Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Very Lush Easter Hunt


Easter is just around the corner! A time for celebrating life whether religious, cultural, familial, or social. Treating oneself is an important part of Easter celebrations, especially poignant in the Christian tradition as the Lenten period of fasting and abstinence ends. And whilst this indulgence usually takes the form of chocolate eggs and bunnies/bilbies, Lush has produced a limited edition range of Easter treats that rival many of these festive sweets (and probably won't cause you to move up a dress-size). Lush was kind enough to send me a few highlights from this range, the reviews of which you can read below. A big, special thank you to my mini-models Keziah and Babbit the rabbit, and to my backup bath bomb tester,  Demi. You can purchase the Lush Easter range online or in-store ♡ 


 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GOLDEN EGG BATH BALLISTIC . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



GOLDEN EGG BATH BALLISTIC
With it's shimmering gold exterior, and slippery cocoa butter surface, I was most excited to try this big ball of decadence. Covered in a generous layer of fair trade organic Colombian Cocoa Butter, the ball sinks and melts under the running tap of a warm bath, before the surprise fizz of the centre erupts. I imagine the Golden Egg as a seemingly magical item that would have wowed ancient civilisations, as it is a true aesthetic delight with the glitter creating nebulous swirls and leaving the skin with a layer of Twilight-vampire-sparkle. Skin feels especially moist and supple thanks to all that cocoa butter, especially appreciated as the Winter chill kicks in and turns skin to paper. However, what is that saying that talks of the perils of too much of a good thing? Golden Egg is an indulgence and a half - the cocoa butter, the glitter, and the fizz all work well, however the added illustriousness of the Honey I Washed the Kids scent, which lingers around in full potency for many hours, leaves the subject in - for wont of  better term - bath coma. An intense delight, the Golden Egg need only be heeded by bath-time pros. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUNCH OF CARROTS BUBBLE BAR . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 



BUNCH OF CARROTS BUBBLE BAR
These carrots are quite a cute and nifty invention - a short run under the tap creates mounds of light, fluffy foam perfect for a quintessential bubble bath. There is a subtle sweet smell, which could possibly be intensified by running a carrot under the tap for a little longer, however inducing the possible compromise of drowning in bubbles. I do have to admit that I missed the moisturising quality that is more apparent with Lush's bath melts, my bathing accessory of choice. That said, I was most impressed that the carrots could be used quite sparingly, and therefore would last quite a while. A nice investment for an indulgence that will last a little longer.



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRIGHTSIDE BUBBLE BAR & CARROT SOAP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


BRIGHTSIDE BUBBLE BAR
A zesty blend of tangerine, Sicilian mandarin, and bergamot oils, Brightside Bubble bar is a treat that smells just like a pack of gobstoppers. It is a generous size, and subsequently requires to be mostly crumbled by hand under the tap to get it all to dissolve. But if you're willing to put in this manual labour, you'll have yourself a refreshing and relaxing experience, with some soft skin as a souvenir. 

CARROT SOAP
Scented with bergamot, buchu, and lemon, Carrot Soap has a slight sweet, refreshing scent. It has a creamy texture due to the generous amount of carrot oil, which gives skin a subtle softness. Overall I enjoy the melty-quality of this soap, however it doesn't beat my exfoliating favourites Figs & Leaves, and Porridge


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Matcha Made in Heaven: A Thrift & Thread Collaboration

WORDS Lucinda Burtt | PHOTOGRAPHY Vanessa Low


A sponge sandwiched with strawberries and cream is one of afternoon’s delights. 
If you can’t beat a classic, add a twist. Matcha is poison green but fine in flavour
 and the powder pairs perfectly with vanilla.


- PREPARE -
You’ll need a square sponge, a quantity of creme patisserie, whipped chantilly cream, 
a fistful of fresh strawberries and matcha powder. Follow your favourite vanilla sponge 
cake recipe adding two heaped teaspoons of matcha with the castor sugar. Likewise 
matcha-up the creme patisserie, adding two heaped teaspoons with the flour. Chantilly 
your cream by adding a few drops of vanilla essence with a tablespoon of icing sugar 
during whipping.

- ASSEMBLY -
Cut your sponge square into two even rectangles and then split lengthwise. Sandwich 
with alternating layers of whipped cream and creme patisserie. Any remaining creme 
patisserie can be smothered over the top and sides of the cake. Slice washed strawb-
erries and layer over the top of the cake. Finish with a dusting of matcha.

- SERVE -
Serve as a single slice or arrange into artful cubes with a bowl of steaming matcha on 
the side.






Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SUMMER EDITION Pt 1: Singapore Round 1: family, food and the 4th Biennale of Singapore


This Summer, I traded the Sydney heat for the chilly weather of Europe and the humidity of Singapore.  I adored the eye-opening experiences of both locales, documenting as much as I could when I wasn't busy stuffing my face with food, trekking through countless art galleries, or celebrating Chinese New Year. It's going to take a while to catch up, but here is the first part of the Monday Issue Summer Edition! First stop: Singapore. 

Sydney ✈ Singapore: Scoot seemed to have all my midnight-snack cravings - 2 minute noodles, cheese and pringles! 

Mei mei Kylie unwrapping gifts from Australia. She has gotten so big since my last visit!

Durians for sale at Bugis st

Ee ee and Cookie at Malaysia Boleh in Jurong Point (a great selection of shops and dishes - delicious!)

I visited the Singapore Biennale at the Singapore Art Museum and SAM at 8Q. Themed 'If the World Changed,' the exhibitions included an impressive variety of artworks that commented on cultural concerns of today, some of which envisioned alternative futures and possibilities of art and society. This theme gave a useful perspective for accessing the works - many of which effectively used creative ways of articulating humorous, melancholic, or contemplative perspectives of change. Overall, the span of the practices on display made for a visually interesting and thought-provoking exhibition, with a good balance of Relational Aesthetics (artworks that rely on audience interaction) and White Cube displays (do-not-touch works on plinths).

Tran Tuan (Vietnam), Forefinger (2013), set of 4, dimensions variable

Tuan's tactile sculptures were provocative pieces to be placed around the entrance of the museum. Their presence reminded me of the function of the pointed finger in many religious and allegorical paintings, in which figures are portrayed literally pointing to the 'action' (for example, in The Transfiguration by Raphael (1519) we see a triangle of pointed fingers amongst the people. These direct the eyes to move around the canvas and act as signposts towards the main subject). The thoughtful placement of Tuan's Forefinger (2013) appeared to me as a playful and interactive work to engage gallery visitors however, on another level, also as a intertextual reference to the forefinger in art history. It is as if Tuan's Forefinger is pointing to the action - pointing to the entrance of the gallery and the beginning of the exhibition - and motioning us to move forward.


Monday, March 17, 2014

A Few New Favourites


Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant (I tried it one day and bought it the next. Leaves skin with a most satisfying silky-clean suppleness) and resin bangles from Glebe Markets (I adore the clank-clank sounds they make as I walk).

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mardi Gras 2012




♡ ♡ ♡ 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hey girl! Where've you been!?


Greetings! This Summer I spent a lot of my time on planes. 

Sydney ✈ Singapore
Singapore ✈ Doha ✈ Rome
Milan ✈ Paris
Paris ✈ Dubai ✈ Singapore
Singapore ✈ KL ✈ Sydney

Can't wait to fill in the gaps and share some of my journeys!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Makan!


Greetings from Singapore! First thing's first, time to makan!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Amelie Emmanuelle






Congrats to Myrna, Mark, Dolby & Keziah on the arrival of their newest family member! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Very Lush Chrismtas

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Lush Christmas blogger event held in celebration of their Cruelty-free Christmas range and campaign. Of course, it was a splendid night that certainly tantalised all the sensations. We were treated to lessons on the art of wrapping presents with headscarfs (and also how to make them into flowers and bags!) and how to make Cupcake, a chocolate-y fresh face mask. It was an absolute treat to try out the products in the company of so many fellow Lush-fanatics! 

There are only two more days until Christmas, so if you're in need of some decadent, delightful gifts (or if you need some soothing remedies from the end-of-year stress) then I suggest you head to a Lush store! A lot of items reviewed below are Christmas specials, but they also have related year-round citizens. I hope you find some inspiration, and remember that any time of the year is a good time for giving, gifting, and treating yo self. 


CUPCAKE & GOLDEN FUN

With a base of Rhassoul mud and with the smell of dark chocolate brownies, Cupcake is a rather irresistible face mask. Besides the smell of chocolate, this mask leaves skin feeling soft and supple. Overall, I'm still a sucker for the tight and bright feeling of Love Lettuce but Cupcake is a close second!

Well the name says it all - Fun is an adult version of play-doh, with cleanliness as its excuse. Golden Fun is scented the same as the soap Honey I Washed the Kids, so has a sweet, honey smell and leaves the skin with a dessert-like aroma. Fun can be used as a bubble-bath, a body wash, and a shampoo. It does the first two quite well, acting like a cooler version of its cousin, the soap-block. I don't mind it as a shampoo, as it leaves hair squeaky clean, however I do find that I need to followup with a good conditioner. 

Making Cupcake at the Lush blogger event. Once all the ingredients are added they are stirred together - just like making a chocolate cake!

Cupcake modelled by Emma of My Fair Lipstick

SHOOT FOR THE STARS 

When Shoot for the Stars hits the water, it explodes with colours and swirls like a nebula. It also fills the water with glitter & the scent of Honey I Washed the Kids - an absolute treat for an extravagant bath!


CANDY MOUNTAIN, SANTA'S LIP SCRUB, SANTA BABY LIP TINT


CANDY MOUNTAIN
Look Charlie, Candy Mountain! Candy Mountain bubble bar has the scent of Snow Fairy Shower Gel -  like fairy floss and vanilla. It has a pearly shimmer finish and is high on the bubble factor. For some it's a sugar overload, but I adore it!

SANTA'S LIP SCRUB
The Cola flavour of this lip scrub is totally delectable. Like all Lush lip scrubs, I wouldn't mind grabbing a spoon and eating it all up! The Cola flavour is a nice alternative to my usual super-sweet Bubble Gum. Leaves lips feeling soft and fresh.

SANTA BABY LIP TINT
I am still undecided about Santa Baby, the first lip tint I have tried by Lush. I love the softness of the mixture, which is loaded with fair trade butters and carrot oil. It has a strong, bright red pigment which goes on the lips with full colour impact. That said, I am finding it a little messy and will perhaps try applying it with a lip brush. Overall, a fantastic colour with a lot of festive pop!


SNOW FAIRY & PONCHE
SNOW FAIRY
Snow Fairy is like Bubblegum Lip scrub's bigger sister. It has a sugary, vanillary smell and just a dash of glitter to leave your skin smelling and looking like a sugarplum fairy. When I travel, I like to take familiar beauty products and fragrances as a way of avoiding home-sickness, and this coming Summer will be the era of Snow Fairy!

PONCHE
I love the fruity fragrance of Ponche, which was inspired by a Mexican fruit punch. It has a subtle fragrance, and besides feeling quite moisturising, it leaves the skin smelling like winter spices.

An image from the Lush Blogger Event 


BOMBARDINO

Inspired by its namesake Italian drink - although many people think it is more akin to Harry Potter's butter beer - Bombardino is a decadent slow-fizzing bath bomb. Turning the water yellow, it is like slipping into a bath full of butter (which also reminds me of Butterball). Skin is left smelling sweet - a total dream.


SECRET SANTA

Secret Santa is the ultimate Lush bath ballistic! Its scent is modelled on the Lush store - the combination of fragrances that give Lush that distinct smell that can entice you from a mile away. The ballistic itself is like a babushka doll of delights - floral scents, and sandalwood, and a bit of orange. A huge indulgence!

Anna holding a Secret Santa at the Lush Christmas event


SIKKIM GIRLS
This thick, buttery rich body lotion is incredibly moisturising, has the scent of the Sikkim Girls perfume, and leaves the skin feelings incredibly soft. More than Dream Cream, I like the thickness of Sikkim Girls and find it useful for particularly dry patches of skin.

A big thank you to Lush for inviting me to such a lovely event, for creating such divine and morally-conscious products, and for generously providing me with the above products.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Still Life with Vanessa


This is a photograph I took a few months ago, documenting a black & white film project I was working on (there are so many processes that can go wrong with film processing, I am always paranoid that all evidence will be lost so tend to shoot on multiple media!). Imitating the dramatic lighting aesthetic of Caravaggio's still lifes and tableaus, I used a single Dido light to create the dramatic shadows. However, when I finally printed the photograph in the dark room I found that although the composition, lighting and shadows evoked the desired period, the loss of colour - of the citrus fruits emerging from a black abyss - was a little bit of a shame. Although there are downsides to this digital image - such as the un-forgiving hyper-real detail of the lemon peel that I struggled to peel off with artistic accuracy - there are moments that I revel in, such as the pearl-like halo of the oyster shell on the far right, and the tiny pinpricks of light that glisten on the globe of each plastic grape...


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements


As an avid magazine reader, since my early Total Girl days, the process of print publications and the curatorship of articles, photographs, shoots, ideas and editorials have been high on my list of interests. Reading Clements' recount of her early fashion days living in Kings Cross and experimenting with second-hand finds, was humbling and incredibly relatable for a fellow twenty-something, Sydney girl. The journey is often said to be the destination, and it was fascinating to read of how Clements' early trips onto shoots with editors eventuated into full-blown international affairs, including Elizabeth Arden and Chanel escapades. It was insightful to learn the gravitas that shifts in management and publication owners have on the staff and the production of magazines - these business details were fascinating at times, however later on were a bit tedious to relate to for an outsider. Clements' focus on the office and the changing staff dynamic was understandable and, in a way, showed that the fashion industry is not just inspiration, innovation and beauty, but also a workplace - and that includes the not-so-glamorous parts. Reading the backstory of magazine issues that I had previously only seen for face value was delectable. I find the process of a shoot - from idea, to execution, to publication - incredibly inspiring, and there were moments in this book (especially the recount of shooting Mary, Princess of Denmark) that I absolutely ate up. That said, I didn't find the chapters dedicated to parties and events to be particularly captivating - perhaps this is a bit of a cynical view in a time where the documentation and sharing of events is already such a visually ubiquitous force. Intermingled between recounts of falling in love in Paris, changing jobs between Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and trying to pin down Nicole Kidman, Clements touches on issues of skinny models, building the Vogue Australia brand, and its relevance in the global fashion scene. It is these moments, when Clement's speaks of her experiences as an Australian fashion editor, that I find most unique about this book. By the end, the recounts of events and shoots drag on a little - as if they were picked from a never-ending list of moments that could be made into chapters. This, however, does reinforce the overall tone a gratitude that Clements has in many of her recounts - her constant praise of fellow fashion-eers is humbling, however (as one review I read put it) can make the composition in sum seem like an elongated awards-acceptance speech. Overall The Vogue Factor, which perhaps could have been more aptly titled The Vogue I Knew or My Life In Vogue (as was the title of Clements' 2009 article pictured above), was quite an enjoyable insight into the world of publishing, the challenges of Australia's fashion identity, and the life of a Vogue veteran.