August 11th, 2012 § § permalink
It’s strange how sometimes things just work out. I remember a few months back I was attending an event at Oscar Oscar Salon, where the key hair stylist Jackie made a comment that the GHD hair dryers were one of the best in the market, fastest drying ever. But I wasn’t totally convinced till I saw Val nod in agreement, which is when I knew I’d have to purchase this hair dryer for myself to try.
I’ve been using the same one at home for years now, my trusty Remington which I bought ages ago. And generally it’s great, and with hair as long as mine (waist length), it takes a good 20-30 mins to dry my hair to almost 80-90% (I never get it fully dry)
I’d been planning to purchase the GHD hair dryer, but due to all the recent travel I didn’t think it was a good time since I wouldn’t even be home to try it out anyways. Figured I’d wait till after I got back from Europe.
And then what do you know? GHD contacts me the week I arrive home and asked if there was anything from their range I’d like to try? Isn’t it great how things just work out? I already own two of their hair straighteners so my thoughts naturally went straight to the hair dryer.
Jackie and Val were right, this hair dryer is -amazing-. Before I get into the functionality, the main thing I love about this dryer is how fast it is able to dry my hair. It managed to dry my hair to around 80% within 10 minutes, which blew my mind! 10 minutes compared to what was originally 20-30 minutes! And given I usually dry and style my hair at night before bed at around 12am – 1am, I’m looking for something that will work fast so I can go to bed.
The hair dryer gives you a number of different functions, ranging from three power settings (none, medium and max) and three heat settings (cool, warm and hot). It also has a cooling button at the front in case you need cool bursts of air which is very important for long hair prone to heat damage. It encourages the cuticles in your hair to close (hence why a blast of cold water before you get out of the shower on your skin and hair is highly recommended!!)
The set comes with two nozzles to help style your hair, I don’t personally use them as I do all my styling with my GHD straighteners once my hair is dry.
Once my hair is about 80% dry, I bring in the large GHD paddle brush to help finish off the job.
If you are in the market for a top notch hair dryer, especially if you do have very long hair I highly recommend this! The fact that it could cut my drying time in half is enough for me to want to buy a travel backup. This hair dryer is priced at $199AU from the GHD website, which I is expensive. But personally for me, like the GHD straighteners, it’s an investment for me.
August 31st, 2011 § § permalink
I’m going to say what you all know was coming, it’s no surprise.
Beauty shopping in Hong Kong is better than Beauty shopping in Australia times a million plus one.
Okay, before anyone jumps out at me, let me at least present to you my little list of pros and cons, because everyone finds lists easier to read and they make my subjective thoughts seem factual
Why Hong Kong is better
- Abundance of variety, so many international brands not available in Australia are here!
- Asian cosmetic brands, okay I cheated as this is technically the same as the point above, asian cosmetics is so awesome it deserved it’s own bullet point.
- Samples, and not just little packets, but real solid samples. Case in point, I purchased 5 MAC eye shadows from the new MAC Me Over collection, and received a free Size to Go bottle of Fix+ spray. It would be a cold day in hell when the MAC counters in Australia not only greet you with a smile (cheap shot) but offer sizable samples.
- Prices, I know Hong Kong doesn’t have tax, and really whilst the prices here are a lot better than Australia, they are still not as epic as the prices in America. Still, the point is they are a TON better than Australia. Let’s use another MAC example, in Australia one eyeshadow is $33AU, in Hong Kong it’s $140HK (~$17AU) and in USA it’s $15US (~$14AU). In what universe did the Aussie retailers think we were stupid enough to pay double the price for the same cosmetics we can purchase online / overseas? The sheer joy of being able to head downstairs at lunch and BUY stuff knowing I’m paying a reasonable price is a luxury I’ve never experienced in Australia.
And people wonder why the offline retail market in Australia is dying, these points mentioned above pretty much apply to all retail areas.
Okay, but let’s be fair. Australia is my motherland, so I’ll be reasonable and give you the pros of Beauty shopping in Australia.
Why Australia is better
- Australian brands, which admittedly are pretty awesome, my favourites being Face of Australia, Australis and Savvy by DB. When I was asked to recommend liquid liner to a friend here, it hit me that my favourite actually comes from Face of Australia, but it was a product my friend couldn’t physically buy / try
- Bronzer availability
Yeah, the difference is clear. If you’re an Aussie planning a trip overseas, be prepared for a whole new level of shopping. It’s pretty darn awesome.
July 28th, 2011 § § permalink
Pretty sure it comes as no surprise that the only time I ever buy magazines is if they are offering freebies I’m interested it It just feels like I’m getting value for money, true or not I’m happy to live in my little delusional world
This month I scored three magazines! Instyle comes with a Napoleon Whole Lotta Lash Mascara in Black, Cleo comes with Model Co trio eye shadows, you can pick from a variety of colours, Smokey Eye and Island Fever, I picked Bronzed Goddess because apparently I can never have enough neutral shades! And finally Madison comes with a brush set~ Not the greatest set out there, but a great addition to my makeup kit for others I’ll let you guys know how I go with these later on when I’ve had time to have a bit more of a play~
Still nothing compares to Vogue’s freebies from a couple months back, where two makeup bags were on offer! I’ve already taken them on two trips with me and plan on using them for my next trip overseas
June 22nd, 2011 § § permalink
This post is going to be more about me discussing some issues I find important in the Australian eCommerce realm, as well as sharing news that Kiehl’s has recently opened up their first Australian eCommerce store and a notes I wanted to point out.
As you guys may or may not know, during the day I work in IT. More specifically I work in eCommerce, an industry I absolutely love being a part of Unfortunately it’s an industry that has been the focus of a lot of negative media attention lately and naturally is something I am very close to.
In recent years, Australian retailers have been slowly losing ground to their overseas competitors, no surprise there as I’m sure most people reading this blog post have only contributed to this figure, I know I have.
Our local retailer’s reaction to this? Absolutely appalling, instead of working towards helping and providing to their consumers, they are instead fighting to have pointless regulations put in place to only alienate themselves further from the Australian consumer.
Australian retailers need to recognise that times have changed and respond accordingly. According to surveys the main reasons people choose to shop online are:
• Cheaper prices
• Larger range
• Ability to browse online / compare prices
• Enticing offers / free shipping
• Personalised experience
The term, “You attract more bees with honey than vinegar” couldn’t be truer for local retailers. The one thing they have that many online overseas competitors don’t have is they are physically here.
Not only could they be addressing all the issues above, they could be using their brick and mortar stores to their advantage. They need to lower prices, set up online counterparts, branch into the mobile and tablet market and provide consumers a multi-channel experience.
Only local brands will be able to allow consumers to do things like place an order whilst on the train home from work on their mobiles and pick up in store that evening, and many more. Local retailers are able to more closely interact with their consumers, they really need to take advantage of this!
One company who I think is a great example of this, and is currently leading the “fight” against overseas competitors is Kiehl’s.
About a month or so ago, they dropped their prices to be competitive with those in America. Keeping in mind that their prices do not match their American counterparts, BUT they’ve priced themselves in such a way that if you were to include shipping & fees to order from America, you’d pretty much be a little better off to just order here (or would be pretty much breaking even). A smart and strategic move on their behalf.
The other thing they’ve recently done is join the online market! You would not believe how many Australian companies in 2011 still do not have an online store, talk about living in the stone ages. So much valuable time and money wasted!
But not only have they gone online with their discounted prices, they’ve been sure to bring across the same marketing strategies used in America, such as:
• Free samples with every order
• Free shipping for the month of June
• Free gift with purchase (lip gloss) if you enter the promotional code lipglossblog upon checkout.
With a set up like that, I could not be bothered ordering their products overseas anymore, I’d go straight to the Australian website instead.
Kiehl’s certainly took a step in the right direction, and have as a result created a warm buzz for their branding locally. Their consumers view them fondly, rather than how consumers now see Harvey Norman *rage*.
So long as they continues this trend by improving their local product range, continue providing fantastic offers and eventually branch out into the mobile / tablet market, I can see them being one of the leaders in the Australian retail market, and I wish many of the larger retailers would follow in kind.
November 30th, 2010 § § permalink
I think everyone I know has already visited Daiso in some capacity, so naturally I had to go and see what all the fuss was about. It’s basically a $2 dollar shop, only filled with lots of Japanese brands and everything in the store is $2.80AU (cash only).
Needless to say I managed to grab a few items, mostly stationery and makeup I’m a huuuge stationery collector, it’s probably the only thing I’ve been collecting that has spanned a good two decades of my life! But this isn’t a stationery blog, so here’s are the beauty products I managed to snap up.
I was most excited and impressed with the lashes. They are sturdy and good quality, and at only $2.80AU I almost regret not grabbing more, if it weren’t for the fact that I have a drawer filled with them already
The packaging for the eye shadows are too cute, very slim so perfect for travel.
Got a chance to actually use the lip gloss in a future Book of Fables, and I was a bit disappointed that there was hardly any pigmentation. It’s basically a very sheer pink tint with lots of glitter, which is fine if that’s what you expected when placing your purchase.
The blush I just had to get for the sake of packaging, how cute is it? Like a mushroom! It’s more a cream blush than powder.
Once I’ve had a chance to really use the products above I’ll try and do a review But at $2.80AU each it’s hard to go wrong (unless they give you some crazy allergic reaction!… *touch wood*)
I also grabbed this little empty lip palette, which I will use to store the lip products I intend to make and mix for my makeup artist kit. I just can’t find any lip palettes that are cheap and pigmented enough for my models, so I’ve decided to make my own lipsticks, will post about that soon
Overall Daiso was great fun, not sure it’s a place I’d go back to very often though. It is rather out of the way for me to get to, and I don’t foresee myself needing to constantly restock on more plastic containers or cheap makeup often. Plus I hear the ones overseas are much bigger and comprehensive, so I might save my money for those instead when I head overseas
Still Daiso is still worth visiting at least once, more likely than not you’ll walk out with something you can use (or look at!)
April 1st, 2010 § § permalink
I actually wanted to type this up as an email for my dear Sefie, but then I figured others may find it useful too, so why not make a small blog post out of it?
Buying department store makeup in Japan, if the price is better here (this varies a lot from product to product so be sure to check before coming over) and you want it, get it here! First, the customer service here is second to none. I’ve been in Japan for about a week now, people always think I’m a local (till I open my mouth, then I’m a total tourist, so I see both sides) and I haven’t come across any bad customer service at all. Amazing!
Secondly, if you want to try products on, they are only too happy to give you their full attention. I’ve noticed a few times at the Aussie counters, the SA just want to grab my money and shove me out the door, sometimes even doing incorrect colour checks as well :/
Lastly, samples! Every brand I’ve bought from will give you mini cute versions of other products that work great as travel versions. I’ve never received any samples from the Aussie counters, except for Kiehls.
All in all, shopping in Japan for makeup is totally worth it
February 6th, 2010 § § permalink
After a tough week at work, I felt like rewarding myself with a bit of shopping (also known as retail therapy), so I headed down to Chadstone and picked up a few goodies. My official favourite part of Chadstone is the new designer area that flows down towards Target because all my favourite clothing stores are there. Although to be honest, I’ve found myself shifting towards only the stores that have sales on, or brands that are generally cheaper.
Call me crazy (my friends and family certainly do) but paying $300-400AU for a shirt or pants seems excessive to me (bags and shoes are totally different things!) I have nothing against paying those sort of prices in general, but I suppose right now, given my income, priorities and the fact that I can sew, I’d rather put the money towards a new pair of shoes or bag instead.
I’m going to try and and spend more time exploring new brands, both offline and online and get creative. My wardrobe is really quite depressing (hence why I haven’t had any outfit posts yet, but I will soon! Waiting for my new remote control to come in!) So one of my goals for this year is to spice it up a bit more. That reminds me, I really do want to make a post about my fashion goals for the year.
Speaking of new brands, well… this isn’t really new, since I already have a small Coach bag my cousin gave me, though I’ve never been big on the Coach label. But in the spirit of being open to new styles and brands, I had a look through and found what I think will be my new makeup bag (I’ve been using my LV Mini Pochette, which is far too small)
I love the two zip compartments, and the extra pocket on the inside. I think it’s suppose to actually be a clutch as it came with an across the body strap (which just makes it all the more versatile), but I can see this being a great makeup bag. I love having colourful cute accessories in my bag, definitely something I want to colour more off so every time I open my bag I’ll see a rainbow of colours.
January 16th, 2010 § § permalink
Hello, I’m back from my trip in Asia~ I visited Beijing, China and Hong Kong and brought up a stack of goodies that I hope to share over time in my blog. However till then, I wanted to show you a couple of photos taken at a wonderful craft show held by a close friend of mine. Welcome to…
I’m always amazed whenever I see a booth by Celeste, the layout and colours are amazing and the quality of each of her pieces of nothing but first class. See below for a few more snaps of her lovely booth, and if something strikes your fancy I suggest you feed your cravings and visit her website.
» Read the rest of this entry «
December 11th, 2009 § § permalink
Random snaps of some of the new stores at Chadstone
Still waiting for this one to open tho! *_*
November 22nd, 2009 § § permalink
Finally back from a trip to Chadstone’s new luxury wing and can I just say wow! The bag and speedy exhibitions were gorgeous and insightful (the photos I took came out terrible ). Very well laid out. Here’s a quick run down of each store I managed to visit:
My true love~ The store is much bigger and brighter than I had anticipated, everything so nicely displayed. It was great to see the Cruise 09/10 collection, and various other recent releases (eagerly awaiting the Christmas and New Years additions). They carry cosmetic jewelry, bags, luggage and shoes. The best surprise was learning that just a few days ago there was a price decrease of 10% of all stock. Yes, you read right, decrease! So if there was ever a good time to buy, now would be it.
There are two stores under Chanel, one for beauty and one for leather goods and clothes. Chanel had released a special limited edition 2.55 quilted bag in gold lambskin just for the Chadstone opening of Chanel. Only 100 worldwide were made and they are only available from the store set at a price tag of $4910AU. After my visit today, they only had less than 50 left.
Thanks to some persuasive friends, we walked away with a couple of free goodies.
Massive, especially when all I had to go by was the store in Melbourne CBD. Far more on display, shoes, bags, perfumes and jewelry. However as opposed to the Melbourne store, there were no clothes available. The atmosphere was lovely though, couches to relax on and soak in the environment, I see my future Gucci purchases coming from here.
Tiffany & Co.
don’t think I’ve ever stepped into a Tiffany & Co. store that didn’t have women and their partners swamped around the charms area. However I can’t blame them, I’ve started my own around the world collection, which I’ll save for another post. It’d say the size is similar to that of the city store, as were the jewelry range, though I find the CBD layout to be a little more flow friendly.
I may not be a Coach girl, but I can appreciate finally having one hit Melbourne! Coach is so full of life and colour, if LV had not stolen my heart I can definitely see myself very quickly forming an addiction to the goods they have here. Mainly with a focus on bags, not many shoes unfortunately.
I’m going to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed, to me Jimmy Choo is all about the shoes, but not only was this store tiny (and had zero crowd control), but they focused so much on bags that the few shoes that were on display were overshadowed.
Three stores I am eagerly awaiting for (and have been told they are set to open some time after the 1st of December, if not on that very date) are Burberry, Prada and Miu Miu, will have reviews up once I pay them a visit~
So impressed, yet so sad that I work in the city and hence can’t make regular trips down here. Guess this will have to be an after work / weekend activity. Especially with so many of my favourite SAs from LV now working in Chadstone. Also I was good and didn’t pull out my credit card once