It's all made up

It's all made up

For lovers of beauty, books and making rad crafts.

Gone Girl - The movie

I wrote about the book, I posted about the adaptation from book to movie, and just got to see an early preview of the movie.

It’s so well done. David Fincher is a master, the cast is perfect and I can honestly say I enjoyed it just as much as the book. Film audiences who haven’t read the book will say the ending is strange, but that’s just sticking to the original content. Flynn wrote the screenplay herself, which (in my mind) would have been an opportunity to give us a different ending if she’d had any regrets about it the first time, and she clearly didn’t (it’s still not my favourite, but I think endings are one of Flynn’s weak spots).

If you are a fan of the book, you won’t be disappointed. The movie made me want to go read another Gillian Flynn page turner*.

*I just realised I never posted about Sharp Objects, which I read a few months back. Will get on that…

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Beauty Review: Big in Japan (/Korea)

I went through a bit of a Korean/Asian beauty phase recently:

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It started when a beauty editor I follow on Insty wrote about the Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly. As I consider myself a bit of an early adopter when it comes to beauty trends* the online hunt began since I wanted needed some jelly foundation in my life. The online hunt had some collateral damage. Mizon Smoothie Apple Peeling Gel, SKIN FOOD Gold Kiwi Sun Cream and Tony Tint Cat Chu Wink (a stain in case that wasn’t immediately obvious) found a new home too.

I’ve included a few other Asian beauty friends along for the ride in this fun filled review session. Let’s begin, shall we?

Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly

This is my first “jelly” foundation. The idea with this is that the water base disappears, leaving just pigments behind. Meaning it’s light. Maybe that’s what the “petit” in the name refers to. It’s definitely not the bottle size.

As another reviewer said, it’s really more like a pudding than a jelly (if we’re going to get into dessert comparison semantics). It also would be most suitable to people with normal to oily skin as it doesn’t offer much in the way of moisture. Since my skin is more in the normal to dry range, I prefer something with more “slip” to it. I even tried applying a thicker night cream before this to make it easier to apply and blend but no dice.

The other issue is the colour range. I got #2 which is the darker of the two, and even that is too light for me. I have to bronze up afterwards to avoid looking like a ghost face. Also, back to the lightness of the texture. I actually find this more of a medium matte finish. So once it’s on and I’ve piled on the bronzer, it’s all a bit too cakey for my liking.

I’ll see if I can make it work by mixing it with another product, but on it’s own it’s NQR.

Mizon Smoothie Apple Peeling Gel

This is apparently a cult beauty product. Not sure about that, but it’s certainly a unique one. I ordered this, promptly forgot exactly what I was supposed to to with it, and then spent ages online trying to find instructions again**. Here’s the basics in case you’re curious.

So is it fun? Yes. Does it smell like apples? Surprisingly not really. Does it work? Hard to say re: long term effects, but it makes your skin smooth. Since it’s working with both fruit acids and gentle physical exfoliation, the double team should in theory be more effective than just one alone. Buy it for the experience if anything. Like I said, it’s fun (and strangely satisfying) to roll your “skin” off your face***.

SKIN FOOD Gold Kiwi Sun Cream

I brought this to Europe with me and used it on burn prone parts of my face. It’s moderately thick, and it leaves a bit of a white-ish cast, but it sinks in quite fast and that the whiteness fades quickly enough for neither of these to be an issue. I’d probably avoid it if you’re taking photos though since it would likely cause the dreaded sunscreen glare in pictures.

It covers your UVA and UVB bases, and apparently the golden kiwi extract has some sort of antioxidant properties. It definitely smells vaguely kiwi-ish and the smell sticks around (I don’t mind it).

It’s good value for such a high SPF - I don’t think it was more than about $10. I’ll keep using it on high sun exposure days, but might look for something a bit lighter (in both texture and SPF) for everyday wear.

Tony Tint Cat Chu Wink

Who names these things? Whatever, it’s all part of the charm.

I got this to replace my beloved The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain which I’m almost finished (and is probably far too old to be hygienic anyway). This…is a bit different. Less of a tint (which is what my old one from The Body Shop is), and more an intense stain. If you put this on your lips, they will be red. It would make a great primer pre-red lippie, but I use my current stain to add some colour to my naturally quite pale lips in a subdued way (I can then just pop on some lip balm). There is nothing subdued about this.

So yes, this will have its uses. Just not what I bought it for.

Aside: this sets super quickly and is hard to get off. God help you if you ever try to apply this to your cheeks.

Daiso Face Masks

I bought a few different kinds of these masks and can’t really tell them apart. You put the fabric mask thingy on your face, wait a while. Take it off and then pat in whatever product is left over. I don’t notice any major difference in my skin using them (maybe more plump? Who knows) but they’re a nice ritual.

Daiso Nose Pack

Again, kind of a cult following going around for this, and to be honest, this one baffles me. I used to use peel off masks back in high school and to me this is like a fairly crap version of one of those. It’s a creamy gluey texture which you apply to your nose, wait for it to dry, then peel off.

Supposedly it pulls out the blackheads and pore congestion with it. Meh. Not so much. You’d be better off spending the ten minutes you wait for this to dry doing extractions.

Tiger Balm Medicated Plaster

First thing’s first - these are not for your face. I discovered these in Italy, of all places after a beach massage on my feet and legs. They were killing me after walking for a full day in flat sandals (foot pain is worth it for not looking like a tourist in Rome). The masseuse stuck two of these on the tops of my feet afterwards and told me to leave them on for a few hours. They felt lovely and menthol-ey (to the point my friends were asking what the smell was, so keep that in mind). I picked up a box on my way back through Bangkok airport and will use them on sore muscles from the comfort of my own home. Where no one can complain that I’m stinking up the joint.



*Hello? I was all over BB cream back when it was pretty much just Dr. Jart+. And coconut oil? Please, I’ve been all up in that for years.

**I just had another look. There’s definitely a lot more out there now so you’re in luck!

***Alright that sounds disgusting. You know what I mean.

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Joshi’s (and my) Alkaline Diet - Day one

I was at a friends’ place for the weekend recently and a book they had caught my eye. Over the few days I was there I flipped through Joshi’s Alkaline Diet andbecame intrigued enough to later go out and buy my own copy. I’ve now read the whole thing, and have decided to start today.

Even though 21 days is not that long, timing is key with these things. I have no weddings or large social events coming up, and the next big local event (Spring Racing Carnival) is just over a month away so I’ll have some time to re-adjust before that.

Above: Joshi’s book with some lemons, since they are about to become my best friend for three weeks.

Reasons this cleanse appeals/I’m doing it:

  • Give my body a break/get back on track before the summer silly season.
  • Get back to my pre-Italian holiday weight (not a huge difference, but my jeans are still a bit tight).
  • It’s not a major issue, but I’m curious if changing my diet will have any beneficial effect on my skin.
  • Sort out some stomach issues. The “eliminate everything potentially irritating” aspect of this cleanse makes it different from a lot of others. Nightshades (potatoes, aubergines, courgettes, peppers etc) are out, as are yeast products (so obviously traditional yeast baked goods, but also things like Vegemite and soy).
  • Cutting out yeast is also supposed to be good for Candida. I have a rash on my back (apologies for any TMI here) which isn’t going away. It involves light patches of skin and isn’t very noticeable normally but makes me look like a leopard with any sort of tan (real or fake). This is apparently a form of candida (similar to nappy rash) which you can catch from things like yoga mats if you are vulnerable to that sort of thing. I’ve been prescribed a cream for this by a doctor which doesn’t seem to be doing much so I’d like to hit this at the cause/source: nasty candida*.

The gist of the cleanse is this (taken from the Livestrong site):

While on the Joshi Detox Diet, you should avoid eating all red meat; alcohol, including beer, wine or champagne; any processed foods; any form of sugar; all fruit except for bananas; all dairy products made from cow’s milk; nuts; tea and coffee, including both caffeinated and decaffeinated forms; potatoes; jams, jellies and preserves; any products containing gluten, yeast or wheat; and all food items containing artificial flavors.

Joshi recommends replacing these items in your diet with soy products such as tofu; lean protein from turkey, chicken and fish other than tuna, swordfish and all types of shellfish; eggs; herbal tea, especially green tea; beans and legumes; brown rice; olive oil; leafy, dark green vegetables; olive oil; honey; both soy and rice milk; live yogurt; and ricotta or cottage cheese as well as buffalo or goat cheeses.

I eat quite healthily normally, but will admit to having a fairly massive sweet tooth and liking my coffee. I’ve never eaten read meat, and have been eating less soy, eggs and dairy since watching Forks over Knives. I’ll bring back the occasional egg and tofu dish for this. I don’t mind a drink at social occasions, and say, dates, but otherwise I won’t miss alcohol.

So off we go. I had my obligatory warm lemon water when I woke up (something I’ve been trying to do lately anyway). Then I made a smoothie consisting of half a frozen ripe banana, unsweetened almond milk, spirulina, some sort of ocean mineral stuff (found at the health food store, supposed to be good for calcium. Which I’ll be needing with no dairy), my 12 Health vanilla pea protein, chia, maca, cinnamon, a dash of ginger and ice. Here are some of the team:

And it was good! Not that I thought it wouldn’t be, but I did throw an especially large amount of healthy crap in one glass (and I wasn’t sure how the ocean minerals tasted). Joshi doesn’t really go on much about “superfoods”, but I see no harm in incorporating some.

I had lentil soup for lunch (an old favourite which happens to fit all the “rules”) and will make a salad for dinner. I was struggling with how to make a dressing sans vinegar, but I realised I can make one out of tahini, lemon and garlic that will add some flavour.

I’m off to do a yoga/meditation class this afternoon (also recommended, also something I’d do anyway), and will report back on progress in a few days.

*The doctor also advised taking some pro-biotics to help my immune system so I got some good quality ones at a health food store.

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"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis
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Aiplane travel 101 - The travel edit

**As posted to the Slater Place Blog**

One of my first memories was waking up on an airplane. I’ve been trying to perfect the art of packing for one ever since.

After searching for years, I’ve given up on finding the perfect carry on bag. They don’t exist. What I now rely on is a trusty large tote (I like Longchamp La Pliage bags since they’re light) with smaller bags inside to keep everything easy to find. Here are some other tips for your packing list:

Use organisers

On my most recent trip I took along the sample of the Slater Place Camel/Sunsets leather clutch. This bag is a great travel companion for many reasons: sturdy leather that holds its shape, wide enough for plane tickets, zippable and can be used as a going out bag once you arrive. So good.

I also use other various bags and sacks for things I need on board for sleep and for makeup purposes.

Don’t forget a pen

Simple, but important. If you’re going out of the country, there will be several forms to fill out. I’d recommend one that clicks rather than has a lid. The lid will inevitably get knocked somewhere under the seat behind you, leaving you with an ink situation and a case of plane rage.

Bring tea bags

This gives you more options on board than the usual black tea (and peppermint if you’re lucky).

Don’t use a passport holder

They look pretty, but customs officials seem to hate them and they add bulk. Keep your passport with your tickets in the aforementioned clutch and it will be easy to find when you need it.

Bring gum/mints

Good for general personal hygiene after a long flight and helps ears to pop during landing.

I’m going to assume you’re already all over things like books/magazines, moisturising products, socks and ear plugs. Aka the long haul bare essentials.

Bon voyage!

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Reason #6,342 why libraries are the best.

Yesterday was a bad day at work. Pilates didn’t work it’s usual magic, and to top it off I had an insomnia night. Sometime around 3am, this fell out of my library book.

Thank you fellow book lover, I needed that. I hope you do too.

Reason #6,342 why libraries are the best.

Yesterday was a bad day at work. Pilates didn’t work it’s usual magic, and to top it off I had an insomnia night. Sometime around 3am, this fell out of my library book.

Thank you fellow book lover, I needed that. I hope you do too.

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Book review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I like Cheryl Strayed’s writing. I can see how it may not be everyone’s taste, but it works for me.

I finally got around to reading Wild since I wanted to get through it before the movie came out. As expected, I really enjoyed it.

The book is non-fiction, and there’s no denying Strayed has not had an easy life: an abusive/absent father, a mother taken by cancer and an early divorce. It’s understandable that anyone would be left reeling from this. That doesn’t make the bad, self destructive decisions she makes (her ion experimentation, promiscuity and embarking on a massive hike extremely underprepared) any easier to read. 

But to her credit she sticks with her Pacific Crest Hike. Journey books are especially satisfying to read, and I loved how Strayed ended this (a bit like a shortened version of the Six Feet Under finale, aka best show ending EVER). There were a few tears.

I’ve also read Strayed Tiny Beautiful Things which in hindsight now wish I’d read after Wild. You’d have a more clear picture of the history she frequently references in Tiny by going in this order. They’re both good books in their own right so this is just a random musing.

I’m glad Strayed has found her footing later in adulthood. It seems like she deserves it.

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Book Review: THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE BY NEIL GAIMAN

I get a huge amount of satisfaction when a Want to Read Wednesday gets checked off the list.

Once again, here is the plot points on The Ocean at the End of the Lane from Amazon:

Neil Gaiman’s intent was simple: to write a short story. What he ended up with instead was The Ocean at the of the Lane—his first adult novel since Anansi Boys came out in 2005, and a narrative so thoughtful and thrilling that it’s as difficult to stop reading as it was for Gaiman to stop writing. Forty years ago, our narrator, who was then a seven-year-old boy, unwittingly discovered a neighboring family’s supernatural secret. What happens next is an imaginative romp through otherwordly adventure that could only come from Gaiman’s magical mind. Childhood innocence is tested and transcended as we see what getting between ancient, mystic forces can cost, as well as what can be gained from the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating tale that is equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky.

It was spooky! I was spooked for sure. 

This was an easy read, it clocks in at less than 150 pages and the plot goes along at a good clip. Plus there’s the aforementioned spookiness to keep you on your toes. 

I liked it. I’d recommend it if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride. Gaiman doesn’t hold back.

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Everyday I’m hustling…on camera

I’ve recently started a role where I can wear leggings/stretchy clothing to work. No I haven’t become a yoga instructor (although that would be pretty rad), I am in fact living the modern dream of working from home.

Among my new found intolerance of restrictive clothing, I’ve also had a self taught crash course in on screen appearance due to the magic that is video calling. Video chats are awesome because they remind you how many flyways you have multiple times a day. As if this wasn’t enough, my new work laptop has a retina screen, which, dear God…pore fest*.

After a month, I’ve learned a few things. “Dewy” skin does not translate well at all on screen, and facing into direct light is your most flattering option by a long shot (light behind you in an “anonymous witness” style is second best, light from the side, like a window, is the worst).

My daily routine is much less time consuming than when I used to work in an office, but is still far from the makeup free existence you might imagine for someone who doesn’t leave the house. I rub in a tinted moisturiser/BB cream with my fingers, followed by bronzer and a tiny bit of setting powder. Otherwise it’s just a bit of smudged eyeliner (no mascara…too much) and tinted lip balm and I’m done. 

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This batch of goodies has been my go-to set. MAC Studio Moisture Tint is more matte than my beloved Garnier BB Cream so it’s been getting some use. I’ve also been loving the Maybelline Master Smokey pencils, particularly the brown one. They’re quick to apply and less harsh on than just an eyeliner.

All this may seem excessive/vain, but, like going to the hairdresser, if you’re going to be looking at yourself a lot throughout the day, there’s no need to feel unattractive every time you do.

*I now have a bit of sympathy for the actors who were freaking out 10 years ago when HD screens came in. I feel for you sistas.

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