Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fragrance Haul | L'Artisan Parfumeur

One of the nice things about Dubai (believe me, I've got a whole lotta not so nice things saved up for a future post) is the availability of beauty products not normally so easily accessible in Australia.

Say, for example, the full range of L'Artisan Parfumeur perfumes, candles and other scented goodies contained within this shop in The Dubai Mall.

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Terrible phone pic, but you get the idea

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Plus all these Penhaligon's!

Another nice thing about Dubai? When things are discontinued or given new packaging, they are not shunted back to the brand or manufacturer, or chucked in a back room to gather dust, or nicked by shady employees. They are put on sale at a heavy discount. Like, a real discount, none of this piddly 10% bullshit.

So when I spotted a stack of perfume boxes with a little 'SALE' sign perch atop, you better believe I went in and bought as many perfumes my hot little hands could carry back onto the metro. So out of character for me, I know.

My haul of seven perfumes and a candle included my favourite perfume ever Tea For Two, which I managed to snag two bottles of following its discontinuation just before I left Australia, one an unlidded tester bottle from the supplier's PR, the other the very last bottle in Elizabeth St David Jones, for an eye-watering A$190. The most I've spent on a single bottle, especially for one that had spent the last God knows how long sweltering under the shop's bright lights.

I snapped up my 100ml bottles of the coveted Tea For Two and Mimosa Pour Moi (how could I not want a fragrance with that name!) in Dubai for a mere Dhs150, which converts to about A$50. The tomato plant candle was a teeny Dhs70 (A$25ish), as were the 50ml perfumes below.

The Pour Un Été, Poivre Piquant, Coeur De Vetiver Sacre, Fleur De Liane and Passage D'Enfer were all nabbed for a song, just because they have been discontinued or the packaging is being revamped - something LAP does quite often.

The ever-changing packaging of course meant that my bottles didn't quite match up, but who cares when the juice is that good!

This OTT haul takes my LAP count up to eleven full size bottles, making up just under half of my perfume collection. I guess this is the part where I shamefully confess that although I culled my perfume collection down to five full size bottles to take over to the Middle East, three months later I somehow have somehow have 28 full sizes and a handful of samples sitting in my cupboard. Not even sorry.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Robots That Appreciate Your Face - featuring Tanda Clear+, Clarisonic and PMD Microderm

Zomg, you guys. Yes, I know I've been away. It's because I've been cheating on the internet with Real Life, and being an adult and having a job and stuff. But my industry is super fun, and I love it, so fear not, it is not as dire as it seems. If you follow my Twitter, or Instagram, you've probably noticed I've taken a full time role at a Middle Eastern women's lifestyle magazine title. I've also been doing a bit of beauty freelance, because, hey they've got real good taste in beauty features here.
I have an awesome (read: HUUUUUUGE) haul from L'Artisan Perfumerie I need to show off to you, and will deffo have that up later this week, but for now, here's something I wrote for Cosmo that got buried
Read on to find why spending an evening with a vibrating shaft has never been so productive!
Oh yeah, you saw what I did there.

PMD Personal Microderm Tool Kit ($179.00)
Imagine a stubbly octopus, all eight tentacles a-waving. Now imagine that happy little squid attached to your face, suckering and gently sandpapering your skin to a gloriously smooth surface. That's exactly what the PMD Personal Microderm feels like, albeit described in maybe the most off-putting way ever. Squid-face aside, the suspiciously-shaped electrical tool performs microdermabrasion with aluminium-oxide crystals and suction to coax off tired old skin cells, revealing a long-weekend-at-the spa kind of facade.

Clarisonic Skin Care System Classic Plus ($269.00)
I know what you're thinking! “Oh thanks, Michaela, you want to tell me how to wash my face, like anyone needs help with that.” Well, shush, you do need help, and once you try the Clarisonic or Mia, its cute travel version($149.00), you'll see that this shower-safe brush really makes a difference in softly scrubbing off grungy make-up and pollution build up and clearing out blackheads. Use daily and never look back. Mine is super grotty after three months, so heed the packaging's advice for once and switch the heads out about four times a year.

Tanda Clear+ ($195.00)
Urgh, acne. Whoever said it's a teenage thing was a dirty shameless liar, and obviously with their own deeply ingrained personal issues. Now I'm in the adult world, unseemly breakouts just won't cut the mustard. Luckily, unlike pimply teen Michaela, I have the Tanda Clear+ zit zapper at my disposal. The blue lights calms angry redness and sends back pimples to 2002 (not my best year face-wise).

Friday, December 27, 2013

Your nifty gift solution from Fresh Flowers

Being in Dubai, it's hard for me to fly back home to catch up with my friends for birthdays (yay, cake!), engagements (actually, there's too many of these happening right now), and weddings (SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS, STOP IT). So what to do when you're away, and want to express your jealousy love to your friends back home, or perhaps even get a gift for your awesome girlfriend who moved away from her rapidly less single friends to Dubai to be with you? Like for Valentine's Day, which happens to be February 14th every year so forgetting it is so not a valid option, seriously, men of the world.

Ahem, anyway. The one gift that is guaranteed to get an email of appreciation? A gorgeous, big ole bunch of roses! Fresh Flowers is your go-to for same-day delivery bouquets. Just give them a quick phone call on 13 37 37 or online order and, POW! your specially selected bouquet will rock up at the recipient's door (or workplace if you want to make every one in their office super jelly, and I know you do).

To test out their service, I had a bunch of roses sent out to my super babe ex-housemate, Shivaun (who you can find over at her new site named after all the good things,  Gin & Liberty). 

The totally lush, flawless roses come in a sweetly chic carton - no tacky cellophane here! - and have extra long stems for ease of display. Don't they look gorgeous?

Just make sure your bestie/sexytime friend doesn't go overboard with the Instagramming. I know they look amazing casually arranged next to your cup of increasingly cooling tea and copy of Oyster, but you get TWO photos max before I start giving some some major side eye.

Hit up Fresh Flowers for your next gift in a pinch sitch, or when you inevitably forget Valentine's Day again (SERIOUSLY, dudes!) and need a quick same day delivery (just order before 1pm!).

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are still my own. See my Disclaimer for more sexy details.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide | UNICEF Charity Gifts

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Sponsored post

Amongst all the excitement that comes with the holidays - the family visits, the festive meals, the never-ending present exchanging and of course the traditional Instagramming of the visits, meals and presents - sometimes the reason for the season gets lost.

My favourite way to give back during the holidays is to take advantage of an aid group's charity gift program, like the one currently being run by UNICEF. Their Christmas Charity Gifts service allows you to donate a pre-determined amount to buy a much needed service or item to impoverished children and their community. By donating in the name of a friend or family member, you can tick off the gift giving box, get that feel-good glow and most importantly help out communities that are doing it tough and make a much appreciated difference to the children who need your help the most.

There are price levels for all wallet sizes, starting from just A$11 for children's storybooks, making UNICEF pressies an awesome option for both stand alone and add-on gifts for family and friends.

Don't you think she deserves, like, a billion more books?

Every inspired gift purchase comes with a Ken Done-designed card (choose from one of three arty designs), personalised for the recipient. Better still, the detailed descriptions of exactly what your coin is going to buy makes them easily customisable to your own loved one's interests, with presents categorised into functions.

Have a friend in nursing who knows first hand how incredibly lucky we are to have easy access to medical care? Boom, box her up some measles vaccines, that will protect 100 children for a measly (#notsorry) A$28. A rugby-mad mate? Taunt him by sending six snazzy new leather soccer balls to bring a bit of fun to children in refugee camps and disadvantaged areas. While Dad might not need another bike pump or set of Lycra, he'd be tickled to know a bike donated in his name is helping local communities transport medicine and edibles.

UNICEF Charity Gifts are available directly from their website (um hi there, last minute options), and shoppers are given an option between a paper Ken Done card or e-card.

Have a happy and safe holiday break, everyone!