26 September 2009

Ooooooooooooh smelly!

Now before any of you say anything, my nail polish buying moratorium (which in hindsight was pretty unsuccessful) was only in place before I went to Melbourne. So now that I'm back I'm totally allowed to buy more nail polish. Ok?

And here's what I bought:

More Revlon scented polishes. I couldn't help it, 14 Year Old Daughter loves them! She had them all on her nails the other day and smelled like a little ole fruit salad. The polishes are left to right: Mon Cherry, Pretty in Papaya and Mad About Mango. From a distance I wasn't blown away by the colours but up close Mon Cherry and Mad About Mango really appeal.

According to the Revlon website there are eight colours in this collection. Interestingly enough they only show seven, how that works I don't know. I've only seen them in packs of three though so regardless of whether there's seven or eight I'm going to end up doubling up if I want to get the whole set.

The other bottle in the photo is a neon orange (Shade 2) from Coral Colours. Oh and a partially empty cup of coffee. I didn't buy that, I just made it sit in the corner because it's completely failing to wake me up and I'm cross with it.

Your daily dose of pretty (cute)

It's been a rough couple of days for our assorted animals, we had one of our bunnies die yesterday and the day before that one of our rats. So here's a cute animal tunic tee from AsiaJam. It makes me smile.

US$18.00 from AsiaJam. Everybody say 'awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww'.

23 September 2009

Melbourne: I came, I shopped, I ... shopped some more

Well my pretties, I promised you pictures of my Melbourne shopping haul, so make yourself a cup of tea (or coffee, or a glass of wine), pull up a chair and away we go.

Saturday my friend Nic (also known as the most patient person in the world) and I spent several hours exploring Chadstone Mall. It's always interesting as a New Zealander shopping the malls in Australia and seeing which shops have reached New Zealand's shores. The likes of Cotton On, Jay Jays, Diva and many others have become fairly ubiquitous whichever side of of the Tasman you're on, but Australia offers many more shops that we don't (yet) have in New Zealand, including some pretty good department stores. By which I mean some pretty good department stores which stock makeup brands almost impossible to find in New Zealand - Myer, David Jones and Target, how much do I love your beauty departments, let me count the ways.

I blogged previously about the High Velocity polish range from Kit, and it was obviously a total given that I was going to buy them wasn't it? Lucky there was a Kit stand in Myer then wasn't it?

Look at those pretty colours (left to right: Speed Demon, Top Gear and Full Throttle). And, a Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Thriller. This is a product I've had on my To Blog list for some time, and I never got around to writing a post about it. Available in five colours, these chunky pencils are described as a 'draw on gloss' and they are amazing. They apply smoothly and feel so soft and creamy on - highly recommended. At AU$34.95 each I could really only justify buying one and I chose Thriller, which looks scarily bright red in the tube but on the lips it is a beautiful sheer pinkish red which I just love (and I have a terrible time finding reds for my lips that suit me).

But wait, there's more:

Burt's Bees and Benefit are also almost impossible to find in New Zealand. I've been wanting the Burt's Bees cuticle balm for ages, having read so much about it, and this kit containing the cuticle balm, a lip balm and sample sizes of hand creams, body lotions and foot lotion was AU$24.95 at David Jones. I love the cuticle balm and it smells truly gorgeous, but neither of the hand creams appeal. One is banana scented and the other almond scented, and both scents are so overpowering that wearing them makes me feel quite ill - admittedly both banana and almond are high on my most disliked fragrance list! The other products are lovely though.

Benefit Benetint is another product I've read plenty of good things about, so I bought myself the pocket sized version for AU$38.00 at Myer. Too early for a review of this one yet, I'm interested to see if it lives up to its long-wearing claims, especially since I'm in the habit of eating lipstick like it's chocolate!

These Revlon scented polishes are available in New Zealand, but I grabbed them in David Jones anyway for AU$24.95.

Here they are on 14 Year Old Daughter's fingers (I think I need to give her some polish applying lessons!):

The polishes do exactly what they say on the packet, when they're dry they have a fruity scent reminiscent of fruit candies. Being Revlon the application is lovely - the formula is thin in a good way and flows over the nail beautifully and bottle colour was achieved in two coats. I have to say the colours aren't my cup of tea and they aren't anything special, you'll find dupes of these all over the place from many other brands, but 14 Year Old Daughter loves them and the scent is a fun gimmick.

This cute tote and accompanying bag of goodies was AU$19.95 with any beauty purchase at David Jones. The goodie bag contains all sorts of fun things, including a full size David Jones body wash and sample size hair care and skin care products from the likes of Revlon, Ojon, John Frieda, Priore, L'Occitane, A'kin and Ultraceuticals. Lots of the brands are new to me, so I'm going to be having some fun trying these out!

Now we all know by now about my difficulties finding flat shoes I like, so you can imagine how happy I was with these little cuties:

They were AU$34.99 in Target and I love, love, love them! I even had a complete stranger in a lift compliment me on them!

Sunday we went to St Kilda which has some lovely boutiquey wee shops along its main street which are well worth a browse. Oh and a Hairhouse Warehouse, which is another of those shops I really wish we had here in New Zealand. Not only do they have a huge range of reasonably priced hair products, but they also stock makeup, including the bamboo makeup brush range from ecotools which I have been reading a lot about recently.

AU$29.95, which is a jolly good price for a good quality five piece makeup brush set complete with brush roll. I've given these to 14 Year Old Daughter who is a vegetarian and likes these because they don't use animal hair.

Oh and look at the colour of that nail polish by le Beauty, AU$4.95 also at Hairhouse Warehouse.

That's the entrance to Luna Park in St Kilda. I love that decades ago someone thought this would entice people in to the park. "Step into my mouth little ones, don't be scared." It's enough to give me nightmares!

After lunch we checked out the St Kilda Esplanade Market, which is on every Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

The market stretches along the waterfront at St Kilda and features over 150 stallholders selling everything you'd expect to find at an artisan market: jewellery, clothing, photos, paintings, ceramics, handcrafts and so much more. Definitely worth a look if you're in the area, I picked up quite a few lovely gift items.

Oh and look what else we got (for afternoon tea at a friend's house):

The cupcake trend hasn't quite taken off in New Zealand yet, so when I saw these in a bakery I HAD to get some. They were delicious - I want a whole bucket of the buttercream icing to myself!

Lastly, for a little bit of cute:

That's my friend Nic's cat Max. He has a bag obsession and loved to investigate my shopping when we returned, so I emptied out a bag especially for him!

And this is Buster the dog:

He's actually quite a lot naughtier than that face would have you believe, but so adorable!

That's not even all of what I bought - there were lots of gifts for the kids and EEB and other goodies. I had an awesome time and will definitely be returning, and for much longer next time!

22 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Ruby Rain Girl pendant

I love discovering new (or at least new to me) brands and designers to write about, especially when the designer is a fellow New Zealander. New Zealand-born Kirstin Ash may now live in Sydney but she still thinks of herself as a New Zealander, and I am so in love with her quirky jewellery.

The Ruby Rain Girl pendant especially appeals:

So cute! NZ$95.00 from Kirstin Ash.

20 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: West Auckland beaches and Blue Fish paua earrings

One of the wonderful things about living where we do in West Auckland is that we are within 20 minutes drive of some truly stunning beaches like Kakamatua, where we took the dogs for a walk today.

Click on the pictures for the big (really big) versions - I love wild West Auckland beaches. That's 14 Year Old Daughter and her boyfriend in the bottom photo, how cute are they?

I came home with a gorgeous piece of paua - there were literally hundreds of pieces of paua (and other shells) washed up all along the beach. Paua is a species of abalone native to New Zealand, and was traditionally highly valued by Maori who used it among other things to form the eyes of their carvings.

These days paua is mostly found in souvenir shops and because of this finding it used in a way that isn't unbelievably tacky is difficult. I do like these Blue Fish paua earrings though. Their beautifully simple shape allows the natural beauty of the paua to shine through.

NZ$67.50 from Flying Fish Design. Click here for a blog post featuring some lovely paua earrings.

19 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Max Shop Drape Merino Dress

Max have been around for years in New Zealand, and while I don't shop there now as often as I did back when I worked in one of them office things, I still find plenty of things in their stores to fall in love with. Like this merino dress:

Draping is obviously very in at the moment, and I have to say it's easily overdone. Seriously people, if your dress looks like it's missing a pelmet and a set of tie-backs then the draping has gone too far. This dress however has lovely simple lines, and I love the way they've managed to make the draping flow into the pockets.

Pictured in Smoke, also available in Black. NZ$129.00 from Max Shop.

17 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Magnolia opal earrings

Hello my pretties, I have returned! Actually I returned on Monday, it's just taken me a while to get round to posting due to my ex-husband's kidney stones. I kid you not - I've been ferrying him to and from the hospital over the last few days.

Anyway I had a wonderful, and all too short, visit to Melbourne. I am in the process of taking pictures of my haul for you, but in the meantime let's resume normal services with a pretty for today. My wonderful friend Nic (who deserves a medal and quite possibly a sizeable cash reward for her unrelenting patience after spending several hours trailing behind me laden with bags while I oohed, aahed and squeaked at all the pretties) introduced me to Magnolia, who have the sweetest reasonably priced jewellery. I absolutely love Opals, which also happen to be my birthstone, and fell in love with this gorgeous opal ring:

Of course I bought it! AU$28.00 at Magnolia Australia stores or £16.00 on their website. I think these earrings would be the perfect match, don't you:

£21.00 on the website.

Also, is this not the awesomest thing ever:

That, my pretties, is a makeup vending machine. Seriously. Feed it AU$4.00 and it will supply you with perfume, lip gloss, bronzer or mascara. Could life get any better?

Actually yes, yes it could:

See the blissed out look on my face there? I'm getting a massage. At 2am. In the courtyard of a bar. In the middle of Melbourne. Isn't she adorable - I wanted to take her home with me. AU$20.00 for a ten minute massage, and it was one of the best massages I've ever had.

10 September 2009

See you in a few days

Well my pretties, tomorrow afternoon I'm off to Melbourne. Yippee! I return Monday afternoon, and I'm sure when I get back I'll have plenty of pretty things to share with you, including lots of new nail polishes to swatch.

Behave yourselves while I'm away, and stay pretty!


Your daily dose of pretty: I Love Billy Qualify mary janes

I've been featuring a lot of shoes in the daily pretty recently, I sure hope you guys don't mind. Obviously I lurve shoes, and judging by your comments quite a few of you do too. So following on from my post about the lack of flat shoes in my wardrobe I pulled all my shoes out yesterday in an attempt to decide which ones to take to Melbourne (seriously, how many shoes does one need for what is essentially only two full days?), and in the process realised that I have 18 pairs of high heels (some of them vertiginously high), several pairs of boots (most with high heels) some trainers and flip flops and only two pairs of flats. One of which isn't technically a flat because it has a two inch wedge.

These aren't technically flats either, but in my book a heel that short and chunky is flat:

This is a good example of a shoe made special by its detailing. The basic shape of the shoe is nice but not particularly inspiring - but add an interesting double strap detail and a bow and I want it. NZ$119.99 from royalt.co.nz.

09 September 2009

How do these things always happen to me?

Spend enough time perusing beauty blogs and you'll read many amusing (and often cringe-worthy) stories of mishaps in the quest for beauty. You know the ones I mean: the "Holy Mother I Thought Childbirth Was Painful" bikini wax, the "No I Haven't Had Chemotherapy" eyebrow tweezing mishap and the perennial celeb favourite, the "No My Parents Weren't Oompa-Loompas Why Do You Ask?" self-tanning application.

By now you've figured what this is leading up to haven't you? Yep, I had a little beauty mishap all of my own yesterday morning. I was curling my eyelashes as per usual, with my trusty drugstore eyelash curler, and just as I clamped down on the handles my arm suddenly and for no discernible reason twisted spastically and my hand clenched even tighter on those handles. And then there was pain. Seriously, PAIN! I screamed, my eyes watered and I hopped around the bedroom swearing and holding my hand over my eye, assuming that the pain was because I'd trapped my eyelid in the curlers. But then my eyes stopped watering and I looked down to see, sticking out of the curlers' rubber pad, ALL MY FREAKIN' EYELASHES. At least that's what I thought at first, turns out on closer inspection it was only about one quarter of the eyelashes from the inner end of my left eyelid. About one quarter of my eyelashes which had been wrenched out of my eyelid roots and all! Seriously, how the hell does this happen? I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on the planet clumsy enough to wax their eyelashes with an eyelash curler.

Friends who've been subjected to a close up view of the bald area assure me it's not that noticeable unless you actually know it's there (especially with the judicious use of some black eyeliner). I'm not sure I believe them though, they're either trying to make me feel better or they're laughing so hard they can't see how bad it really is.

Still, they'll grow back.

They will grow back right?

So what about you my pretties? What clumsy/stupid/painful mishaps have happened to you in the quest for beauty? Please share, it will make me feel better.

Oh and as you go about your day chortling to yourself at my clumsiness, just remember one thing: if you live in Auckland, the same person who did this also drives a car. Just saying.

Your daily dose of pretty: Lipstik Mondo red satin peep toes

Oh hai my pretties! I totally didn't see you there, I was too busy staring at these:

Oh wow. And also ... wow. Did I say wow already?

Before I lose the power of speech completely I should tell you these have a 2cm platform and an 8cm heel, are also available in nude, and cost NZ$129.99 on royalt.co.nz.


07 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Jelly Pong Pong goodies

Hello my pretties, I'm still here. I survived 14 Year Old Daughter's sleepover party: ten 13-14 year old girls all jammed in to our rumpus room, inhaling enough sugar to sink a battleship, painting each others nails and topping the evening off with House of Wax. Listening to them watching House of Wax was hilarious - lots of squealing and cries of "eewwwwwwwwwwwwwww" and "oh that's so gross" and "guys I don't want to watch this movie". I don't know who the dissenter was (they had of course turned out all the lights to enhance their viewing pleasure), but they all seemed to get through the night without any night terrors. Although night terrors would imply sleeping, and I don't think there was much of that!

Anyway, here are a few pretties from Jelly Pong Pong for you, to make up for several days' absence. Jelly Pong Pong is one of those brands that seems to have quite a following, so I'm well behind the eight ball in only just discovering them. And with a name like Jelly Pong Pong you know the products are not going to have ordinary names or packaging. This for instance is the Muffin & Meringue Gloss set:

Or how about the Soap Popsicles:

Pictured in Watermelon, Looney Lemon, Lolli-Choc, The Love Stick and Neapolitan, and also available in Halloween, Summer, and Winter Wonderland.

Perhaps you'd like to pop a Cupcake Bath Fizzie in your bath:

And in the "why didn't they think of that before" category, Wakeup Makeup contains a pair of tweezers and a mirror for on the go brow tidying:

As well as the tweezers it contains Eye Brightener, Face Brightener, three eyebrow shades and a brow brush.

Not only does browsing their site make me want to buy virtually everything, it also makes me really, really hungry. In a "give me sugar NOW or I'll rip your arms off" kind of way. So while I go and raid our cupboards for brightly coloured sugary treats, you can content yourselves with browsing Jelly Pong Pong's site.

02 September 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: the cutest packaging and the longest product name

I'd never heard of the makeup by B Never Too Busy to be Beautiful until Hey Dollface blogged about their lip barrier. It turns out their unbelievably long brand name is isn't the only thing that makes them stand out - they also have some utterly adorable packaging.

Take this lip gloss for example:

Or this face powder:

And I love how this refillable eyeshadow has a 'B' embossed on it:

Available on asos, prices from £4.40 to £18.60.

01 September 2009

Hauls, lots of hauls. And an apology in advance

I've been a bad, bad girl my pretties! Remember when I said that I wasn't buying any more polishes in the lead-up to my Melbourne trip? Yeah, about that ...

First up, here's my haul from the BB Couture sale. Which you already knew about, so it's all good:

Left to right: Top Rock Top Coat, Green Goblin and Laguna Lagoon.

Left to right: Midnight Malibu, Spellbound, Midnight Desire, Maleficent Magenta

Left to right: Moon Over Manhattan, Sea of Cortez, Zuma Wave Rider

I'm not sure I actually realised how many purples I was ordering. It's a good thing I like purple.

Anwyay I was absolutely determined that was going to be it for a while. Determined. But then I stumbled upon the polish purge sale that Grace over at The Kitchen, The Closet and the Laboratory was having, and got a few polishes. Just a few. And hey, it's supporting a fellow blogger so totally justified, yeah? Yeah?

Left to right: O.P.I. Glamour Game, BB Couture Electric Avenue, Essie Barbados Blue

Left to right: China Glaze Watermelon Rind, China Glaze Coconut Kiss

Left to right: Orly Country Club Khaki, Orly Enchanted Forest

Left to right: NailTek Quicken fast dry top coat, NailTek Foundation II ridge-filling nail strengthener

Left to right: Zoya Raven, Zoya Irene, Zoya Midori

My first Zoyas! And there's a whole heap of colours in there I've been coveting for some time, so yay for Grace!

And last - because you just knew there would be more - I was out with 10 Year Old Son today helping him choose a present for 13 Year Old Daughter's upcoming birthday, and accidentally bought these when we were buying her present:

A set of neon minis by mwah!. The colours don't have names, but the set was only NZ$12.00. They're more for 13 Year Old Daughter than me, and I was going to hold off giving them to her until her birthday but couldn't wait. I have no information about mwah! polishes, they tend to be stocked in clothing stores like Jay Jays. I already have a couple of their colours and they're not bad.

Blog posts might be a little thin on the ground for the next couple of weeks. As well as my upcoming Melbourne weekend to prepare for (only a week and a half away - YAY), 13 Year Old Daughter becomes 14 Year Old Daughter this Thursday. How this happened I don't know, it seems like only a couple of years ago she was this little:

I am going to be SO unpopular for posting that! Look at her little Buddha Belly!

So as I was saying, 14th birthday coming up, and a gaggle of teenage girls (actually it should be a giggle of teenage girls) are coming over in the weekend for the Sleepover Party Extraodinaire! Which means lots of organising for me, and apparently lots of painting of nails. So in between running around like the proverbial headless chook over the next couple of weeks I will try to keep up with the posting, but I apologise in advance if I'm absent. I will make up for it when I come back from Melbourne, with lots of "look at the cool stuff I bought" posts, I promise.