Weekender beauty

IMG_6305Clinique products via Activeskin

I really should be packing. I’m heading to the Blue Mountains for the weekend and should really gather my things instead of writing about what I’m going to be bringing. But oh well. Such is life. (I’ll probably end up throwing everything I own into a giant plastic bag at the very last second.)

I have a few little short trips coming up actually. First being this weekend, then a trip to the Great Barrier Reef with the girls, then camping in Uluru and then, finally, a few days in Melbourne with the boy. Damn you, Jetstar sales.

So naturally the idea is to bring as little as you can and enjoy as much as you can. I’m only planning to bring an overnight bag, a backpack and maybe a handbag filled with everyday items i.e. phone, wallet, keys, snacks, etc. So when it comes to bringing beauty products, I have to stop short of lugging my entire collection.

Thank heavens for itsy-bitsy-sized products. Like this adorable travel pack from Clinique (it even comes in a cute little cosmetics pouch!). When travelling or exploring a new space, I don’t really fuss about curling my eyelashes or concealing spots. The quicker I’m out the door, the better – there’s too much to see to spend it on my face!

That’s why I’m taking this little set with me this weekend (when I eventually get around to packing, that is). Featuring a cleanser, eye serum, mascara, lipstick and its signature Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, I think that’ll be enough to make me look human for three days away from home. Of course what’s not included is my SPF (Clinique’s Super City Block), because going out with applying sunscreen is a big no-no.

The Super City Block 30+ is actually my favourite facial sunscreen – I’m currently on my fourth tube. It doesn’t apply white and agrees with my skin – two things that I think are quite important and are actually quite difficult to find in a product. The Clinique range offers different options for different skin types and is generally agreeable on most people. There’s no strong smell; everything is quite simple, which I like.

Activeskin (where I got these products!) offers a whopping range of 165 Clinique products, ranging from Skincare (92 products), Makeup (68 products), Bath and Body (7 products), Mens (2 products) and gift packs (4 products).

Cleaning out my closet

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Cleaning out your closet has got to be one of the biggest first world problems. I’m currently in the midst of trying to reduce my wardrobe to “things that I actually wear like all the time” and get rid of “so much crap”. I’m so eloquent.

I first noticed the problem when I came back from Europe. Upon unpacking my suitcase, the trend was clear: black, white, grey, denim, stripes, leather. That’s pretty much it. I even bought things from stores that look exactly like the things already in my suitcase/hanging in my closet at home.

But the problem, oh the eternal problem, is this: I’m also the world’s biggest hoarder. I’m the queen of “what if” scenarios. “What if something comes up and I’ll need to wear that again?” “What if I suddenly like it again?” “What if I lose weight and fit it again?” Sigh.

There’s been progress (about four rubbish bags full), but not enough. Not nearly enough. I’m still to attached to what I know are meaningless pieces that are taking up too much room. I’ll get there. Eventually. Because I already have my eyes on too many things.

Review: Gone Girl

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Directed by: David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Ratajkowski, Tyler Perry

****

To be completely honest, I hadn’t read the novel until a few weeks before the film adaptation was released. But then I heard rave reviews from critics and decided I wanted to judge the film fairly myself and buckled down and devoured the book in just a few short days.

And I can’t believe I’m going to say this but … the film was better. It rectified the only flaws I could find in the book version: it sped up parts that dragged on and on and really gave the characters a lot more depth. Because the novel is split between past and present, jumping between the time periods can be a little exhausting and a point sometimes takes a while to be made because of the suspenseful literary techniques that needed to be shared. The adaptation fixed that and condensed what was about 50 pages into five minutes.

Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel, Gone Girl, David Fincher’s interpretation is dark, shocking and intense. Gone Girl is the story about the disappearance of Amy Elliott-Dunne (Pike), the girl gone. Gone, it is depicted, from a formerly happy marriage with Nick Dunne (Affleck). Gone from her comfortable New York lifestyle. And gone without a trace … except those that all lead to Nick.

It’s interesting to see how modern media has a strong influence on police cases and how spin can have such a way of portraying one’s innocence or guilt. Of course the story is also set in 2008 America, a time of recession. Panicking, jumping to conclusions and finding distractions are among some of the things common during that time. Mob mentalities are common and public opinion is everything, especially when it comes to an investigation.

Ben Affleck is surprising in his role and plays the role of self-absorbed and short-tempered small-town boy to a tee. But it’s Rosamund Pike, the leading lady, that commands the screen. She’s previously been in many of my favourite films such as An Education and Pride and Prejudice, but in a smaller role. In Gone Girl she brings an icy exterior to Amy that’s both lovely and frightening.

There’s twists and turns at every corner and as much as it likes to believe that it’s a ‘date movie’, it’s not. You’re more likely to scream from shock than pleasure with this one.

Fashion High Tea at Sheraton on the Park

Fashion High Tea IFashion High TeaImages courtesy of Sheraton on the Park

Sheraton on the Park, 116 Elizabeth St, Sydney

I’m a big fan of catching up with friends and eating. And tea. And teeny tiny bite-sized portions of food that never seem to end. So I guess you could say I don’t mind spending a few hours playing catch-up with a friend over high tea – especially when it features cute pastries shaped like shoes. (It’s like my two favourite things merged into one.)

If you’ve ever met me or have had the unfortunate pleasure of being friends with me, you’d know that I like to talk. A lot. I’m quite loquacious – I can go on for hours. High tea is one of those things where you can sit back and relax and let the conversation (and tea) be the main attraction. Miniature treats are a perfect way of providing sustenance between anecdotes and gossip.

Sheraton on the Park’s new ‘Fashion High Tea’ takes girly get-togethers to another level. Available in the hotel’s The Gallery Tea Lounge, an elegant space located to the lobby, you can enjoy Truffle Chocolate High Heels and Strawberry Cream Roulade Hand Bags whilst taking in a great view of Hyde Park (though you probably won’t even notice it because you’d be too busy Instagram-ing the shiz out of the set-up).

The service here is outstanding and the offerings are what you’d expect – delicious. I’m much more of a savoury girl so the fact that 2/3 tiers are filled with petit sandwiches and mini croissants makes me very happy indeed. (NB: I’m also an avid tea-drinker and probably went through about four pots of earl grey within the three hours that I was there. Told you: I’m addicted – and would totally fit in in Downton Abbey.)

There’s a very stylish and lavish vibe here (it’s probably the super huge comfy chairs). And it’s now made even more fashionable by the latest high tea offering.