Category Archives: I Want… Beauty!

The Nitwit’s Guide To Sock Buns: How To Do A Sock Bun/DIY Sock Buns ♥

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Much like my non-existent flair for housework (me: “I want to do something new today! Something DIFFERENT!” Tom: “Hmmm, here’s a wild idea… CLEAN THE APARTMENT!”), I’m utterly useless when it comes to experimenting with excellent hairstyles.

Creating ultra-chic chignons? PLEASE! Twirling my tresses into elegant, elaborate braids? Well jeez, I’d love to be able to, but truthfully, I wouldn’t know where to start.

So when I heard about the almighty current hair craze that is the “sock bun” (no joke, I’ve seen it mentioned at least three times on Twitter this week!), I decided to give it a whirl, and devise some so-simple-even-an-enormous-nitwit-like-myself-could-pull-it-off instructions along the way.

And here they are!

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Kim Kardishian rocking the sock bun” (and some magnificent earrings and make-up!).

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What You’ll Need:

A pair of scissors (snip, snip!)
x A hair-tie/elastic
x Any old sock (if you’ve got one lurking around with a hole in the toes, PERFECT. Grab it! You’ll be cutting the bottom part off anyway.)

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Step One

Remove the toe area of the sock with your trusty scissors and discard it, then roll the remaining length of fabric into a ‘donut’ (mmmm… donuts!) shape (as pictured above).

Now! Whip your hair upside down and gather it together, pulling it into a high ponytail (the higher the pony tail, the higher your bun placement), and secure it with an elastic/hair-tie.

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Step Two

Place the sock donut at the end of your ponytail and pull your locks through the hole in the centre. Slowly roll the sock (along with your hair) down the shaft of your ponytail, starting from the ends of the hair, until you reach the base of your ponytail.

As you roll, continue tucking and spreading your hair under and around the donut/sock bun form (to avoid being able to actually SPOT your sock!). Note: this hairstyle is one that’s easiest to master with straight hair, but if you’re a curly-haired lass like myself, no problem. Just tidy up any loose strands with some bobby pins and a spritz of hairspray, and you’re set!

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TA-DAH! One giant nitwit, and a sock bun! (Excuse the fluffy bathrobe I’m sporting. It’s positively arctic here in Sydney this afternoon!)

 

What do we think of the “sock bun”? Is this a hairstyle that you’d try?

xoxo

Do You Know What’s Inside Your Bottle Of Foundation? ♥

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Sound your buzzer when applicable:

a) Oh, sure! There’s a bit of glycerin here and a pinch of dimethicone there… in fact, the contents of my foundation bottle and I are extremely chummy, you know!
b) Um… brown, life-saving, helps-me-to-appear-alive-in-the-mornings liquid?
c) Foundation? What?! What’s with these questions?! Isn’t this the set of Deal Or No Deal?!

If you selected answer c), then no! (Third door on the right.) If you selected answer b), then hey, you and me both; and if you resonated with selection a) then gosh, you’re FAR more knowledgeable on this subject than I am, because my favourite bottle of foundation could contain television remotes and GARGOYLES for all that I know! Or at least, for what I used to know.

Upon the realisation that I knew absolutely nothing about one of my favourite beauty products and its contents, I decided to poke around and see what I could learn… good, bad, or ugly!

The Ingredients Which Made Me Think ”Oh, So THAT’S How That Works!”

Cyclopentasiloxane (Or CPS)

Cyclopentasiloxane (or COS) is one of the many types of silicones used in cosmetics. In general, it’s known for its ability to lubricate, waterproof and provide sheen. It’s water-thin so that it has a light texture, ensuring that your skin doesn’t feel weighed down after a product containing it is applied. (Isn’t that nice?)

Sodium Chloride

Sodium Chloride increases the thickness of the water portion of cosmetics and personal care products, and is also used in toothpaste to reduce oral odour and impart a particular flavour or taste to a product. Cle-ver!

Acrylates Copolymer

Humidity’s arch nemesis, Acrylates Copolymer is an ingredient added to cosmetics and styling products to protect your face and hair against the effects of soaring temperatures. 

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The Ingredients Which Slightly Raised My Beauty Alarms

Butylparaben

Butylparaben protects cosmetics and personal care products from the growth of yeast, mould and bacteria, and can be found in shampoos, conditioners, water-based styling aids, moisturisers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants and toothpaste. ”Ooh, well THAT doesn’t sound too concerning”, you might be thinking. ”What have you got against little Butylparaben?!” Well, nothing YET, but researchers are currently examining the link between its presence in make-up and breast cancer, as Butylparaben is often discovered in breast tumours.

Aluminium Hyrdoxide

In cosmetics, Aluminium Hyrdoxide is used as a preservative because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, preventing various products from experiencing issues such as such as viscosity changes, pH changes, emulsion breakdown, colour changes and odour formation. More disconcerting, however, is the theory that aluminium may be associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, as it has been found in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients.

Chlorphenesin

Chlorphenesin has been reported to cause irritation and skin dermatitis in many of its users, particularly those with sensitive and dry skin. This intrigued me, because despite the ridiculous amounts of gentle exfoliating and moisturising with various oils that I do, I still have a persistent patch of dry skin on my forehead which absolutely refuses to pack its bags and depart. Could my foundation be the culprit after all? (And here I was thinking that I had chosen the best possible option for my skin by using a mineral formula!) 

Fling your foundation bottle out the bathroom window, we’re all DOOMED! No, of course we’re not, and the purpose of this article certainly wasn’t to discourage you from slathering yourself silly in whatever your face desires! Rather, it was to encourage you to occasionally play the role of Beauty Detective and investigate what you’re really putting on your face: are you satisfied with the contents of your products? Is there another which could serve you better? Is there a particular ingredient in your current brand of choice which could be inflaming a current skin ailment? How do you feel about your foundation and its ingredients?

xoxo

The Maxted Thomas Blogger Event! ♥

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Sometimes I find it difficult to make a decision: stripes or florals? Turkish bread or multi-grain? Blush or bronzer? Both? Ooh, well I don’t mind if I do! An invitation to attend Maxted Thomas PR’s Blogger Event? Psh, nuts to decisiveness. Yes, yes, YES!

My friend Carmen (who was an absolute trooper for coming along even though she had broken her arm only a couple of days before hand!) and I excitedly piled into The Benefit Boutique in Paddington on Sunday morning, where we were kindly offered a free brow wax, tint and shape service and false eyelashes on behalf of Maxted Thomas and Benefit, before being handed over to their beauty team by Benefit’s lovely Marketing Manager, Katrina. Honestly, if I had been feeling nervous or even slightly anxious about the event (and pssst! I WAS), those fears completely dissolved once the delightful make-up wizard Tiffany bounded over to me. Seriously, she was adorable. She squealed excitedly as we discussed everything blogging and beauty (the latter of which was not so much discussing as me poking brushes and sniffing potions and going “ooh, what’s THAT?”) and showed me a slew of excellent products and EXACTLY how to use them. M-a-r-v-e-l-l-o-u-s.

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Katrina, Benefit’s lovely Marketing Manager, and Kellie of Mummy Of Style And Substance fame!

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And me, of “why, why, WHY did I decide to experiment with that phenomenally greasy coconut-scented hair serum minutes before I left the house?!” (answer: because it was coconut-scented!) fame shame. Oh, my. Over the next few days I’m going to compile a ‘How To Survive That Fancy Pants Event’ guide (hint: don’t accidentally hand your mobile phone over to someone when they ask for your business card!), and one of my suggestions will definitely be NOT to start toying around with those foreign, unopened products in your bathroom cabinet on the morning of said fancy pants event! Lesson. learned.

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Eyebrows galore! I’m possibly giggling in this photo while receiving the brow wax, shape and tint service because I’d just spotted how incredibly sexy brow dye can be in the reflection of Carmen’s camera. (Yes, that’s brow dye smothered all other my eyebrows, I HAVEN’T recently taken hair growth inspiration from an ewok!) It was also at this point that I met Cheri from Ms. Critique, Anita from Love Vulcanella and Jade from Jade MusingPhwoar!  What a bunch of incredibly warm, effervescent, gorgeous girls. I knew Cheri fromTwitter but had never actually met her in person before, and I had never met (online or otherwise!) Anita or Jade either, so to be able to do so was amazing! Similarly amazing was when I outstretched my hand to Anita and said “hi! I’m Corrine, it’s so nice to-,” and she smiled sweetly and replied I know – I read your blog!” Poise? Grace? What? I lost any shred I may have had of either as I alternated between laughing and saying what? Really?!” and sitting there with my mouth hanging open. (No, really. Even Anita will tell you!) Sheesh. If I hadn’t already told you that it was Jade before, you’d think that my middle name was ‘cool’, right?!

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That or ‘I am very pleased with my new eyebrows’! Finding somebody to sculpt your eyebrows to their best is a surprisingly difficult task: will they destroy their shape entirely? Apply a too-dark dye? Shape them beautifully but treat you awfully? Not there. Hannah, their resident brow expert, did a superb job!

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The Benefit Beauty Salon in Paddington: taking girls from “now” to ‘“wow” since 2008!

After some mingling and make-up (and cupcakes!), we were picked up and driven to the setting for the event, Brad Ngata’s Hair Direction in Surry Hills. Once ushered in by the MT team, glasses of champagne were extended to everyone, empty bags to fill with products were dispensed and we were on our way to explore what was on offer!

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The concept? A genius one: around every corner of the studio was a makeshift beauty booth featuring brands such as BenefitTrilogyJane IredaleNiveaElastoplast and Orly, sharing techniques, offering services (for example, at the Orly counter you could receive a free manicure, at Brad Ngata’s you could have Brad HIMSELF style your hair, and at Benefit and Jane Iredale they would freshen you up with a miniature makeover!) and handing out gift bags!

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The profesionalism of the staff, both the endlessly bubbly and informative ladies representing their brands and the attentive Maxted Thomas team, was incredible. I mean, unpacking boxes! Setting up! Organising! Maintaining a relentlessly upbeat and helpful attitude even though you’ve exchanged words and grins with numerous other people! If you’ve ever worked in a people-based role you can appreciate that after a while, endless interactions can become mildly tiring, right?! Well, if anybody was exhausted there, you never would have known. Their enthusiasm never wavered, and something else that I couldn’t help but observe was that at any stage, if one of the bloggers or their guests was standing on their own and not engaged in conversation, somebody was always there to swoop in and keep them company and make them feel comfortable – it was an awkward free zone! It was also exceptionally interesting to be invited to an event where companies had significantly recognised the increasingly prominent role that bloggers are playing in social media.

The verdict? It was extremely well thought-out affair and the perfect opportunity to learn about a host of great brands and how their products operate, as well as a fabulous way to connect with other bloggers! Thank-you very much for having us, Maxted ThomasBenefit,TrilogyJane IredaleNiveaBrad NgataElastoplast and Orly!

xoxo

The Beauty Tools That Have Changed Your Life (In A Strictly Non-Late-Night-Informercial Kind Of Way!) ♥

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From the humble mascara to the ingenius concealer, at some point we’ve ALL encountered a miraculous beauty product (or three!) which has made life infinitely more pleasurable, haven’t we? (Or, you know, at the very least, one that’s ensured that the morning primping routine is extraordinarily easier/interesting/less-torturous!)

Presenting: the top three beauty tools that have undoubtedly changed my life (in a strictly non-late-night-informerial kind of way)!

1. The Professional Brow Shaper/Specialist

Once upon a time, I had eyebrows. Boy, did I have eyebrows!

Actually, they weren’t so much eyebrows as they were enormous, hairy, catepillar-esque extravaganzas. And then one day they met a shiny little character by the name of Tweezers, and bam! Just like that, they began to disappear. RAPIDLY. Yes, they got along a little toomerrily, going out dancing, swapping dresses and plucking away like there was no tomorrow, and all of a sudden, there was no tomorrow. Why? Because there was nothing left to pluck! Witness:

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Oh, what a mess! I’m not sure how or why I woke up one morning and decided that the travesty above my eyes was really looking like quite the disasterpiece, but I did and realised that Tweezers was a friend that I would have to stop seeing so regularly, and that Professional Eyebrow Shaper was one that I would definitely have to start making time for.

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And I did! And while I’m not expecting any cakes (although, a piece of vanilla sponge would be nice right about now), medals or CNN reporters covering a breaking news story on amazing eyebrows to come flooding through my door any time soon, I can’t help but observe that it is nice to look as though I have eyebrows once more.

2. The Hair Straightener

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This photo isn’t being used to illustrate what a woman who is stupidly, spectacularly drunk looks like (well, not intentionally, anyway!), nor is it an advertisement for the obviously super-modern identity-concealing technology that has been implemented to protect the less-intoxicated person to the right of me. It’s being used to point out the brown, frizzy horror that is on my head (apparently it’s called “hair”), which is what I sported for many, many years (I’m sixteen in this photo – wait. I mean, uh, the legal drinking age, of course! Yes! Eighteen, it is) before discovering the wonder that is the magnificent hair straightener. Yes! The hair straightener! I love them so very much. They make it impossible to have bad hair days (after all, how could I when I can just straighten the heck out of it and it will look at least ten times better than the mop that I woke up with?!), and in addition to all that straightening jazz, you can use them to curl your hair, too! (Very confusing for men folk: “what are you doing?” “Just curling my hair with my hair straightener.” “Oh, okay. Wait – WHAT?!”)

3. The Foundation Bottle

And what would a list of my all-time favourite, life-changing beauty tools be without a mention of foundation?! I like foundation. (More specifically, Maybelline’s mineral number.) Sure, I don’t hang out with it all that much when I’m walking the dog or fluffing around the house or anything, but it’s just sort of comforting to know that on mornings where I feel anything but, I can look all “alive” with a simple swipe of the stuff!

Crimping devices? Stick-on tattoos? The hair dryer?! Which are the beauty tools that have changed YOUR life, and why?

xoxo

Fresh! Fun! EXCITING! 7 Make-Up Ideas To Try This Week ♥

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Breaking news!

It’s JUST been reported that a cure has been developed for Monday-itis!

The winning formula?

A selection of devastatingly delightful make-up suggestions, to whirl out when you’re feeling your least foxiest!

Seriously though, it’s Monday, and it’s the beginning of a beautiful new week! BUT (and not that anyone’s pointing fingers here or anything), if you’re not feeling particularly enthused about that fact, whether it’s because of a prospective day at the office, school or darn it, that dentist appointment, why not use the opportunity to decorate your face so lovingly this morning that you almost forget that you’re not in the most sprightly of moods?! Oh, go on. It’ll be fun! (Well, at any rate, approximately 200% more so than a trip to the dentist!)

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x At first I wondered why Gwen looked mildly surprised in this picture. Then I realised that she’d probably caught a glimpse of her own shockingly awesome red lip in a mirror and immediately adjusted my thoughts to “gosh, why don’t we follow her lead and do exactly the same?!”  Or, if you’re already a fan of all things crimson, why not shake things up with a sweet peachy number, or a cherry-scented lip gloss?

A swipe of bronzer looks dashing, and a whisper of blush looks positively smashing, but mix them together and kapow! You’ve got a sun-kissed glow AND a healthy flush, what a winning hand!

x In the family of make-up shades, brown is often the neglected child, but foolishly so! Sure, black is often the easy option when it comes to eyeliners and mascaras, but few things look sexier on chocolate or emerald toned eyes than a coating of brown mascara and a slick of bronze eyeliner.

Think of how you style your hair each morning. Right!  Now that you’re armed with that mental image, why not fashion it in a completely different way? If it’s straight, tie your hair into braids, run your straightener over them a couple of times, and give them a dusting of hairspray before unravelling everything to reveal sensual curls! If it’s typically worn up, why not let it all down? Experiment with side ponytails, glitzy headbands and messy buns! Those around you may not be able to immediately recognise what’s changed (be sure to listen out for murmurs of “is it a new blouse? I’m sure that she’s wearing a new blouse!”), but they’ll certainly observe that you’re looking remarkably fresher than usual!

Select one product from your bathroom cupboard and vow to use it in a new way. Lipstick as an eyeshadow? Hand cream as an anti-frizz treatment for hair? Nail polish remover as a flying saucer? (Oh, I jest!) Ooh, yes!

Dip a damp cotton-bud into your favourite eyeshadow and use it to trace gorgeous lines around the inner rims of your eyes.

x And finally, why should faces (and mornings) have all of the fun?! Use your lunch hour to indulge in a fabulous manicure, whether it features stick-on jewels, vibrant prints or an extravagant serving of glitter!

xoxo

“Um, Can I Sniff You?!” The Best Perfumes To Introduce Your Nostrils To ♥

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Sweet merciful mascara wands, there’s only six weeks left until CHRISTMAS! But the aim of today’s blogging game isn’t to give you minor heart palpitations – no, very far from it. It’s to discuss GIFTING ideas, and namely, those of the perfume variety! Fragrances are probably my ultimate beauty kryptonite. Packaged beautifully and projecting the most exquisite of smells, few other products will win me over at the cosmetic counter as much as these powerful little potions. But in a sea of bewitching bottles and hypnotic scents, which are the very best picks to ensure a happy gift recipient? Here are some of my all-time favourites, featuring some that are old and some that are new, but all of which are definitely guaranteed to garner a “um, can I sniff you?!” 

Price Category: “Well, I Have Been Good This Year!”

x Marc Jacobs’ ‘Lola‘: Okay, I MAY have initially gravitated towards this purely because of its gorgeous floral bottle and well, the fact that it reminded me of one of my favourite songs by The Kinks (“Lola… L-l-l-l-lola!’), but the smell? Yum-o! Ruby red grapefruit, vanilla, rose, creamy musk and geranium blend together to form an exotic wee blend of juice that’s not entirely unlike a luscious meadow of flowers, but a heck of a lot sexier.
x Giorgio Armani’s ‘Armani Code’: And speaking of sexy – phwoar. With notes of ginger, orange blossom, vanilla and woods, it’s the ultimate heartbreaker of the bunch. (Could it be because of its phenomenal popularity with men folk?!)
x Christian Dior’s ‘Miss Dior Cherie‘: If the delectable whiff of violets and pink jasmine don’t immediately entice you, the hints of strawberries and caramel surely will.
x Chanel’s ‘Eau Fraiche’: Super zesty and brimming with citrus, consider this a bit like an extravagant iced cocktail on a hot summer’s day: ultra refreshing.
 Vera Wang’s ‘Rock Princess’: According to Vera Wang, this is the original fragrance’s (Princess, pictured below!) grown-up older sister. She’s traded her tiara in for a new guitar, and is attending concerts instead of the prom. She’s daring, edgy and seductively sweet, but this fragrance is all about dark, fruity florals with a sultry attitude and modern style. Mmm. If Frock & Roll was poured into a luxe bottle, it would probably smell like this!

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Price Category: “Hey, At Those Prices, I DESERVE To Buy It! And Now That You’ve Mentioned It, Maybe I Can Actually Afford To Pick Up Two…”

xThe Body Shop’s ‘Vanilla’ and ‘White Musk’ Eau De Toilettes: Oh sure, we’re all familiar with The Body Shop’s beautiful body butters, but did you know that they have a selection of eau de toilettes, too?! Other than being the perfect embodiment of well, vanilla, the ‘Vanilla’ fragrance personifies the very essence of ice-cream and cake mix, while the ‘White Musk’ is a heavenly concoction of musks that collects compliments from even the most unlikely of praise-givers. (Seriously, I wear this scent almost every day, and it’s ALWAYS a hit!) And if that hasn’t seen you hit the ground running to the shops yet? They’re both just over $20. Giddy up!
Gwen Stefani’s ‘Harajuku Lovers’ in ‘Music’“Always looking to make someone laugh, charismatic ‘Music’ has no qualms telling it like it is! Stylin’ in a smocked sailor outfit and black lace up boxing boots, ‘Music’ grooves to the soundtrack of her life”, is what The Harajuku Lovers Collection pitches. And they ‘re spot. ON. Peachy, pretty and fun, it’s unexpectedly addictive.
x Britney Spears’ ‘Circus Fantasy’: Is it a coincidence that Britney Spears’ scents frequently achieve the same brand of success as her music? No!  And with good reason, too. Featuring sugar-coated raspberry, apricot blossom and violet candy, ‘Circus Fantasy’ is cheeky AND sensual, easily certifying that the spotlight will be yours forever.

What are some of your most treasured scents? Have you even started your Christmas shopping yet?! (I haven’t, but then I’m totally a last-minute kind of girl!) xoxo

Have You Ever Wondered What It’s Like To Attend A… Beauty Launch?! ♥

The Ella Bache`/Jessica Watson Event ♥

I certainly have!

As an obsessive media junkie, a large portion of my weekend newspaper ritual is often dedicated to curiously peering at the social pages, glancing at the list of events that have occurred in Sydney, and reading with fascination at the names of the guests present (such a sordid life I lead!).

Traditionally, the majority of the functions featured are product launches, and while I often marvel at the photographs showcasing beautiful new ranges (think: Chanel concocting a new fragrance, or the latest release from a fashion brand), I’ve never actually understood what takes place at such an occasion.

Well! You can imagine my extreme glee when I received an e-mail from Sam Winter (the very sweet creator of Sassi Sam) the day before I was due to commence my internship with her, announcing that we would be attending not one, but TWO beauty launches on my first day! (Actually, if you can picture a gigantic cloud of remorse as I realised that no, I definitely shouldn’t have cancelled my eyebrow wax the day before, and fear, as I hurriedly ransacked my wardrobe in search of appropriate garb, you’ll establish a more accurate vision of my initial reaction!)

After organising a blow-dry and deciding to don my favourite pink trench coat, I was feeling confident about mingling amongst a sea of magazine beauty editors, and proceeded to visit Doyle’s restaurant at Circular Quay to celebrate Ella Bache’s partnership with Jessica Watson, a 16 year-old who has set her sights on sailing around the world on a nonstop journey. (That was, until I bumped against a concrete barrier, immediately shredding my stockings. And possibly my dignity!)

Jessica Watson's Yacht ♥

Cosmopolitan's Leigh Campbell & Shop 'Til You Drop's Ami Starr ♥
Jessica Watson & Layne Beachley ♥
The venue was filled with a throng of journalists, ranging from those with The Sydney Morning Herald to Cosmopolitan‘s Leigh Campbell and Shop ‘Til You Drop’s Amy Starr (pictured above, in the middle photograph), and after watching former professional surfer Layne Beachley interview Jessica about her experiences and upcoming adventure (above) we were invited to consume a variety of refreshments, before departing with an Ella Bache` gift bag. Honestly, the words “kid” and “at Christmas” have never seemed more relevant. (I actually felt supremely guilty about being given one, as it seemed enough of an amazing treat to be able to attend the affair at all!)

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After retreating to Sam’s headquarters for a stint of editing articles, we then made our way to Lady Lux nightclub in Potts Point, to celebrate the arrival of a heavenly new range titled All About Glo to the market!

The All About Glo Launch At Lady Lux Nightclub, Potts Point! ♥
The 'All About Glo' Launch ♥
Inside, the atmosphere was luxurious and decadent cupcake trees were adorned with a plethora of shiny products to test. We were served banana and honey champagne, as well as cocktails created with Oreos, and then received a presentation on the upcoming line, which sounds FANTASTIC!

It was such a wonderful opportunity to experience the nature of a beauty launch, and I will be forever indebted to Sam for allowing me to partake in them! (And even though I utterly destroyed my stockings, and stood with one leg over the other in an attempt to hide the more severe damage for a large portion of time at the first event, it was almost comforting to know that no matter how hard I try otherwise, I’ll always be the dorky, clumsy girl who squeals internally upon discovering that some of her favourite writers are in the same room as her, and spills, splatters and trips over everything in sight!)

xoxo