Posts tagged ‘Shopping’

April 20, 2011

In which I make excuses for not sharing

When this photo was taken, I had just eaten my way through a packet of fruit chews. Not extraordinary in the least — I eat entire packets of sweets often.

This may account for my desire to climb the stairs via the banister instead of, well, the stairs.

Stairs are so 2009, anyway. 2010, rather. Seeing as this isn’t 2010 any more, but 2011.

(I like how my little hat looks with this outfit. Very Romana II from the classic Doctor Who.)

I tried to save some sweets for Valerie. This is a snippet of what was left by the time she came back from her meeting with her thesis supervisors:


It just so happened to be the first time* I tried the Natural Confectionery Company’s fruit chews… so, naturally, I had to try at least each flavour.**

Multiple times, in case quality control was lacking that day.

You never know, really.

Also, one’s tastebuds occasionally get overexcited by unfamiliar flavours, making one think that the raspberry flavoured chew is similar to Allens Red Frogs. Second time around, though, proves that the raspberry bears an uncanny resemblance to children’s red Panadol, which is THE FLAVOUR FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL EURGHH. I used to ask my mum to crush Panadol tablets and mix them with honey instead of taking cherry-imposter liquid Panadol. Yeuch.

(If you’re curious, the blackberry ones taste like blackberry Soothers; the lemon one is a more tangy version of Starburst’s lemon chew; and the orange one is a lovely smooth orange without the strange bitterness at the end that you sometimes get with the gummy dinosaurs by the Natural Confectionery Company.)

Time to distract you from the evidence of my inability to share sweets. CUE JOPLIN’S ‘THE ENTERTAINER’!


(I fear the sugar is still coursing through my system. Skiing through my veins. Fwooohh, fwoooh. —That’s meant to be the sound skis make when slicing through snow, by the by.)


My Romana-hat is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 10 collection and is called ‘My Little Boat’. It used to have a black grosgrain band but I replaced it with a bright navy one today. Rather shabbily, really, but it’s unnoticeable from afar. I was thinking of using a darker green but I didn’t have any on hand, so blue it is! Green might have been too matchy-matchy. We’ll see!

I’ve also trimmed my hat with a teal satin ribbon, and with a bright red grosgrain one, though I don’t think I’ve taken an outfit shot with the red trimming yet. Maybe next month.

My jacket is from Ralph Lauren. It reminds me a bit of my high school uniform but our blazers were navy, not tartan, so I can wear it without cringing too much. I like the way the yellow brightens the jacket’s palette — it would be a shade too gloomy without it, I think.

I tried to bring out the yellow in the jacket by pairing it with a yellow-cream pussy bow blouse from BCBG, and my ‘Look Up My’ skirt from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 10 collection. The skirt goes with an awful lot of things — I’ve worn it with pastels, and with black. And with bright reds (which I’ve yet to photograph) and now with deep greens and blues. Really very versatile.

My shoes are the boots I wore to graduation — the My Little Pavalova boots from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection. I’m in a My Little Pavalova phase at the moment, I think; I want to wear them with everything. With good cause, too; they’re awesomesauce.

Going to photograph my happy new purchases tomorrow, I think. I’m going to Alannah Hill (surprise!) to pick up a new skirt and a pair of shoes. I already have the shoes in red but I need them in black. Tomorrow is Break from Thesis Day and I will be hedonistic to a fault.

Maybe I will get macarons, too. Am still bitter over the crumbly fail they served us at graduation.

* My sister has just informed me that I have indeed had fruit chews by the Natural Confectionery Company and apparently came to the exact same conclusion. I dub this selective memory of mine ‘Goldfish Tendencies’.

** There was only one lemon chew and this photo shows only a tiny bit of yellow wrapping. This isn’t because I threw it out, but because Valerie finished her meeting as I was unwrapping the lolly. It was proving a particularly cumbersome exercise as my body heat had caused it to melt a bit, and so the wax paper was more or less embedded in the chew. Once I received Valerie’s SMS stating she was coming to meet me, I began scrabbling at the wrapper like a person possessed, only to find that it made matters worse. And so I panicked. And popped the lolly in my mouth, paper firmly stuck on.

I hope paper won’t be too difficult to digest.

December 20, 2010

LUSH Cupcake

Valerie and I ducked into our local Lush Cosmetics store yesterday, largely because I had cleaned my bathtub and a clean tub demands a mess-creating bath. I exercised restraint and picked up two bath ballistics: The Boogg, and So White.


The Boogg is the cutest little snowman-shaped bath bomb. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t give a review. I will review it when I’ve popped it into my bath! It’s got little colourful balls inside that spiral out and stripe the water with coloured swirls, which is truthfully the only reason I ever buy bath bombs.

So White is a bath bomb with gratings of Lush’s bubble bars (solid bubble bath powder), so it fizzes away releasing a happy apple scent and coats the water’s surface with a little layer of bubbles. I love apple scents, both artificial and real. And this does have an apple-like accord, though the crispness of apple is softened by the inclusion of floral essential oils. Understandable, as it is a bath product, but I do love the sharp tartness of a freshly bitten apple. I won’t review this till I’ve used it, as the last So White I used was last year and I don’t want to work off last year’s memories.

I also got a free Cupcake mask, as it was expiring soon. (Yay freebies!) I haven’t used Cupcake before, though it’s been on my ‘to try’ list for a few months. At the moment, my skin is leaning towards oily with minimal breakouts (one or two pimples when I’m too lazy to wash my face at night) and some stubborn blackheads which refuse to disappear.

Apologies for the dodgy photograph; the lighting is bad everywhere at the moment and my camera is rather basic.

Like most Lush masks, these are best applied to a wet face. Having a wet face also means that you can stretch the product further than the projected four-or-so treatments per pot. (I tend to be able to pull twelve.) Keep gross bacteria at a minimum by using a new wooden spatula each time you dip, and consider freezing it in portions and defrosting what you intend to use so that you can keep it a little past its use-by date.

Cupcake is a mud-based mask that smells of chocolate and peppermint. It looks like ganache mixed with a thick cream mousse and doesn’t taste a thing like it, so take it from me: do not eat; the real stuff is better.

It also contains cocoa butter, so for those of you who suffer crazy breakouts from the stuff, tread with caution. I, too, am someone who suffers crazy breakouts from cocoa butter, but I am very bad at heeding my own advice and so! All over my face.

Cupcake feels like a very thick mousse with a rough, slightly gritty texture, although a sparse grittiness that is reminiscent of fine sand rather than giant chunks of salt. Just scrubby enough to appease my love for shower violence. (Scrub the dead skin off, the blackhead inducing little buggers! Arr.)

After five minutes, it hardens slightly but not completely. My skin felt slightly tight once I had rinsed it off, but I’m also not quite in the target group for Cupcake so I don’t think it’s really all that drying if your skin is decidedly oily, rather than my fickle ‘bored with being dry now BOOM YEAH PARTY TIME BREAK OUT THE OIL YO.’

It does leave quite the residue so I’d tone/rinse prior to applying moisturiser. It also makes a mess in your sink… or maybe I just suck at washing my face neatly; who knows. Suffice to say, WATER EVERYWHAR. On the mirror and on the taps and on the sink.

It’s a bit early to write a review as to its long-term effects, as I’ve only had one trial and bad after-effects can pop up after a few days, even if there’s a honeymoon overnight period. My blackheads are still there but I didn’t expect them to disappear after one use (after any amount of uses, really). My face feels nicely non-oily without feeling dry, so I have no complaints on that front, and the cocoa butter seems to have quit its vendetta against my pores. It leaves my skin feeling pretty clean and fresh, with an even tone (though nothing beats Catastrophe Cosmetic for evening out skintone). Cupcake seems perfect for those humid summer days when my skin feels terribly oily and sticky.

Repurchasing is definitely on the table — particularly if I happen to get it for free with the five pots trade in scheme.

November 30, 2010

Some rambles, and an outfit

Guess who was at Mecca Cosmetica again today? The sales assistants at Mecca Cosmetica  are really starting to recognise me and Valerie. I’d like to say that I’ll buy something, one day, but the Australian cosmetics market has staggeringly high mark-ups and it’s really much cheaper for me to get most of my things overseas. But I’ll buy something, one day.

Here is a Microsoft Paint rendition of what I was wearing:

I did it this morning, half-dressed. I prefer to do these scribbles when I haven’t yet seen the outfit on me, so that I capture the impression of the outfit instead of a literal depiction. It somehow looks very wrong if I try to do a literal depiction — the colours play off each other in a rather strange way.  I do think the cardigan is pretty much like that in real life, though, but that’s  basically how it comes across in my head. What do you think?

I’m wearing my favourite Alannah Hill skirt. It’s called ‘Lost in Headlights’ and I really do wear it an awful lot (case in point: with navy blue and cream; with pale blue; with black — though I haven’t yet shown that). My belt is called ‘Little Picket Fences’, which I’ve worn quite often because it tends to add this nice flash of colour and texture without being too bold. Without it, the entire outfit feels really unbalanced — the belt drags the cream tones of the skirt’s spots and of my stockings up, so that it’s not bottom-heavy and bright white, and the blue draws a line from the bow in my hair (which I made myself) to the shoes. It’s like a magnet, belt-ified. Which is very awesome. I need more in my life.

My stockings are cream with a faint mauve stripe running through them (difficult to see, but it might be there if you enlarge the photo). I can’t recall what they’re called, unfortunately, but if anyone is desperate to know, I will hunt through my receipts. This outfit was the first time I wore stockings with an open-toe shoe, really. I was never really against it as such; I just never saw an aesthetic reason for it in my wardrobe. But the peep of white is important here, I think; it breaks the blockiness of the stockings and the shoes. I’ve shared my shoes before (click the link for a close-up picture — it’s at the bottom of that post). They’re from Midas, with a bow I added myself.  I find I end up customising my shoes quite often just to get the right balance of colour, and I really love how these turned out.

Aaaand… the cardigan is called ‘Fly Away’ and is also from Alannah Hill. It isn’t really visible in this photo, is it? Hrm. It’s rather vital you see it. Here’s a not too dweeby photo of me (apologies to Valerie), but my shoes are cut off. I’m not too sure what I’m doing. I may be about to break into a strange ‘yay we’re home!’ dance:

So that’s my oufit. Plus minimal makeup. Ideally, I’d have OPI’s Suzi Says Feng Shui on my nails, but I didn’t have very much time to do my nails this morning. (Too busy drawing my outfit on Paint!) And no perfume, which is very important if you’re like me and your method of perfume purchasing is rather systematic. It involves a number of steps:

1. Identify the fragrance families and notes I like and compile lists of perfumes that interest me;

2. Hunt down stockists and spray perfumes on the testing papers. Then, I sniff and try to identify notes (because I’ve forgotten what they were), and scribble them down on the testing paper.

3. Decide on one, maybe two, to test on skin. Agonise for a while, often in such a way that the sales assistants begin to worry about mental state of health.

4.  Select the one or two fragrances, spray carefully (so as not to contaminate the other wrist, or Valerie’s, if she’s testing too).  Sniff wrists and look a bit baffled, because skin chemistry is a strange thing and always changes perfumes.

5. Laugh at Valerie if she’s selected one that turns to sweet garbage juice on her skin. Conversely, sob most dramatically if I’ve selected one that somehow turns to a white floral, because white florals give me headaches.

6. Spend the next two hours periodically sniffing my wrists to see if the fragrance has evolved in any way. Celebrate if it has; dwell in the mind’s Caves of Disappointment and Misery if it hasn’t.

Today’s sniffing ‘speriment involved Serge Lutens’ L’Eau, which is his new ‘anti-perfume’. I’m quite fond of it — I know it’s not very popular in the niche perfume sphere, but it seems to work quite well on my skin. Will post my thoughts on it in another post — I suspect this post is getting absurdly lengthy!

[Quick plug: if you haven’t already entered my giveaway, do consider it! I’m giving away three bottles of Ulta3 nail polish and a Moleskine notebook I decorated myself. All you have to do is leave me a little comment on this post (click) ^^.]

November 18, 2010

Collar me impressed

I have a confession to make: I am terribly, amazingly bad at dressing for the weather. In summer, my little cardigans make me feel too warm (but my outfits feel incomplete without them!); in winter, I wear light thin coats, because thick coats inevitably make me so hot that I feel like I’m in my own wool-lined sauna. The thing is, light coats don’t keep me nearly as warm as I’d like, but I far prefer freezing to being hot.

Yesterday, though, I found the perfect middle ground: a thin wool-cashmere coat from Alannah Hill, in a navy blue with an adorable cream blazer-like collar. The collar was what sold me on it, actually; I think it’s the nicest touch of awesome without going out in a full blazer glory (blazer glory… blazing glory… geddit? You have permission to slap me for my puns).

Better yet, I got it for $85 — down from $795! I remember seeing it when it first came out a few seasons ago and passing it by, because I couldn’t justify $800-odd on a coat that didn’t wow me. (I also refused to try it on, just in case the atmosphere of the Alannah Hill boutique made it look extra sparkly and full of win. I find the boutiques tend to do that. Terrible.) But when I saw it at ClearIT Online for $85, it was as though someone had covered it in cupcakes and Christmas tinsel. It was without a doubt the BEST COAT IN THE WORLD AND I HAD TO HAVE IT AAAUGH.

Thing is, I was and still am dead broke. I had 60c in my bank account (and now I have absolutely nothing). Having no job for the year has killed my wardrobe; it really has. After rifling through my wallet and rummaging in my change jar, I managed to scrounge up the $85 I needed to secure the coat. In fact, I managed to rustle together $100, and so I threw caution to the wind and tossed in an order for a mint green silk slip to wear under sheer dresses. I’m on a spending ban, effective right this second, so I’m hoping this will keep me content for a bit. (Ha.)

This is the coat, and it’s a wonderful weight — not as thin as my little spring jackets, but not as thick as the heavy woolen ones I’ve worn when overseas. Definitely not warm enough for a crisp European autumn morning but it’ll do for Sydney’s balmy winters:

The coat is called ‘Languishing Around’ and is from her Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. I got quite a few of my favourite pieces from that collection, which I’ll have to share sometime. There was also a coat called Vote For Me which I really, really loved… but I found the material a bit lacking. It looks lacklustre in this photo but the cut was amazingly flattering and the ruffles were actually really fun. I saw it on a girl at uni once and it looked stunning. Still looking out for the perfect ruffled coat!

This coat can go with basically everything in my wardrobe, I think — I imagine I’ll be pairing it quite often with my navy-red-cream outfits (not as nautical as they sound, I promise). The first thing I did, though, was try it on with my favourite dress — it’s called the ‘My Sweet Bow Frock’ from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 2008 collection. I don’t have a photo of it by itself yet but I’ll try to take one soon. It’s a gorgeous berry colour, very close to the colour of the lining of my new coat:


Okay, so it’s not a very obvious difference in the photo, but I really like it in real life. The navy blue brings out the darker blue flowers in the dress, and the white stops the whole outfit from falling too far into the darker side of the colour spectrum. The outfit is basically inspired by one of the collection’s lookbook photos — just a different dress and a different belt. Wouldn’t mind getting the belt they used it the lookbook, though — it’s a larger bow made out of cream leather and looks pretty fun.


I also bought this mint green slip, which is all silk and a bargain at $17. I tend to buy one with most of my ClearIT orders, because they’re such a good price and I can wear them with almost anything — and even if I can’t, they don’t make bad nighties in summer. It’s rather creased in this photo because it was straight out of the parcel:


Oh, my, the excitement. Will it ever end.

Seriously, though, it’s a lovely muted green. I’ve tried it under this dress, from Alannah Hill’s latest collection (called ‘Devil in Disguise’). This is the dress originally, with an ivory slip:


And here it is with the green slip, which changes its appearance considerably:

I like that the green lends the dress a cooler tone (as opposed to the warm, almost pink undertones of the cream). Will probably try to bring it out with pale blues and maybe a darker contrasting colour — though I’m not sure what colour that is, yet. Tempted to try a teal, although I don’t know if that will work.  Pale blue is definitely in order, though; a silvery pale blue hair accessory.

Like I need any more hair bows, lol!

November 13, 2010

Feathering the nest

I suspect this is one of my final years with a completely disposable income. Next year, I’ll (hopefully) be on a PhD scholarship — which does mean more money than I usually get, but it also comes with quite a few expenses, which I haven’t yet tallied up. I’ve been trying to save here and there but, quite frankly, I suck at saving. The thought of having less money drives me to stock up my wardrobe and my other non-essential collections (ink, pens and notebooks XD). I’ve been pretty good since the beginning of November (which I’ve just realised was really only last week. Um.) and then my pre-ordered Sretsis bird ring arrived.



Yaaaaaaay ^^! I like it a great deal. It sits on my finger and tells me sparkly stories so that I don’t have to listen in class. It’s almost better than Facebook. This is the tiny version, but I’m tempted to get the bigger one, and another one in the blue/pink colourway.

I tried to capture the amazing detail in this photo, but failed spectacularly. A photographer I am not! It’s made from multiple tiny glass beads fused together — terribly fiddly work, I imagine. There’s also a gleam of red at the under the beak, like the pink blush that birds have at their breast and throat.  I love little details like that. (Really wish I could get a good photo of it. May try later.)


I’m tempted to say, ‘I’ll be wearing it with floaty dresses and lovely scarves’ but really, I have no restraint AND I WILL BE WEARING IT WITH EVERYTHING BOOYEAH.

What I do need to work out is what nail polish to pair it with. The Sretsis lookbook models are wearing pale pink polish, which I love but I have yet to find a neutral pink that suits my skintone (NC30, if anyone has any suggestions). I’ve got it with Ulta3’s Wild Berry at the moment, which is a dusty blue-grey — nice,  but it doesn’t highlight the light bouncing off the beads as well as pink could.


Purchased at