Beauty chat

by jamie-lee on December 11, 2014, 3 comments

minimal make up look beauty charlotte tilbury

So you may have noticed a few changes around here lately. A little less fashion, and a little more beauty. Well, it’s come as a little bit of a surprise to me too – the girl which for so long has shunned any traditional (read: obsessive) approach to beauty in favour of something a little more relaxed; a little more nonchalant, or at least so I’ve thought. I’ve been making videos (and who ever would have thought I’d be willingly putting myself on camera?), and I’ve been putting my face in sharper focus than I would normally dare, all in the name of beauty. So if there’s anything beauty-related that you’d like to know (or see in video form), like which eyeshadows give you the most bang for your buck, my skincare routine (which honestly, is a bit of a mess right now) or my pick for the perfect shade of red nail polish, leave me a note in the comments below as I’m all for ideas – all the more to add to my ever-growing list! In the meantime, it’s mostly business as usual around here, with a few fresh new ideas which I’m a little excited (and eager) to share with you all.

PS. You’ve still got a week and a bit to get in the draw for the Karen Walker giveaway, so don’t forget to enter if you haven’t already!

Spring wardrobe favourites #1

by jamie-lee on December 9, 2014, 8 comments

dries van noten cesar shirt nobody denim shorts
charlotte olympia virgo suede flats
karen walker polka dot tie up shorts
lover the label susien chong lover cherry red rosebud lace dress

Some time ago, I read this quote about shopping for your wardrobe, which has really stuck with me.

Buy less, choose well.

It’s become something of a goal that I’ve aspired to. To cultivate an attitude towards shopping which results in less mistakes, and more triumphs at the end of the day. To realize that those wool lined Acne Studios culottes you’ve wanted for the last year aren’t practical, or affordable – well, not if you’re planning on eating out a couple of times a week, or wanting to put aside a little bit of your income for ‘a rainy day’.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve definitely had my fair share of blow outs this year. Five new pairs of shoes in not quite as many weeks? Yep. Definitely guilty. But, I’ve been holding out for sales (like I never did before), spending a little more on the classics, and taking the time to get something slightly ill-fitting taken in at the tailor.

With Spring at its end, I thought I’d quickly run through some of my purchases for the season – my favourites, the ones I’ve worn the most/the least, the ones which have been the most surprising.

New wardrobe staples: Over the Spring I added quite a few staple pieces to my wardrobe. I splurged on a white shirt from Dries van Noten (on sale – and I had this one altered as it was a little too long), I saved on a pair of ripped denim shorts from Nobody (which are going to be indispensable this Summer), and I invested in a pair of not-so-classic black loafers from Stuart Weitzman. Less notable staples include a pair of black cropped trousers from Forever New, and another silk tank from Everlane (you can read my areview here if you haven’t already).

New favourites: I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with anything Dion Lee – an obsession that I anticipate will not be kind to my bank balance, if I’m not careful that is (case in point, this pleated dress I’ve been eyeing up). So when I picked up this grey tweed mini skirt from his current collection, I knew it was on the fast track to become one of my favourites. I’ve also really been enjoying wearing the Charlotte Olympia virgo suede flats – which in a mauve tone is an unusual choice for me, yet I love that these seem to go with absolutely everything.

A special addition: You probably all know by now that my love for Lover seems to know no bounds. I don’t go out nearly enough to justify another lace dress, but when I saw this *limited edition* rosebud halter dress in the Bondi Junction store, I couldn’t resist. It didn’t help that the general response on Instagram was that I needed to have this dress in my life. Which really, was all it took.

What I’ve worn the most: This is a bit of a toss-up between an old favourite and a new one. The old favourite being my black Helmut Lang blazer, which gets worn almost daily for work, and the new one being the Lover 3D star lace skirt (after finally getting it in the right size).

What I’ve worn the least: Online shopping certainly has its pitfalls, particularly when you’re buying off eBay. I picked up a really cute pair of shorts from Karen Walker in a style I already owned, albeit two sizes larger. Suffice to say, they’re a little big (although the tie waist does help), and they’re yet to be worn. I haven’t quite found the time to take these into the tailor but I’m hoping that with a little bit of love they can be taken in at the sides – I’m smitten with the print so I really don’t want to let these ones go!

Most disappointing purchase: Again, eBay can be so hit or miss, but if you’re looking for an archive piece, it’s generally the only place you can look. I’d been on the lookout for the poppy printed skort from Lover’s Persona collection, and after five solid months of looking, I finally managed to find it. Unfortunately, it was all wrong for me. My hip area is my widest point, and unfortunately the hemline finished here, which made for an incredibly unflattering look. It’s such a shame as it’s a gorgeous piece, but I learnt a while back that there’s no point in keeping something you don’t love.

I should probably mention that I was fortunate enough to pick up more than half of these items on sale, or at a reduced price during a discount code promotion – quite possibly the best way to get the most ‘bang for your buck’. While I am thinking of starting the five piece wardrobe challenge (for the Autumn/Winter season – we’ll see how I go, I haven’t fully committed to it… yet), let me know if this is the type of post you’d like to see more of at the end of each season.

Have you bought anything special this Spring?

PS. Don’t forget to enter my Karen Walker broken heart necklace giveaway, if you haven’t already!

A Karen Walker Christmas giveaway

by jamie-lee on December 7, 2014, 18 comments

karen walker giveaway broken hearts gold necklace
karen walker giveaway broken hearts gold necklace

Wearing J. Crew silk front tank

The festive season has now well and truly begun – and since it is the season to be jolly, I couldn’t think of a better way to spread a little Christmas cheer than a giveaway to all my readers.

I’m not sure how well you all know me by now, but there’s no denying how obviously impossible it is for me to leave a Karen Walker store without picking up a little something something. When I was back home a few months back, in addition to my usual splurge, I picked up a little something extra, with this giveaway in mind. And honestly, as far as I’m concerned, a little bit of Karen Walker costume jewellery is fail-safe option to give as a gift this Christmas. So, up for grabs is the chunky gold chain necklace pictured above, featuring a broken heart detail (a motif of her current collection – and perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, depending on who is doing the gifting).

The giveaway will be open for two weeks, closing on Sunday 21 December – just in time for Christmas. There are a few different ways that you can enter and be in for a chance to win, and you can up the ante with multiple entries.

Basically, to enter, you just need to be following me on Bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or subscribed to my Youtube channel (and I promise, I will be checking!) and enter this into the Rafflecopter widget below. Alternatively, you can enter just by leaving me a comment below with your email address (no following required). Each media channel that you are subscribed to or following me on will earn you an additional entry, and you can gain a further entry by either tweeting about the giveaway, or regramming the snap I’ve put on my Instagram with the hashtag #mademoisellegiveaway. You can enter as few, or as many, times as you would like (and honestly, I’ll understand if you want to click the unfollow button when the giveaway is all said and done) – none of which are mandatory to be in to win. Oh, and before I forget, this giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beauty restock

by jamie-lee on December 6, 2014, 4 comments

chanel le vernis ballerina body shop body butter lancome grandiose mascara eos lip balm

It’s not often that I’ll find most of my beauty products need replacing around the same time. But, it’s given me the opportunity to try out a few new products I’ve been itching to purchase, as well as pick up some trustworthy staples.

After a few months of daily use, I’ve finally run out of the PureTAN coconut body creme. While I absolutely adore the scent (it seriously smells good enough to eat!), I thought I’d try the Body Shop’s body butter for a bit of a change. In the past I had never been able to justify the price (which at $23.99, I’m not really sure what the problem was – probably less money for shoes!), but after hearing so many good things about their body butters (from Youtube, where else?), it seemed like an easy choice.

I’ve been almost exclusively using the Clinique high lengths mascara (in black), and though I hate to say it, I’ve been rather disappointed with this on the whole. While I loved this mascara in the dark brown iteration, I found that the black one clumped my eyelashes together, which made for some very frustrating application in the mornings. I’m not sure if this is down to a change in formula, or if there’s a difference between the colours (or maybe I just got a bad tube of mascara!), but what I do like was the fine comb-like brush for application. I’ll probably look to repurchase the dark brown at some point in the future, but I thought it was time to go back to an old favourite – Lancome. I’ve been using Lancome’s ‘virtuose’ and ‘doll eyes’ mascara’s interchangeably over the last few years, and have found them to be some of the better mascara’s I’ve used. I thought I would pick up their new grandiose mascara, and give that a whirl; the ombre-effect tube and swivel wand sold me on it alone.

When I was in the US three and a half years ago (how time flies!), I bought a melon lip balm from EOS on a whim while waiting a little too long at the Target checkout. It took me a really long time, but I finally finished it recently, and thought I should probably look to replace it. The best thing about the EOS lip balms is how easy the application is. There’s no twisting of tubes, no using your finger, you just open the lid and glide the product over your lips. This time, I decided to go for ‘coconut milk’, which is sweet smelling and creamy.

I’ve flirted with a few different facial cleansers this year, although there’s really just been one which has stood out; Grown Alchemist’s gentle gel facial cleanser. I finished my last bottle just before I moved to Sydney, and replaced it with a carefully selected cleanser from Aesop (the fabulous face cleanser, if you’re wondering), which seemed like the natural choice in Australia. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really for me, but I figured I would stick it out to the end anyway (while trying a few other cleansers along the way for good measure). I recently used up the last drop, and was pretty quick to revert back to Grown Alchemist. A little tip for those new to this brand – I absolutely adore the Grown Alchemist range (I even wrote about it here), however, I find that the toner is quite astringent, even though it is alcohol free. I’ve been using the B&Tea balancing Toner from Aesop (which is considerably more mild and hydrating) combined with the Grown cleanser; and so far, so good.

Last but not least, I picked up a new nail polish from Chanel. I’d been looking for a pale pink nail polish for some time but nothing I picked up seemed to quite hit the mark. I found the formulas from OPI and Essie just a little too thick (and opaque) for my liking, whereas I find that with Chanel, the polish glides on slightly sheer, so you can build up the opacity to suit your own preferences. I bought the shade ‘Ballerina’, and it truly is the perfect soft ballerina pink tone. For those looking to pick this up, you need about three coats with this one – so it definitely requires a little bit of patience. Aside from the beautiful packaging, Chanel always seem to have their colour range so en pointe – if only it lasted on my nails for more than a day or two!

PS. If you’re feeling a little voyeuristic, I’ve done a beauty haul over on my Youtube channel which you can view here x

Getting summer ready

by jamie-lee on December 4, 2014, 6 comments

lover the label susien chong rosebud lace dress cherry red
lover the label susien chong rosebud lace dress cherry red

Lover rosebud lace halter dress

December brings with it so much promise. Days which extend long into the evening, overflowing social calendars, casual weekend BBQs and days spent at the beach, soaking up some of that delicious sunshine.

I’ve already pulled out the sandals – which will no doubt be a permanent fixture on my feet until February – and traded in my long sleeved button up blouses for sleeveless ones. The more obvious things really.

Not so obvious, were the subtle changes I would need to make to my skincare and beauty regime. Sydney Summers are typically known to reach temperatures in excess of 35 degrees (celsius), which has resulted in some hard lessons learned on my part. It didn’t take long to find that my moisturizer was too heavy (one bad breakout was all it took before I hunted down an oil-free, mattifying alternative) and that the crème bronzer I’d be using from Tom Ford would make me look shiny in a not-so-flattering way (I’ve since switched to powder). I’ve also started using a primer on a daily basis, from Korres, so that my make-up is just that little bit more long-lasting on those scorching hot days.

I’ve spent the last five (or is it six?) weekends at the beach, so I’ve been pretty quick to up my skincare game accordingly. I’ve been using Coola’s classic sunscreen to protect my skin from the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays, and taken to moisturizing once back from the beach with generous amounts of body butter (mine is the Shea body butter from the Body Shop) – a must in my books.

Lastly, I’ve gotten a much needed haircut, lopping off a few inches so that my hair just casually grazes my shoulders (which if you’ve been watching my Youtube channel, you’ve probably already noticed by now). With so much of my weekend spent out in the sun, I’ve been relying on Bumble & Bumble’s tropical riche treatment to keep my hair feeling silky and soft; and a fresh (short) haircut, which to me, always seems to signify the start of Summer.

How do you get summer ready?

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