When I Wake Up, In My Makeup.

I was very excited when Sephora opened an Australian store, but I’ve only shopped there a few times. It’s usually packed and humid, and doesn’t really lend itself to browsing without feeling you’re in someone’s way, so I decided to buy a few things online instead.

I’d had my eye on a matte crème lipstick by Bite Beauty in Rosebud.

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I’ve worn matte lipstick ever since the days of the now-defunct Mode magazine, which ran a profile of Poppy King in her first foray into the lipstick market.

I like my mattes matte, I don’t care if it feels like dried mud caked on my lips, I don’t like it to budge. Turns out matte crème is a little moist for my liking and when I wear it, the colour is less rosebud and a much brighter pink instead. It’s not a complete loss, just not what I was expecting!

I ended up needing to pay $10 for shipping or $11 on another product to get free shipping, so I added the Rebels Refinery passion fruit lip balm to my already over-the-top collection.

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Skulls and lip balm, how could I not?

It’s nothing particularly different to any basic lip balm and the passion fruit is very subtle, but it’s cute and pretty much paid for itself in shipping.

Top 4: Scents

I am obsessed with perfume and, besides jewelry, it’s the optional extra I wear every day.

(Before you ask, pants don’t count as optional).

I’m very particular about what I like, for example, since L’Occitane discontinued Eau des Vanilliers about eight years ago, there has never been a vanilla-based perfume that has met my standards.

I just read a review which mentioned it had bourbon notes, which probably goes a long way to explaining why I loved it so much.

Recently I’ve been wearing a lot heavier scents, the kind that used to suffocate me during long car trips with my mum, whereas softer scents with floral notes seem too sweet now.

So what have I been wearing lately? We count down in order of preference!

Four: Naughty Alice – Vivienne Westwood.

This is about the sweetest I can handle these days and I think the rose base is offset by the musk, which makes it creamier than a straight floral scent.
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Three: Dalissime – Salvador Dali

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When making this perfume, Dali was inspired by his wife, Gala, which I’ve always thought was lovely.

My mum gave me a tiny little sample bottle of Dalissime years ago and I didn’t particularly like it, but I’m glad I held onto it, because in later years as my preferences evolved, I grew to love it.

Again, this one is sweet, but the fruit base notes also have something earthy in them.

Two: Tobacco Vanille – Tom Ford

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This is a new discovery and I am obsessed. For a month or two, B and I had a friend staying with us and this is their scent of choice.

It is heavy and delicious and dark and spicy.

One: Lady Vengeance – Juliette has a Gun

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Juliette has a Gun was only founded in 2006 by Romano Ricci, Nina Ricci’s grandson.

This is it, my one true love, the mecca of all perfume.

I discovered this by accident on a visit to Perth, where I wandered into a boutique store and was drawn to the packaging.

I sprayed some on my wrist and was distracted for the rest of the day, which began an all-consuming hunt to find a bottle when I was back in Sydney (hint: David Jones is the only major retailer who stock it in Sydney).

The magic is in the patchouli.

It’s a really heavy, dominant scent and if you’re not faint-hearted, there’s an evil sibling scent, Vengeance Extrême.

A List of Little Things #2

+ Sportsgirl ‘Pout About It’ matte lipstick. I’m going to make a big call and say I like it more than M.A.C matte lipsticks and it’s about a third of the price.

+ philosophy vanilla birthday cake lip shine. It’s sticky as all get go, but it smells delicious and feels great.

+ Solange Knowles. single ‘Losing You’ and I’m so totally in love with it, both as a song and video. It’s shot so well, it feels exactly like dusk when you don’t have anything to do for days.

+ Tori Amos covers. Some of my favourites come from The Original Bootlegs, recorded during the Original Sinsuality and Summer of Sin tours. I bought them as a set in 2005 and listened to them the entire summer as I walked kilometres and kilometres to and from a job I had on the outskirts of the city I lived in and as a result, they always remind me of being alone and warm weather:

+ Letting sleeping dogs lie.

+ Summer reading lists. I have ten days booked in New Zealand for Amy and Nic’s wedding and a few of us are staying in a cottage in an orchid on the North Island. I don’t want to do anything but sit in the orchid with wine and books. I think I’m going to take Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie’s memoir and Alan Clark: A Life in His Own Words, the edited diaries of a member of the British Conservative Party.

+ Donny Benét. OMG. I didn’t know who Donny was until he played at a gig my bro-in-law put on for his 30th which was such an awesome night made even more awesome by Donny. Donny is keyboard sexuality!

A List of Little Things #1

I think it’s healthy to take stock of the little things every now and then, because the little things are often the good things.

Ukuleles

I’ve never learnt an instrument other than the Catholic school torture device more commonly known as the recorder which we used to practice while our hairshirts were being washed; however, a few weeks ago a lovely sound was coming from my flatmate’s [see entry 2] bedroom and it turned out she was relaxing with some ukulele. I decided then and there that I must have one, so on the weekend I went to my local music store and bought my first instrument. It’s gorgeous and I am in love with its feminine curves and my housemate is going to teach me to play it.

I realise the kind of connotations that come from owning a uke, having purple hair and living in Newtown. I promise you I am not a manic pixie dream girl of any kind. I could possible now star in live-action manga porn, yes. Hipster? No.

My housemate

When I found myself needing a housemate suddenly earlier this year my friend Michelle [see entry 3] suggested an ex-housemate of hers, Katie. It could not have worked out better, we got along like a house on fire [not our house] from the word go. Want a BMX built? Ask Katie. Want a shed built? Ask Katie. Want to make moustache-shaped biscuits? Ask Katie. Want to come home one day and find your porch AstroTurfed with added flamingo? Live with Katie. When you’re down in the dumps and feel like nothing will cheer you up like watching a Ryan Gosling romcom with a room full of gay women to see if Ryan Gosling is universal? She’s there to organise that for you.

She’s laid back, funny and adventurous. May there be many months of Mario Kart ahead of us.

Michelle and Fi

These two little ladies have done much to keep me sane in the last few months and for that I am eternally grateful. From photos of Fi’s cat on days when I didn’t think I could get out of bed, to sharing exciting text messages with each other after Girls episodes; to Michelle’s drunken American road trip messages to me that seem to transcend all timezones and her advice which has been considered, blunt and extremely kind. I am incredibly lucky to have these two women in my life, let alone all the other fantastic friends I have made in Sydney.

Nighttime adventures

Last week I went to Mad Mex’s Newtown branch with Ms Lilla for a much needed mid-week beer. You can see her lurking in the shot above. I’ve known Lilla for almost the whole time I’ve lived in Sydney, it is she who excitedly encouraged me to embrace crazy cat ladydom and more recently, turning my thesis into something publishable. She is a fantastic brunch buddy, someone to spend an afternoon in a cinema with or talk books. She also took a giant leap in life this year which is my inspiration to do something similar next year. I look forward to turning into an old crazy cat lady with L.

On Saturday night I went to the Courty with flame-haired vixen, Nomes. I prepared by downing some bourbon at home. I’m so classy it hurts.

I don’t think I realised how much I drank until I re-read my tweets on Sunday morning. It was a fun night, hopefully the first of many.

Music

I have bought a total of four albums released this year. I used to buy about that amount per week, but I think my taste may be getting narrower as I get older, or as I get older, I get lazier about seeking things out. Last week was a good week, with new Fiona Apple and Melvins albums, which is proving a much needed respite from excessive amounts of late night Ryan Adams.

Loved ones

On Saturday I spent a few hours in the back yard, finishing up a collection of Antonella Gambotto’s writing and starting Catch-22 which I am reading for a new [and very strict!] book club I have joined. The weather was phenomenal in Sydney this weekend and Wuz kept me company on a supervised venture into the outside world. She’s very much an indoors cat, mostly because she’s not that intelligent and I don’t trust her around cars, but also because who wouldn’t want to kidnap this fur-ball of joy?

On Sunday I got in some nephew time. He’s started calling me ‘Dools’ and it was this enormously cute name that he insistently called when we went to a playground with lots of ropes to climb and he needed to be hoisted onto various things or protected from pigeons.

Empty supermarkets

I don’t know why I find them so calming. Maybe because they feel safe, or because shopping late at night is like eating breakfast for dinner, tweaking something slightly makes it infinitely more interesting or maybe it’s that shopping still seems very grown-up to me and that’s the last thing I feel like so it’s still a total novelty? Whatever the reason, I like it.

Novelty props

I’ve been looking for a pair of these glasses for ages. I love how expressionless the eyes are. I have a few plans for them that probably involve dragging my DSLR out.

And so these thing are what have been giving me a much needed and appreciated dose of cheerfulness lately.