31 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Scent soaps

I prefer shower gel over soap when I'm showering, but being a complete sucker for the pretty means whenever I see a pretty soap I'm likely to buy it just to look at, even if I'll never use it. So when we were on Waiheke Island last weekend and I wandered into Scent, well let's just say it's a miracle I didn't walk out with an armful of soaps. Because, look:




And, they smell delicious too! Scent have stores in Howick, Papakura, Pukekohe, Havelock North, Waiheke Island, Takapuna and Devonport, and their products are also available on their website.

29 January 2010

Down the rabbit hole

Hands up those of you looking forward to Tim Burtons's Alice in Wonderland? Yup, me too. Tim Burton/Johnny Depp/one of my favourite books of all time - I cannot wait to see what brilliance comes from that combination.  Plus from the photos and trailers released so far it looks like the costumes and makeup are going to be something really special, and it's probably because of this that more than any other movie I can recall there are some really amazing beauty collections being released to tie in with the movie.  Here are some of my favourite Alice-inspired pretties:

First up is O.P.I.'s Alice in Wonderland polish collection:

The four colours in the collection are Off With Her Red (orange/red), Absolutely Alice (blue glitter), Mad As A Hatter (multi-coloured glitter) and Thanks So Muchness (red shimmer).  While neither of the reds appeal (and like many reviewers I'm a little disappointed that O.P.I. chose to have two reds in a four polish collection), the two glitters are on my Must-Have list. Check out All Lacquered Up for swatches of the four colours - Mad As A Hatter is particularly squee-worthy.

Of course once you've painted your nails with Wonderland-worthy colours you're going to want to have some equally pretty colours for your face, and Urban Decay have just the thing:

Pop-ups, people! Pop! Ups!  Even if the makeup in the palette didn't appeal I'd want it just for this utterly beautiful packaging. Luckily the contents of the palette are pretty awesome in their own right, with 16 of Urban Decay's best-selling eyeshadows (renamed with Wonderland-inspired names), two travel size 24/7 Pencils and a bottle of their primer potion.

The Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows has been released on Urban Decay's website, and will be available in America from Sephora, Ulta and Macys, from 1 February.  English Alice fans will have to wait until March, when it will be available exclusively from Debenhams. Of course none of these retailers ship internationally - *sigh* - so I've already bribed an English friend to snap one up for me!

Finally, Paul & Joe have chosen original Disney illustrations for their Alice in Wonderland collections, and I must have these too.

There are two collections in Paul & Joe's Alice in Wonderland range, Daydream:

And Fantasy:

Each contains a blotting paper, blotting paper refill and Lip Treatment Stick, packaged in an original container. I don't have much information on availability yet, what I do know is that it will be released at Harrods and ASOS in the UK on 5th March and will also be available in the US, although I don't have any US stockist information. More pictures of the collection can be found on Paul & Joe's Facebook page.

So what do you think my pretties? Will you be snapping any of these up? What other Alice tie-ins have you seen?

Your daily dose of pretty: dot dot dot

I'm not normally immediately drawn to polka dots, but I'm loving these shoes.  Especially when they're on sale for only NZ$40.00:

I love that the polka dots are all different sizes, and the natural/black colourway makes a lovely change from the bright colour combinations you'll normally see a polka dot print in (not that bright combinations are a bad thing either!).  Now if I can just convince The Eccentric English Boyfriend that at this price I'd be a fool not to buy them ... or ... here's an idea: you guys could totally distract him while I buy them, ok?  On my mark, you all shout "look, over there, isn't that R2D2!" and I'll sneakily whip out the credit card. 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... guys?

The Valerie shoe by I Love Billy is NZ$40.00 on RoyalT.co.nz.

28 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Alice Wears Gold Cloudy Days necklace

How sweet is this wee necklace?

So pretty and whimsical, it would look lovely hanging around my neck would it not?

The Alice Wears Gold Cloudy Days necklace is AU$30.00 on FrockYou.com.au.

26 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Requiem Skirt by Kitty Bridges

Hello my pretties, and apologies for being absent - I forgot to tell you that I was going to be away at a wedding over the weekend. And also, what is up with hotels that charge NZ$50.00 PER DAY for Wi-Fi access? Seriously?

One of my favourite NZ clothing labels, Kitty Bridges, now has an Etsy store. With new items being added regularly it's worth checking out.

I'm rather partial to this cute skirt with it's wee bows and black broderie anglaise detailing:

The Requiem Skirt is US$97.00 from Kitty Bridges store on Etsy.

21 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Lavant shoes by Betsey Johnson

Colouful shoes are popping up everywhere at the moment, which is lovely because there's nothing like a bright colour to make you feel cheerful.  These shoes by Betsey Johnson are a lovely example of the trend, especially if you don't want your shoes so colourful that they look like the outside of a Crayola box. They're nicely subtle with their pink strap and buckle and glimpse of yellow at the sole.

The Lavant by Betsey Johnson is US$190.00 from PiperLime.

Actually, the colours do rather remind me of the 80's - if you added royal blue to the mix they'd totally be the same colours as the awesome mini dress I had back then.  Ahh, fond memories!

20 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Gidget Bikini

The weather here in Auckland is getting hotter and muggier by the day (What's that you say? It's winter where you are. Man, that's really gotta suck!) and I still haven't found myself a new bathing suit.

This bikini ...

... well this bikini ain't gonna be it. I mean that's one rockingly bodacious bikini, and I love it, but wobbly tummies, stretch marks and cellulite really aren't at their best in something like this. I mean I'm all for dressing in what you love but there have to be limits, and scaring small children is one of my limits!

If, however, you're pert and lithe and slim and most of your parts still point upwards, the Gidget Bikini is on sale for US$25.50 at Pin Up Girl Clothing.

19 January 2010

Buy polish, help Haiti

The only thing better than buying pretty stuff is buying pretty stuff and knowing that your money is going to do something good for those who need it. The lovely people at BB Couture have released a collection of six beautiful pastel polishes called "Hands of Hope", and 25% of the sales of these polishes will go the Salvation Army's efforts to help those in need in Haiti.

Left to right: Bassin’s Blue – experience subtle turquoise pools linked by spectacular waterfalls; Cape Haitian – mornings bring a mysterious pale violet haze over the mountains; Paradise – savor the natural beauty of Haiti along the endless sandy beige beaches; Kyona Beach – gaze up at the cloudless baby blue sky while sunning on the beach; Labadie Beach – delight in the delicate pink hues of the setting sun; Tortuga Island - explore the exotic lush green island foliage.

I love the delicate pastels of this range, and what a wonderful way to help people so desperately in need.

Available from Overall Beauty.

16 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Uralla shoe by Nina for Novo

Sooooo, I was in the mall today, browsing the sale section at Novo Shoes, when I saw these babies (which weren't on sale):

Aren't they pretty? In real life those ruffles have a lovely soft look to them which is just irresistable.

The Uralla by Nina for Novo are AU$107.95 or NZ$116.90, and I'm afraid are only available in Novo stores in New Zealand and Australia - all you overseas pretties will have to do without. Which I did too, actually - I didn't buy them. Restraint? I totally has it.

Well ... not totally ... I did buy a pair of shoes, but they were only NZ$15.00 so it's ok!

15 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: in which I admit defeat

Right! That's it! This is me throwing my hands up in defeat, because I've come to the unavoidable conclusion that The Universe does not want me to go on a no-buy. In fact I'm pretty certain The Universe is saying "Renovations? Pah! Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on renovations when there is So Much Pretty out there?". Why else would Lauren at A Typical Atypical have posted about Fever Designs? I mean that's just putting temptation in temptation's way isn't it? Obviously The Universe Made Her Do It!

So never mind the squooshy bit in the middle of the toilet floor that sags just a little more every time we walk on it, I want this:

Ok so it's another full-skirted nipped-in-waist dress - I freely admit it's a style I'm a sucker for. Plus, this one has a boat neck so that makes it totally different - I love boat necks.  I also like the fact that the skirt is flat fronted and pleated at the sides. Plus ... PLUS - It's. On. Sale.

The Escala Dress is £37.50 on sale from Fever Designs.  Soooooo, my pretties, which is it to be? Pretty dress (on sale, I mentioned it was on sale right?) or floor in possible imminent danger of collapse? You decide!

14 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Pinup Dresses Rockabilly Swing Dress

The no-buy pact seems to be going well thus far my pretties. The Eccentric English Boyfriend and I went to the mall for dinner tonight and the only thing I bought was the Simple Cleansing Wipes 14 Year Old Daughter and I both love for removing our makeup. That's right, all I bought was something I consider a necessity - no nail polish found its way into my hands, no shoes forced themselves upon my feet and no pretty clothes convinced me I would look several sizes smaller wearing them.

But then I come home, see this dress and decide that actually the Universe obviously doesn't want me to be on a no-buy, or it wouldn't put something this pretty in my way:

Look at it, with its pretty floral print, its swooshy skirt and its nipped-in waist.  Surely the Universe wouldn't be so cruel as to show me this if I wasn't supposed to buy it? Now if I can just convince EEB that the forces of the Universe are too great for us to defy, this dress could be mine!

US$74.99 from Pinup Dresses on eBay.

13 January 2010

More things that make me want to break my no-spend pact - Illamasqua pastel polishes

When I think of Illamasqua polishes I think of dark, dramatic colours. Which is fine by me, I love dark colours on my tips. But their latest collection couldn't be more different, and I want it!

Here are some closer bottle shots of the colours:

Illamasqua say: Think of the yummiest lemon sorbet you've ever had. We've bottled it.

Illamasqua say: A lovely lavender lilac for the girls and guys who love their nails ultra pretty and feminine.

Illamasqua say: A lovely mint icecream shade. 

Illamasqua say: A beautiful cornflower blue that is a delectable hybrid of blue and grey. Very unique.

Every single one of these colours appeals to me - what about you my pretties? More information, including swatches, on the Illamasqua blog.

Your daily dose of pretty: Oh great TopShop, that's just what I need...

Soooooooooooooo, TopShop are delivering to New Zealand now. That's great, really ... great. Totally what I need right now, when the Eccentric English Boyfriend and I have made a New Year pact to tighten our belts, close our wallets and generally spend less money.  Thanks, TopShop, you're doing wonders for my resolve.

As is this top:

Cute shirring under the bust, chain detail on the straps, floaty gathered style that would totally disguise the wobbly bits. Gee, thanks TopShop, you're not making this any easier you know!

If you're not on a non-spending drive the Chain Detail Vest is £28.00 from TopShop, and their delivery is a very reasonable £7.50 for those of us in New Zealand and Australia.

12 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Something warm for my poor cold Northern Hemisphere readers

An extra special hello to all my pretties suffering through cold and snow at the moment - you have my sympathies. And I'm totally not going to gloat about the fact that where I am it's sunny and warm and there are butterflies flitting around the garden. Nope, totally not gloating.

Anyway, you poor wee things are obviously in need of lots of nice warm clothes, which should also be pretty obviously, and if the hot pink duffle coat I posted about here is just a wee bit bright for you how about a pastel version from New Look?

I particularly love this blue (called Oceania), it also comes in Kermit (which looks like a sage green on my screen), Belini (pale pink) and Ecru (hardest colour ever to describe, off white-ish?).

New Look describe this as the "Washable Duffle Coat" which presumably means it can be thrown in the washing machine rather than having to be dry cleaned. I'd say that's a good thing for those of you who have been snowed in!

The Washable Duffle Coat is £40.00 from New Look.

11 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: pretty knickers from boohoo.com

Bows on underwear are a standard of the most lingerie ranges - it's something to do with that whole "if you undo that bow my underwear will totally fall off and I'll be all nekkid!" thing. Of course most bows are purely decorative and undoing them is more likely to result in loose threads than nekkidness.

The bow detailing on these knickers is particularly pretty:

Not the sort of knickers you'd wear under low cut jeans or figure hugging/sheer skirts obviously, but deliciously pretty and sexy nonetheless.

The Brittany ribbon trim brief is £3.00 from boohoo.com, and all their knickers are also 3 for the price of 2 (if you needed more reason to by some!).

09 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Purple Chelonia top

It's probably a good thing I don't have a 'Purple' tag for this blog, because I suspect if I did it would get used a lot.  I can't help myself, I love purple.  And I love this top:

Purple. Bow. Purple. Understated ruched sleeves. Purple. Love it.

The Purple Chelonia top is on sale for US$49.00 (down from US$150.00) at Thomas Pink.

Today's nail: Tsuya Tsuya Purple Dot

My nails are an explosion of purple glitteriness:

The last two photos are more indicative of the colour, although it's pinker than that again.  Purple dot is a purple jelly base jam packed with pink and silver glitter. Application was lovely, it was three coats to opaque but could possibly be two if you do thicker coats than I did. It does have quite a rough finish, as you'd expect with this much glitter, with one coat of Seche Vite it still feels quite rough but that's not an issue, especially when it's this blingity-bling gorgeous!

Tsuya Tsuya nail polishes available here.

Also, Blogger randomly rotated the top picture, does anybody know why this happens?

08 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Cat Charm Bracelet from What on Earth

Back in the days before The Eccentric English Boyfriend and I moved in together and added dogs to my already sizeable menagerie there was a time when I was in serious danger of becoming a Crazy Cat Lady.  Nothing much has really changed, except that now I'm in danger of becoming a Crazy Animal Lady, if I'm not driven just plain crazy by EEB first.

EEB isn't a big fan of cats, having grown up in a cat free dog owning household, so he and my cats aren't on particularly good terms.  Apparently it's a bad thing when they vomit hairballs in the middle of his office.  Some people just don't understand what it is to be owned by a cat!

Regardless of his feelings about cats, I think I may just drop some hints about how much I love this bracelet. After all it's only nine months till my birthday!

The Cat Charm Bracelet is US$39.95 from What on Earth.

Post-Christmas hauls

Christmas has lasted a while here. At least that's what I tell myself every time I spend more money on polishes - it's just another Christmas present to myself because I'm generous like that!  Anyway, here are a few pictures for you of polishes and other stuff I've given myself recently:

First up, from todays mail, some polishes from Tsuya Tsuya. I can't remember whose blog I discovered this brand on (if it was you drop me a note so I can give credit where it's due). I ordered Green from the Candy Shop Collection and Purple Dot from the Incandescent Collection.

One small gripe: the website only shows one photo of what I assume is the Candy Shop collection, and there is a drop down menu allowing you to choose between the three collections (the third is Classic French), and then choose how many polishes from the collection you want. Tsuya Tsuya then email with the colours available in each collection for you to choose from, but it would be really nice to see each colour listed separately on the website, currently it's a bit of a lucky dip choosing by colour name only.  Luckily I love the two colours I bought, plus they came packaged in a plastic pouch with a nail file (decorated with lemons) a buffer block and a 'magic' nail buffer, along with a cute little drawstring carry bag as modelled by a sleepy Fred!:

The photo doesn't do justice to the gorgeous glitteriness of Purple Dot - a purple jelly base packed to bursting with pink glitter. Aside from my minor gripe about the website design I was impressed with the communication and customer service of this Singapore-based company, and of course the free gifts!  Tsuya Tsuya nail polishes are S$12.90 each.

Next up some Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab nail polishes from Black Phoenix Trading Post.  I was on the site ordering a couple of their awesome tshirts as Christmas presents for The Eccentric English Boyfriend (this one and this one), but I couldn't possibly do that without putting some of their gorgeous nail polishes in my basket now could I?

Robotic Scarab, Destroying Angel and Smokestack. Great names, great colours - can't wait to see these babies on. US$9.00 each.

Some Mode cheapies found in a drugstore bargain bin, a new brand to me:

Blue Steel, Party Girl (much greener than the photo suggests), Style Magnet and Midsummer Dream.

Some Constance Carroll polishes - they seem to be updating their packaging and the colour range available in New Zealand has improved from the reds and pinks I previously knew them for:

Diamond, Midnight Rouge, Midnight Blue and Viva Las Venus.

The Range of Color Club polishes available in New Zealand is also increasing much to my joy - although it's still nowhere near their full range. I nabbed this navy blue beauty at the drugstore the other day:

Naughtycal Navy. At what point do you think I should admit I have too many navy polishes? No, no, you're right - I could never have too many navys.

Remember when I said I'd ordered two pairs of shoes in the New Look sale (in direct contravention of my no-buy, but totally justified because they were on sale and cute, so there!) - well turns out it was actually three pairs, but one pair was a cute pair of trainers for 14 Year Old Daughter so they don't count.  Here are the other two, apologies for the tiny grainy photos taken on my netbook's webcam in bed - just because I can laze in bed with my netbook and take photos with the webcam!

Purple cuties! Less blue and more gorgeous vibrant purple in real life than in the photo.

More cuties! I'm not sure about the placement of the strap though, I may end up cutting it off.

And of course I threw a couple of cheap polishes in with my order:

Star Gazer 128 and 131.

Finally check out these cute little spider earrings I picked up for NZ$5.00 in the Diva sale:


07 January 2010

Review: Z Palettes

I've been seeing reviews of Z Palettes around a few blogs lately, and after I ended up with some loose Stila eyeshadow pans from a couple of StrawberryNET specials I decided to order myself some from Camera Ready Cosmetics (who by the way were excellent - great communication and speedy delivery to New Zealand). I got a large Z Palette which measures 8 inches x 4.75 inches and costs US$20.00, and a small Z Pallete which measures 3.8 inches x 3.8 inches and costs US$14.00:

Z palettes have a magnetic base which metal makeup pans stick to, a magnetic lid closure and see-through window on the top.

Here is the small Z Palette, which as you can see fits four Stila eyeshadow pans with room left over:

And the large Z Palette which fits five Stila eyeshadow pans horizontally and two vertically, plus I could fit another smaller pan at the bottom of vertical row if I wanted, or fit three Stila eyeshadow pans vertically by putting one at the bottom in between the rows. Stila eyeshadow pans are larger than many other brands too, so with smaller pans you would easily get three in vertically:

The magnetic base is strong enough that the pans are held in firmly, but not so strong that they're difficult to remove if you want to change things around, the window on the top makes it easy to see what colours you have and the magnetic closure means they're not going to fling open and leave your pans open to damage.  The palettes themselves feel fairly sturdy - I have a suspicion that carrying them around for long periods in a handbag might result in a little wear and tear but that happens to most things in handbags eventually, and personally I rarely carry my eyeshadows around with me. 

If you find that your makeup pans aren't magnetic, Z Palette also have pre-cut magnetic stickers.

My verdict: This is a great idea and a great product.

Available from Z Palette's website, and Camera Ready Cosmetics. Other stockists are listed on Z Palette's site.

Your daily dose of pretty: Calypso Skirt from ModCloth

I love swooshy skirts:

This skirt reminds me of when a friend invited me to an open evening at her belly dancing class.  I really enjoyed the belly dancing, but the absolute highlight of the evening for me was the guest Flamenco dancer - I loved the tempo and passion of the dancing, not to mention the gorgeous shoes and swooshy skirts. This skirt would be totally awesome for flouncing around being all Spanish and passionate.  Or you could take your cue from ModCloth who describe it more in pirate wench terms, in which case you'd be wanting to swing a cutlass and say "harrrrr" a lot. Or something.

Whatever you choose to imagine yourself as when you wear it, the Calypso Skirt is US$54.99 from ModCloth.

06 January 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Pin Up Girl Suede Peeptoes

I am on a strict shoe-no-buy at the moment. Absolutely no shoe buying for Selina. None. Because of that whole "Oh look we have no hot water for two whole days and have to pay the plumber and the electrician hundreds of dollars which could have bought Selina lots of shoes" thing.

And those two pairs of shoes I ordered in the New Look sale? Well they totally don't count, obviously. Sorry, what's that you say - why don't they count? Well, because ... well they're ... because it's ... because I totally have a good reason, ok?

So, it's a really good thing that these mind-blowingly sexy shoes from Pin Up Girl Clothing are sold out:

Yep, really good thing they're sold out, I don't think I could resist them. Especially since before they sold out they were a very reasonable US$42.00.

But wait! What's that you say? The purple ones aren't sold out?

 Oh. Oh my. Oh goodness.

So, these stunningly gorgeous shoes in this beautiful dusky purple which I am totally Not Buying are also US$42.00 from Pin Up Girl Clothing.

Not buying.

Really, seriously, not buying.

Not clicking on 'Add To Cart'.

Totally having restraint.

Gotta go now, buying shoes.