Archive for July, 2010

Oh The Romance…

Picture: mX/AP

I am totally and utterly head over heels for this picture, in the same way I imagine Stephanie Steward is for her Petty Officer First Class Joseph Ryder.

Sigh. Stick ‘Petty Officer First Class’ in front of any guy’s name and I’m sure you’d fall for them just that little bit more.

When I saw this picture in Thursday’s Melbourne mX (the train newspaper) I teared up. Sad and pathetic, or a testament to my love of romance and 50’s-style fashion and beauty?

I just can’t stop staring at it. It’s perfect. The ship in the background. Everyone else going about their way, oblivious to the joy these two are sharing.The way her legs are raised at equal levels (makes me wonder if she’s practiced!)

The black bow heels! That hat! The dress! The petticoat! The one perfect brunette curl escaping from underneath his arm…

If only there was an after shot, so I could marvel at what I could only imagine would be a perfectly made up face to accompany such a stunning outfit and unforgettable occasion. I’m thinking classic winged liner and red lipstick, no?

Such a perfectly styled and joyous reunion makes me want to replicate the moment with my own reunion. I’m picking up the boyfriend from Melbourne Airport on Tuesday night after nearly 9 weeks apart (save for one day in LA). Sure, he’s not a Navy Officer returning from 7 months stuck on a ship fighting the war in Afghanistan … but it will be a happy occasion nonetheless.

Sporting an identical get up may cause some stares my way (the weird kind) at 11pm at night in the Arrivals lounge, but by taking elements of this fantastic style, say, some vintage curls and red lippy, teamed with heels, a cream coat, and chocolate leather gloves, I’m sure I’ll be able to evoke some of my own old-world romance and glamour.

Do you love this picture too?
How would you interpret this look for your own romantic reunion?


Exciting News!

Woo hoo! Pop the champas and raise your cupcakes because I am thrilled to bits to tell you all that I am the new Beauty Intern at Onya Magazine!

The Beauty Chief herself, the fabulous Gaynor Alder, today made the news official, announcing both myself and Beth Keamy to the Onya Beauty Team.

Onya Magazine, headed by Ed Sandi Sieger, is a fantastic online (soon to be print) magazine that showcases the best of what Australia has to offer; writers, businesses, products, places, politics, music, art, fashion, sport and more! A truly interesting read, it has something for everyone.

I am beyond excited to be chosen as part of the Onya team, and very proud to be ticking a box off on my Am I There Yet? list. To be able to complete an internship while at university in my gorgeous home-city Melbourne is a dream come true, because as anyone who is trying to make it in this world knows; Sydney is where it’s at, generally.

Thank you Sandi and Gaynor, I look forward to the exciting times ahead!

Endota Lavender & Alpine Pepper Hand Cream

Since returning home, which in my mind was like being plucked from the beach and dunked into ice water, my hands have shriveled in protest. The icy hair combined with the blast of my car heater has left them tight and dry.

Enter Endota Lavender and Alpine Pepper Hand Cream, which I received as part of the PRIMPED Look Book Event gift bag. I’d set it aside after the event for winter use, forgot about it, and now magically found it again – just when I needed it most! It hasn’t left my hand bag since.

The Lavender & Alpine Pepper scent (I never knew there was such a thing as pepper from the Alpine regions, but there you go) is strangely a great combination; soothing yet invigorating at the same time. Contradictory results, I know.

It’s extremely hydrating, but I wouldn’t say the formula rapidly absorbs. However once it has, it’s non-greasy and you won’t need to reapply for a good few hours, unless you’re craving your Alpine Pepper hit. In that case, go nuts.

Endota gets serious props in my book for using natural and organic all-Australian ingredients, having enviro-friendly and recycled packaging and for donating 1% of skincare sales to Bush Heritage Australia. Something that looks after you AND the Australian environment/wildlife – good one!

Review: St. Ives Fresh Skin Warming Scrub

And here’s another St. Ives goody to come out of the PRIMPED VIP Club post bag! I applauded at the time, because as you may have read, I’m a big fan of old Fresh Skin Warmie’s cousin, Apricot Scrub.

Image: Primped

The Fresh Skin Warming Scrub is different, but still effective. The exfoliating granules are finer than those of the Apricot Scrub, which will please the critics of the bigger, rougher gains found within the Apricot Scrub. The Warming Scrub’s grains feel like sugar, and the creamy gel-formula has a wash of pink tint and fresh scent which makes it a perfect coming into Spring product! Just look at the bright flowery packaging, it’s making me smile!

I found the warming most effective when I rubbed the product in between my fingers before applying to my face, rather than directly applying. When directly applied, I couldn’t feel the warming sensation at all, so I figure giving it a good rub in your hands first activates the warming magic. And ooo does that magic feel good!

For the cheap as chicken-salted-chips price, this scrub was effective in making my skin smooth and glow-y, with the added bonus of a little hi-tech warming magic!

I reviewed this product as part of the PRIMPED VIP Club, to read what everyone else thought, click here.

How To: Le Top-Knot

A few very lovely fellow bloggers/Twitter-ers were nice enough to comment (and request this how-to) on my ‘do that I wore to the Maxted Thomas Blogger Event in Sydney this past weekend. And these were positive comments people, which came as a surprise for me because I’ll be honest – after 2 months overseas my hair is WAY overdue for highlights and I was a little embarrassed to be turning up at a beauty event sporting unkempt locks! At Brad Ngata’s salon no less!

But this is why the top-knot is SUCH a gem of a hairstyle. It’s easy, quick, versatile (can look either polished chic or messy-cool) and hides a few hair sins! It’s been around for a while but it’s a fantastic skill to have in your back pocket when nothing else is working for you.

So, I’ll give you the how-to for the exact style of top-knot I wore to the event, which in my mind was more of a polished top knot that had volume in the bun, without the rest of my hair being too slicked back and stiff – if like me you’re aiming to disguise some nasty regrowth then you’ll need as much volume in the roots as possible, as well as lashings of dry shampoo!

1. Apply some body building mousse to damp hair and blow dry. I used Pantene Pro-V Style Body Builder Mousse. Ah don’t you just lurve the smell of Pantene styling products?!

2. Once dry, I applied dry shampoo to lighten up the roots of my hair, add some extra volume and give it some texture so it held up better. My current favourite dry shampoo is the Lee Stafford Poker Straight Dry Shampoo. Great scent, cheap, super effective and I love the hot pink can.

3. I used my fingers to brush the hair up into a high ponytail, smoothing out any bubbles as I went. My hair is quite thick and heavy, so I used two hair ties to secure.

4. Have some bobby pins on hand for this stage. I took my chunky pony and started to twist it as I wrapped it around the base of the pony tail, sliding bobby pins in on an angle so that once finished, they can’t be seen. It’s important to twist the hair before you start to twirl it around so that the hair turns under itself; less likely to stick out everywhere in the bun.

5. Once I was all pinned and done, I pulled out a few ‘wispy bits’ at the sides to make the look a bit more casual, and then sprayed with Pantene Pro-V Style Always Smooth Hair Spray which did a fantastic job of keeping my hair looking fresh from 5.30am until my arrival home at 11pm! Barely a hair of out place, without being stiff – I was impressed!

So there you go girls, sound easy enough? Of course, for an even easier top knot, skip the mousse and pins, take hair up to a pony, twist around and secure with a few hair ties!

But beware… the top knot can lull you into a hair rut, as chronicled here.

Benefit Boutique Paddington

After my fantastic day at the Maxted Thomas Beauty Blogger Event I didn’t think it could get any better. But I was 100% wrong as I climbed into the bus that was to take myself, Ann-Alyce and some other bloggers down to the Benefit Boutique on Oxford St, Paddington for an experience at their famous Brow Bar.

The boutique was buzzing when we arrived; girls being waxed, tinted and primped everywhere. There is always such a great atmosphere at the Benefit boutiques/beauty bars, with Sunday evening being no exception. ABBA tunes and the Grease soundtrack were pumping as fruit platters, mineral water and my favourite, cupcakes were passed around.

The services on offer were full lash strip application, eyebrow tint and eyebrow shape (wax). I find my eyebrows dark enough so opted instead for a wax and a lash strip application. I’d had my eyebrows done at the Benefit Bar before so knew to expect a great shape. My eyebrows were ‘mapped’ to determine where the best natural arch should be, and also where my eyebrow should end (on the angle from the outer edge of your eye.) They stopped short of the mark but luckily I have some sneaky tricks to lengthen them out. My fave Brows-a-Go-Go, Imma lookin’ at you!

Gettin' shaped.

The waxing process is swift and barely painful, with results I’ve loved 100% of the time. Yes, statistically, that’s a 50% chance of loving it, but try it out and you’ll see!

Or see a close up here, and tell me what you think (Brows have been groomed with Brows-a-Go-Go):

Was hoping for better quality picture, but there's only so many webcam shots you can take of yourself in public before people start staring at you with contempt for you narcissistic ways...

Lashed up and loving the cupcakes. Thanks for a fabulous afternoon Benefit!

Best ending to a great day!

Do YOU love the Benefit Brow Bar?

Maxted Thomas PR Beauty Blogger Event

I was thrilled/stoked/excited adjective of your choice to be invited by Maxted Thomas PR to a beauty event exclusively for bloggers, held at Brad Ngata‘s salon in the trendy Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.

My guest, the gorgeous Ann-Alyce and I flew into Sydney in time for a lunch at Kawa (on Crown St.), a really cute cafe that apparently the new Mrs. Orlando Bloom likes to frequent when she’s in town. I’m guessing it’s due to the delish organic, bio-dynamic, free range etc. choices available! Sadly, eating lunch there did not transform me into Miranda’s identical twin nor make me Orlando’s wife – bummer.

Arriving at the famed Mr. Ngata’s salon I was greeted by the super lovely MTPR team, handed my name tag and a glass of champas and told to explore the salon, where I would find the MTPR brand stations. It was the house of beauty surprises! Every turn and climb of a seriously precarious staircase took me to a new brand. These, in no particular order were:

NIVEA: I was welcomed by the NIVEA team who had a very impressive hi-tech set up, complete with iMac computers and iPads. The friendly representatives gave presentations on their famous and extremely popular – as in 60,000 units A DAY popular – Q-10 range (something exciting is coming soon!) and sun protection – the best form of preventative anti-aging as you all know! The selection of Nivea Body Moisturisers took me right back to childhood where the scent of Nivea was a permanent fixture in my mum’s daily body care, and I’ve loved both the scent and the cream itself ever since.

Ann-Alyce and I at the NIVEA station (Pic: MTPR)

Jane Iredale was around the corner, where makeup artists were doing demonstrations and mini makeovers for the girls. I hadn’t previously had too much experience with JI, so to be able to touch, smell, try the products and speak to a knowledgeable rep was fantastic. My ‘done up’ eyes looked fantastic and I loved the illuminating powder. I’ve had other mineral makeup brands applied before but I would have to say Janie I. topped the lot. It felt like nothing at all on my skin, and had exactly the right amount of luminosity and coverage without being sparkly. It does impressive things camouflaging medical conditions such as rosacea and hyper-pigmentation and is definitely on my future look out for list.

My smokin' smokey eyes from Jane Iredale.

End result of mini-makeover at Jane Iredale.

Trilogy also attended, making moi over the moon. I was very keen to learn more about their products because if you’re a regular reader, or even just a random glancer, you’ll know I am nuts over their rosehip oil. Bonkers in love. Ranting and raving all over the place, even taking my declarations of love to the big US of A, convincing my Aunt to at least consider getting some shipped over! As far as my adoration for Trilogy’s rosehip oil goes, I had sadly never tried any of their other products, so I was happy to learn that there is now not only the regular rosehip oil range, but also an Age Proof and Sensitive Skin one too. Something for everyone!

Brad Ngata – The man himself. The salon wouldn’t have been the same without his uber stylish presence floating around. He whirled his tools on many of the girls, creating lush curls that looked like they would last all week. If my hair had have been in a more acceptable state (read: not hideously overdue for some TLC) I would have been overjoyed to have my tresses tended to by one of Australia’s best. Jeal-ous. It may have been my only opportunity; a haircut with the multiple award-winning Brad is $250. One can hope!

Benefit – The gorgeous Benebabes were out in force, waiting to make over bloggers and their guests. This was definitely one of the most congested areas of the salon, and for good reason. Benefit products are beautifully packaged, easy to use, super effective and most of all fun! Not to mention the girls themselves; they must put something in the water there because I have never come across a Benefit girl who has been nothing short of extremely lovely, which goes a long way in my books!

Orly – Last but not least, the team at Orly were on hand (ha!) to tend to our nails, and they did an amazing job. Each manicurist took their time to perfect each nail, rather than rushing everyone through. Their attention to detail was very appreciated as everyone marvelled over their gorgeous nails and compared shades. I am super excited for their new Summer collection, Orly Sweet. There are six candy-bright and colourful shades that made me wish even more that summer would hurry up! Unfortunately I had already had my nails done the day before – in Orly First Kiss – but I was offered a touch up on a chip and also one nail I had removed thanks to testing a fantastic gadget I’m planning to tell you about! I learnt a lot about the very interesting back story of the company. Did you know Orly’s creator, Jeff Pink invented the French Manicure? Go Jeff!

The busy Orly girls.

Getting my touch up!

It was an amazing day and I would like to thank Maxted Thomas for hosting it, and the attending brands for sharing their knowledge and samples. I think it’s really fantastic that Maxted Thomas recognise and appreciate the role of bloggers in the ever-evolving beauty industry, and it was a pleasure to be included.

I’ll be posting soon about the fantastic beauty treatment ‘after-party’ of sorts that was held at the Benefit Boutique in Paddington. Yay!

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