Monday, 26 January 2015

Fabulous Fashion Find: Top 10 Uses For My Watermelon Sarong

I love watermelon! Especially chilled watermelon eaten outdoors at the beach! Nothing symbolises summer more to me! 

So as soon as I saw Lyloh Sarong's delicious watermelon sarong I knew I had to buy one! I was lucky to be able to utilise Lyloh's generous two for the price of one special introductory offer to buy myself and my daughter one of these gorgeous circular 'Delicious Watermelon' sarongs each for Christmas. 

Since receiving them we have discovered many different uses for these sarongs. Here are our top 10 uses. 

1. Wear it as a traditional sarong skirt. You can vary the length of the skirt by how much you double over the top of the sarong at your waist. 

For those interested, my daughter is also wearing the Seafolly Prismatic Tank bikini top with its multi rouleau straps at the back.

2.  Wear it as a dress.

3. Wear it as a top. I have used a photo from Lyloh Sarong's Instagram account to illustrate this one.
Image credit: @lylohsarongs                                 
4. Use it for extra sun protection outdoors.

5.  Use it as a beach mat.

6. Use it as a lightweight towel. Great for when you are travelling light and don't want to pack bulky towels.

7. Use it as a picnic rug.

8. Use it as a tablecloth either inside at home on the dining table or coffee table or outdoors at a park table.

9. Use it as a lightweight summer sheet when napping outdoors and in hammocks.

10. Wrap it around your shoulders for a bit of extra warmth when the wind picks up and it gets a bit cool at the beach.

Bonus Use - because everyone loves a bonus!
11. Wear it as a fun scarf wrapped around your neck in slightly cooler weather.

What I also love about this gorgeous sarong is the fact that $10 from each Delicious Watermelon Sarong bought from Lyloh Sarongs is donated to the Women of Laos who are raising money to empower vulnerable single mothers in Laos with education and to start their own businesses. Lyloh's aim is to raise $1000 which will help one woman out of poverty. So when you buy one of these sarongs not only are you getting a gorgeous and extremely versatile item of clothing but you are also helping others in need. 
A perfect win-win situation!

Please note this post is not sponsored nor were the sarongs gifted. I just really love them and wanted to share my love of them!

What other uses would you have for this sarong?


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Monday, 19 January 2015

9 Makeup Picks in Pantone's 2015 Colour of the Year Marsala

The Pantone Color Institute has recently announced Marsala, "a naturally robust and earthy wine red" as the Color of the Year for 2015.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute declared "This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."

The Pantone Color Institute has further declared that Marsala is "an incredibly versatile color for beauty". That it is an "appealing and sophisticated shade that's flattering against many skin tones." I tend to agree with this statement. Personally I like the colour Marsala in beauty products but browsing through various social media channels it sounds like some people are a bit unsure about Marsala and how to apply it. 

To assist people to adopt this trend beauty-wise, if they wish, I have compiled 9 easy to wear marsala coloured beauty products.

1. Stila Eyeshadow in Pigalle ($24)

2. NYX Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Rust ($10.95)

3. Essence Silky Touch Blush in Kissable ($5.10)

4. NARS The Multiple in G-Spot (Can be used on lips, eyelids or cheeks) ($52)

5. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Brick ($46)

6. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adore ($17.95)

7. Essie Nail Polish in Bordeaux ($16.95)

8. Zoya Nail Polish in Marcella ($19)

9. NARS Blush in Almeria ($39)

If you are wanting fashion advice about wearing 2015's colour of the year without a childhood flashback Fox In Flats has written a great blog post on this topic :) 

What do you think about the colour Marsala? 
Will you be utilising Marsala shaded makeup and fashion items this year?


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Monday, 12 January 2015

Last Month's Empties

In the past month I've finished quite a few beauty, skincare and hair care products. Keep reading to see which of these products I've loved and why, which ones I'll be repurchasing and which ones I won't be repurchasing!

Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser - Age Smart Range
This dual action exfoliating creamy cleanser was perfect for my 40+ year old skin. It cleansed my skin effectively & exfoliated the surface dullness away whilst being wonderfully hydrating. After using this product my skin felt ultra clean, soft & smooth and looked brighter, fresher & younger! YAY!!!! This cleanser contains a lactic acid concentrate, vitamin E & rose flower oil. I could see a significant improvement in my skin texture with daily use of this cleanser. It was easy to lather up in my hands and apply to my damp face, massaging it in for 30 seconds. I absolutely loved this product!

I have a couple of cleansers at home that I want to open and use, as I love trying new products and hate wasting them, but when I next purchase a cleanser I will definitely be repurchasing this Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser.

Biore Steam Activated Cleanser
I received this Biore Steam Activated Cleanser in my free skincare gift bag with purchase at Priceline last year when I spent $65 and received over $340 worth of skincare products. I love beauty bargains!

I liked the cool, refreshing, tingling sensation of this cleanser on my skin in the shower. I found this Biore Steam Activated Cleanser to be effective as a cleanser but not hydrating enough for my mature 40+ year old skin. I think this cleanser is more aimed at a younger skin than mine. There was nothing as such wrong with this cleanser but I won't be repurchasing it.

Dr LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex S8 Instant Line Eraser Serum & 
Dr LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex S8 Hydrating Day Cream
Read my previous review of these two effective Dr LeWinn's wrinkle warriors here. I can't rave enough about these two products. I absolutely love them and noticed a huge improvement in my skin when I started using them. I have already repurchased them in December 2014. 

The best thing about running out of products in December is that there are often special Christmas gift packs available at cheaper than normal single item prices. I repurchased these products in a gift pack together with a Dr LeWinn's Foaming Cleanser at Priceline for $79.95. Individually these products would have cost me $144.39. As I've said many a time before, I love bargains, especially when it's for some of my all-time favourite products.

Dr LeWinn's Private Formula Puressence Day & Night Fluid
Prior to discovering the Dr LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex S8 Hydrating Day Cream it was this Dr LeWinn's Puressence Day & Night Fluid that had been my go-to product. I really like this product, it is lightweight, quick absorbing and effectively hydrates my skin. I have repurchased this product a couple of times but won't be repurchasing it this time as I have now started using the other Dr LeWinn's products as stated above as I think my 40+ year old skin needs the extra wrinkle warrior power of the Dr LeWinn's Smoothing Complex S8 products. 

L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl Conditioner and Denser Hair Serum
I am participating in a 3 month trial of L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl products through the beautyheaven website and am now up to my third month. The products consist of a clarifying shampoo, bodifying conditioner, densifying mousse and denser hair serum. In the last month I have finished 2 bottles of the hair serum and one bottle of conditioner. These products are designed to combat thinning hair. 

The denser hair serum is an everyday scalp solution for denser looking hair. It claims to improve your hair density in just 3 months time by an average 1700+ hairs. 

If readers express an interest I might do a complete review of the Serioxyl range of products once I have finished my trial.

KMS Free Shape Hot Flex Spray
This product definitely falls into the 'love it' category for me. I have already repurchased it for at least the 5th time. It protects my hair from heat damage when I use my GHD hair straightener and helps maintain my hair's style post straightening. I love how my hair feels normal after using it, not crunchy or stiff which is how other hair sprays leave my hair feeling. I will definitely continue to repurchase this product over and over again!

Rimmel London Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner - 063 Eastend Snob
Once again I've already repurchased this product as this colour is one of my everyday lip liner go-to colours. It's a beautiful muted pink/nude 'like my lips but better' colour. It goes on smoothly, helps my lipstick last a lot longer than it otherwise would and prevents any bleeding of my lipstick. I've found this lip liner to have good staying power.

This lip liner has a wind-up mechanism which is convenient to use but in my experience has resulted in the lip liner having a tendency to snap off at the end whilst I'm using it. This unfortunately results in some product wastage which I don't like. However the pros of this lip liner, especially its flattering colour, outweigh this con, so I will continue repurchasing it.

Gucci Envy Perfume
This perfume was given to me as a gift. It was pleasant, easy to wear and I did like it but I won't be replacing it as there are other perfumes such as Chloe and Calvin Klein's Euphoria that I would prefer to purchase first and I also have my favourite perfumes which I do regularly replace such as Issey Miyake and Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy, and my all-time favourite perfume for special occasions, Chanel No.5. 

The fragrance notes in Gucci Envy were hyacinthus, lily of the valley, rose, jasmine, green notes, magnolia, iris, woods and musk.

What products have you used up in the past month?


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Monday, 5 January 2015

5 Top Tips for the Best Staycation Ever

This summer holiday our family decided to have a staycation at home rather than travel away. By 'staycation' I don't mean we just stayed at home and did what we always do but we actively planned to have a relaxing and fun holiday at home with the benefits of less expense and minus the hassles of travel.

How did we do it? Below are my top 5 tips for having the best staycation ever! 

1) Plan Ahead
For a successful staycation, planning is essential! I suggest planning for your staycation as you would plan for a holiday away. 

The first thing to plan and decide is the start and end dates of your staycation. We planned for a 10 day staycation. 

You also need to pre-plan activities and outings for the staycation so you can enjoy the actual staycation relaxing and having fun and having a break from your usual activities, chores and dare I say rut you are in during school term & work time!

2) Be a Tourist
Visit your local tourist information centre and pick up brochures for local attractions. Alternatively you could visit a local hotel/tourist attraction as these locations often have a stash of tourist brochures also.

You may think you know all the local attractions but you could be pleasantly surprised and discover new local activities. I did. The other benefit of visiting the local tourist information centre is that they sometimes offer discounts to some of the local attractions if the tickets are purchased from them.

Several of the tourist brochures I picked up also contained discount coupons in the back of them. Bonus!!!             

Involve your children in the planning of activities and outings. We allowed our children to pick a one day outing/activity each. Their choices ranged from surfing lessons, a visit to an indoor trampolining centre and a visit to the Jenolan Caves.

3) Unplug
During holidays away you are usually NOT in contact with your work office via phone calls or emails. So for the duration of your staycation ban all contact and mention of your work! 

I also encouraged my children to tell their friends they would be unavailable for the 10 days of their staycation. This was to ensure a break from their normal routines and to give us a chance to do activities and have outings as a family rather than a child asking to go on a playover or sleepover with a friend.

Usually on holidays away I read at least one book. So on our staycation I made a point of truly unplugging by limiting my computer time and NOT checking my emails (shock, horror!). I bought and read two books in my quiet me time instead. 


4) Check Out Free Local Events
A lot of cities and towns offer free outdoor evening movie screenings during holiday periods. We ended up attending three such movie screenings which the kids all loved. There were also free children's activities on offer before the movie and we brought along a picnic dinner to enjoy whilst watching the movies.

In our area I also saw several free bushwalks, a coastal walk and a night walk organised by the local council.

Image Credit: PK Robbins
5) Create a Holiday Ambiance 
For me one of the hardest parts of enjoying a staycation and relaxing at home is letting go of the normal everyday chores and just enjoying myself as I would on a holiday away.

To enable me to relax during our staycation I organised a cleaning blitz of our house in the two days prior to our staycation and also did a food shop. As a result during our staycation the only chores I did were the ones I would also do during a holiday away, that is preparing easy breakfasts and washing our swimmers. Each family member was responsible for making or not making their own bed, their choice! Most meals, apart from breakfast, were eaten out.

In addition to the above 'staycation chore-atorium' I also created a relaxing holiday ambiance by placing scented candles in our living areas to create a relaxing ambiance in the evenings. The candles I used were the amazing new Air Wick Silhouette candles. My favourite had a sailing boat silhouette on it and was 'amber mandarin glow' scented, a lovely fresh citrus scent. Air Wick also has many other exquisite fragrances including 'French Vanilla Romance'.

The amazing thing about these candles is that when you light them, not only do they have a flickering flame, which by itself normally captivates and relaxes me, they are also multicolour changing! Once lit, a soft and tranquil glow illuminates through the wax. This glow then gently changes colour to create a truly relaxing ambiance. The photo below shows the multicolour cycle.


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