Birthday Wishlist

10245412_613901632029192_7092994484060048112_n

So I have some serious news … I’m turning 18 in just over a week! In one weeks time, I will legally be an adult citizen of Australia. Cocktails and tattoos here I come! Seriously though, I am considering getting a tattoo on my back saying ‘healthy mind, body, spirit’. What do you think? Too cliché? And I was thinking maybe the ‘mind body spirit’ part in all different “fonts”? Ahh anyway, I still have a while to figure it all out.

Until then, here are my top five birthday wishlist must-haves for 2014 –

1. Versace – Pour Femme Eau De Parfum

versace pour femme

I’ll admit, this is going to be a refill as I have already used every last drop of my bottle. But, this just feels like … me. You know when you find a perfume that’s just completely perfect for you in every way? Well, for me, this is that scent. It just smells magnificent and works so well with my skin. Trust me, it’s pure bliss!

2. ‘Vegan Yum Yum’ by Lauren Ulm

vegan yum yum

Okay, so a bit of a crazy title, but I’ve heard great things about this book and it looks like it’s got some fantastic recipe ideas. And you can never have too many vegan recipe ideas! Eating clean can be pretty tough in a nation obsessed with meat pies, paddlepop ice-creams and huge slabs of steak as the center-piece at every family barbecue…

3. Nike – LunarEclipse 4: Women’s

nike lunareclipse 4

So I don’t really know anything about trainers, but these look pretty comfortable to me. My feet are crying out for some good new shoes for the gym, and the fact that they look great can’t hurt right?

4. Dermalogica – Skin Resurfacing Cleanser

skin resurfacing cleanser

I am a massive fan of Dermalogica, and this beautiful cleanser has been on my list of must-haves for a while. My skin is starting to complain a little over all the Easter chocolate, and I think it’s time for me to give it some love, don’t you?

5. Cue – Jacquard Zip Front Dress

C9001-989_480X570NEW

I am absolutely in love with Cue. With almost all of their clothing made in Australia, and working closely with TCFUA to maintain ethical standards, I always feel good about purchasing their goods. And all of the fabrics and cuts are so beautiful, even if they don’t always suit my fuller figure. But I can always find something beautiful to drool over. This leopard lace dress with a flattering fitted bodice, full skirt and tulle lining is rather pricey at $349, but a girl can dream can’t she?

So there you have a few of my birthday picks for 2014 (trust me, that’s not all, I have a list the size of a dictionary…). I actually can’t believe this year has gone so fast. It seems only a few months ago I was organizing my fifties-film inspired birthday picnic with pink macaroons and faux cocktails. Now I’m booking restaurants and sourcing out some actual cocktails for a great night with the girls. Oh my, how time flies!

Have a lovely week, beautiful!

A xx

Review: Bourjois Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder

Image Image Image

The only Bourjois product I had in my makeup drawer a few weeks ago was the Healthy Mix Foundation, which I have repurchased many times and continue to love for its natural finish and glowing result. After years of using my mum’s Revlon Colourstay bronzer (which worked perfectly with my skin tone and always looked natural) I decided it was high time for me to make a bronzer purchase of my own.

I must admit I was rather shocked when I first tried this. The alarming shade of orange and the strong pigment took a little getting used to after Revlon’s softer version. I have to admit, I didn’t much like it at first. It didn’t look natural or glowing, and I felt rather annoyed at having made such a bad purchase. However, after a few failed attempts, I did manage to find a balance between great orange streaks and a natural, contoured look. And after finding that balance, I’m beginning to enjoy this product more and more with each application. The brush is useless of course, but I have a pretty nifty contouring brush which works perfectly with this.

It’s definitely not my favourite bronzer, and I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing, but it still does the job and for such a low price I’m not too unhappy. I don’t know if there are more shades, but in the shop I went into there were only two (one for pale skin and one for tanned skin), which is perhaps the problem. I have the one for pale skin but it’s still rather dark and much too orange for my taste.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for a nice, natural bronzer as I would love to hear your thoughts. This one just doesn’t do it for me.

A x

MAC Paint Pots Review

 MAC paint pots in ‘Camel Coat’ and ‘Quite Natural’:

ImageImage

So I’ve been using these for a couple of months now (my best friend gave them to me at Christmas) and so far, so good! They take a little getting used to I have to say. After having used regular powder eyeshadow throughout my whole makeup-using life, this quick-drying cream-based eyeshadow was a little strange and difficult to use at first. Using my middle fingertip, I gently blended it over my eyelid and that worked well for the ‘Camel Coat’ … not so for the ‘Quite Natural’ shade. I must say I found it quite difficult to blend, it just wouldn’t stay creamy for long enough. Literally within 5 or so seconds it was completely dry. I found it strange to say the least, because the Camel Coat works beautifully, and takes at least 15 seconds to dry, plenty of time for perfect blending.

The price of these little gems is actually very reasonable at $30 a pot when you consider how much use you get out of them. Mine have hardly decreased in size at all and I use Camel Coat every day as my eyeshadow base or as a simple everyday shade.

Although Quite Natural has disappointed me a little, I’ve found ways to work around the ridiculous drying time, and the fact that they stay on all day without creasing even a bit makes up for the small problems I have encountered. I’m excited to try new shades, as they do have some lovely ones (I especially want to try ‘Stormy Pink’).

A x

A Little Light Holiday Reading

anna karenina book

So I’ve been reading some really interesting things lately and I thought I might share them with you all. I’m not really much of a reader ordinarily (usually because I’m too busy) but when I do manage to snuggle down with a book (and holidays are prime time for this) I remember just how much I love it. I went to the bookshop the other day and brought home a stash of fashion/beauty related reads and a couple of travel books and I now have a rather long holiday reading list. I just love new books, and bookstores always hold an irresistible charm for me. I almost always walk out with a pile of crisp, new books tucked under my arm. The problem is always in actually reading the books, because when I get home and display them proudly in my bedroom, they almost look too good to read. But I will try to get over this and plough on. After all, there’s not many things more relaxing than settling down with a fresh, new book to while away the hours. And goodness knows I need a little relaxation from time to time. Well, bring on the holiday reads I say!

1. “Grace – A Memoir” by Grace Coddington. I just finished reading this book actually and I really enjoyed it. She has a wonderful way of putting things, and her story is intriguing. It’s not too long and the writing style is very straight forward so it’s a wonderful light read. I learned a lot from this book actually, because it’s all set long before my time. As I’m a newcomer to the fashion world (my interest only really starting a year or two ago) there is a lot of industry history that I am unfamiliar with. This is a wonderful book for a quick catch up on that, and just for general enjoyment. I would highly recommend it!

grace a memoir 2

2. “Style” and “Beauty” by Lauren Conrad. These books are wonderful starting points to build your beauty and fashion wardrobes. The writing style is friendly and informative, and there is very little mention of product names (so you can be sure she is not working for any company). They’re also great just to flick through, as the chapters are all separated into helpful sections (such as ‘makeup’, ‘hair’, ‘skincare’, etc.). I actually read Style a long time ago and found it really helpful so I thought I’d give Beauty a go. I’ve only read the first few pages but so far it looks like a great read. I’m looking forward to reading ahead!

Style Lauren Conrad beauty lauren conrad

3. “The Dressing Table” by Clare Press. I absolutely loved this book! Yes, I have read this one too, but I loved it so much that I’m reading it again. She is such a wonderful writer and the descriptions are so delightful that you just want to go out and buy a whole wardrobe full of colourful, textured and adventurous items! It’s clear that she’s passionate about fashion and I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who is.

the dressing table clare press

4. “The Wow Factor” by Jacqui Stafford. Unlike the others, this is more of a ‘tips and tricks’ kind of book. It’s also rather small so perfect for taking with you to go shopping. I haven’t done this yet, but it definitely has some great tips for different body/face shapes and how to make the most of what you’ve got.

the wow factor

5. “All the Sad Young Men” and “Tales of the Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. No, these aren’t really fashion books but I love F. Scott Fitzgerald so I thought I might take a look at some of his short stories which he wrote so many of. A while ago I read “Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler, which was absolutely wonderful, and so interesting! I then immediately read “This Side of Paradise” by Fitzgerald, which I was slightly disappointed with but still found enjoyable. Maybe his short stories will live up to the wonderful Gatsby (one of my favourite books of all time).

all the sad young men tales of the jazz age

These are just a few of the books I have on my reading list at the moment and I still have a whole suitcase filled with more (like “Anna Karenina”, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” and “The American” – as you can see, I love my classics – along with a couple of travel books on Paris and New York). Well then, I’d better be off now … and you can guess what I’ll being doing for the next few weeks!

A x

Paradise

I thought it high time to give a shout-out to one of my favourite shows. Now, many of you may not have even heard of it. Not many people have. I just love it though, and thought it worthy of sharing with all of you. It’s called – The Paradise. There are now two seasons, and they are both absolutely brilliant! Please watch it, it really is a must-see.

The setting is an 1800’s English department store. A spectacular department store, I might add. And one of the first of its kind for the era. The props are magnificent, the sets are beautiful (the entire town was crafted by skilled workers, nothing is filmed in a studio!) and the actors are wonderful. And don’t even get me started on the costumes! Ahh, it’s all too glorious to describe. Just watch it and you’ll understand my sentiments!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

A x

Christmas Wish List

On my Christmas list this year is a mixture of beauty products, books, household items and fashion goodies. What’s on yours?

1. Becca – Shimmering Skin Perfector (Moonstone)

Image

2. The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

Image

3. Balenciaga – L’Eau Rose Eau de Toilette

Image

4. Eleven Paris Town Dress with Leather Neckline Detail (ASOS) –

Image

5. OPI – Embrace Dare Ya!

Image

6. NEST – Blue Garden Classic Candle

Image

7. Anna Karenina (the 2012 film)

Image

8. Caudalie – Beauty Elixir

Image

9. Topshop – Geometric Tassel Necklace

Image

10. Nikon – D5200 camera

Image

Red and Gold Fever

So, just in case you didn’t already know, it’s Christmas-time! Ahhh, the snow, the lights, the carols, the shop window displays, the Christmas wreaths, the mistletoe, the chestnuts roasting, the fires blazing … well, perhaps it’s not all quite like that, but at what time of year is the imagination more necessary than at Christmas? Even here in sunny Australia, Christmas is felt. Little boutiques and large shopping centers alike are filled with sounds of Michael Buble crooning away or Mariah Carey singing out that famous Christmas hymn, All I Want for Christmas. I have to admit, it’s difficult to feel angry or depressed when everything around you is so jolly!

Last night, my family and I went to see some amazing Christmas carols at our local church. A little early for that, you may say? I say it’s the perfect way to kick off the month of December! My outfit for the night was a deep red wrap dress over a plain white cami, with little black heels, a gold crucifix around my neck, long gold earrings and a gold bangle on my wrist. I also curled my hair, painted my nails with OPI’s “Danke- Shiny Red”, dusted my eyelids in sparkling gold and layered on some dazzling red lipstick. Yep, I was clad head to toe in festive red and gold! I just love dressing for the Christmas season, don’t you? It’s my favourite time of year!

Some Christmas inspiration for a radiant, festive look –

1. Chanel’s ‘Cils Scintillantes Sparkling Mascara Top Coat’

Image

2. MAC’s ‘Divine Night Lipstick – Prepare for Pleasure’

Image

3. Dior’s ‘5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette – Golden Flower’

Image

4. Estee Lauder’s ‘Pure Colour Gloss – Garnet Desire’

Image

5. Lancôme’s ‘La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum Legere’ 

Image

6. OPI’s ‘In My Santa Suit’ Nail Polish

Image

7. Calvin Klein’s ‘Continue Pendant’

Image

8. Guess’ ‘Jesper2 Platform Peeptoe Glitter Pump’

Image

Well, happy Christmas season, my lovelies!

A x