Monday, September 30, 2013

You're going to want to see this..

Here's something that will make you smile.. At Paris Fashion Week Rick Owens, an amazing designer who does all sorts of post-apocalyptic looking drapey stuff decided to model his new line not on the usual models people choose for these sorts of events, but instead hired four "step" teams and flew them from the US to Paris to perform.

There's a lot of diversity in this crowd, lots of different shapes and sizes.. and while models are often described as "fierce" these ones are really raising the bar on that score!

I really loved this show. I'd love it even more if Mr Owens started releasing clothes in sizes these models could wear... THAT would be totally amazing. 

There's a heap of controversy about this show, the designer is copping heaps of flack about it - what do you think?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Violet Box September 2013

My review edition of the Violet Box has arrived! Once again they have put together a really nice collection, on a "nails" theme it would seem.. Here's what we got: 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: Costume Party

Who doesn't love a dress up party? Well, some people don't, it's true - I hear "It's too hard!" and "It's too expensive" - but truly, with a little bit of imagination and ingenuity anyone can totally ace a costume party.

I took my daughters to the Art Gallery earlier this week, and they had a fun activity, where you could make a wig/hat out of white paper. Of course we took to the task with relish and I made this rather ridiculous crown sort of thing - I think it's a bit Burtonesque!

Once I got my creation home I set about creating a fun costume makeup to go with it. I decided to go for a sort of generalised "fop/dandy" sort of look, a bit of an 18th century vibe.

To keep with the frugal theme I had going I used a cheap but awesome brand of makeup that I really love - NYX. Once upon a time it was really hard to get in Australia but I've recently been told it's about to hit the shelves of Target here so that's fantastic news!

Here's the products I used:

  • NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat Powder Foundation
This is a great powder foundation, I often find it difficult to find one pale enough that's not yellow or even worse, orange - but this is a really good shade for me. 
  • NYX Pore Filler
This product works as well as some very expensive primers I've tried in the past! It's got a lot of 'cones in it so if you don't like that avoid this one. but for my money it's a winner - this made the rest of my makeup go on like a dream and really smoothed out my skin. 
  • NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base 
This definately made my eyeshadow brighter and more long lasting - I usually use foundation or concealer as an eyeshadow base but using a specific product definitely makes a difference. 
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Nude (as blush) 
I put this high on the apples of my cheeks as a blush, the light coral colour of it makes this really versatile. The matte formulation is great too, as it also seems fairly moisturising. 
  • NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Trio - Life is a Cha Cha
This cute bow adorned compact has three great purple shades in it - vibrant and wearable. They blended together nicely and are a really good quality for the price. 
  • NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Dolly Pink 

If you want a super glossy bright Barbie pink lip gloss for a bargain price you're going to want to grab this - the colour is one I probably won't wear a huge amount unless I'm doing costume looks like this one but it's a really great bright shade if you're into pink.

NYX have been a brand on my radar for a while now, and very much on the "I wish this was readily available in Australia" list for a long time. I'm really delighted we're going to be able to get hold of it easily and cheaply.

So, did you like my costume look? If you have a look at the "wild looks" tag on my blog you'll see lots more of the costume makeups I've done over the years. Be sure to check out the rest of the Antipodean Beauties too!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: A Night on the Town

So, if you dropped by my blog yesterday you would have seen that I got a bit piratical for "Talk Like a Pirate Day".. now when you dress in pirate hat and some silly clothes and talk like a pirate all day, you really need to take that out on the town as well.

By good fortune the theme for Antipodean Beauties this week is "A Night on the Town".

When I am going out - even when I am not wearing a very silly hat, I do love a bit of sparkle and something fun. I am drawn to much brighter colours when I am going out at night and anything with shimmer or glitter in it is something I really enjoy wearing.

It's super fun to experiment with brighter colours and I think when you're off for a night of partying you really have the perfect excuse to get a little bit wild with your makeup.

I recently got sent some goodies from Lush that are just the thing for a night out - super bright pigments that stay where they are put and last and last? Yes please.

I am wearing three of Lush's new colour products in these pictures - the red lipstick is "Decisive" - the formulation of this is just amazing. Almost more a stain than a lipstick, it reminded me of the OCC Lip Tars but is a lot more forgiving in application. And such a great colour - a true blue-based red. There's also some duochromatic gold tones in this as well which really adds a layer of depth to the colour. The matte formulation just keeps on keeping on - once I blotted this I could eat, drink and kiss to my hearts content and everything just stayed put.

On my eyelids,, a gorgeous antique bronze/oyster colour called "Quietly Motivated" - perhaps a bit of wishful thinking on my part? It's a really amazing shimmery colour and a great tone for me - I just love bronzes and finding one that is dark but still has a lot of interesting tones in it is a real treat. You can put this on neat for a really opaque "foiled" look, or you can blend it in, as I've done here.

Then, the eyeliner - bright purple and magnificent, it's called "Feeling Secure". It is a really gorgeous royal purple that goes on bright and stays that way.  Liquid eyeliners in bright colours are not often easy to find, and ones that don't smudge or wear off are very rare indeed.

I'm so impressed with these - the level of pigmentation and longevity is really second to none. Even though they're a liquid formulation I didn't experience any shifting or creasing of the colours either.

I'm pretty much determined to get my hands on as many of these colours as possible. At about $25 a pop they are really affordable too - there's a lot of product here and a little bit goes a long long way.

 Be sure to check out the other Antipodean Beauties as they share their favourite party looks, and if you are Aussie or Kiwi and think you'd like to join in please do! The more the merrier!


Aussie Curves: Peplum

Like a lot of people, it seems, I love peplums. I have lots of dresses and tops and skirts with them. Today, though, in honour of "Talk Like a Pirate" day I thought I'd show you one of my favourite peplum jackets. Some days you just need to wear a tricorn and make other people smile. I can't tell you how many cheers and piratical cries of "AAARGH!" I heard when I went down to the shops dressed like this - I also had one elderly lady tell me my hat was lovely and that she wished more young ladies would wear hats. 

I am a total sucker for military styling, and in my usual fashion I tend to wear it whether it's "THE THING" in any particular season or not. This jacket is so over the top, it's pretty much costumey. It has a gorgeous slanted peplum, with a drape detailing on the back, it has buttons and braid and the cut of it is so much fun I bought it even though it was (shock horror) white. I had plans to dye it but haven't gotten around to it yet. I got it on deep discount from City Chic.

The dress under it that you can't really see is a cowl neck cheapie from Kmart that has proved to be very versatile - I can wear it under all sorts of things to add a bit of warmth, it's one of those endlessly versatile items that make everything else in your wardrobe work a bit better.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aussie Curves: $50 Outfit

One of those themes that really got me thinking. I love a bargain - who doesn't love a bargain? But cheap clothes often hide a dirty secret. When something is cheap, really cheap - and you buy it new - it means that whoever made it wasn't paid fairly for it, in all likelihood. Of course with clothing manufacturing in the state that it is, when you pay a lot for something, that's no guarantee, either.

We do a lot of encouraging others to buy and buy more in our consumerist world - everyone wants something new all the time. Bloggers are under special pressure to always show "new" things in their posts, but it's a reflection of the wider world. Most of us have far more clothes than we need, but still we are encouraged to buy more and more. The cheaper the better! 

The fact that these cheap clothes were made by people hunched over sewing machines who got paid a pittance for it never comes into the conversation. No one ever asks "If it was that cheap, where did it come from, who made it and how much did they get paid for it?" 

I'm not pointing the finger here - I am guilty too. I buy cheap things because I can't afford the expensive ones, but I have been buying a lot less since these issues came up on my radar. 

I'm still a bargain hunter - but I am using a different equation. A good equation for me to decide how much of a "bargain" something is is to assess it on a "cost per wear" basis. If I buy a $50 jacket and I wear it twice, the "cost per wear" is $25. If I buy a $400 jacket, and I wear it a thousand times over the course of years, then the cost per wear is much much cheaper than the "bargain" jacket.  I am trying to buy in a more considerate manner than I have done in the past. The result is a lot fewer purchases, but leaves me happier with the state of my wardrobe overall.  

Other things I do to get bargains without supporting slave-wage scenarios is participate in clothing swaps and op-shopping - getting things that are "new to me" is just as good as getting new things, I find, and it's certainly a lot more ethical and sustainable. 

All of the pictures in this post are of outfits that feature second hand items. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: No Makeup Makeup

Left: Actually no makeup. Right: "no makeup" makeup. 
 Honest to goodness... subtlety isn't my forte. Given a choice between a "barely there" makeup look and one with bright splashes of colour, I will choose colour every time. This is a challenge though, and I do love a challenge! This week the theme is "no makeup makeup" - this is a really popular look, and hilariously it takes a lot of makeup to achieve!

The whole "Me? wearing makeup? Oh no, I am just naturally this flawless" look is one that is highly prized, and there's racks of products that claim to give you a "natural" look. Only not, because if you really wanted a "natural" look you wouldn't wear makeup at all, right?

I had fun doing something different to what I usually do and put put together this "no makeup makeup" look.

I relied heavily on my collection of Eles Cosmetics for this - they have some gorgeous subtle shadows, blushes and some fantastic foundations that all lend themselves to a subdued look. They have a lovely range of bright things too but for this I kept it all very neutral.

Here's the products I used (blurbs taken fresh and shiny from the Eles website):


This revolutionary, skin-smoothing blush floats over skin to impart a soft, sheer finish while deflecting light away from flaws. Its hypoallergenic silky, satin-like formula is loaded with Vitamins A, E and C to condition and protect the skin. Free of chemical ‘nasties’ it allows skin to “breathe” freely while natural minerals shield against age aggressors.


Gentle, safe and fused with skin-caring vitamins, this shadow sweeps over eyelids without creasing or fading. The hypoallergenic formula is loaded with Vitamins A, E and C to condition and protect the eyelids, while natural minerals shield against aging aggressors.


Clinically formulated to provide smooth easy lining with creamy rich colour this dual-ended eye liner pencil glides over eyes without dragging or slipping, delivering a soft powdery finish that will last all day. The unique formula contains Titanium Dioxide, a natural mineral for protection and staying power as well as Candelilla Wax, which provides soft and supple application.


An intense lip plumper and lip gloss that imparts a beautiful sparkle and shine to create sensuous and seriously sexy lips without stinging or tingling. Unique Lip Plumping Peptide Complex instantly reshapes the mouth for dramatic volume while infused diamond particles create a translucent 3D effect. Paraben Free and Fragrance Free.

Two-in-one Brow Sculpt is every beauty professionals complete system to create perfectly shaped arched brows. Long wearing brow powder helps to fill in, shape, correct and emphasize the natural arch of the brow. A color-coordinated tinted wax tames and sets the brows. Brows are defined and in place all day. The result is a perfectly sculpted brow.

Now don't get me wrong, I think it's still pretty obvious that I have makeup on here - unless you were particularly clueless. It's definitely a more subtle and naturalistic look than what I usually wear though - what do you think? 

Be sure to check out the other participants in the Linky below - and if you're an Aussie or Kiwi who loves makeup, you should join in too!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: All About Eyes

This week's challenge for the Antipodean Beauties is "All About Eyes" . Every beauty blogger has their own favourite product - for some it's blushes, or lip glosses.. for me, it's eyeshadow palettes. They're the items I most love adding to my collection without a doubt, I love playing with all the different colours. 

I recently got a real beauty in a blog sale - the Sigma Paris Palette. It has so many beautiful colours I wasn't sure where to start but with an eye-focused look like this one I went straight for the brightest shades. Here's what I had to choose from: 

Eiffel - Matte black with rainbow sparkles
Seine - Satin navy blue.
Louve - Matte saturated teal
Orsay - Matte meduim green with gold flecks.
Elysées - Satin plummy brown.
Notre Dame - Metallic taupe.
Triomphe - Reddened brown with green duochrome.
Versailles - White-gold with gold flecks.

I put Orsay on my lids and then blended Louvre into the crease - I like wearing green shadows because my eyes are wierd colour changing eyes - depending on the day or my mood they can look grey, blue, green or even violet - sometimes one looks green and one looks blue... whatever shadows I use seems to change the colours of them too - green shadows tends to bring out the green in them and I like how this looks with my red hair.

I topped off the look with some of one of my favourite liquid eyeliners - it's "Glister" by Illamasqua - a beige toned liner with amazing iridescent glitter in it. 

Wanting to keep the focus on the eyes I kept everything else very low-key - a slick of gloss on my lips, a swish of "Lumiere" blush from the palette and I was all done.