Monday, October 27, 2014

Product Review: Aerin Fall Essentials Weekday/Weekend Collection

I have a serious girl crush on Aerin Lauder, Estee Lauder's grand daughter, and have had one ever since I worked for the Estee Lauder company over a decade ago! I've previously reviewed her most recent lipstick collection, the delightful Rose Balm collection (these are still the only lipsticks I have been wearing) and I have just invested in her two latest Essentials makeup collections, Weekday and Weekend.  Both of the oversized palettes were designed with easy and simplicity in mind, and contain almost all the products you need for a complete face. The Weekday edit goes bolder, with a slightly smoky eye and pops of pretty colour on the lips, while the Weekend palette heads towards natural and neutral for a carefree Le No Makeup look, with bronzes, soft browns and pale pinks.


I am starting with the Weekend palette since that is what I have been wearing the most at the moment.  Despite it being a "Fall" collection, these colours, paired with Aerin's Coral Sand Rose Balm Lipstick and a touch of the Aerin Weekend Gloss, have actually been perfect for the spring weather we are having here in Oz, and I think that labeling this a Fall item is doing it a disservice; I can honestly see myself using this palette all year round.  Down the left hand side you have (from top to bottom) a golden highlighter Glow, the Lip & Cheek Multicolour in Natural, and two lipsticks, Whisper (pale pink) and Cabana (coral). You then have a bronzer in Pretty Bronze, and two eye shadows in Simplicity and Cocoa.

Here are the swatches on my arm, and as you can see, it is the perfect accompaniment to a summer tan, but it would also be great to warm up a fading tan come autumn. I am mostly using the Simplicity eyeshadow on my lids, and using the Cocoa as a shadow liner, followed by quick hit of the Natural multicolor on the apples of my cheeks and a sweep of bronzer in a 3 shape from temples, to under the cheek bones, and then back out to just under the jaw line. A touch of the glow highlighter on my cheekbones, and lastly a swipe of lipstick, gloss, and mascara and I am literally done in just a few minutes.

The Weekday palette is designed for the work week, but come autumn/winter, I can absolutely see myself wearing this cool toned "bold neutral" palette almost every day. As it is, I have been wearing this quite a bit when I want a slightly more dramatic look than the warmer, more subtle Weekend palette. On the left hand side, from top to bottom, we have the highlighter in Beam, (which is slightly more rose gold coloured compared to the golden one in the Weekend set), the multicolour in Natural, and lipsticks in Geranium and Liebling (both of which I already have). We then have the blush in Petal ( a much softer, cooler pink than it appears in this pic) and eyeshadows in Graphite and Graige.

This is a really pretty colour collection, but it is still very sophisticated, making it a perfect match for those mums who work out of the home, but also for us SAHMs who want to look a little bit more polished every now and then. The two eyeshadows combine to give a cool smoky eye - smoky, but subtle - and the remaining shades complete the look perfectly. The two lipsticks in this palette are to-die-for. As I mentioned in a previous post, Liebling is pretty much my holy grail nude lipstick, my lip colour but better!

Finally, here are the matching lip glosses I purchased as well, Weekday on the left, Weekend on the right. Weekend is a lovely, non-sticky, non-shimmery nude colour with enough pigmentation to wear on its own, but also gorgeous over the top of either of the palette lipsticks to add more shine. Weekend is a sheer beige gloss with a gorgeous golden shimmer. It reads too light for me to wear it on its own, but it is stunning over the top of a deeper colour lipstick like the Coral Sands that I am currently wearing. If you have a fairer skin tone, then I can imagine this would be gorgeous by itself.

Overall, I see myself getting a lot of use out of this collection. Every colour is usable (not always the case in a palette!) and the concept of a curated, all-in-one complete look in a palette is right up my alley as a busy mum. At $70, the palettes are not inexpensive, but in my opinion, I do believe they are worth the price.

Available at and various department stores.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: At Home With Madame Chic by Jennifer L Scott

by Jennifer L Scott finally arrived the other day, and I delved right into it! As you know, I loved Jennifer's first book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, and her blog, The Daily Connoisseur, and refer to both often, so you can imagine my excitement at a new book that was about about incorporating Jennifer's style into you everyday life at home.

Divided into two parts, the first section deals with getting your house into shape, to make it an oasis, a sanctuary, a place you and your family will actually want to spend time in. It is all about cultivating beauty throughout your home, whether that is clearing the clutter, finding a homekeeping routine that suits your lifestyle, or finally being able to keep houseplants alive! What I loved most about this first section was Jennifer's gentle coaching to change your perspective; housekeeping and child rearing can be mundane and tiresome if that is how you choose to see it, so why not choose to see it in an entirely different, beautiful way.

This then leads to the second section about the rhythms of your day, the little rituals, and how we can savor each and every moment, no matter how mundane they may seem. While I found the first section useful, it was the second section, itself further divided into Morning, Afternoon and Evening routines, that I found invaluable.

Two seemingly small things from this second portion of the book have made a huge difference to our days. Firstly, getting up before the kids and being able to enjoy that small window of time to myself has made an enormous difference to my attitude in the morning, and this has flowed on to the children. No more frantically trying to get ready at the same time as helping the kids out, no more scrambling to get us all out the door on time. Instead, we have peace, smiles, cheerful chatter as we cruise along (most mornings!). Secondly, I took Jennifer's suggestion of classical music in the morning, and that is what we now listen to on the school run instead of the news channel that was our previous default. Instead of doom and gloom, we listen to peaceful tunes, and actually discuss composers, what instruments they can hear, what mood do they think the composer was trying to create. I truly believe these moments in the car are setting up our whole day on a positive, joyous note.

I will finish with one final point; while I mostly buy my books as e books (reducing the clutter and all that!), this is one tome I am happy to have in hardback. Not only is the book filled with delightful illustrations, taking the time to peruse through actual paper pages just seems to fit perfectly with Jennifer's over-arching philosophy of being present and enjoying each passing moment.

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