Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pastel Styling

Top, Sussan; Pants, H&M; Heels, Windsor Smith; Necklace, Market find

Pastels are my 'jam'. Being pale, I love how they make me look sun kissed. There's just something so fresh about light colours head to toe, especially when as soon as winter hits the crowds become a sea of black. Mint green is my favourite pastel but it is closely followed by baby pink (even the names for pastels sounds sweet!) Patricia Chang, who is my very favourite designer (you will have seen some of her gems on Gary Pepper and Tuula) has a penchant for pastels. Check out her Instagram and be transported to a world of gentle hues and adorable miniatures.
Back to the outfit though... These heels are another Windsor Smith pair, in white again.... I guess I officially have a thing ha ha ha The cute pants need to be worn with skin coloured underwear (unless you feel like making a statement....) but are still really nice material; tight without being 'tights'. The shirt, oh yes, I shop at Sussan...with my mum, because mum's love Sussan! Ha ha ha they have some great staples though and the quality is fantastic for the price. I originally bought the shirt as a lazy gym shirt but it held it's shape so well and was too sweet to hide indoors. If you follow me on Instagram you will know this UH-MAZE-ING necklace cost me a grand total of 4 dollars. You heard it right. Every month at my work there are markets and usually they're a hit and a miss but not this time! Hopefully that stall will be there again...
On another note, I went to Fashion Weekend in Sydney courtesy of Breakfast with Audrey, where I picked up a great Talulah dress for a ridiculously low price. There was loads of fantastic bargains to be had but it was more of an 'expo' vibe and the crowds did not make for a great experience, bargains aside!
Anyway, that's all from me this week! I'm heading to Cairns next weekend (work's getting me down ha ha) and I will take many a happy snap!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Clinique It Girl: Post 2

My latest Clinique post is live on Clinique Australia's Facebook page. It includes a wee bit of fashion in the form of Karen Walker (yippee!)
Click here to check it out.

UPDATE: Pink is the new Red
When Clinique sent me my latest assignment I almost movie star fainted with overwhelming delight (I believe the term is swooned) The first reason being that I was going to review some gorgeous lipsticks AND one of the colours (aptly named Runway Coral) was first debuted at New Zealand fashion designer, Karen Walker’s New York Fashion Week show last year. I happen to be a huge fan of her designs and a huge fan of lipstick; hence the swooning! As you will see in the photos, I’ve had ‘the chop’ and changed my hair after 5 years of flowing locks. It has given me a whole new playground when it comes to fashion and make up, and one of my new favourite accessories is lipstick! I used to steer away from it in the past because I didn’t want to look vampy or overdone, like most lipstick newbies I thought a bright red was the way. How wrong I was…. Pink is the new red! Clinique sent me 3 gorgeous pink shades; the Runway Coral, Pink Style and Spanish Rose. Pink is much easier to wear in my opinion and adds an instant pop to any winter day.

First things first, with all lipstick, you should always prep your lips. ALWAYS. If you have dry flaky lips it won’t matter what colour you have on, it’s pretty hard to see past that! Besides wearing moisturising lip balms start exfoliating. In winter I suffer from dry lips much more so I include my lips when I exfoliate my face twice a week with Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub Cream. It doesn’t have to be a chore you set time aside for; use an exfoliator, a loofah, an old toothbrush, or your current toothbrush (if you don’t mind the ick factor) and get scrubbing!

After your lips are looking sexy, soft and pouty, start applying your favourite shade! I’m no expert and I don’t use lip liner but if you are more comfortable using one I would opt for a clear so you don’t have to worry too much about matching the colours exactly. I usually start from the middle and work outwards, pressing my lips together to get even coverage. I try not to go into the corners too much as that’s where I find it goes out of the lines and looks ‘heavy’. I like to imitate an Angelina Jolie pout by concentrating the colour in the middle and adding a dab of Clinique’s Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator in the cupid’s bow to add definition. This is also a good trick for lighter shades, like the Pink Style, if you dab some highlighter in the middle of your bottom lip.

Don’t be scared off by the Barbie factor, it really can work for everyone (check the undertone of your skin against different shades though). I snuck my way into some cute shirts from Karen Walker’s latest collection to show you how versatile the shades can be and how great they match up with clothing accents (I suffer for this blog…truly ha ha).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kenzo jumper and French feelings

Kenzo inspired jumper, With Love Kirsten Boutique;  Striped dress, Boo Hoo Clothing; Cloche Hat, Forever New;
Heels, Kmart; Frilly socks, Target

Unlike most people I don't mind the colder weather... I don't like rain or wind, but I like a crisp, sunny day where I can throw on a cute jumper like this Kenzo inspired one and play at being French. Of course I know it's a stereotype that French people love stripes and cute hats, but it's a stereotype I want to indulge because I love both of those things!
I'm seeing bright green making a come back, maybe it's off the back of the mint green trend, but I am loving it! The adorable cloche I picked up some time ago is a favourite of my hat collection which I shall thrill you all with this coming winter. I often think I would've been suited to the 1920's where women always wore hats (but I also enjoy being respected in the workplace too so maybe not ha ha) Socks and heels are also a girly, vintage style I am such a fan of but for some reason find hard to wear. Maybe because of my short, somewhat muscly legs? I've bitten the bullet though and just started living my dreams doing it, so any styling tips for shorter girls would be greatly appreciated!
And lastly, I cut my hair! I saw it on so many bloggers and I thought "Yep, it's time" I'd had long hair since highschool and it was overdue for a change. I love it of course, and it honestly feels like I have a whole new wardrobe as I'm learning what outfits and styles suit it best!
I have another Clinique post coming up in the next couple weeks, which I am very excited about so watch this space!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

First Clinique It Girl Post

I'm very excited to announce my first blog post for Clinique has gone live! Excuse the grubby fingerprints on the mirror in this shot and click here to read all about my Clinique consultation. If the rest of this journey is anything like this first experience, I am in for a real treat :)
I would love to know what you all think!
Also, for those of you wondering the brand of the fantastic pink shorts I'm wearing in the post, they're made by the lovely designer Sophie from Aliphia. She makes great staples in fantastic prints and is very fairly priced considering the hard work she puts into each piece! As soon as I saw these shorts I fell in love and never took them off (maybe once or twice to wash them). Head over to Aliphia's page and like them right now!

For my first review, Clinique asked me to head to one of their counters and go through the basic consultation steps. This will decide the right 3-step system for my skin, as well as a foundation match. Sounds good right?

Well, the way I see it is most women fit into 1 of 2 categories, and these are decided the moment you hear the words: BEAUTY COUNTER.
The first group will feel a Christmas Eve thrill run up their spine as they imagine the new products, the bright lights, smiles, and their handbag laden with obligatory samples to take home!
The next group (me) will start making excuses and feel awkward. We don’t want to seem pushy or presumptuous (“Maybe they don’t have time to do your make up!” my brain scolds) And let’s face it, we fear looking ‘cheap’ if we don’t buy anything! This usually has us heading to the nearest Priceline to sample their wares.

Today is the day I face those fears! Without Clinique suggesting this field trip, I can honestly say, no, I wouldn’t have visited a beauty counter. However, let’s take a trip down memory lane…
I had terrible skin as a puberty riddled teenager (don’t we all though?). Naturally, I thought mine was THE WORST. One birthday, horrified by the industrial strength products I was using on my face, my step mum bought me my very first Clinique 3 Step System. I remember it came in a gorgeous case, it was a number 3 (oily skin here, remember!) and I LOVED it. Still to this day I tell my friends it is what saved my skin and helped turn it around. In turn, making my teenage years far more enjoyable as I no longer had to wear a paper bag on my head (joking!)

So keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to brave the beauty counter and conquer the consultation!
Clinique’s counter in Sydney’s David Jones was immaculate to say the least! Chic and well designed so you didn’t feel like you were sitting in the middle of the store. Greeted by the gorgeous Romina, she talked me through the process and straight away asked me what my main skin care concern was. I had already put some thought into this and had settled on uneven skin tone. I feel my skin always looks either ashen or red and patchy and few foundations seem to cover it well enough. Which brought Romina to another important question: What do you want out of your foundation? Besides making me look airbrushed, I want a foundation that has even and long lasting coverage. Too much to ask? Apparently, not at all! We continued running through the consultation process; Did I experience breakouts, redness etc? Redness; Tick! What was my skin type, oily, dry, combination? What were my thoughts on anti-aging products? Do I tan easily? (For those of you playing at home, a resounding no) What seemed like random questions to me was obviously painting a coherent picture for Romina; remember Clinique is developed by dermatologists! I won’t drone on about my skin (which wasn’t the horrible complexion I imagined!) but I want to share the important things I learnt.

Firstly, I was outside the traditional 3-step system. This surprised me thinking I had oily skin, Romina told me that your skin changes as you get older and a number 3 (oily) is too harsh because I have combination skin. Redness changes the whole ball game and I fell into the Redness Solutions 3-step. Using this everyday will calm and hydrate my skin from the inside, reducing my ‘flushed’ skin tone.

Secondly, after being scolded for only washing my face at night (I’m Gen-Y ok!) Romina reminded me that good skin care is an investment for later and spending the time on doing it right will benefit me later. I often discounted the 2nd toner step as unnecessary but it exfoliates and tightens pores, which is critical to the young, glowing look, which despite my age, somehow eludes me.

Thirdly, I learnt about hydration lines. I am quite slack when it comes to drinking the daily 2 litres and was shown that oily skin doesn’t equal hydrated skin! This wowed me, so I’ve included a picture below of Romina showing me my hydration lines. I think a lot of us take for granted how easy and cheap (free really) to look after your skin from the inside by drinking more water.

Lastly, Romina let me try out some different foundation types; she advised that you should always go for the coverage you’re most confident in. After sampling some textures and matching the colours along my jaw bone I settled on the Stay Matte range. Romina happened to be wearing it and honestly, it looked fantastic! It’s hydrating but doesn’t give that ‘dewy’ look, which just isn’t right for me throughout a long day of running around; I need something that stays put!

After attending this consultation I have to admit, there is great value in learning what is right for you, I already feel 10X more confident about my skin, and not just because I left wearing gorgeous make up. It shouldn’t be a daunting experience but a chance to get insight from a professional into how you can better your skin. Romina made learning the science behind skin fun! The main lesson I came away with was: You have to work from the outside and the inside for good skin, Clinique takes care of the outside for you. Anyway, I’m off to wash my face, with all the steps, no skipping, I swear!

Shoe Review: Windsor Smith, Chunk

I was recently blessed (I bought) with this amazing pair of shoes from Windsor Smith. I'm always looking for a pair of shoes that adds height and are comfortable enough to walk in all day. Bingo, these are the shoes for me! I'm head over heels (ha ha ha) for their great sole and cute tassels, minus a couple initial blisters (your mother was right to make you wear in your new school shoes!) they are now my go-to shoe. Buying better quality shoes really is a must, it's been a hard, long lesson for me, but it seems to be sinking in. The gorgeous leather still isn't marked or scuffed after 3 weeks of near constant wear, and they're white too! A favourite amongst bloggers, I saw them gracing the feet of many stylish girls at MBFW Australia 2013. I'm considering buying them in black too because they go with everything... But I do not regret my white purchase, I think it's a refreshing change from black. All shoes look good in black anyway.... but white equals instant chic! They are my third pair of Windsor Smith shoes and I daresay I will be going back for more...Soon... *evil laugh*
Fall in love and buy them yourself here.

Your Only Black Swan looking gorgeous in her pair

For those of you who have purchased a pair of these beauties, you've probably figured out that they get dirty... and it's obvious. After a reader asked me how to clean them I decided to stop ignoring the stains (and envying anyone I saw with the black version) and have a go at scrubbing them.
Now, water and soap did not cut it, so save yourself some time and grab some non-gel toothpaste. It's perfect for cleaning white shoes (because it's white, I don't recommend trying blue or green toothpaste). I just dabbed a bit on and scrubbed with a sponge, it took a lot of the brown stains out on the squishy sole part and made the white upper straps shine (bright like a diamond). BUT I couldn't get some of the tougher, deeper stains like grass stains (yep I roll around in the grass) and the parts on the back of the heel where I hit the stairs (yep I'm clumsy). If anyone finds a way to get these out please let me know in the comments below and together we will all have super clean Chunks!