Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Op Shop Haul Numero Uno

So, if you recall from my last post, our friend Honor visited me in Melbourne last week. Just like Jess and I, Honor also has an acute (acute? Who am I kidding?) addiction to the pleasures of Op and Thrift shopping (yes, I know they're the same thing but us Australian's do prefer Op to Thrift). And with these two facts combined, a haul of this description was inevitable. 

The first five items were found at a Vinnies and Salvos store at Mornington on the Mornington Peninsula during our road trip last week. Honor purchased the over-sized green stripy blouse and high-waisted Levi denim cut-offs while I purchased the pink floral button-up maxi dress, green velvet high necked top and black leather messenger bag. I think the most we paid for any of the items was $7 (for the Levis) and the least was $3 (for the bag). I find some Op shops or Thrift shops price their items too steeply and but these two stores at Mornington were incredibly affordable and quite fruitful. So if you're around that area and love a good successful rummage, head to Mornington's St Vincent de Pauls and Salvation Army stores. 

These last two items were sourced by Honor at Camberwell's Sunday Markets. I knew if I took her she wouldn't be able to help herself. Why, the only reason I've been able to hold back myself is a basic lack of money. The markets are full of vintage and retro clothes, shoes and knick-knacks (and when I say full, I mean full). Honor managed to pick up a bargainous $5 chambray shirt which she had been searching for for quite some time. The cute blouse on the right was picked up for $10 after we walked past it styled on a manikin. She just couldn't resist its pussy-bow-polka-dot charms. 

And thats it for my Wednesday post folks, if you've heard Melbourne/Victoria is a great place to op shop and source vintage/retro treasures, you're hearing it here again. If you're already a fan, give me a heads up on places I'm missing out on.

Erin xx

PS. Sorry about not posting on Sunday. I was baby sitting all weekend and by the time I got home on Sunday evening my brain was unable to conjure up anything even vaguely exciting to tell you. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

OOTD - Double UNIF


Headband - eBay, Shirt - Asos, Shorts - UNIF Axl Shorts, Cuff - Asos, Shoes - UNIF Grim Creepers and Jeffrey Campbell Lita Cap

Hi. My name is Jess and I am a UNIF addict. Of all the things I could have picked to be addicted to, besides Mr Campbell and his shoes, I think I could have done a lot worse. I wore this outfit out last Thursday night and snapped a few pics to share with you today.

The shirt is an Asos basic, the boyfriend tee. Every girl needs a few big t-shirts, they go with anything and everything. I picked this up in a 10 if anyone needs a size reference and when it isn't knotted like in the photos above it hits around the tops of my thighs. 

Onto the star of the show. The Axl Shorts. These were in the NastyGal sale and the massively reduced price tag was irresistible. I will say though that these shorts are sized very inconsistently in different materials. These velvet shorts are in a 27 and are a perfect fit, whilst the 27 I bought in the black leather version wouldn't even do up. UNIF get your act together. 

I have blogged about the UNIF Grim Creepers here and the Lita Caps here so I won't blather on too much about either. I think black shoes tie in really nicely with the outfit and really let the colour of the shorts pop. And of course no outfit would be complete without a matching lip. 

I like that this outfit can easily be switched up for night time. Come winter I am sure to be wearing this with an oversized jacket and some docs. Bliss

With all that said I am off to peruse the UNIF Spring Collection ...oh dear.

Jess xx  

Friday, 22 February 2013

About Face #2

Hello all. I haven't done one of these posts in a while now. To be honest my makeup is very similar on a day to day basis and repeat posts of winged eyeliner and bright lips could prove a little repetitive. 

Recently though I have been opting for a something a little different. No eyeliner. Shock horror! I love a deep red lip I think it's a shade that everyone can wear. Throughout summer I have found myself gravitating towards more traditionally summery options, until recently. 

For eyes I just buffed a matte eyeshadow a few tones darker than my skin across the lid to add a bit of shape, smudged some brown shadow into the lashes and applied a shedload of mascara. Eyes done. Simples. I feel like with the soft eye the red lip looks fresher and less stark, particularly during the day. The rest of your face should be kept soft as well with dewy skin and a bit of bronzer for shape. 

Now onto the star products. I layered two colours to get this look: Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain and Balm in Midnight and Mac's Russian Red. Important to note the Revlon product is the felt-tip-marker-like product and not their most recent release. This product stays on the lips for forever and a day and I love using it as a base for other lipsticks. It gives Russian Red (my favourite red) a deeper, richer tone. 

That's all folks. A simple eye and a red lip. Nothing ground breaking, but it'll tide me over until winter and means my darker lipsticks can feel loved year round.

Jess xx 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

An Enchanting Trip

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a close friend of Jess and I. Full of sass and style, this lady is part of the glue that holds us together. Her name is Honor and she is the third wheel on our tricycle. Note: I used the term tricycle because its not a tricycle without the essential third wheel and you'd probably fall off and hit your head - a lot like our lives would be without this amazing girl. Anyway, enough about her, you can just assume if she is friends with us she is probably awesome. She is spending the week with me in Melbourne and today we went on a pretty super road trip (and yes, we did listen to my playlist from Sunday).

Up on Arthur's Seat, down on the Mornington Peninsula, grows one of the most wonderful not-so-secret attractions. Hedge mazes. Enchanted hedge mazes. The Enchanted Maze Garden drew our attention last night and we could think of nothing more fun to do. If you think hedge mazes are for kids, you're right; they're for the kid stuck inside of all of us. 

We treasure hunted in hedge mazes, avoided sprinklers in a turf maze, and played snakes and ladders in a special maze for children (us, obviously). We even found a 'spooky' 3D maze with trippy holographic paint and statues. It was a lovely day outside and the hour long drive down was simply spectacular - the first and last photos are the view from an outlook point up the mountain.

The weather was only improving as the day continued so we left the hedge mazes (quite exhausted mind you) and drove to Heronswood Gardens and Cafe for a delicious light meal. We then continued into Mornington for a coffee at D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana and a sneaky little thrift shopping session (you'll see our haul in my next post - it's pretty spiffy). 

Yes, I know this was a fairly indulgent post today but we had fun and I thought I'd recommend maze trips to everyone for a fun day. Also, we wanted to show Jess our day because we miss spending time as a trio.

Erin xx

PS. Who loves Honor's snappy new Lover The Label jacket? It's too snazzy for words. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

OOTD - Summer Lovin'

Shirt - thrifted, Skirt - thrifted, Watch - Seiko, Hat - Asos, Boots - Etsy, Lips - Mac 'Girl About Town'

After last Friday's outfit, I figured it was probably a good idea to do something a little more suited to the current Brisbane climate. This is also quite a girly look for me. If you've seen any of my previous outfits you'll know I am a big of grunge ...and black. Lots of black. So this is a big departure from that.

I found the skirt in a charity shop and knew it was meant to be. I did have to take it in a fair bit to make it high waisted, but it was definitely worth the effort. The cotton is super light and comfy to wear even on the hottest of days. I'm not sure how much wear the skirt will see come winter but for now it shall remain a proud feature of my closet.

The shoes were purchased after I saw clothesencounters on YouTube wearing them. I own many a black leather shoe and thought these would be a nice change. Plus the cutouts allow for cool socks come winter. I have to admit I am not a sandals girl. At all. So I like that these are also cool enough to wear in summer. I must admit they aren't the comfiest of shoes though and by the end of the day the balls of my feet do get rather achey. Not sure why this is as the heel is low, perhaps I am just accustomed to a platform these days? I would give you guys the link to the shoes, but the seller was selling deadstock from the 90s and has sold out completely now. However, what with Coltranes and their copies floating around you shouldn't have any trouble finding a similar pair. 

The hat I am undecided about. I love hats as accessories and I always buy them with the best of intentions, but I never really like the look of them on me. Perhaps it's the short hair. Anywho it was hella sunny this particular day and bearing unable to wear sunglasses I slipped on the hat to protect my retinas. 

Finally no summer look would be complete for me without a bright lip. This one is Mac's Girl About Town and I recently traded in my empties at Mac for it. I am loving pinks on the lips at the moment I think they're really fresh and a nice change from my usual red. 

What are your summer staples?

Jess xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Tripping into a Sunset

I've been doing a lot (a lot) of driving around the Victorian country side in the last month or so. It had been a while since I'd driven (around six or seven months) before I came down south to spend some time with my parents and I've really been enjoying it for this brief period. My parents are planning on moving out of the city in the near future and so we have been scouting out locations for them to move to - hence all the driving. 

Whilst on these drives, I seem to dictate the music choices and I realised I have never really put together a good driving mix. I have albums I love to drive to but no compilation of different artists. Obviously, it was time to fix this. 

This is a compilation of songs I love spanning across decades, genres and places of origin. Some come from soundtracks of my favourite movies including: The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Django Unchained, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Wayne's World. I loved some of them before seeing those movies but the good memories (created by the films) altered the way I enjoyed them (mainly Bowie's Heroes and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody). 

There's a good handful of Australian artists in here too like Silver Chair, Kate Miller-Heidke, Boy and Bear and The Grates. I don't expect everyone to be a fan of all these songs (I'd love it if you were) but the aesthetic created by the combination of these together is something I'm definitely looking forward to enjoying on the road.

Do you have any 'on the road' must have songs up your sleeves? I'd love to add more to this mix. 

Erin xx

PS. As always, you don't need an 8tracks account to stream this music but if you do, follow us because we'd love to hear what you put together. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

OOTD - Where is Winter?

Jumper - John Galt by Brandy Melville via NastyGal, Skirt - Barkins, Necklace - Regal Rose, Watch - Seiko, Shoes - UNIF Hellraisers

Hi all quick outfit post for you all today. We had a cool day in Brisbane yesterday, and by cool I mean under 30 degrees, so I took the opportunity to wear some items that have been languishing at the back of my closet. 

The jumper is a fairly new buy snapped up in the Nasty Gal sale. It isn't a warm jumper by any means, in fact you can see through it. However, I find this type of knit very useful in the Brisbane winter as you can layer it under a jacket and not end up combusting by the end of the day. I tied the jumper up for the photos, but the knit does drape really nicely when left untied and it is super soft and snuggly. 

The skirt was obtained with a sneaky staff discount thanks to the lovely Erin and has been a constant in my wardrobe since. I think every girl could use a black maxi in their closet. They are the easiest thing in the world to throw on and yet still look presentable. I have also been known to wear leggings under mine come winter. 

Like Erin I also have a penchant for silver rings. The elephant ring was purchased at Woodford 2 years ago and has been worn every day since. The twisted band is a new purchase, found in a pawn shop on Noosa beach. If you can manage to find a ring that fits I highly recommend pawn shops as this sterling silver number cost me a measly $9. 

My necklace is from Regal Rose and I purchased this one about a year ago now. Their jewelry is a little more expensive than what I would generally pay for costume jewelry but it is fantastic quality. It's really heavy and after a year of regular wear still looks in near brand new condition. 

And finally, the shoes are my UNIF Hellraisers. They are one of my go to pair of shoes and I wear them with anything and everything, if only I could get away with them for work. If you want to read more about them I have a blog post on them here.

Are you looking forward to dusting off your winter wardrobe?

Jess xx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Nails Nails Nails: My Collection Basics

Nail polish. A beautiful yet easily out of control purchasing habit that many of us have acquired in our lives. I spend most of my life trying to save, prohibiting myself from shopping. The downfall, in whatever deep subconscious decision I made a long time ago, is that buying nail polish (or nail related items including rings) doesn't count as shopping. I know it's mad but I feel like because its such a small item and only gets seen on my hands or feet, it can't possibly count. 

I might see it as a problem occasionally but it has also given me quite a nice collection of nail polish over the years (and convinced several friends it is the best purchase when looking for a gift for me). In this post I will show you what I believe to be the basics of my collection that I could not live (well I could live but I wouldn't enjoy it) without. Some of them are probably out of stock by now but I know a lot of them aren't or have equivalents by the same brand. 

Basic Reds: (from left to right) Sportsgirl Nail It! - Tomato, O.P.I - Malaga Wine

My mother always told me that painted and well kept toe nails suggests that you take care of your feet. When I can't decide or am too lazy to change colours, which is a majority of the time, I love basic red nails on my toes. It goes with practically everything and is such a classic statement. I have a bright red for the summer and a deep red for the winter. It's just another thing I don't have to think about when making myself feel pretty. I love these two but I'm sure when one of them runs out (which the tomato colour is just about to) I will quickly find another - just because red is always available (fingers crossed). 

Top Coats: (from left to right) O.P.I - Black Shatter, O.P.I - Rainbow Connection, O.P.I - The Man with the Golden Gun, Sally Hansen - 110 Clear'd for Takeoff

Now I know the only top coat here that is vaguely 'basic' is the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure but all of the other three O.P.I top coats are such an easy way to make your nails look a little different. The shatter is definitely the most matt nail polish I own and I always follow up with another higher gloss top coat. Rainbow Connection and The Man with the Golden Gun add a sparkle and little bit of dainty femininity to nails without a lot of effort. All of these top coats were gifts - and I probably wouldn't own any of them if they weren't as my spending on nail polish doesn't normally extend that high (except maybe the Sally Hansen). 

The favourite colour - Green: (from left to right) O.P.I - Gargantuan Green Grape, O.P.I - Greenwich Village, O.P.I - Don't Mess with O.P.I

Everyone has that one colour they go gaga over. For me that is green. As you'll see in the last photo of this post I have more green than these three but these are my favourite. As unwearable as green nail polish may seem I wear it enough to keep buying it. With one of the aforementioned top coats or on their own greens, no matter what shade, just seem do something magical with my skin tone.

Neutral Colours: (from left to right) Sportsgirl Nail It! - Feeling Peachy, Deborah Lippmann - Fashion, Sportsgirl Nail It! - Smoke, Sportsgirl Nail It! - Lilac, Rubi Nail Enamel - Going To The Chapel, Ulta3 - Antique Copper

I know this seems like a lot of colours that look very similar but I often feel like having painted but also understated nails. They also look good under all the aforementioned top coats. My two favourite at the moment are the Deborah Lippmann Fashion and Sportsgirl Nail It! Smoke. They are SO similar but I'm not the only one crazy enough to have a preference for both.

Brights!: (from left to right) Maybelline New York - 895 Onyx Rush, Sportsgirl Nail It! - Rollergirl, Cheapie from Hong Kong (thanks to Honor) - Bright Lime Green, Ulta3 - Mojito, Ulta3 - Tahiti, SHE Australia - Rose

Now, I know black isn't a bright but I just lumped it into this selection. So shoot me. These are the colours I use more sparingly than the rest. They don't go with everything so painting my nails entirely in one of these (expect maybe the Onxy or Rose) is a risky and potentially very brief business. I like to keep them around though for those occasions when they'd necessary. And they become very handy when wanting to do nail art. Extra colours for extra decoration on my nails is always a good thing to have lying around.

And that's it folks, my favourite pieces in my nail polish collection. I have many more and I'm sure will have many many more in the future. I find these to be the most useful and necessary colours to have in a standard collection. Most brands offer variations of nearly every colour I've shown you (except maybe the 18 carat gold O.P.I The Man with the Golden Gun).

Do you have any of these? Any suggestions on better colours/brands to own? Let me know in the comments because you can't have too much talk of nail polish.

Erin xx

Monday, 11 February 2013

Beauty Buys

I'm headed off to the beach today, but before I left I thought I'd share my recent beauty purchases with you all. 

Head and Shoulders Sensitive Scalp Care Shampoo and Conditioner
I don't suffer from dandruff, however my skin is liable to react to anything and everything. I thought I'd share this hair combo with you because this is the first shampoo and conditioner my scalp is able to tolerate. For any sensitive skinned girls out there I'd really recommend giving this one a go, and it won't break the bank either. Besides being very gentle the conditioner is very thick and works a treat at moisturising my blonde hair. 

Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss
Although 'precision ink' is really just a fancy term for liquid eyeliner, this is a fantastic product. I am no stranger to liquid eyeliner, wearing it on a very nearly everyday basis. I've always been a big advocate of the L'Oreal Super Liner, but was always annoyed that it tended to get a bit flaky at the end of a long day. This liner checks all the boxes: it's easy to apply when half-asleep in the morning, super black, and doesn't budge. Also with Illamasqua reducing their prices in Australia there isn't a big price gap in between the L'Oreal and this anymore. 

Sleek Lipstick in Amped
This is a properly nice lipstick. I never thought I would be a huge fan of such a cool pink on my skintone, but I love how this looks and have worn it regularly since its arrival. That's why I purchased a cheaper alternative to give the colour a test. The quality of the product surprised me though. Sleek's matte formula is up there with the likes of Illamasqua and MAC, pigmented and very long wearing. Although Sleek can be a bit difficult to get your hands on in Australia, their website ships internationally and their shipping rates are really reasonable. 

Australis Double Decker Eyeshadow in Supernova Casanova
I picked this last one up on a whim when it was on offer in Priceline. I love copper eyeshadows and thought this would be great for a sparkly bronze-y eye. The concept of this product is that they give you a cream eyeshadow to use as a base and then a pigment to press over the top. My advice? Just forget about using the cream eyeshadow, it creased on me within 5 minutes. The pigment however is fab. Super sparkly and pretty. As with any loose eyeshadow it's a bit of a fiddle to apply and some glitter will end up on your cheeks. But once that's cleared away you're left with a sparkly eye that wears really well. Loverly. 

What have you been buying beauty wise?

Jess xx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Vegetable Tempura Lovin'

I've been pretty bored of late, being unemployed and in a city without my friends, and so have been taking to cooking a lot more than usual. I love Japanese food and have never made Tempura before, or deep-fried anything for that matter. So, I gave this a go and thought you'd all like to see how I went. It's a really tasty, grease-crave-fulfilling, yet healthy option. Don't be frightened by deep-frying if you've never done it but definitely proceed with caution. Good luck!

Various chopped vegetables eg. carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potato, capsicum (see image for ideas and desirable size of mentioned vegetables)
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Tempura Batter
1/2 cup (75g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
1/2 cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 tsp sea salt falkes
1 cup (250ml) cold soda water or beer
1 egg white
Tempura Dipping Sauce
1 cup (250ml) dashi 
1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce
1/4 cup (60ml) mirin

Tempura 02

Tempura 01

To get it out of the way, and to ensure time between pan, plate and eating is as quick as possible, its best to make the dipping sauce first. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove it from the heat, let it cool and set aside for use later when serving.

To make the batter combine the flours (cornflour and plain), salt and soda water/beer in a bowl and whisk until just combined. Whisk your egg white in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form (just like when making a pavlova) and fold gently through the batter. 

In a large deep saucepan (I used a wok), heat the oil until you can see it just starting to smoke (approx. 180°C/350°F if you have a cooking thermometer). Dip the vegetables in the batter, shaking to remove any excess, and deep-fry, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until light golden and the vegetable is at your preferred eating consistency. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately with the dipping sauce. 

I served mine with some chicken thighs I had baking in the oven after marinating in honey, soy and sesame - but thats another recipe for another Sunday afternoon. 

Please let me know if you try any of these recipes or if I could write them in a more helpful way. So far I feel they're alright but I would love some feedback.

Erin xx


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