Monthly Archives: November 2008

US election 2008

I believe it would be quite remiss of me NOT to make some kind of intimation that the US Presidential Election took place and had an absolutely bloody brilliant result, don’t you?

The US system of candidate nomination, primaries and the Grand Final, over what seems an inordinately long period of  time, seems exceedingly odd to those of us brought up with the Westminster System . . . which is really the basis of the US system of course, with the two Houses et al, but where did all that primaries stuff come from? 

It makes absolutely no sense and it’s main purpose seems to be to divide the parties [eg, Democrats into Hillary vs Barack supporters; aren’t they all on the same side?  FFSL] and bore the population to tears, with campaigning so far in advance of the Presidential Election that by the time that day in November rolls around no one no-one can be buggered to turn out to vote.

I am cringingly ashamed of my ignorance;  obviously someone needs to explain this to me.  Please be gentle. 

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You can all come back now . . .

 . . . I’ve finished with all the girly stuff [for a bit, anyway].

I really am sorry about all that  – I had drafts of most of those posts, and as I was having a crap week pain-wise* I figured rather than go into extended-hiatus-mode I’d pop them up as filler.  I just couldn’t seem to find an appropriate time to post the product reviews and the Best-Of make up series, since I’m not a dedicated beauty blogger they seem a little out of place!

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Make up, she wrote – Part II

Herewith Part II of the post on my absolute favourite can’t-live-without cosmetic products.  Part I was all about the face – concealer, foundations, powder, blush and highlighters.  I continue on with eyes, lips and make up tools.


Mascara:  Max Factor Masterpiece MAX Mascara  [Black]  [I believe this is called Lash Perfection in the USA]

I’m addicted to thick, curly, blacker-than-black lashes.  As I was blessed at birth with white-blond eyelashes [admittedly long and curly], mascara is a necessity lest I look like the White Rabbit.  I also wear contact lenses and have medium-sensitive eyes, so it’s essential to find products that don’t contain nylon fibres which happily flake into the eyes all day long, a formula that doesn’t glug into the eyes, get absorbed by the lens and result in blurry cloudy eyesight – not to mention the risk of bacteria and infection.  Mmm conjunctivitis.  Maybelline Full & Soft and DIOR Diorshow were my favourite mascaras for ages but they weren’t perfect

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Make up, she wrote – Part I

It’s hardly a secret here that I love love love make up and skin care, playing with powders and paints and ever-so-pretty colours [am such a kid].   Conversely, I have zero interest in fashion or clothing beyond adequate coverage of my cute self, which is kinda weird.  And as for hair – well, I’m a wash n wear girl, no product overload and flat-ironing or what-have-you for me.  Just the make up and lotions and potions, please and thank you.

I was a late developer in the area of make up as in many others [puberty at 16?] which meant I bypassed some of the less fortunate aspects of the 1980s, heavy stripes of unblended blue and pink eye shadow, white lipstick and goopy cheap lip gloss.  When I was ready to get into make up and skin care, I went straight for the good stuff and learnt how to apply it correctly.

My tastes and preferences have changed over the years, but my basic policy remains the same.  I spend my money carefully regardless of brand name and hype;  I keep my “collection” minimal;  and I am beyond sceptical when it comes to outrageous advertorial claims by cosmetic companies.  I’m loyal to lines that deserve it by being tops in quality.  I don’t mind the spend so long as I get good bang for my buck.  So to speak. 

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Product reviews – Skin care – Body

So continuing on in girly vein, here’s a few reviews of my favourite products for skin care – body.  I have a very basic routine and set of products from which I rarely deviate.  I have very sensitive skin [of course I do] that’s inclined to get horridly itchy and dry, due mostly to the large doses of morphine and other delightful prescription medications I have to take.  So even though I occasionally long for all those pretty- pretty bottles full of beautifully scented bath and shower delights [L’Occitane and Origins, I’m looking at you, you bastards, why do you have to use SLSs and parabens and all that gross stuff?] I don’t purchase them because I know too well how unfortunate the results will be, and how long my skin will take to recover. Continue reading

Product reviews – Skin care – Face Part II

 My next favourite brand for skin care is Clarins.  I’ve had a long, long love affair with Clarins, particularly in my 20s when I had Clarins everything.  I went off it for several years while I played the field a bit, but I’ve returned – to the old faithfuls and a few really great new improved products. Continue reading

Product reviews – Skin care – Face Part I

I last wrote about my skin care regime and products back in February, and thought it time for an update;  what I’m currently using, how the products have fared and a few reviews of new products too.  I’m afraid the full post is a bit long [understatement!] so I’ve divided it into two parts.  Feel free to just skim-read or skip it entirely if all this girly stuff is not your cuppa tea.

My new favourite skin care line back then was Ultraceuticals [yep possibly worst brand name ever] and I’m still incredibly happy with it.   It’s a great range, and the proof is my skin is looking the best it ever has;  like the skin of a clean living healthy 25 year old, which is kinda nice when one is 39!  It looks and feels really smooth and supple, with a very fine velvety-soft texture.  My skin is dry / sensitive and the products I use have been most effective;  the products for oily / combo skins get equally positive reviews.  It’s quite unusual for one line to treat all skin types equally well. 

As far as wrinkles and lines go, well you all know I’m super sceptical but this stuff has made a visible difference.  Frown lines have reduced, in particular my “pain line” [one line that crosses through an eyebrow and deepens depending how much distress I’m in], and I have hardly any lines around my eyes.  Sure there are laugh lines and I don’t look like an expressionless over-Botoxed freak, hello Nicole Kidman, but in general there has been a major improvement in the past few months. 

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Bo Luc Lac – Vietnamese Sizzling Beef Salad

This is a fantastic recipe for summer!  Quick, easy, can be prepared outdoors on the barbie and plated at the table.  It’s so fresh and inviting, with a divine dressing that jazzes up the most dour of taste buds.  For a more substantial meal you could serve this over cooked rice noodles, or have a crusty baguette on the side to mop up the juices, but personally I find the salad to be very satisfying and just perfect as is.  The dressing is very versatile and just plain addictive.   The same salad and dressing would go well with char-grilled scallops or salmon fillet too.

So – Bo Luc Lac or Vietnamese “Shaking” or Sizzling Beef Salad is a classic made with a minimum of fuss.  It comprises cubes of stir fried steak, a simple but exciting salad mix, and that gorgeous dressing that can be modified to suit your taste buds.  It’s also incredibly healthy with very little oil / fat content and plenty of greens and vegetables. 

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