Archive for May, 2010

There ain’t a Summer-hue like Tiffany-blue

One of the most exciting things about my time in the US is that it is SUMMER, and I’m a summer-typa-gal. Major bonus for escaping a large chunk of miserable Winter. Yes I know, it’s so romantic – what with the blankets, open fires and red wine. But who has time to hibernate like that day in, day out? Give me some white wine and prawns on the beach any day!

I digress. This post is focused on the hidden bonus that comes with the Northern-Southern hemisphere season switch – the fact that I realised not only will I be basking (SPF protected!) in sunshine (from underneath a hat!) while away, I will also be able to experience the Spring/Summer ’10 trends in current action people.

Australia, being all the way down the bottom and therefore in the Southern hemisphere, has to wait until our Spring/Summer rolls around before we can fully get in the swing of all things S/S. So technically, us Southies are always a season behind. Boo.

Sure, we can brighten up our traditionally dark winter beauty trends with a splash of traditionally bright S/S colours, but I’m sure most people like to get amongst a berry lip and darker shades of polish for the majority of winter time.

That’s why I’m so excited to be over there and dive straight into the pool of candy brightness! Be gone, winter darks, my toe nails are rocking a shade so bright you’ll need, err, shades. (Gotta get my US lingo going.)

What made me think of such a thing? Well, last night I was thrown a gorgeous little surprise gathering for my birthday, just a little early! And I received a box. No, the box. You know the one. The shade alone may make your heart skip. Mine sure does.

You can never replicate the bow once undone... I think Confucius said that..Yep.

And once the party people had left and I was left alone to admire my beautiful new earrings and sweet as pie little blue box, it hit me. I can have this Tiffany-turquoise-blue on my fingers and toes, thanks to Chanel’s inspiring Summer 2010 Le Pop-Up De Chanel makeup collection! (I realise this is in no way ground breaking news, but just me being excited!) In particular, courtesy of #527 Nouvelle Vague. I want!

Bright! Fun! Summer! Chanel!

Here is a colour swatch I found on A Fashion Tale. Isn’t it just a bottle of divine bubble-gum gelato blue?

I may just have to consider it come duty-free beauty counter time…

But how’s a girl meant to pick between the blue or pink?! Too hard! Let’s not even discuss that pretty pink lipstick…

New York, I (will) Love You.

So I have some news. From the title of this post you may have guessed it has something to do with the Big Apple… and points for you Sharpy McSharp ‘cos you’re spot on! This time next week, (plus six hours) I will be flying out of Melbourne for New York City!

Can I get a collective ‘weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!‘?

Source: fthats.wordpress.com

Now this might be the time when you would expect me to break out some over-used pop-culture cliché in the form of a Jay-Z song… and again – you would be right.

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you

Sorry, had to do it. (Come on, you probably would have done it. No? Awkward.)

This trip was planned rather last-minute, in lieu of a 21st bash. The costs were adding up and Mother Curts was all for a trip instead of a party, and when I found out my darling friend Erin was going to be staying all alone in a fabulous apartment in Manhattan (Gramercy, to be exact) I just thought, ‘heck yeah, New York!’.

After almost touching on a month in New York, I’ll spend 2 and a bit weeks visiting my US side of the family, who are all dotted along the California coast, from San Francisco to San Diego. (Oh, tough gig I know, visiting family that live along some of the most beautiful coastlines!)

Luck-y.

So apart from making best friends with Jay-Z, what will I be doing? (Actually, I am putting money on it that Jay-Z, no longer content with just being besties with me, will show Beyonce how adorable I am and they will adopt me as their “little Aussie Koala Kid” – vom-inducing nickname I know, but I’ll be called anything to be a mini-Z.)

In all seriousness, as corny and cliched as this sounds, I plan to just be. Working between 6 -7 days a week along with uni classes and assignments, exercise, personal writing including this blog, family, boyfriend and friends really takes it out of you. I constantly feel as though I am rushing, nay, running from one commitment from the other, find myself holding my breath in panicked moments and generally stressing myself out about everything. And look, I love a busy lifestyle, and could probably turn down a few babysitting jobs (although the wallet would suffer) so I’m not having my own pity party here, (I’m just almost showing myself here even), that sometimes you need to re-learn how to relax and become a little more balanced. I know many other people are even busier and that they handle it just fine, not to mention when you throw children into the mix. I know.
I tend to internalise stress, thriving for a few days off the adrenaline rush that comes with having too much to do, and not enough time to do it, and then collapse into a self-imposed ‘wallow-session’ where woe-is-me rules supreme. And too much chocoate is consumed.

Not. Healthy.
I should know better really, after an undiagnosed bout of Glandular Fever in late 2007 left me beyond exhausted, depressed and eventually diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2008. Luckily it was no where near as severe as some people’s.

I plan to still be productive, as I don’t think I am the type of person who can’t not be doing something. But productive in the way that I chose, not for things that I would rather not be doing. Self-development, writing personally, for this blog and also hopefully pushing my boundaries with some other publications. Reading books, or should I say finishing the 5 unread novels laying around my room. Exercising in new and exciting locations, as well as taking up new forms. I hope to do regular yoga and pilates classes. Walk, shop, eat, explore.

I really hope to find and try new beauty brands, products, salons and services to try and tell you about, as well as bring you beauty musings and observations from the streets of New York and California.

I am hoping the streets will make me feel brand new.

So, have any of you been to New York?
Where should I walk, shop, eat, explore?
Anyone got Jay-Z’s number?

Iz You a Salon Playa?

There are some women who are regular and loyal to their one and only beauty therapist. It’s a deal for life, for better or worse. (But not too much worse, there can’t be too much of a shift in quality. And that is where I would stop at calling it a marriage. HA!)

I for one would not say I am at that level of monogamous loyalty. As long as I know the salon is a good one and the therapists competent, polite and well trained, I don’t mind whether I go to Svetlana at Swedish Zen Palace, or Becky at Daydream Frangipani. This way, it’s still a familiar, trusted face you’re going in to see, but just not all the time.

Yep, I have a few on the go, juggling the ladies, playing them all. Judge me if you will – but read on to discover why, and you might come around.

I will now argue the benefits for this method:

-Being on the books at a few different salons means you will have access to all of their specials and promotions. I receive a newsletter to my email inbox for a few different salons that tell of specials only for their mailing list. Score! If I’m not interested, it doesn’t take more than a second to just click delete.

-This one is a similar premise, but I have noticed that if you haven’t visited a salon for a while, say you’ve been favouring Svetty over Becky, Becky will often send out a ‘15%-off your next treatment’ type voucher to coax you back.

-I like to have different salons for different needs. For example, I don’t really want the person who concentrates on my facial concerns to then also have to move down the other end of the table, and you know, pull out the wax pot. Face and lower half – separate for me.

-Now call me a cold-hearted salon bitch, but while I like a friendly, polite relationship with my therapist – I don’t want to be besties. I believe that by keeping the rapport friendly yet professional you’ll get the best results – a few extras here and there to charm you. Becoming too close with your therapist, in my experience, leads to a lax in standards. As in: relaxing best practice and skipping the little extras to try and impress you as they already know you’re a regular and totes BFF’s. No thanks.

As a price conscious consumer due to my student status, this method definitely has it merits. Salon owners in the industry should take note of playa’s like myself and avoid this annoying practice – it’ll be sure to loose you #1 fave spot in the little black book.

Do you see where I’m coming from? Or should I just grow up and settle down?

To that I say: “No way man! I wanna be free and see who I please!”

Note: I am not totally disregarding the guilt one can feel for neglecting either Svetty or Betty, or even Karen. Ohh no, that guilt is very real, and very strong – and probably deserves a separate post.

Review: Kosmea Clarifying Facial Wash

I do apologise if you are one of the (fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how annoying you find my rantings) people that I have spoken to about rosehip oil lately. I just lurve the stuff. But let’s not get into the glowing appraisals of the super potent little bottle of the oil itself. No.

I’m here to write/preach about my current love of Kosmea Clarifying Facial Wash. If you think of rosehip oil itself as a little seed, or a tree, the branches are products that are based around the goodness of the oil. And this is the good type of oil people, no need to be alarmed by that word. It won’t make you skin oily/oilier. Collective sigh of relief – heard and noted. In fact it may help that problem by giving your skin the moisture it was lacking, hence the reason it was producing extra oil!

This cleanser is a cream (albeit one that isn’t too thick, I would say more of a cream-gel hybrid), which I normally avoid using as I have combination/pimple-prone skin in my T-zone, and the basic rules of cleanser-to-skin-type states dry skins suit creamier cleansers for their hydrating properties.

Well this cleanser is breaking all those rules, being the far-out little rebel that it is. I still get the squeaky clean just-washed feel, only without the squeak. (The ‘squeak’ being the tight, over-stripped feeling your skin can get when you use a cleanser that is too harsh and stripping for your skin.) Instead, my skin feels plump, super smooth, fresh and most importantly – clean. My skin also sports that tell-tale rosehip oil glow, and I haven’t even moisturised yet!

The non-stripping quality may be attributed to the sodium lauryl sulphate-free (the ingredient that causes cleanser formula’s to foam) formula. The cream still slightly foams, helping to cleanse, but doesn’t use this sometimes critiqued ingredient.

The boyfriend’s crows feet were once again hauled in to be the benchmark for a product’s effect on fine lines and post-cleanse of Kosmea, his fine lines were more filled out and plumper – another rosehip win.

While the packaging says suits all skin types, I wouldn’t recommend if you have hard-to-budge acne, as the active ingredients to fight it just aren’t there. But I can attest that this cleanser has not worsened my skin, or stimulated oil flow. Everyone else, normal, combination – go for it!

I’m loving my so-soft, glowing, hydrated and clean skin that adds a booster to my nightly rosehip oil routine.

Review: Ellipse Skin Science Face and Neck Moisturiser

Source: Primped

When I received this as part of the PRIMPED VIP package my curiosity kicked in. I’d never heard of Ellipse as a skin care brand but boy were they making some promises!

They include: “This face and neck moisturiser aims to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, increase collagen, exfoliate, moisturise and protect.”

Now I don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles as of yet, (I’m still struggling to kick teenage-ville to the curb – oh, about three years overdue?!) so I didn’t notice any obvious differences in my skin, but it did feel plumper as a result of applying. I tried it on my boyfriend who has fine lines around the eyes, and they did seem to fill out and were definitely less noticable. However my Mum, who does have some wrinkles normal for her age, found that the cream didn’t make any obvious or dramatic differences to the appearance of her lines. Her verdict: a nice regular cream that went on beautifully and helped smoothed my foundation out, but nothing special in the realm of wrinkles.

It was non-greasy for a relatively thick cream, and didn’t cause any increased shine throughout the day, points!

I found it to be a fantastic base for my makeup, however as it doesn’t contain any sunscreen I had to apply my regular SPF 30+ moisturiser before hand, or just use the Ellipse as a night cream. The lack of SPF does go down as a slight negative in my book, but I suppose if you want a multi-tasking day/night cream … no-can-do-SPF.

The smell and packaging were also nothing too impressive. My first thought on the scent was ‘moisturiser’ – and I’ve tried, but can’t really expand on that. Just a standard, pleasant moisturiser smell. The packaging is simple, and I usually enjoy tubes but found after time the seal wasn’t as tight and it started to leak out, so that when I opened the cap it was already full of cream. Kinda like what happened here.

For $40, it isn’t too overpriced for the job it does, but I would suggest it would suit those with normal skin experiencing the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles, not somebody that already has deeply set wrinkles.

Review: Sodashi Enlivening Body Lotion

Source: Sodashi

I had heard so much about the all-natural, 100% chemical free skin care brand Sodashi that I tore the top of the Enlivening Body Lotion packaging (recycled and printed with vegetable dye – impressive) right off. No time to fiddle around with sticky-taped seals when you have one of the most lauded natural skin care brands to apply!

And apply I have! My (body) skin would be classified as normal; not too demanding but still appreciates a little TLC. As the cold sets in, I have needed to step up the TLC a little and the Enlivening Body Lotion has really risen to the task.

24 hours, cold air, two hot showers and a night on an electric blanket and my skin is only just showing signs of mild dryness. That’s a tough test for me, but the Sodashi lotion has passed, with extra props for being all-natural.

While I wouldn’t say the lotion is rapidly absorbed, it does not take long – especially while drifting off in your sensory experience! Immediately after absorption, it is completely non-greasy; a must for those rushed mornings when you need to get dressed now without your clothes sticking.

The scent is uplifting, as you would expect from a product from the ‘Awaken’ range, yet no fragrances are used. Natural oils of lime, lemongrass, ylang ylang, cypress and bergamot are credited for the refreshing effect on the senses, along with added benefits of circulation support, muscle relaxation and relief of anxiety.

I’m a lover of beautiful packaging and Sodashi seriously does it for me. The heavy glass bottle (which looks black yet is violet when held up to the light to protect the natural ingredients from sunlight damage) and minimal writing are understated luxe – I just love it.

I am also totally in love with the fact that Sodashi is an Australian brand, and that they still make their products in Fremantle, WA. No selling out to the big guys – I like!

Sodashi spa treatments are raved about by Beauty Editors all over and are offered in exclusive day spa retreats and hotels – definitely on my ‘must do’ lust list. Researching spas nearby I came across the Japanese Mountain Retreat -wow! One can dream, right?

Have you heard of Sodashi before?
Used anything from their range?
Dying to try a spa treament like myself?

NEW Blog Design!

So new it’s still smarting from the spank it got from its spanking newness. And boy is it pretty! Doncha think?! I do.

HUGE thanks to Ben Colson for creating the design out of my idea and putting up with my finicky indecisiveness … and to the Academy, my family, and God. Oh wait, wrong occasion.

If you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I totes want a blog design as cool as this’ and you think Ben might be your guy, you can contact him at http://bencolson.com Among his other talentz is photography so you can check that out too!

What do you think?
Like it?
Love it?
Nah? Think your Gran could have done better?


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