Archive for April, 2011
On Easter Sunday the Easter Bunny delivered some eggs to my house and DID NOT LEAVE.
So here we have the newest member of the Perry family, Louis. We actually wanted a girl to name Lily but this boy captured our hearts, so Louis it was.
A Fatal Attraction to Cuteness indeed.
The photos are extremely blurry because he jumps around a lot (duh) and it’s really tricky to catch him sitting still. I am clearly going to need to buy a better camera to capture his adorability.
Please excuse my pyjamas and apron (I don’t want his angora fur all over me or in my bed).
For as long as I can remember, chain stores have weathered trends; and not just the ones they were selling. Fifteen years ago, who were you if you didn’t own at least a t-shirt with the coloured Sportsgirl logo embroidered on the front? Mine was lavender and, along with my Sportsgirl branded diary and pencil case, I thought it was the shit.
The nineties also saw the popularity of Portmans with their selection of decently priced, mix-and-match power suits that worked not only for the career woman but also the stay-at-home mum who, with the addition of a fob chain and a bob haircut, had a classic and fail safe outfit for special occasions.
It was not until the mid-noughties when things began to change on the chain store scene. Both Cue and Country Road both recorded substantial growth in the 2006-2007 financial year and Sportsgirl CEO Naomi Milgrom became the sole owner of the Sussan Retail Group which would see the brand travel at a fast pace in the world of trends and fast fashion. Moves like designer collaborations, celebrity endorsements and major competitions left the other youth-marketed chain stores struggling to keep up with the fickle world of fashion trends.
While Sportsgirl were going from strength to strength, other brands were feeling the cold shoulder of young fashion lovers. Portmans stores went from “must have” to “must avoid” with their monotonous colour schemes, boring cuts and a failure to translate their popular pieces from the nineties into wearable fashion in the two thousands. Even a hook up with super model Miranda Kerr couldn’t fix the brand and it wasn’t until a complete overhaul mere months ago that Portmans was back on the radar as a chain store with on-trend, expensive looking fashion.
Portmans aren’t the only brand who have upped their game of late. Back in 2007, it was reported that Zara would be opening in Westfield Bondi Junction. While this obviously fell through, the rumour mill started up again in 2010 with more solid news of Zara’s arrival.
As an avid shopper it feels like since this news came about, shopping in Sydney - particularly in chain stores – has become a lot more enjoyable. While I think Sportsgirl were always ahead of their game, retailers aimed at young women like Dotti, Portmans and Forever New have revamped their images and become sophistocated outlets with thoughtful lines and competitive prices. Even Diva amped up their cred by collaborating with “Expensive” Aussie designer, Alex Perry.
But can these retailers be helped by overhauling their image and will they ever surpass the concept (or profits) of the designers they love to…garner inspiration from?
Late last year it was announced that Jan Nord and Jorgen Andersson, the brains behind H&M’s formidable stature in the European fashion market, had signed on to boost the image of the flailing and basically irrelevant Esprit.
Wait, you don’t remember them? Yeah, pretty forgettable right? Somehow they still have stores dotted around Sydney, seemingly digging in to what can’t be much of a profit margin. Andersson says of Esprit “When I walk into a store I don’t really feel anything.” – I think he is being generous. I think most people feel absolutely nothing in Esprit stores due to a boredom-induced coma. Everything they stock has been done – and done better – in other shops, including Target and Kmart, for a much smaller price.
Only time will tell if Nord and Andersson can, or will, team up with the likes of Karl Lagerfield, Roberto Cavalli or Sonia Rykiel to bring Esprit back into women’s wardrobes or if the brand has missed the boat on the trend of Australian chain stores rehashing their images pre-Zara.
I, for one, am keen to embrace any chain store that is willing to up its game. While I will always stick to high-end designers for my bags and (usually) my accessories, there is definitely a place in my wardrobe for well cut pieces which are not carbon copies of the pieces coming down the runway. So long as the element of design still remains in the “designs” I think trend-stocking chain stores can reach the same prestige as a lot of their pricey designer counterparts. As Nord and Andersson say, “Nothing in fashion is unique. Every collection has been done before and consumers can rarely differentiate between brands anyway”.
Intellectual property relating to fashion is such a grey area. As little as 8% of design needs to be modified for a product to be re-produced and sold, but so long as the interlocking C’s stay on ”real” Chanel bags and novacheck only lines the coats from certified Burberry retailers, I’ll be happy.
I tested out the blush in Giggly ($50) which is a very soft peach colour with a plum purple heart centre.
I thought that the purple would be a strong pigment and I liked the two colours together so I decided I would test them as an eyeshadow as well as a blush.
The blush came up exactly as I imagined, a soft pink-y peach which I think looks very nice against pale skin, particularly for a casual look where you want a little bit of colour but not a heavy “made up” look.
To view the whole collection, please see www.maccosmetics.com.au
I was going through photos on my phone and found this really bad one which was taken into a mirror in the bathrooms at the office. That aside, I had originally take in to share with my readers the eyeshadow I’m wearing.
It’s extremely difficult to see the vibrancy in this pic, but I am wearing some beautiful violet colours by Inika.
I’ve briefly discussed Inika on my blog before, they’re a hugely popular brand amongst the health-conscious and vegan set because they’re 100% organic, vegan and halal.
The beauty of their eyeshadows is that when used over the top of an Inika eye pencil, they become iridescent and pearlescent. Without the eye pencil, they’re a long-lasting colour which are particularly great for sensitive eyes due to the mineral products in the eyeshadow.
My favourite, favourite colour from the Inika eyeshadow range is Peach Fetish, which is a really neutral, baby pink colour which can be built up for impact or left quite sheer as a perfect base colour for everyday.
To achieve the look above, I used Aubergine and Indigo on top of Peach Fetish. I am always a bit worried with trying purple and blue-toned colours on my eyes in fear of looking like I have been beaten up, but I think this worked out ok.
It isn’t just eyeshadows that Inika are great at. They have a full range of cheek, eye and lip colours as well as gorgeous brushes. Their newest addition to the line is a range of super glossy lip glosses called Lip Whip.
Inspired by stone fruits and berries, the Lip Whip lip glosses are perfectly compact and pack a real punch with their shiny and hydrating colours.
They aren’t sticky, which is something I look for in a good gloss, and are cruelty-free and also free of talc, bismuth, parabens, preservatives and fragrances – which means no drying of the skin or itching and tingling.
Inika Lip Whip lip glosses are $25.95 each and are available at selected health food stores, chemists and online at www.inika.com.au
I am delighted to announce that for the next six months I will be blogging for Aussie brand Blue Juice!
Part of the Seduce group, Blue Juice are dedicated to bringing us on-trend, super affordable and edgy pieces for all styles.
As the Blue Juice Blogger I will be creating different content to that which is on A Fatal Attraction to Cuteness, so be sure to ‘Like’ them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and check on the BlueJuice blog when I start my bit!
Picture courtesy of Blue Juice
Another work outfit from today. Most of the pictures are identical, but peep Georgina because she’s pulling some pretty funny faces and poses in each one.
I kind of felt like I was channeling Pepito today. Remember the Spanish next-door neighbour in Madeleine? I mean, I wasn’t wearing a bad hat, but I think it was the red, white and black ensemble that did it.
Speaking of bad hats, my hair is atrocious. I wore a headband yesterday so it left a crimp at the front of my hair. Please disregard.
Also take no notice of my I-fell-asleep-on-a-pile-of-Indigenous-Health-Reports-and-woke-up-with-them-stuck-to-my-face face. I don’t feel like I get any time to sleep lately between everything I have going on.
Contrary to my post on adorable and delicious Easter chocolates from Lindt, I realise that some people don’t actually like to eat masses and masses of chocolate. There’s something seriously wrong with those people - but they do exist.
If you’ve got one of those non-chocolate-eaters in your life and you’re having trouble buying them something for Easter which is related to eggs or chickens I’ve done the scout around for some presents that fit the
When I was younger I decided I didn’t want chocolate for Easter one year so I got Vanessa Amorosi’s ‘The Power’ album. True Story. I don’t think that would go down too well with many people these days, so here’s some more suitable options for Easter Sunday morning.
Lush have come up with some cute little bath ballistics in the shapes of chicks, eggs and a donkey.
The chick is too cute that I actually can’t bring myself to use it. I just take it out of the packet and make cheeping noises at it and then put it back.
Please excuse my photos, I took them on my phone which seems to have a ‘daytime soap dream sequence’ setting.
The donkey on the other hand was a little easier to sacrifice. He is filled with orange peel and a subtle citrus scent which is the perfect refreshment. The donkey is quite big so I broke his head off for one bath and saved his body for the next one.
Bath ballistics from Lush are $4.95 each
If you have a few gifts from Lush, be sure to get them wrapped up in the bunny knot wrapping. Produced by Re-Wrap, an enterprise set on environmental and social change, the bunny knot wraps are available in Lush stores to make your present that little bit more special. Just look at the floppy ears!!!
For something a little bit egg-shaped and a little more chocolate smelling, Mariah Carey has the perfect substitute. Of course she does, she’s perfect at everything! Although it was not actually designed for Easter, the Mine Again from Mariah’s Lollipop Bling perfume collection has notes to make you think of candy and butterflies to remind you of new life. I’m officially addicted to this perfume; you can really pick up the chocolate in it. There are also notes of raspberry and magnolia. I am completely edible now.
A 30mL bottle of Mine Again will cost you $49.00 and is available from Myer, The Perfume Connection and selected pharmacies.
Easter is synonymous with baby chickens, but to avoid that awkward moment where you buy someone a chicken and they don’t have anywhere to put it, get them a bright yellow nail polish instead.
I love O.P.I’s The ‘IT’ Colour which is a super bright yellow sure to get noticed.
It is quite sheer, you will need three coats instead of two two get a nice opaqueness, but it’s certainly a point of difference and a mood lifter for dull colours around this time of year.
If I didn’t have a corporate job, I would be painting little orange beaks and black eyes on top of the yellow lacquer to create baby chick nails.
O.P.I nail polishes are $19.95 each and are always a welcome gift.
With just over a week left to get your Easter pressies in order, it’s time to hit the shops!
What will you be buying your friends and family for Easter this year?
Being a blonde is the best. There’s no doubt about it. You get looked at all the time and you get to pretend you’re dumb without any repercussions.
There are a couple of beauty-related downsides, though.
Blondes are usually fair-skinned, some will have light aka invisible eyebrows and then there’s the important factor of having the best shade of blonde for our skin tone.
As I always get asked about my hair I’ve put together some my favourite products to banish these problems because I must have some sort of wisdom to impart on the matter.
First up – Skin
Blonde hair tends not to suit red skin (wait, do any hair colours suit red skin?), so it is particularly important for light-skinned blondes to use SPF 30+ DAILY. I may be tanorexic; but I always protect my face.
If you’re going without makeup, try Avene‘s Very High Protection sunscreen ($24.95/50mL). It’s quite a thick one that I like to use on my body too. I took this to Melbourne with me in January for the tennis and I didn’t get any burn even after sitting in the sun at Rod Laver for hours – so you know it’s good.
I’ve never tried it with makeup, but as it is quite thick it may interfere with it depending on what your routine is.
If you do want to wear makeup and be protected from the sun go for a tinted moisturiser. I’ve talked about my favourite here before – Nivea Q10 Anti-Wrinkle tinted moisturiser will give you the coverage and protection you need to cover both makeup and sunblock.
Next – Brows
My eyebrows are probably the one thing I get the most compliments on. Yep – I’m boasting, but I do have good brows. The only real secret is not to pluck them.
If you naturally have very light eyebrows to the point where it looks like you have none, might I suggest having them tinted?
I discussed the Benefit (pun intended) of having a brow tint here. In short, a brow tint will colour light brows, pick up the tiny hairs and colour them to give the appearance or thicker, fuller brows and give you a more defined shape without the use of wax or tweezers.
We all know that brows are the red carpets to the windows to the soul (they’re not, I just made that up), so why are you pulling them all out of your face? Put the bloody tweezers down and just go to a Benefit brow bar.
They’ll match a tint to your complexion and within a couple of minutes you’ll have a new look.
If you’re too scared to try the tint (it’s only temporary like an eyelash tint – don’t worry) then you could give Brow Zings a go. Also by Benefit, Brow Zings is a kit with everything you need to achieve the perfect brow. It contains tweezers - only to be used in emergencies, a natural wax for shaping and a powder for blending plus two brushes with which to apply the wax and powder with.
The Brow Zings kit allows you to make your brows as distinct or subtle as you like, just as you would with your eyeshadow.
My friend who has blonde eyebrows was given the Brow Zings treatment at Benefit the other night and the result was remarkable!
For a brow tint from Benefit, head into one of the following locations:
94 Oxford Street Paddington, NSW, 2021
02 8353 5000
Sydney City Browbar – 02 9238 9843
Chatswood Browbar – 02 9412 0524
Bondi Junction Browbar – 02 9300 1100
Melbourne City Browbar – 03 9661 2216
Chadstone Browbar – 03 9567 6297
Lastly I need to talk about my absolute favourite product of the past few months. I did discuss it in a post a couple of weeks ago, but it seems nobody took me seriously.
If you’re blonde you HAVE TO USE THIS PRODUCT.
Short or long hair, the Fudge Violet Hothed Mousse works for everyone.
Since using this Mousse I’ve noticed the following differences:
- Better colour (due to toning from the purple mousse)
- Less washing (you are left with super clean hair without the “squeaky-clean” feeling)
- Softer, more nourished locks
- Better styling which lasts for longer
I used to wash my hair every other day and now I can leave it for four or even five. However I style it stays for the duration of those days which cuts down my time in the morning.
It smells delicious and is so easy to use. Just spread it through your hair (I mainly just do the roots and halfway down the shaft of the hair) then blow dry it through. I tend to keep “moving” it through my hair as I’m drying with my fingertips so it doesn’t become matted, but if you’ve used mousse before – you won’t have a problem.
Fudge Violet Hothed Mousse retails for $19.95 and you will not regret it!
My last little note for blondes is to celebrate being a blonde! To do so, go out and get yourself Harajuku Lovers’ new G of the Sea limited edition perfume.
I loooooove Harajuku Lovers’ perfume. They’re so fun and fresh and always have the cutest bottles.
This newie only features ‘G’ based on Gwen Stefani, without her Harajuku Girls. I love how the HL brand is branching out from human forms into little characters.
I’d really like to see them channel some other things like animals or princesses hehe
The G of the Sea limited edition fragrance is out now!
I hope these tips can help a few fellow blondes in the area of skin brightening, brow maintenance and general care of blonde hair.
Until April 17 you can go into The Body Shop stores nationally (excluding South Australia) and make a pledge to cut carbon emissions in your day-to-day life. Together with Climate Friendly, The Body Shop have come up with their own equation to reduce the harm done to the planet:
Action on climate change = reduced emission + purchase offsets
Once in store, fill out the form and answer in 25 words or less what you would do to reduce your carbon footprint. For making your pledge to help the environment you could win a year’s supply of eco-conscious products AND have the next year of your life carbon offset. Woohoo, guilt-free living!
The Body Shop have all your favourite classics in store, including these fab tea tree oil beauties I picked up to heal my horrendous skin !
If you’re looking for something new and eco-friendly, perhaps try The Body Shop’s Earth Lover shower gels.
Watermelon and Eucalyptus
Cucumber and Mint
Fig and Rosemary
Apricot and Basil
Pear and Lemongrass
and Fragrance Free for those who don’t like a scent.
Earth Lover shower gels are made from aloe vera extract and are sulphate free, colourant free and have no parabens. The best part is that they’re 100% biodegradable – so there’s no worry when the suds run down the drain. Each shower gel retails for $14.95.
Get creative, mix a few different ones for a fun and fresh wake up call in your morning shower! I’d put pear, lemongrass, cucumber and mint on my loofah for a breakfast cocktail in the bathroom.
Earth Lover shower gels are in store now so check them out when you go in to pledge your carbon offsets. Remember – the most creative and inspiring idea wins!
Get excited peeps, it’s on again!
Fashion Weekend, the biggest shopping extravaganza Sydney has ever seen comes back stronger each year with more fantastic designers practically giving away their incredible clothes, jewellery and accessories with up to 70% off brands like Bec & Bridge, Loveable, Lucette and Valeria Tolosa.
Next month will see the Royal Hall of Industries converted into a fashion mecca with mini boutiques, a runway, hair, nails and makeup stalls as well as a Tempus Two wine bar.
It’s everything you need for a perfect shopping day (or a couple of days if you can’t carry all your bags home) with your girls.
I attended Fashion Weekend last year and had an absolute ball. I picked up some great pieces dirt-cheap and for spending over $750 I got a free blow dry from Toni & Guy.
You don’t have to go crazy to take advantage of the awesome specials on the day, though.
Some bonuses (aside from the cheap as chips fashion) include:
- Essie manicure for $20.00 plus take home your choice of colour
- Toni & Guy $20.00 blow dries. Say whaaaaaaaaa? That’s unheard of!
- Kristin Fisher brow experts will makeover your brows for $30.00
There are no excuses for you to not leave the Entertainment Quarter a completely different person! As I suggested last year: go in, buy a new outfit, have your nails, brows and hair done plus a new makeup look from Napoleon Set cosmetics and then head out for the night with a couple of Tempus Two wines under your belt
Fashion Weekend 2011 runs from Thursday May 12 to Sunday May 15 and stock is replenished daily so that nobody misses out.
Tickets range from $20.00 for shopping only to $95.00 for the VIP experience which gets you entry to the event, front row seats for the catwalk show on your selected day, private till and club lounge, private bathroom, unlimited drinks plus a free manicure AND a full-sized hand lotion from Ecoya worth $29.95. Ummmm can someone say BARGAIN?
To buy tickets, hit up Ticketek OR for your chance to win a double pass to Fashion Weekend comment on this post with the name of the celeb who you think is best dressed!
Competition closes 22 April 2011 at Midday AEST.
Winner will be contacted by email.
See below the Fashion Weekend 2011 Survival Guide for the best tips on how to handle all those bargains!