Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best and Worst of the Red Carpet? Not on this blog, and here's why. ..

It is awards season once again, and once again the cat claws are out. It seems a ritual amongst some women to see red carpet events as an open licence to criticise other women for what they choose to wear, and how they look.

The women who go to these events are celebrities - most of them are taller, slimmer and generally more genetically blessed than the average person. Even those who are the very epitome of the popular beauty ideal are still held up to massive criticism.

If they show even the slightest hint of plumpness they are torn down for having "let themselves go". If they are skeletal-hollywood-thin, they are critizied for "going too far".. there is no point at which they can escape the snarking and sniping. Their bodies, their clothes, their lives... we just lay in.

Why are we doing that?

Is it because we're jealous of their fame, money and popularity, and slagging them off because we think they chose the wrong several thousand dollar dress makes us feel a little better? We wish we were at the Oscars or the Grammys or the MTV Music awards, and tearing down those people lucky enough to be there is a worthy substitute?

I want to believe there's a way we can enjoy the fashions of these gala events without getting into demeaning arguments and sniping that diminishes us all. There's a heck of a lot of kinds of beautiful out there, and thousands of ways to rock a red carpet..  can't we just enjoy that, and be positive and supportive of what other people choose to wear instead of taking every opportunity to fling insults and critique?

What do you think? Is it possible to enjoy red carpet fashion in a less catty way?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best red lipsticks: Omega's Picks

It is no surprise to regular readers, I'm sure, to hear that most of the lipsticks in my collection, and certainly most of the ones that actually get worn, are red. I often get asked "what's the best red lipstick?" and while there is no definitive answer, here are five of my all-time favourites, from cheapies to the utterly luxe.

Best red lipsticks: Omega's Picks

In no particular order:

Coral Colours: Scarlet: This is a really cheap, great value matte blue-red that you just can't go wrong with. Fantastic value and available everywhere.
Morgana Cryptoria - It Girl: A lush formulation based on the lipsticks of the 1920s, this is an old-school matte that lasts and lasts.  Available through makeupnet.
Bourjois - Sweet Kiss 56: High Gloss, bright scarlet, this is a statement lipstick that demands attention. Get it at pharmacies and everywhere.
Lasting Finish by Kate for Rimmel - No 10: Smells like cherries, goes on buttery smooth and as the name suggests, long lasting.  Also readily available through pharmacies and all over the place.
Illamasqua - Box: Luxe and gorgeous, from the enameled black case to the gorgeous deep tonal colour, this is luxury all the way - one for special occasions, or as a never fails pick me up on an otherwise dull day. Get it from the Illamasqua counter in Myer.
Lipstick Queen - Sinner: From Poppy King herself, this is a great matte blue red that just keeps on giving. Another luxe purchase that is worth every penny. Available at Kit Cosmetics.

What's your favourite red?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wild Makeup Looks: Dark Fairy

I did a DJ gig recently for a nightclub event where theme was "Dark Fairies". I whipped out the latex and did this:

I enjoyed being a scary purple fairy for the night.. and it really wasn't that hard to do.. here's what I did:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Nivea Rich Moisturising Body Moisturiser

So Moisturising it says it twice just in the product title!!

So many repetitions had me immediately thinking of the "last human" character, Cassandra,  from Doctor Who  who keeps saying "Moisturise me!" "Moisturise me!"  She's basically just skin in a frame. Lovely!

Right, where we we?

Oh yes, Nivea. I got this in the January 2012 Glossybox. As the name suggests this is a rich, thick, creamy moisturiser, but strangely enough in spite of this it doesn't feel greasy or heavy on the skin, it seems to sink in really well.

I could see this being good to use after a shower or as a night-cream, especially on elbows and knees, other places where you feel your skin gets particularly dry.

This has almond oil in it (and a couple of other dozen ingredients on the back of the bottle), and it smells vaguely floral and inoffensive.

Looks like a good workhorse of a product and would do the exact same job many other vastly more expensive options would.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Which Sample Box is the Best?

I have been asked this a lot lately.. if you're only in the market for one sample box a month, which one should you get?

First you should ask yourself if sample boxes are for you at all. If your brand loyalty is generally low (you don't have a few favourite products that you staunchly stick to), if trying new things is exciting and interesting to you, not stressful, if you're the kind of person that goes nuts at the samples counter at your local cosmetics counter.. then sample boxes are probably something you will enjoy getting.

There's lots of choices, here are the ones I get:

Review: Polished London Nail Polish - Fuschia

This was in the valentines themed February Glossy Box 2012 - a nail polish bottle from "Polished London".

I am so used to wild/funny/just plain silly names for nail polish I was amazed when I went to look up this fuchsia toned polish that is is in fact named.. Fuchsia. Fancy that!

This took two coats to be opaque on my nails, just as you'd expect.

While the colour is not really my thing, it seems this is a good quality polish, and their website tells me that it contains none of the "Big 4" of bad ingredients that you're meant to avoid in nailpolishes, whatever they might be..

So.. one of the pictures here is from the website, and one of them I took myself.. can you tell which is which?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Glasshouse fragrances Marseille Body Bar - Gardenia

I find that having a nice soap or wash in the bathroom can really help with my mood.. I just generally feel "nicer" when I have lovely smelling things in the bathroom to use. It makes me feel decadent, and as though I am taking good care of myself.

For the amount of money it costs it really is a brilliant investment for the positive effect it has on my general sense of well-being.

That's what I tell myself when I buy loads of bath/shower products, anyway.

This "Fragrance Body Bar" was in the  the Lust Have It Box for December 2011. Despite the absence of the word "soap" on the packaging, it is in fact a bar of soap, made from palm oil according to the packaging.

The manufactures describe it as follows:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Bio Oil

I've managed to acquire a couple of bottles of this stuff, a sample from the November 2011 Glossybox and I got a bottle in the Plastic Diaries giveaway too..

It's interesting stuff.. there seems to have been a real resurgence in use of oils lately.. everything old is new again, it seems.. it's hard to argue with a couple of thousand years of use!

Bio-Oil 's packaging says it contains the "breakthrough ingredient PureCellin Oil" .. this is a trademark of theirs but the best I can work out it that it's a form of mineral oil derived from petroleum.

It's undeniable that petroleum is a "bio" product and it's "natural".. (so is cyanide!) .. it is not exactly the image that is conjured up when you think about what "bio-oil" might be made of, though is it.. I had the mistaken impression this would be a blend of oils from plants.. (yes, I understand petroleum is made of plants, too).  It also contains Calendula Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil and Chamomile Oil in small amounts, which sounds more like what I was imagining the ingredients of this product would be.

On the packaging it's suggested to be used for Scars, Stretch Marks, Uneven Skin Tone, Ageing Skin, Dehydrated Skin.. that's covering a lot of territory!

I am dubious of any product that claims to remove stretch marks, scars etc, and you will note that this simply says it's a "Specialist Skincare For..." these things, and makes no actual claim that it reduces the appearance or improves any of those things... that would be an illegal claim to make, I imagine.

My sceptical eye would see this as a moisturiser and treat all other claims as dubious -  all oils are effective moisturisers to one extent or another and this one I'm sure is no different.

It has a strong floral scent, and when rubbed into the back of my hand it soaks into the skin but does leave a bit of an oily/greasy feeling for me. This faded away after half an hour or so.

If you don't like nutty smelling oils and prefer something floral, and the idea of a petroleum based mineral oil appeals to you, then this product might be for you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Makeup Looks: Vamping it up for Voltaire

Smashed up knee notwithstanding, I hobbled along to Voltaire recently. Not Voltaire the poet (what am amazing opportunity that would be) but a singer from New York City who does some very fun folk-punk-rock things. He's a goth from way back and a lot of his songs tap into the goth/wierdo/geek/nerd mindset.. naturally this makes him one of my favourite singers!
I overexposed this picture so you could actually see the tailcoat.

So what to wear?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How To: Gradient Lips Tutorial

Here's a look that's really popular right now - gradient lips. That's a fancy way of saying "blending from one colour to another on the lips".

It's a lot easier to do than it looks!

I usually do this with glosses, because they mix together better and create more of a blended effect.

With this I have not blended the colours in with one another as much as I normally would because I wanted the technique to be really clear.

I have used two of my favourite glosses here:

For a red/gold look like the one I am sporting here, first outline the lips with the red gloss, leaving the centre of your lips bare. 

Then fill in the centre with the gold gloss.

After that it is just a matter of carefully blending - adding more of the lighter colour (in this case gold) to blend it in is the way to go. 

Be careful how you blot your lips, if you usually press your lips together, be careful, or you will mess up your carefully applied gradient. 

That's all there is to it, really - have fun with it and share your gradient adventures in the comments. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Check this out: Velvet d'Amour Plus Size Fashion Magazine Ecstacy

Here's something just a little bit fabulous I just had to share.

The famous plus sized model and photographer, Velvet D'Armor, has put out her own magazine. Part fashion magazine, part photography magazine, written in french and english and just full of some gorgeous, gorgeous women - mostly plus sized.

They describe it thus:

Created by supermodel Velvet d’Amour, the first supersize-plus model to infiltrate the elite world of Parisian couture,encourages readers to revel in their every “imperfection” and celebrate their bodies in their glorious entirety. Born out of Ms. d’Amour’s work to expand society’s limited notion of beauty by building awareness about women of every size and shape, the magazine is a visual celebration of full-figured beauty, combined with a self-affirming message of inspiration.
The debut issue of will go live on Valentine’s Day and will touch upon the theme of Ecstasy. Future issues will feature themes such as Femininity and Zest. Contributors of photographic work and essays are invited to submit work for consideration.

Be warned, there are some naughty pictures in this magazine, you should probably consider it NSFW if your boss is of a conservative nature:

Open publication - Free publishing - More velvet d amour

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for more editions of this! What do you think of it? 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: Marocaine Argan Oil

Another stellar find at the St Kilda Markets, I got chatting to some lovely people selling Argan Oil under the brand name "Marocaine".

Argan oil is a bit of a craze at the moment, of course it's been in use for hundreds of years but seems to have only recently become popular here in Australia. It's a versatile product, used as a hair treatment, a skin cleanser, a hand and nail treatment.. there's some wild claims circulating about it's "wonder properties" which should probably be treated with a dubious eye - what's certian though is that this stuff is effective as a moisturiser.

You need to be careful which Argan Oil product to choose though:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day to Night with Australis Paparazzi Perfect

Top photo: Daytime Look
Bottom Photo: Night-time Look
In the February Beauty Basket I was delighted to receive a full sized makeup product, an eyeshadow palette no less!

It's the Paparazzi Perfect palette from Australis. The one I got is called "Snap Attack" and it has a really good range of very wearable colours.

I am all for economy when it comes to space in your handbag and this product certainly fits the bill, it's in a small but sturdy case and has a nice mirror.

With it you could easily transition from day to night.
Here's two quick looks I put together. The daytime look has the light cream colour on the upper lid and the light brown on the crease, with just a hint of the orange brown.

The night-time look has the orange on the tear duct, with the dark oyster on the lid and the dark brown across the crease.  I also added some mascara.

Both photos were taken in natural light with no colour editing.

The colours all blend very nicely together and have a very smooth texture. They are all quite shimmery but would still be very suitable for daytime wear.

I will be keeping my eye out for the rest of this range - for a "budget" brand they really are very good value indeed and well worth a look.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: BellaBox February 2012

Here's the February BellaBox contents for you:

Review: I Love This Box February 2012

I Love this Box has been sent out, here are the goodies in the February box:

Steam Up OOTD FOTD Steampunk Makeup

So, off to a Steampunk DJ gig I went, an event called "Steam Up".

With my leg in a brace causing me stupid amounts of pain I hobbled off to this gig. They'd booked me months ago and I wasn't about to let them down, but I wasn't up to doing much in the way of makeup and costume..

So when all else fails, it's time for the crazy face art!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Yes to Cucumber Facial Wipes

In the February Beauty Basket were a packet of these wipes.. the brand is "Yes To.." and they come in all sorts of kinds, it seems, "Yes to carrots", "Yes to blueberries" etc for different products.

These are "Yes to Cucumbers" facial wipes.

As you'd expect from a product based on cucumbers, these are cooling and soothing, just the thing to wipe off your makeup before bed after a night getting hot and sweaty on the dancefloor.. I have found that you only need one wipe to get off all of your makeup, and it leaves my face feeling nice and clean and fresh.

This is probably not something I would ever have bought of my own inclination, but now that I have these, I really like them. They seem less messy than using a cleanser, and they're really quick and easy. I've been known not to bother cleaning my makeup off before collapsing for the evening, but with these at hand I have been much better at doing the right thing!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

OOTD: Feathers Magic Dress

Here's a good example of one blogger being influenced by another. I was first made aware of the existence of this dress by the lovely blog "Styling You". The author has a great recurring series called "the Model and Me", where she shows what clothing looks like on people that aren't models. I'm a big believer in that, as I think it's a lot more useful to see what things look like on someone who's not very tall and very thin. Perhaps if I was tall and thin I'd feel differently!

This is from Feathers. Not a store I'd normally have looked at.. I think some years ago I pigeon-holed them as a "mumsy" brand with not much of interest to me.. but things have changed, it seems their range now is a lot more fashion forward and interesting.. or perhaps my tastes have changed.

So it is with this "magic dress". It's a wonder of drapery.. it manages to be very comfortable to wear, and it hugs all the curves I'd like it to hug and none of the ones I'd prefer it didn't.. 

There's a zip at the front so you can make the neckline demure or daring as you like.. I zip it up for work and lower it for going out. 

Best of all, I spotted this on a discount rack, so I was able to pick it up at a bargain price! I do love a discount rack! 

Here you can see it styled two ways, with red leggings and jewellery for a night out, and with black/grey print tights and a silver Marcasite necklace for work. 

This is a really versatile dress and one I know I will get a lot of wear from. I really love dresses that are comfortable to wear but still look dressy, and this is a fantastic example of that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rainbow Eyes Makeup for Pride March

It's been a tradition for me for a couple of years now that when I go to Midsumma or Pride March etc, I normally wear some crazy rainbow makeup.. it's the perfect excuse, after all!

So it was when I marched with polyvic on pride day the other day, I did so with wild rainbow eyes. Rather than go with the super-brights this year I decided to do a pastel rainbow with glitter.

I recently acquired some great shadows and glitter from the etsy seller Victorian Disco, and it's these that I mostly used to put this together. 

I started on the inside of my eye, with yellow, and then I just followed the rainbow spectrum across my eye, laying down vertical lines of orange, red, purple, blue and green, blending between the colours so that I got a "rainbow" effect rather than just stripes. I then put vertical lines of glitter over the top. 
 Certainly not an everyday look but one that was suitable for this occasion. These sorts of looks are just so much fun to wear, I am lucky that I have the kind of life where I can do this sort of thing!

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to: Adele's Grammys Makeup Tutorials

Seems everyone is a-twitter about the Grammys and everyone but Karl Lagerfeld thinks that Adele looked absolutely gorgeous.. I'm struggling to remember why anyone cares what he thinks, ever...

She rocked an Armani gown (oh, to have the star power to get one made in a custom size!) and her makeup was pure classic bombshell:

She's got it all, the winged liner, red lips and the false eyelashes..

If you want to have a go at this classic look yourself and you need a helping hand, some of my youtube tutorials might come in handy:

How to apply red lipstick (and get it right every time)

How to apply false eyelashes

Easy Winged Eyeliner - Liquid Eyeliner

Pair it with some light neutral eyeshadow and you're good to go - maybe one of the lighter options from the Urban Decay Naked Palette?

Whatever products you decide to use this is a look that hasn't gone out of style in 40 years.. a true classic!

Review: Nude by Nature Mineral Foundation

I received this in the mail from a hardworking PR the other day.. Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover.
I still think "Nude By Nature" sounds like a cross between the Chippendales and a Boy Band (sounds barely legal!).. I also think it's a great name for a cosmetics brand though. Makes me smile every time!

I tried out the "Natural Mineral Cover" for light skin tones. True to it's word and much to my delight this is a good pale shade without a hint of orange in it. Too often cosmetic companies will sell a "Pale" shade that's yellow or orange.. it seems to stem from a belief that paleness is a skin "problem" that needs to be "corrected" - this seems particularly prevalent in mineral foundations for some reason. For those of us who prefer to work with what we've got rather than try and resemble an oompa loompa, its always a relief to find a good pale shade.

The product was provided with a "kabuki" style brush.. it's got dense bristles and seems perfect for the task assigned to it. If you invest in a mineral foundation make sure you have a good brush to apply it.. this is a product that really requires a brush application to work. 

This is a very fine powder and I found I needed to apply a lot of it to get the level of coverage I prefer. If you want a very natural/light look you might find you need a lot less, but for me this took significantly more time to apply than a liquid foundation - that could well be just a matter of practice though. 

The results:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: Hourglass Extreme Gloss

 Oh, Mecca Cosmetica.. such a dangerous place. So shiny.. so inviting.. and the staff, with their friendly smiles.. "I'll just have a look..." you tell yourself.. and then somehow money is flying out of your wallet and your makeup bag has a gorgeous new addition..

So it was with this - Hourglass Extreme Gloss. The packaging is gorgeous but it's nothing compared to the product itself. This is a knock-your-socks-off metallic red.  I pair it with bronze or brown eyes usually but you could just as easily pair it with light neutral eyes as the focus of your makeup or with smokey eyes for full-on vamp.

For a gloss it has great staying power and doesn't wander as some glosses are prone to do.

All in all it's proved it's worth to me, when it runs out I will be replacing it, no doubt.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: GlossyBox February 2012

A Valentines present from the glossies, in a bright pink box.. regular readers will know my feelings on pink but thankfully the contents are far more pleasing than the box...

So the contents:

Friday, February 10, 2012

An ugly fashion accessory you ought to avoid

Yesterday afternoon I was on my way to the post office and I tripped over a port-a-cot and hurt myself. Rather badly, as it turns out..

My knee took the brunt of the fall, and it's not broken, but I may have torn some ligaments.. not sure yet.

I am now forced to incorporate into my ensembles for the next couple of weeks a truly ghastly accessory..

Hideous! And blue! I mean, really...

Tonight I have to DJ at a steampunk event and I am meant to be all dressed up.. not quite sure how I am going to manage that but I'll certainly keep you all posted..

Thankfully I have a number of people around me who are helping, and I'm sure under their care I will soon be on the mend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Lust Have It February 2012

The Lust Have It box has arrived again and is filled with lime green tissue and goodies as usual..

In this month's box:

  • Juicy Tube Gloss - Lancome  - makeup, AND it's red, I'm very happy with this - it's a lovely luxury product and even though it's a half size sample I'm still pleased!
  • Tame Lemongrass Detangler - Davroe . Smells good. Just as I was unpacking this my daughter appeared with a spectacular mane of bed-hear so I sprayed it through her hair, seemed to do the trick nicely! I will do a more detailed review later on.
  • Rose Lavender Hand n Nail Repair Creme - Sasy n Savy. A tiny little sample, will be enough for a couple of applications so I'll let you know how that goes. 
  • Sugar Scrub - Lush. Like everything from Lush this smells heavenly, looking forward to using this in the shower.
  • Collagen infusion Mask - Taut - a face mask product.
All in all I am happy with this lot, I consider it worthwhile to have got my money back with a couple of things I am really interested in, and the rest is just bonus!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

OOTD: 8 Feb City Chick, BIB

An everyday work outfit. Smart enough for the office, comfortable enough to run for the bus :)

Shirt: BIB (Big is Beautiful). I wonder what happened to this brand.. did it become something else? I like this short because of the cuff ruffles.. youc can fold them back to work with or fold them forward so that the ruffle peeks out from jacket sleeves. Very Dandy!

Dress: City Chic. I am a sucker for military and maritime styling and this went very quickly from on the rack to in my hands. It's comfortable but looks dressy.

Belt: City Chic, picked up in the sales.

Shoes: Target. 

I often feel outfits like this are too boring to post, but then I remind myself that I really like looking at people's ordinary everyday clothes.. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to get bright red hair: Goldwell Elumen

I get asked about my hair.. A LOT. I know when it's looking particularly bright because complete strangers stop to ask me "How do you get your hair like that!". Small children point and exclaim loudly too, usually to the extreme embarrassment of their parents.

So.. over the years I have tried many, many many red dyes.

Before I get into what were hits and misses for me - I should clarify that what I am am going for with my hair is a true blue-red, like the colour of a fire engine or a post office box. Not orange. Not pink. I don't like reds that fade to pink.. I much prefer a red that fades to orange.  Your choices might be different!

I trawled through old photos to show you what various dyes looked like for me.

  • L'Oréal Permanent Dye - don't know exactly what colours etc the stylist used for this but no matter where I went I never really seemed to get a lot of brightness. The colour lasted a long time but was more of a deep auburn than a true red.
  • Affinage Colour Bomb - long lasting for a semi permanent, and was a good red colour untill they changed the formula. Now the colour they sell as a red is a pink on me.. I was very very unhappy when they changed it!
  • Manic Panic Red Corvette (not pictured) not really easy to get your hands on here but is a good colour, also a bit prone to fading to pink though. 
  • Fudge - doesn't last long and fades to pink. It's cheap and readily available though so if you are willing to refresh it fortnightly you can keep colour going.
  • Directions Fire - great semi-permanent option, doesn't fade to pink, just gets lighter red, leaning towards orange as it fades.
  • L'Oreal Permanent Dye
    Affinage Colour Bomb
    Directions Fire
    Fudge Red Corvette
  • Goldwell Ellumen - a permanent colour that is really bright. 

The clear winner for me is Goldwell Ellumen. This is the best red I have used in decades of trying everything.  It's a really bright red, it does not fade to pink, and it lasts FOREVER. This is NOT a dye you should use if you like to change your hair colour later.. for many people it won't even bleach out. If you are committed to a particular shade though this stuff is brilliant.

Goldwell Ellumen

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review Beauty Basket January 2012

The beauty basket sampler has arrived on my doorstep, once again a huge box with a little basket inside..

So what's in it?

* Yes to cucumbers soothing on the go facial towelettes. A full size sample of 10 towelettes worth $4
* Australis Paparazzi Perfect Eyeshadow palette - a full sizes makeup sample? Yes please!!! Worth $16
* Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle - perfume sample.
* Miessence Sunflower Body Wash - smells good!
* Avene anti aging creme sample.

A good collection, I am especially pleased with the eyeshadow and I know the others will see use.

Review: Eye of Horus natural smokey eye pencil and Eye of Horus define eye liner

I have raved about the Eye of Horus Mascara before, and the good people there were kind enough to send me some more of their products.

I have their "Natural Smokey Eye Pencil" and their "Define Eye Liner" and I have been giving them both quite the workout..

The Natural Smokey Eye Pencil is a really soft pencil, apparently it's made with Jojoba Wax and Mango Oil. It reminds me of the awesome indian-brand eyeliners you can get, but unlike them there's no scary eye watering petrochemical smell.. I am sure this is much gentler and nicer on your eyes, too! The pencil has a great smudger on its end and this does a great job of giving you just the right amount of dishevelment. It's waterproof, too, so even on a hot day (these pictures were taken on a 35 degree day and I was very hot and sweaty).. it did not budge.

The liquid is the opposite - sharp, precise, this felt-tip end is all about putting a fine line exactly where you want it and no where you don't.

Between them you could get any eyeliner effect you wanted. In the pictures above I have used the pencil on my tightline, waterline and lower lash line, and the liquid liner on my top lash line.

This combination gives a strong look but doesn't go into "panda eyes" territory. If you are into the extreme eye art the liquid eyeliner would be good for that, too.

You can pick these beauties up at the Eye of Horus website.

These items were provided for consideration. My opinions, as always, remain my own. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

OOTD: Black, White and Red all Over..

This is one of my favourite dresses. Best of all, it was free! I got it at the chub republic plus size fashion swap. If you're in Melbourne and would like to get some new things, you should keep 18th March free, because there's another one happening then!

The shirt under it us a long shirt and jacket thing made out of tshirt material from target, and the shoes are from there too. The belt is City Chic.

This is a nice easy feel good outfit for me. The dress is really comfortable but looks dressy. Totally a winner!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Paul & Joe Blusher Sticks

When I saw these I knew I would have to share them with you. Just.. look. 

They are "blusher sticks" from Paul & Joe. My sources tell me they come in three colours: 
  • 001 Glamour Puss – A pearlescent beige that instantly highlights and contours the cheeks.
  • 002 Minou – A romantic and subtle pink for a fresh yet glamorous look.
  • 003 Catfight – A bold and beautiful tangerine for a burst of bright, energetic colour.
I can't speak to the quality of these because all I've seen of them is a picture, but if creativity in packaging counts for anything, I'd say they look like winners! 

Paul & Joe is a brand created by Sophie Albou (Paul and Joe are the names of her sons). My Internet sleuthing tells me that she designs cosmetics to match her clothing lines - prints from her dresses are echoed on the packaging, which is described as "1930s" style. 

They succeeded in getting my attention, that's for sure - what do you think? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chiton style wrap

I picked this up at the St Kilda night markets the other night. It's two scarves joined together by buttons.. that mightn't sound very exciting but I can tell you this is a versatile and useful garment to have in your wardrobe..
It's made on the same principle as the ancient greek garment, the Chiton -popularised by the Ionic Greeks and promptly stolen by the Romans.. here's a couple of pictures that illustrate its simple elegance.

The modern version I have has several buttons at the "top", and the "neckhole" is wide enough that it can be worn in a number of ways, belted or unbelted.

You can just pop it over your head with the buttons running across the shoulder line.. or you can put one arm through the "neckhole" and wear it in a one-shoulder style, you can turn it around so the buttons run down the front and wear it that way, you can knot half or all of it and do any scarf ties you like.. you can wrap it around your waist in a sarong style.. you can belt it, or not.. you can pull it forwards to create a cowl neck or backwards for a scoop neckline at the back..

Here's several versions I came up with in a couple of minutes:

the one I have is a very light cotton with a transparent weave, it's red and has been printed with a paisley print that goes from black to purple. I've layered it over a simple red dress here but I know I will be wearing it with plenty of other things too.

next time I see a gorgeous scarf I will be tempted to pick up two of them so I can sew them together and make another one of these.. in fact, if I knew what this thing was called I'd already be searching the internet for more of them. Any ideas, people?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mirenesse Tightliner - what is tightlining? and how to tightline

In the January Glossybox was a Mirenesse Tightliner, in a lovely sapphire colour. I had a couple of people ask me "what's tightlining?" so I thought I would do a bit of a tutorial on it.

Tightlining, is, simply put, putting eye-liner on the bit of your eyelid under your eyelashes.. the "top waterline". It's a surprisingly effective technique.. if you do this without wearing eye-liner in the usual place it can look as though you're not wearing it at all.. it gives you the same visual illusion of eye liner without it being obvious you're wearing any.

If you are a fan of the "no makeup" makeup look this is definitely a technique you should add to your repertoire.  Likewise, if you like dramatic looks, like me, you will find this adds an extra dimension to your eyeliner-heavy looks.

Click "read more" to see how it all comes together:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

OOTD: St Kilda Night Market

The St Kilda Night Market is not too far from where I live, and each Thursday night it sings it's siren song to me.. I love watching the sun set over the bay, the lights, sights, sounds and smells of the market.. there's always great food and a great atmosphere..

I had drums in my ears when I put this outfit together.. I wanted something swishy, and shoes I could dance in.. there's always a drum circle and fire twirlers at the markets, and the sound of them makes my feet twitch.. in the good way.  there's always an extra swish in my step when I can hear drums.

I pulled out a bunch of old favourites, and they all had something in common.. a maroon hue.

My hair is such that when I wear a bright red, it looks bright, and when I wear a darker red it seems to take on a darker tone itself... people often assume that my wardrobe is confined by my choice of such a bold hue but I find it's not the case. For this outfit I swept it up into some very messy curls and pinned in a leather hair brooch that I have.. it looks a bit like a crown.

I can't give you very useful details on most of what I am wearing because it's all old favourites. A false-crossover top I bought from ebay, over that a long embroidered mesh overtop, no idea where I got this from, though it looks like the sort of thing you could find in "Tree of Life" and similar stores fairly reliably.

The boots, you can hardly see, but they are over-the knee flat boots that I was very lucky to find in "Imagination" - their outlet store. They were on a massive discount because the sizing was way off.. I usually wear a 10 and these were a 7, and the tops, according to the store lady were "too wide and too floppy".. thankfully "too wide" suits my calves very nicely thank you, and I was absolutely delighted to snap them up. They were $30.. which for wide-calf tall boots is truly a miracle. You know the kind of shopping bargain you get where every time you see the item, you still feel a little thrill of glee? Yeah, it's like that.

The skirt is relatively new, I got that from Chic Star. I find Chic Star has very mixed quality.. it seems about half of what I get there is nigh-on-unwearable because of how poorly it's been made. I do keep hoping against hope though and keep getting sucked in to buying things from there. This skirt is of decent quality, and while I haven't worn it a lot it wasn't a total bust like some of the other things I've gotten from there.

My makeup is, as you can see, maroon to match my clothes too.. the eyshadow is MAC "Full Flame" Velvet eyeshadow and Victorian Disco's "Tuxedo Mask".  I also couldn't resist trying out my shiny new Mirenesse blue gel liner that I got from the glossybox..  I am finding it quite a wearable colour. On my lips is a revlon colourstay lipstick in currant topped with the hello kitty lipstick.

It was a wonderful night with wonderful company.. a very happy way to spend the evening..