Saturday, December 24, 2011

RUNABOUT CLOTHES: LOGO STYLE

Perfume - Juicy Couture 'Viva La Juicy'  - from $78.50 via www.strawberrynet.com
Tees - Scotch & Soda - $79.95
Boots - 'Classic Short', UGG Australia - $150.00
Handbag - 'Tilly Twister', Paul's Boutique - 66.00 GBP
Shorts - Low Pocket Mid Length Roll Up Short, Just Jeans - $49.95

Friday, December 23, 2011

VARSITY BLUES

I love runabout clothes like these I'm pictured wearing below, but at what age is a woman too old for cutesy things like denim cut offs and slogan tees?

Self portrait mirror-style. The top says "I wanna be more than friends"
Top: Valleygirl, Denims: Just Jeans

Will post some pretty runabout clothes as soon as I can...

SEXY SCENTS


Fragrance shopping for your man but don't know where to begin? Well, you've come to the right place. 
Sometimes it's difficult to take the leap and buy something he doesn't already have. You say to yourself "Will he like this? What if it's not his style?"... Do you want to know what I have to say to that? Even if you've just screamed "HELL, NO!" at your computer screen, I'm going to tell you anyway: Men's fragrance shopping is not so much about him as it is about you. 
Let me tell you something... In my honest opinion - an opinion I know I share with a lot of women - men's fragrances can yield an incredible power over a woman. A power that turns a woman from "I've got a headache" (but honey, you've always got a headacheto "HELLO SAILOR!" When you nuzzle up to your sweetheart and you smell something that resonates with you, you don't want to let go. And when you're slobbering all over him and paying him this much attention, the last thing on his mind is " This feels good, but I'm not so sure about the top note on this aftershave Peggy bought me for Christmas..." 
This group of nine fragrances are among the best I have ever smelt. That bottom one on the right hand corner, Energise by Hugo Boss, is my personal favourite. It does crazy things to me, and if you don't believe me, ask my better half. His number is: 0413 --- --- haha, I joke, his mobile phone is actually broken right now.
Do yourself a favour and smell these nine items at the shops then, once you've discovered one you really like, go to www.strawberrynet.com and only www.strawberrynet.com because they have the cheapest prices EVER on all fragrances. FYI -  I have absolutely zero relationship with Strawberrynet other than being a frequent customer enjoying loyalty discounts and products I can trust and, as you know, I love directing people to the best places for good quality bargains!

Here's the stats:

From L-R, Top to Bottom:

Chanel - Platinum Egoiste
Chanel - Allure Homme Sport
Carolina Herrera - 212 Men
Chanel - Bleu de Chanel
Emporio Armani - Mania
Dolce & Gabbana - The One
Hermes - Terre D'Hermes
Yves Saint Laurent - La Nuit De L'Homme
Hugo Boss - Energise

SPEND OR SAVE: MIDAS TOUCH




Dress - Desire Clothing - $39.00 (actually quite a steal, oops!)
Perfume - Dolce & Gabbana - $150.00(buy here)
Customised name ring - Limoges Jewelry - $49.99 
Clutch - Anya Hindmarch - $635.00 - from here
Heels - Jimmy Choo - $750.00
Haircare set - Redken - from $49.00




Rings - Diva Triple Stack Love Rings - $13.00
Watch - Fossil - $199.00
Perfume - Halle Berry - from $22.00 - find here
Clutch - Forever New - $50.00
Heels - 'Madam' by Glamour Puss @ Wanted Shoes - Get in quick! On sale now for $60.00!
Bangles - Diva - $20.00
Nail Polish - 'West End Wonderland' by Butter London - $14.00

BLACK, WHITE AND PINK

You can probably tell already that these are my favourite colours at the moment. Here's a little look I created that I plan to wear over the next couple of days:




Blouse and Shorts - Dotti

Wedges - Steve Madden ... Mine are a similar pair from Novo

Bag - Ghibli.. I suggest looking for something cheaper, and Colette has plenty of beautiful black and white bags right now

Cuff - House of Harlow. But you'd be bonkers to splurge when Dotti has an almost identical version instore

Nail polish - OPI "Do you think I'm Tex-Y"


CONFESSIONS

I find it easier to share things which might be difficult to say by allowing for a delay between blurting out the facts and receiving the other person's response to what I have just put out there. I personally find it easier to jot something down in a note (I am much more eloquent in writing) and then run away while the person digests what they have just read. Similarly, I write text messages and switch off my phone for a good few minutes while I wait for my heart to stop pounding, before turning my phone back on with my face turned away slightly, wincing as I read the reply. Blogging provides a similar delay in proceedings, as well as a veil of anonymity and protection - the receiver doesn't see my beetroot face nor hear me mumbling and stuttering my way through the heavy confession I am making.
Considering that a new year is upon us, I thought my confessional might inspire some New Year's resolutions and make me all the more likely to stick to them because it's out there and I give you permission to hold me to account!


1. I have been sleeping in full make-up, most nights, for over a year. Cue gasps and/or silent judgement. This is not good because I am in a break out/cover up cycle that can only be stopped if I let my skin breathe for more than the twenty minutes it goes without cosmetics - aka shower time. Seriously, barely anyone sees me without make-up and the self-portrait below depicts me without it. This is actually kind of awkward and difficult for me to share, but say hello to Anna au naturale:


Funny how I can't bring myself to smile when I don't have a full-face of slap on!


2. I have been quite lazy with my exercise routine. I want to get up each morning and make exercise a non-negotiable, but instead procrastinate and simply eat less so as to make sure the energy in-energy out formula is fairly even. I don't think this is the best way to go about things because I'm losing muscle and that makes me sad.


3. I may or may not have driven on an expired license this year. It's not that difficult to renew it, and I still haven't done so.


4. I quit smoking but have given into the odd cigarette here and there. I want to nip this in the bud because cigarettes are nobody's friend and we all know how usage has a tendency to increase over time. Not to mention the nights I spend awake and coughing because my pink lungs are not used to all the smoke they're being exposed to!


5. I use far too many chemicals in my home for my liking. Sneezing constantly from fragrances, burning throat from bleach fumes in the shower can't be good signs. Still, I tell myself "just this once" and marvel at the whiteness of the grouting and sparkling loo... It has to stop! On the plus side, I have taken to cleaning some parts of my home with vinegar alone. Baby steps! If anyone has any DIY formulas or safe products I can use in place of my usual cleaning routine, please do share.


6. I haven't been to the dentist in three years (or was it four?). I'm not afraid of the dentist per say... just of what they might say about the state of my teeth. I fear being left with a gaping hole where a tooth should be, or the agony of a root canal. Worse is the fact that 99% of my dreams involve my teeth falling out, which should be the kick in the butt I need to seek out some peace of mind.


Sure, these may look pearly white, but what this picture doesn't depict is the sharp pain at the back of my mouth when I'm eating sweet foods, or that toothache which comes and goes with increasing frequency...


7. I am terrible at keeping in touch via means other than facebook and even then I am notorious for not replying to messages. I know I should pick up the phone more often instead of having to start every conversation with "I'm soooooo sorry I haven't been in touch..." I have developed this weird dislike for talking on the phone and it's just plain silly because I do care about those close to me but how do they know this if I don't make an active effort to ask how they're going?


... I think that is all for now. What a weight off my shoulders! Now that this is all public knowledge, I feel like I should do something about it, I mean, how embarrassing if I'm asked how the dental visits/exercise/sleeping without make up is going and I haven't made any progress... Not only that, but I know I am going to feel so much better once I have ticked everything off the list and start living in a far more healthy manner. So, I invite you to check in with me and ask me where I'm at in relation to these confessions/resolutions. And if you're dying to get something off your chest - add it to the comments feed below. And remember, if it makes it any easier you can post anonymously! 



Thursday, December 22, 2011

COUNTDOWN...

Life is about to get deliciously sweet. As of Friday evening, I get to spend three weeks gallivanting around the Eastern seaboard of Australia with this guy:

MAKE-UP STORAGE

Where do you keep your make-up?
My method of organising my make-up has changed over the years. As a teenager, I'd get ready sitting on the floor in front of a mirror (nothing has changed there) but would leave my cosmetics lying all over the carpet until I could be bothered to put everything back into my dresser drawers, which also contained such things as notes from classmates and a rebellious cigarette or two. But I also had a mum who liked to "check in" (yes, that's what she called it) with her children in a quiet, mysterious way that could otherwise be mistaken as snooping and so I learned more inventive ways of hiding things, like by cutting a rectangular hole in the pages of an incredibly boring looking book that no-one in their right mind would care to read... Anyway, that's a story for another time. If my mum's reading this: Come back to the computer - the search operation you are about to commence is redundant. That book was discarded long ago! Love you, Mum!
So, after leaving some pretty heavy duty stains on the carpet from bronzing, blushing and flakings from eyeliner pencils (top trick: nail polish remover is the best solution for removing eyeliner from carpet!), I graduated to keeping everything in the kind of make-up case you'd use when traveling. I'd be frustratedly fossicking through the bloody thing trying to find the stub of an eyeliner or an itty bitty eyeshadow. After a while, the case and all my lovely make-up was covered in eyeliner and face powder and so I started to keep my make-up in a couple of lovely, small rectangular wicker baskets. One for the foundations, powdery face stuff and eyeshadows and the other for pencils and brushes. I am now storing everything upright and where I can see it, in a clear acrylic cosmetic organiser. Similar versions here and here. Everything has its place now and my make-up is safe from spills and smudges. I still keep a lot of make-up in the bathroom cupboards - things I don't use often such as sparkly eyeshadows, heavy foundation and body bronzers... Here's my make-up and how I organised it this morning:

Yes, sometimes I use a couple of mascaras in the one 'sitting'

FYI - I'm man enough to admit I have a playboy deodorant :-|








THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY



Show me a man (or woman) who doesn't melt at the sight of puppies and I'll show you a cold-blooded brute. I kid, I kid...
I, like most, enjoy cooing over puppies in pet stores but I rarely feel a desire to take one home with me. I can recognise the hard tasks that lie ahead - training, cleaning up after it, the barking at unconscionable hours - and I usually decide that these puppies will probably find a better home with a backyard and a patient family to muck in and take care of it. 
A few weeks ago, my thinking changed. I imagine this is what it feels like when your biological clock hits prime-time and you say to your partner: "Come here you, it's time to put a bun in this oven!" ...'Cause that's how the conversation goes, right?
This little guy (above) was a game changer for me. I finally found myself thinking I could handle the poop, the training and even if we traveled and had to leave it at home, I didn't immediately discount the idea of life with a pooch, instead thinking: "that's a bridge that we'll cross when the time comes"... Very maternal of me, no?
So I continued my pilgrimage to visit this little fellow at the pet store, crossing my fingers each time that he would actually be there. I was in denial about the fact that one day I would walk up to his cage to find a shih-tzu or moggy had taken his place and, as sure as the sun rises and sets each day, that day did come. The staff at Pets Paradise told me that he was sold and that the owners would be coming to pick him up after 2pm that day. Heartbroken, I called my better half and told him the news, all the while convincing myself (despite his continued denials) that he was the mystery buyer and that the little pooch might spring from one of the boxes I'll be unwrapping on Christmas day. Grief will do funny things to you. Anyway, I'm starting to go back to my old way of thinking that perhaps I don't have the time to devote to looking after a puppy (a coping mechanism?) but if I see a little puppy just like the one above, I can't be certain that this time I will walk away...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MUST HAVES: FACE

Four products I cannot live without. I've been using them for years and, in each product category, doubt there is a superior product out there... Except perhaps for mascaras - I haven't tried many high-end brands because I go through mascara like it's going out of fashion - but Volum' Express is definitely the pick of the less expensive bunch:

L-R: Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder; Maybelline Volum' Express; Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot pre-foundation primer; Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal eye liner pencil

FRAGRANCES YOU NEED

Anyone who knows me well will know that I have a sense of smell and smell recognition akin to a sniffer dog. My love of fragrance is absolutely unending and requires constant stimulation, making for an ever-expanding perfume collection. Luckily for those around me, I get quite guilty about the amount of fragrance I own and, knowing that fragrances have a use-by-date, I am forever giving away almost-full bottles of perfume. I thought I would put together a list of fifteen - I couldn't quite manage to narrow it to only ten - fragrances to try at least once in your life. They aren't in any order as each are amazing in their own right. Print this list for your next department store visit and see for yourself:

1. Thierry Mugler - Alien (personal favourite)
2. Dolce & Gabbana - Feminine
3. Chanel - Coco Madamoiselle
4. Dolce & Gabbana - L'Imperatrice 
5. Chloe - Eau de fleurs Lavande
6. Dior - Midnight Poison 
7. Dolce & Gabbana - The One
8. Giorgio Armani - Code Femme
9. Narciso Rodriguez - For Her 
10. Lancome - Miracle
11. Chanel - Chance
12. Dior - Pure Poison
13. Dior - Miss Dior Cherie
14. Clinique - Happy
15. Ralph Lauren - Romance

DOTTI PAPER BAG SHORTS

I'm not really one for high-waisted garments - I think that skirts and shorts that don't sit on or just above the hip have a tendency to ride up and I absolutely loathe having to constantly pull at my clothes throughout the day in order to have them sit nicely on my body. Despite my anxiety that high waisted shorts in flowy fabrics will ride up, exposing too much of my leg and create an unflattering wedgie look on my bottom, I couldn't resist these paper bag shorts from Dotti. Dotti for me has historically only been a go-to for cheap but good quality basics, however I've branched out and bought dressy tops and shorts from the label this year and have found myself never walking past a store without having a look first. Here's the shorts - I'll post a picture once I wear them and let you know how they wear throughout the day:

Dotti 'Harlem' Paper Bag Shorts - $49.95

SMALL CHANGE

Ever since I journeyed to the UK and Europe, I have bemoaned the sad state of Australian fashion retail. Approximately four years ago, I was acquainted with the UK High Street, where stores such as New Look, H&M and Primark - to name a few -  sell the latest fashion and accessories at small-change prices. The result for customers is bulging wardrobes and non-repetition in their daily dress-up routine. It amazed me how some of my friends over there with incomes of next to nothing, dressed better than most people I know back home. They could afford to wear brand new clothing and accessories frequently and look like they stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine. It feels as if Australia is sort of catching up. I have noticed that stores are finally living up to the word "Sale", discounting storewide - even new release garments - instead of only marking down items that have been difficult to sell throughout the season. Online shopping has no doubt had an impact on the retail sector and what seems to be the result is more "disposable fashion" outlets popping up across the nation - customers are probably more likely to walk into a store if they know they can get more items for their buck. I was pleasantly surprised after popping down to my local Westfield today and picking up some great bargains. While I am yet to see beautiful clothes and accessories  at literally small-change prices, I did take home a few items that I could justify buying in place of, say, a main course at a restaurant. This is what I came home with:

Novo Wedges - $30.00
Forever New iPhone Case - $19.99 and Cuff, $14.99


JUNK Shorts - $39.00