Saturday, January 26, 2008

Product Review - Bourjois Easy Waterproof Mascara

I believe that mascara is a "can't live without", would take to a desert island, absolute necessity every day. It opens up the eyes and immediately makes any mother, no matter how bad the previous night was, look that little bit better. If I'm not wearing mascara, such as when I go swimming, I can't help but feel naked and that tiny bit frumpy.

So it may come as a surprise to know that I have not actually bought mascara for at least the last decade. Initially, it was because I worked for various cosmetic companies, and would get their mascaras through my free product allowance. Even after moving into a management position (and boy, did I miss the product allowance then!!), I still didn't need to buy mascara as my two favourite brands of mascara happened to be Lancome and Clinique, and they always include a mascara in their Gift With Purchases. Their gifts each run twice a year (making four mini mascaras a year), and luckily for me, the mini sizes seem to last about 3 months, so I am set.

Unfortunately, the last Clinique gift's mascara did not work for me at all (Long Pretty Lashes), and so, as the last dregs of Lancome's Hypnose mascara ran out, I was left at a loose end. I just cannot bring myself to pay full price for a department store mascara, so I thought I would try the cheaper drugstore options. I tried the famous Maybelline Great Lash, but hated it. Next, I tried Bourjois' Easy Waterproof Mascara. I have now been using it for about a week, and I love it!! In fact, I love it so much, that when it runs out, I will probably buy another, despite having to actually - gasp - pay for it myself!!

I picked Bourjois as the next brand to try because it is made by Chanel, and I figured that a lot of the research etc would have filtered down into these products. They had a number of mascaras to choose from, but my preferences are for a volumising product, rather than curling or lengthening, and for a waterproof product, which narrowed it down to my choice.

The mascara tube is a good size and easy to hold in the hand. The brush is an old fashioned style roller brush, and again, is a good size - long enough to cover most of your lashes in one swipe (important for us rushed mothers!!), but not so long as to be hard to manoeuvre to get to my inner lashes. It was easy to apply, and didn't clump at all, and was a true, rich black colour. Most importantly, it lasts all day, and didn't flake off, or leave black smudges under my lower eyelids. It also passed the waterproof test, and stayed on without running after yesterday's impromptu moonlight swim with DH.

A great bonus was that it lived up to its promise of being easy to remove. To be honest, I didn't believe the claim when I purchased it, and that didn't really bother me, as i am particularly lazy when it comes to removing my mascara. I normally just swipe over my eyes with my usual Lancome Galatee Confort or Clarins Water Comfort One Step Cleanser, and what comes off, comes off, and that is often not terribly much! With the Bourjois, however, it all came off, just with my regular cleanser.

All in all, I am terribly impressed with this mascara, and it is definitely becoming my go-to product, even if I do have to pay for it!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in over a week, but we have finally moved house (almost!) completely, and I had no internet access until 10 minutes ago. I find that moving house is so exciting, full of new beginnings, new resolutions (especially for a messie like me!), finding places for everything. For me, in particular, it is the first time that I have had a house of my own. I lived with my parents until I got married, and then because DH and I were building, we moved straight into his parents' house after the homeymoon. After having to fit all of our possessions into the upstairs section of their house (a lounge room and bedroom) with the excess being stored in my old bedroom at my parents', having the luxury of space, and empty cupboards, and no set place put anything has been a lot of fun.

I am by nature a messy person, which has often caused friction between DH and I, as he was born neat from a family of incredibly neat people. I have been very careful in how I have set up this house, to try and make it easy for me to keep everything in its place. Two books I highly recommend for this are House Works: by Cynthia Townley Ewer, and Organising From the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern. Once everything is put away, I will be using a combination of techniques that I like from FlyLady and Sidetracked Home Executives to keep my house clean and in order.

I feel that being able to enter an ordered, clean and fresh house is very chic, helping all those who enter to feel caml and tranquil. Whereas entering a cluttered, untidy, messy house straight away puts you on edge. Also, having everything put in its place and a good system for housekeeping helps you to look more chic as well, as it is easy to find clean, pressed clothes at all times, rather than having to dig through the dirty washing pile, which I am ashamed to say I have done on numerous occassions in the past!

Once I am more settled, I will post some photos of the rooms that have been organised!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Banana Republic Spring Summer 2008

If you can spare 10 minutes or so, I highly recommend checking out the video for the Banana Republic Spring Summer Collection . There are some amazing pieces here, just perfect for a chic SAHM and while my budget certainly doesn't extend to be able to buy these items and import them into Australia, it has given me some great ideas for shopping my wardrobe, as well as some hints on what accessories I might like to buy to give my wardrobe an instant update!

I am also loving the maxi dress as an evening option - it looks elegant, but comfortable, and will glide over all those little tummy and bum issues that I have. The maxi dress can also help to elongate your figure, particularly if you wear a wedge heel underneath.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bringing back the old you!!

I think all mums have those days where they can't even remember what life used to look like before babies came along. The key is to make sure that it is only every now and then that we feel like this, and not everyday. So here are a few ideas to try and help you rediscover the old you:

1) don't step foot out the door wearing a tracksuit

Unless you are going out to exercise, there is no reason to be stepping outside in public in a tracksuit! While you may think you are just nipping outside to grab some milk, so why bother wearing nice clothes, i think there can be no bigger blow to a mum's self esteem than schlepping around in tracksuits all day. You may feel comfy, but are you feeling sexy? attractive? i don't think so!! so reach for some nice, practical, and sexy clothes and feel like a real person again.

2) organise a weekly date night

this is one of the most important things DH and i do, IMO. once a week, we go out, even if just for a half hour coffee, on our own, without Stephen. We don't talk about him, or anything kid related. it reminds us that we are not just parents, but lovers and friends as well. so take that time, even if it is organising a nice dinner for just the two of you at home after the kids' bedtime.

3) be healthy

I'm not suggesting that you do a Hollywood makeover, and start strutting down the runway or the red carpet 6 weeks after giving birth, but making the effort to eat well and exercise will do wonders for your self esteem as well as your health. now i don't know many mums who have the time to go down to a gym once they have young children, but there are some great workout dvd's that you can do at home, including some fantastic mums and bubs ones. otherwise, there are some wonderful stroller workout groups out there, such as Strollerstrides in the US, and Babes on the Run here in Perth, Australia. I took their classes until i fell pregnant again, and they were great!

I really recommend trying some of these ideas out; i guarantee you will feel so much better!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Looking Polished in 5 Minutes

I recently read a post at Wardrobe Oxygen about looking polished, and it really resonated with me. As Alli said, it doesn’t take long but that small effort makes a real difference. Yesterday, I had an appointment at the hairdressers at 9.15am. After a bad night with Stephen, I somehow slept through my alarm, and didn’t wake up until 8.20am. Bearing in mind that at that time of the morning, it is a half hour drive to the hairdressers, I had about half an hour to get myself and Stephen fed and ready and out of the door!
The old me would have just grabbed the nearest clothes, fed Stephen and run out of the door. Instead, I jumped in the shower, grabbed some nice clothes (the closet purged helped this immensely!), and took five minutes to put on some makeup. Stephen was fed and changed, his bag was packed, and we managed to make it (without speeding!) with five minutes to spare, which was enough time for me to grab a low fat muffin and a coffee. I felt so much better all day than if I had left the house without “putting myself together”.
My five minute make-up routine:
1) Tinted moisturiser that includes sunblock – combining three steps in one really saves time. Right now I am using Clinique’s Moisture Sheer Tint in Beige
2) Concealer under eyes as I have really dark circles if I don’t get enough sleep – Nars concealer in Praline
3) Eye brow pencil and clear brow gel over the top – Besame Eye Brow Definer in Grey and Estee Lauder Brow Gel – I find that if your brows look polished, then the rest of your face does as well. I also make sure that I get my brows professionally shaped at least every 6-8 weeks, and maintain in between myself.
4) A quick dusting of blush/bronzer – I am using Clinique’s Fresh Bloom All Over Color in Plum as it adds a fresh burst of colour and some subtle glimmer. I apply to the apples of my cheeks and then brush the brush over the rest of my cheekbones, forehead and bridge of my nose
5) Eyeliner and mascara – these help to really open up my eyes and give me an awake look
6) Lipstick – I went for a sheer lipstick as it is easy to swipe on in the car and not have ot be too precise, but it is longer lasting than a gloss. Yesterday I used Julie Hewett’s Film Noir, a sheer berry red.
All of those steps takes less than five minutes, but I look a million times better than if I had left with nothing at all.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Year - New Me!!

Hi everyone,

Well, it is a new year, so I though now was as good as time as any to start a new blog. My name is Sarah, and I am a SAHM to a 13 month old boy, with another one on the way!! I left the corporate fashion and beauty world before having Stephen and this blog is really here to document how I try to live chicly now that I don't have to dress up for work anymore!

I like to think that I have managed to stay reasonably chic over the past year of mummyhood, but with the new year, I definitely have some resolutions:

1) start exercising (gently) every day - my gym membership expired soon after having Stephen, and I am sorry to admit that all the baby weight that I had lost in the first 3 months was regained prior to falling pregnant again. I also had a lot of difficulties in the early stages of this pregnancy, including losing one of the twins, and I wasn't able to exercise, but I have since been given the all clear for some gentle exercise.

2) my big new year's goal was to eat better, and i am happy to say that one week in, things are gong pretty well so far. The past year has really seen my eating patterns nose dive, so getting back into a routine of a healthy breakfast, and a few healthy snacks during the day instead of junk is the plan.

3) to always look groomed and well put together - i think as a mother of a young baby, it is all to easy to fall into the trap of letting grooming and dressing nicely go out the window, especially when you are at home. I really feel that I was doing my husband, my son and myself a real disservice by not taking that five to ten minutes each day to make myself look well put together. We start moving into our new house tomorrow, and I will be doing a real closet purge to remove any ill fitting, stained, unflattering items.

Anyway, i look forward to sharing my journey with all of you, and i would appreciate any comments you would like to make!!

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