Marianna Senchina Lipstick
Fashion, Style

Friday Finds: Taylor Says, Worst Behavior, Marianna Senchina and Still Products

It’s Friday and it’s now my favourite day of the week, not just because we have a whole delicious weekend ahead of us, but because I get to share some finds with you. Get your clicking finger ready!

Taylor Says – if you thought Louboutin’s signature red sole was lustworthy, feast your eyes on these babies. With a work of art on every sole, they’re almost too beautiful to wear. Almost. Take it from me though, if you see a pair you love, don’t think, just buy. They’re all limited edition so once they’re gone, they’re gone. Prices start at a crazy reasonable $149.95 USD.

Worst Behavior – I’m not huge on slogan tees, but everyone need a little (bad) attitude in their wardrobe, right? Prices start at €29.00

Marianna Senchina – you get but a handful of truly iconic designers in your lifetime. If you’re into trading futures, I’d say Marianna Senchina is a smart investment.

 

Still Products – simple, minimal and modern-yet-classic. Some of these pieces are even made to order. Prices from a measly $12.00 SGD.

The Roger
Boutique Budget, Travel

8 Gorgeous Hotels Under a Hundred Bucks a Night

It’s easy to tell yourself you aren’t travelling to spend time in your hotel room, but really… who wants to spend their nights somewhere that isn’t as nice as home? The good news is whilst a decadent splurge is lovely, it’s not essential to ensure you get your shut-eye somewhere worthy of your Instagram account. Here’s my pick of 8 gorgeous hotels around the world that will set you back under $100.00 USD a night (OK, I’ve cheated on one by $19).

Ace Hotel, New York City
From $95.20 USD / night

The Roger, New York City
From $119.00 USD / night

Hotel Mayet, Paris
From €68.00 / night

Hotel Vondel, Amersterdam
From €65.00 / night

Metropolitian by Como, Bangkok
From ฿3,200 / night

The Stiles Hotel (formerly Hotel Nash), Miami
From $92.65 USD / night

Usha Kiran Palace, India
From ₹4,500 / night

This last one is a shoutout to my husband… he’s got a significant birthday this year and, well… Firenze is always a good idea.

Hotel Home, Florence
From €63.20 / night

 

TheEnvyEdit Two
Everything Else

9 Great Instagrammers To Follow

Perhaps it’s just me, but some days it feels like all the best Instagram accounts have a squillion followers and there aren’t any more up-and-comers to discover. So I’ve done the legwork and found 9 great Instagrammers with fewer than 5,000 followers you may not have heard of yet (their descriptions of accounts, not mine…) Double tap!

annalazdina – 2,660+ followers. InstaBlogger. Fashion. Food. Beauty. Owner of @annajewelry. 

Simply.Monochrome – 3,700+ followers. Mixing men & womenswear Currently in HONG KONG. 

chloekermeci – 1,850+ followers. Based on fashion.

100thgallery – 80+ followers. For everyone new to art 200 normanby road south melbourne.

matthew_sim – 880+ followers. Creative strategist in NYC. 

thedeninteriors – 120+ followers. Interior design, decoration, styling. Hunter of all things beautiful for the home.

t_creed – 150+ followers.

annahecek - 4,875+ followers. Sydney. Serial wanderluster. Mostly photos of my clothes, apartment & sunsets.

theenvyedit – 2,390+ followers. Daily drawings of all sorts of must haves!

 

Gabriel Lee Feature
Everything Else

Friday Finds: Gabriel Lee, Alfie Douglas, Jaggad and The Design Loves Co

My monthly ‘finds’ posts are amongst the easiest and most difficult to pull together. There are so many great new brands, things and whatnot to share yet I feel like I need to whittle it down to a manageable three or four. So instead of monthly, I’m taking this puppy weekly. From now on, Friday is Find day.

Enough from me, on with the finds!

Gabriel Lee – This Korean-Australian eponymous label is still relatively new on the scene but already has a bit of a signature look. Classic lines with a little something special adorned with prints, textures and block colours. Get in now before it goes mainstream.

Alfie Douglas – Three words: simple, minimal, handmade. That pretty much sums up Alfie Douglas. Pieces are made to order, but good things come to those who wait, and Alfie Douglas things are definitely good things. Right now the label is working in leather so they’re turning out bags, satchels, clutches, pouches, saddle bags, briefcases and other such necessities. Prices start at £12.00 for a wrist strap (translation: cuff).

Jaggad – This Melbourne label brings us unfussy but stylish activewear that’s just right, whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior. Their collection is still small, but I can’t wait to see what they do next. From $59.95 AUD.

The Design Loves Co – The beautiful side project of a Canadian advertising exec, The Design Loves Co currently has just five gorgeous products in the range. Even then, I’m picking this as the next Kikki-K. From $11.00 CAD.

Thankyou Hand Wash
Everything Else, Home

Chic and thoughtful hostess* gifts

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a friend’s house and they say ‘just bring yourself!’, but you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Wine is tough (is it a gift or are they expected to open it?), particularly if you don’t know the menu.  Speaking of which, as someone who has obsessed over menus, for the love of quinoa, don’t show up with a dish! Anyway, here’s my go-to list of simple but thoughtful gifts to take when visiting friends for an occasion warranting thrusting something into their hands as you step over the threshold.

Grown Alchemist

Luxe handwash – it’s the sort of thing lots of people don’t buy for themselves, but everyone seems to love. I’m a fan of Grown Alchemist ($29.95 AUD / 500ml) and Thankyou ($7.95 AUD / 500ml)

Records – this one requires some hardware, but if the stage is set it’s a gift that doesn’t only say ‘I thought about this’, it’s also a great conversation starter. Prices vary and a quick Google will show you some stores near you, but failing that, Amazon has a great vinyl selection.

Melbourne Gin Company

Boutique beverages – leave your regifted red at home and take something that sighs ‘special’ as soon as you set eyes on it. Perhaps a bottle of The Melbourne Gin Company‘s finest ($68.99 AUD for 700ml at Dan Murphy’s) and a few friends in the form of Fever Tree Indian tonic water ($7.99 AUD for a pack of 4 from Dan Murphy’s).

T2 - Madam Flutterby

Tea and coffee – and I’m not talking Nespresso (sorry, George). Get thyself to your local cafe and have a bag of something rich, dark and delicious to waft under the nose of your host* on arrival. Alternatively, an interesting tea (caffeinated or otherwise) is a unique choice. I’m into almost everything at T2, but for a nice little after dinner something-something, check out their Flutterby range (Madam Flutterby shown above, $12.00 AUD for the tin) and the French Earl Grey ($14.00 AUD a box). It is in fact, the actual cats pajamas.

Something for the kids – if all else fails, showing up with the latest little Lego set or Matchbox car will be appreciated by everyone in the house. Guaranteed. Lego sets vary in price but start around $15.00 AUD at Big W.

*I do hope it goes without saying, but I’ve used the words ‘host’ and ‘hostess’ interchangeably in this post.

iPhone
Everything Else

Get ‘appy: a selection of the best iPhone apps

I used to very much regard my phone as a thing that had to do just a few key functions: make and receive phone calls, send and receive email, manage my calendar and maybe send the odd text. Recently though I’ve noticed that a handful of iPhone apps have turned my phone from helpful to essential.

Here’s my selection of apps which keep my phone within arms reach and out of the bottom of my handbag… (in no particular order).

1. Fitbit (free) – I’ve written about Fitbit before and my adoration for it isn’t showing any signs of slowing. Together with my Fitbit One, the app tells me how active I am, how many steps I’ve done during the day, how I’ve slept and keep track of how much water I’ve drunk during the day.

2. Instagram (free) – I was late to the Instagram party and have only recently really got into it. I love seeing people’s days and discovering new bloggers and brands at a glance in tiny vignette form.

3. Pinterest (free) – inspiration at my fingertips with a seemingly endless supply of images to find, share and pin. It’s like virtual scrapbooking anytime you like!

4. Spotify (app is free, but I recommend the premium version of Spotify – $11.99 AUD a month) – more music than you can ever know what to do with which you can sort into playlists for use at various times. You can follow me here and enjoy doozies such as my ‘car karaoke’ playlist.

5. YNAB  (app is free, but YNAB licence costs $60.00 USD) – to say YNAB changed my life would be an understatement. In summary, YNAB made me such a gun at budgeting I don’t even know what day I get paid – I’m no longer hanging out for the cash to land in my account. The YNAB app syncs with my desktop version so I can enter expenses on the fly.

6. Uber (free) – did you know the leading source of credit card fraud / stolen details is actually cabs? With Uber I don’t have to remember to bring cash AND the car comes to me with a count-down timer showing its progression. Perfect.

7. 12 Minute Athlete ($3.79 AUD) – it’s a bit early for me to say anything too grandiose about 12 Minute Athlete (I’ve only had it a couple of weeks), but given my gym is less than 100 metres from my house, open 24 hours a day and now I can get a serious workout in 12 minutes flat there’s really no excuse.

8. Inbox by Gmail (free) – it takes a bit of getting used to, but now I’ve got my head around Inbox by Gmail I couldn’t go back to the iPhone’s Mail app. It’s sort of like learning how to use a mac after years of the dodgy logic Microsoft made their name with. Once you’ve got it in hand it just makes so much sense. Inbox keeps you organised and allows you to find anything and everything with a swipe of your thumb.

9. Weatherzone+ ($2.79 AUD) – yes, I paid for a weather app. It’s accurate, detailed and helps me dress appropriately. In my books that’s worth a few bucks.

10. Smiling Mind (free) – this is another app which has made an appearance on the blog before and if I wasn’t already a huge fan then I would be now. Each version is better than the last! A great range of guided meditations for kids through to adults that give you a little dose of mindfulness in your day.

11. Evernote (free, but I recommend the premium version of Evernote which is about $6.49 AUD a month) – another organisation-y one, what I really love about Evernote Premium is the ability to take photos of my physical notes, load them into Evernote and they become searchable. Hey presto, all my notes are available on my iPhone, my iPad and my computer, long after I’ve discarded my notebook.

12. VSCOcam (free, in-app purchases available too) – photo editing that goes way beyond the rudimentary stuff offered by your iPhone or even Instagram. You can buy packs of filters to give you a kick start if you like, or get creative and make adjustment manually.

 

 

Australian Pharmacy Buys
Beauty & Health

5 Australian Pharmacy Buys

If you’ve ever read anything even vaguely beauty related you’ll be familiar with the high-esteem in which beauty types worldwide regard the French Pharmacy (yes, a phrase worthy of a proper noun). All this adoration got me thinking… I’m often told I have great skin (‘really quite remarkable’ according to the lady at the beauty counter a few weeks back) but the truth is I don’t. I have expensive skin, and there’s a world of difference.

The way I justify outlaying ridiculous sums of money on skincare is offsetting it by dotting cheaper buys throughout my bathroom cabinet… and none of them are French. Here’s my pick of five great buys from Australian pharmacies (and most are available at the supermarket too).

Left to right…

Thankyou body wash – ethically made and sourced, vegan friendly, no nasties, smells great, every bottle helps to change the world… and just $10.00 AUD.

Sukin moisturiser – again, vegan friendly, carbon neutral, Australian made and owned and I prefer it over all the three-figure creams I’ve tried. $9.95 AUD.

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot primer – not tested on animals, this one doubles as a primer and a makeup remover to rejuvenate your skin when you’re doing the whole ‘reapply in the office bathroom before dinner’ routine. $59.00 AUD.

Derma Sukin oil balancing wash – from the same family as the Sukin range above and with all the feel-good benefits, this collection is certified by dermatologists, too. 500ml is $12.95 AUD.

Milk light moisturiser – Australian made, not tested on animals and absorbs super fast. I actually use it as a body lotion! $14.95 AUD.

 

One Fine Stay Elm Place
Travel

5 Luxury Hotel Basics

Unless you’ve never travelled (and even then) you’re probably familiar with the star rating system used by many hotels as an indicator of quality. Unfortunately there’s no internationally consistent set of measures however and combined with the abundance of online reviews, it seems that star ratings are going the way of the polar ice caps.

That said, online reviews suffer pretty much the same problem – the standards and criteria of one person won’t be the same as the next, and when you’re talking about relying on a set of words on a page concocted by a complete stranger, well… how is that any better than the star ratings?

Sadly, I don’t have the answer. I do however, know that I have pretty high standards which increase exponentially as the nightly rate goes up. So without further ado, here’s my list of 5 basic things I expect a luxury hotel to get right.

1. High-end toiletries and other such paraphernalia. Now is not the time to try and pass off home brand anything as custom, bespoke or luxe unless it’s some sort of colab with a well-known brand. From body lotion to tea and everything in between, I want to be able to put a bit of a value on those little luxuries.

One Fine Stay - Orchard Loft

OK, so they call themselves ‘unhotels’ but the rather luxe One Fine Stay offer Kiehl’s toiletries (amongst other little delights) in all their apartments.

2. Quiet. Whether I’m staying in downtown New York or the middle of nowhere in outback Australia, I don’t want to be able to hear my fellow guests, hotel staff or the partygoers enjoying the rooftop bar.

Denis Private Island

Three words describe Denis Private Island: no shared walls.

3. A balance of technology and practicality. Free wifi is a given, but equally when I turn the lights out at night I don’t want to have to unplug everything just to get the room dark.

4. A concierge that seriously knows their stuff. I don’t want cliched recommendations about the local restaurant with picture menus where they get a clip for sending me there. A concierge worth of their title at a luxury hotel knows about the hot spots before it’s hit the ‘gram.

Loews Regency Hotel

Whilst the requests they are rumoured to have catered to might sound outrageous, the concierge team at Loews Regency Hotel consider them all part of the job.

5. Something approximating perfection. Call me whine-y, but for upwards of a few hundred bucks a night I feel like it’s reasonable to expect a spiffy paint job, zero stains and common areas in tip-top condition.

Fussy? Maybe. But to me, luxury must be good value, otherwise it’s just expensive.

8_plus_1_Laptop_Clutch_Natural_Lifestyle_Plus_Equals__38019.1415001982.1280.1280
Fashion, Style

January Joys

There you go – just like that we have a full, spectacular and fresh new year stretched out ahead of us. I spent my summer break Instagramming like a mad woman and discovering new goodies to backfill all that space I created in my infamous seasonal wardrobe cull. Here’s what I’m eyeballing this month.

They’ve been around almost 20 years, but if you’ve heard of British label YMC (You Must Create), you’re doing better than me. I’m enjoying their slightly industrial, slightly utilitarian, slightly androgynous style. Clothing is part of their repertoire, for both men and women, but for me it’s their accessories where they really stand out. Prices start at around £12.00.

Speaking of accessories, local (and new) label, Plus Equals is full of minimal, simple and entirely chic totes, satchels and other such functional goodies. With focus on the wearer (and not the label) you won’t find logos emblazoned all over these bad boys, either. Prices kick off at $450.00 AUD.

Wow this post is just a segue sensation… because whilst I’m on the subject of local labels, Assembly Label springs to mind. They’ve only just added womenswear to their dance card, and damn it was worth the wait. Simple, relaxed and unassuming with a price point to match, Assembly Label will undoubtedly become the wardrobe staple go-to for cool girls everywhere. Prices from $29.95 AUD.

 

Bright silk scarf street style
Fashion, Style

New Year Style Resolution Two: Nail Silk Scarves

I’ve always admired people who can wear printed silk scarves and not look like a nanna or an airline stewardess. Or worse, a retired airline stewardess who just can’t let go of her former profession. Basically it strikes me as something that take a serious command of fashion… and dammit, this is going to be my year.

I actually have a relatively reasonable scarf collection and every now and then I tie one to the handle of my handbag or use it as an impromptu turban when an occasion calls for headwear. For the most part however, they sit neatly rolled in my top dresser drawer.

A careful analysis of the street style library that is Google shows us that there are many more options available however, from knotting into a necklace or wrapping as a bracelet to casual draping as a second layer or wearing as a belt. In fact, when you look closely at many of the outfits demonstrated below, you’ll see that for many of them it’s actually the scarf that makes the outfit, taking it from simple to street style.

Don’t believe me? See it for yourself…

GAME ON I say! And yes, my existing collection is reasonable. But if I’m going to do this thing I should really commit to it with fervour, passion and a few new additions, surely?

Here’s what’s making my wish list…

Kenzo printed scarf

Kenzo Lotus-Eye print scarf – $165.00 AUD

Liberty London Star Scarf

Liberty London red London Star scarf - £165.00

Liberty London Pink Ianthe Silk Scarf

Liberty London pink Ianthe scarf – £110.00

Givenchy Rotweiler Scarf

Givenchy Rotweiler scarf – £220.00

Pleats Please by Issey Miyake Animal Print Scarf

Pleats Please by Issey Miyake Animal Print scarf – $108.89 AUD