Archive for August, 2011
If you read my blog regularly or even just look at my pictures you’ll know that I love Barbie hair. Long, straight and blonde. So when my GHD decided to pack it in I freaked out!
I wondered if I should replace it or try another brand like Cloud 9, but I was really skeptical to move away from a brand, and tool, that I trust and have used without fail for the past four years. I had some people tell me that the GHD never evolves and that it’s simply repackaged or promoted to seem like a new product. Well, I ended up getting a new GHD Gold Series styler and I can tell you this is simply not the case.
Straight away the differences I have noticed are:
- Lighter to handle and therefore far easier to use
- Cooler to touch but without compromising on the hold of the style
- Less harsh on the hair – there’s no smoke (eek!) and my hair isn’t hot after I’ve passed the irons over it
- The upper outside of the GHD heats up so that it’s not hot to the touch but is hot enough to help hold the style should you be creating curls or waves
I had a consultation with Morena at People Hairdressing in Surry Hills to learn some tricks and tips of the GHD. Of course we all know how to straighten, but there are various ways to create GHD curls and waves. With the new Gold Series, if you have thicker hair or want larger, more natural waves and curls, it would be better to go for the bigger tool – the Gold Max Styler with wider plates. Having fine hair like me, and wanting the option of doing tight little curls, the Gold Classic Styler is the one for me and probably most of you out there.
Some of the best hints I picked up were:
When you get those annoying little kinks, usually up near the root of the hair, instead of stressing out and running the plates over the kink again and again, use the hot edge (skillfully labelled with Paint below) and rub it over the hair until the ridge has disappeared. This has been my favourite piece of knowledge over the past few weeks. Everytime I see a woman now who has lazily left her hair bouffy on top and straight at the ends I want to scream this trick out to her!
The other good news is the GHD products. The Ultimate Hairspray, in particular, is a favourite with hair stylists working on runway shows. The spray can be built up and up and up, but does not dry the hair stiff; it is still brushable and shiny without an artificial sheen.
So far I’m very impressed with the new GHD Gold Series. I’m glad I stayed with GHD, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – as they say.
Who else loves their GHD? What’s your favourite trick to do with it?
As a side note to the GHD but on the point of People Hairdressing, I decided to go to them for my colour, too. I’m LOVING Jordan who just gets it. Fine weave, close to the roots, a colour that actually suits my skin tone. Huzzah!
The GHD Gold Series stylers are $269 and can be purchased from reputable salons. My recommendation: a hair makeover at People Hairdressing: www.peoplehairdressing.com
Liptember is a fun initiative to raise money for Lifeline and The Centre for Women’s Health. Women (or men!) can be sponsored by their friends and family to wear the official Liptember lip shade every day for a month. This year’s is Hibiscus, a tinted lip balm from everyone’s favourite natural beauty company, Burt’s Bees.
I’ve been trying out the lip balm for a few weeks and getting so many compliments.
- It’s creamy
- It’s a red-based coral colour which isn’t too intense for non-lipstick wearers
- Leaves lips nourished with none of that crackly or flakey texture
- It’s smells and tastes like banana bread!
- It’s only $10 from Myer
- In stores now
There’s nothing bad I can say about the tinted lip balm. Even if you don’t get sponsored to wear it, money raised from the sales of the tinted lip balm will also contribute to the causes, Lifeline and The Centre for Women’s Health.
Restaurants situated near the water around Sydney Harbour usually fall into one of two categories, they’re either fine dining like Aria, Quay, Cafe Sydney or Bennelong or cheap, busy outlets best suited to tourists. Eastbank Cafe is somewhere in between; great food, attentive service and beautiful cocktails with low-to-mid-range prices and uncomplicated food.
I visited on a cold and rainy Friday night and the place was packed. A large room with a fully stocked bar spills out onto the boardwalk with tables right out to the water’s edge and it seemed walk-ins were welcomed just as openly as bookings.
While the cocktail list is small at the moment (more drinks will be added for the warmer months) each one is enticing and, of the six listed, my friend and I happily tried five each.
As usual you will have to ignore the terrible quality of my photos, but believe me when I say the cocktails were all incredible in taste and appearance.
- Lychee $17.00 (pictured)
- French Martini $16.00 (pictured)
- Pear and Vanilla Martini $17.50 (pictured)
- Fig and Almond $17.50
- Blood Orange Martini (B.O.M) $17.50
- Almond Espresso $17.50
We had the almond espresso in lieu of dessert and it was a wise decision. Creamy with a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.
As for food, the menu is everything you would expect from a pizza restaurant. There are gourmet and traditional pizzas as well as plenty of starters like oysters, mussels, antipasto and dips. Mains, as well as pizza, include pasta, seafood and meat dishes. There are also blackboard specials updated daily.
With Spring arriving in just a couple of weeks Eastbank would be the perfect destination for an early after-work dinner, a celebratory dinner with a big group or just a quiet night with your spouse.
For the full menu or to book go to www.eastbank.com.auGround Level, Quay Grand 61-69 Macquarie Street
Circular Quay, NSW 2000 (02) 9241 6722 email@example.com
Last night I went for dinner at Aria. Last time I went there I wore this, but last night was SO freezing and windy obviously I had to cover up more.
Dinner was incredible as usual. I had:
Chicken and foie gras parfait with a salad of smoked duck, rhubarb and black pepper
Game terrine – quail, duck and venison with mushrooms and pickled vegetables (this was a special and I LOVED it!)
Roasted fillet of lamb with ricotta gnocchi, pumpkin and mustard fruit purée and a sage and balsamic sauce
Caramel poached apple with a ginger bread and cherry macaron and ginger beer sorbet
2008 Sons of Eden Shiraz
NV Rene Geoffroy Ratafia de Champagne
Here’s what I wore:
In highschool I had a volleyball coach who had massive yellow sweat stains under her arms. My friend and I discussed all the possible options that could be causing yellow stains but finally decided it was obvious she had tiny bladders in her arms pits and the stains were actually wee leaking out. Immature? Maybe. But either way it’s pretty unsightly.
Everyone sweats, even Mariah Carey.
But Nivea have brought out a solution to the problem of disgusting, yellow-tinged pit stains so you can wear white without fear.
I’ve been trying out the Nivea Black and White Clear Roll On deoderant for the past couple of weeks with black, white and every other coloured top and so far so good. No obvious sweat patches and definitely no coloured surprises. The deoderant works to both stop yellowing and also to ensure there are no white marks left on black clothing – another issue. I wore a black top to the gym yesterday and a charcoal top today and obviously sweated more than I would on a normal day and had absolutely no issues. My back on the other hand – eeeeeewwww. Ya hear that, Nivea? Bring out a back deoderant!
I love the smell of Nivea’s Black and White Clear Roll On, too. I mean, it’s nothing extraordinary, but it smells like washing powder and when you’re thinking of clean clothes sans sweat stains it’s a nice psychological connection.
The Black and White Clear deoderants from Nivea are available in aeresols if that’s more your thing and I must say that it might be preferable to go for a spray can if you will be carrying the deoderant in your handbag or gym bag. The roll on packaging is made of a fairly heavy and thick plastic, so it’s a bit of unnecessary weight. I prefer something lightweight which I don’t even notice is in my bag.
Nivea’s Black and White Clear deoderant range is in supermarkets nationally and selected pharmacies.
What are your thoughts on clear and stain-free deoderants?
*A BeautyDirectory blogger trial
I’m already a huge fan of Benefit’s Bad Gal mascara, so I was very pleased to try out the new offering from Benefit – They’re Real. The name is a cheeky dig at people who might think you’re wearing fake lashes because, when you use They’re Real, you’ll look like you’re donning falsies.
The brush is rubber and doesn’t have coarse bristles, meaning the mascara itself has nothing to clump up on. Only a little bit of product comes out of the tube with each application so you get a nice, even-looking lash. I don’t know how, but they really do look like fake lashes. Long, thick, dark and very full.
They’re Real is quite gel-ly and it seems to take a little bit longer to dry than most. Perhaps this is also the reason why Benefit mascaras are great on sensitive eyes; they must be lacking an ingredient that dries everything out (???). Something else I found is that you can’t really put more than one coat on without the lashes getting too big. I suppose this really depends on the person, but I prefer a clean look over bunched together lashes.
The tube is quite small which I love. We are constantly told how quickly our makeup goes “off”, yet the sizes of packages stays the same. If a product has a use by date it needs to be manageable and I feel as though I would get through the whole lot before it starts to go dry and smell. Eeeeewwww!
Benefit’s They’re Real mascara will cost you $38.00 and can be purchased from Benefit stores or counters in Myer nationally. For stockists call 8353 5000
In a climate where retailers are pulling out all the stops to get us in their doors (botox, anyone?) sometimes it’s better to go back to basics.
But what do we really want? Decent prices, good service and quality products – not a bunch of gimmicks which are really implemented to create media hype.
On the other end of the spectrum, online stores seem to be fulfilling the needs of shoppers. Allowing us to peruse goods at our leisure, have them sent to our home or office and offering competitive prices and the ability to ‘shop around’ by simply opening a new tab.
Online shopping is not a new concept, but it is one which is improving and becoming safer, simpler and more exciting. It’s not a problem if you accidentally buy the wrong size – sending the item back is a less painful experience than entering a lot of shops these days.
As we become more comfortable with shopping without the tactile element of touching, feeling and trying before we buy, it opens up a new world of retail. Not only for those who are in rural or less-populated areas, but also for the time poor. Even working in the CBD I feel like some days I don’t have time to hit the shops.
Camper are the latest retailer to launch an e-store in Australia. Although the store is completely comprehensive, with hundreds of styles available at the click of your mouse, there is 24 hour email assistance and a 9 am-5 pm help hotline should you need it. The prices are listed in Aussie dollars which means no clicking back and forth to http://xe.com and there are detailed photos of each of the product from the top, side, bottom and front. There is also a detailed list of the fabrics and why they were chosen for the particular shoe.
My favourites for the upcoming season are:
If you prefer to shop ‘traditionally’, check out the latest Camper fitout in the Queen Victoria Building which has just been re-fittted by Japanese designer, Tokujin Yoshioka.
www.camper.com is live NOW! Happy shopping.
If you read my blog regularly you will already know how much I love Quarter Twenty One. You’ve probably already read my post on the macarons and petit fours I took there. Last night I was very lucky to attend a demonstration in cooking truffles (with a five-course dinner to accompany the lesson) by Chef Justin North with Duncan Garvey, Australia’s first truffle cultivator, teaching us about Australian truffles, the differences between our market and that of Europe and his own anecdotes and tips for cooking with truffles.
You’ll have to excuse my photos, I didn’t have my camera handy so they’ve all been taken on my phone.
After a canapé of goats curd and truffle, we were taught how to make a simple Celeriac and Parsnip Velouté with Truffle Chantilly. Who knew using the skins and offcuts of root vegetables could make such a beautiful stock? Not me! We normally pass them off to Louis the bunny, but I think I’ll be saving these now as a lovely alternative to chicken stock.
The second course was King George Whiting, Scallop Mousse and Truffle en Papillote. As a general rule I don’t eat seafood, but I knew I had to give this a go. The whiting was filleted and the scallop mousse pre-prepared so all we had to do was make our own little package ready for the oven. This dish only took 4 minutes in a 190 degree oven and, from my limited knowledge of seafood, tasted pretty fantastic! We also discussed how this method is perfect for people who love seafood but don’t love the smell it leaves when you cook at home. Everything is contained in the little pouch so there are no excuses.
How can you make a good honest meal of beef and potato extra luxurious? Add truffles. Roast Rib of Wagyu Beef with Truffle Potato Puree, Baked Swede and Périgeux Sauce was the next offering, and my favourite of the night. You really can’t beat a smooth truffle mash and rich sauce with perfectly cooked wagyu. Better yet, the veal jus which accompanies the meat so well is available to buy from Quarter Twenty One, so you can impress your dinner guests without all the hard work!
Another way to impress is with the next easy recipe. This isn’t one for every night (unless you’re an NBA star or a rapper or something) but certainly a delicious treat: Petit Vache with Krug Champagne and Truffle, Baked in Cedar. So yeeaaaahh you can imagine how this tastes. So decadent. I wouldn’t mind getting proposed to like this. Just the cheese with a ring stuck in the top. It seems quite fitting.
After that we had something non-truffle inspired to get us ready for dessert. Ginger Mousse, Pineapple Sorbet and Coriander Jelly; so fresh, so clean.
Dessert is actually still sitting on a shelf at home. I can’t bear for my truffle experience to be over just yet A Truffle Chocolate Truffle and Soil is contained in a jar to look like whole truffles dug straight out of the earth. Perhaps tonight I will treat myself before bed so I have sweet truffle dreams.
If this sounds like your idea of heaven, Bécasse are hosting a 7-course truffle degustation TONIGHT, 3 August. $300 per person. To book, call Bécasse on 9283 3440.