15% off cute vegan shoes at Beyond Skin

I just love the range of shoes at Beyond Skin. Just my style. To celebrate World Vegan day, they have 15% off everything with code 15vegan. Here are some of my current favs:

Maggie Black Faux Patent £70.00

Candice – Orange Zigzag Print £85.00

Frankin – Navy Print £54.00

Salma – Red Print £54.00

Sirene – Mustard Diamond Print £67.00

Bessie – Yellow Faux Patent £79.00

Rosie – Nude Faux Patent £53.00

JoJo – Pink Faux Suede £55.00Stella – Red Faux Suede £79.00

Sonny – Natural Herringbone £59.00


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The Fountain of Youth in a Cheap Plastic Bottle: KNN serum

The title of this post is intentionally provocative. We all know there is no fountain of youth, but I think perhaps DIY skincare is the closest I will ever come to it.

Everything in my routine works really well together and each product performs a slightly different function. I love my Rose Sunscreen, I love my ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleanser, and the long list of serums that have graced these pages are equally loved. However, as I was making a fresh batch of KNN serum today (Kinetin, Niacinamide, N-acetyl-D glucosamine) it occured to me just how much of a standout this serum is in a strong field of contenders. It will fix any issue you have.

Got acne? No problem.

Want to erase wrinkles? You got it.

Want botox-like firming? Sure.

Face lift without the price tag? Yup.

I took a photo of myself to give a sense of what it does for the skin. This photograph was taken today, in natural light, with no makeup on at all. I am 36, and have lived in Australia all my life. I only started wearing sunscreen daily in my early 30s (gah!) so I’ve had a lot of issues to correct.

My skin is my no means perfect, but I am really happy with the results of my DIY skincare regime. My skin has improved hugely despite all the sun damage it has incurred over the years.

If you want to know more about the issues I’ve been trying to deal with, see the posts here, here, and here. You can see that I’ve used lots of different DIY treatments and strategies which are better than anything you can buy over a counter, but if you’re looking for a serum that does it all, try the KNN serum. I have a tutorial you can follow here. The best ingredients are available from Skin Essential Actives.

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A Bespoke Skincare Line for Christmas

Want to give a unique Christmas gift? Why not create a bespoke skincare line for someone!

There are lots of formulas listed on this blog (just click the skincare tag) and you can get beautiful packaging from Skin Essential Actives. Talk to friends and family about their skincare needs (anti-acne, anti-ageing etc) and develop something just for them. Better than botox, and a hell of a lot cheaper too.

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Flash Sale! 20% off everything at People Tree

People Tree is an excellent example of how ethical, sustainable fashion can be done in a really appealing way. Their prices are really competitive (even though they’re not using sweatshop labour to produce anything), and whilst the knits are pricey, good quality knitwear always is. It really is worth investing in good quality knits that will actually keep you warm during winter. I adore all the designs they have.

Anyway, People Tree have sweetened the deal with a flash sale! 20% off everything! If I hadn’t just been on a spending spree (evidenced in the posts below) I would definitely be indulging. I’m just hoping they have a post-Christmas sale too!

Here are my favs:

Snowflake Alpaca Jumper $324

Elsie Striped Dress $78

Elise Party Dress $115

Bella Rose Cardigan $189

Blue Bow Top $47

I love everything! They have some great accessories that would make fantastic Christmas presents, too.

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DIY Skincare Resources

Hi all! I have a few DIY skincare resources to recommend to you today.

The first is the Skin Essentials Active blog, which is excellent for the basics of DIY skincare. Make a coffee and have a read!

Second, I have two excellent forums to recommend to you. The first is the Skin Essentials Active forum, and the second is the Skin Care Boards forum. I am signed up to both, and I find the information top notch. The girls there really know what they are talking about, and will give you amazing skin and save you a tonne of cash. It may seem daunting at first, but they are really supportive and will talk you through anything you need to know. They will never look down on you for asking questions!

If you want a simple place to start with DIY skincare, why not try this simple wash-off OCM cleanser. Seriously, it beats anything on the market and is a joy for the skin. No need to double cleanser, and it removes all my ZnO sunscreen,  Waterproof Covergirl Lashblast Mascara, and everything else, in one go. It will leave your skin in top condition and finally rid you of all those annoying nose blackheads! The best part is that it is so simple to throw together. Literally takes me two minutes (and I have been known to mix some cleanser in the mornings before work!).

Finally, I would also like to recommend Barefaced Truth – a website run by two highly regarded dermatologists who are very keen to inform the general public about the truth behind ageing skin. Also, if you want a rundown of a particular active, head over the Smart Skin Care. This site will give you a brief explanation of both popular and obscure actives.

Good luck on your DIY skincare journey :)


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Sunscreen Variation

I made another batch of my Rose Sunscreen today, but altered the recipe slightly to treat my skin to some different actives.

I subbed out the CoQ10 and replaced it with Alpha Lipoic Acid.  A truly beautiful active that works well in sunscreen. Where the skin is being guarded against free radicals, it’s important to have antioxidants around to deal with them. I kept the percentage at 1% to guard against any irritation, but so far, my skin loves it.

I also subbed in Egg Lecithin instead of my usual lecithin, as I haven’t used it in a sunscreen before. It does have a slightly egg-y smell, but my skin LOVES it, and it gives the sunscreen a really silky look. It is ever so slightly gritty, but if my skin loves it, I’m fine with that.

You can see how smooth the formula is, even in the early stages. This is the first stage of Egg Lecithin + Oil + Alpha Lipoic Acid. Quite beautiful.

I’m still working at a 24% Zinc Oxide content. I do get a very slight white caste at this intensity, but it doesn’t look unnatural (as you can see in this picture) and I enjoy seeing evidence of my sun protection. Of course, this probably also has a lot to do with the fact that I spend a lot of time peering closely at myself in mirrors!). If you want completely invisible sunscreen, you may like to reduce the ZnO content to 20%. 18% is generally regarded as the minimum content for effective sunscreen, but I go to 24% because I’m quite overzealous about my skin.

I'm still using this Zinc Oxide

I’m also loving the new airless pumps at Skin Essential Actives. So glam!

As you can see, I put the leftovers in a pot. Not nearly as glam as the pumps.

Lastly, I added a jasmine essential oil rather that rose, as it’s springtime here in Western Australia.

Good luck with your DIY adventures :)

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Beyond Skin: Sirene Peacock Glitter Heels

I want these. They are beautiful.

Sparkly, vegan shoes for $100. What’s not to like?

Check out other vegan shoes at Beyond Skin and VeganShoes.co.uk.

Update: I bought these! Can’t wait for them to arrive.

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Comfort Food

I’m not much of a chef.

I hate the clean-up that comes with cooking, and I find being in the kitchen tedious unless I’m preparing a gin and tonic. But, what I have learned over the years is that if you can prepare yourself a few delicious things, your quality of life improves.

I really felt like some comfort food this evening. Salad, no matter how tasty, doesn’t really cut it when you have a cold. So I went to one of my favourite food blogs, Easy as Vegan Pie, and decided to wizz up some pesto and hommous. Both were much more delicious than the photos suggest. I added extra garlic to both for more germ-fighting power (hopefully).

I just slathered the pesto on thick, multigrain toast, and it was awesome.

I went the traditional route and served the hommous with carrots. Probably the easiest way to get some veg in your life.

The best thing about these two is that they are easy to prepare, healthy, and delicious. If I can prepare them, anyone can.

Check out Easy as Vegan Pie for more easy to throw together ideas. Though it’s no longer being updated, it’s a great resource.


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Sickness Shopping

So I’ve got a cold. Which means I’m whinging a lot, feeling sorry for myself, and browsing lots of online stores to try and cheer myself up. My first Hush purchases (sloppy jumper, tee, and joggers) are coming in to their own, so even though I’m miserable, I am undoubtedly warm. I wore the jumper and tee out for breakfast this morning with my Asos skinny jeans and some brown boots, and I think it’s safe to say that I looked a lot better than I felt. Those jeans are fab too. Nice to sit and eat breakfast in a pair of jeans that don’t cut into your tum when you sit down.

Continuing with this theme, I’ve made a second Hush purchase:

I always swore that I would not buy in to the leggings trend (I can remember them the first time around. They weren’t great) but here we are. The model makes them look so good that I couldn’t resist.  So, I purchased the leggings, another tee, and a fine knit jumper. I can’t wait for them to arrive. I love the quality and style of each piece, and wearing truly warm clothes means that I don’t turn the heat on as often. I’m also tempted by this waterfall cardigan, but I don’t suppose even I will be that cold during spring.

Now I’m seriously tempted to buy some Hollister jeans. Style on the Couch swears by the cut and she has great taste in all things. I love the look of these medium wash skinny jeans and these dark wash flared jeans (though I could live without the paint effect). Anyway, let’s see how low this cold can go. These may be the purchases of my future!



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Coffee break shopping – vintage on Etsy

Etsy is still such a great place to find vintage clothing. Great quality, great cut, and very flattering. I’m loving these:

1930s dress from Mistery Mister $125

1940s beaded gown from LostnFound Vintage $298

1950s skirt from English Rose Vintage $26

1940s wool skirt from Starlet Vintage $54

Seriously, once you start buying vintage, you’ll never look at modern clothing in the same way again. Except for the expensive stuff :)



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Coffee break shopping – The Outnet

I do love The Outnet, and when their “Country Break Essentials” email landed in my inbox, I knew the edit would be right up my street. Observe:

Oscar de la Renta Tweed Pants $394.96

Iris & Ink Angora-blend sweater $148

Alice and Olivia Tweed Mini Skirt $150

DVF lace skirt $135

N. Pearl Cashmere Sweater $140

Gorgeous clothes. I particularly like those tweed trousers – so 1930s :)


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ASOS Supersoft Skinny Jeans in Indigo

These jeans just arrived in my letterbox and I’m already considering a second pair.

They don’t look very special in the photo above, but they fit really well. The denim is thin and comfortable, but still very flattering.

Instant butt lift.

No muffin top, either.

They are $52.94 on Asos, which I think it pretty reasonable. Love the colour.

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Currently Coveting…

I’m currently procrasti-marking, so I’m taking the opportunity to revist things online that have caught my eye this week.

These great heels from Melissa:

This dress from Joypop Vintage:

and this one too:

I’m also loving this pyjama set from Hush:

It’s the Cashmere Oversized Jumper and the Antique Floral Pyjama Bottoms. They both look so luxurious and comfortable.

I think their Skinny Cords look amazing too, and would work well for spring in Australia:

I also love the Freya shirt dress. It looks so great here:

Okay, back to marking.


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Getting Zohara Tights in Australia

So one day, I came across this photo…

…and so began a great e-journey to discover how I could purchase them and make them my own.

I discovered that these tights (“art on tights”) were a product of the fabulous Israeli tights company Zohara Tights. They launched in 2010 and present a really unique and good quality take on the whole statement-tight look. The company commissions artists to design work for their stockings, and whilst some of their designs are a bit *too* statement for me, I now own about three or four pairs of their tights and I love them all. Very good quality (you’ll be able to hand these down to your grandchildren) and definitely unique here in Australia.

Anyway, back to the tights in the picture above that I was originally chasing.

What I have discovered is that Zohara tights sell with many online (and in store) retailers around the world, and if you are after a particular pair from a past season (like those above), you basically need to do some top rate googling to discover whether they’re still available somewhere.

I could not find the tights above for love nor money as they were sold out everywhere, but I did manage to find the design in black and white, which I love. By the way, the text is just a quote from Wikipedia on love:

These are STUNNING. I get compliments on these every time I wear them. I ended up buying these at TrendyLegs.com, who stock lots of Zohara Tights, and have a more user-friendly website than Zohara themselves. I also love the medium grey version of these tights.

I’ve also purchased these tights from Zohara, and I love them too:

Amazing that a gothic, New York streetscape can transfer on to a pair of tights, really. These city print grey and black tights are available here.

Anyway, after resigning myself to never finding that original pair, I was still very happy with my Zohara Tights finds.

But then…

An email from TrendyLegs.com arrived in my inbox asking whether I would like to pre-order the Love Text Print Tights in Grey and Black. YES. Done. So my beloved tights are currently winging their way to me as we speak. I can’t wait to try them on!

I also ordered these Hebrew text tights:

Some more googling revealed that AussieGirlLovesShoes.com was also selling Zohara Tights (which is where I bought these tights above), as well as the black and white Love Text version that I so adore. Great service, too.

Zohara has just launched their latest collection, and as always, there is a lot to love. Check them out at ZoharaTights.com or TrendyLegs.com.

AussieGirlLovesShoes.com is also worth a look, particularly if you’re looking for pairs from past collections (at a good price!).

These tights are expensive, but they are super comfy, wash well, don’t sag or cut in at the waist, and last forever. Great investment.


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An Update

I don’t know if anyone still reads this or not, but for some reason I felt in the mood to post an update on here. So what have I been doing?

First, I’ve officially graduated with a PhD. Brilliant.

That picture makes me glad I decided to wear some fabulous Ellis Faas Skin Veil foundation at the last minute, instead of just my usual Ellis Faas concealer.

Anyway, now that I’ve graduated, I’m now back to teaching. I’m not working at a posh, single-sex private school anymore, but instead I’m working at a small senior college in the country. It makes me happy to be helping students with the least means at this point in my career, and it does feel healthier to be living in a rural area. In my spare time, I’m writing for The Australian, presenting lectures, and writing various academic material. This all keeps me very busy (hence the lack of posts).

Now that it’s school holidays, I’m taking the time to relax a bit and reassess my work/ life balance (as much as one can when there are so many things to do). To help me unwind at the end of the day, I’ve finally invested in some loungewear from Hush that doesn’t make me look like a hobo:

Can’t wait to receive these. The quality looks amazing. I already want to make a second order! I know that we’re moving in to spring in Australia, but I am perpetually cold, so I’ll get a reasonable amount of wear from these before summer comes along.

I’ve also bought this baseball tee from Asos, and some skinny jeans to go with it. Both were a recommendation from Mustard Jumper, who never fails with her clothing advice.I’m still reading Style on the Couch, who has impeccable taste in all things. A must read, too. To round off the loungewear-buying (for now) I also bought this awesome long-sleeved tee from I Eat Trees. It’s also a great blog (though Kerri doesn’t update any more).

I’m still buying lots of vintage from Jolie Vintage (now Joypop Vintage) and I still think that you can’t beat vintage for quality, price, and cut. Once you start wearing vintage, modern clothes just don’t look the same.

My favourite literary t-shirt is falling apart, so I’ve ordered another Shakespeare is my Homeboy t-shirt (an essential in any wardrobe) and a fabulous t-shirt with the following print on the front:

Best. Ever.

I’m also trying to get back to looking after myself food-wise. Cooking tends to fall away when I’m busy, but I’m currently searching blogs like this and this for healthy eating ideas. I’m even thinking about purchasing this book. Although the hippy factor is off the charts, it might have some good ideas.

Other than that, Lamington is going well:

I’m also currently reading The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer (one of Stephen Fry’s favourite authors) and really enjoying it. Everyone is ‘vexed’, ‘odious’, or ‘grave’, and solves every trying situation with a glass of wine or brandy. The cover art of her novels always looks dire, but the prose is wonderful:

Well, I’m going to make some lunch, finish the aforementioned book, and start on my enormous pile of marking.

I might update here from time to time, or not. We’ll see.

Best to all.


Posted in Clothes, PhD | 18 Comments