Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bath Time Essentials

If you follow me on instagram (you totally should) then you know I take bathing pretty seriously.
I've always loved baths. There's a scene in the Little Mermaid where Ariel scoops up some bubbles and blows them into the air (below for your viewing pleasure). It clearly made an impression because that is me. I still do that!
Growing up, I remember my mum enjoying relaxing baths and they became synonymous with time-out and luxury for me. Being a somewhat stressy individual and the bearer of the occasional tension headache, I like to schedule in a bath a week. Which means I've got this down pat.
Watch and learn... here are the essential items you need to make your bath time perfect.

Mood Lighting

A soft glow is just what the doctor ordered for relaxing. Candles are an obvious choice and definitley my favourite. The more the better! But if you're planning to read then you might need a little something extra. An overhead light can be too strong sometimes so I like to bring in a lamp and leave it a safe, sensible distance from the tub.

Bath Products

This is the most fun part! Don't limit yourself to just bubbles! If you've ever set foot in a LUSH store then you know how amazing a bath bomb can be. Bath salts, bath oils and bath teas are just the tip of the iceberg. I like to have a range so I can choose the type or scent depending on my mood.Which brings me to...

Scent

The scents you choose can make or break bath time. When I step out of the bath I want to smell warm, sweet and fresh. Make the whole atmosphere scented not just the water! I personally tend to favour lavender for it's relaxing properties but adding a cup of rose water to my bath is golden. Candles help give off a nice aroma and lately I've been experimenting with this pie crust, pear and vanilla Freshmatic automatic spray from Airwick.

Music

Set the scene with some smooth tunes. After losing an ipod into the watery deep, I now keep a playlist ready of some quiet songs that help me relax. My personal favourite? Matchbox 20 for some old school feels! Feeling more modern? Hozier does the trick!

Beverages

Firstly, I do not condone eating in the bath. I have done it and it isn't okay. But a glass of wine is a must-have! In winter I go for red wine, but come summer, it's champagne all the way. Non-alcoholic mocktails or infused water are also refreshing. Steer clear of tea unless you like it extra steamy; because the combination of hot water inside and out is not for the faint hearted.

Pamper Products

Since you don't have to do anything but sit back and soak, now is the time for a face mask, some exfoliating, shaving and a hair treatment. My best product I've found is coconut body oil from Reniu (although regular coconut oil will do). They have loads of yummy scents and the heat from the bath melts the coconut oil, ready for you to lather on your legs and shave. It then leaves them silky smooth and moisturised! Just remember to be careful getting out and wash the bath properly. You did science at school... you know oil and water don't mix.

Books

A good read will help you check out of reality if you're really feeling the strain. Also just enjoyable! Take care of your actual bathing, shaving and housekeeping prior to opening a page because you may just disappear down the rabbit hole and re-emerge a few hours later wondering what year it is and why you're sitting in a tub of cold water.




WANT MORE?
How To: Keep Your Feet Beautiful

Monday, July 27, 2015

How To: Show Some Skin And Still Be Classy

There's fine line between sexy and slutty isn't there? I'm hardly known for showing more than I need to and I strongly believe in doing it the right way. And by the right way I mean not showing people where babies come from in a pair of cut off denim shorts that resemble a boob tube. Yeah, I said it.
BUT I do think there is a way to show some skin and maintain an air of mystery, and the key to doing this is by showing unexpected parts of your body. Forget showing off your cleavage and your every inch of your thighs; here are the new ways to bare all.

1. Midriff

There is a reason crop shirts have been hanging around for so long. The area of skin they show off (just below the ribs and NOT the belly button) is subtle and usually the thinnest part of your body. It even has the power to create a waist if you don't have one!



2. Back

Backless styles are the definition of sexy for me. They're elegant and business in the front, party out the back (like a mullet). Look for upper back cut-outs or lower back baring crossover shirts.



3. One Leg

Angelina Jolie favours this look because it's a formula that works: it's classy and sexy. The best thing is a thigh high split makes every girl look like she has legs for days.

Zoe Saldana



4. Sides

The newest cut-out trend is the sides of the body. Rib baring holes are definitely unexpected and a boxy shirt with them dresses up any pair of jeans for night.

Jamie Chung


5. Shoulders

The simplest and best for all body types in my opinion. An off the shoulder shirt is fresh and fun. Chicks (and dudes) dig collarbones.


WANT MORE?
Foxy Lady- OOTD 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My First Piece (Round 2): Michael Kors Linen Dress



This Michael Kors broderie anglaise-paneled dress was saved in my bookmarks for the longest time. I knew I had to have it, but I just couldn't justify buying a gorgeous white summer dress in the middle of winter.
I waited and watched and ummed and ahhed over sizes. It ticked all the boxes: timeless, great cut and 100% linen (a gorgeous fabric that needs ironing but is thick and luxurious).
Then Net-A-Porter had their end of financial year sale. And now it's mine.
I bought a medium and I'm so glad I did because I think the small would have been a bit tight across the bust (and linen has zero give). I can't wait until it's warmer and I can wear it outside the house. Yes, I am that weirdo who wears their purchases around the house. I love it so much and can see myself wearing this into my forties and fifties!

Now is a great time to reflect on how the 5 Piece French Wardrobe has gone for me. Six months in and I'm going strong-ish. I still get tempted when I see a style of skirt or jumper (turtle-necks anyone?!) everywhere, but find those periods fewer and further between. I'm definitely less tempted by sales now and can easily say no to things because I know at a glance what I will actually wear.
Do I have any regret purchases?
Actually my first choice, the Rebecca Minkoff dress, is my most regretted piece! I thought I would wear it a lot more than I have, and am really hoping that changes when the weather warms up.
I've realised the need to get good basics. I literally bought a plain white t-shirt last week and still can't explain how I didn't have one until now! I'm hoping to buy an amazing A-Line leather skirt as well and just got a fantastic pair of dark blue jeans from Uniqlo.
My favourite piece is without a doubt the Marcs Mademoiselle Sweater. I've worn it every week (sometimes twice!) and every time I put it on I feel like it's really me.

I would LOVE to hear from anyone else doing this! Please get in touch and let me know  how your 5 Piece adventure has been :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Winter Wardrobe Essentials

Keeping it simple in winter is my greatest pleasure. Having the same items on high rotation calms me and gives me more minutes in bed. Great staples are becoming extra important as I settle into the second half of my first year on the 5 Piece French Wardrobe. With a culled wardrobe that relies on the basics, I've been able to narrow it down to four must-have pieces (all from my friends at Izabel London) that will see you through to spring AND the entire outfit is under $150!
#BARGAIN

Start ticking these off your list:

1. A Fluffy Gilet: I've already said this is a great way to add texture to your outfit (and it's all about the texture). Vests are everywhere this season and once you put one on you'll know why. They take an outfit to the next level and show off your cute knits.

2. A Monochrome Knit: Black and white is a tried and tested combination, and while I love a quirky jumper more than most, keep a basic jumper in a large knit on hand! I love the extra detail on this jumper. The rounded hem is adds personality, looks great when you're wearing tights as pants (cough cough) and the sleeves are tight fitting which is great for shorter people like me!

3. The Everyday Black Pants: Not jeans guys, actual pants. These ones are a ponte material, so they're thicker than tights but are comfy and have stretch. Oh they have stretch. I am proud to say I am the owner of a pair of elastic waisted pants. I have seriously been missing out, everything is held in! I like to roll up the cuffs to show off my boots and add some edge (this is what the kids call edgy right?).

4. Black Boots: You will wear them everyday. Grabbing a style with a little bit of a heel is a good idea because it will keep you that extra inch out of a puddle (and make your butt look great). When choosing a pair, find some that have some extra oopmh. Whether that's a buckle, a big gold zip or a greyish ombre texture like this. It'll keep the basics fresh and separate you from the herd. In a good way. Not a lion eating a zebra way. 

I'm calling the last photo 'Pretend Flasher', and yes, it will be going into my modelling portfolio.






Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shoe Review: Blooming Leopard Tilly Slide

What's so special about these simple slip ons that they deserve a shoe review?
I'm glad you asked!
Blooming Leopard (a new online boutique specialising in leather goods) gifted me this pair of stylish slides and I thought I knew all there was to know about black sandals. I've owned some cute ankle strap pairs and a pair of black Havaiana thongs (soooo chic), clearly I've got that base covered? Wrong.
A whole new world has opened up to me now. I finally understand why 'artistic types' (a.k.a. hipsters) buy $300 Birkenstocks and need 6 different pairs of black flats. Good quality leather shoes will elevate every outfit. Seriously. I'm devastated it's winter (because I have been suffering while wearing these during this cold snap) and I can't wear them everyday. When I put these cute Tilly slides on I feel cooler. Like, I am officially a cool person. They're 100% leather and the pony hair detail on the straps adds that extra bit of texture that makes jeans and a t-shirt become an it-girl uniform and street style photography worthy.
They also get the 'Danielle-Nanna Sole Seal of Approval', which means they have a grippy bottom that will keep me on my feet, not on my tush. The bottom of the sole is also contoured like runners and has added arch support; making these some seriously comfortable sandals. I do a lot of walking so I need shoes that will last all day and the wide straps don't rub like skinny, rubber flip flops do.
So what's the catch?
They're quite narrow, so I'd recommend going up a size (or really wearing them in, they are leather so they'll mould to your foot). I really had to squash my foot in there and wear them a couple days before I found them easy to get on!
Also, do not wear these sans pedicure. People will look at your feet and compliment you. This happened to me twice and I had nowhere to curl up and hide my plain winter toes while they were going "Awesome shoes" "So stylish".

Expect to see these in a lot of off-duty outfit posts!
Just kidding, I'm always off duty.

If you'd like to grab yourself a pair, here is the link. There's also a Greek Island perfect pair in tan minus the pony hair for if you're not as artistic as me. *adjusts beret and lights cigarette*

WANT MORE?
7 Nail Polish Shades Every Girl Should Own

Monday, July 13, 2015

How To: Get Rid Of Winter

Banishing winter?
Yes, I have that power.
Well... I can show you how to make it feel like summer is coming. And we've only got a month and a bit left of the colder months so you may as well bookmark this now because you're going to need it come post hibernation.

Step 1.

Go into the bathroom. Bring some tunes and maybe tell your house mates/boyfriend/mum you're going to be a little longer than normal. If they need to pee, speak now.

Step 2.

I haven't shaved. You haven't shaved. No, don't lie. It's the best part about winter and there's no shame in letting some extra warmth grow. BUT you will dull a razor almost instantly by trying to get through that hedge so grab some depilatory cream. My favourite is the spray on sensitive skin range from Veet. Because I have sensitive skin. And I am lazy. Just spray it all over and move onto the next step.

Step 3.  

You've got 10 minutes (MAX!) until it's time to wash off the cream so now is the perfect time to put on more things that need time: like a face mask! Quickly wash your face and then follow up with a good exfoliator to get rid of the winter dryness. Don't forget to exfoliate your lips! I use a combination of coconut oil and brown sugar: yummy and works a treat! Once that's done, pop on your favourite face mask. I recommend a good hydrating one in winter, rather than a mud mask or black head specific one.

Step 4.

Jump into the shower and go through your normal routine (you shouldn't need help with that), rinsing off your cream...and leg hairs! Resist the urge to have the water turned up too hot, it'll feel great but dry out your skin. Be strong! Exfoliate your body really well, even doing your feet and heels. A little foot massage is tickly and great for stimulating blood flow.

Step 5.

Tan time! Go for something light and natural (or don't, I'm not your mum). I've personally noticed I can only apply tan after I've used hair removal creams, because shaving has taken off the top layer of skin and things are a bit raw and ouchy.

Step 6. 

Now that you're glowing, go put a bikini on and turn the heaters right up in your house. Extra points if you get a towel out and sunbake on your living room floor with a pina colada ;)

This is an accurate depiction of how you will feel.


WANT MORE?
How to: Wear a Skirt in Winter

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Home Accessories on a Budget

My home is my sanctuary. The older I've gotten the more I've understood my mother's need for a lovely house that reflects who you are and what you love. I've also become more neat for that reason which is an added bonus. I really don't think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on home accessories; your tastes will change! It's the same as fashion seasons... things come and go, some colours are in, some are out... just look how big rose gold homewares are right now!
Here are my top finds under $40 for a bespoke home on a budget:



























Monday, July 6, 2015

Quirky Jewelry Finds From Etsy

Trawling the internet is a guilty past-time we all enjoy. In fact, it's probably how you ended up here!
One of my favourite places to while away the dull hours is Etsy. I love looking at what passionate people can make with their own two hands. My Sunday evening was spent looking for something unique to add to my jewellery box and here are some of my favourite finds that have a little something extra...












Generic_728x90

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Things To Invest In and 5 To Save On

It's hard to know what to spend your hard earned cash on these days (damn you advertising!). Everything is a must-have, and the new Dion Lee collection at Target is staring you in the eye and you know a designer silk shirt for $80 is a good buy, but what if it's not a good cut, and omg there's only one left in your size!
Sorry, my bad.
You see how easy it is to get overwhelmed?
As a reformed shopaholic, I am here to tell you what is worth investing in and where you can cut corners.

SPLURGE


Perfume

Cheap perfume is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. It won't last the day and it won't last on your shelf. Skip the latest Katy Perry scent and buy Chanel.


Exercise Clothing

Saving on workout gear may seem like a good idea but just think about how much sweating you're doing in them! The wear and tear is far more than normal clothing and it will show quickly. Also, those $10 tights are see through.


Boots

A wardrobe staple across all seasons (Yep, I'd wear boots in Summer because I am a bad ass) so it's worth investing in a good, leather pair in a style that won't date. I recommend black Chelsea boots.


Lipstick

It might be nice owning 50 shades of pink but the one quality lipstick in that bunch is the one you'll always reach for. I'll be the first to admit that not all make-up was created equal, but I've found the higher end lipsticks to always last longer and feel more hydrating.


Bras

This goes for sports bras, sexy numbers and everyday affairs. A good quality, well fitted bra is great for your lady lumps, your posture, it looks better under clothes and will make you feel more confident. Spend the money and time getting fitted. Better to own 5 bras that are perfect than 50 that suck.


5 to Spend



SAVE


Face wash

Fancy face washes that claim to have diamond extract and Harry Potter magic can go back on the shelf please. Don't just believe the label at face value, you'll find the ingredients don't actually vary that much. One of the most popular face scrubs ever made is the St Ives Apricot Scrub. Chloe Morello uses it. And it's $8.


Stockings

You're going to put a run in your tights no matter what you do. Once you accept this, you'll see it makes no monetary sense to buy a pair for $40 when you can get those 'purse packs' of disposable ones for $3 a pop. Wasteful? No way! Use your pairs that are riddled with ladders to hold up stakes in the garden or to create a hilarious spider costume.


PJ's

Anyone who wants to see them won't care what they look like on (or off) and anyone who doesn't want to see them won't care full stop. Pyjamas are cute no matter the price point and a $200 silk nightie is not good watching TV with a bowl of popcorn attire.


Hats

Hats are so expensive. So expensive. Just go look on Net-A-Porter. I am such a hat fan but even I can't justify spending $300+ on a chapeau. It could never get wet, squashed in a suitcase or stored anywhere but it's special (but large) box. The care they would require is too much for us modern gals.


Razors

A no brainer really, but some people still insist dropping $15 every week on a new Gilette Venus blade. You don't need to. All you're paying for is a weak 'moisturising' strip. This is a public service announcement letting you off the hook. Buy the bulk pack of 3 blade razors next time, you won't regret it. 

5 to Save