Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Mineral Therapy Illuminating Pearls

When I first got my hands on this, I was struck by the novelty of the design. It's a cute jar full of multicoloured pearls, with a brush that screws onto the top, and a clear lid that goes on the top.

There's a lot more to this product than novelty value though. It's a really lovely illuminator for night time wear.

The pearls are full of tiny speck of glitter, and they give the skin a glow and a sheen wherever you put it. This makes it a bit too shiny for daytime for me, but for night-time it's great.

Like all illuminators with shine, you need to be careful where you put this - if you have fine lines around your eyes it will highlight these, so put it a bit further down on the crest of your cheeks - right above where your blusher would sit.

If you're wearing something low cut, go ahead and sweep some across your collarbones as well.

All the FOA products are super cheap for the quality they are - this is a great way to experiment with illuminator without spending a lot of money. Check it out if you get the chance.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

If you love having fancy nails but don't have the time, skill or inclination to spend a lot of time learning how to do nail art, and if you'd rather not spend lots of money getting someone else to do that for you in a salon - well, you'll be pleased to discover these. They're Sally Hansen's "Salon Effects" nail polish strips. They're basically strips of already-decorated nail polish that you can stick to your fingernails. 

They come in a really wide variety of designs - there's something for everyone, whether you go for bold shades or pastels, no matter what your style, you will find something for you. 

I love it when they bring out the seasonal designs, especially for Halloween - I'd be happy to wear bats and ghosts on my nails year round!

One of my favourites in their regular range is a red/black  fishnet design. There's also a red tartan that I am really fond of, too.

Putting these on is really easy, they stick on to your nails and you can file off the excess.. it's a no mess no fuss way to get a really lovely manicure.

I have found putting a top coat on these makes them last a lot longer - I am really rough on my nails and polish only lasts a couple of days usually, but these hold up pretty well with a top coat. 

They're a bit more expensive than using just polish, but less expensive than having nail art done.. so I think they're worth it for a treat. 

Why we need models.

There's a lot of criticism out there about models - especially in the plus-sized world.

Thing is.. we need models - and here's why.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Glossybox March 2012

Finally, I got my Glossybox!

They've changed the cards, there's now a list of all the products in all of the boxes, of which you get five. Of course human nature being what it is, it just makes you scan the eighteen products and sigh over the interesting things you didn't get. Five out of eighteen doesn't seem like a lot. They've also taken the retail price off the cards, which is a pain.

Realistically though, it is a lot - this is a great box with some awesome stuff in it.

So what's there?

How to fix your nails on the bus, fast!

We've all been there, it's Monday morning and you're on your way to work, thinking rather sullenly of all the places you'd rather be than headed to work (Paris, Rome, back under your doona...)

You look down at your nails.. and.. uuugh... chipped, nasty nail polish. Very unprofessional looking and not something you ought to take into the office at all.... but how to fix them, fast?

I found something to do the trick - these little beauties. Cost about $5 from the chemist at Flinders St Station... they're called Nail Polish Remover Pads and they are made by Swisspers Nails.

Nothing terribly complicated about the concept, they are just round (cotton?) pads soaked in an acetone free nailpolish remover. They come in a plastic jar with an airtight lid..

I had a gold glitter polish with red crackle over the top - not an easy combo to shift, even chipped - glitter polishes are notoriously hard to get off your nails, so I was expecting to have to go through a few of these pads to get it all off.

To my surprise, with a bit of scrubbing, I only needed one of these little pads to get all the polish off. The other pleasant surprise was that there was no noticeable "nail polish remover" smell so I didn't disturb any of my fellow passengers while I took care of this.

The mess, fuss, and stink of trying to manoeuvre a bottle of nail polish remover would be really hard on a bus, but these make things easy to fix up your nails wherever you are.

They're going to be lurking in my office drawer from now on, just in case..

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: MAC Extreme Sheen Lipglass Glosses

 If you are into super shiny glosses, then the MAC Extreme Sheen Lipglass is definitely a product you're going to want to check out.

Like many MAC products these are considered the "best of the best" by their many fans.. they come in a really wide range of colours and the click-pen applicators makes it easy to get the right amount of product on your lips.

Here's some of the colours they released last spring:

Jasmine Honey – light cream beige (Frost)
Fuji Pink – pale peach with low level pearl (Frost)
Moon Beach – warm light beige with pearl (Frost)
Cherry Fest – rose with high level pearl (Frost)
Sweet Bean – cool beige with pearl (Frost)
Almond Blossom – pale pink with high level pearl (Frost)
Mango Sheen – bright coral with pearl (Frost)
Asian Butterfly – lilac with pearl (Frost)
Imperial Red – bright rose with pearl (Frost)
Dress Kimono – mid-tone frosted plum (Frost)
Black Tea – deep brown with pearl (Frost)

With new additions to this range being made each season, there's bound to be a colour to suit you. Next time you're at a MAC counter you might want to check these out if you're a gloss lover!

Faux Fur - Yes or No?

So, here's the thing. I found this jacket:

Totally me, right? I would rock that coat. Huge, red, fluffy, I would feel like a rockstar in it and it would be lots of fun to wear.

But it's fur. Faux fur.. but fur.

Why would I quibble over that? I'm not sure.  Here's what's in my head about it:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wild Makeup Looks: Aqua goth makeup

A few days ago I showed you a wild outfit I wore to the club.. the makeup was wild too, and I thought you might like a closer glimpse at it..

I used mostly Victorian Disco eyeshadows and glitter.. I went totally wild with an aqua-to-purple gradient from right under my brows - you can see how far I extended the colour - far wider than you'd normally wear eyeshadow - it really only works if you're going to go all out like this. I did strong eyeliner and drew hearts at the terminal of the eyeliner line as well..

On my lips, black illamasqua lipstick and gold shadow to form a black/gold gradient on my lips.

I wanted to look edgy and dark. A bit punk-rock, a bit goth and a bit dangerous.  I think I achieved what I was going for.

Monday, March 26, 2012

OOTD: Plus Size Colourblocking in Red & Purple

My philosophy on trends is to take them or leave them as you desire. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, not just what people trying to sell clothes are telling you to wear. 

One trend I have picked up is Colorblocking. Before it was trendy I called it "Dressing colourfully" or even just "wearing more than one of my favourite colours at once!"  - catchy, no? 

I am rocking one of my all time favourite colour combinations here - red and purple. Purple is notoriously hard to photograph accurately, and it's clear my trusty iphone camera is not up to the task, but the detail picture has almost got it - this is a rich, regal purple, dark and lush.. not lavender, not plum, a pure purple.
Combined with scarlet it's a head-turning combination. 

I have a red singlet on that I bought for under $5 at a valleygirl/tempt outlet years ago..with that a red chiffon overlay skirt on sale at crossroads - it has the most lovely silky texture and is a joy to wear. 
Over the top a v-neck dress from Dusk, also years old. 

 The shoes are trusty red suede pumps from Target, looking a little more battered each day..
Of course I wore purple eyeshadow and red lipstick as well :)

You've seen my favourite bright colour combination - what's yours? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to apply makeup really fast when you're late ...

So the rainy morning had me snuggling under my doona, dozing through the alarm, when finally the realisation dawned that I did indeed have to get up and get to work..

.. shortly followed by the realisation that I was very very late.

This, gentle readers, is the two minute face.

Going to work without makeup is not an option at my career level, so when it has to be done, and done fast, there's no fooling around. I grab my old favourites and fast.

The heroes of the day?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: Beauty Basket March 2012

A large box appeared, and I had no idea what it was until I opened it.. it was the beauty basket.

With this sampler box you get a magazine subscription as well, so there was a fresh glossy copy of Just B here along with some beauty goodies..What have we got?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: I love this Box March 2012

The "I Love this Box" sampler for March has arrived in the Fashion Adjacent mailbox, and once again it's a box of treasures.

What's in it? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What does a vintage loving, curvy woman wear as a MOTB?

I love getting mail. Imagine my delight when this popped up in the Fashion Adjacent mailbox:

Oh wise oracle of non conventional style,

In less than 2 months time I am to be a mother of the bride.  Not being the grey lace type & having failed to shrink enough to fit into the fabulous vintage ensemble I had planned to wear (sob!) I am in the horns of a dilemma.  What does a vintage loving, curvy woman wear as a MOTB? The colour theme of the wedding is peacock. 

Well, MOTB, I can certianly commiserate with the difficulty that an occasion like this can present, especially when you're plus sized. Finding something appropriate, that fits beautifully, that is in your budget, that shows your personal style, that's available, it's a big ask!

When you're Mother of the Bride, you're going to be in a lot of photos, and you want to look your best - you also know those photos are going to be around for a long time, so the stakes are high.. you want to get it right. You're going to be spending hours on your feet enjoying the congratulations of family and friends, and you also want to be comfortable as you rush about helping with those last minute flurries, and offering emotional support to your daughter as she takes one of life's larger steps into the future. 

That's a lot to ask of one outfit! Where to start? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to wear grey and not look dreary.. OOTD

I like wearing grey / gray when it's cloudy and rainy.. I enjoy the coolness that a cloudy day often brings. Being from Qld originally the idea of rain is very linked to a respite from the heat in my brain, so I always welcome grey skies.

This is another work outfit, my Boston Umbrella to keep the rain off me, and a simple top and dress pants combination. I got both the top and the pants from opshops, and neither have tags, so I've no idea what brand they originally were. 

To avoid looking too dreary in all grey like this, here's what I do:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teal Lips? Hells YES! Apocalips NOW! Review: Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Apocalips

So I simply couldn't wait for a parcel to arrive or any other delay - I just had to rush into Illamasqua the very first day their new "Human Fundamentalism" collection was available.

I was such an eager beaver they hadn't even unpacked it all yet! I did get to try a couple of things though.
In this pic I'm wearing the new teal lipstick, "Apocalips", and the new white liquid eyeliner, Precision Ink called "Scribe" and for extra fun the talented makeup artist also made my eyebrows match my hair - they've been filled in with a red pencil in the colour "Strumpet".

Not a look for the office with these wild brows, to be sure, but I am definitely going to try my own version of this for going out.  I would be willing to try the teal lips in the office, but I would tone the rest of my makeup right down... one challenging thing at a time for my conservative coworkers!

Every time a MUA (Make Up Artist) demos something on me, I learn something. This time it was a great tip about eyebrows...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Bellabox March 2012

The bellabox has arrived.. sans box!

This month they have sent out the "get naked" box, and instead of the little crate it's all come in a calico bag..

So what's in there?

OOTD: How to mix red & green without looking like Christmas

Here's one of those rare, rare days I don't wear red. It does happen from time to time, there are a few items lurking in the back of my wardrobe that are other hues. This was one of those days.

The dress is from Sussan, and is years and years old. It's jersy and has a tie around the waist, and slightly bloused sleeves. Dead easy to wear, always comfy and looks dressy enough for the office.

Under it I wore a t-shirt sort of blouse I have that has a lace insert, this makes the neckline work-appropriate. 

Under it, some grey leggings I managed to pick up for $6 at one of those "closing down! everything cheap" sorts of clothing stores on swanston st.  I'm sure, if you're not in Melbourne, you probably know the sort of store I am talking about. Don't expect them to last too long at that price but it's nice to have some non-black pant/legging options.

Another typical wageslave ensemble. :)

So, the trick to mixing red and green without looking like you're full of Yuletide Joy?

Review: Lush Sweet Lips Scrub

Sometimes everyone is in the mood for something sweet - this is just the ticket!

It's the "Sweet Lips" lip scrub from Lush. It's got jojoba oil in it, vanilla, chocolate - according to the Lush wizards it's meant to taste just like a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

Sugar scrubs are great for lips, sugar has just the right amount of abrasion to exfoliate without hurting you.

If you're like me and you love to wear matte lipsticks you will definitely want to add a lip scrub to your collection, and this one is lovely.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Models Prefer Ultra Lipgloss Pencil

Priceline have a new loyalty club, the "Sister Club", and when you join, you get a whole bag of goodies..

I got this "Ultra Lipgloss Pencil" from Models Prefer. The colour is called "nothing to hide" - That sounds like me!

I am not sure why they call this a lip gloss pencil - the colour is very opaque and seems more like a lipstick than a gloss to me. That suits me better, I much prefer lipstick to gloss anyway..

The colour on me is a nice tomato red, a more subtle shade than many of my other reds, one that blends into a look rather than becoming the centrepiece of it. This is great for days when I want the focus on my eye makeup - this tones in well with my hair and skin colour and doesn't try to compete.

At just under $10 a pop, you really can't argue with the value of these - I am going to be checking out some other colours in the range soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trend Alert: Skater Dresses

Here's something you should consider adding to your wardrobe - the Skater Dress.

Once upon a time this would have referred to a dress you could go ice skating in - form fitting with a flared skirt. The modern versions are a long way from the rink, but definitely something fun to wear.

The look is usually characterised by a high neckline, usually rounded, minimal detailing on the bodice, with a nipped in waist and a flared skirt - traditionally pleated but now in other styles too. The skirt usually sits above the knee.

There's often back detailing on these, which is a cute point of interest.

These were popping up last summer and the trend is still very strong - no doubt because these dresses suit a lot of different body shapes, and are easy to style up or down depending on the occasion. Layer them with leggings and coats for cooler days and go barelegged on warmer ones.

My picks:

From top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Orange Skater Dress with button detailing from Koko
  2. Biscuit Belted Skater dress from Koko
  3. Praslin Red Skater Dress - Evans
  4. Asos Curve 
  5. City Chic
  6. Asos Curve - same dress as No 4 in a different colour. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Makeup looks: bright eyed and bushy tailed

Headed off to a beauty blogger event hosted by GlossyBox and The Iconic,  I was keen to look my best. I took extra time with my makeup, doing the whole shebang.. Primer, contouring, every trick in my arsenal.. this is me as lovely as paint can make me.. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

From Work to Play - How to get more from your fashion dollar

When I am choosing whether or not to buy something, there's a number of criteria in play, but one of the big ones is versatility.

I simply can't afford to buy clothes that I can't see myself wearing in a variety of settings. If I can't imagine myself wearing to different occasions and for different purposes I think very carefully before handing over any money.

Here's an example of how I style something to make it work harder..

This is the "Pleather Insert Dress" from "Damn you Alexis for city chic". I got it in a clearance sale.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Haircare with a heart.. Review: Evo The Great Hydrator moisture mask

It's not often that something as banal as a hair treatment product can make you laugh, but this one did.. I got this sample in the December Lust Have It box.

It's from evo - it's called "the great hydrator"..

I could try and describe this product, but there's no way I can top what's on the packaging. Here's what it says:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dita Von Teese Von Follies at LMFF

As previously promised, I will not be bringing you much from Melbourne fashion week this year, employing my usual very selfish editorial policy of "If I can't wear it, I won't blog it"...

I will show you this though - a stunning example of a plus size lady ROCKING the catwalk at the show for Dita Von Teese's lingerie line Von Follies.

Dita booted any model she thought looked "too skinny" and instituted a ban on spray tans before the show. Hooray on both counts, say I!

Then she went one better and presented models in the full range of sizes the lingerie is available in - her range goes up to a size 20. Only a little foray into plus sizes, to be sure, but a welcome one.

It's a shame that her choice to show a variety of shapes and sizes on the catwalk is such a novel idea it has made headlines all over the place. This shouldn't be news, as far as I'm concerned - it should be the norm.

The collection itself is really beautiful. Lots of black lace everywhere and vintage-looking details. 

Even better unlike many of the gorgeous clothes sauntering up the runway this week, these are quite affordable, and readily available in Target.

I hope that I'll be able to show you some other examples of plus size models during fashion week, but I don't have my hopes up... if you spot any, do tell me!

Monday, March 12, 2012

OOTD: city chic, millers

This is an everyday work outfit - smart looking, comfortable, professional. What passes for everyday corporate chic in my world.

The shirt is from millers - I was surprised to find it as I had thought of millers as being full of mostly casual clothes, "mumsy" stuff.. But proving that what they say about assumptions is true, I have been pleasantly surprised by finds there recently.

At Southland there is what seems to be an outlet/discount millers that had lots of things for under $20. I paid $15 for this shirt - its cool and comfy, feels like cotton but is totally crush proof, has some nice tailoring details.. Love it and will be keeping my eye out for more like it.

The skirt is a straight cut skirt with a cute ruffle on the bottom. Office appropriate but a bit fun too. From city chic in their last clearance sale.

The jacket is also from city chic, it's pinstripe, and I just love the cut of it. It has panels on the waistline that ate almost reminiscent of a waist cincher and it nips in at just the right spot for me.

Necklace is from Colette, I like the knot detailing.

Brooch is felt and was made in Nepal - I picked this up at st kilda night market.

This is a good example of how my sense of style gets interpreted for a work setting.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Lust Have It March 2012

The lust have it box arrived today - I think it says something about the amount of makeup I get in the mail that as soon as I saw the "road only" sticker on the box I thought "ooh! Nail polish!!"

Sure enough, when I opened it, here's what I found..

  • Davroe Moisture Senses Argan Oil
  • Karparti DITO nail polish - I got a gorgeous gold glittery topcoat. The packaging is super funky, it's designed to be worn on the fingers like a ring..
  • 1Skin Solutions lip balm in vanilla
  • Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream -another gorgeous smelling sample from the rose hip champs
  • Mirenesse Pearl Crush Creaseless shadow -mine is a set of gorgeous cream/brown/green, can't wait to get into this..

I'm happy with this box, nice variety and low proportion of skincare always pleases me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: New Illamasqua Collection - Human Fundamentalism

For some time now I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the new Illamasqua Collection, and finally the embargo has been lifted, and I can share it with you..

When I spoke to Clare Lille, the makeup artist Illamasqua flew out from the UK for Myer's Autumn Winter fashion launch, I asked her what she could tell me about  the new collection.. she said that the new collection was all about celebrating diversity, and that it was something she felt proud to be a part of.

Now that I've seen it, I can see why! The imagery with this is quite stunning. Its challenging to present cultural diversity in a way that doesn't smack of appropriation, I think this is a good example of how it can be done right.

I especially love the image of the beautiful woman in the Hijab. When was the last time you saw a portrayal of a muslim woman in the media that was wholly positive, and not about the fact that she was Islamic?   

I don't normally quote straight from press releases, but I really liked what they had to say in theirs about the collection:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swatched: Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks - Raven & Icon

Top: Raven
Bottom: Icon
Ever since I got my hands on my Hourglass Extreme Gloss, I have been keen to try out more of their products. Sadly the budget does not allow for an epic splurge, so instead I go and gaze lovingly at the Hourglass display in Mecca Cosmetica, and carefully consider which items I will buy when funds allow.

Two beauties I have my eye on are these gorgeous lipsticks. Red of course! They are Hourglass' Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks.

The two shades that have me the most excited are Raven - a gorgeous bright scarlet, and Icon - a darker, sultry blue-red.

From my cosmetic counter adventures I can report that they seem to be of a rich and creamy formulation, as thick and opaque and long lasting as a "matte" lipstick but with a nice sheen to them.

I'm quite sure I would wear them very often if I owned them.

Until that happy day I will continue to visit them in the store and sigh longingly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why I am not more excited about LMFF (Melbourne Fashion Festival)

Melbourne Fashion Festival!

Top designers showing off their newest creations, a new season of fashion, beautiful things everywhere to be seen... a celebration of creativity and genius, art and fashion...

Why am I not super duper excited about it?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: OPI gel manicure My Private Jet

After reading about my shellac woes, the people at OPI's PR co very generously offered me the chance to see how their gel is different to the product I tried before, so off I went to the OPI Nail Bar in David Jones.

If you love nail polish this place is a little slice of heaven. Seeing all the OPI colours lined up makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. So many pretty things! I somehow conveniently forget the draw full of nail polishes I have at home and instead make grabby hands at all the shiny new ones...

Choosing one for my new manicure was no easy task. It was made a little easier by the fact that there are selected colours available in the gel formulation.

Seeing as my all time favourite OPI Polish "An Affair in Red Square" wasn't available, I decided to really go wild and not get red at all!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Swatched: Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Here's something gorgeous that's on my wish list - Stila's range of sparkle waterproof liquid eyeliner pens. I find Stila's stuff to be great quality, unfortunately here in Australia they're a bit more pricey than elsewhere but they are high quality products and well worth a little splurge.
I have been experimenting with coloured eyeliner a bit lately, and I am really liking the element of interest it's adding to my look.

Naturally, these caught my eye - they're sparkly and the colours are rather glorious. I'd love to get my hands on all of them, I think they would make a spectacular addition to an eye look..
Top to bottom, they are:

Curacao - a dark blue
Spectrum - dark bronze
Flash - antique gold
Bora Bora - sky blue
Rock Candy - toffee/coffee brown
Starry - silver/gunmetal
Royal - purple
Sequins - black

They all seem to have pretty amazing staying power, and they are fully opaque with just one application.

Alas, the sad lack of endless riches meant all I could do was swatch and admire them, but if I manage to get my hands on some for keeps I will certainly share some of the ideas I have on how these could be used with you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Historical Oddity: the best cold cream ever!

I love vintage ads, just can't resist them.. this beauty came across my radar today..

I say radar, but perhaps I should say giger counter...

You see, it's for Dorothy Gray Cold Cream, and this ad was made in 1955, when it was thought a good way to make it obvious how well the cold cream worked was to make some dirt radioactive (just enough to set off a Geiger counter), and then spray that dirt on the lady's face, and then use the cold cream to clean it off, and then check the radiation of the lady's face after to see how well it cleaned!

I'm not sure there's any cleaner that would help with those pesky face tumors that would happen if you used this "test" too often!!

I checked with the local expert, and he confirmed that even if it was a very sensitive Geiger counter, putting something that radioactive on your face would be a very bad idea.

So don't try this at home, kids, but enjoy watching the ad..

 It gave me a giggle anyway - and it can't be denied that this is an advertising campaign that demands attention - we're still talking about it more than 50 years later!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sneak Peek: Myer Autumn Winter Fashion 2012 launch

Last night I had a very exciting evening. The lovely folk at Illamasqua's PR co invited me along to Myer's Autumn Winter Launch for 2012, and I was lucky enough to score a backstage pass for some behind-the-scenes excitement!

I had a chance to speak with the Makeup Director for the show, Clare Lille, who not only shared some insights into the but also gave me some exciting snippets about Illamasqua's new collection, which I will share very soon.

I also spoke to Kevin Murphy's hair team who were weaving some magic with gorgeous braids..

So, lots more about this from me over the next few days, for now, a sneak peek of my amazing evening:

There's a great gallery of some of the looks from the night here: