Monday, 24 September 2012

Makeup Monday: Beauty's Greatest Hits

There are some beauty products that have managed to transcend time and countless fads to become timeless icons. YSL's Touche Eclat, Revlon's red lipsticks, Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream, Dior's Diorshow Mascara, Chanel No.5 Perfume... these are just a few of the perennial favourites that never go out of fashion or fall out of favour. While these tried-and-tested lovelies rightly deserve their accolades I thought I'd add my own favourite products that I think deserve to be beauty classics too. Sort of like a mixtape of makeup favourites, here are my Greatest Hits:


1. BECCA's Compact Concealer ($58) is the ultimate weapon for covering any possible skin flaw, whether they be raccoon-grade under eye circles or the most epic of blemishes. It's also great for covering scars and birthmarks that you may be self conscious about (even though scars and birthmarks are awesome and should be worn with pride.) Each clever compact comes with two formulations of concealer. One side gives medium cover and the other side provides extra-coverage so you can layer them up or use just one. Use the medium side for larger areas like under the eyes and try the extra coverage side for blemishes and scars that need heavier duty opaque concealment. The concealer also comes in a staggering 37 shades so for those gals who have found it impossible to find a concealer to match their super fair or super dark skin, your prayers have been answered! Totally worth the money as it lasts for ages and because it's one beauty product that really does live up to its reputation.

2. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 20 ($59) is a time-stretched girl's best friend. This lightweight foundation can be applied using your fingers in a snap due its easily blendable texture.   Its oh-so-easy to apply formulation and light yet buildable coverage make this an all-round foundation winner. It also contains antioxidants to help protect your skin from free radical damage, plus an SPF of 20. Laura Mercier isn't called the queen of foundations for nothing! Be sure to check out her famous primers and translucent powder as well- they're winners too.

3. MAC Lipsticks and Pro Longwear Lipcremes ($36) are some of the best formulated lippies around. Creamy yet long lasting, these lipsticks feel great when you're wearing them and they don't budge if you prep correctly. By this I mean that you start with clean lips, apply the lippy then blot with a tissue, re-apply, then blot and re-apply again. This technique renders any lipstick virtually budge proof. No need for those God-awful two-step long wear lipstick duos! (They really are some of the most unnecessary products around.) Especially lovely is the colour selection available, especially in MAC's limited edition collections. Beth Ditto's Pro Longwear Lip Creme in Dear Diary and Nicki Minaj's Viva Glam shades are my pick for the year. Just be sure to get in quick when you see a limited edition shade that you love because they sell out super fast and I've been disappointed before. My tip is to get in quick by ordering through the MAC online store.

4. Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Mascara ($24) is my new favourite mascara since picking it up at Sephora (a.k.a my spiritual home) in LA last year. This little Japanese wonder is packed with volumising fibres to give you the most super long and fluttery eyelashes imaginable. The patented curved brush also helps to get at the tiniest of lashes while giving you maximum curl at the same time (it works even better after you've curled your lashes with a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.) It scores extra points for its pretty packaging and for being free of lots of chemical nasties. Plus it's sweat and water-resistant, yet magically comes off with water in the shower. No wonder the Japanese fashionistas love it so much!

5. Stila Eyeshadows ($29) and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows ($50) are the best-of-the-best when it comes to high-quality formulations that deliver superior colour saturation and wear. Stila is known for its amazingly silky eyeshadow formulations that glide on effortlessly and are super easy to blend to perfection (perfect for applying with your fingers!) Bobbi Brown's cream shadows are also easy-peasy to use and will literally stay on all day and all night and well into the next morning. Both continuously release new shades with each season (check out BB's stunning new Blue Moon shade) yet all of the shades are timeless and never date. I recommend Stila's Kitten shade for its ability to look amazing on every skin tone imaginable and match every outfit in your wardrobe. (It really is that good. I promise!)

6. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy EDP ($99) is my favourite perfume. It combines top notes of wild berries and mandarin with honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine. Just to make it even more delicious there are the base notes of vanilla, caramel and praline. Drool. Sweet and kind of candy-like but not sickly sweet, this is truly the loveliest scent around. Rounding out second place is Marc Jacob's Lola and Chanel's Mademoiselle perfumes. Tres chic!

7. NARS Super Orgasm Blush ($45) is truly the be-all and end-all of blush shades. If you have been searching for the One that will suit you no matter what your skin tone is, then baby, this is it. Fair skinned or dark, this blush magically makes everyone look amazingly refreshed, pretty and um...like they just had a roll in the hay apparently. The gorgeous combination of classic peach and pink tones with a hint of shimmer make this a universal shade that's simply the prettiest of the bunch. It's also the glittery sister of the original Orgasm shade (which is just as gorgeous) but this one adds a bit of subtle sparkle to your face as well. If sparkly ain't your thing, wear the original. Once you buy this product you will never go back to wearing any other blush shade. Why bother when you've already found perfection?

What are your Greatest Hits when it comes to makeup and fragrance? I'd love to know!

Have a beautiful week!

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

In the Kitchen: Best Ever White Chocolate and Coconut Biscuits


This recipe for chocolate chip biscuits (or cookies, depending on where you hail from) would have to be my absolute favourite out of the many many biscuit recipes I have tried over the years. They really are the perfect combination of a crunchy and crispy outside paired with a soft chewy centre. Which is what truly awesome cookies are all about, right? Technically the recipe uses dark chocolate but I find that milk and white chocolate are great substitutes. Plus the combination of white chocolate and coconut is one of the tastiest flavour pairings when it comes to baking. These biscuits are also amazing due to fact that they are oh so easy to make!

This recipe comes from Ainsley Harriott's Gourmet Express cookbook- a great collection of varied recipes that are relatively quick and easy to follow. Sarah and I first made this recipe together years ago when I was still a teenager and the cookies still taste as good as they did then! (And a big thanks to Sarah for letting me steal the cookbook from her! I promise I'll return it...sometime.)

DAD'S CHOCOLATE-CHIP COCONUT COOKIES

PREPARATION 15 minutes COOKING TIME: 15 minutes MAKES: Approximately 16 cookies

INGREDIENTS:

175g (6oz) butter, room temperature
175g (6oz) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g (4oz) plain flour
100g (4oz) self-raising flour
50g (2oz) desiccated coconut
150g (5oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Celsius/ 375 Fahrenheit /Gas 5. Using electric beaters, whisk together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.

2. Sift in the flours, then fold in the coconut and chocolate.

3. Shape the mixture into balls, then roughly flatten out on baking trays with the palm of your hand, leaving room for them to spread slightly.

4. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes, then eat while still warm. Alternatively, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight jar until needed. They make fantastic ice-cream sandwiches! 

Note: When making these don't be alarmed if you find the cookie mixture to be quite dry and crumbly- this is normal (especially if you're using a wholemeal flour) and your cookies will turn out fine! It just might take a bit of extra smooshing (that's a technical term) to get the mixture to stick together to form the cookies before sticking them in the oven.
These biscuits are just the thing to have with an afternoon cuppa!
What's your all-time favourite cookie or biscuit recipe?

Happy baking!

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Monday, 17 September 2012

Makeup Monday: Goth Glam Beauty

Makeup has had a serious injection of gothic over the past year due to what I choose to call the "Rooney Mara Effect". (Have I mentioned previously that she is a major girl crush of mine? Well, she totally is.) Since her transformation from blonde American Sweetheart into the punkish computer-hacker-heroine Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, fashion houses have latched onto Rooney's gorgeous take on goth-glam like stylish little ticks. Just take a look at Gucci's A/W runway or Givenchy's Haute Couture collection and you'll see her style influence at work.

No longer the sole domain of Emos and well, Goths, adding some darker shades into your makeup bag doesn't have to be scary. Or have people mistaking you for a morbid black-lace-and-patent-Dr Marten's-wearing goth chick circa 1995. (Unless you actually want to look that way. No judgement here!)



So how does one try the goth-glam look without looking like a brooding teenager? Think sophisticated deep reds, cherry, plum and aubergine shades in both matte and shimmery finishes. Make it more adult- friendly by focusing on only one feature at a time: a smoky eye, a deep lip or a vampy nail polish colour will save you from going overboard. Here are my top product picks for getting goth-glam:


1. MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Hang Up ($36) is the perfect black cherry hue for budding goth-glam gals. Pair it with a neutral eye for a sophisticated evening look that'll set you apart from the rest.

2. Every girl needs a couple of vampish nail polishes in her collection and Priti NYC Nail Polishes in Cherry Ripe and Bowles Black ($16.95) fit the bill perfectly. One is a classic deep wine shade that looks good on everyone and matches every outfit (true!) The other is a playful spin on gothic black with its dusting of pretty silver shimmer. Plus they're both completely non-toxic! And available in our online shop! *blushes over shameless shop plug*.

3. Benefit BADgal Eyeliner ($39) is the ultimate black liner for glamorous goth chicks (and it has an awesome name too, don't you think? Like it's the kind of thing you'd want to be wearing when you're getting up to something naughty.) This classic pencil has achieved cult status due to its blacker-than-black intense colour and superior ability to be smudged into smoky eye perfection.

4. Lancome L'Absolu Creme de Mat Lipgloss in Cashmere ($49) is a new matte lipgloss/lipstick hybrid with serious staying power. This deep pink/red is a great midway colour for those who don't want to go too dark with their lippie but still want to try out the trend.

5. Using a product like Stila Smudge Crayons in Dazzle and Umber ($32) is a super easy way to give yourself a bit of smoky eye action without having to fuss around with lots of eyeshadows as these babies can be used as both a creamy eyeshadow and an eyeliner. Pretty smart huh?

6. Bobbi Brown's Smoky Eye Collection ($160) is the classiest collection around to help you achieve a modern smoky eye without wandering into Pandaland (and yes, I did just make that word up.) With five matte and shimmery grey eyeshadows you can experiment to your heart's content and find the smoky eye look which suits you best. It also comes with a pot of the fabulous Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black plus some Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara to finish everything off. A drool-worthy addition to any makeup collection.

Seriously loving the Rooney Mara/Lisbeth Salander look? Want to amp things up a bit? Then why not add a few accessories to the mix? Tattoos and body piercings optional. (Although they are fun! Go on, you know you want to...)

1. This McQ by Alexander McQueen Leather Razor Wrap Bracelet ($83) is stylish yet edgy. Perfect for when you want to go punk-lite (another newly made-up word of mine.)

2. Maria Francesca Pepe Stud Ring ($84) and Ear Cuff ($60). I can vouch for the ear cuff being fabulous because I own one! Pepe truly is the queen of tough-yet-glam accessories. Rihanna is a big fan, and if she likes something its gotta be good, right?

3. This Noir Jewellery for L.A.M.B. gold plated spike necklace ($162) is goth at its most gorgeous with its crystal detailing.

4. River Island Wolf Front and Back Earrings ($10) are tough and cute at the same time. Everyone wins!

5. These House of Harlow 1960 Triple Skull Studs ($54) will add a touch of (fashionable) morbidness to your look.

6. Carry this Koku Clutch ($254) to toughen up a casual outfit. Also perfect for those night's out too- it goes with practically everything.

7. This ASOS Triple Spike Bracelet is truly a punk style bargain at only $10.

Are you loving Rooney Mara's look at the moment? Or are you crushing on someone else's style? Would you try rocking the goth-glam look or do you prefer to keep things a bit more natural?

Have a beautiful week!


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Monday, 10 September 2012

Makeup Monday: Perfectly Pretty Palettes

It feels like it's been forever since I've written a Makeup Monday post- new babies, opening an online shop and an attack of winter germs have all combined to create a no-time-for-blogging-zone. But now things have settled down so we're back to our regular programming (yay!)

There is something seriously alluring about a makeup palette. The bower-bird-attracting glossy packaging, the range of colours you get in each one, and the price is usually better than buying the separate products on their own. Of course some of them can be just plain terrible: filled with crazy colours that make you go wtf?! when you open it at home after being talked into buying it by the pushy cosmetics counter chick (how could they convince you to think that yes, you would look fantastic in that collection of fluoro eyeshadow colours?!) So here are my picks of the latest perfectly pretty palettes that won't induce any buyer's remorse or wtf makeup moments. Guaranteed!*

1. The Bobbi Brown City Twilight Collection ($165) isn't just one palette, but an entire makeup collection (where the colours are actually all useable!) The pack comes with a double decker palette filled with four shimmery eyeshadows, two lip glosses, a cream blush and a double ended application brush. Use the two lighter eyeshadows for daytime, then amp it up by applying the plum shade to your lid and finish off by using the deep aubergine colour as an eyeliner. You also get a glitter nail polish, Hydrating Eye Cream, Long Wear Eyeliner and Intensifying Long Wear Mascara in Blackest Black. Phew!

2. The NARS Foreplay Palette ($49) apart from having a fun and dirty name is filled with shimmery shades of makeup goodness. I must also admit that the signature sleek and gorgeous-to-feel-in-a-sort-of-weird-way packaging is really appealing too (have you felt the packaging of a NARS product? It's insanely good. I'm willing to admit this even though it probably makes me sound like a creepy sex pervert.) Anyhoo...this blush palette contains NARS's iconic Orgasm blush shade (which is the best blush for every skin tone ever invented, and should also win the award for best filthy name for a makeup product, second only to the brand's other blush called Super Orgasm) along with three other colours that you can use to create your very own unique blush shade.

3. Sephora + Pantone Universe's Shades of Nature Eyeshadow Palette has enough eyeshadow shades to put even the most die-hard makeup junkie into a coma due to the endless eyeshadow combination possibilities. At just $48 it's also the best-bang-for-your-buck pick of the pretty palette bunch (too many alliterations?) Inspired by the endless colours found in the natural world, there's a huge range of bright hues to experiment with. Just use the colours sparingly as a palette with this many dazzling colours can encourage us to try combinations that end up with us looking like a psychedelic clown crossed with a hooker. Just sayin'.

4. Bare Minerals The September Issue Palette ($49.95) has a combination of eight neutral and jewel-inspired eyeshadows to help you gently step out of your beauty comfort zone. It's also filled with antioxidants and other fancy ingredients to supposedly give you anti-aging and revitalisation benefits while you're wearing your new hues. Whether these benefits are true or not, at least you'll still have pretty peepers!

5. Urban Decay's Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette is sure to be another massive hit following the mega success of the original Naked palette. This is another collection of 12 timeless neutrals with both matte and shimmery finishes. Think classic eye shades in glimmery golds, soft nudes, shimmery bronzes and a couple of smoky plum and ash hues to amp things up a notch. For only $50 it's a hell of a bargain if you're looking to fill out your neutral makeup colour collection.

6. Okay, so Urban Decay's Ocho Loco 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set ($59) isn't technically a palette, but it is a set of eight full sized eyeliners in a glorious rainbow of colours, so I think it should be allowed in by default. Just imagine the multitude of gorgeous eye looks you could get from these babies. A classic black winged cat's eye flick, a jewelled purple lining the upper and lower inner eye rims or a glimmery green tropical hue on the upper eyelid...Extra points awarded for classy shade names such as "Hustle", "Perversion" and "Junkie".

Are you a palette junkie or do you prefer to pick and choose individual items for your beauty collection?

Have a beautiful week!

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*Um...not really. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Whimsy & Juno Online Shop Is Now Open!

Yaysies! Our online shop is officially live as of today! 

In honour of the occasion we are holding a giveaway (because really, what's a special event without a present or two?) To be in the draw all you have to do is head over to our Facebook page and "Like" us and you could win a Baby Jackalope! We have just one of these special mystical-creatures-of-yore to give away. Wouldn't you like to have one adding a dose of much needed cuteness to your home? (You can even choose which colour you'd prefer!) 

The motto of our shop is "Living a Crafty Lifestyle". We only sell what we love and we want to share the quirky, fun and original things we have discovered in the hope that they will brighten your day!

 The online shop has knitting and crochet patterns from Tiny Owl Knits, awesome stationery from Poketo and Millimeter Milligram, beautiful and quirky handmade jewellery from Chocolate and Steel, sweet home wares as well as stamps, stickers, tapes and fabric for all your crafty pursuits!

The Facebook competition is open until midnight on Saturday the 8th of September. The winner will be drawn and notified on Sunday the 9th!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

xoxo Lauren and Sarah
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