Monday, 29 September 2014

Beautyheaven Beauty Degustation

The definition of "degustation" is to taste or trial something carefully so as to appreciate it fully, and at beautyheaven's Beauty Degustation last weekend there was definitely alot of trialling and appreciation of new beauty products.

I felt so lucky and grateful to be selected to attend this Beauty Degustation on the weekend, along with about 30 other beautyheaven members. I was made to feel welcome as soon as I set foot in the beautyheaven HQ's doors with a warm welcome, introductions to the other members and offers of drinks and refreshments. Beautyheaven thought of everything, even the chocolate cakes they served us were "beauty-full" with edible gold glitter sprinkled over the top of them.

At the event there were 4 different beauty stations set up which we rotated through in small groups. The first station I visited was the L'Oreal Professionnel station where we learnt about hair follicles and the life cycle of hair. 

We were informed that 75% of women are concerned with hair thinning issues. Unfortunately I am one of them as I have recently noticed some thinning in the region of my scalp where I used to frequently tie my hair up into a high ponytail at night.

As a result I am very interested in L'Oreal Professionnel's new product range named Serioxyl for fuller and denser hair. This range includes a Denser Hair serum, Clarifying Shampoo, Bodifying Conditioner and Densifying Mousse, which after 3 months of usage claims to stimulate up to an extra 1700+ more hairs. The reported end result: denser, fuller looking hair.

We were provided with a set of these products each and I'm starting to trial them today. I'll take some before and after photos and report back after three months as to what results these products achieved on me.

The second station was the Rimmel London makeover station where we had a mini makeover concentrating on our eyes. The product being promoted was the new Rimmel London Wonder-full mascara with Argan Oil. This product went on easy and it was good to know that it was treating our eyelashes whilst beautifying us at the same time! Other products used on my eyes included the Scandaleyes eye shadow stick in bulletproof beige and the Exaggerate eye definer.

The third beauty station I visited was the Sally Hansen manicure station. Here we received mini mani's from the lovely Alison using Sally Hansen's new Complete Salon Manicure Spring Colour Collection of beautiful pastels. Kate Waterhouse was involved in selecting the colours for this collection so you know that these colours will be perfect for wearing with this year's spring racing season fashions! Three days later my mani is still perfect looking with no chips.

The final station was the fragrance station. This station involved smelling five fragrances including Beyonce Heat Wild Orchid, Intimately Beckham, Sunny Alice, Katy Perry Killer Queen & Katy Perry Royal Revolution. The aim was to try to identify as many fragrance notes in each of these fragrances as we could. The guest who named the most notes correctly for each fragrance received that fragrance as a prize. 

Photo credit: Beauty Heaven
Boy, did I find this HARD!!!! I know what fragrances I like and what I don't like but I am no good at describing their notes. So I was pleasantly very surprised to be the winner of the Katy Perry Royal Revolution fragrance. YAY! This fragrance was my favourite out of the 5 fragrances. The composition is floral and slightly fruity. The top notes include aromas of red pomegranate and pink freesia. Jasmine and orange flower are enriched with sandalwood in the heart, while the base includes unusually mystical notes of blackthorn with addition of vanilla orchid, leather and skin musk. Confession: although I identified three of these notes, the others were too obscure for my insensitive nose! 

After receiving this fragrance I was amused to read on the back of the box the tag line for it is "The Scent Of Victory" -  very appropriate! Haha!

Photo credit: Katy Perry Royal Revolution
Finally as we were leaving, as if all the above were not pampering and treat enough, we were further spoilt with several goody bags from beautyheaven, L'Oreal Professionnel, Rimmel London and Sally Hansen containing the products photographed below.

Thank you so much beautyheaven for an absolutely amazing afternoon of being pampered, learning about and trying new products, and talking beauty with other beautyheaven members. I had a fantastic time! I can't wait to start reviewing these products.


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Monday, 22 September 2014

Fabulous Fashion Finds: Spring Jackets

I love spring! It's my favourite season. The flowers start blooming, the birds become chirpier & the days become brighter. But despite the days becoming sunnier & warmer, the mornings & evenings can still be quite crisp & cool in Sydney. Thus the need for layered spring dressing. One of my essential spring wardrobe items is jackets.

In spring I put away my heavier winter jackets & coats and look for lighter, brighter spring options. This year my favourite spring jacket fabulous fashion finds include:

1. Three Parsons Floral Drape Cape Jacket

I absolutely LOVE my new Three Parsons Floral Drape Cape Jacket. I love its glorious colours, its pretty floral design & its flattering cut and shape. Florals are a recurring spring trend every year, so hopefully I will get several years wear out of this jacket.

I can't believe I originally hesitated when I first saw this jacket on the Three Parsons website because I was nervous buying a "one size fits all" garment over the internet without trying it on.

Luckily for me the gorgeous looking Kimba from Kimba Likes posted a photo wearing this jacket a couple of weeks later on her Instagram account. When I saw it I instantly knew my previous hesitation had been a mistake! Although in hindsight my delayed purchasing was actually fortunate, as in the meanwhile the jacket was marked down on sale. Yay!

2. Sussan Denim Jacket

Another recurring spring trend is denim. Denim never seems to go out of fashion. Different seasons just have different shades of denim. I found this fabulous pale denim jacket at Sussan. It features breast pockets, long sleeve styling and a crop finish making it great for casual spring styling. I always have a denim jacket or two in my wardrobe for spring.

3. Spring Wraps 

My final spring jacket fabulous fashion find is not a jacket at all but a wrap.I find wraps really versatile to use in spring. I bought this wrap new on ebay and once again love the floral print on it. It is warm to wear in the mornings and evenings and easy to remove when it gets warmer.There are also so many different ways to wear a wrap.

What are your spring wardrobe essentials?


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Monday, 15 September 2014

Art Gallery of NSW - Archibald Exhibition & Free Concerts.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a leisurely Sunday morning at The Art Gallery of NSW with my family. The main purpose of our visit was to view the Archibald, Sulman and Wynne prize exhibitions which are currently being displayed until 28 September 2014. 

The Archibald Prize is awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian. My favourite portrait was that of Anna Meares by Phillip Barnes. It clearly shows the determination and focus of this champion cyclist.

The winning Archibald Prize 2014 portrait was Fiona Lowry's reflective painting of Penny Seidler.

The Packing Room Prize 2014 was awarded to Tim Storrier's Sir Les Patterson painting.

The Sulman Prize is awarded to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an artist resident in Australasia. The 2014 winning painting by Andrew Sullivan, T-rex (tyrant lizard king), received a big thumbs up from my youngest son.

After viewing the exhibitions we indulged in some scrumptious morning tea in the outdoor section of the Art Gallery Cafe, where my kids delighted in handfeeding the rainbow lorikeets their leftovers. These birds must be the best fed birds in Sydney!  

I don't know if the waiters were too impressed however, this lorikeet sent the glass tumbling to the ground, shattering it, as it took off.

As we were on our way out of the gallery we were pleasantly surprised to hear the soaring voice of opera singer Arax Mansourian in the Grand Courts area of the gallery. Unbeknownst to us, every 2nd and last Sunday of the month from 11 May to 30 November 2014 at 12.30pm, there is a one hour free classical music concert by the Australian Institute of Music. This free concert was absolutely magnificent. The high ceilings and large gallery room full of priceless Australian art works was the perfect setting. Visit the Art Gallery's website for more details . 

There are numerous other free activities and events that the Art Gallery of NSW hosts. See their website for more details . Admission to the Art Gallery of NSW is free although entry to special exhibitions, such as the Archibald, does attract a small entry fee.

Finally, the Art Gallery of NSW is also the perfect Sydney tourist attraction to take overseas visitors to. It houses an extensive Australian and Aboriginal art collection with free daily guided tours of these collections. What better way to learn about the history of Australia and the aborigines!

Do you make use of free cultural activities in your home town? 
What fabulous and fun places do you take your overseas visitors to?


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Monday, 8 September 2014

Makeup Rut Remedy

Every so often, especially now that I'm a bit older, I get into a makeup rut. Products that I've previously been using AND loving, no longer seem to meet my needs.

Much as I hate to write this, my skin has changed with age. It has become less elastic, less radiant, less "plump" and the following have appeared:
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • skin dryness
  • pigmentation & sunspots, and
  • redness!
Deep sigh!!! Ageing is no fun for your skin but at least I no longer have pimples! (There has to be some positive silver lining!)

Recently I found myself in a makeup rut with my foundation. My previously effective foundation suddenly seemed to be drying and not cover my skin's redness. I also became very aware that it did not include any SPF, necessitating me to have an additional sunscreen step in my daily makeup routine. 

Rather than automatically go to the same brands I've used in the past I decided to go to Mecca Maxima to remedy my makeup rut and get their expert advice on what brand and product would best suit my changed needs. The reason I love going to Mecca Maxima is because they have a wide variety of brands, the staff are experts in beauty products and you can have the products applied to your face in-store to trial. I love Mecca Maxima's friendly and fabulous customer service.

At Mecca Maxima I requested a light to medium coverage foundation that would not be drying, that included an inbuilt SPF and would cover my redness. So what products did they recommend to me?

  • Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness
  • Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 Hydrating Colour Corrector
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Amp'd Up Apple

  • The Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness is a lightweight yellow tinted face primer which effectively evens out my skin tone and reduces my redness. I've also found it helps my foundation to last for longer.

    The Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 Hydrating Colour Corrector is once again light weight, contains SPF30 and hydrates my skin perfectly. Thus it meets all my requested needs. It also further evens out my skin tone creating a younger, natural, glowing look. Hallelujah! I've been very happy with this product since purchasing it two weeks ago.

    Finally, to finish off my look, Mecca Maxima's expert used NARS Laguna bronzer and then Clinque Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Amp'd Up Apple. Once I saw the ease of use of the Chubby Stick and its perfect colour, of course I had to buy this as an additional treat! Oops! The Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm provided a gorgeous sheer, rosy colour to my cheeks. I have since started using it on my lips as well. I love products that multi-task!

    Makeup rut remedied! Thanks Mecca Maxima for your expert advice.

    Do you ever suffer from makeup ruts? How do you remedy them?


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    Monday, 1 September 2014

    The Lion King Review & 9 Life Lessons It Teaches

    Right from the dramatic Zulu opening chant of Nants' Ingonyama followed by the spectacular parade of life-sized animals, including a massive elephant and leaping antelopes, traipsing past my aisle seat to the stage singing Circle of Life, I was mesmerised by The Lion King last weekend at Sydney's Capitol Theatre. It was such a breath-taking and awe-inspiring production, a perfect present from my husband to celebrate my birthday.

    As I was sitting there savouring the spectacular puppets and costumes, the makeup, the powerful singing and the rhythmic African percussion I realised the large number of valuable life lessons this production also offers, for children, teenagers and adults. Some of these lessons include: 

    1. Be brave but don't be stupid.
    Young Simba: "I was just trying to be brave like you"
    Mufasa: "Simba, I am only brave when I have to be. Being brave does not mean you go looking for trouble"

    2. Know your limitations & there's more to being in charge than just getting your way.
    Young Simba: "Everything the light touches ..... But what about that shadowy place?"
    Mufasa: "That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba".
    Young Simba: "But I thought a king can do whatever he wants".
    Mufasa: "There's more to being a king than getting your way all the time".

    3. You are never alone. A parent's influence lasts forever.
    Mufusa: "Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from the stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I"

    4. Show respect to everyone.
    Mufasa: "You see Simba, everything exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope"
    Young Simba: "But Dad, don't we eat the antelope?"
    Mufasa: "Yes Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great circle of life" 

    5. There is a natural order to the world that you can't change.
    There is a natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth. There is a Circle of Life.

    6. Learn from your past mistakes and grow from them.
    Rafiki: "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or learn from it". 
    Like Simba, every prodigal son/troubled teen needs to pass certain trials and tests that hurtle them to the bottom before they are allowed to come back up on top.

    7. Relax, be happy and accept you can't control everything. 
    Timon & Pumbaa: "Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase! Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze! It means no worries for the rest of your days. It's our problem-free philosophy".

    8.Accept you responsibilities. 
    Mufasa's Ghost: "You have forgotton who you are, and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba, you are more than you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life".


    Rafiki: "It is time". 

    9. Love will triumph over evil.
    "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" has to be one of the greatest love songs of all time!

    Photo credit for all photos: The Lion King

    The Lion King's run in Sydney finished on 31 August 2014. The production now moves to Brisbane's Lyric Theatre, QPAC, in September 2014. It then moves to Melbourne's Regent Theatre in February 2015. I highly recommend seeing this spectacular show and take your kids, including your teenagers. For more information see .

    Have you seen The Lion King? What did you think about it? 
    If you haven't seen it, are you planning on seeing it when it comes to your state?


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