Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want what you want

Beauty products. We all use 'em. We're all always on the lookout for The Best. As in, "I just discovered the best mascara EVER! Not clumpy, 300x your natural thickness, long luxurious lashes and then it buys you a drink and makes you dinner!"

Ok, so there's like three people on the planet who care what stuff I use in my daily upkeep (you don't even want to know what it looks like without any of this shit) but still, there are people. I get asked somewhat occasionally for product recommendations and so far have a 3/3 success rate. Count it bitchez, that is 100%. I am about to cover all bases (so to speak): skin, eyes, cheeks, lips, nails, hair. These are the best of the best in my own humble opinion. Let's roll.


QV Face Moisturiser. Before you do anything else, you need a primed, healthy base. This stuff is cheap, long-lasting and easily accessible (check your local pharmacy). I have extremely sensitive skin, dry-normal (even occasionally oily in Summer) but this moisturiser does the trick. It is hydrating and has SPF and I actually quite like my skin, which says a lot for someone with severe esteem issues (believe it or not). (I know I'm using a lot of parentheses - this will decrease now that I am aware of it).

Napoleon China Doll foundation. I'm not a huge fan of Napoleon cosmetics apart from a strong eye shadow every now and again, but China Doll works for me. It gives me a pretty flawless finish without being too cakey. I have heard varying opinions on this, but I personally love it. I use the lightest shade available - Look B1 - and it blends perfectly and provides good, even coverage. For me.

If I know I'm getting photographed, or my makeup needs to last a while (or I have a crush on someone and really, really want to look my best) I finish my foundation with Estee Lauder's Lucidity translucent powder. It has been my favourite discovery in the past year. It helps 'set' your makeup and take away any excess shine that is so unflattering in photos. Love it. Also, it comes in pretty packaging:

Sooooo pretty!

This is the one that I have. I like it so much I even reapply it in public. Talk about a social faux pas. N.B.: You can buy refills when you run out, you don't have to purchase a pricey new compact each time. But by all means, do collect the pretty cases if you please.

The Body Shop facial blotting tissues. Special shout out to my aunty Helen for this discovery. Last year on the night of my 21st birthday party it was like 100 degrees outside so my aunty bought me these to blot away sweat and oily residue for photos. They worked a charm and now I can't survive Summer without them.

Johnson and Johnson's 3 in 1 facial cleansing wipes. The easiest way of removing makeup and looking after my skin. I am a lazy ass but even I can manage using these wipes while drunk. Plus, you only need one, even if you wear as much makeup as I do.


Estee Lauder eye shadow. I am a huge fan of Estee Lauder's range of eye shadows. They are a bit pricey but last forever (and I use them a lot). Nice range, you can always find something on-trend mixed in with classic gorgeous colours. Also, the pigment is strong so you can layer a dark colour and get a really smokey eye quite effortlessly. Swoon. TIP: Put foundation on your eyelid first to help your eyeshadow stay in place.

MAC eyeshadow quad in "Smokey Lady". Possibly my smartest purchase ever. This is the most amazing collection of colours I have ever come across in an eyeshadow palette (you know there's always those two shit colours you never use). The light pink is the perfectest shade of light pink, the silvery grey has the most complementary amount of depth and shimmer and the dark brown works perfectly with a smokey eye and doubles as eyeliner. The blue is just super pretty. If you see it, get it, it's the palette you take when you don't want to lug around bags of makeup. An all-rounder if ever there was one.

NYX eyeliner. No, this is not a joke. It is like $2 and it is my pencil eyeliner of choice. It's a soft pencil, it's dark, sharpens easily and smudges nicely if that's what you fancy - and I often do. Don't be fooled by the price. It works well.

La Ligne de Chanel. My favourite and easiest makeup look so far in 2010 is a natural eyelid, cats-eye eyeliner, loads of mascara, blush and nude lipstick. Ergo, the prefect application of eyeliner is crucial. Using this makes it pretty much impossible to fuck up. Just wet the brush, test on your hand, and go nuts. It takes about 3 minutes and people almost always comment on how perfect it looks. I find eyeliner very difficult to apply and get right but it's almost impossible to go wrong with this. Worth the price (but try strawberrynet.com to get it cheaper).

It also now comes in this colour, which I am totes purchasing when mine runs out. I never use the blue anyway.

Rimmel Max Volume Lash Mascara. Got hooked on this baby this year. It gives me the thick lashes I so covet, plus makes them longer. Two coats is more than enough for my obsessive quest for 60s lashes without using falsies. P.S. Any suggestions for the perfect falsies?

Rimmel Glam Eyes in Brownish Black. This, on the other hand, gives a much more natural look. It lengthens and defines lashes but doesn't look too makeup-y and seemingly cannot clump. I like.


Estee Lauder blush - any colour. I use a blush palette and it gives me a great flushed look. The pinks are pinky without being 80s and you can apply the colour in layers so you don't all of a sudden look like a clown.

Estee Lauder blush brush. I can't even tell you if this is the best or not, because I've never ventured to try another since I first stole my mums. Invest in good brushes!


Kiehl's lip balm. Duh. It's a classic. It's the lip treatment equivalent of a little black dress and for good reason. Gives you very soft lips, with a very soft sheen, and minimal odour - unless you get a flavoured one. Win.

Kit lip sheen. Another great lip treatment from my own personal worship site, Kit cosmetics (easily found in Myer). IT TASTES LIKE MINT AND GIVES YOU MINTY FRESH BREATH BY DEFAULT. Also, it tingles. The tube doesn't last long though because if you're anything like me, you will obsessively reapply in order to feel the TINGLE. You can also get one with a pink tint. I have that too.

Kit lip gloss. I don't really wear lipgloss much anymore, but when and if I do, it has to be Kit. These babies come in divine colours and have a toned-down version of the minty tingle that you will find in the lip sheen/treatment.

Poppy King Lipstick Queen lipstick in Saint Pink (available through Kit stores). THANKS JESSIE FOR INTRODUCING ME TO THIS ONE. This was the first lipstick I regularly started using to replace lipgloss. This lipstick range comes in two versions: Saints and Sinners. Each colour is available in both a Saint and a Sinner version. Basically the Sinners are more opaque and dark and the Saints are slightly more sheer and day-friendly. But I wear mine all the time. It is the perfect pink lippy.

Bobbi Brown lipstick in Uber Pink. This one sounds very pink (get it?) and you are probably questioning my sanity and being all "woah, woah, woah Aph - what is with two pink lipsticks in a row? How many 'bests' are there??" But chill my peeps. This is the best 'natural' lipstick I have ever tried. It almost seems like no colour - it just enhances the lip colour you already have. Wear with Rimmel Glam Lash in Brownish Black for example.

If you're still with me, hang tight, we're almost at the end.


OPI's Lincoln Park after Dark. The best dark purple I've ever worn. Goes on easily, always looks flawless, and fulfills my obsession to have the perfect dark tips. It reminds me also of when I was a punk.

Dur, I've mentioned these before. Kit nail polish in Go Getter and Go Out. Gorgeous coral shades and yes, you do need them both. The lighter one is a lovely pastel with a hint of coral and the other is just a super pretty bright (but not fluro) coral. Love.

Oh and I couldn't find a pic of it, but for the perfect pale, pale pink that doesn't make your nails look white and goes on super smooth: Kit's Quick Step will do the trick.


GHD hair straightener. This is not a secret. This is the Holy Grail. Straight, curly, loose waves, it does it all. I value it more than my most important bodily organs. I lent it to someone recently for a full three hours and my breathing did not resume to it's normal pace until three hours after I'd gotten it back. My hair, to some, looks natural and unstyled but trust - I have never left my hair in it's natural state since I was 13. And never plan to. Once my straightener broke and even though my hair did not need styling for a few days at least, I replaced it within 8 hours.

Dove Heat Defense Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner. However, because I abuse the shit out of my hair, it is important to protect it. Dove does the trick. Since I began using this shampoo I even stopped using a finishing shine cream I used to think I could never live without. PLUS I recommended it to a lovely lady on the weekend who had also abused her locks and she saw amazing improvement after the FIRST WASH. I've seen the pics, it's magic.

Toni and Guy Iron It Heat Defense Spray. Occasionally the day after I have straightened my hair I also choose to curl it in order to achieve that model off-duty natural wavy look. I feel bad for my hair then so I use this on dry hair (duh) before I curl it.

For the observant among you, you may have noticed a huge gaping hole in my Best list. The Best concealer is indeed missing from this blog. I have yet to purchase this magic concealer that I have heard so much about - not because I don't think it works (I've tried it, it is amazing) but because I'm afraid to get addicted to it and then not be able to afford replacing it consistently. See, everything I've mentioned here is pretty long-lasting so I don't mind splashing out. But this concealer is something I would use every day, it's that good.

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch. If someone were to give me a lifetime supply of this, I would give them a lifetime supply of gratitude. Just sayin'.

Hope that was helpful x

Friday, July 16, 2010

more affordable baby clothes

No, I am not pregnant. Nor do I know anybody who is. I have no plans to be pregnant in the near future. However that, precisely, is part of the problem.

Today my mum and I went to buy some baby clothes for a friend of ours who recently gave birth to a tiny human and holy shitballs, baby clothes are expensive nowadays! I picked up a cotton summer dress - sleeveless, plain, t-shirt material cotton with NO embellishments or anything - and it was $136. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX DOLLARS. For a teeny tiny baby dress. The baby will get like six months wear out of it. How can they charge so much?!

This worries me because IMAGINE how expensive baby clothes will get by the time I actually do want to reproduce! Friends and family will have to go in together and pitch in for one pair of $3000 shoes. Or worse, they will buy me the one shoe and be all "Erm, didn't you get the other one? It's in the mail, swearz."

But the worst part about it was the wankiness of the lady selling the clothes. As we were returning some other clothes and buying different ones because we changed our minds she was a bit pissy at us. My mother asked her if the outfit we had chosen matched. She then sniffily retorted thusly:

"Yes...it's a story. This is a story. And the one you returned, just so you know, that was also a story in case you were wondering. It was intended to be a story. It goes together."

Yo, lady, here's a story for ya.

Once upon a time there was a very snooty lady. She worked in a snooty children's clothing store and gave the clothes ridiculous snooty prices. Then one day two very NICE ladies came into the store to drop some bucks and buy some gorgeous but incredibly over-priced clothes in her snooty store. But the very snooty lady was very snooty to them so they walked out of the store and said "fuck her, she is very stupid, and her stories were very boring" and then they left and vowed never to go back to that awful snooty land. Until maybe in the future when a really cute baby was born and was worthy of such pricey threads. Maybe.

Unless I get married to someone who can afford to wipe their ass with hundred dollar bills (and I plan on it) ain't no baby of mine wearing designer rags that will last six months. I know some of you that know me are laughing at me and thinking "yeah, right Aph. Because you are not superficial at all!" But my experiences today have helped me be more of a rational type person. I hope this wears off soon, it brings with it far too much stress about real things.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Laurie

It's that time again. The time where I decide to revisit an old childhood favourite. I was going to do a post on my top 10 books of all time and picked up "Good Wives" to have a quick nostalgic look through, but instead found myself reading the whole thing. It's the sequel to "Little Women", and unlike most sequels, it more than lives up to its predecessor. Maybe I just like it for all the mushy love stuff, but it's probably my favourite book ever. That sounds like a big statement but I have read and re-read this book more than any other, and continue to find pleasure in every page. It sucks me in and each time, I get something different out of it.

Reading it again today as an adult (it's been years since my last read but feels like yesterday) made me endlessly weepy and I appreciated every character's story in a way I never bothered to before. Previously, my only interest was Amy and Laurie and their perfect love story. If you've only seen the movie, trust when I say it does not do them justice. I like when people have to grow to love each other, because it makes the subsequent union so much more pleasurable. See: Darcy and Elizabeth; Brian and Justin; Chuck and Blair. It's all there throughout history. Laurie and Amy particularly sweep me away - I've even dog-eared all the pages in the book where they appear together, not to mention when they are in the process of getting together.

Anyway. I want a Laurie. And I want to be Amy.

'There were plenty of pretty faces to admire, but the young man took little notice of them, except to glance, now and then, at some blonde girl, or lady in blue.'

"O Laurie, is it really you? I thought you'd never come!"

"Do you want to know what I honestly think of you?" "Pining to be told."

"Well, I despise you...with every chance for being good, useful and happy you are faulty, lazy and miserable." "Strong language, mademoiselle."

'She did not hear him cross the courtyard beyond, nor see him pause in the archway...He stood a minute, looked at her with new eyes, seeing what no-one had ever seen before - the tender side of Amy's character. Everything about her mutely suggested love and sorrow - the blotted letters in her lap [his letters], the black ribbon that tied up her hair, the womanly pain and patience in her face; even the little ebony cross at her throat seemed pathetic to Laurie, for he had given it to her, and she wore it as her only ornament.'

"O Laurie, Laurie, I knew you'd come to me!"

Laurie had "hardly any need of telling Amy that he loved her; she knew it without words, and had given him his answer long ago."

'With the dark head bent down protectingly over the light one, Amy felt that no-one could comfort and sustain her so well as Laurie, and Laurie decided that Amy was the only woman in the world who could fill Jo's place, and make him happy.'

An unconscious 'pretty little tableau of human love and happiness.'

May he present... "[his] wife" - two simple words which he pronounced with "an unconscious pride and satisfaction that betrayed him."

"Amy leaned against her husband...feeling that the welcome home was not quite perfect without Beth's kiss."

And then once I had my Laurie, I would set off on a European adventure to follow in my favourite lovers' footsteps...

"The fashionable world at Nice" where Laurie first ran into Amy abroad.

Vevay, where he came and searched for her after Beth died and he realised he loved her. Later, he proceeded to propose to her on a little rowboat, "I wish we might always pull in the same boat. Will you Amy?" "Yes, Laurie."

And of course we would promenade through some lovely European gardens and rolling countryside, just like the new couple who 'walked and talked, or rested on the wall, enjoying the sweet influences which gave such a charm to time and place.'

Friday, July 9, 2010


Oh wow. Well, this has turned into the shittiest of all shitty days, hasn't it? I was thrilled last night after my mother told me she had a day off that coincided with mine today and I convinced her to take me and my brother to watch "Eclipse" today (only viewing number 2...I know, bad fan). I kind of knew I was in with a chance because she had just bought me two pairs of earrings and a new jacket. Love the lovely mother.

Anyway. We were going to an early viewing so that I would have plenty of time to come home and do my work and my hair. At 6:20am after barely sleeping all night, the pain started. I won't gross you out with the details, but fair to say everything I had eaten in 24 hours was trying madly to escape my body. Hot. However, I thought I would be okay to watch a movie, since I had vommed and felt a bit better. Also, I paid for the tickets already.

Got to Rhodes where I had to endure the sight of my brother injesting a huge slab of caramel cheesecake and trying not to relieve my stomach while watching mum drink a moccha. I love coffee and caramel cheesecake! Sad. So finally got their asses into the cinema where I could recline on the comfy Rhodes movie chairs. I could not get comfortable the whole time and about halfway though realised I was developing a fever, and shaking madly. What a sucky way to watch Eclipse (haters - stfu).

FINALLY the movie ended (fine, insert Hater-joke here) and I tried to quickly get up and run down the stairs to catch a cab home. In my attempted rapid escape, I became faint and dizzy and fell down the stairs, rolling my right ankle. My poor, poor, right ankle that had been fractured last year, leaving me with an accessory bone because I did not act quickly enough. Super. After 10 minutes of sitting on the stairs trying to regain some strength/composure with my mum and brother anxiously staring at me with looks that I usually reserve for people with ugly shoes/people who match their shoes to their belt to their bag, they confirmed that I did indeed look like A Mental.

So I did my sick version of hightailing it to the cab rank with my brother in tow, clutching to him so tightly I feared that he, my blind sibling, would also fall and we would be in trouble, i.e. fucked. he didn't though because he is strong, and that, today outweighted the debilitating blindness.

Then I got home and speeeeewed and was gross all day long, when I wasn't unconscious in my bed. Fair to say, I didn't get any work done, and fuck knows I needed to - transcribing is a lengthy process, fyi. PLUS I had to cancel two interviews that I had lined up for tomorrow, pushing me further behind. Yo, World? Can you please fucking let up now? I appreciate that you gave me enough strength to finally check fb and my fave gossip blogs AND keep down 4 WHOLE SIPS of lemonade (so far...but I'm hopeful) but cut me some slack.

P.S. I tried to wash my hair today anyway, in vain, thinking that I would be able to summon some energy and do it later, but I didn't. And for the first time since I was 13 and discovered the straightener...tonight (and who knows how long after) my hair will remain in its natural state. This disturbs me more than not getting work done.
P.P.S. Excuse typos, I am delusional and hanging by a thread.
P.P.P.S. It's not all bad this week though - LI-LO IS OFF TO PRISONNNN!!! And Judge Martha is MY HEROOOOO. Click here for a quick update on my favourite thing to happen since getting my Vivienne Westwood necklace in the mail last week: http://dlisted.com/node/37956

Now excuse me while I go back to being unconscious. Which is actually preferable to what the alternative has been today. OH did I mention that at one point I didn't make it to the bathroom and vommed all over the carpet? And then had to hold the rest in while I cleaned it myself? Ooh yeah, glamour.

PLEASE JUST LET IT END. (And this post too. Wow, I am feeling sorry for myself a lot. But if I can't feel sorry for myself in this state, when can I?)