Bon chic!

Code Blue: Vogue Forum

33265_vogueus-september2004_122_668lo

In 2004 I was fresh out of my first degree, and had no idea how to function as an adult.  I had to buy a suit to wear to my first professional job, and had no idea about makeup, having schlepped around in jeans and skater-trainers for my entire teenage life and early adulthood.  I showed up to my job in ill-fitting, mix-and-match polyester and felt like the worlds biggest impostor.  A woman there took sympathy on me and introduced me to the Vogue Forum.  My world opened and changed and suddenly I was surrounded by women of all occupations and personalities and passions and it was amazing.  I learned how to buy a suit.  How to wear makeup so I didn’t look like I’d been hit with Homer Simpson’s slap gun.  How to argue for more money, change careers, buy a house.  I.  Loved.  It.  And later when I changed careers, there was more support, and even applause.  There were famous threads, famous users, and it was even in the news a few times.

And then it started to fade.  The post’s grew less.  The forum was redesigned and lost screen real estate.  Some of the most famous threads and users were deleted inexplicably.  We all got busier as our careers progressed.

Later on I had the privilege of being asked to be a moderator which I gladly accepted, but the combination of medical school and subsequent training with my own life stuff in between (and consequent total exit from the Internet for a couple of years), the soul crushing amounts of spam that had to be binned in the background, the time poor moderators, and the unfixeable things like the deleted users and threads and lost screen real estate all conspired against us and now it’s a graveyard.

Except I don’t want it to be a graveyard.  And somewhere in all of that, my moderator privileges remained.  And suddenly now that I’m part-time, I have some time.  Not a whole lot of time, but I have some to write, and interact, and stick up for people and posts from being deleted.  So I’ve decided to out myself as a mod – not one of the earlier ones with the cool and funny jokes, or the later invisible heavy handed ones, one of the newer ones who has so much to give back to the forum.

If anyone reads the forum, please come back.  If anyone reads this blog, give it a go.  I’d really love to pay it forward to the new generation of early 20 somethings who have no idea about the world.  I’ll make sure status-anxiety doesn’t result in the deletion of a $10 a week on food thread or any great arguments in the current affairs section get shut down.  Vive la Vogue!

rs_560x271-140818094332-1024-september-cover-vogue.ls_.81814_

My Favourite Things 2015

Faux Fuchsia‘s amazing adventures with Oprah have inspired me to do a favourite things post!  My home is not currently worth photographing (toddler+FT work+daycare+petri-dish-of-gross), but I CAN borrow pictures of products that are my holy grails this year and share them with you!  Just so you know, this is all stuff I have paid for, and that these companies have been happy to take my money for.  No affiliations, no freebies, just hardcore curating on my own.

This Benefit Benetint lip-balm for example.  Amazing.  It’s my favourite thing for 2015 by far.  It smells like Benetint, but goes on like a balm.  Gorgeous.  I feel happy just thinking about it!

Benefit Benebalm

While I’m on a Benefit trip, my second winner for 2015 would have to be this browvolutionary brow mascara, Gimme Brow.  I loathe the overattention to brows right now.  It’s as bad as the overplucked thing in the nineties except now it’s the reverse.  Now it’s about the perfect large brow that to me still looks painted on and totally overthought.  They’re eyebrows!  Make them look like eyebrows!  Which is what this does.  I mascara it onto my overplucked nineties eyebrows and it fills them in without them looking painted-on or overthought.

 

Next is Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion.  This stuff smells like I just stepped out of a spa.  It smells like freshly-made soap or something.  It smells like really really lovely body lotion.  I’ve lost of count of the amount of various scented ones I’ve gone through, but at the end of the day, I just want a nice body lotion that smells like amazing body lotion.  This stuff is divine.  AND moisturising.

I clearly like doing things in two’s because I have to do another body-product, Nuxe Dry Oil (Huile Prodigeuse).  This oil is what I imagine a cool Parisian lady smells like on date-night.  It smells sexy without being heavy and cloying (my least favourite smell in the world is that Angel perfume), it moisturises but it’s not actually oily and it comes in a bronzer version.  It was hugely popular this year and with GOOD REASON.

My conditioner.  A hairdresser told me once I have ‘porous’ hair.  Whatever.  I think they meant ‘dry’ but probably wanted to sell me something.  Anyway it’s dry, and it’s fine, and it frizzes like all women with Irish heritage hair does, and if I try shine serums, creams etc, then it’s frizzy AND oily.  This is the only conditioner I’ve found that just restores it to being, well, hair.  Hair that looks normal.  And flat.  I don’t bother with the shampoo because I think expensive shampoo is a complete waste of time on my hair.  It’s called Original Minerals Fine Intellect if you’re interested.

And while we’re on hair…once a week, one to two teaspoons, as a pre-shampoo mask.  Life changing.

Laneige skin care.  I went through a bit of a Korean phase earlier this year and while I discovered that most of their skincare is NOT designed for mid-30s skin on the dry side (quite the opposite), I found this amazing aqueous cream that is light, smells gorgeous, and can go under my sunscreen.  I don’t know WHY I have to put moisturiser under my sunscreen, I just do.  I love this balancing emulsion so much, it’s so light and not oily.  I like Laneige in general – the others like Etude House and Missha make too many products that can be mistaken for paint-stripper.  I used a bi-carb based foaming cleanser to clean my patent leather shoes and they came up a treat.

Piksters.  Where have you been my whole life?  I hate flossing.  I had braces for 3 years and my teeth are so jammed together that nothing gets between them.  Least of all dental floss.  Look these are basically miniature pipe-cleaners that someone has made an incredible amount of money on, but I adore them.  I tried the water-pick thing, I’ve tried the flat dental tape, but nothing comes close to these things.

Aside from having really porous hair it’s also really knotty and painful.  I found this a few years back and now I cannot live without it.  You can brush your hair and it doesn’t hurt!! At all! And it feels nice on your scalp!!  I need to buy a few more, they’re called Tangle Teezers and they look exactly like a dog brush.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara.  Or something like that.  Years ago on the Vogue Forum everyone went crazy over Diorshow.  It was a cult that lasted years, like Juicytubes and the Seafoam Balenciaga Motorcycle bag because Nicky Hilton had one and curiously this made it popular.  Since then Dior have capitalised on this by releasing loads of different mascaras of some Diorshow flavour, and I found this one in my mother’s cosmetic bag, tried it, then ordered my own.  It curls your eyelashes.  IT DOESN’T DROP ON YOUR FACE.  And it comes off easily in the shower.

And finally, even though it’s my perennial favourite perfume, it deserves to be here.  I fell in love with the Fragonard brand when I travelled through the South of France in a tiny car on terrifyingly narrow roads with my husband.  We stopped in Grasse and discovered the wonderful Fragonard factory, and learned how they are perfumier for Chanel.  I cannot begin to describe the smell in the air in Grasse, it is where all the scented flowers that go into the perfumes are grown.  Iles D’Amour is the closest I’ve come, and it’s not even the most popular one.  These days you can buy Fragonard at a couple of places in Australia – Klein’s in Melbourne have a limited range, and Le Bon Addresse in QVB Sydney has the best range I’ve seen.  My husband picked this one out for me after dutifully listening to me bang on for half an hour in the factory shop about how hard it is to find perfume’s that suit me.  The best part is that next-to-no-one  know has it, so it really is my signature scent.

I found that a very useful exercise insofar as I now have a list for myself to refer to, and hopefully you lovely reader, have some Secret-Santa / stocking stuffer ideas.  I’m sure I have more to add but that’s plenty for now.  And written in the ten minutes I have of sitting before crawling into bed, so it sadly lacks in attractive picture-arranging.  In time!  I have a part-time job next year!  The true holy grail of medicine exists!

Makeover.

Dear diary, I promise to write in you more…

It’s time for a makeover.  Time to forget about the negative and focus all-out on fabulousness and positivity and all the things that make life great.  This means DRESSES.  Between Cannes and The Met Ball, I’ve been drooling over so much beauty that I couldn’t not be inspired and get onto it here.

Let’s start with The Met Ball.

Lupita Nyong’o – Custom Prada

There’s a million good things happening right here.  The movement.  The colour.  The contrast.  That smile.

Karlie Kloss – Oscar de la Renta

I adore this dress.  Strapless brocade is in danger of being boring but the metallic, the gradient from large print to small, the drape is just amazing.

Cobie Smulders – Custom Reed-Krakoff

Oh Cobie.  I love you.  I love this dress.  I would wear this dress if I were a thousand feet taller.  And browner.  And thinner.

Sofia Coppola

There’s something so relaxed, so old-world Coco about this dress.  It should be unflattering.  It’s ankle length, a-line, with mid-bicep sleeves.  And Sofia just glides in it.  Maybe it’s the vertical lines, the sequins, the pleating – or the beautiful and intelligent woman in it.  Who knows?

Stacy Martin – Custom Miu Miu

I have no idea who Stacy Martin is but this is what Miu Miu does best.  Young, fun, mixes it up beautifully, plays with colour.  I may kill for those shoes.

And from Cannes, there were not too many I liked – there’s only so many iterations of a ballgown you can see in your lifetime, but there was one…

Zoe Saldana – Victoria Beckham

I haven’t followed Beckham’s ranges at all, but this feels like a departure from the super tight, super structured garment that she usually does.  There’s a free-flowing easiness to this dress, with nods to the female form, femininity and minimalism that I just adore.

Et voila – makeover complete!

Love this little collection of dresses, there were so many lovely ones in there but these were my favourites.  A huge tribute to the designers, the construction people, and the stylists – so many hours goes into making a dress, especially a couture worthy one.  Techniques that are centuries old are kept alive by haute couture – may it never die.

(Images sourced from Style.com).

Who doesn’t love a bandwagon?

I bought a new vase recently for no reason other than it was adorable, went to buy flowers, and to my disappointment, found none in the shops I liked. This brought me back to the time I bought a silk bouquet for my wedding, and was met with my families collective horror. What?! Fake?! You can’t have fake flowers at a wedding!! They must be fresh! From a florist! A good florist!

Thinking I must have killed the Queen of England to attract such ire, I meekly went along and got a bouquet which were peonies, out of season and odd looking, and felt a bit disappointed. Fresh flowers didn’t live up to the hype. Luckily they photographed well. I kept my silk bunch which have been in a pretty vase ever since attracting favourable comments.

And now that my wedding is over and I no longer have to suffer under the weight of Highly Informed Opinions, I went straight back to the silk flower shop today and bought these beauties.

20120426-154411.jpg

The irony of the vase’s wording isn’t lost on me! I’ll have to spray them with perfume. I adore them. Status anxiety does not exist at my house, and after seeing Faux Fuchsia’s forchids, I knew that good style knows when to cross the boundaries!

Easter colour

There’s something about Easter that gets me feeling incredibly festive, even more so that the sound is finally out around these parts! I’d love to tell you that I’ve been baking easter cakes and blowing eggs (which is what I’d rather be doing) but I’ve been staggering through night shift, a whole world of pain I’ll go into another time. The day they invent nightshift doctor robots will be cause for celebration worldwide. Who on earth is good at decision making at 3am?

That hasn’t stopped me embracing colour and life in my days off.

20120406-164503.jpg

I’m so into clashing prints at the moment it hurts.

20120406-164614.jpg

I love multicoloured roses in a small bunch – these ones smell just beautiful and are making me so happy right now!

20120406-164726.jpg

I bought this Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelet as a post horror shift present recently. I love the turnlock clasp and bright colours!

My favourite thing to do on Good Friday is go to the fish market and eat a seafood platter. This year the queues were horrible and while my blood pressure was rising, I thought of The Happiness Project and realised I didn’t want to feel angry. Then it occurred to me, how lucky I am to go out on a sunny day and buy a plate of seafood when so many places in the world are undergoing a debt crisis and people are worrying about their jobs. Waiting in a queue for fresh seafood is a very first world problem. It was a small and happy moment to turn my anger into something better.

What are you doing over Easter?

Home Dec Sunday

I spent the afternoon on a couple of small sewing projects that I’d been meaning to do for a while but that was right up there with ‘combine health insurance’ in terms of priorities. Something took over me today though and I dug around in my neglected fabric collection and threw together a couple of things. I use plastic supermarket bags as bin liners so I keep all of them – lately in an ugly drawer, so I made a bag holder. You shove them in the top and the bottom is elasticised so you can cram many in and pull out one at a time.

20120325-183615.jpg

The fabric is a screen print from Etsy that my sister bought me years ago, and my mother loves to collect bias binding from opshops for me, meaning I’ve usually got matching stuff on hand. The whole thing is so fast to make in that it’s just a square rolled and sewn along one edge, with some elastic in the bottom.

Now that the wind is picking up, the doors at home are slamming all the time so I made myself a pyramid doorstop for the bedroom, with the fabric again sourced from an opshop by my Mum. I love that she’s always finding me treasures!

20120325-193503.jpg

I tried to line it all up as well as I could to make it just as nice to look down at.

20120325-193437.jpg

It’s so nice to turn around a corner at home and see something pretty out of nowhere! I’m looking forward to Easter so I can get some more done!

FF Inspired Weekend!

Anyone who knows me in reality knows I’m a die hard Faux Fuchsia fan.  I’ve converted several friends and have taken to thinking a lot about the space in which I live.  I’d like to say I never have chipped polish, but truth is I never have polish because I’m not allowed to wear it at work (nurses have run after me, bottle of remover in hand as a medical student!) and my place never really rises to greet me, more it sort of slumps over with exhaustion just like I do when I get in the door.  Is it wrong that I’ve started thinking about specialising in General Practice just so I have the time to get out in a garden or paint my nails?  Or God forbid, join the most of the modern world in never having to do night shift?

I’ve had eerily fewer weekends to work this rotation which has had the nice effect of feeling like doing stuff on the weekend, you know, other than sleeping or cancelling on friends social do’s for the purpose of sleeping.  Years ago I bought a steam press at an opshop for sewing and rarely use it, but last weekend hauled it out to do my lovely organic bamboo total-waste-of-fabric doona cover that wrinkles when you breathe near it.

Here it is, working it’s magic.  Once you get the hang of it, it blasts large swathes of fabric into oblivion.

And here’s the doona cover on my bed…

As you can see, I rampantly under-cushion but I’ll fix that one day.   After all that work I then made a salad of orange, , rocket, fennel, pistachios and prosciutto dressed with some orange juice and balsamic.  I’m a huge fan of salads as meals.  Afraid it’s not enough?  There’s a reason why the French eat bread as a side!

Here’s a photo of my perfume collection.  I bought the one at the front in Grasse in the South of France where Fragonard has their factory.  If you’re in Melbourne you can buy it from Klein’s.  I love those kitsch sparkly animals – they’re a knockoff off Estee Lauders yearly perfume compact.  Mr G thinks I’m crazy.  At least my perfume shelf rises to greet me.

The perfume behind the front one is also by Fragonard.  In fact I’ve gone off generic designer perfumes completely after visiting the South of France.  They all smell the same to me now.  That won’t stop me repurchasing Boss Orange Sunset (the new one) time after time though.  It is the most worksafe perfume around.  I’ll upload my picutres of Europe one of these days.

In other news, I got an Asos order the other day.  Is it just me or do their tops run large?  I always thought a UK8 was a touch smaller than an Australian but I was proved wrong by swimming in them.

Time to go and destroy all my good work – am moving house in a week.