Easter Sunday Look Book

Anyone who grew up in the Church would tell you that Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day somewhat resemble an exotic fashion Show in Milan. Whether it be polished shoes, manicured nails, perfectly placed hair or exquisite gowns; Easter Sunday is always a time of celebration, family and putting the regular ‘Sunday best’ to shame.

Well versed and knowing this will be the case, I sought to outfit my old-world conservative lace tier dress with youthful accessories to create a playful, yet Church appropriate look.

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Shop my look:

Seed Heritage Lace Tier Dress

Gucci Blooms 

Hugo Boss Nude Shoes

Longines PrimaLuna L8.110.4.87.6

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick

Wishing all a happy and safe Easter!

Disclaimer: well-aware that the canines pictured are by far the best accessories to any outfit.

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2016 Favourites

As a consumer who gullibly believes the claims of beauty companies, I have dabbled in various products and their claims to determine what is and isn’t mere puff.

To celebrate the beginning of the new year, I would love to share the products that proved exceptional, that I will continue to use throughout 2017!

Skin Care

Clinique Anti Blemish Solution

2016 was the year of acne.  Vicious, aggressive and unyielding acne. Quickly I learnt that  teenagers are not the only ones to fall victim to the curse of cystic hormonal acne.

Thankfully, with the assistance of the Clinique Anti Blemish Solution Range (review available at: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Review), my skin has been afforded the opportunity to clear up. I recommend these Clinique products to those struggling with their skin, yet do not want to use harsh chemicals or reach to prescribed oral or topical medications.

Frank Coffee Scrub

When it comes to ensuring soft luxurious skin, coffee scrubs have been all the rage this year. Every Tom, Dick and Jane have released their take on the humble coffee scrub. Meanwhile, I have been the foolish consumer who has purchased dozens of coffee scrubs in an attempt to knock the most popular of them all, being Frank. Unfortunately, said venture has led me to some skin issues. Some of the scrubs have been too coarse, causing grazing and irritation, some have had far too many chemicals, causing mild allergic reactions, whilst the others were bluntly underwhelming. Through my hundreds of wasted
dollars and my many skin issues, I have come to the final determination that Frank is not at all overhyped and that it is about time I show fidelity to the original coffee scrub brand.

The Frank: Peppermint and Coffee Scrub has established itself as a staple of my beauty routine. Beyond the fact that I am a stickler for anything peppermint flavoured or scented, the scrub has an incredible ability to penetrate the skin’s surface to leave a luxurious sheen to the skin (of oil), whilst relaxing tense muscles. I particularly appreciate this particular coffee scrub for post-workout relaxation (as discussed in my first point in 16 Lessons Learnt throughout 2016!).

Makeup

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

There is a reason why the Double Wear Foundation is the number one selling makeup product from the internationally acclaimed skin care brand. The medium to high coverage buildable foundation is incredible for both day-to-day wear and for special occasion makeup.

It is no secret that a wide range of influencers speak glowingly about this product (to be fair, I was late on the bandwagon), but repurchasing on multiple occasions throughout 2016, I would not enter 2017 wearing anything else.

p.s I recommend wearing the matching pressed powder on-top so not to look caked. 

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

I originally purchased this product purely on the premise of price. Cosmo Cosmetics in Sydney was clearing their Giorgio Armani range (still in date) for a fraction of their retail cost. As a constant fake tan user, I was recommended the fluid sheer in shade three, which is a luminous colour corrector that I mix with my foundation. I love the natural highlight that the fluid sheer provides and the fact that it alters to my individual skin tone.

It is also worth noting that the product packaging is stunning and can easily be used as a decorative piece (as discussed in Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: Budget Friendly Luxury Design).

Too Faced: Better Than Sex Mascara

One coat of the carbon black, collagen-fuelled mascara formula and lashes are full, defined and stretched to unbelievable lengths. Two coats and lashes are even more luscious, curled and dramatic. Three coats and achieve the most intense black, oversized, multidimensional lashes possible! A mascara so amazing it’s Better Than Sex!

Mecca Details

…took the words out of my mouth.

Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Liquid Eyeliner 

I struggle with liquid eyeliner. Watching me create a winged eyeliner somewhat resembles a scene from the Trojan War. The Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Liquid Eyeliner is an incredibly thin brush that is easy to control, which is always a positive when working with carbon black eye products.

Mac Lipsticks: Angel and Honey Love

Considering actions speak louder than words, let us appreciate the fact that I have repurchased the Frost Lipstick Angel six times this year!

Angel is a stunning hybrid of glossy pink and nude that provides medium to full coverage on the lip. Whilst I begun using Angel without a lip liner, I soon determined that the shade suited a slightly darker nude lipliner (currently using one from Nude by Nature). Surprisingly, I recently wore the shade without the lipliner and came to the determination that the colour was slightly too pink and youthful without a darker undertone (which might suit those with lighter coloured features).

At the same stage I started reaching past Angel, I was inspired by the infamous lip combo of my favourite blogger and YouTuber, Lydia Elise Millen. I was gifted Honey Love for Christmas 2015 but did not wear the colour as I am not a fan of Matte lipsticks (seemingly unlike the rest of the world). Lydia prompted me try the shade and have not put the lip product down since!

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Hair Care

For as long as I can remember, my best friend has tooted on the horn of BioSilk silk infused hair therapies (which fell upon deaf ears).

Whilst sailing through the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, my hair became dry and brittle due to the effects of the harsh and unyielding elements. In returning from the ocean, I fell into the habit of running the BioSilk treatment through my hair after I washed it. In no time at all my lifeless mop turned light, luscious and felt nourished – somehow my hair looked and felt far better than it did leaving Australia.

Since returning back to Australia, I am pleasantly surprised to find out that Priceline Pharmacy has decided to stock BioSilk therapies, which were previously only available from the American or in Europe.

The entire BioSilk collection including the shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment  has revolutionised my hair care routine. I would unreservedly state that this find was the find of the year.

Fashion

Monogram (Hot Stamped) Leather Goods

Up until 2013, it was rare to see an everyday working woman sporting hot stamped leather. Whilst some were lucky enough to get their hands on hand painted Louis Vuitton, the rest of us were left googling images of celebrities showing off their initials.

Irrespective of how common and ‘on trend’ monogram has become, there is still a wow factor about someone taking their wallet to bag to the next level. I personally believe that people look at a hot stamped speedy and appreciate it first and foremost for the reason that it is a genuine Louis Vuitton piece. The initials take a backseat to the name behind the brand. TDE and Monpurse have branded solely around the complimentary hot stamp service. The fact that your bag isn’t mass manufactured for millions of people to wear worldwide adds a sentimental value to your item.

Personalising a Trend: Monogram

From phone case, laptop cover, cosmetics bags, pencil case, pouches, card wallets, purses and everything in between – I purchased it in 2016 and I will continue to love it in 2017!

Miscellaneous

Zara Home Car Air Freshener

Having a immaculately clean car is a must for me. The most commonly used phrase said in
my car from friends is generally “wow, your car is so clean!”, to which I hide an inconspicuous smile well-knowing that I vacuum it multiple times a week. I pay just as much attention to the scent of my car considering how many hours I spend in my vehicle in the week.

Zara Home in Sydney stocks beautiful car air fresheners that are beautiful and luxurious smelling. My favourite scent that I continue repurchasing is the wild berries scent that resembles my favourite triple scented candle.

BOSS The Scent for Her

THE FRAGRANCE

INGREDIENTS:

TOP NOTE: ATTRACTION
The fruity and floral Honeyed Peach and Freesia meet in an exquisite, head-turning combination that creates an irresistible attraction.
HEART NOTE: SEDUCTION
Warm and voluptuous heart notes of the oriental flower Osmanthus connect the top and base notes in an initially light and delicate allure that evolves into a darker, heady quality.
BASE NOTE: ADDICTION
Locked together and powerless to resist, the fragrance unleashes an irresistibly rich base note of Roasted Cocoa. An enigmatic element with strong hidden qualities, it offers an addictive boost that arouses the senses, making the protagonists relinquish control in the moment.

Hugo Boss

The fragrance is stunning and no description can honestly pay it justice! I was lucky enough to be gifted this fragrance for Christmas (features in my Christmas Gift Guide: Women who have Everything!) and I am certain that this will be the scent of the new year!

Clarisonic Mia 2

My boyfriend generously gifted me the pink Clarisonic Mia 2 in the baby pink after I dragged him through Sephora on a summers day.

I love the fact that the Clarisonic cleans six times deeper than washing your face and body with your hands, moving at more than 300 movements per second to deeply clean the skin. Unbeknown to the Clarisonic company, their product is also a vital and effective part of my fake tan skincare routine and preparation. The Mia 2 is waterproof and the cleansing head is wide enough to be used for the rest of the body surface making it multifunctional (also ladies, we are getting our cost-per-wear down).

The only downfall of the Clarisonic is the fact that the charger isnt made for Australian powersockets, thus it requires an adapter which can be bulky when travelling.

The Clarisonic has been a constant companion in my self-care routine and I am certain that it will continue to do so in the new year.

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Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Review

Acne is something I have struggled with from the ripe age of twelve. You name the respective stage of my life and I can almost certainly outline what treatment I was undergoing for my troubled skin at the time.

Throughout my nine-year battle, I have experimented with both medicated and non-medicated treatments, including premium skin care brands, naturopathic treatments and drugstore skin care. Some treatments have worked wonders and whilst they have not rid me of all my blemishes, they have controlled the spread of bacteria (in my eyes enough to constitute a tick of approval). Other treatments have flared my skin and sworn me off certain brands and active chemicals.

A markable difference between how I approach acne and blemish treatments as a twenty-one year old, who has maxed out on the amount of Roaccutane  treatments permissible , is that I now acknowledge there is no quick fix. Skin is about more than just what creams and brands you use, skin is equally as reflexive of your health regime, diet, hormonal changes, genetics and a myriad of other issues. A good skin care routine can however, regulate the spread of bacteria and dictate how your skin heals. As a result, I am eager to try to share with you my impressions and experiences with the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions range.

Clinique is a brand that I have always held in high regard. I distinctly recall my mother using their ranges religious when I was a child and her always stressing the importance of investing in your skin. This brand affiliation led me to them when I was sixteen years old and dealing with rosacea. Unfortunately, the representative behind the counter was not well versed with my skin type and advised me to use the range for all skin types. Unsurprisingly, that particular three-step system did little to remedy my situation. I never dabbled in the brand again to look after my young skin and instead respected the formulas from afar.

After a particularly aggressive outbreak of acne turned blemishes, I visited David Jones  an act of desperation to revisit the brand. I am enthusiastic to see that Clinique have introduced a range catering to blemish prone skin. Whilst some may criticise and the affordability of this range, I would love to take this opportunity to share my experiences and results from use, to help inform your skin investments and decisions.

The company promotes the three-step system, as ‘Everything designed to work together. Not just to treat, but to prevent – day and night’.  Together, Anti-Blemish Solution formulas:

  1. Treat breakout prone skin with highly effective ingredients.
  2. Help clear and prevent blemishes.
  3. Help reduce the appearance of redness of blemishes.
  4. Soothe irritated skin.
  5. Work to control oiliness.
  6. Appropriate for all skin types.

The foundational three steps of the treatment:

Step One: Cleansing Foam 

‘Mild cleansing helps clear and prevent blemishes. Removes dirt and excess oil. Unclogs pores.’

$29.00

Just like any cleanser this product is designed to assist clearing blemishes, however it is not the focal product that will do the heavy lifting. The cleanser gives you a clean slate to work with, a.k.a a clean face to apply the other treatments with.

I found this cleanser safe to take off makeup and use to remove most eye makeup. zoom_variation_pink_view_01_990x1290Paired
with my trusted Clarisonic Mia 2, I found the cleanser worked a treat.

….

Step Two: Clarifying Lotion

‘Gentle formula exfoliates to clear dead surface cells and reduces excess oil that can lead to breakouts. Oil-absorbing powders eliminate shine.’

$29.00

I am generally not one to place too much weight on the scent of product, however this lotions odour is quite unpleasant. I appreciate that the hero of the product is the formula and everything else is secondary to those developing the lotion, but this wouldn’t be a honest review if a gal didn’t warn you.

With that said, I found the clarifying lotion to be the most on the spot effective part of the skincare regime. Almost instantly my skin and blemishes dried up. Unlike any other product I have ever used, this lotion felt like it was working effectively from day one and I am happy to say that the results spoke for themselves.

I note that the lotion is of a watery consistency and needs to be shaken before use. I am advised that the active ingredients that makes the lotion so effective sits at the bottom of the bottle. After shaking, place a tiny amount of product onto a cotton ball and dab onto blemishes (thank me later).

….

Step Three: All-Over Clearing Treatment (Oil-Free)

‘Helps treat existing blemishes and prevent future breakouts. Helps control excess oil throughout the day.’

$29.00

I note the remarkable similarity of the scent of this product to the Clinique Super City Block, which is 100% fragrance free. The gel consistency is easy to apply and spreads all over like the product instructions advise.

The all-over cleansing treatment is fine to use under makeup, as it dries quickly and does not leave an oily residue behind. I suggest using this product sparingly to ensure you do not finish this tube before the rest of the skincare treatment.

The spot treatment is a pleasure to use as it targets those active and nasty pimples like no-one’s business.

….

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of this whole range of anti-blemish skincare Clinique has provided. I have found my troubled patch of skin has dried up nicely and the texture of that area has improved remarkably (meaning makeup cover-up is much easier). Whilst my face is much drier now, I am satisfied with the result of the system. I would recommend this skincare to people with typically oily skin that are after a way of controlling their oil control alongside their acne and blemishes.

The three step process is simple to work into your daily routine and is not burdensome to undertake. In fact, you feel like you’re doing something good for yourself ( spoil yo self).  Whilst I was originally sceptical about why I ‘needed’ to purchase all three products for this regime, I now understand and would encourage others to do the same. I believe dermatologists created each individual product to treat and prepare your skin for the next product you are going to use. I do not think the positive results my skin has encountered would be as effective without the entire three step process.

I think near $90 for a full regime of products is reasonable. The system should last me atleast 2-3 months, which works out reasonably. If you find it difficult to justify this spend, I would remind you that your skin is so incredibly important – I would rather invest in myself and my health and wellbeing than in clothes or shoes (I know, shock horror). As someone who has suffered from aggressive acne for near a decade, I understand and appreciate the importance of looking after and respecting your skin. After years upon years of medication, different courses of antibiotics and anti-inflamitories, after mouthfuls of apple-cider vinegar and my skin experiencing a vast array of product – I will always go the extra mile to invest in skincare.

Whilst my skin isn’t 100% clear at the moment, the results that I have encountered in the last week are far better than the results from other premium skincare ranges. An improvement is good enough for me, as the rest of the skincare process will only improve with a better diet, more exercise, healthier sleeping patterns and more h2o.

An improvement is an improvement, and for that reason I stand behind the Clinique Anti-Blemish treatment.

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Globalisation, Media Flows and the Illusion of Beauty

Much alike international political, technological and economical interdependence, the process of globalisation has equally contributed to and shaped cultural ideals of what is considered beautiful. Traditionally, international standards of beauty were considered heterogeneous, differing in relation to where in the world an individual lived.  Historical development, cultural paradigms and interactions with religion shaped the independent nation’s standards. However, due to the intensity and speed at which changes in worldwide relations have occurred, globalisation has caused a homogeneous adoption of beauty standards, influenced by the Western World and American culture. Western standards have become globalised whilst ethnic and cultural benchmarks retreated, a fluid change of values through the dissemination of aspirations.

screen-shot-2014-06-08-at-10-29-51-am Prior to Western ideals being exported  ‘beauty had always been a craft which was very local in its products and traditions. There was no global standard of what it meant to be beautiful. Societies has always varied considerably, both over time and between geographies, in how they sought to enhance they attractiveness through the use of cosmetic aid, hairstyles and clothing’ (http://www.ea.sinica.edu.tw/eu_file/132393925714.pdf, 891).

Traditional cultural ideals of beauty, include:

  1.  Brazilian societies celebrated women who were toned, tanned and curvy with a large waist and voluptuous assets. Brazilian figures are now transitioning to a thinner and more elongated standard.
  2. Middle Eastern women (who chose to use cosmetics) accentuated their eyes with dark smokey colours. Middle Eastern Women continue with these traditions, however there is an unprecedented amount of glorification revolving around green and blue eyes. Thus, whilst Western ideals are accepted, they work in hybridity with traditional ideals.
  3. Within Asian cultures, soft white or creamy skin and hands were a representation of class, to be accompanied by dark thick hair.  Desire for creamy skin continues, however Asian blepharoplasty (double eyelid surgery) has become a social norm to ensure ‘Westernised” features.

Heterogeneity  is represented within a social experiment, where a woman sent an unedited image of herself worldwide and requested “make me beautiful.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT9FmDBrewA

beauty-collage

Prolific media flows from the Western World to a mostly passive audience, has altered the different and celebrated image of beauty. Such sources include campaign advertising, film, the dissemination of tv shows and celebrity culture. The creation of the Miss Universe Contest in 1952 saw the trend of looking Western begin, noted by Van Esterick as being the “Miss Universe Standard of Beauty” where pale petite features and wide eyes were favoured.  As Appardurai notes in Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, ‘ most often the homogenization argument subspeciates into either an argument about Americanization or an argument about commoditization, and often the two arguments are very closely linked.’ The Victoria’s Secret brand  for example, spans 1,064 stores internationally with 185 countries broadcast the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Although the lingerie empire has begun attempting to integrate cultural diversity, the features of ethnic models continue to adhere to a hybrid American beauty standard through Western measurements and features.

victorias-secret-fashion-show-2013_50    0e1411cd-ffec-4ddc-8af1-96fe8e2b08c3_560_420111413-victorias-secret-9-400  556815-9d4d48a8-edff-11e4-b2ab-57dfa37cc8ba  will+Victoria+Secret+Fashion+Show+TYTo4GYf9Ifl  fantasybra_2733953a

Elena Rossini’s The Illusionist documents that ‘just as English has become the lingua franca of the world, so the white, blondified, small-nosed, pert-breasted, long-legged body is coming to stand in for the great variety of human bodies…we’re losing bodies as fast as we’re losing languages.’

Within a world where we are internationally sold the aspiration of looking like the idealised American girl, one has to question –

Who dictates “what is beautiful?”

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