Eyebrows, raised

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Eyebrows are a relatively new thing for me. I don’t have to do much with mine – they are straight across and only require the plucking of an odd stray hair every couple of weeks or so. That said, the hairs are quite long and can be somewhat unruly and the start is a little bit sparse. So, in other words, all up my brows are good but could be better.

I discovered the joys of eyebrow gels via Maybelline’s excellent Brow Drama a couple of years ago. Pencil tends to look too harsh on me and while I need a bit of colour to plump them up, I also need something to hold them in place. The Maybelline has a lovely big fluffy brush but I never quite found the gel dark enough. From there I graduated to Benefit Gimme Brow which has the best dark colour and does a brilliant job of filling in any gaps. Only problem is the brush is tiiiiiny and I found it hard to navigate on my face. Also I often made mistakes with this one and when it got on my skin it was hard to get off. A great product all up but one that needed a lot of work invested in it to make it work properly.

Luckily I seem to have found my goldilocks porridge. The L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper has a gel that is darker than the Maybelline but not as dark as the Benefit, plus it has the exact same brush as the Benefit only twice the size. I absolutely love it and it’s become a real go-to for me and makes me look that extra bit groomed. The gel does a good job giving my brows a tint of colour and holds them in place all day, plus the brush is just so easy to use. I also find that if I do make a mistake it’s also easier to correct and get it off my skin than the Benefit one. I never considered myself an eyebrow girl but, well, there you have it. Appears that I am worth it after all, as they say.

Eyebrows, raised

Well hello there

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As someone who rates a breakfast very highly, I’m lucky to live in an area of Melbourne packed with great cafes and it seems a new one is opening up every other day. Until recently the area along Auburn Road, between Kew and Hawthorn, has been a resting place for an odd assortment of shops however over the past year a few new cafes have made their way into the mix. One of those is Hello Sailor and it’s become a bit of a favourite of mine.

I have to respect any establishment that doesn’t neglect a sweet breakfast. Thought 80 per cent of the time I’ll just order plain old scrambled eggs on toast or the occasional smashed avocado, sometimes you want pancakes or French toast and this place does both. They also have some home-made crumpets with fruit that I’m dying to try. Their food is very reminiscent style-wise of places like Top Paddock which has an emphasis on beautiful presentation on the plate and makes each meal a little work of art. It’s great quality, reasonably priced and the coffee is excellent.

The service is solid and the location, tucked away on a corner next to the Geebung Hotel, is open and sunny. So far it hasn’t been too packed when I’ve visited, which is good – I hate being jammed in with 100 other people or having to wait for ages for a table. They have  breakfast garden out the back too apparently, but I’m yet to sit there. I like a seat on the window bench. If you’re in the area then I definitely recommend Hello Sailor – so far I can’t fault the food or the service and having it right near my house is even sweeter.

Hello Sailor is located at 89 Auburn Road, Hawthorn and is open from 7am weekdays and 8am on weekends.

 

Well hello there

February empties

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Thierry Mugler Womanity shower gel – This is a scent I really want to love but the salt/caviar note is too much for me in the perfume. In the shower gel it’s nicely muted so this is a pleasure to use.

Redwin Coal Tar Shampoo – I buy this fairly often and it’s good for keeping your scalp healthy and clearing product residue off your hair.

Lush Big Shampoo – Automatic re-purchase.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – I got given a heap of these samples by a girl at Priceline. The oil is nice but nothing special and there’s so many cheap body oils on the market these days.

Beau Jardin Citrus Grove Sugar Scrub – This was a Target cheapie and was really nice and scrubby. Slightly oily but not enough to complain about.

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Biore Ultra Deep Cleaning Pore Strips – Automatic re-purchase.

Cenovis Vitamin E Capsules – I use the oil from these on my face but I noticed they were well out of date and looking a bit clumpy in their bottle, so I’m chucking.

Sportsgirl nail polish in Fanta – Smells so bad and is so streaky that it’s hitting the bin.

Revlon nail polish in Sheer Flicker – I have so many of this kind of pale pink shade and this one chips in under a day. Chucking.

Ulta 3 nail polish in Sheer Voile – Wanted to love but still a streaky mess after three coats. Giving away.

LA Colors Mineral Blush in Pink Du Jour – Never use this and have lots of similar colours  so giving away.

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream sample – Did not like this. Too thick and hard to apply on my face. Usually Clarins is excellent but this product was awful.

Antipodes Joyous Serum – I think this has gone bad because it smells like fish oil and not in a good way. Chucking.

Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Spot Treatment – This was nice to use but not so amazing I’d hunt down a full sized bottle.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – LOVE. Amazing mascara. When I use up my current stash I’m going to get this for sure. I don’t usually like bristles mascaras but this is so good as volumising without clumping.

 

February empties

Where to next (part 1)

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bali 1

If you had asked me to nominate somewhere in the world I never thought I’d visit, then my answer would have been simple: Bali. For Australians it has a bit of a love it or leave it reputation – you’re either one of the hundreds of thousands who flock there each year for a cheap holiday or you hear all the stories about it being cheap and trashy and overrun by misbehaving Aussies so you steer well clear. I was firmly in the latter group.

However when I was looking for somewhere to go in the time off I have booked at the end of March, Bali managed to make its way on to the list of possibles. I’ve read a lot from European or American bloggers who view it in a different light to Australians and so many speak highly of it. Then a couple of people I know whose opinions I trust recommended it as a place to visit and it got me thinking. My first choice for my break was Hong Kong but it was far more expensive than I wanted – given I’m going away for three months at the end of the year then this trip can’t be over the top. After considering Hawaii (again) and Vietnam, I finally went with Bali. Getting $400 Jetstar flights also helped with the decision!

I know many of you have been to Bali already so I’m very keen to get all your recommendations for places to visit, eat and shop. I’m staying here in Seminyak for five nights and plan on doing not much except for swimming, sleeping and wandering. I’m also hoping that a lot of the preconceived ideas I have about Bali turn out to be way off the mark and that the week ends up being one to remember.

Where to next (part 1)

Super duper

una brennan facial oil

I don’t think it’s any secret I’m a proponent of the double cleanse and my weapon of choice most days is a facial cleansing oil. I’ve tried wipes and waters and other assorted accoutrement but oil is what works best for me. I like to apply it first thing when I step in the shower and massage it on to my dry face while the hot water heats up. I find that way it does a better job of actually working to get rid of most of my make up and assorted grime, before my second cleanser finishes the job off.

Una Brennan Superfacialist is a UK brand that is stocked in Boots and pretty much impossible to get in Australia. Of course it’s mentioned in glowing terms on every second UK beauty blog and so of course it was on my list of things to track down when I was in London last year. It’s not the cheapest range with products including cleansers, masks, serums and moisturisers ranging between £7-17 or roughly $15-35. The range is also broken down to different lines to address specific issues including Vitamin C to brighten, rose to hydrate and neroli for firming.

I knew I wanted to buy one of the face masks as they tend to get a lot of blogger love and I went for the Anti Blemish Clay Mask. However as soon as I saw the Vitamin C Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil I knew that was going to be mine as well – particularly as I’m a sucker for anything with the word ‘brighten’ in the name.

I have to say, so far so good. I’ve been using the oil for nearly a month now and I find it does a great job of removing make up with the exception of a last little bit of mascara that always seems to be left. I can deal with that. It’s quite a light oil with a slippy texture and a reasonably strong orange scent. It smells like some scratch and sniff sticker I had in primary school that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m not convinced it has done anything particularly special to brighten my skin but I haven’t broken out or had any other adverse reactions, and it’s doing what I want it to do well, so that is fine with me. My one slight bug bear with the product is the unwieldy container which you need to snap open and closed – there should be a rule that all oil cleansers need to go in a pump dispenser.

Apologies for again putting something on here that’s not easy to get but hopefully it’s handy for anyone building an international wish list. I’d love if someone like Priceline brought the Superfacialist stuff to Australia because I have a feeling it would sell really, really well. Wishful thinking.

Super duper

Things I bought 2015 #8.

12 Uniqlo

I remain utterly obsessed with Uniqlo and I spread the gospel to people I know whenever I can. Now that they have a couple of Melbourne stores it’s even harder for me to avoid the lure and I have to make an effort not to run off to Emporium every chance I get. I did pop in this week though, to look for this sweatshirt which turned out to be not quite right (polar fleece sleeves!) but walked out with something else. Plus my winter holiday is on my mind, cold weather gear is in stores and it’s not like Melbourne has been particularly sunny lately anyway…

11 Havianas in black $25 - I debated whether or not to add these as they’re a straight out replacement for my current disintegrated pair. To that end I consider them a staple, not a fashion purchase. I prefer the thin type without any bells and whistles attached.

12 Uniqlo Modal Sweat Long Sleeve Pullover Hoodie in Dark Green $39.95 - This is the jumper I went with instead. It’s quite thin and stretchy, plus it’s actually a bit long on me which is unusual. I’d been looking for a hoodie without a zip and this fits the bill, plus I’m a sucker for dark green/khaki.

13 Witchery Pom Pom Beanie in black $32 - Hats tend to look alright on me with the exception of beanies. I can never make them work. Somehow this thick woollen knit one goes alright and I’m putting it down to the extra length and the heavy bobble. It’s a little bit Santa Claus-ish but I like it. Witchery has 20 per cent off all accessories at the moment so that sealed the deal.

8 What I Bought Make Up

On the make up and skin care front it was reasonably quiet – I’d been reading that these Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Crayons were something of a dupe for my beloved NARS Velvet Matte pencils and so of course I was interested. The colour range is quite limited and I have a lot of what they’re offering in similar NARS shades, but eventually I settled on the bright pink Fuchsia Desire. The colour is a little chalky and the quality isn’t quite as immediately good as NARS but I’m looking forward to testing it out a bit more.

Things I bought 2015 #8.

Thoughts of the week – 1/3

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1. Here’s some exciting news – yesterday I booked my flights for my end of year trip. The last two years I’ve been to Europe however this year I’m taking three months off and travelling across the US, Canada, Cuba and Mexico. Alone. It’s slightly overwhelming and now that my flight is booked it feels very real, but it’s also filled with possibility.

2. I’ll do a separate post on my plans but I fly in and out of LA and the rest is pretty much a clean slate at this point. I’m keen to hear feedback on cities people have visited (I’ve only been to LA and NY) and great things to do.

3. Some friends and I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey and I have to say, it was pretty terrible. I haven’t read the books but I was excited to watch two hours of Jamie Dornan. Can I say that the sex scenes are the least tacky thing in that movie – it’s the dialogue that really makes you cringe.

4. I went to buy this blue jumper at Uniqlo this week – that colour! That print! – only to find the sleeves were polar fleece while the body was cotton fleece. Say what? I regretfully declined as those sleeves will look pilled and crappy in a couple of months.

5. I killed a really big spider the other week and I keep thinking it is haunting me and sending other spiders to get me. Every time I feel something brush my leg I think it’s a damn spider.

6. How to make anyone fall in love with you. I need to sit down with Travis Boak and do this.

7. My Bloglovin’ is still playing up and it’s highly annoying.

8. I had to deal with Vodafone customer service for the first time ever this week and man, did they do a shocking job. Just poor all round.

9. I love a good TV kiss.

10. Off to the rugby tonight with a friend. Haven’t been in a little while so will be good to see the Melbourne Rebels take on my old home town team, the ACT Brumbies. I love AAMI Stadium too because it’s almost impossible to get a bad seat there.

 

Thoughts of the week – 1/3