Friday, January 18, 2013

Product Review: ModelCo Fibre Lash Extend Mascara

I received ModelCo's Fibre Lash Extend Mascara in my November Lust Have It beauty box, but have only just had a chance to try it out.  According to the product insert,

"This breakthrough formula combines lash fibres with a rich glossy mascara, to give you a false lash effect from every angle! For best results move wand around the sides of the bottle, instead of pumping before applying"

This pic is how it looks on me - the left eye has mascara and eyeliner, the right just eyeliner.  As you can see, it definitely volumises and lengthens my spindly lashes, but I don't think I can go so far as to say it is a true false lash effect. However, it is by far and away the best of any false lash effect mascara I have tried. It looks realistic, not clumpy or spidery, and the fibres are invisible once on the lashes. It also lasts really well. I generally do not have luck with non-waterproof mascaras, finding they end up sliding under my eyes within a few hours, but the Fibre Lash Extend seems to last all day. This mascara was definitely a winner for me, and when it runs out, I will be out buying a replacement!

RRP: $28


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy
I can hardly believe it, but my last WIWW post was back in October! Our weather has been all over the place for the last few months, but it looks like the heat is finally here and it is here to stay. And have i previously mentioned that I hate summer?! Give me cold and even rain any day, and I am a happy camper. Give me the hottest (and longest) heat wave in 60 years? Not so much!! So dressing for this heat has been a real challenge for me...



There is something about white linen that just screams summer, isn't there? It's hard to see in the picture, but the top has gorgeous detailing, including little ruched pockets, and a yoke detail around the neck/bust area, that lifts the top from ordinary to interesting.

White linen tunic: Flower Clothing
Skinny jeans: Belle Curve
Green resin bangle: Myer
Aqua, white & grey cotton scarf: Design Studio
Black sandals: Naturaliser

Another very hot and humid day meant light and breathable layers was definitely the way to go!

White tank tunic: TS 14+
Grey crops: Ann Taylor

Aqua, white and grey cotton scarf: Design Studio
Black sandals: Naturaliser


After a couple of days of pale colours, it was time to take it in a darker direction!  Again, it was still hot and muggy, but these pants are so soft and silky and loose, it almost feels like I am wearing pyjamas!

Black, navy and tan print pants: Belle Curve
Black tank: TS 14+

White and grey cotton scarf: Witchery
Black sandals: Naturaliser

It wasn't that hot when I stepped outside this morning, but I so regretted wearing jeans later in the afternoon! Jeans are definitely being put aside for a while until the weather cools down properly.

White and navy stripe tank: Old Navy
Bootleg jeans: Gap
Enamel bangles: Coach, Kate Spade
Gold link necklace: Dyberg/Kern
White and tan leather bag: Tory Burch
Orange ballet flats: Tory Burch

 

It becomes so hard for me to be inspired to dress well when it is this hot - often my first thought is "what is the bare minimum I can wear?" Then I look for items that are so light they feel like the bare minimum, and even though they are not the most flattering, at this point of summer, I don't care!

White tank tank: TS 14+
Grey airy knit vest: Flower Clothing
Grey cupro wrap pants: Flower Clothing
Silver and gem necklace: handmade
White sandals: Talbots
 
I think linen pants are my jeans replacement for the rest of summer - this outfit was so comfortable in the muggy heat, I am surprised I haven't worn it more often!

Navy and white stripe tank: Sportscraft
Navy linen crops: Sportscraft
Gold necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Gold and quartz hoop earrings:
Tan sandals: Lands End Canvas



See you all next week!!
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Organizing Revolution Week 3: Closet

 Organizing Homelife

It's hard to believe, but here in Oz, we are now over half way through our long summer break. Where has the time gone? Well, gone it has, and we are now up to week 3 of the Organizing Revolution and that meant tackling our closets. 

Accessories are my favourite thing when it comes to fashion, and that means that I have amassed a pretty healthy collection of of them. I am also one of those people that needs to have it out in plain sight, or I forget what I have! All of this is great for my outfit choices, but no so great when it means having a tidy and organised closet where I can actually find what i want, when I want.  My solution was to utilise as much vertical wall space as possible to display all my baubles.


My first step was to remove a shelf to create a vanity area of sorts. I then placed a number of 3M Command hooks on the three walls of the cubby. The left and middle walls now hold all my short and medium length necklaces, while the right wall holds various flower clips and pins (main pic, and top 2 pics). On the floor of the cubby, I have various hair pins and combs, and a number of trays that hold rings, earrings, brooches, scarf rings, gloves and watches. I also have two perspex jewellery stands (bottom left pic) that hold bracelets, dangly earrings and some neckpieces that don't fit on the walls. Lastly, I have a section of small triangular cubbies right next to my jewellery "vanity" that are useless for almost anything else, but are perfect for my bangles (bottom right). It looks like a jumbled mess in the pic, but is actually divided with plastic dividers into a section for enamel bangles, resin and plastic bangles, wooded bangles, and the rest.

 

On the wall right in the entry to my walk in closet I have again used 3M Command hooks to hang all of my long necklaces. I have to admit, I don't think I gave myself enough space here - ever since discovering how flattering long necklaces are on a large bust, these are pretty much all I buy now - but this is all the space I had, so it will have to do!!

Right outside the door to my closet, I (again!) used 3M Command hooks (I really should have been sponsored by them, don't you think!!) to hang all of my current season scarves. I love, love, love scarves, especially long ones, and I know it is so much more space efficient to store them folded on a shelf, but as I said earlier, I really need to see them right in my face! My off season scarves are folded on a shelf, as are my collection of Hermes silk scarves, which I store in their original orange boxes (seen at the far right of the pic).

Lastly, opposite my walk in wardrobe, I have my shoe and handbag closet. This is meant to be the linen closet, and I did use half of it for that purpose for a while, but I think it looks much nicer filled with shoes and bags!!  Where possible, I keep my bags in their dust covers, and my shoes in their original shoe boxes. In the case of the shoes, doing this means I can fit about a third more shoes in the cupboard than I can if I took them out of the boxes. The shoes are organized by style and function. The top shelf holds my evening shoes, since they are only worn occasionally. The next shelf has my patterned and colour heeled sandals, with the shelf below that holding my neutral (nude, black, tan)  heeled sandals. The following two shelves have my flats (sandals, ballets and loafers), and the shelf after has my closed toe heels. I plan to swap this shelf with the heeled sandal shelf when winter comes. Finally, the bottom of the closet holds my boots. By organizing the shoes in this way, it not only makes it very easy to find what I want, it also means that I always have a handle on what I've got, and I don't end up buying shoes that are similar to ones I already have.

See you all next week for another adventure in organizing!!


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Organizing Revolution Week 2: Kitchen

Organizing Homelife

Can you believe we are into the second week of January already? Well, we are, and Week 2 of the Organizing Revolution is here. Last week I showed you my family command centre for the office challenge; this week's challenge is to organize the kitchen, and not surprisingly, it was a bit trickier.


I started by giving my pantry a total cleanout, from top to bottom, inside and out. I used a strategy that many closet organisers use, and made three piles; keep, toss and donate. Anything out of date was tossed, and I'm ashamed to admit that there was a few items that went into the rubbish bin. I then really thought hard about what was going back into my pantry. Just like clothes that we keep but never seem to wear, I had food that has been sitting there taking up real estate that I was probably never going to use. This is especially true now that we are somewhat more focused on real foods. These were given away, and even if they are not the healthiest foods, at least someone can get some benefit from them, and they aren't adding to landfill. Finally, I gave the pantry a good clean, and then put everything back away, trying to keep things in categories, like baking items, breakfast items, pasta etc.


I then reorganized my beverages into two beverage stations. On the bench where I used to have my kitchen command centre (which is now here) I have my Nespresso coffee maker, a kettle, a storage unit for my coffee pods and a bowl with packets of instant chai (these are for my husband - I like real chai!!). In a drawer right underneath I have my cups and mugs, a pot of sugar, a box containing various black teas, and boxes of my herbal teas. Just further down the bench is my second beverage station. Here I have my smoothie additions (like super greens powder), hot chocolate mixes, and my Crio Bru roasted cacao beans.  This is a perfect location since it is near my instant hot water tap and the bench where I make my smoothies.
With school about to go back soon, the next area in the kitchen in need of organisation was our lunchboxes and supplies. I took two drawers, and turned them into my lunch station. By having everything together in one location should really streamline the morning lunch rush. The pic on the left is a drawer for all of their lunchboxes. Even I was surprised with how many we have, but we actually do use all of them, especially now that both kids need to bring their own morning snack to school in a separate container rather than a shared piece of fruit.   The second drawer (pic on the right) is in my kitchen island which is where I actually make the lunches, and holds all of my lunch making supplies; various cutters, muffin cups, food picks, and all of their drink bottles. The kids are both still little enough that I can make fun lunches - I mostly make them bento style, since they both like picking at lots of small things, rather than one large sandwich. 

So there you have my kitchen organisation projects for this week! Stay tuned next Monday for a really fun project, the closet!


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Friday, January 4, 2013

50 Classics for Your Closet Part 7: Skirts & Dresses


So far, I've looked at footwear, accessories, baubles and tops in Matchbook's list of 50 Classics for your Closet, and in the last installment I covered pants and trousers. This week, I'll look at my favorite pieces of clothing; skirts and dresses. Why are skirts and dresses my favourite? Because there is no easier way to look feminine and polished than in a skirt or dress. Lots of SAHMs complain that skirts and dresses are not practical for someone running around after young children, especially toddlers, but I have never found it a problem. In fact, if you pick your fabrics right, dresses and skirts can be some of the easiest pieces in your wardrobe. 

Skirts & Dresses

  1. Little Black Dress
  2. Fun Day Dress
  3. Shirt Dress
  4. A-Line or Bell Skirt
  5. Wool Pencil Skirt
  6. Cotton Mini

What list of classic clothes would be complete without a Little Black Dress? There is something so sophisticated about a LBD, that can take you from the desk to dinner, from a parent evening to a mum's lunch, just by switching up the accessories. The key here is to find one that is classic, in every sense of the word. You want it to be simple in shape, with few (or no) embellishments, so you can accessorise easily. I love a classic sheath shape, with a scoop neck and no sleeves - perfect for those with hourglass figures like mine. Smaller busts can carry off higher necks, and wider hips look amazing in dresses with an a-line or full skirt. As for fabric, it depends on where you live and your lifestyle. Seasonless wool and cotton sateen are my first choices, because (excepting extreme climes) they really can be worn through all four seasons. Ponte knit is also a great choice, and can be very flattering on even curvier gals.


The Fun Day Dress is what makes up 99% of my dress wardrobe. All of my dresses are in fun and often vibrant prints, and for fall/winter, they are all jersey, and for spring/summer, it would be a 50/50 split between jersey and cotton. I love dresses for day - they are so easy to slip on, are nice and cool for summer, and with a cardigan, tights and a jacket are toasty warm for winter. I have a tummy, so a faux wrap is the perfect choice for my jersey dresses. For my cotton dresses I almost always go for a variation on a sheath dress - sleeveless, scoop neck and pencil skirted. If I had a different figure, I would swan through summer in a full skirted 1950's style dress, so if you are slimmer than me, please give this style a whirl!  My main criteria for selecting a day dress, after silhouette, is whether it be machine washed. If not, I don't buy it. For a dress that is going to be worn regularly, I want something that can be tossed in the washer. And in the case of jersey dresses, I hang them to dry on a coat hanger, and then they don't even need ironing. They are truly the pinnacle of low maintenance!


Oh, the Shirt Dress...how I love thee. And how little you suit me!  When will I accept that a shirt dress is possibly one of the least flattering pieces of clothing out there for body shapes like mine? All those buttons, just waiting to gape in all the wrong spots - of course this is a disaster piece for me, and most likely, for the majority of women out there. A shirt dress is truly a beautiful piece of clothing - it's crisp and polished, with a hint of sexiness combined with a hint of utility. But just make sure it is a perfect fit for your body.

The A-Line or Bell skirt is another item that is great in theory, but not for me. The A-line is a wonderful casual piece, and will do wonders for those who are pear shaped, as the the A-line glides over the problem areas, while highlighting the waist. On hourglass or apple shapes, the extra volume in the skirt can add pounds, so be careful if you're are trying to look slimmer. When shopping for A-lines, look for fabrics that have some drape and softness, so the look is not too stiff. I love printed cottons for summer paired with wedges, and nubby tweeds and knee high suede boots in winter. 

Is there anything sexier than a pencil skirt? I don't think so! This is my skirt silhouette of choice, and in fact, every. single. skirt I own is a pencil. For an hourglass figure, you really can't go past the pencil skirt - it hugs your curves in all the right places, and highlights all the best features. The Matchbook list suggests a wool skirt, and this is a good place to start, but don't stop there! I have them in cotton, denim, wool and in plains, prints and textures. I prefer mine slightly tapered with a kick pleat so I can walk easily, but if you feel too "hippy" in a tapered pencil, then look for a a skirt that is cut straight down from the hip. I usually pair my pencil skirt with some sort of heel, either a stiletto or a wedge or even a knee high boot, but a ballet flat can also look great.

When I'm talking about a cotton mini, I'm not talking about the micro short one you wore when you were 18, but a nice, fun, casual skirt in a flattering length that sits somewhere above your knee. For me, I am comfortable with a length no shorter than a hand-span above the knee - I find this length to be flattering and practical. Any shorter, and not only do I find it less attractive, practicality goes out the window - I can't reach down easily, and even sitting becomes a risk for me. Here is where you can go wild with colour and pattern; these are usually relatively inexpensive, and a fun print or bright colour can really add dimension to your casual wardrobe.

Stay tuned for my last entry (finally!) in this series, when I cover a much forgotten part of our closets, our outerwear.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Product Review: Dettol Touch of Foam Hand Soap


Nuffnang recently sent me a bottle of Dettol Touch of Foam to try out and it has been a real hit with the family, especially the kids. Unlike regular liquid soap, the Touch of Foam soap comes out as a thick and creamy foam. For my kids, this is all they needed to know. They were fascinated with a squirt of pink liquid coming out as a whole handful of fun foam. Never have I found it so easy to have my kids wash their hands!!

For me, though, as fun as this was, I loved the fact that the soap was truly moisturising, and unlike many other hand soaps, it left my hands feeling comfortable. I am not fussed about whether a hand soap is anti-bacterial or not, since I think soap does the necessary job regardless, but for those that are, Dettol Touch of Foam states that it kills 99.9% of germs. I am also finding that we are using a lot less of it than our previous soap. Because each pump gives out a whole handful of foam, I am finding the kids are only using one pump, unlike regular soaps, where I was constantly having to remind them to only use one pump, not the two (or three or four!) that I often caught them using.

We were sent the Rose & Cherry in Bloom version, which was fruity and floral without being overpowering, or too girly for the boys of the house. Stephen did think the bright pink colour was too girly, so I just bought the Wild Berry Bliss fragrance which is a light blue for the kids' bathroom, and they love this one just as much, if not more.

This was a definite winner in our household, and has become our new hand soap of choice.


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Disclaimer: I received this product courtesy of Nuffnang, but all opinions are my own, and compensation was received.

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