Archive for June, 2011
You may remember a few months ago when I announced I was going to be blogging over at BlueJuice for the next six months. Well, a couple of months have gone by now and I thought I’d remind you all to head over, get reading (different content to what’s on A Fatal Attraction to Cuteness) and comment on your favourite posts!
A couple of weeks ago I did at photoshoot in some of the new Summer range, so go have a sneaky peek and let me know what you think.
If you love BlueJuice then you should also go in store to have a look at their new collection which is filtering in. I picked up these shorts and this dress yesterday:
Pics from BlueJuice
After three years of trying, Carrie Underwood - one of America’s brightest stars – finally made it to Australia.
On June 16 Carrie performed five songs spanning her hugely successful career including my personal fave, Before He Cheats, to a crowd of media and industry guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Before Carrie was brought on stage, we heard of her massive achievements including her 13 million record sales, five Grammys and two Country Music Award ‘Best Performer’ accolades – quite a feat for the 28-year old singer who rose to fame after winning American Idol five years ago.
I first heard of Carrie four years ago in America and I’m so glad Australian audiences are finally being exposed to her music. Her work ethic is incredible – so much so that when the Chilean ash cloud hindered her travel from Melbourne to Sydney she arrived on a bus at 2:30am before a 6am performance on Sunrise, just to keep her commitments. She has the voice of a diva but certainly not the attitude.
Carrie recently featured in the film Soul Surfer as youth ministry leader, Sarah Hill – a perfect fit for a gentle and spiritual woman like Carrie. The vegetarian and animal lover told me she got to meet koalas and kangaroos on her trip here and has hopes to do a full tour of Australia soon.
Carrie’s latest album Play On is out now and has been re-packaged especially for Australia to include six of her previous number one hits and a cover of Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home.
I’ve probably mentioned before on my blog how much of a novice I am when it comes to blow-drying my hair, so when I was given the opportunity to test out Remington’s Hot Brush which creates the look of salon-finished locks in just minutes, I jumped at it. No matter if my hair is short or long, I just can’t co-ordinate using a hairdryer on my own hair. I have always been so envious of women who can perfect the blowdry at home so that it looks like they’ve spent the day at the salon. It must save so much time and money!
The Hot Brush is the perfect product for effortless, relaxed hair styles. The 45mm ceramic barrel brush is ready to go in just a couple of minutes and has only one heat setting – 180 degrees celsius. I am not entirely sure how it works, the brush itself does not get hot on the outside (although that is not an invitation to go holding on to it), but when held close to your ear you can hear some sort of whirring motion. It’s a fairly simple tool with a large brush head, an on/off switch and curl retracting button (for when you get too much hair wound around it).
If you’re familiar with using any kind of straightening or curling iron, you will be fine with the Hot Brush. Simply section the hair (or don’t, it works as well) and wrap the sections around the brush as you would a curling iron. Hold for around 12 seconds and either press the release button or brush straight through (this works on my thin hair but may not if your hair is thicker or needs a trim).
You will notice as you work your way through the sections that you’re getting a smooth finish and softly curled ends. This is the kind of casual blowdried look which is great for everyday.
Since I have a few shorter lengths around my face, it ends up looking like everyone’s favourite ‘do of the 90′s – The Rachel. I actually quite like it as it’s a different, softer look to my Barbie-like poker straight ends that I achieve with straightening irons.
You will notice in the pictures below that my hair went from just-dried, fluffy ugly duckling to smooth and shiny in a couple of minutes. I had a better picture of the way the hair fell in layers, but it got lost in my computer and no matter how much I bashed on it and pulled it apart, I couldn’t find the file.
The thing I love most about the Hot Brush (aside from how simple it is) is that because it is essentially a brush, you can get right up to the roots and draw the brush away from the scalp creating lots of volume without the need to tease.
Since using the Hot Brush instead of a straightener everyday (or every other day), my hair is so much softer and split ends are a novelty rather than a side effect of using heat tools.
Your hair won’t feel hot once you’ve finished with the Hot Brush as I find with some other tools and it won’t have that straw-like feel to it.
You can use products simultaneously with the Hot Brush. I was a little wary of doing this, but it worked out well. The Hot Brush is not a wet-to-dry tool, so make sure your hair is dry first. The box/instructions say completely dry, but at times I’ve missed a few pieces at the back and they’ve gone from damp to styled so you should be ok if it’s an accident.
The Remington Hot Brush is only $43.95 which, if you compare it to most hairstyling tools on the market, is pretty cheap. It is something I would trust an older child (say 10+) with as well if they wanted to start styling their hair – just make sure there is a large, flat, clear surface for them to put it on.
As well as the low price, the Hot Brush comes with a 2 year warranty.
You should be able to pick up a Remington Hot Brush from any major appliance store but for stockists call: 1800 623 118
Varina, the iconic and classic but sturdy and reliable ballet flat, comes in every colour imaginable and this will eventually be reflected in my wardrobe.
Over Summer I bought a pair of nude ones and I decided black would be the next choice. Even though I got them ages ago, I’ve been terrified to actually wear them because the “breaking in” process of the nude ones was horrific. Cuts and blisters are bad enough, but the pain was literally crippling. I thought I had bought the wrong size but I persisted and after months they are perfectly comfortable.
I definitely wasn’t going to make the same mistake this time, so when I saw on Facebook that my friend wears hers in by wearing them with footy socks around the house, I thought I’d do the same.
When I realised I never had time to wear them even around the house, I knew I had to take it to the next level. Where is the one place I do have time? While I’m sleeping.
I popped on my thickest bed socks a couple of nights ago and because the shoes are unworn, wore them in bed on top of the socks.
Two nights laters they had stretched to a comfortable level and they were ripe for wearing to work today.
So, next time you buy a new pair of Varina flats from Ferragamo, give my handy hint a try! It’s perfect for time poor people who love classic shoes.
After the success of her five fragrances M, Luscious Pink, Forever, Mine Again, Ribbon and Honey, Mariah is releasing three more sweet scents to her repertoire.
Lollipop Splash the remix is the new collection which features three perfumes in jewel coloured bottles with Mariah’s signature butterfly on top.
Inseparable – raspberry, mango, jasmine and orange flowers
Vision of Love - macaroon (I hope that means coconut and isn’t a macarOn mistake) and purple jasmine
Never Forget You – gourmet jelly beans (which flavour, though?) and golden peony
They all sound lolly sweet and super Summery. I’m very keen to try these out, especially after the dessert-themed range of perfumes which were in the Lollipop Bling range.
Now, you all know I love Mariah, but I do have one qualm about the collection. The campaign picture is 12 years old. This picture is just a crop and a lollipop swap of a cover sleeve picture from Rainbow back in 1999.
I know she’s just had dem babies, but really?
Pictures – Mariahdaily.com
You are probably already familiar with Dove and their real women = real beauty mantra; their campaigns feature women of all heights, sizes and races who all exude health and vitality.
Last month, in a partnership with beauty mecca, Priceline, Dove launched their Real Beauty competition within the company by getting real girls who worked for Priceline to go in the running to become one of four new faces of Dove.
Last Wednesday night the announcement took place with all 20 finalists from all over Australia present. First they were treated to a pampering session and photoshoot followed by a cocktail party at Argyle at The Rocks.
I got a chance to chat to some of the finalists and I must say I was very impressed. The girls were all naturally beautiful, down to earth and genuinely thrilled to be part of the process and competition. I was pleased to hear that the girls were also beautiful on the inside. One particular finalist is a makeup artist who is involved with inspirational project, Look Good Feel Better, which helps cancer patients to cope with the cosmetic side effects chemotherapy.
Be sure to look out for the four winners, Kate Mitchell, Natalie Marino, Karen Ciantar and Cabriela Ruz who will have their images in magazines nationally as well as Priceline store windows.
On Saturday I attended a macaron and petit fours class at Justin North’s new food mecca, Quarter Twenty One.
Justin is the culinary king of Westfield Sydney with Becasse, Becasse Bakery, Charlie & Co. and Quarter Twenty One - a restaurant, providore and cooking school all in one complex - now all up and running on level 5.
Classes run a few days a week and are not limited to sweet treats. Chefs Colin Fassnidge (Four in Hand), Shaun Presland (Sake) and Adriano Zumbo (Zumbo Patisserie) have all passed on their knowledge at the school in their areas of expertise with express classes being held to help you master crackling, roast chicken and steak as well as specialty classes like knife skills, French family cooking and simple entertaining all being run through the cookery school.
I was very pleased to be taking part in the macaron and petit fours class. For those of you who have read my blog for a while you would have seen some of my failures and triumphs in the kitchen; particularly with petit fours. I’ve never been able to make a perfectly cute looking macaron. I’m fine with the flavour, but I could never get those “feet” or a “skirt” as it is also called.
Now I will be able to make all the macarons I want at home!
Our class started at 10:30 on Saturday morning with a coffee in the glass-walled kitchen. We were introduced to Tiffany Jones, former pastry chef at Etch, and director of the cookery school, Libby Travers who would be on hand during the class to help out and make sure everything ran smoothly.
Everything is set up and ready to go. An apron, utensils, measured-out ingredients and a folder containing recipes, information and handy hints you can use at home. You don’t need to bring anything but yourself.
We started off with macarons in two flavours: white chocolate and rosewater and chocolate and salted caramel cream.
I won’t reveal all the little secrets (you’ll just have to go and find out for yourself ), but now that I know where I’ve been going wrong in the past there’s no way I can ever stuff them up again. Chefs always say how easy macarons are, and I finally believe them! There were just a few small, uncomplicated steps that I was missing and with my knowledge now I can never go wrong.
The next delicious morsel we made was hazelnut tuille cones filled with chocolate and salted caramel cream. Again, such an easy yet impressive creation.
We were given some time to relax with another coffee while we watched Tiff make a batch of pate de fruit, or as they’re more commonly known, jubes. A TV screen set up above the demonstration area meant we could sit back and see everything going on. Vanilla and mandarin was the flavour for a day and they were beautiful! Such a simple and healthy alternative to a bag of lollies full of preservatives.
When the three different petit fours had been created it was time to enjoy them with a glass of wine and a chat. I was so happy to be able to bite into a crispy-skinned, chewy-centred, tasty macaron that I’d actually created! Sorry Lindt, I think you’ve lost a customer.
Classes for the rest of the season range from $100 to $210 and vary between hands-on classes and demonstrations.
Don’t worry if you’re not much of a cook. My class had a range of abilities from a cooking teacher right down to….me. You will be able to get help, but you won’t be babied so you will actually feel accomplished at the end of it.
The cooking classes would make a fantastic gift for the person who has everything, or would be perfect for a married couple who don’t want material gifts.
For more information on Quarter Twenty One including the program for the next few months, head to www.quartertwentyone.com.au