Another of my mad makeup videos!

Just before leaving Byron Bay, I found a new to me, cruelty & parabens free eye & brow cosmetics.  The new Brow Essential Pack, by Eye of Horus,  is all of those things and also contains the latest fave: organic, anti-ageing moringa oil.

So their new Brow Essential Pack was certainly worth a try to see how it stood up against the fierce heat and humidity here.......

 

So a 10/10 from me!  Eye of Horus is available world-wide and the NEW Brow Essential Pack includes the award winning Black Goddess Mascara, Brow Define Pencil & Tweezers. Discount below. 

Eye of Horus. The Goddess Brow Essential Pack. Natural eye make up. 

Eye of Horus. The Goddess Brow Essential Pack. Natural eye make up. 

 

Eye of Horus is giving my You Tube subscribers a 10% DISCOUNT online: So if you fancy the Brow Essential pack, or anything else, subscribe to my You Tube Channel and order on-line with Horus using the code: #ESSENTIALBROWS and you'll get your discount.  

See you soon,

 

 

Melbourne: Fashion, Food & Friends.

My room with a view.  The Cullen, Prahran.  Melbourne CBD skyline. 

My room with a view.  The Cullen, Prahran.  Melbourne CBD skyline. 

I had a short break in Melbourne last week, to attend part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and catch up with friends. This was my fourth visit to this wonderful city, which I seem to love more and more each time I go.  It reminds me of New York, Europe and Bristol all in one, and is just the best for fashion & food and of course it's amazing architecture & easy transport.

Fashion kicked off with a High Tea and Fashion Show, featuring local designers, at Malvern Town Hall.......

Gucci and tea

Gucci and tea

There was no one under 40 at my table, they were all lovely and not at all designery, and we were all best friends by the end of the fizz, cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Plus we had great seats right next to the cat walk.  All for $90.  Can't imagine being able to do this in NYC, Paris or London!  And everyone at my table was so normal. 

I wore a $15 vintage dress and it got so much love amongst the fashionistas, I felt quietly smug!

And look at this short video (thank you Kelly) of one of the fashion shows....spot the model who is well over 50 and who received huge applause every time she strutted her stuff down the cat walk.... we loved her!

High tea done, next it was time to walk it all off and Melbourne is just awesome for walking it all off...... and Shopping.  Head for Malvern for independent designers, Chapel Street for bars, restaurants and vintage, and Fitzroy & Brunswick for the most hipster of the hipster for everything.

My shopping highlight has to be when my local friend, Angela, took me to Scally & Trombone in Ftizroy, to a shop selling Esther Williams bathers, designed by her grandson. I was in vintage heaven. For those too young to remember, Esther Williams was a movie star legend and invented synchronised swimming. Here's Claire showing us the swimsuits and two pieces.

And yes, we each bought one.  Talk about keeping you up and in, in all the right places!  These swim suits, and two pieces, are just made for women of a certain age, or a certain shape, and it would have been rude not to buy one!

Angela and I needed a good sit down and a drink after trying on all those swim suits & thankfully there are loads of bars and cafes with great little gardens & outside areas in Melbourne.... and the choice of wines is just fabulous. You can even get an orange vino!

The next day..... it was off to meet a "new" friend.  I have been following Sharryn, The Stylish Woman, on Instagram since I started blogging, and we were thrilled to meet up: first in her favourite shop, Havana Blue Boutique, in Richmond, where I bought some half price linen baggie pants, and then a fabulous Ladies who Lunch, lunch at The Larder next door.

(I have learned NEVER to shop after a glass of Prosecco.  Much safer to go shopping first!)

Not bad for a pair of "old birds" are we?!  Loving Sharryn's style from top to toe and I am so thrilled to have made a new friend for life, in Melbourne.  

But enough of fashion......it's time for more Food.......

Melbourne is world-famous for its coffee, food & eateries. And it didn't disappoint. The quality of the food, whether brunch or a main meal, was second to none, the European influence, the ubiquitous hipster cafes & restaurants, and the friendly folk everywhere are hard to beat and thank goodness I was walking miles and miles each day because I certainly wasn't fasting there!

And while we're on the subject of food, I was staying at The Cullen, a boutique hotel that is right opposite Prahran Market, Melbourne's Number 1 market famous for its wide choice of organic foods, sustainable sea food & free range meats. Locals flock there to shop and tourists flock there to take photos and eat. It's a must do if you're visiting the city.

As you have probably gathered by now, I have been to a couple of boutique, arty hotels on this trip. But I have to say that I enjoyed The Cullen so much, that I just want to move in there, permanently!  I slept better there than I have since leaving England four months ago, the hotel's in the perfect location for getting to anywhere in Melbourne by tram or train, contemporary artist Adam Cullen's work is wonderful & on view everywhere you look and, most important of all, the staff are amazing. 

The most comfortable bed in Australia!  More Adam Cullen art. And a rather useful kitchenette. 

IF you've got time, and who has with all that shopping and eating to do, there's also a gym at the top of The Cullen, a fabulous view from the roof terrace, bikes to hire from reception, and a great restaurant on the ground floor, the Gramarcy, that provides room service and where I had this delicious brekkie before heading back to Byron. 

Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to the staff at The Cullen.  To Liv and Co in the marketing department for upgrading me & looking after me. I was made to feel so at home, and so welcome from the minute I walked through the door. Every guest is treated like that.

But special thanks from me also go to: Adam, and Saran and Stephanie below, who were like friends by the end of my visit and so helpful with local knowledge on everything I needed from where to go for a really superlative facial (Missie Coco) to where the best vintage stores are.

And how many hotels post you back your forgotten lap top charger like this........

As you can see, I had a truly special time in Melbourne.  I found the people in this city so open, friendly and unique it really was like home from home. And the Fashion, Food and new Friends I made, in such a short time, will make this my cultural "must visit" fix every time I come to Australia, hopefully for much longer next time.

If you've never been and fancy a city break,  I promise you won't be disappointed and the hotels are way more reasonable than in Sydney or Byron Bay!

Till my next adventure, take care and see you soon,

And don't forget to hashtag #vintageladyvintagestyle in any social media photos you're rocking an outfit in!

Love,

I meet a local fashion designer.

Galit of massuri with her current range of beautiful dresses

Galit of massuri with her current range of beautiful dresses

Meeting a talented Byron Bay designer all started with these trousers!  I needed something for cooler weather, but not necessarily cold weather, when I arrived in Sydney three months ago. And, lucky for me, I found these in a 50% off sale by the trendy Aussie Tiger Lily brand. Then it was the big hunt for a top to go with them. Nothing I brought from the UK really worked and I wanted something as crazily patterned as these bad boys.  Enter a little beach market in Byron........... 

.....there I found Galit Massuri and her gorgeous Massuri dresses AND a top that I knew instinctively would be a great pattern mach for the baggy trousers. I rushed home, got the pants, rushed back and the rest, as they say, is history......
Galit massuri. fashion designer

Galit massuri. fashion designer

I couldn't believe how well the clash clash pattern went with the trousers, they were a match made in heaven! And with my vintage sunnies from NYC, headscarf gifted to me by Age of Reason Studios, in Brighton, and a vintage necklace made in Byron by Ghost & Lola, I am thrilled to be dressing up the pants with a top & all the accessories produced by independent, eco-minded makers.

Even better, the Massuri top also goes brilliantly with my denim Boden shorts, dressed up with my pre-loved, vintage boots from Trash, Byron Bay, another pair of vintage sunnies (gifted) & $5 vintage bangles & old necklace. Oooh, I do feel good not having had to buy anything brand new to complete this "new" outfit! 

What I loved about Galit's clothes that day at that market, was the quality of the natural fabrics, the competitive prices (the top was $69) and the fact that all her clothes are hand made by her from beautiful remnant fabrics from all over the world, and that she's using solar power in the clothes production.  And, she's a Byron Bay independent!

So when I received an invitation to go and play dress up in the Massuri studio, and have a rummage through her gorgeous fabrics, it was a no brainer!

galit massuri in her studio.

galit massuri in her studio.

Galit has been sewing since she was fifteen and considers that designing dresses is all about the fabric, the fit, and that real women feel comfortable in them. It's not just about the fashion. All the fabrics are pure cottons and silks that she has sourced in Israel, Thailand & other parts of Asia, including Japanese cotton which is the most amazing quality.  The choice of patterns and colours left me like a kid in a sweet shop.

All Gallit's Massuri dresses are named after 40's film stars, which is just awesome for a vintage lover! 

This one is called Dorothy (Lamour) and you can find it, or a similar one, on-line , or in selected stores, from $169.

Unusually, Galit is one of a dying breed of clothes designers who actually still cuts her patterns out on cardboard and not computer like the majority of manufacturers nowadays.

This dress is called Claudette (Colbert) & you can find it on-line, or in selected stores from $219.

The best part of the afternoon, for me, was being gifted one of these unique Massuri dresses. The dress below is the one I finally settled on because the length, fit and cut just looks so elegant and fits my body (and vintage look) beautifully.   And, as a touching bonus, the "square neck" design, which I find so retro, hadn't been given a name at the time so Galit has called it Susan (Hayward) as a nod to me! Thank you Galit, I love it.

The Susan (Hayward) style is available on-line, & in selected stores, from $199.

Apart from these hand-made dresses being affordable, unique and cut to fit real women with curves, they are also Limited Editions, so this one is only one of four made.  Not much chance of bumping into someone in the same dress in the UK then!

What a delightful time I had with Galit Massuri and I am so pleased to have found someone who cares so much about the quality of her brand and the way it's produced.  I hope she has a very successful and long career and, in the meantime, if you need a special hand-made dress for under $250 you know where to come! And she ships to all over the world.

Let me know if you have an independent fashion designer near you who you support or if you own a Massuri dress. I would love to hear from you.

Wellington, NZ.

Another travel blog for you and, as the last one on Napier seems to have gone down so well, I hope you enjoy my quick visit around this windy & cool (in both senses of the word!) city as much!

Wellington is New Zealand's capital city and what I wasn't expecting was how gorgeous the buildings and scenery were and how easy it was to walk everywhere. There was an interesting old street, building or architectural delight around every corner.  And I love the way the houses are built up hills, much like a tiny San Francisco, overlooking the pretty bay. 

Every visitor's favourite area to visit in Wellington is Cuba Street.  Known as one of the more trendy, edgy areas of the city, it's full of eclectic cafes, pre-loved & vintage shops, independent boutiques, art galleries & bars - galore.  I just loved it, but amazingly didn't buy a thing.  It was the most expensive vintage clothing I have ever come across!  But a very enjoyable few hours was spent wandering up and down this interesting street and the surrounding area.

There was only one dry, sunny day while I visited Wellington, so I spent a lot of time at the gorgeous Embassy Theatre dodging the rain and catching up with movies.  Art Deco and stunning inside, it's the only custom-built 1920s cinema still in use in New Zealand.  Apparently millions of dollars was spent on it for the Premiere of the Lord of the Rings, money well spent I'd say!

Oh, and New Zealand & Aussie audiences are much better behaved than UK & US ones.....little chatting, mobile use, crunching noisy food & fidgeting!  (Hello to Jason Isaacs). If you have no idea what on earth I am wittering about you are obviously not a member of The Church.  If you love movies, you need to join up immediately! Please let me know if you're a fellow wittertainment follower.

How's this for a cinema and just look at those loos!  

And culture.....there's culture galore in Wellington.  Te Papa Museum is really interesting and well worth a visit, especially on a wet day, and I was lucky enough to be in town for Waitangi Day to see some of the local kids singing Kapa Haka ( Maori dancing & singing to express their Polynesian identity)  in the blistering wind. It was magical. Sorry, too noisy to share a video with you, here's a photo of a bad Wellington day instead!. Reminds me of home.

Wellington. The weather's often inclement! But it's still a beautiful city.

Wellington. The weather's often inclement! But it's still a beautiful city.

But the best cultural highlight for me has to be the hotel I stayed at. The QT Museum Wellington is central, just across the road from the Te Papa museum, walking distance to Cuba Street & everywhere you're likely to want to go, and is like the wackiest museum itself, with amazing art and eccentric objects in every corner of the huge downstairs area.  I spent hours there! 

The hotel very kindly gave me an upgrade to a stunning apartment, which I could have lived in, room service was fantastic, essential for the wet & windy nights, and the renowned, hotel's Hippopotamus Restaurant did not disappoint, at all!  Thank you Chef Laurent Loudeac for preparing that gorgeous sushi and seared yellow fin tuna for me so I could have a taster of your fabulous food. Delicious and beautiful too! 

There's also a lovely pool & small gym at the QT Museum Wellington should the need arise.  But I was as happy as Larry eating beautiful food, admiring the art & resting in my lovely room after walking my socks off all over this beautiful city.  

Finally, I have to share this photo with you, 'cause I love it and it brings home the reminder that even New Zealand isn't entirely safe. It shows the Reading Cinema car park being pulled down because of quake-damage. NZ is such a nice change from Australia because you know nothing's going to kill you in the sea or hinterland, and then you see what the earthquakes can do.

The reading cinema car park. wellington. being demolished because of earthquake damage.

The reading cinema car park. wellington. being demolished because of earthquake damage.

I had an absolutely brilliant time in Wellington, despite the weather, and it is by far my very favourite city in New Zealand,  and I'm pretty sure I've visited them all now.  If you love shopping, quirky shops, interesting architecture, and great food,  (and need to renew your visa for Australia, as I did!) you'll love it - and there's even a beach! Just pack an umbrella & a windproof jacket and have a brilliant time.