Thursday, April 16, 2015

In My Secret Life: 2

Amelie Dress*, Bandana Bertie Jumper* and French Market Cream Scarf* C/- Joules | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Belt: Alannah Hill (old)

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Joules might be a French brand given the abundance of Breton striped garments on their website, but they are actually English, and aside from Breton stripes they also have beautiful silk scarves, pretty dresses and jumpers with cute animals on them in abundance. Is is really uncool to colour co-ordinate with the dog on your jumper? Yeah probably, but don't tell me how to live my life. Clearly I'm a rebel without a cause.

I thought I'd do another one of those general life updates even though my life is pretty much just going to work, going to gigs and hanging with friends. Oh, and eating and online shopping of course - my two greatest talents. So much so that I can combine them and buy some of the food I enjoyed in New York from Not just good for Real Techniques brushes, you can also buy cinnamon bunny grahams, cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter(!!), delicious yogi tea and chai and jasmine flavoured chocolate, because we all know the best kinds of food taste like cinnamon or flowers.

Other things of interest include:
- this blog post from Tenneil about why blogging is awesome
- this incredible article about Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly
- this video of Drake signing about ice cream and candy. IF ONLY HE WERE SINGING TO ME! :(

Now um, usually I don't do this but uh, I'm gonna go ahead and break you off with a lil rundown of what I've been listening to lately (please tell me someone gets my reference). There's a bunch of music I wanted to talk about this month so I thought it'd be easiest for me to create a little playlist like Tenneil always does, even though it doesn't flow and covers about five different genres, but hey, that's my vibe.

I got super into Jeff Buckley's Be Your Husband about a year ago and have only just realised it's actually a cover of an incredible Nina Simone song and that her version is even better. I've been a fan of Hank Williams for several years but have only just become hooked on Ramblin' Man after a friend played it on guitar while hanging out on his balcony one night. And I seem to be collecting versions of I'll Take Care of You. Gil Scott-Heron, Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX and of course baby boy Drizzy & Rihanna and now Van Morrison whose covers of that and Dylan's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue are just beautiful. I've not paid much attention to him in the past but I will from now on.

For some original songs now, The National released a new one and as we all know they are flawless and can do no wrong. I have been obsessing over Kendrick's new album and I honestly can't remember the last time an album so rich/potent/moving/socially and politically significant was released. That album is so much more than just music. And finally, I've been dipping my toes in the pool of southern hip hop with a bunch of Outkast who I have been enjoying more and more since seeing them live last year. Hope you like at least one or more of these songs, haha.

1. Be My Husband - Nina Simone
2. Be Your Husband - Jeff Buckley
3. Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams
4. I'll Take Care of You - Van Morrison
5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Van Morrison
6. Sunshine On My Back - The National
7. King Kunta - Kendrick Lamar
8. Ain't No Thang - OutKast

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Smell the Roses

Surprise, internet! I'm alive after all. March has completely slipped past me this year but I hope you have all been enjoying it. In case I've not made myself clear enough in the past, I do not like winter and I can already notice it getting cooler as we get deeper into Autumn. I haven't had to deal with winter since mid-2013 but there's no getting out of it this year, so I'll just have to grin and bear it like a normal person. I'm bracing myself by pretending Autumn is a fun thing here like it is in the States and burning my cinnamon-pumpkin-caramel-swirl-pancake-cupcake candles that I picked up at Bath & Body Works, drinking pumpkin spice chai and dreaming of baking pumpkin pies.

As for the photo above, if I had enough pumpkin scented products in my life I'd surely do a post about them too but instead this is about roses, so if you associate rose scents with grandmas then you should probably look away now. I've mentioned it before but the Jurlique rose fragrance is my favourite rose scent of all time, and their hand cream is also my favourite hand cream. It's rich and creamy, sinks in quickly and keeps my hands super soft. In fact I've almost finished that tube and I've got another waiting to go. Their Rosewater Balancing Mist smells just as wonderful and it's a great refreshing spritz throughout the day or to use as your hydrating toner step in your skincare routine (which is what I do). 

My lil baby bottle of Roses de Chloe has a bit of a story behind it, which is that I actually bought it on my first day alone on my holiday last year. I flew to Egypt alone but met up with a tour group when I got there, and then flew to Istanbul and met my parents the following day, so I feel like my first day actually alone was the day they left Milan and I stayed behind. On that day I wandered into La Rinascente (the department store just by the Duomo) and the lovely salesgirl convinced me to pick up a bottle by letting me have a Chloe candle with it even though I bought the smallest bottle and that gift with purchase was only meant to be with larger sizes. As for the scent itself it's a lovely light, slightly sweet, powdery rose scent. Not at all heavy or granny-ish, and of course the bottle is lovely, as all the Chloe bottles are.

Sadly the Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel is a Christmas only scent that I picked up in their boxing day sales last year, but I'll definitely be getting some more at the end of this year. This is a completely different version of rose to the others I've mentioned - the second ingredient in the shower gel is actually vanilla so it's incredibly sweet and actually smells like a rose jam that you'd eat on toast (which is a real thing I've eaten a whole jar of before and it's glorious). Actually forget toast, I want a cake made with rose jam in the middle and if I come across another jar of rose jam I'm going to make that happen. 

As for the REN bath oil, this stuff is not cheap and I don't take baths often enough to justify buying the full size, but a little goes a long way. I'd say there's 3 baths worth in that little 10ml bottle, so you don't need a lot for a lovely smelling bath, and my skin actually felt quite nourished afterwards too. The Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream has the same scent which is a subtle but very true rose scent, and with its rosewater, shea butter and glycerin based formula it's a nice hydrating option with a light, non-greasy texture.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Current Beauty Favourites

Since I clearly don't have my life together enough to get out any kind of monthly favourites, I thought I'd just do alternating beauty and general/life favourites throughout the year and see how it goes. For my beauty favourites lately the star of the show has to be the Tarte Tartelette palette which will hopefully come to the Sydney Sephora soon, but I managed to get my hands on it because my friend brought it back for me from the US in January. This is what it looks like on the inside, and although I pretty much always use shimmery shadows as well, it's totally invaluable having a neutral matte palette because you have so many shades to choose from for your crease that there'll be something to compliment your look no matter what. The quad pictured is actually a MAC quad filled with MakeupGeek eyeshadows. After hearing so many YouTubers talk about them I decided to finally pick out a few for myself (L-R, top to bottom) - Moondust, Hipster (lol), Prom Night & Barcelona Beach. I also could not stop thinking about the pigment in Utopia which is a stunning antiqued gold that is INFINITELY more beautiful than it comes across in my crappy swatch up above. In fact, just ignore my swatch altogether and look at the one on their website, trust me. The shadows really are everything they're cracked up to be, and there although they all look pretty much the same in the photo (yeah, I know), they're actually really unique, interesting colours when you use them on your lips.

I don't know what the deal is with these YSL cream blushes or if they're still available or not, but I picked up three of them while in Paris and they are absolutely stunning. I've got shades 4, 7 and 9 - a vibrant coral/orange, a neutral everyday dusty pink and a babydoll pink and I completely adore them and have been reaching for them a lot lately. They look so fresh and natural on the cheeks (as cream blushes generally do) and the shades are beautiful. I've also been loving an old favourite, the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder which is a great, lightweight powder that never looks cakey on the skin. That's one thing that I really struggle with having oily skin - finding the right powder and using the right amount so that it controls oil but doesn't make my skin look super cakey and unnatural, and this is a really good one for that.

As I mentioned in my life favourites/whatever that was post, I've been getting into lip liners lately, and the MAC ones are my favourite formula so far - pictured & swatched above are Cherry, Brick and Vino. What I love lipliner for is a) getting an even line around your lips when using liquid lipsticks that can make it really difficult, b) making your lipstick last longer and c) pushing your borderline lip colours the way you want them to go. For example, I could use Brick under Lime Crime's Wicked to make sure the colour comes across a super deep burgundy and to push out any purple or brown undertones that it can sometimes have, or I could use Vino under a brighter red shade to deepen it up. A combo I have seriously been into though is Cherry under the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb. When my friend came back from the states, along with the two eyeshadow palettes I mentioned in my last post I asked her to pick up Cherry and this lipstick for me, and they are S T U N N I N G. F-Bomb is the first lipstick swatched on my hand above and you can see how rich and deep but super vibrant the colour is. I'm telling you, when Mecca starts stocking Urban Decay products in March I'll be all over these lipsticks. Another red I've been loving lately is the Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 01. This is one of my favourite drugstore lipstick formulas so I thought I had all the colours I wanted from the range, but when I was overseas I spotted this shade and I don't think it was ever released in Australia but it's a gorgeous deep red that is probably a little darker than it looks in my swatch above and it's completely beautiful. My favourite lip balm at the moment has to be the Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Watermelon lip balm which I've had for a while so I'm trying to finish it up (over halfway, woo!) but it's a really lovely, glossy, nourishing formula that is perfect to put on before bed.

I know I mentioned the amazing Mecca sunscreen recently and I really do love that one, but when Priceline had a 40% off skincare sale I had to pick up the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ for days when I'm going to actually be out in the sun a lot and need a little extra protection, and I completely love the formula of this too. It's seriously lightweight, non-greasy and has no sunscreen smell at all. It's perfect if you want a high protection facial SPF that won't interfere with your makeup. I've also been getting back into using the classic that is the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse which is a beautiful dry oil in a spray bottle that I've been using to moisturise my legs after showering and in the ends of my hair after I wash it. It feels and smells lovely and my bottle has lasted me forever. I'm not huge on hair products because I feel like my hair doesn't hold styles particularly well because it's so long and most products are probably made for people with shorter hair in mind. Also I don't really know what I'm doing with them. But I picked up the Schwarzkopf Dry Oil Mist on a whim a few weeks ago and I really like. It's a super fine mist that just de-frizzes your hair and takes the fluffiness out of it without weighing it down at all. So if that's something you struggle with as well then this could be worth a try.