Christmas Gift Guide Pt 2. (under $100)

Following on from last night’s post of Christmas gift ideas for under $50, tonight I am focusing on the next price bracket up – under $100. I am actually back on the hunt for a couple of presents myself now that a few of the items that I ordered online have fallen through. Hopefully I will find some inspiration for myself too! As always, Santa if you’ve taken the time to read my blog please note that I want all of the “for her” items listed. Thanks.

Under $100 (for her)

Under $100 (for him)

Christmas Gift Guide Pt 1. (under $50)

Those who know me know that I am all about embracing the Christmas spirit. Many will also claim that this is one of my most annoying features but they’re lying. Christmas is awesome. One of my favourite things to do around Christmas time is to get organised. (who is surprised?) I start my Christmas planning on November 1st every year, which gives me plenty of time to get everything done. Step #1 on my Christmas to-do list every year is to write up a budget and shopping list for Christmas presents. I also try to book a day off of work in early December to try and get all of my shopping done in one day. (Or at least everything that I hadn’t already purchased online.) I love Christmas gift guides, so I thought it might be a good idea for me to put one up for you guys. Hopefully this is of some interest, and use to at least one person out there…

Under $50 (for her)

Under $50 (for him)

I will be posting more gift guides following the same sort of style but for different price ranges. Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to see! PS: All of the “for her” pieces I actually want. So Santa, if you’re reading this…

Beach Fashion

I have always wanted to experience a White Christmas, and if all goes to plan I will be getting my wish in 2012. In the meantime, I am still in Australia and I still need to face facts that it is SUMMER and I need a game plan for summer survival. Billabong & 2Threads have teamed up to ask bloggers the question – “What Does Beach Fashion Mean To You?”

Despite the majority of my wardrobe appearing to be something of a shrine to the colder months (black clothes, cardigans, blazers, boots, ballet flats, cashmere…) I do enjoy the warmer weather if it involves going to the beach. I love the beach. As a West Australian I am blessed to live on a coastline that hosts some of the most incredible beaches on the planet. For example:

How could you not enjoy spending time in a place like that? Even if it is 40 odd degrees and the flies are making it their life’s mission to drive you completely insane.

My biggest issue come summer time is finding clothing items that are both climate appropriate and pieces that suit my personal style. My second biggest issue is that I am terrified of surf wear clothing stores. (Don’t ask me to explain why because I have no idea, I just do not like them.) Surf wear advertisements will have us believe that we should be emerging from the surf looking like perfectly put together goddesses of the sea. Now I don’t know about you guys but in reality when I emerge from the surf I look more like a bedraggled sea urchin who has accessorised with various species of seaweed than any sort of goddess.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years to combat this – keep it simple.

I have put together 10 key pieces that I think would make for a really cute and functional beach outfit. Including, of course, my necessary beach beauty items! The central piece of this outfit is the Billabong “Charmer” bikini.

And to finish up, a few of my style tips for the beach this summer:

> Find a bathing suit that suits your body shape, rather than following trends.

> Once you’ve found a bathing suit that fits your personal style, make sure it fits your body! The last thing you want is a wardrobe malfunction at the beach. there are enough dangers in the ocean as it is, there is no need to further tempt fate.

> When searching for a decent beach bag, I am of the opinion the bigger the bag the better. I’m sure I am not the only one who packs my entire life with me to take to the beach. Sun screen, beach towels, sandals, hats, bottles of water and an emergency primping kit if it’s a whole day affair rather than a quick morning swim.

> Sun screen is essential.

> When it comes to the beauty side of things, try to keep it simple. Do not wear a face full of makeup to the beach, because you will look silly. If you really feel like you need some coverage, try a tinted moisturiser with SPF (the Stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturiser is my personal favourite) and some waterproof mascara.

> Cute sandals are a great way to lift the dress code from beach to beach side cafe, but make sure they’re easy to slip on and off because you don’t want to be struggling to put your shoes back on when the sand is scorching your feet. (believe me, I’ve had a few less than graceful moments myself)

> Brightly coloured nailpolish is a great way to add just a little more oomph to a basic beach outfit. It’s a great way to accessorise when you don’t actually want to wear jewelry.

So there you have it! My thoughts on beach fashion, and a general summer style.

Top 10 Skincare Products

As with my Top 10 Makeup Products post, this is a post dedicated to the top 10 skincare products that I use and buy time and time again. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, Dermalogica Precleanse, Dermalogica Skin Refining Mask, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (I use this as a primer for nights that I will be heading out for a long time, or I know there will be pictures of me being taken), Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Trilogy Organic Rose Hip Oil (to be honest I prefer the KOSMEA Rose Hip Oil, but I am using up this bottle of the Trilogy before repurchasing another), Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, Ole Henriksen Blemish Attack Roll On, Kora Balancing Rose Mist and Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub. What are your top 10 skincare products?

Product Review: NARS Penny Lane Cream Blush

I was recently on the hunt for a good peach toned cream blush that would work well on my fair skin. I am already an avid fan of the Stila convertible colour in the shade Gerbera, but I wanted another product to try out because I was getting a little bit tired of using the same peach blush every single day. (and I am loving peach cheeks for Spring/Summer) After extensive googling, and at the suggestion of a couple of readers I decided to purchase NARS Cream Blush in the shade Penny Lane. Unfortunately, I am not really liking it at all. (Note: It was difficult for me to get a proper swatch happening, the product was applying in a very patchy sort of way that didn’t look good at all. In the end I had to apply it with my beauty blender.)

I don’t like the colour on my skin. Instead of being a nice light peachy pink as I’d hoped, it’s a sort of muddy brown-pink that isn’t very nice at all. This would probably look good on someone with a darker skintone than me, and would possibly make for a nice neutral pink blush for some. On me it just looks kind of… blah. As I am not one of those people who will tan during summer and then be able to try this product out to see if it has a different effect, I may just have to hand this one over to my sister or sister in law who were both genetically blessed with perfect olive skin. NARS Cream Blush retails for $60 AUD and can be purchased exclusively in Australia at Mecca Cosmetica.