Monday, January 16, 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adventures in Frivolity: Fake Tan

Being an Australian in Utah was somewhat of a rarity. Whilst some Utahns may encounter the ski bogan working on the snow fields, most have never met your average, run-of-the-mill, overseas-born Aussie.
During the first week of my internship I met an intern who considered himself very well-travelled. He was confident that he could pick where I was from. I queried his statement, asking him where he believed I hailed from, and was met with the common response of:

"..... England!"


I informed my new friend that I was in fact Australian, born in Former Yugoslavia. He seemed stumped, and looked very confused as he asked:

"... I thought Australians were tall and, like, tanned? Like crazy Amazonians!!".

I politely responded that the Amazon was in South America. That seemed to go over his head. But on further reflection, his statement wasn't misguided as I had originally thought. The image of Australians presented to the world is lithe and tanned. Consider one of our recent tourism campaigns starring this woman:

Where the bloody hell am I? A place called obscurity!!!
Image from
We are percieved to have either an "outback" or "beach" culture (nevermind the fact that most Australians have never been to the "outback", including yours truly). So, apparently, we have a reputation to uphold! And while beach-ing is a truly enjoyable passtime, basking in the sun and turning periodically to achieve a "natural" tan conjures up images of a chicken in a rotisserie.
Y'all might be aware of that hole in the ozone layer thing. Because of that, 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. Bloody scary statistic. And, after a particularly nasty burn at the age of 15 due to sun tanning (after half of my face-skin peeled off I resembled the Phantom of the Opera), I decided that I would embrace my Victorian features.

I'm on the right. Clearly not impressed with my friend, bitch stole my rouge.
Image from

 So, for the last 12 years, I've been very happy to embrace my lily-white flesh. It looks great with hot pink lipstick. It requires very minimal effort, other than slathering on the SPF30+ (WHICH EVERYBODY SHOULD BE DOING EVERY DAY). But recent advances in fake tan got me curious. And frightened because despite such advances (natural looking! No smell!), I encounter people daily who resemble oompa-loompas, generally clad in a mullet skirt. I am perfectly comfortable with my fluorescent legs reflecting the light to tan those around me on the beach, but would once like to experience the feeling of a tan.
My good friend Nic at Sugar Suite convinced me that she had a colour light enough to give me a "sunkissed glow". A spray-tan application ensures an even, streak-free finish. Okay, let's do this.

Inspiration - Leather Chic.
Image from
 The Process

Spray tanners recommend that you exfoliate a day or so before getting the spray done. I exfoliate twice a week, so I wasn't concerned about this. On the day, you're supposed to have a shower and then skip the deodorant and moisturiser. Uh oh.
So, yeah, you've got to get a little bit naked. This is why it was great having Nic do it - I had no problem getting my gear (except for bottom underwear) off. Nic then made me stand with different sides facing her while she applied the tan. Then she dried off the tan, and got me to wear something loose and black. The directions then were to take a shower 2/3 hours later.

While waiting/marinating, I began to get a little worried as the colour I turned was quite..... dark. Nic assured me that the colour that develops would be much lighter - and she was right. After the shower, my skin was only 2-ish shades darker, and not a lick of orange in sight!

Tomorrow I will post some pics of my arm, or another inconspicuous limb to show you the result.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Protester.

Picture of Mannoubia Bouazizi and her son, Mohammed Bouazizi.
Image from TIME Magazine Online

This post's original intent was to discuss Huffington Post's "Woman of the Year" article. Whilst browsing the interwebs for further information on women I found to be inspirational in 2011, I stumbled upon TIME Magazine's feature "The Protester".
2011 has, undoubtedly, been a landmark year for social and political activism globally. From the Arab Spring uprising throughout much of the middle east to economic protests in Greece, people are banding together and fighting for a united cause: recognition of their basic human rights and an end to government/corporate corruption. I won't speak too much on the protests and movements themselves (and the fascinating role that social media has played in it) as I'm clearly not informed enough to create a cohesive, bloggable opinion on it. I will, however, direct you to the utterly incredible Yuri Kozyrev's Pictoral Essay on the global movements.

For me, one of the most fascinating aspects of these movements (particularly those in the Middle East) has been not only the involvement, but organisation and innovation of women, particularly online. If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to read or subscribe to the following:

- Egyptian Chronicles - particularly this article on #VirginityGate;
- A Tunisian Girl - you might need to translate through Google;
- Promise and Peril: women and the "Arab Spring" - very thought-provoking;
- Women in the new Libya - Challenges Ahead
- Sudanese Women Demand Justice
- Wikipedia entry - List of Women who sparked a revolution

Have any more? Please post them in the comments section.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday blues.

Dearest three readers,

As the festive season draws to an end it is time to take stock of the year, celebrate achievements and attempt to ignore embarrassing poor life choices and mis-speakings (I understand this is not a word - however I am stumped to come up with a verified term for the illogical, non-sequential garbage that spews forth from my mouth and/or fingers).
Identifying non-work-related events of 2011 that I am proud of is suprisingly difficult, so herein lies my first resolution of 2012: put more effort into my home and personal life. Improve my relationships with those I am supposedly close to. Be a better wife, friend, daughter, blah blah blah.... because as it stands, I am pretty poor at these jobs. I am very fortunate in my life to have incredibly supportive and loving family and friends and I shall, nay must, work harder to show them my appreciation.
In terms of personal satisfaction for 2012, I am determined to make it through a semester of my master's. I've got a career goal, and by gosh I am going to make it. I WILL also get a move-on in learning Arabic. Na'am atakallum al-arabiyya! (well, soon)

Here is where I insert the same list of resolutions as every year, including but not limited to:
- lose weight and continue going to the gym regularly (BAD FEMINIST);
- eat better, and by "better" NOT mean better quality cocoa in my high-percentage snacks;
- be a better cook/cleaner/interior designer/decorator/entertainer/minxed-drink maker/hostess etc. etc. I have always wanted to be an example of domestic divinity, but those aspirations have never quite been realised;
- sleep more (not going to happen);
- improve self-confidence (see above); and
- get my musical instrument out from its dusty corner of the shelves and play it without having a panic attack (wishful thinking).

I am also going to change the emphasis of this blog, and have it as "random entries" until I can decide on a direction for it. But never fear! Those random entries will still include blissfully unnecessary cosmetics posts. I would ideally like to post interesting news and opinion pieces and add my own editorial to it, but:
a) my opinion would be drastically ill-informed; and
b) who on earth would want to hear/read it?
I may also add some of my painfully amateur photography and mundane life events. Don't get too excited!

So, dear readers who have now possibly been dropped to two, what would you like for 2012?  I dare you to be the first commenter on my blog! Ever!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Dear few readers,
I apologise for the lack of posts this week. Expect a post by Friday!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils

I've been very excited about trying out these babies, as my general work-day face is done during traffic light stops in my car (don't tell Mr. T). The promise of smudge-and-budge proof, all-day wearing, super-quick-and-easy-to-apply colour appealed to this perpetually rushed workaholic.
However, by the time they were released, I was already settled back in Australia with no Urban Decay stockist - egads! Luckily enough, a lovely seller on eBay had the gift "stash" for a good price.

The lovely set! Excuse the crappy photo.
Note that the picture doesn't do justice to the size - these babies are big, at 2.5g each. So you'll need a big sharpener (the sharpener that came with my Tarte SmolderEYES works well with it).
The Shades

- Delinquent - a very deep plummy-purple with a violet shimmer.

- Rehab - a warm, deep brown.

- Juju - a mid-toned, warm taupe.

- Sin - a warm yet slightly pink-toned champagne.

- Clash - a bright, vivid turquoise.

The Verdict

Ease of use: These guys don't lie about how easy the shadows are to use. You don't even really need a mirror if you're only applying the one shade all over your lid, just draw and smudge with your finger (if you like). They are pretty damn blendable as well, so it's a cinch to blend colours. They work pretty well with powder-formula shadows as well, unlike other stick/long-wearing cream shadows I've tried.

Colour pay-off: Urban Decay products are consistently well pigmented. I haven't had a product yet that disappointed me in those stakes. These are no different. The shades are metallic and vivid and gorgeous. My favourites of the set would have to be Sin (what a surprise, I love the Sin powder eyeshadow also!) and Clash.

Longevity: Now... here's where we get a bit iffy.
When worn as a liner, these guys last beautifully. Clash did not budge when I wore it on a rainy work day from 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. No fallout, no sweat-smearing, NOTHING. Muy impressed! Here's Clash worn as a liner, from a FOTD:

Wearing them as an all-over shadow, though.... not without a primer. I got about three hours' wear when wearing Sin and Rehab all over (blended) before it settled into my eyelid crease like a beigey-taupe creek. The next day I tried it with my Urban Decay Primer Potion, and it lasted all day.

Recommended? Abso-freaking-lutely! Anything reliable I can keep in my work or gym bag gets my thumbs up.

Bought on eBay for AUD$44 inc. postage. Product available from Sephora.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Face Of The Day (FOTD) - Monday 12/12/2011

Doing: Work. Alone today, there's been heavy storms and my colleagues and clients have been flooded in their homes.

Wearing: Too boring to post pics:
- Loft red knee-length dress
- Black Witchery long-sleeve tee underneath
- Black opaques
- Black Wittner ballet flats
- Hair straightened still from hairdresser on Saturday.

- Korres quincertin and oak primer (silicone-free goodness - review to come soon!)
- Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation
- MAC Pro Longwear concealer
- NARS Angelika blush

- Last remnant of Urban Decay Primer Potion (sob!)
- Sephora pearl-gold shade all over lid
- Sephora dark silver/grey shade on crease and outer V (both Sephora shades from the Allure Beauty Editor palette)
- Clinique Cream Shaper in Black Diamond on inner rims of eye
- Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Stick in Clash to line top and bottom.

- Revlon colour burst gloss in Peony

I even have iPhone pics! Please excuse the poor quality and mascara smudge on the eyelid.

Not overly impressed with my efforts today, but I do love the UD shadow/liner.

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