Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WANTED: Neon Pastel “French” Manicure

Would you look at this manicure! How totally adorable without being over the top. I will be recreating this design ASAP using the following prods.

For the base I would go with a classic opaque nudey/pink like OPI’s "Bubble Bath” (every beauty ed’s go-to colour) RRP: $19.95 available from beauty salons and David Jones.

A crucial element to creating this look is making sure it’s neat. You can only get away with multi-coloured tips without looking like a tranny if everything else is looking perfect – this means well oiled, pushed back cuticles (I like CND cuticle oil), buffed nails and using french manicure tape to create perfect half moon shaped tips. I'll be using Manicare French Tip Tapes RRP: $3.25 available at Priceline and Myer. Obviously wait until your base coat is complete dry before applying the tape, I’d even do it the night before just to be safe!

Now for the fun part ... picking the tip colours! Australis has some very pretty shades including “Sweet Pea” a lovely minty green, and “Peek-A-Boo” a creamy pastel purple both RRP: $7.95 available at Target, Kmart, Big W, Priceline and selected pharmacies.

Nicole OPI in “Fresh Squeezed” – a juicy looking bright orange RRP: $14.95 available from Terry White Chemists.

BYS is doing some amazing Pastel Nail Polish hues right now. My picks are “Prima Ballerina” a milky coral/pink and "Anyone For Tennis" a hot acid green RRP: $4 available from Cosmetics Plus.

DIY nail art is MASSIVE right now albeit super time consuming! What are your thoughts ladies? Would you spend the better part of an hour decorating your talons for a holidays party or just cough up the $$$ for a professional nail job?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I got Lobbed!

1.       Lob
A long bob. Tis a bob that extends past the chin skimming the shoulders and collar bones. In the beauty industry this is known as the "lob." This length allows more opportunities for various hair styles. Made famous by Olivia Palermo.

I think it’s fair to say that for someone who loves following a great beauty trend, I’m a little late jumping on the Lob bandwagon. Why I waited so long I know not (I mean it’s such a fun bandwagon to be on, lots of shiny haired Lobby vixens flicking their dos’ about and asking Olivia and Lara Bingle for fashion tips).
A few weeks ago I finally decided to chop off my signature long, goldeny hair and replace my former mane with something a bit more grown-up, chic and easy to look after. You could say I got Lobbed!
Here's me with my old mane.

Having spent over a decade with long hair I found the first snip of the scissors quite terrifying. After all I had a lot of memories (read: favourite hairstyles – beach waves, side braids, voluminous buns) attached to that hair that I would no longer be able to perform A.L (After Lob) however the metaphorical and literal weight off my shoulders felt extremely freeing and I love the end result.
My ends look and feel incredibly thick, healthy and shiny. I mean when you think about it my old, long ends had been hanging about getting dry, brittle and scraggly for a good ten years – ewwww!
 So here was the end result ... 

I asked for a modern, blunt cut that was very slightly longer in the front and outer layers so that the hair would gently curve in rather than flicking out in a terrifying 90’s, layered way. This length is perfect for me as I can still whip it into a ponytail or top knot.
I’m currently caring for and styling my new Lob with: L’Oreal Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, Kerastase Chroma Thermique, David Babaii for Wildaide Bohemian Beach Spray, Kerastase Volumising Mask, L’Oreal Professional Volume Rich Techni Art Mousse and Moroccan Oil Light.
So tell me your thoughts beauties, have you ever had a kinda dramatic hair change and loved it? Or have you gone for it and hated the end result? (I had a cringe worthy incident in 2005 when I decided to dye my hair the darkest of dark browns and dad told me I looked like a goth but that's a story for another time!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trending: South of the Border

Hola amigos! Sorry it has been soooo long between tequila shots, oh how I've missed you. I am THRILLED to be back in action at P & L headquarters after a crazy-busy few months at work.
So, on to the reason we are all here. Every now and then you see a look/trick/trend that is so inspiring you just have to "have a crack" (what an awful expression) at emulating it. Having witnessed the Aztec inspired ombre eyeshadows, nail art, hair feathers, bags and prints and that have been popping up on blogs and in magazines for the best part of 2011 I decided to stop resisting and give in to my inner Aztec.
Here’s a visual reference to what I’m talking about ...

Maybe it’s because summer is just around the corner but I am seriously diggin’ the quirky prints and carefree, mismatched colour schemes.
I decided to get a little crafty and try out some Aztec-inspired nail art on my paws and this was the end result.

I used Face of Australia Brights Nail Enamel in “Show Pony” for the blue, BYS Basic Colour Collection in “Coral Sea” for the orangey/red, Sportgirl’s Nail It in “Milkshake” for the earthy brown and BYS Nails Art Lacquers in Black and White for the detailing. (All of these polishes are under $8 each!)
As you can see I got a bit excited and applied my clear top coat too soon streaking all my hard work! Meowwww L
Hint: This requires a very steady hand, attempt before your morning caffeine fix.
What are your thoughts beauties? Do you love or loathe the Aztec trend?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I want MOR!

Every now and then you come across a skincare product that not only provides the basic functionality that it claims to perform on the label (many fail dismally on this point!) but also produces additional benefits, smells delicious and is packaged beautifully.
Mor’s Candied Vanilla Almond Body Butter is one of these rare prods that deliver beyond expectations.

MOR Emporium Black Collection - Candied Vanilla Almond Body Butter RRP: $29.95

Let’s start with scent. It’s fragrant and sweet without being overpowering and over-staying its welcome i.e masking your perfume and rubbing onto fabric and stubbornly refusing to dilute after five hours. Think fresh toasted almonds with vanilla over tones – REAL vanilla pod smelling overtones, none of the sickly fake, toilet spray smelling stuff. What MOR says about it – Candied Almonds blended with Sugar Blossom are decadently layered upon a base of smooth vanilla to create this sweetly sophisticated fragrance.
Consistency. Smooth and velvety minus the oily residue that I detest in most rich moisturisers/body butters. This stuff feel lush and opulent to the touch! However I will say that its rich, creaminess did make it slightly more difficult to spread across larger areas like the legs so that I ended up using quite a lot of product per application.
Moisturising capability. After using every second night for two weeks straight I noticed a real improvement in the quality of my skin’s elasticity and overall hydration. My skin felt plumper and softer in all my weird dry patches – elbows, knees, heels which is exactly the result I was after.

Available from David Jones, Myer and select retailers

All in all I would rate this body butter 9/10. Perfect for when I’m wanting to indulge in some luxury instead of my everyday $10 a pop multi-use moisturiser. Loved it!

Tell me my lovely P & L readers, do you have a favourite body moisturiser?

Will you be switching brands and/or products now that we are officially in Spring?

Monday, August 22, 2011

khaki nails and cool cats

Gosh today has been an utter drag! I know it's bad blog manners to start off on such a negative note BUT please indulge me a little and allow me to point out a few reasons why many of us dread the start of the work week.
1.   Mondays will often bring PERFECT WEATHER with them, which makes being in an office seem extra bleak and cause one to have a “why am I working for a massive corporation and not being more liberal/creative/unconventional in my career path?” moment. OR it will be pouring rain with a chilly wind thrown in for good measure which makes it unusually difficult for usually spritely women to get their asses’ outta bed.

2.   Upon stumbling into work and switching on the computer, I have somehow acquired 40 emails since Friday. Twenty two of which have those annoying “high priority” red flags attached. Ugh. Double ugh.

3.   Because it’s Monday, it’s back to healthy/sensibly eating (consisting of dark green veggies and freshly harvested grains), meaning that four slices of delicious soft cheese, three olives, two delicate sheets of weirdly named but tastily cured Spanish meat and a few (small) glasses of wine does not constitute as “a well balanced meal” between the days of Monday-Friday.

     All of these things contribute to making me feel a bit gloomy and I like to look at things that brighten my mood. Things like ... cats. I know, I know, apparently I am unmarriable because of my preference for furry, whisker wearing things over large, bounding dogs.


Something else uplifting? Wearing my NEW nail varnish! On the weekend I picked up two hues from BYS’s massive wall of colour – it almost makes it harder picking the good from the bad when faced with so much choice. I settled on a muted khaki green/grey suitably named Army Chic and a bright orangey/red called Coral Sea.

Army Chic - Looks a bit like Chanel's Khaki Vert yes? But about 1/8 of the price!

Coral Sea

RRP: $4 - Available from K-mart

At $4 a bottle these babys are well worth their weight in gold coins. Army Chic came out highly pigmented in one coat and I honestly could have left it at that however a double slick of colour, clear top coat and few drops of OPI's Drip Dry added some depth and a flawless looking finish with zero streaking.  I haven’t tried Coral Sea out properly yet except for one nail however it too looked highly desirable.
One tip I will give you is to make sure to try out the tester of the colour you are eyeing as some of the neon ones were very transparent.

Army Chic in the flesh ... You know how some people get told they have the hands of a piano player? Well I'm not one of them so I apologise for my dismal hand modelling skills.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One epic hair fail and buns for all occasions

Earlier this year my eldest sister (I’m the youngest of three all spaced 2 years apart – I bet you can imagine what our household was like during our teenage years!) and her boyfriend took a relaxing vacation to Thailand. Knowing my fondness for all things beauty, especially hard-to-find international prods, she kindly brought me back a delightful looking Rosemary and Vanilla Hair Oil by Lemongrass House – “fresh handmade spa products” or so the bottle says.

Looks innocent enough doesn’t it? And it certainly sounds inviting, frivolously bandying about words like “vanilla”, “handmade”, “spa product” so what could go wrong?
A LOT my beauties, a lot can go wrong! Now this product didn’t come with instructions so I, being the smart cookie I sometimes am, decided to use as I would my Moroccan Oil Light. After washing and towel drying my hair I applied a small amount of the product through the ends of my hair then blow dried as usual. And blow dried .... and blow dried, but my hair didn’t dry. Instead it stayed damp and stringy with the “oil” refusing to dry, leaving my hair all damp and lank looking. To top it all off I didn’t have time to re-wash it and left the house the next morning with it slicked back in pony only to be immediately asked by a co-worker why my hair smelled like petrol  = EPIC HAIR FAIL.

See how stringy it is? Touching it was even worse, felt all slimy. Ewwww.
Now I’m going to keep moving right along to some much more positive hair experiences – buns! Over the past few years I have become quite the bun connoisseur and who doesn’t like a good ole bun? A bun, A.K.A its more stylish name the Top Knot, works on a multitude of platforms to make you look A) elegant and B) fashionable. However, I for one believe that you should not be strolling through life with the same Ballerina Bun you wore as a seven year old. Your bun should reflect where you are and what you’re doing.
Want some examples? Ok.

Bun 1. The Work Appropriate Bun

As you can see this is quite neat and semi difficult for me to achieve as I’ve never really belonged to the Not a Hair Out of Place club. The hair is brushed back into a tight ponytail and secured on the crown of my head. It is then divided into two sections which I twist around each and wrap around the base of the hair tie before pinning into place with bobby pins. To finish I sparingly spritz a fine-tooth comb with hair spray and lightly sweep through from my hairline and back towards the bun to keep flyaways at bay and everything looking sleek. I have aptly named it the WAB as it’s ideal for work, job interviews, court appearances and other times when one wants be taken seriously. 

Bun 2. Effortlessly Chic Bun

This pic was taken in March this year at a family dinner (please excuse my shiny nose and forehead). The Effortlessly Chic Bun is a staple in my hair wardrobe as it can take you from dinner with the girls (or family), to a festival, to a black tie event and even to pilates. Unlike its stern cousin the WAB, the Effortlessly Chic Bun is bit more relaxed, a bit more thrown together and lets be honest a bit more fun! To achieve, I begin by pulling the hair back in to a loose high ponytail positioned a few centimetres forward from where you would have started for the WAB. Now split the pony in to three sections and tease each section before giving a quick spritz with the hair spray as this creates some luxe volume – I like Schwarzkopf Extra Care Hairspray 10 Carat Shine. Loosely plait or twist the three sections together then wrap around the base of the ponytail and secure with bobby pins. Softly rub the palm of your hand around your hairline to add texture and loosen flyaways as this enhances the overall look.

Now please be kind and tell me if you have ever experienced a hair disaster like me?

Do you enjoy buns also? I hope so! All the better to see your pretty face with and show off those expert makeup skillzzzzzzzz.  

Couldn't help it ... Lauren's amazeballs bun.

"Higher the hair, closer to god... Tonight I'm feeling like saint haha."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Beauty products that don’t cost an arm and well heeled (shaved, toned, tanned) leg

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I do indeed adore the chic packaging of a Chanel lipstick and the delectable scent of a Diptyque candle as much as the next mauve manicured girl sitting next to me but there are certain times in a girl's life when only bargain buys will do.
Certain times example:
Receiving a $120.00 parking ticket, while on a coffee run, for stoping in a “NO PARKING BEFORE 9AM ZONE” at 8:45am last Friday morning. Great huh? Certainly put me in a delightful mood for the weekend (sorry, I know sarcasm is bad for wrinkles). However it did make me reflect on my spending habits and I realised that a few of my absolute favourite beauty purchases are actually very affordable. So I have decided to share ...

BYS Bronzer with Ripple Pattern
 This tri-coloured bronzer contains warm, golden and bronzed shades with a unique ripple pattern. I actually only use this product for highlighting as I have a tendency to develop an oil slick for a face in summer (ok I’m being kind, sometimes in winter too) and it would be far too shimmery for normal bronzing/contouring. It looks simply divine dusted on top of cheekbones or swirled on the brow bone. The disc of “bronzer” contains three shades moving from light to dark and these colours can be blended to achieve a multitude of looks or can be used alone depending on how your tan develops throughout the year.  Available in Light Shine and Heavy Glow.
RRP $7.95 Available at Kmart, Gloss Accessories, Cosmetics Plus, Ice Accessories, selected pharmacies, discount stores & independent retailers.

Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Certified Organic Lipbalm
Whoaaaa this prod is Cracked Lip Heaven. Not only is this super lush balm organic but it contains absolutely ZERO petroleum jelly, synthetic preservatives, chemicals and fragrances. In addition, the two key ingredients Paw Paw and Honey are well known natural healing actives. Also working hard to soothe your poor chapped smackers are delicious Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E which help to soften and moisten flakey lips.
RRP $8.95 I got mine from a Go Vita health food store after searching Priceline and many chemists so I would guess health food stores are they way to go if you’re interested in purchasing this bright yellow balm – very helpful for locating it in my overflowing handbag! PS It smells like honey, nom nom.

Manicare Perfume Atomiser  
This one is pretty self explanatory ... Manicare Perfume Atomiser is a convenient purse-size refillable perfume atomiser that keeps fragrances fresh and ready to apply at any time. I like the 80s style glass and gold design as it reminds me of some of my grandmothers old scents I used to borrow as a little girl. This atomiser is the perfect size for travel and every-day-handbag-use.
RRP $11.95  Available at Priceline, Myer, Target, K-Mart, Big W and leading pharmacies.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Leg Gloss
I was first introduced to this multi use prod by my friend Amanda while getting ready for a night out with the gals and might I just say this is sooo much more than a sparkly moisturiser. Yes, yes, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Leg Gloss contains pure cocoa butter and vitamin E to moisturise deeply however it also boasts ultra-fine light reflecting particles to impart a subtle sheen, while a slight tint helps mask imperfections and acts kind of like a body foundation. I worship this product because I have a few scars on my knees and shins from years of nippers, netball, hockey and skateboarding and this leg gloss actually conceals imperfections while adding a healthy dose of colour.
Note: This is not a fake tan or gradual tan! You can wash it right off like makeup. I usually mix it with my normal body moisturiser as this makes it easier to apply and not as obvious as it does dry quite quickly and if you’re not careful it can look slightly uneven and streaky.
RRP $10.99  Available at Priceline, Target, Kmart, Big W, Price Attack, Hairhouse Warehouse, pharmacies and supermarkets.  

MOR Dolce Candle in Honey
I’m not the best sleeper and therefore usually have to read in bed each night in order to become sleepy enough for slumber. This being the case, I have become fond of trying to make my room as comfy and sleep friendly as possible which has resulted in me permanently keeping a scrumptious smelling candle on my bedside table.  The MOR Dolce Candle range is exclusive to Target and the Honey scent is heavenly! Fragrant may bell and honey top notes combined with base notes of amber, cotton candy and vanilla make your room smell super inviting and calming without being overpowering. The best bit about this candle is that it’s made of natural soy wax, 100 per cent cotton lead-free wick and features a 35-hour burn time. Affordable for everyday use, the product is free from animal testing and is made in Australia.   

RRP$15.00 Available in select Target stores only across Australia.

So tell me my lovely P & L readers, what are your favourite budget buys?

Any sleeping tips?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'll have what she's having

For future reference on make-an-effort-Mondays and gloomy Wednesdays. Some entirely covetable looks.

Fendi 2011 Spring  Elle.com

Alex Spencer Australian model and blogger 4th and bleeker

Blake and her impressively plaited rats nest PRIMPED

A bun at the beach? Genius! Oracle Fox

Christine Centenera Now With Guns

Ohhh Abbey Circa Now

The stunning Minka from Friday Night Lights check out those locks! PRIMPED

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Illamasqua is the bombdiggity

1.       Bombdiggity
{adj} - A description of something that is better than excellent, great, good, amazing, et cetera.
A few weeks ago now I had the absolutely pleasure of trotting along to Illamasqua’s first Brisbane Beauty Bloggers event.
Deets were:
  • What: Illamasqua Brisbane Beauty Bloggers Event
  • Where: Illamasqua Counter at Myer, Queen Street Mall, Brisbane
  • When: Friday June 03, 2011
  • Time: 6:30-8:30pm

On arrival we were warmly welcomed by Illamasqua’s Australian PR chick Christabel Draffin, who did a stellar job of introducing us to the brand’s ethos of self expression and the alter ego. She also made sure I had champagne flute of sparkling apple juice and a delightful mini cupcake firmly placed in my hot little hands within five minutes of being there – a sure fire way to leave a pleasant impression at a pre-dinner-time event.
For those of you unacquainted with the brand, Illamasqua made a huge splash on the beauty scene due to their high impact, other worldly advertising campaigns and emphasis on women and men alike embracing their "unique selves".
Illamasqua describes itself as:
Self-expression through make-up is an idea that is spreading outside alternative cultures. Illamasqua’s mission is to provide high-performance, professional make-up to anyone who wants to self-express and accentuate their look beyond the norm.
Developed by leading chemists, manufacturers of stage and screen make-up and make-up artists, Illamasqua brings truly professional make-up to the high street for the first time.
Designed to be colour-intense, colour-true and long lasting, Illamasqua offers an unprecedented range – giving you a huge palette with which to express yourself, whoever you are and whatever look you want to achieve.
Illamasqua brings its rich heritage to life by providing make-up lessons rather than ‘makeovers’. Illamasqua’s make-up artists spend time getting to know individuals, helping them explore their alter ego and create the look they want to achieve. This is self-expression at its most creative, allowing women and men who dare to be different to create a look that can be achieved confidently at home and flaunted at night.
We're also a brand with a conscience, and are proud of the fact that none of our products, from blushers to brushes, are tested on animals.
From my experience with the brand so far this description is spot on. You need only to take a glance at the gorgeous creatures makeup artists who work behind the counter to be enticed into a world where highly pigmented bright orange lipstick is not only ok but PREFERABLE and purple eye brows are the norm.
At the event we were lucky enough to be treated to a demonstration by Illamasqua MUA Tiarah who showed us a look from the Toxic Nature collection. Here are some fabulously shitty pics taken on my iPhone.

As these images show, the really cool thing about this brand is that it stresses that makeup is not just about looking pretty or covering up self perceived “flaws”. It’s about self expression and celebrating one’s individuality, all the while using a product of the highest quality to do so.
If you haven’t already caught on by my super subtle writing style, this makeup is, "FULLY SICK MATEEEEE." No but for reals, all Illamasqua's makeup is HIGHLY pigmented with  impressive durability, my kind of prod!
I feel very lucky to have been given the following products to trial and play with.

Powder Eye Shadow in Bronx
This coppery shade is just gorg! The warm undertones in it really wakes up the eye area as unlike most metallic shadows it maintains its depth of colour whilst still giving some pretty gal sparkle.

Sheer Lipgloss in Torture
A warm, coral peach. I like to pop this over a matte orange lippy like Innoxa’s Tangerine  - I guarantee you’ll get an inquiry and/or compliment every time you wear these two together.

Powder Blusher in Nymph
Now this was a surprise for me! Barbie doll pink blush is something I normally shy away from but to my surprise I found this colour added a youthful rosy hint of colour when applied with a light touch to the apples of my cheeks. Very feminine and pretty when paired with lashings of mascara and some well placed bronzer.
Ok wow so this post is getting a little OC in length (that stands for outta control, not The Real Housewives of Orange County – I know how you think you scallywag!) so I’ll stop and let you get back to watching The Kardashians and petting your cat.
But first, pleaseeeee tell me if you’ve tried any Illamasqua products and if so do you like them as much as me? What's your favourite?
Until next time, wishing you a full and defined brow and blemish-free week.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I really like what y’all had going on at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards

The annual MTV Movie Awards is a night usually reserved for pounds of fake tanned flesh on display, inappropriate use of blush and eye-poppin’ cleavage (AKA Britney’s green-bra-wearing, snake toting performance in 2001). But alas, this year the starlets somewhat surprisingly decided to underplay their chosen beauty “looks” and I for one really, really, really dug it. For the most part, Hollywood’s A/B/C List went with decidedly understated makeup and hairstyles and this was the end result ...

Brooklyn Decker

Brooklyn Decker looking all windswept and carefree with her new-ish chop and minimal makeup. Way less Sports Illustrated model and a whole lot more stylish!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon rocking some super-duper flattering coppery/bronze eyeshadow that makes her baby blues positively POP. Want to emulate this look? Try M.A.C’s Pigment in Copper Sparkle.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively looking extremely babelish. I’m sorry but that’s the best adjective to describe this kind of perfectly bronzed, peach-lipped hotness. Also, I love that she slicked her hair back in this ultra chic pony, I adore a good pony.

Mila Kunis – that hair!!! Sooo shiny I gotta put some sunglasses on in my room and look like one of those creeps that skulk around nightclubs, because it is just too sparkly and blinding. Ok dramatics aside, she is perfection to me. LOVE the embellished Balmain mini paired with a simple black top. She got it going on (cue finger snap) AND she got to grab JT’s junk.
And then there are the people who didn't get it right ....

Amanda Bynes Actress Amanda Bynes arrives at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards at Universal Studios' Gibson Amphitheatre on June 5, 2011 in Universal City, California.

Come on Amanda Bynes, what were you thinking gal? The dry-looking blonde ropey extensions and tight dress combo went out a while back, even P. Hilton’s over that look these days.


Jessica Szohr ... Hmmm at least she hasn’t gone OTT on the makeup. I think this may not have looked quite so bad if she had done a cute, sleek high pony with a bright lip to make it more fresh and youthful – see I’m nothing if not constructive haha.

Leighton Meester – now technically there is nothing wrong with this. While the makeup looks quite heavy in comparison to the other fresh faced looks floating around, I actually rather enjoy the dark eye/nude lip combo on Blaire, sorry, Leighton. It’s the hair that’s bothering me, yes I like me some balayage but it just looks a bit straggly and not in a cool Erin Wasson way, but in a needs-a-mask-and-trim way. Ekkk.

What are your thoughts beauties?

Who had your favourite beauty look this year?