24 February 2014, 10:11
“Dear Diary, my teen angst bullshit has a body-count.” Oh, Winona! This outfit makes me think of what might happen if Nancy from The Craft and Cher from Clueless were forced to hang out in Palm Springs with the Heathers. Don’t you think?
After a week of dressing up and being fancy in the desert, it was time for Shauna and I to head back to Los Angeles. For a two-hour road-trip, you want to be comfortable… So I chose this very simple (and inexpensive) ensemble.
I didn’t take the croquet stick to L.A. with me, though. Sigh.
Did I ever tell you I used to play croquet in high school? I was even captain of the team. Playing a sport was compulsory at my school, so I formed a croquet team with some other well-intentioned slackers and we’d play at the Kelburn Croquet Club. Mostly, we ran around in our socks, while little old ladies made us big jugs of Raro and fed us chocolate-chip cookies.
It was probably one of the highlights of my high school experience, actually.
This outfit would not have been possible without a random trip to Target.
The day before these photos were taken, Kat and I hopped in a cab and headed to a Target in the middle of nowhere, so I could scope out the Peter Pilotto range (which was exciting in and of itself, since the closest Target to me is in New Jersey!). I didn’t buy any Peter Pilotto — I thought the fit was weird, and they’d sold out of the pieces I really wanted — but it was a pretty good trip! I spotted this skirt out of the corner of my eye, and quickly shimmied it on over my clothes to check the fit. (I’m weird like that.) I think it is so cute and perfect: you just fling it on and go! It’s a soft scuba material and best of all, it was a paltry $22.99.
I also roamed the cosmetics aisles like a crazed lunatic, and snapped up Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Pretty Pink, which I am wearing in these pictures, as well as a whole lot of Napoleon Perdis’ range for Target, called NP Set. I’m loving his bronzer, contouring set and lipstick!
I’m wearing: Celine sunglasses; an evil eye necklace I bought in Santorini (I never take it off, this is similar and gorgeous!); moon necklace c/o Lola James; rose lace plunge bra by Victoria’s Secret Pink (so comfortable); tank top from Forever 21 ($4!); Mossimo skirt from Target; boots by Dr Marten.
I feel like I’ve been wearing these boots forever. They just will not die, and I can’t tell you much angst it causes my heart that Dr Martens don’t make the style anymore, especially since recommending something that’s not in production just feels cruel. If you’re on the hunt for DMs with heels, you have a few options: they now do the Sadie, Alodie (cute!) and Casey. Although, you can sometimes snap up a pair of Darcies on eBay or Etsy, so scope ‘em out if you’re keen.
I think the best thing about this outfit is just that it’s such a cheapie. You really don’t have to break the bank in order to feel comfortable and look cute; you can even buy an almost perfect knock-off of my Celine sunglasses on Amazon. And as much as I love to embrace colour, sometimes wearing black is just the easiest — and most chic — thing to do.
In other news, one day I hope to have a hedge fence of my very own… despite the fact that I kept calling it a “fedge hence” by mistake!
Fingers crossed for Spring,
Photos by FX Media.
21 February 2014, 10:11
One fine sunny day in Palm Springs, the three Blogcademy headmistresses gathered in front of a laptop to answer questions during a Google Livestream… And what a good time we had!
We were submitted oodles of great questions and we answered as many as we could. The best thing? The session was recorded, so you can click below to watch it now!
In this video we talk about…
How to build an audience
The value of slowing down on posting
How to market to the USA if you’re in the UK
How long it takes to make a living from your blog
The metrics we use to measure engagement
Advice for starting a blog with friends
How to get guest posts on your blog
How often you should be posting
How to choose your niche
Whether we recommend email sign-ups
The way we measure success
Creating video content for your blog
Blogging posses and what it was like for us before we met
Advice for anyone who wants to start vlogging
Our SEO tips
Where to draw the line about what you share online
Balancing work and a blog
Tips for starting a blog from scratch
How to use Pinterest for your blog
Creating content based around your travels
How our individual measures of success have changed over time
The most useful blog convention we ever went to
Whether you should express your true views and how it will affect your audience
Whether there’s any space left in the wedding blog market, and how to differentiate yourself
How to expand your reach beyond your friends if you’re not “social media famous”
And silly sunglasses!
We hope you enjoyed chatting with us — we had a blast!
Kisses and cat-eye sunnies,
Photo by FX Media.
19 February 2014, 10:11
Lauren Conrad, while answering random questions from a radio audience. OH SNAP!
I love this. It was too great not to share!
17 February 2014, 10:11
Oils, ointments and potions, packaged in plastic and placed into boxes with gold embossed type. They glint at you from an immaculate shelf, winking with promise and potential.
“Yes!” They whisper. “You, too, could have the complexion of an 11 year old girl!”
...And out come the credit cards. It’s no wonder we’re all hooked on beauty products.
I’ve been experimenting with my skincare recently, which is one of my favourite things to do. The products I’m currently using are a combination of suggestions from Caroline Hirons (bow down) and my own research. I fielded so many questions about it from Kat and Shauna over the last couple of weeks, that I thought you might be interested, too.
Of course, these products may not work for you. You have to know your skin-type and your goals. For the record, my skin is combination and prone to break-outs (especially when I’m not eating well, or stressed out). One would hope that phase would be long past at age thirty, but alas, this is not the case. My skincare goals are to even out my complexion, zap spots, stay hydrated and fade any hyper-pigmentation.
My best skincare tips are to drink your greens, stay hydrated, eat plenty of salmon, and avoid sugar. But I do love a good beauty product, too!
Turns out, it’s tricky to write a routine rundown without sounding like Patrick “Oh my God, it even has a watermark” Bateman at the beginning of American Psycho. Still, I did my best! (“I can do a thousand now.”)
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
I use the Enzyme Cleansing Gel every morning. I apply it to my face directly — you shouldn’t wet your face before you cleanse — and then use my Clarisonic to massage it in. Afterwards, I use lukewarm water to splash off any excess product.
Now, a note about the Clarisonic: I love it endlessly. However (!), it is not without flaws. Some babes are guilty of using it a little too overzealously, and when I had a facial with Susan Ciminelli a couple of months ago, she told me she was seeing a lot of women who use the Clarisonic but have extremely stubborn blackheads. The reason? She said that the Clarisonic buffs the top layer of skin but doesn’t necessarily get all the way down to loosen a blackhead. This makes them even more difficult to remove during a facial or, uh, a late-night mirror-fest. If this is a problem you have, I suggest lightening up on use of your Clarisonic. Start using a hot washcloth to remove your makeup at night. (See below!)
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm
After reading Caroline’s blog in which she properly scolded a reader for using make-up remover wipes (they’re full of alcohol which dry you out and do nothin’ good for you!), I decided to scrap the wipes and start removing my make-up in a more respectable fashion. Enter: Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. I had to send Kat to pick this up for me from Space.NK in the UK, because it doesn’t seem to be sold in the USA. It was not inexpensive (about £30), but it was worth the money. The balm is soft and thick, and it smells light and citrussy. It melts beautifully on the skin, dissolving even the most stubborn eye makeup in an instant (and I would know, since when I started using it, I was being airbrushed to within an inch of my life by Queen of Blending). I use the balm to give myself a face massage most nights. Then I grab a clean washcloth, rinse it with hot water, and remove any trace of the balm. It’s a fab product: I’m obsessed.
They only sell this in France. CURSES. CRUEL CURSES! Of course, if you’re not within spitting distance of Le Tour Eiffel, you can always take a gamble and buy it on eBay, which is what I did. (Alternatively, try the link above.) This is a marvellous toner which sprays from an aerosol can (fun!), coating your face in a fine mist of zinc sulfate. Translation? It kills bacteria, cools down any angry redness or spots that you might be nursing, and preps your skin. I use this one morning and night (and if I use the P50 — see below — I use Serozinc afterwards).
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 1970
Again, this is a tricky product to purchase — I ordered my bottle from the link above — and again, it is not cheap. But just look at the reviews, or read Caroline Hirons’ post, if you have any doubts. This is practically a magical elixir: an exfoliating toner which (allegedly) gives you skin like baby’s butt. I’ve been using it twice a week, because you have to work up to it. (If you don’t, your skin will purge — beauty editor speak for “break out” — in a massive way.) If you’re a newbie, to use, dampen a cotton pad with water, put two or three drops of P50 on it, then swipe it over your face. I haven’t been using it very long, but I swear I can already see the effects… And I love its weird smell!
Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
Eye creams. Sometimes I wonder at their efficacy, since I have dark under-eye circles that must be genetic. I get ample sleep, lots of water, and I eat a healthy diet, so it must just be my lineage. Bummer. Most eye creams don’t seem to make much of a difference to how I look, but this one is an exception. I SWEAR that this eye cream lightens the appearance of my dark circles, and for that I am happy to be a repeat customer. After all, use a good eye cream and you’ll save on concealer!
Hydraluron Moisture Booster
Yet again, Kat went out and picked this one up for me (from Boots this time). Bless her cotton socks. However, I just realised that they sell it at Walgreens: a win for the Americans! I use Hydraluron after my eye cream and before my moisturiser in the morning. Hydraluron contains hyaluronic acid, which encourages your skin to hold onto water. This makes your face look fresh and plump. I didn’t see any results with this for a while, but now that I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks, I do! This is one you have to use consistently, so don’t give up!
Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30
This is an oldie but a goodie, at least within my repertoire. I love Mario Badescu products and recommend them very highly. They never make me break out, they’re gentle but effective, and they have something for everything. Heart! This is an excellent moisturiser if you’re prone to getting shiny or oily (comme moi), and I love that it has SPF in it. Of course, SPF in your moisturiser or your foundation or your whatever doesn’t really mean much, and you should still be using an additional SPF over your moisturiser. Sorry. Yes, I know most foundations have SPF in them, but that’s not enough to protect your skin! I love Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch — it’s non-comedogenic, it’s inexpensive and it’s available pretty much everywhere (supermarkets and drugstores included). No excuses! Slap it on!
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream
Sure, I could stick to Mario Badesu’s moisturiser, and for years, I have. But it’s nice to try a little something new every now and again, and Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk Cream gets such damn good reviews that it was first on my list to try. Bonus: you can buy this one at Sephora. Yes, it is really made of goat milk, so it’s not exactly vegan-approved. It has some weird aspects, such as the push-down dispenser, and the (very very mild!) goat milk scent. Whatever. I love it. It’s fantastic for acne or combination skin, while also being rich and nourishing enough for those of us who fear turning into the California Raisin. (Don’t forget your sunscreen over the top. Please.)
Lancôme DreamTone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector
The good news: you can buy this one at Sephora, too! The bad news? I’ve been using this one for several months but I haven’t seen any significant changes or benefits. At first I thought it might be fading a little bit of scarring, but if it is, it is moving at a snail’s pace, and I’m not really satisfied. I am mostly using it until it’s finished, because it was expensive and I don’t want to waste it. Plus, I’ll take all the lightening I can get. But it is not a miracle product, by any stretch of the imagination. There you go: brutal honesty. My next trial will be Pepta-Bright (made by the same people who do Hydraluron), but if you have any personal recommendations for lightening serums or treatments, I’m all ears!
Sodashi Rejuvenating Face and Neck Moisturiser
I snapped this one up in Melbourne after a blissful experience at Made Beauty Space, but you can purchase Sodashi products online. I cannot say a bad word about Sodashi products; the range is known as “the purest skincare line in the world”. Good enough for me! I adore this serum, and I truly feel it working when I lay my head down to rest! Sublime.
So, that’s what I’m using right now… What’s your latest life-changing beauty product?
X to the o,
14 February 2014, 10:11
Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter whether you’re in a relationship or single, I think this is one of the best possible days to reinvigorate your commitment to radical self love. Buy yourself some chocolates, have a rose petal bath, and remember your own gloriousness.
To get you started on the right foot, I’m giving away one of my coveted Heartbump Pendants from my Moxie jewellery collection!
The Heartbump Pendant is jewellery that can change as you do. The sterling silver locket features a heart-shaped glass window, and inside are three discs of coloured leather: pink, cobalt blue, and black. Switch them out to match your outfit, or DIY something special! Scrawl an intention, collage some sequins and glitter, or slip a photo of your idol inside. The words from the collection are pressed into the bottom of the locket, too: Darling Lover Imagine Magical Babe Dreamer.
The Heartbump Pendant is the ultimate radical self love totem! Press it into your hand when you need extra courage, or a little nudge from the universe.
The contest only runs over this weekend, so don’t dilly-dally!
Terms and conditions: Contest is open to everyone over the age of 18, regardless of where you live on the planet. You have until 11.59pm EST on Sunday the 16th of February to enter. Winner will be notified via Facebook, and will have one week to email to claim their prize. The prize may not be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered. Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties. My decision and any decision taken by the promoter is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No purchase necessary.
Will you be my valentine?
Photo by Lydia Hudgens.