thing on! The La Senza’s were good, and ladies looking for a ‘bottom lift’ would appreciate the extra under bottom control lines that definitely make a difference. Not wanting to settle for first try, I continued on.

Next stop was Bras N Things, who I was sure would have an excellent selection of shapewear. I was wrong. Their range of products was more extensive than La Senza’s, as they included control skirts as well as the usual briefs and shorts, however I felt that the material used was no where near tight enough. A couple of pairs of tights would have been more controlling, and at $59.95 and up, it was the most expensive. Didn’t waste much more time there!

Finally, I found my pair at Target. Having heard about Dr. Rey and his shapewear through the extensive marketing campaign that appealed to the reality star/makeover candidate in all of us, I found their control shorts to be excellent. The material was the perfect amount of control, and the top band was the highest that I had seen. Two birds with one pant – tummy and thighs! After the acrobat-like effort required to get into the thing; thighs, bottom and stomach felt firm and held in – just the feeling I was after. At a bargain $39.95, I was sold. Other bonuses were the complete lack of ‘sausage effect’ that sometimes happens, (think the material cutting into your leg where it ends) even when I pulled the legs up to match the length of my dress. I won’t lie, the compression around the bottom of my ribs (where the top ends) took a slight getting used to, but overall I was extremely happy with the Target option. Loved not having to be conscious of ‘sucking in’ after a few too many cocktails and canapés!

Have you ever tried shapewear?

What brands do you wear?

These were the shorts I purchased. Love! (Image courtesy of drreyshapwear.com)

Love a bargain.

I’d had my eye on this silk beaded Sportsgirl jacket for quite a while, and yesterday at Miranda Westfield I discovered it was on sale – and quite a sale at that.

Originally $139.95, marked down to $99 – with an extra 30% off sale stock.

Score!

What do you think?


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