Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beauty Spot: new products

A few weeks ago, my crappy twelve dollar foundation from the supermarket ran out. I was so, so happy because it meant that I could go out and look at pretty things and purchase some actual good quality make up. BUT this also meant I had to foray into one of my most dreaded sections of a department store – the make up counter section.

It’s so hard to browse make up counters without an Overly Tan Woman descending upon me and offering to show me the “latest colours” – did someone invent new colours? I had no idea. I thought we were just sticking with the usual browns and pinks and greens and blues and what have you. Someone better tell Crayola they need to add a few more slots to their crayon case, because those crazy make up people have been inventing new colours without telling anyone. How rude!

Anyway, I got to Chadstone and wandered around the Myer make up section for a little while, hovering from a distance so I wouldn’t be attacked someone whose skin colour became three shades darker somewhere around their jaw line. Here’s a handy hint for the make up ladies working those counters: if colour of the skin on your neck doesn't match your face then you are doing it wrong.

One of the benefits of having two sisters is that their make up cases are like a mini make up counters. I can try without buying and no one bugs me about sampling things I’m not interested in. My younger sister recently bought a concealer that I really liked, so my first stop was the BeneFit counter, where I asked for something called Erase Paste, which is in a little pot about an inch high and an inch wide.
Small, right? But here’s the good news: you just have to touch the little spatula or your fingertip to the surface to get a small amount (and by small, I mean slightly bigger than the head of a pin) on there and then dab it gently onto any blemishes. Seriously, it gives the best coverage I’ve seen – it’s smooth, not too greasy and rubs in within seconds. When I asked for it, the lady asked me what shade I wanted, and of course I replied “Whatever is as white as me.” She said “Ok, so you’re a one.” Yes, I am a one. If one is the same colour as a sheet of white paper, then that is what I am, always and forever. But when she showed me the colour I thought it looked a little bit too orange. Not so – upon dabbing it on my skin, I could see that it matched my skin tone really, really well. And the good thing about this is that even if it doesn’t quite match, it’s a base concealer, so you're going to put foundation (and possibly some powder as well if that’s how you roll) on top of it anyway. You can also use it under your eyes to cover those super sexy shadows that never go away now that you’re over the age of twelve, which is also handy. So, this was my first purchase of the evening, and it was quite reasonable – only $35AUD. Considering the tiny amounts I use each day, I think it will be well worth the money in the long run.

My second stop was the Bloom Cosmetics counter. I recently tried some Bloom mineral eyeshadow for the first time and really liked the quality of their product. So, I perused the foundation section, because although I don’t like to wear a lot of make up, I do like a nice all over foundation to even out my skin tones. And because I have combination skin (oily, then dry, then normal, then oily AGAIN) I like to wear something that feels lighter than air on my face and doesn’t get greasy. Because it was such a small counter, the girl insisted on helping me out and she suggested two products: this mineral tint moisturiser, which she proclaimed to be quite light and non-greasy. As soon as she put it on my skin though, I felt like my pores were clogging up with oil -  the moisturiser part of it was way too oil based for my liking. So I asked what else there was and she pulled out this Liquid Foundation.
She commenced applying it to my face and the most delightful lavender scent filled the air, but dissipated quite quickly because it absorbed into my skin in about half a second. I reached up to touch my cheek and it felt totally normal – there was no oily residue on my fingertips and no wet, just-applied feeling. I was totally sold. This product is a great all-over foundation, and an added bonus is that it’s water based, so it doesn’t feel like an oil slick on your skin, even after a few hours. It is quite light, so ladies who prefer a heavier all over make up might not love it, but for the office or weekend wear it’s the perfect choice. Remember that it only has an SPF of 8 though, so you’ll need a good sunscreen underneath it if you’re going to be outside. But other than that it’s really lovely to wear, and It will only set you back $40AUD, which for a 30ml bottle is quite reasonable.

So, I survived the make up counters and came away having spent less than $100 and completely satisfied with my new purchases. Now I am coveting some new eyeshadows, but that may have to wait a couple of weeks.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vino at MoVida

A glass of 2007 Marques de Riscal Limousin Spanish Rosé. I'm not a huge wine drinker, but this is probably one of the nicest rosé wines I have had.
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Book review: The latest offering from Marian Keyes

Title: The Brightest Star in the Sky
Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: Michael Jospeh/Penguin Group
Year of publication: 2009
Page extent:612

I finished reading the latest offering from Marian Keyes earlier this week, and I have been putting off doing a review for it for the past five days or so. Why? Because I fear I will have to write something I never thought I would say about one of Marian Keyes’ books: I…didn’t really like it. And I am a huge fan of this author - I devour her books when they are released, and usually enjoy the hell out of them.

Should I duck for cover so that the internet flaming can begin?

Maybe I’ll just get on with the review.

The Brightest Star in the Sky is about the tenants in an apartment building at 66 Star Street in Dublin. There’s Katie, a 40 year old woman who works in the music industry. She’s dating Connall, a complete workaholic. Then there’s a snotty girl in her twenties called Lydia who rooms with two Polish guys and drives a cab full time. Matt and Maeve are married and oddly disconnected from each other, and Jemima, the elderly woman who lives alone until her grown up foster son, Fionn, comes to stay.

Then there’s this….thing floating around, giving its first person narrative on all the occupants of the flat and while it’s interesting at first, the narration carries on far too long, interrupting the actual flow of the storyline.

Essentially, it boils down to this: Lydia is narky and angry at the world because her mother is suffering from undiagnosed health problems, Katie and Connall break up because surprise surprise, Connall is a workaholic. Jemima is a crabby old lasy with an annoying dog, and Fionn is a gardener from the country side filming the pilot for a gardening show, and he gets sucked into the celebrity lifestyle.

So, this thing that’s floating around gives the reader an inside look at what’s going on, and I suppose it’s supposed to be a different way of just narrating the story in the third person, but I found it really irritating. The little tidbits and teasers in these peoples’ lives really don’t amount to much of anything and take pages and pages to actually become part of the story, and because of the amount of characters in the book, nothing seems to happen for a really long time.

I understand that Keyes was trying to create one of those stories where there are a million seemingly unconnected characters whose lives intersect with each other and they don’t realise it until the end, but because of the amount of people coming and going there just isn’t that anticipation of what’s going to happen next. I also didn’t really buy a lot of the connections that were made between the characters, and felt like sometimes they were used to keep a particular person relevant to the plot when they really didn’t need to be there at all.

The final big moments happen in the space of about fifty pages, which, in a six hundred page book is fairly late in the game for bombshells to be dropping left, right and centre.

Overall, I just really did not enjoy this story. It often felt tedious and too conveniently orchestrated to feel like a natural progression of the storyline. I much prefer it when Keyes sticks to the hilarious Walsh family antics. This book really lacked Marian's usual humour and vivacious characters. This is definitely a book you can live without reading.

In a word: Meh.

Sidenote: I do like the cover though - the blue and white is quite striking. But Keyes' covers are always great.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Academy Award Nominations

The 82nd Academy Award noms are in!

In an interesting move, there will be 10 films in the running for Best Picture this year, so it could be anyone's game.

I was totally wrong with most my Golden Globes and SAG picks, so I need to think about these nominations before I make my picks.

Sidenote: How much do I love that an actress from the freaking Twilight franchise has been nominated? So, so much. Makes me laugh at the thought of the success of one of the minor, minor players from the film is having when KStew and RPattz are apparently SO AMAZING OMG!11!!1! Pin It

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grammy Awards Fashion

So, the Grammy Awards! Always a guaranteed showing of the crazy and the glamourous mixed together to create….cramourous? Glamazy?

Whatever, music peeps can be crazy, so take a look at my fashion hits and misses behind the jump.

The Oh My Gosh Y’All, I Totally Wore a Leotard as a Dress Award – Britney Spears.
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