No spend 2013 – Jan update

So as of the end of January I have not gotten any new makeup or clothing. I have ordered some new runners (ASICs Kayanos)  as a replacement for my current ones, which are extremely close to death. I have paid for the sneakers but are still enroute *cough* via – even with the postage these are about half the price of any of the local sports stores in Australia ($123 vs $199) and I am calling those neutral on the no spend front. Do you think I’m cheating?

I haven’t used that much up yet – I have a lipstick and bb cream which are looking emptyish but will probably last another week or so? More worrying though is the low levels of my clinique makeup remover. I threw out a pair of workout pants that were a bit dire looking. That’s kind of a big thing for me, the storage at a house is at overflow point.

I am also blogging regularly and deciding a few things – I will never again buy a BYS nail polish haha, I need to try some other top coats for nail polishes that are quick drying. I’m reading more to try and replace my online shopping time. I am using the library and discovering new TV series (True Blood! where has it been all my life!). I am wearing more creative outfits now that buying new clothes is not an option and I’m feeling happier for it.


Giveaway – Witchery Earrings + eyeshadow pallette

I got one of my semi-regular emails from Witchery with a surprise yesterday. You see Witchery is one of my favourite stores, and the cause of much overflowing in the shoes and wardrobe department. They have built up a lovely brand, very light and modern. I think they only have Australia/New Zealand/Singapore stores at the moment so might not be a name that UK/US reader know that well. The Witchery clothes include lots of lovely silk shirts and dresses which are my (credit card) kryptonite. The stores just feel relaxing to me. Anyway the email announced that I had some reward dollars to spend that would be expiring in a week. I was left in two minds as to whether I could spend these dollars during no spend time. It was not ‘real’ money, and yet part of my issue is also having less stuff and decluttering.

So my compromise position is that I ‘bought’ some goodies to give away to a reader. It’s some little earrings with Dream engraved and an eyeshadow pallette in Mulberry. To enter leave a comment below telling me what your dream is, and you can make that either a largescale “Win a nobel peace prize and buy a mansion” dream or more of a “Last night I dreamt I was a giraffe” style of dream.

You’ll get an extra entry if you are a follower. And it’s open internationally. I’ll randomnly select a winner on the 6th.

Witchery giveaway

Witchery giveaway

Volunteering at a Homeless Shelter

On the face of it there is a disconnect between writing a beauty blog and talking about not spending and donating time and money to the homeless shelter. However there is not as much distance as you might think initially.

A lot of the discrimination and isolation that the homeless face is around how they look. How many times have you heard some one complain about getting stuck next to a smelly homeless person on the bus? Now imagine how that odour comes about. How easy is it to shower and wash without a house, to control body if you can’t afford housing let alone toiletries, how you would smell if you slept in shop fronts, where drunks would urinate on their way home from bars? How easy is to transport toiletries if you need to carry all your possessions with you? How do you condition your hair and afford haircuts and shaving implements? How can you wash and maintain your clothing?

Then imagine that you want to connect with people but they avoid you before you can talk to them. You feel less than everyone, less than human. You are alone and vulnerable. Maybe you start to numb the pain with alcohol or other drugs.

How do you reconnect with people? How do you get a job? How do you make a first impression other than homeless? The rituals around beauty are culture-based of course, there were times when washing was not considered hygienic. But in this time and place pulling yourself out of homelessness often requires an ability to fake not being homeless to passersby. And I have to thank my stars that I have the abilility, the resources and the social capital to be able to pass that first impression test and to read as deserving of basic courtesies and respect. Not everyone can.


Essence Hard to Resist

Essence hard to resist is in the same family as some of my favourite polishes like Chanel Blue Satin and Illamasqua Phallic. It is a navy blue with a teal shimmer and a very shy purple shimmer that seems nearly impossible to photograph. The heavy shimmer makes it deep and lively, and the pigmentation is insane – easily a one coater.


Also hard to resist is the price tag – $2.55 a bottle at my local target. It looks to be discontinued now so I might be splashing out a pricier alternative when I run out. My only problem with this colour is the need to heavily, heavily base coat your nails. This is seriously smurf nail territory. 


Still, who can resist this colour blue!

Accent nail fail


Not my best effort on either nail painting, or on colour selection for an accent nail. It actually works a bit better in person as the accent colour Illamasqua Glitterati has holographic sparkles in the deep raspberry jelly that sparkle in a colour quite close to the main nails. The trick with accent nails is usually to either go close to the same shade, or a contrasting colour but I think this combo struggled by being close but not quite close enough in shade.

Now the main nail colour, funny story, is from the Justin Bieber collection for Nicole by OPI. It’s called OMB “Oh My Bieber”. It gets so many compliments, it has a really lively bright pink shimmer and has a lot of depth. It’s so embarassing to tell me what the colour is when they ask though! At least I have resident teenagers to claim ownership of the colour though, rather than fessing up to buying it myself.

I love the colour, but the downside NOPI brush sucks – its stubby and hard to use. And this is in the older style bottle which is hard to store. But the colour and formula are great so that this is one of the colours we have actually nearly used up.

Game of Thrones – Tyrell Manicure

Another one of the great families in game of thrones are the Tyrells. I particularly like the women in the family, and without spoiling the surprise for anyone who hasn’t read the books ahead of watching the series… they have the Joffrey situation locked down.

The Tyrells sigil is a golden rose in full bloom against a green field, and their motto is “Growing Stronger”. The women all distinctly have thorns behind the pretty exterior.


Margaery seems like she would so be into nail art. I have freehanded three simple flowers against my background of Illamasqua Scorch in different shades of gold, using Nubar Unpredicatable Taupe, then Essence Destination Sunshine and Ulta3 Honululu in the centre.


In real life the metallic makes it ‘pop’ a little and increased the impact 🙂

Quick Swatch – Designer brands chubby lipstick crayons

I love the look of these – Designer brands are doing a chubby lipstick crayon that seems ‘inspired’ by the Clinique chubbys. Image

The colours. left to right, are dollface, guava kiss, kiss and tell and enchanted kiss. Dollface and enchanted kiss are my favourites, but guava kiss is a very ‘now’ orange. The texture is lovely – somewhere between balm and lipstick.

They don’t seem to be a direct dupe for Clinique, both in texture, the heavier colour coverage and smaller colour range but it’s a nice addition. Also for the price difference ($7.99 vs $35) where the designer brands are a distinct winner!!!

In homage of Bunny Lebowski

So this is a super cute colour I am showing today – Illamasqua Elope over Scorch.

Illamasqua elope over scorch

I can see that this might seem a little… plain. However this is an interesting colour because it’s the closest I have found to Bunny Lebowski’s pedi colour in the Big Lebowski. I know the script says emerald green which I picture as a little darker but the posters show a green that is distinctly grassy and bright like this colour.

The finish on Elope is rubbery to my opinion, all though lllamasqua describes it as “Bright Emerald Green, glossy finish”. I call it a rubbery, jelly finished grassy green polish. To get it to really pop it needs to be layered over a bright white, and I like to leave it a little sheer at the bottom over the white to give it some dimension and pop. It’s a funky, modern manicure for wearing on the weekend. Not office appropriate but sometimes it’s cool to have a weekend only colour for going a bit off the radar. Dude.

Totally wish my photog skills could show you how awesomely glossed up this looks with the Illamasqua topcoat. It looks gorg 🙂 and thought a snap against the grass might help convince you.

Illamasqua elope grass

So my theory on what nail polish colour Bunny Lebowski’s is wearing in the Big Lebowski is Illamasqua Elope, or something very similar 🙂

Glitter Gradient – Snow in the sky

This is a silver glitter gradient using Crown me Already from OPI on my I don’t give a Rotterdam undercoat.


It’s super pretty – this was actually my manicure for Christmas as well. It’s got a light icy feel about and looks Christmas-y in a southern hemisphere appropriate way 🙂 as the normal fall colours can seem a bit heavy in the middle of summer here.

Crown me already is a great colour for gradients, it has a range of silver glitter and is very blingtastic. The only problem is wear, it’s a ‘crunchy’ due to the dense glitter action and I find it’s quite prone to chipping without a heavy coat of top coat.

So what’s the deal with this nail polish obsession?

^ Exact quote from my husband in the post heading. It’s a valid question for him to ask, because up until 5 years ago I definitely tended to wear either no polish or only red/pinks. I think it was largely due to working in a conservative, male-dominated profession. I think the same is true for a lot of women as the zeitgiest has definitely turned back to polished nails.

I think there a few factors that trend together to make nail polish such a thing;

  • The colours are very trend driven, and that encourages a lot more range of nail polish to be own
  • It’s very democratising in a way a lot of fashion isn’t – you can have the latest nail polish if you are old or young, fat or thin, pale or dark skinned.
  • It’s a relatively cheap way to add polish to an outfit (haha, a polish pun!) and make you look well groomed
  • The price outlay is quite low, even at $20 for a ‘designer’ name like a deborah lipmann polish it’s at the lower end of what a new clothing item will buy you, and given you can get 20 or 30 manicures out of one bottle that’s often more wear than I get out of new tops… (where is that embarassed emoticon when I want it!)
  • It’s an activity that can be performed after the work of the day is done, after the kids are in bed and the housework is done. It’s an excuse to sit still for 20 minutes, so popular for carers who are carving out some time for themselves.
  • Equally you can buy nail polish online with out trying it on and check out one of the numerous excellent blogs to see what it looks like and how it performs. This is often trickier with clothing.
  • There is a degree of signalling I think, where having nails coloured in the latest colours says “I’m pulled together. I have spare time and resources. I follow fashion. I’m a cool person”. I see in the interactions with other parents of young kids, also with bonding with other burlesque performers.

Who knows… maybe I’m overthinking! or maybe just procrastinating. What do you think?