stripes, pleather and other

No doubt about it. There’s a distinct whiff of Spring in the air, despite the fact that it’s August i.e. we’re not quite there yet (officially speaking).

I’ve got no plans to be anywhere today -well, not presently anyway- but I thought that if I did, I’d be in this ensemble which includes the top and heels I bought recently from J. Crew in New York (annoyingly, the heels don’t seem to be on the website any longer?). The pleather shorts are a few years old from ZARA; admittedly, they don’t get outings as much as they’d like (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!).

Another find from New York was Sephora‘s Outrageous Volume Mascara. My only regret is that I only bought one of these. When will I learn to bulk-buy? I guess there’s always the online option. So, too, NARS Toléde which is provides the ‘your lips but better’ effect. (Question: why are we still paying so much more for these products in Australia? The lippy is AUD39.00, but USD26.00. Even after you’ve accounted for FX, it’s still stupid.)

Speaking of which, I mentioned the headphones in a previous post recently. These, too, I purchased in the US because they’re about $100 more here in Australia. Aussie retailers, you’re not making it easy for me (nor I expect for anyone else) to keep shopping locally.

Chanel No. 19 Poudre, still rocking my fragrance world as any good classic should; a bit of gold by way of a chunky necklace; my white Witchery purse (also no longer on the site); and a squeeze of L’oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil to tame the weekend wilds.



Reds in a row

Reds in a row, L to R: NARS Satin Afghan Red;  CHANEL Rouge Allure Lacque Coromandel #72NARS Semi Matte Shanghai Express; Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Red CarpetSmashbox Photo Finish Ravishing; NARS Semi Matte Fire Down BelowMaybelline Color Sensational Red Revival

I was doing so well. I had even allowed myself to think that I would be able to get through all this year without buying any more reds because, in my humble opinion, more than a couple is too many, and frankly, it’s been ages since I got to the bottom of a ‘stick.

Interestingly, I was chatting to a Singapore Airlines pilot-friend and he said, “All the females I know go through at least one lipstick a month.” Well, of course! All the females he knows are flight attendants probably and of course they use at least one a month. I, on the other hand, am rather less committed/regular in my application of lippy. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. Especially the nude shades upon which I had been fixated for the last five to seven years. (NARS Dolce Vita, I’m looking at you!)

Pilots, flight attendants and nudes aside… Lately, I’ve been obsessed with finding The Perfect Red and so I’ve bought a few more and have been wearing a different one each day for the last week or so.

NARS Fire Down Below is the first product I ever purchased from the range way back in 1996 – it was from London’s Liberty (I spent many days off wandering around the Beauty department and have very fond memories of the place!) – and I loved the rubberised case with its wraparound stark white logo (I still love it)… to say nothing of the cheeky shade names, and the actual products themselves (wonderfully pigmented products).

I’m sorry, I’ve been rambling all over the reds. What I wanted to say was of all the ones shown above, NARS’ Shanghai Express is my favourite. It’s just the right shade of red, neither to bright nor too dark, and the matte finish makes it easy to wear. If the finish is too shiny or ‘slippy’, it can look a little trampy, if you know what I mean!


I’m not a Chanel No. 5 fan at all. I guess I’m just not sophisticated enough to like it, but I do love No. 19 very much.

To my uneducated nose, No. 19 Poudre‘s drydown is much warmer, less green than the No. 19 original. I feel a bit more serious when I spritz on the Poudre. I’d go so far as to say that if I had to pick a personality for Poudre, I’d say a she’s a girl who doesn’t do picnics very often. (She likes orchids, though.)


I know, two ‘smell’ posts in a row. I can’t seem to get enough at the moment.


After the sale of our house was completed, the Hub came home a few days later and handed me a wad of cash.

“What’s this?!” I squeaked.

“Your treat,” he said. “Remember, I said you could have something to play with.”

“Yes, but… cash? Why didn’t you just transfer it to my account?”

“Because cash is more fun!” the Hub said, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Spend it on whatever you want – but not another handbag!”

I know what you got from that conversation. One, I’m no fun at all; I mean, who in her right mind complains about whether it’s cash or funds transferred electronically. Two, I may have more than -ahem!- a few handbags.

I bought some things right away (I also deposited the cash into the bank account). Mainly items of clothing, such as three pairs of boots for winter, two jackets, a heap of tops. (I can’t seem to buy only one item of something – they always need a friend or two. I don’t know why this is so.) I decided not to upgrade my first generation iPad because there is nothing wrong with it and after all the clothing I was feeling a bit guilty about being a consumerist cliché.

As I said, this was months ago. I thought I had dodged the handbag bullet rather well. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

But as they say, pride comes before a fall an uncontrollable urge to shop, and I should’ve known that it never works to delay the inevitable. Not for me anyway. Especially where handbags are concerned. (The first time I fell deeply in love with a handbag, I walked away. I went away to get married – two weeks in Jamaica. But the first thing I did when I returned home to London was get the bag (I think it was by Furla); I don’t even think I bothered to unpack.)

This time, I was caught completely by surprise, by way of an email about a sale of vintage Chanel handbags – just last week. Idle browsing led to the foregone conclusion, about which I had clearly been in denial. Who was I to think I would be able to resist the siren call of a classic handbag? In love again! How these things seem to sneak up on one!

I went for the small size because I wanted to tackle the Toting Too Much issue – I’ve been carrying my house around of late. This feels so much better. I don’t even have room for a makeup bag now, a lipgloss and a lipstick at the most, if I want room for my credit card holder and coin purse, keys, iPhone, fountain pen, headphones.

Genius. My shoulder doesn’t ache any more.

I trust you don’t need me to wax lyrical about the design of the 2.55 and why it is worth it. Or why I am a consumerist cliché.


With the photo, two stories…

The first and frivolous one is: the colour is Dragon (Shade 475) by Chanel. Both the manicurist and I agreed that the colour is classic and probably one of the best reds in the history of nail shades, but the brush is diabolique. If Chanel could fix, nay, make their brush more like O.P.I.’s brush, I/she/we would probably wear Chanel on our nails more regularly. The brush is too long and too stiff. It sucks, it’s the devil. Hello, Chanel, are you listening?

The second and serious story is: I haven’t got the eye for detail or concentration at the moment. I made a serious enough error at work on Monday, which really, I could’ve done without. I had to recall an email to 250 (+/-) recipients, and we all know that the so-called recall function should in fact be be renamed “Let’s All Highlight Your Monumental Fuck-Up, Shall We?” My doctor has told me to take fish oil to help my brain, and I am trying to work on sleeping better so that I don’t wake up feeling like death warmed up and doing stupid things in my waking hours. (Besides a whole raft of Other Things.) In the meantime, it takes me twice as long to read anything, and as for sending emails, I’m re-re-re-reading them before I click ‘Send’. It’s irritating, to say the least. But not as irritating as the A4 sheet of ‘Sleep Better’ instructions I have received. Some of them are, hmm, going to be tough. For instance, I’m not supposed to eat after 7pm, or read in bed. REALLY? I don’t know anyone who has a real job who eats before 7pm regularly or easily. I’m not supposed to exercise after 6.30pm either. Again, REALLY??! I’m not even going to nudge ‘No reading in bed’ with the proverbial six-foot barge pole.

Needless to say, I was so glad to see the arrival of Friday that the first thing I did this morning was get myself the paint-job. Amen.