This month’s fashion and beauty hits and misses…..

DSC_0149A little bit of a round up of my retail spending for the month. What’s worth it and what’s not….
Hits….

Cashmere Jumper- I have wanted a cashmere jumper for a while now. No idea why just sounded a bit South Hamptons.
This black cashmere blend crop jumper from IDS hit the nail on the head. Perfect with boyfriend jeans or dress it up with tailored pants and heels.

Chambray Dress- I love chambray for this season. It’s very effortless and I have been literally living in this Portman’s t-shirt mini dress of a weekend. Next purchase- a chambray shirt…..

Striped Dress- Hmm I don’t need any more stripes. However, this “Mika Gala” midi dress was a must have. I bought it on last week’s beach “mini break “in a cute little boutique in Bicheno, Tasmania aptly named Coastal. I was definitely in “beach mode” when purchasing- another “nautical” outfit…
….Oh come on its Tran seasonal- I can layer it in the cooler months and wear it with sandals in the summer. I had to have it…..
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Orange and yellow enamel necklace- I bought this from a man who said I looked very “Tres Chic” wearing it. This compliment steered me straight to the counter. I did love it but I did love being called “tres chic” more……

Teint Vissionaire- Great foundation is a must and mostly expensive. Teint Vissionaire is one of my fav’s. Weightless and light formula yet covers imperfections without any mask-like behaviour. This one comes with a concealer on top. A splurge at $74 dollars although lasts a good 5 months. For those with a light approach to foundation you will love it.

Crochet “trim” bikini- I love cotton crochet swimwear- Issue- they simply fall off when wet. Perhaps that’s why there was so much free love in the 70’s with women wandering out of the surf having lost their bikinis… DSC_0135

Anyhow I bought a Billabong nylon and lycra trim crochet bikini for this season for some extra staying power… in saying that I rarely get in to the ocean past my waist more than 3 times a year….but aren’t they cute?

Misses…

Lancôme’s Dreamtone- Well this 30ml product has been used for the last month without any astonishing results. Designed as a pigment/skin corrector I have been diligently applying this day and night. I can’t say I have seen any results apart from the fact it can be used as an expensive primer at over $100- a bottle.

Betty Basic’s- This range of basic tops, skirts and dresses are extremely budget friendly. Stretch cotton fabrics in plain colours and stripes. Most of the range is usually under $20 dollars and frequent boutiques at the minute.

I would suggest trying before buying- some really good some not so good….
Hmmm I bought a black midi skirt which stayed a midi for about 10 minutes before riding up to a bottom flashing mini- as I found out whilst working the other evening…..

Face Tanners- I ran out of foundation and thought I would just use a tanner on my face. So wrong. After a lot of scrubbing and probably a lot of damage I removed all remnants of a fake tanned face. Despite being labelled “suitable for face and body”- It wasn’t unless you want to resemble a hideous version of Malibu Barbie. Stick with a bronzer…..

Text and images provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com- please contact jesssarah14@yahoo.com regarding copyright._DSC0673

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Window dressing- the consuming nature of vanity

It’s just window dressing…
Filo 795The older I get the more in depth I get with issues that face women. Most women at some point have been stereotyped for an image that they have essentially created, often unknowingly.

As a teen, as I have previously mentioned I was an ugly duckling. Well self-perceived anyhow-

I remember once I hit my 20’s (yes I was a late bloomer…) I couldn’t believe the attention one could get by simply looking attractive. This was so much better. This was so much fun. Doors literally were opened ….

I felt horrified by my previous image of bad skin, braces and wacky hairdo-s (I had an orange spike at one point OMG). Why hadn’t I got on this beauty bandwagon earlier?

In the last ten years my ego has flourished on compliments. “You could be a model, Are you a model now? You should be…?” I sent photos to an agency, who responded “Love your look-can’t wait to meet you”. My ego soared but my head said…..They were good photos but I don’t really look like that, perhaps I should get my lips done before I meet her?

I was hired specifically on my appearance. “You are the right look for my business a gallery owner once gushed at me”. It could have been the worst job in the world (and it was) but I didn’t care he liked me for what he could clearly see.

Once I was asked to stand at the front of the line with all the pretty girls and all the ugly ones were to remain at the back (I was 21). I remember being horrified that someone could say that yet my ego soared in appreciation that I was cast on the front line. This was an ugly ducklings ultimate comeback.

I remember talking to a person I went to school with. They didn’t recognise me. “You look completely different?” “Thank god I thought- I’m so much better now…”

Somebody accused me of having no personality but on the upside he thought I was attractive. Fine by me I thought. Who cares about personality?

Time passed and if ever something went wrong I would think if I was more attractive this wouldn’t happen. Relationships wouldn’t bust, I would be more secure, I would be happier. I was so wrong.

Once you get to a point where vanity is consuming you it’s about as enjoyable as cleaning the toilet. You will never ever be happy if your self worth is reliant on others flattering opinions. If you don’t make peace with yourself (excuse the holistic phrasing), it’s going to be a long unhappy road.

Every time I get overly caught up in vanity now, I step out of it purposely. A friend told me this morning someone thought I was attractive. Again my ego inflated, the person had said “The one with the long brown hair and wears high heels”. I looked at my feet in flat sandals- I thought for a moment “I really should wear heels, it clearly does look better”. Ahhhhh -the issues of the ego.

I’m not against make-up, beauty, fashion, treatments, enhancements, surgeries- whatever floats your boat. In fact I’m not adverse to any of it- far from it. I write about how great some of those things can make you feel. However a beautiful body and a vacant inside are about as captivating after 10 minutes as a bunch of wilted flowers.

When your passion comes from inside rather than obsessing about the outside you will be far more content. Mind you I still find time to obsess about which side I really like my hair parted on and clearly a lot of other fashion equations…

I look at all my friends and I can honestly say they are all beautiful-The whole lot, undoubtedly so. The ones that are vain, the ones that aren’t and all the ones in between- I doubt they see it but they are. Do I tell them? Sometimes but not always- They are so much more just pretty faces.

Vanity- Don’t let it eat you up.

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com Image provided by http://www.barneys.com

First class wannabe – economy frequenter

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I think I have read at least 50 articles on how to look amazing while travelling on a long haul flight. Well in particular the part about sautéing down the tarmac looking effortlessly glamorous and full of life. This is a great concept if you are travelling first class or on your own private jet. That would be a possibility. For the rest of us- it is difficult to not look like a fatigued zombie when flying “economy” for 15 hour +.

Unfortunately I have never travelled First Class (my husband has and that’s just unfair as I would have really appreciated it). The best I can boast is Premium Economy on British Airways flying from the U.K to Australia.

I got really excited after my husband booked the tickets and declared I would be purchasing a hydrating facial mask to apply for the journey(possibly one of those Ski ii masks..). I imagined myself sipping on peppermint tea throughout the journey and emerging looking so completely radiant no one would even know I was suffering chronic morning sickness. My husband sadly informed me it was basically just a larger seat and more leg room. Damn, that sounds nothing like one of those “pods” I envisaged.

So the trip came and I sat in a bigger more luxurious chair but not luxurious enough to feel I was in first class (however the serviettes were upgraded to a more regal shade of navy off memory and the blanket pack was far superior ;-))

I never bought the mask by the way. I would have felt completely ridiculous anyhow- Imagine washing it off in a too small to even turn around in toilet cubicle. Which brings me to the belief that only first class travellers join the mile high club????

Anyhow, I certainly didn’t stop traffic with anything to do with my appearance. I was too busy looking for the nearest toilet to vomit upon arrival at the Singapore airport than to be parading around an airport feeling like a famous person that just awoke from 12 hours of blissful sleep in a pod.
On the positive side I did buy two great dresses from Singapore’s airport Zara store (conveniently located next to the toilets), which proves women will shop even when they literally feel like they are going to cark it.

However there is a secret to perfecting rehydrated good looks and it is located in Singapore’s airport and I am sure many other airports…

“The Beauty Room”

Ok that’s not the official name and it’s not really a secret. However it really is the most beautiful room. The room is essentially devised as a shower and toilet room. Except…. The room has those lovely individual oval mirrors with those Hollywood lights around the edges. Off memory red carpet was included (it sounds crass but it really is special). It is completely fantastic for a half way stop over haul. The best part – anyone can use it (that has a ticket of course…..) and its free. You could even put a hydrating mask on and it wouldn’t be ridiculous…

Sadly I never got to use it. I know it’s terribly disappointing…. an opportunity to use that hydrating mask gone by.
Till next time I say.

text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

The postman knows the unfashionable truth…

postmanThe postman must think I suffer from a several personality’s disorder. It appears that every time I am having one of these days, the post man will appear-

“Husband PJ’” day..I have my husband’s pyjamas on at 11 o’clock on a weekday and vacuuming house wildly. My toddler is still not dressed.He is running around the house butt naked with a dustpan and broom.

“Lady of the night” day…. I have a way too short nightie on, panda eyes and the house looks like a brothel.

“Beauty therapy” day… I am in the shower with a facemask on and the mailman is knocking impatiently.

“Dress up” day… I have decided to try a new look but not half-heartedly. For instance 1950’s housewife without the immaculate kitchen. I may be looking immaculate which means the house will be looking rather dishevelled.

“Supermodel footwear” day… I am breaking in new high heels however I am wearing it with casual attire. This day usually includes pretend European catwalking with loud fashion show music playing (and possible fantasising about being a supermodel at 30).

The day the postman arrives to “immaculate x3 – house, child and I” will most likely never happen. I asked the postman once “have you ever been greeted by a woman in a face mask and a naked child before today?” The response without any hesitation “Oh yes, I have seen everything before”. I could only wonder what other women do in their seemingly normal homes…….

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com and images by http://www.diaryofacountrywife.wordpress.com

Less or Luxe- L’occtaine & Natio Botanical Cleansers

natio gentle foaming cleanserlocctaine jessica sarahdotcomBotanical based face cleansers can be a bit hit or miss. Are they worth the price tag or are they just a bad concoction of detergents and random essential oils???

Botanical cleansers are often confused with overpowering, synthetic based and overly fragrant face cleansers that are labelled botanical or worse floral scented. Think nana gifts such as- lavender and rose washes, eek enough to make my skin crawl before its even out of its non biodegradable packet.

Genuine botanical skincare products are usually a little more on the pricey side of the skincare budget. Formulated with essential oils they can be very good or very bad. These are my two favourite Botanical based cleansers reviewed for your pleasure….

Luxe- Lócctaine Brightening Cleansing Foam rrp- $58- 150 ml

Lócctaine products first started to gain mass appeal in airport terminals. Those beautiful French Provincial stores caught my eye while wandering around waiting for a delayed flight many a time (well at least twice…). I bought the Immortelle Brightening Cleansing Foam a few months ago. I bought it for a couple of reasons- to hopefully reduce mild pigmentation (a not so great side effect of pregnancy) and it’s sell of a formula with rich anti ageing properties helped me part with $55.00 for 150ml of expensive alternative “soap”.

The Verdict-Very, very nice.

Anybody that uses Lócctaine will immediately inform you how lovely the product it. This possibly stems from the in store experiences being rather lovely. The Lócctaine Brightening Cleansing Foam smells divine and not remotely artificial (no reminiscence of that lavender wash you were given 5 years ago and hid in the back of the bathroom cupboard). One pump is all that is required from a formula that literally looks like a bottle of expensive water. LBCF lists citrus fruit peel as one of its hidden cleansing agents making it ideal for my combination skin. However I have heard reports those with dry skin are as equally impressed with this product. Basically Lócctaine leaves the skin refreshed and light. No residue, no oily film just clean skin. Not sure on the lightening effect of pigmentation however definitely brightened skin. Also available in a much cheaper eco refill pack for $44 containing double the amount (300mls) of this delicious product.

Less- Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser rrp-$14.95-$100mls

Nation products are often found in niche chemists. Natio formulas generally list vast amounts of essential oils. I had never tried a Natio product before this one. I purchased Natio’s GFFC as I was looking for a mild cleanser to calm my skin down after trialling some seriously strong exfoliates. Natio’s GFFC boasts a neutral pH which attracted my slightly irritated skin towards. Also attractive were the factors GFFC contains extra low levels of foaming agents to stop skin from feeling squeaky clean (in other words tight and uncomfortable).

The Verdict-Nice.

Natio’s product is very creamy for an essential oil cleanser. A 5 cent piece amount suffices per cleanse. GFFC is rather fragrant, although it may contain natural fragrances the smell is quite overpowering. Containing ingredients such as sandalwood I felt my skin smelt rather linen closet fresh… The cleanser contains glycerine which I could feel on the skin. This may be better for those with a drier complexion. For night time use this cleanser leaves a film on the skin the next morning for combination-oily skin. On the positive side it is very affordable at $14.95 per 100mls. This is a gentle product as its name clearly suggests. If you’re a fan aromatherapy scents you will love this product. All up a good product for the price.

Text provided by wwww.jesicasarahdotcom.com

Confessions of an eyebrow fanatic…

tweezersWhen it comes to facial features you have to work with what you have got. Generally speaking unless you’re planning to embark on some major plastic surgery, features are there to stay love them or loathe them. Apart from….. Eyebrows.

Eyebrows, I am fanatical about mine. Why?

Well possibly because my eyebrows have seen some radical changes over the years.

– I started on a rather dramatic note when it came to my eyebrows. Naturally blessed (however at 13 I didn’t see it as a blessing) with thick uniform looking brows I literally shaved half my eyebrows off. I still cannot believe the courage it must have taken my 13 year old self to follow this rather horrendous teenage trend…..

A few years later I grew back the length in my brows but not the width. This was the 90’s however and no one had much brow to speak of. Again this eyebrow trend didn’t do me any favours and a lot of others for that matter.

Years on big eyebrows came back into vogue. I grew out my eyebrows about 5 years ago and I have never looked back…..

However….. Even if you do grow your eyebrows you still need to tidy your brows as you did before. Ok not as severely but they do require fine tuning frequently. I always pluck my own, well aside from this brow disaster…..

I was wandering around a shopping centre on holidays. I was in relaxed, lazy holiday mode. I saw a sign for waxing. Yes I needed my brows tidied up. I strolled in instantly getting an appointment. My words exactly were “Just a light tidy up…”. 3 minutes later the therapist had finished. I paid and I still hadn’t viewed the “tidied brows”. I caught a glimpse of myself in a passing mirror. I gasped in horror. I was furious. This was not a tidy up, this was an eyebrow abomination. I could not believe it I had two lines that resembled thin worms sitting oddly above my eyes. Oh god where had my beloved thick caterpillars gone?

I got home and tried to forget my eyebrows. I was meant to be having professional photos taken next week. These eyebrows were not photo ready, the eyebrows were a nightmare. I began to fill in bare skin with a trusted eyebrow pencil. I envisaged ringing the therapist to tell her she should quit her day job (I didn’t…. just). I kept filling and filling and stood back in the mirror. My husband walked in “Are you kidding?” I stared at my reflection, this was even worse. I washed off the war paint and went to bed. I woke and stared at my reflection. I raised a feeble looking brow. The brows hadn’t grown. This was worse than a too short haircut; I couldn’t cover these dreaded brows.

4 weeks later. My caterpillars were luckily back.

Moral of story- Pluck your own brows it’s cheaper and you can only blame yourself.

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

The magic heated lash wand…. MODELco

modelco hlcurler

Sometimes a woman just buys things she truly does not need. This was the case last week. I was wandering around the mall and spotted something I truly didn’t need. There is was a …hot pink heated lash curler by MODELco and it was half price. I bought the product on the half price fact and two of my favourite celebrities are fans of this novel device.

After purchasing I soon went and bought batteries for this unneeded device. I was slightly embarrassed I had actually purchased it and decided not to show my husband till a few days later. He didn’t share my curiosity for the pink device rather a curiosity as to why women purchase such strange items.

A few days later I decide to test out this literally hot wand. I turn it on and follow instructions. I stand in the mirror brushing warm air onto my lashes. I do this for at least 5 minutes. It feels like several boring hours.

Next step mascara. I have that step down pat. I can apply mascara in about 20 seconds flat. I stare back at my reflection. My lashes do look longer and curlier after 5 minutes of boredom.

The outcome, good if you have the time and patience. Reserve it for a special night out, possibly not best used before quick trips to supermarket 5 minutes before close….

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

Scrubbed up…… St Ives Apricot Scrub

St Ives Timeless SkinI love to give my face a good scrub. I have bought a few scrubs over the years that have been good, great, fantastic and forgettable. This month I bought a cult scrub. I rarely buy cult products as they often don’t live up to their glorified name. I was never a fan of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, although it appears I was in the minority there. I guess I like the quest of finding that holy grail product no one has discovered just yet…..

Well I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. My cult product is no other than “ST.IVES Timeless Skin Apricot Scrub Renew and Firm”. I had spied the St Ives brand in many a bathroom before (…and no I don’t actually open bathroom cabinet’s I just note what is visible on the vanity). However I had never actually bought any of U.K’s No.1 Scrub brand possibly because it is cheap, really cheap. I initially thought it would be way too harsh, far too abrasive and basically do more damage than good. Prior to using St Ives I had used a gentle Thalgo scrub and a Kiehls clay cleanser which despite the name was more like a scrub than a cleanser.

However this time I wanted something a bit potent. My skin was looking rather lack lustre and needed a good scrubbing from product overload. I used a pea-size amount of St Ives on a damp face and gave my face a good scrubbing, rinsed and I was impressed. Result- Clean skin that bordered on being classed as silky skin. No redness, no irritation or uncomfortable tight skin that is often associated with cheaper scrubs.

St Ives recommend using this scrub 3-4 times a week. They are completely right, I didn’t take this on board and excitedly used it twice a day for a week. Way to harsh for a twice daily routine and it was seriously a case of too much of a good thing for my poor skin. Stick to the rules and you will be impressed with this product.

St Ives Tone and Renew comes in a 150ml tube, retailing around the cheap as chip’s $9.00 mark. I would definitely recommend giving this product a run for its money.

Text provided by jessicasarahdotcom.com

Paint your lips red… I dare you

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Pour yourself a drink….
Put on some lipstick….
And pull yourself together….
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor may not have mentioned the colour but I imagine it was red. As for drink choice….. I imagine it wasn’t lemonade.

Red Lipstick- Do you dare to wear?

I always thought red lipstick should be reserved to those with large luscious lips of perfect symmetry.I preferred to forget my fine lips and focus on features I preferred eyes, brows, hair and generally left my fine lips out in the cold.

If I did wear lipstick it was always pale and usually a gloss. I steered clear of the somewhat scary bright colour drenched bullet lipsticks peering up at me from beauty counters. Until one fine day…..

Well truth be told, I didn’t actually buy my first red lipstick. My lipstick was infact a free gift with purchase (a very expensive purchase might I add). My initial reaction to the shade was something to the effect of “Oh honestly, what am I going to do with that?….”. It was red, the most red my make-up bag had ever seen.

I jammed it in the bathroom cupboard and forgot about it. Until another fine day…..

Initially I put it on half as a joke. I looked at my now not so fine looking lips looking straight back at me. Hmmm that’s not too bad. I raided the cupboard for a lip liner for a bit of added definition and hey presto- Red Lips!

These days I am such a red lip convert. Give the red lip a whirl if you haven’t already. Go on I dare you… you might just surprise yourself!!!

Images and Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

A question of Vanity……

polyvore

I have recently questioned my site, is it just shamelessly glorifying vanity? perhaps, but aren’t we all a bit vain???

I am so vain and I think this song is about me???? Yes that sounds about right too, I am vain, full stop. In the dictionary vain is generally described as; a person that is overly concerned about their abilities, appearance and personal attributes.

I can definitely relate to the first two, ability and appearance– However for the point of the blog I will delve into the latter, appearance.Appearance is  how we appear ; to be more in depth- how we look, how we dress, how we put on outfit together, the desire to paint our lashes every morning apart from perhaps lazy Sundays (and that has to be a very lazy Sunday for me!!!)

I can pin point my vanity obsession  from early on, I was an ugly duckling adolescent- skinny, flat chested, bad skin with heavy braces too match (no invisaline for me!!) and to top it off completely gawky, put it this way I showed my husband a photo of me at about the age of 13 and he didn’t know who it was. Appearance can affects us dramatically and that is the truth of modern day society- in my 30 years I have been told in relation to my appearance the following and possibly more….. fat, skinny, anorexic, pretty, stunning, attractive, beautiful, ugly, natural, fake, exotic, plain, sexy, daggy, photogenic, weird looking, elegant and gawky. How do I feel about these labels? well most of the time I choose to remember the positive comments however as anyone would know that suffers from even a mild case of Ugly Duckling Syndrome your past can still be haunting.

However, what I can tell you about my Vanity is that although I am overly concerned about my appearance (do these pants really work with these shoes, photograph me on my best side…) I am not particularly concerned about what others think and I don’t choose friends on their vanity beliefs, of course I love a compliment but deep down the only one I need to impress is myself. When it comes to vanity impress yourself and that’s what matters because you will never impress everyone and why would you want to? I chose to wear what I want, embrace my small chest and thin frame and embrace a gawky face that I finally grew into after I got my wretched braces removed.

Valuing your appearance , doesn’t make you a bad person or even a shallow person, its just like any other interest; something you enjoy doing and I enjoy “doing appearance” , its fun I love expensive fashions and  playing around with different make up looks (it’s not a sin). Appearance can be changed on a daily occurrence , you can swipe  a bright red lipstick on and look/feel a million dollars in a minute (maybe 5 if you do liner, lipstick and gloss). Fashion is the same, you can create any identity with fashion even if it is only for a day and then the next day you can create an entirely new appearance all over again. Fashion and Make-up can determine your character are you quirky, arty, stylish, hipster,glamorous? Well I guess that’s up to you, and what you pull out of the wardrobe tomorrow, because at the end of the day we can be anything we choose and that is a powerful thing. Now what am I wearing tomorrow?????

Images courtesy of polyvore.com