Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favourites

A little spotlight on three things contributing to my happiness this week...

I spent a morning with my super talented & gorgeous friend Katie of CMYK group, who captured some photos I can't wait to share with you! The first two pics below are just two of many...{more to follow}


So pleased to finally have gotten around to framing my new prints from Jess LC. Bright, beautiful & inspiring, they are the perfect addition to my office space. 

Pretty flowers on my desk...the fresh, sweet perfume from the freesias (centre) is strong enough to scent the entire room.  

Spending cold winter nights tucked up in bed drinking hot chocolate & reading Vicki Archer's 'My French Life'. Perfectly married with lavish photography by the amazing Carla Coulson, Vicki's story is one of daydreams. She & her family spent years restoring an old French farmhouse that is situated on the grounds of an abandoned orchard. Here, she documents her personal journey through her 'french life', telling her story in such a way that all you want to do is pack your bags & head over for a cafe au lait & a croissant with her. Pure, unadulterated escapism. 

Wishing you a beautiful weekend. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wedding Notes:: Fragrance

I've written before about the power scents have to stir memories & the emotions tied to them. With fragrance playing such an integral role in so many of my favourite & most precious memories, I knew that the scent I will wear for my wedding would be high up on the list of things to consider (dare I say it, even above shoes and jewellery!).

Here is a selection of some of my favourite wedding-day fragrance options, each befitting of an occasion where all eyes are on you & yours are on one person only. They are each unique & distinct, but all equally worthy of a supporting role on your big day.

Creed Fleurissimo
A delicious, fresh floral fragrance fit for royalty, Fleurissimo is the perfume Prince Rainier III had commissioned for his bride, Hollywood beauty Grace Kelly, to wear on their wedding day. With notes of tuberose, Bulgarian rose, violet & Florentine Iris, this is perfection for a spring garden party wedding.

Ralph Lauren Romance
An exquisite fragrance featuring light florals of rose & violet balanced with ginger, oak & musk, this perfume is a cult favourite amongst Ralph Lauren fragrance fans & also holds a special place in my own heart! Classically romantic, it's best suited to an ultra-feminine bride looking for a suitably pretty scent.

Narciso Rodriguez For Her
I first experienced this perfume when I met a friend for dinner & she announced that, after years of searching, she'd found her signature scent, vowing never to stray from Narciso Rodriguez. Like her, I was smitten from the start; the powerful blend of orange blossom, osmanthus, rose, solar musk & peach on an amber, vanilla & soft musk base is different to anything I've ever smelt. Dripping with sensuality & sophistication, For Her is a fragrance for a modern, glamorous bride (I imagine her wearing a Johanna Johnson gown).

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Surely no fragrance collection would be complete without a mention from Chanel. Coco Mademoiselle is a luxurious, oriental fragrance that exudes confidence & sophistication. This is one for an elegant bride who requires a fragrance that will hold its own at a black tie, formal wedding.

Vera Wang Vera Wang
An alluring, fairytale fragrance developed by the Queen of fairytale wedding creations herself! Vera Wang is a fresh fragrance rich in floral blooms. With pretty notes of mandarin blossom, Bulgarian rose & gardenia, this is definitely one for the princess bride who has been dreaming of her big day since she was a girl. 

If there is a fragrance that simply must be added to my list for wedding-day consideration, please do let me know! 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AEOS: Beauty With Intent

A clever friend of mine once taught me that if you do something with the right intention, success inevitably follows. She was talking about decisions & actions in business, but I think it's a truism that applies to all areas of life. Something {be it a decision, an action, even a product} created out of genuine intent is formed on such solid bedrock, it's only a matter of time before it flourishes.

It is with this belief in mind that I was keen to experience AEOS - Active Energised Organic Skincare, a collection of luxurious products created with careful intent & impeccable attention to detail. AEOS products contains natural, organic & biodynamic plant extracts, essences & essential oils. As if this wasn't delicious & considered enough, the clever AEOS creators have further fortified them with crystal energies & the waveforms of colour. The result? A cutting edge, holistic & luxurious range of skincare that delivers not only a radiant complexion, but significant wellness benefits too.

My stand out favourite was the AEOS Realive Serum, which is fragranced with heavenly essential oils of lavender & rose geranium and contains active hyaluroinic acid to promote skin repair. A little of the serum smoothed on my face, neck & around my eyes after cleansing left my skin feeling plumped & nourished.   

The AEOS philosophy is based on the belief that the sum of the parts (or ingredients in this case) is more effective than any would be individually. Each formula has been carefully created with the intention of optimal balance & performance for the skin. By introducing the products into your beauty routine, you can't help but feel that you're nurturing your skin & gaining not only a glowing complexion, but the greater wellbeing benefits of this unique range too!

AEOS can be purchased at Be Genki. While you're visiting, be sure to check out their amazing collection of moisturising & strengthening AEOS Nail Lacquers!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favourites

Three things making me happy this week...

Sparkly new cluster earrings. While most of what I wear is classic & understated, there is nothing like a hit of sparkle sometimes to lift an outfit! 

Burning this delish candle.Vanilla is an all-time favourite scent & this one's loveliness is compounded by lashings of caramel in the fragrance. Perfection for a sweet tooth like me. 

Channelling my inner child with sweet, jewel hair clips. 

Wishing you a sparkling weekend. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

5 Tips To Looking Amazing When You're Feeling Anything But...

Winter has the tendency to rob us of our lustre. Blame the lack of glow-inducing sunshine, our permanently chilled fingertips & toes, the frosty mornings that keep us languishing in bed rather than powering at the gym, or (god forbid!), the dreaded flu. Whatever the cause, the 'winter blues' are a common affliction. Fear not though, the following quick tricks will have you looking (& feeling) back on top of your game.


Start your days right. Your Ma was right when she told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make it a priority to have a nourishing, healthy breakfast that will warm you up & give you the energy you need for your day ahead. My winter favourite is a bowl of warm porridge sprinkled with nuts, cinnamon & a little brown sugar. Delish!


Erase the tell-tale signs of a cold from your face. Nothing declares that you're feeling sub-par more than watery, tired eyes & a red, dry nose from all that sniffling! Hide nasty flu side-effects by replacing your usual dark eyeliner for a white kohl pencil instead. Line your lower inner lash line with the pale hue, which works to reflect light away, opening up your eyes & making them appear larger, brighter & clearer.


Re-balance. Too many tissues left you with an irritated, glowing nose? Disguise discolouration in your complexion with a green-based concealer, just perfect for addressing & balancing redness. Bloom have just launched a Secret Weapon Concealer Kit, complete with all that you need to camouflage dark circles, uneven tone & blemishes. 

Spoil your skin. Give skin the added TLC it craves with a luxe, nourishing treatment. Decleor's Harmonie Calm Comforting Milky Gel-Cream Mask is packed with calming, nurturing botanicals designed to soothe  & protect, making it perfect for skin that has become sensitized from too many hot showers & the drying, cold weather.

Take a sunshine break. Just 20 minutes of direct sunlight in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon onto your skin will boost your vitamin D levels & have you feeling a little brighter. Double the benefit by making this your time to stop, take a breathe & re-focus your energy. Prioritise your to-do's, use the time to daydream a little or just stop & smell the roses.  

What's your secret to restoring your glow mid-winter?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blissful Escape

If I was presented with a whole, blissful day to spend completely as I chose, part of it would surely involve curling up somewhere reading. For me, there is no greater escape. Set me up on a shady day bed somewhere quiet with a stack of books, a milky latte & I would be completely content.

My love for books & reading is eclipsed only by an obsession with glossy coffee-table books, which I am powerless to resist. Berkeleouw Books incites the same level of retail therapy giddiness that a stint on Net-A-Porter affords other woman.

Here are a few I'm loving this month...

The Goddess Guide by Gisele Scanlon
Move.Nourish.Believe by Lorna Jane Clarkson
Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
The Dressing Table by Clare Press
Paris Tango by Carla Coulson


Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Favourites...

Three things making me smile this week...

My favourite beauty space Balgownie Beauty & Medispa is featured in this months Marie Claire Australia magazine. The team at Balgownie Beauty are the most dedicated skin therapists you'll ever come across. One hundred percent passionate about what they do & totally in love with skin, they are equipped with the latest techniques, products & equipment to create ultimate skin health. I'm thrilled that they are being recognised & encourage anyone living in the Sydney/ Wollongong region to book in for a for a skin health consultation or a luxe facial - they excel at both!

Beautiful Thank You notes from Beposke Letterpress Couture Stationery. If you didn't catch my post yesterday about this exquisite design & printing house, you can read it here.

Coco Ribbon Little Miracle Balm. Plumping, hydrating, soothing & 100% handbag candy, I am never without this amazing multi-purpose balm. Fortified with nourishing ingredients including a unique flower complex consisting of Lotus, Chinese Rose and Black Orchid, this little gem not only soothes & softens the skin, it also smells divine.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Like A Kid In A Candy Store...

For me, the thrill of discovering a brilliant new beauty buy is matched only by the sheer joy I get from gorgeous stationery. In a world of rapid communication & transient emails, is there anything more beautiful than receiving a note that has been handwritten on luxe, personalised paper? Anything more special than receiving a gift that has been thoughtfully wrapped with exquisite printed paper & oh-so-pretty ribbon?


Recently I visited the Finders Keepers Market & stumbled across Bespoke Letterpress. It was love at first sight (they had me at hello).

The amazing thing about Bespoke Letterpress, in addition to their exquisite collection of charming designs & stunning selection of prints, cards & stationery is that they print the old fashioned way, using a cast iron antique letterpress. The combined result of their graphic design expertise, definitively personal approach & the love invested in their production methods equates to unparalleled perfection in what they do. Open one of their charming wedding invitations, printed on impossibly thick cotton paper & try not to swoon. This truly is couture stationery with the power to set the tone for a special event.

In addition to their wedding stationery service, Bespoke Letterpress also create prints, gift tags, cards, gift wrap, envelopes & stationery, all perfect for gifting or for just treating yourself!

You can visit the boutique here & now is the perfect time to do it, as they have just today announced a sale! 



Brush Up!

While time often demands that we rush into the day after applying make-up in the morning, it's worth putting aside a few extra moments every couple of weeks to clean your make-up brushes & tools. The unsung heroes of a good make-up bag, brushes are all-too-often forgotten & if left, can become a hot spot for dirt & grime to thrive, leading to breakout & possible infection.

Cleaning is simple! You can either use a specially formulated product, such as MAC's Brush Cleanser or alternatively a gentle shampoo, such as baby shampoo works well. Lather up with warm water and gently work the hair of each brush from base to tip, rinsing regularly until the water runs clear. Be careful not to flood the base of the brush with water, for longevity it's best to minimise the amount of liquid that goes down into the brush shaft.

Always leave brushes to dry in natural sunlight. Resist the temptation to apply direct heat to speed up drying time as focussed heat from a hair dryer will only melt the delicate fibres & singe the hair, which ruins the brush (trust me - I've tried!) Always lay brushes flat, rather than standing them upright when drying, as this causes the water to pool at the base of the bristles, weakening the glue bonds which in turn leads to shedding.


Tools like eye lash curlers & tweezers are best wiped over with a soft antibacterial wipe & also left to dry in sunlight. While you're at it, wipe over all compacts & make-up tubes in your bag, as they too are prone to bacteria.

A quick, regular clean is easy to do. You'll find that not only will your kit look prettier, but your skin will love you for it too.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Problem Solved: Mario Badescu Skincare

Having survived my teenage years and graduated to a fully-fledged member of the 20-something club, I was surprised when my usually calm skin all of a sudden erupted into temperamental breakouts recently. While I was use to its tendency to t-zone shininess & the occasional spot, this new wave of blemishes & all-out oiliness was a new experience! Just like any beauty explorer, rather then despair, it signalled the chance to discover a new skincare routine...

I had heard about the iconic New York brand of natural skincare, Mario Badescu in numerous magazines & read about it on countless blogs, where it was praised by celebrities & product-lovers alike for it's amazing skin-saving properties. Perhaps most famous of all is its legendary Drying Lotion, which seemed the perfect place to start my new regime.

A potent blend of salicylic acid, calamine & other healing ingredients, the Drying Lotion is an overnight miracle spot treatment. Do not be fooled by the pretty pastel pink colour of sediment that you apply to blemishes, this product packs a serious punch in healing spots, fast. I love the strong, medicinal smell of the lotion, which to me perfectly encapsulates it's healing properties. Apply directly to skin with a cotton tip after cleansing in the evening & you'll wake wondering if that pesky spot was actually just in your imagination.

Encouraged by the success of the Drying Lotion, I also tried the Acne Facial Cleanser and the Special Cucumber Lotion from the range. My skin loves AHAs, in particular Glycolic & Salicylic acids, which are expert exfoliators & ideal for problem skin. Knowing this, I had a feeling it would also love these products and I wasn't wrong!

The cleanser contains salicylic for deep exfoliation & oil balancing and is perfectly complemented with the Aloe Vera and Chamomile extracts, which work to soothe & calm redness. The overall result is that skin feels deeply cleansed, but not dry - perfect for healthy, balanced skin. After cleansing, a swipe of the Cucumber Lotion acts as a light refresh & provides the perfect finish before moisturising.

After just a few weeks using these products, my skin has cleared & appears not only blemish-free but also more even & healthy. With my love affair for the Mario Badescu range firmly established, I think the next logical step is a trip to the acclaimed New York spa for a facial!

 Are there any other Mario Badescu fans out there? Which products do you love?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Musing...

Inspired by this lovely long-weekend...

Have a great start to the new week


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tressed To Kill

One of my firm beauty beliefs is that a girl's hair is a worthwhile investment. Unlike sky-high stilettos or La Perla lingerie which emerge from the wardrobe for special occasions only, your tresses are the style piece you wear every day. With a little time & some key haircare tools & products, you're well on your way to ensuring that bad hair days are a thing of the past!

{Pic: Pinterest}
Take time to find a hairdresser you click with, it's a relationship that may well outlast many others! A great hairdresser will spend the time discussing colour and cut options with you and will advise which suit your face best. Considering they work with hundreds of different faces & hairstyles, the advice is well-founded & valuable - listen up!

In addition to regular trims & colour maintenance, treat your hair monthly with an ultra-nourishing hair mask like the Restorative Hair Mask by Morrocan Oil. Intense treatments such as this one are packed with proteins that have been specifically formulated to repair & restore lustre to hair that has been stressed by too much colour treating and heat styling. Pop one on for five minutes while you're shaving your legs next & I challenge you not to notice an immediate difference!

No one, but no one's mane sits perfectly without a little styling! (Don't believe a word from those supermodels who claim to wake up with perfectly tousled waves!) Choose a great styling product that caters to your hair type & the style you're looking to achieve. My thick, kinky waves drink up Moroccan Oil's Hydrating Styling Cream, a rich, leave-in cream that works to eliminate frizz and results in super-soft locks. 

Invest in tools that will make styling (& your life!) easier. Top of my lust-have list is a new ghd air, the latest release from the same hair gods who created the legendary ghd straighteners. A good blow-dry is akin to hair nirvana & this high-powered baby, with it's ionic technology & smooth ergonomic shape will get the job done fast. 

Remember...while it may be tempting to press snooze & catch some extra beauty sleep in lieu of styling time, trust me when I tell you that the confidence you'll get from clean, styled hair will sustain you far more than an extra 15 minutes of fitful sleep. Hello great hair days!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 Things...To Boost Happiness

1. Exercise first thing in the morning. If it means getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour earlier the night before, so be it! Fitting in just 30 minutes of physical activity in the morning not only gets your mind & body in motion, it allows you to accomplish something before the working day has begun. This sets the tone for a productive & rewarding day.

2. Surround yourself with positive people. It is exhausting to constantly be fighting negativity. Give yourself a break! Distance yourself and seek out people who are upbeat & positive. You'll find it's impossible not to be swept up by their radiant energy.

3. Find your ikigai. The Japanese have a beautiful word that, directly translated to English, means "something one lives for". Essentially what it refers to is the reason we wake up in the morning. With all of the chaos & demands in modern life, it's important that you find your ikigai - whatever it may be - & that you   dedicate time to it. You'll find your soul will thank you.

4. Get a pet. The unconditional love & joy that comes from a furry little friend is unsurpassed when it comes to simple happiness. You'll quickly find that their dependency on you develops into a co-dependency & that you'll long for the moment you walk in the door at the end of the day, just to see their happy face.

5. Express gratitude. Acknowledging thanks for all the amazing things you have shifts your focus from what you don't have, to what you do. Gratitude has a powerful ability to refocus, re-energize and to attract good. Practice gratitude daily & you'll discover that list of things you are grateful for grows.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Weekend Is Now!

Pic: Pinterest

Wishing you a beautiful, weekend. Small or large, find something to celebrate. 


Friday Favourites

Three things making me happy this week...

{This beautiful, feathered headband that I picked up this week at Alannah Hill. The Queen of luxe, feminine pieces, Alannah Hill is one of those stores that make you glad to be a girl}

{Despite it taking up residence on my '33 before 33' list for some months now, it is this month that I have finally committed myself to the wonderful challenge that is the Photo a Day, created by the super talented Fat Mum Slim. I'm excited this month to be playing along and will be posting my moments via Instagram. Follow me @jacquie99} 

{Warming things up with MAC's Lustre Drops in Sun Rush. This peachy, bronze liquid highlighter is densely pigmented & finishes with a pearly shimmer. I find mixing a few drops with my foundation is perfect for creating luminous, glowy skin. Nails: Chanel Le Vernis in Rose Insolent} 

Have a beautiful weekend!