2 minute make-up routines

A couple of weeks ago, beauty expert extraordinaire, Zoe Foster-Blake, posted a pic on her Instagram, which I follow. Having recently had a baby, it was titled the Oh Shit The Baby is Starting to Cry 2 minute make-up routine.
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Personally I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert in this genre of make-up application.
And so I present to you the Oh no (I had to cease swearing looooong ago) the baby is starting to cry, the 6 year old wants to do his reader which he should have done last night, the 8 year old is refusing to get dressed, the 10 year old needs his diary signed, and the 39 year old left for work at 6am two minute make-up routine.

Mine differs from Zoe’s in that she utilises a BB cream. I have not yet found a good BB cream (not for lack of trying), so I use the old fashioned moisturiser-primer-foundation combo. I’ll probably give her Clarins recommendation a go – I pretty much listen to anything Zoe says.

Anyway, this is my face:

Clockwise from the top:
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ASAP Ultimate Hydration – as I am inhaling my first coffee, and if Baby N is playing happily for a few minutes, I run into the bathroom and rub this all over my face. While it’s sinking in, I go and prepare breakfasts / get the lunches out of the fridge / start helping Master 6 get dressed / find the bits of uniform that have inexplicably gone missing.

At some point, in amongst all this (and more) I go back to the bathroom and smear a thin layer of Napoleon Auto Pilot Skin Primer. I am almost 100% sure my foundation stays on longer than without it.

I give Baby N breakfast (that is a whole separate blog post). I try and interest Baby N in continuing to play with his toys. But by now he is getting fed up with being fobbed off and wants some ATTENTION.

I take Baby N to the bathroom with me. I put him on the floor so I can apply my foundation (YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat). I pump it into my hand and start smoothing on with my fingers when I notice that Baby N is gripping the toilet bowl (and of course, with 3 older boys our seat is always up) and pulling to stand.

I abort the foundation application. Pick up Baby N, wash his hands, disinfect them, dry them. Not only does the rest of my make up have to now be applicable in under two minutes, it also has to be done one handed, holding a 14kg baby whose sole object is to grab whatever I am holding and to capture my attention so I will look at him, and not the mirror. You’ve got to know it’s a pretty foolproof routine.

Hourglass concealer
This step is crucial. 4 kids = dark circles.

Napoleon Amazing Lash Mascara. This came free with a magazine. I love magazines. I have a lot of free magazine mascara. I actually quite like this one.

Estée Lauder Pure Colour cello shot
Can’t go wrong with this. Quick rub with my fingers and it gives me a pleasant, subtle rosy glow that makes me look as alive as my second coffee makes me feel.

Benefit Watts Up illuminator. According to the magazines, an illuminator gives you that “lit from within” look. I like the idea of glowing like a nightlight. So I plop a bit of that on too in case it works. Maybe I just look strangely slightly sparkly. You can tell me next time you see me.

I run an old kids’ toothbrush through my brows. You know how kids don’t really rinse their toothbrushes? So the first time I did this I ended up with dry flecks of used toothpaste in my brows. Oh yes I did. Nina, stop laughing. Anyway now that I have overcome this problem, it really does do a decent, quick brow grooming job.

A squirt of Chlôe (I’ve always wanted a signature scent and I think this is it), and I’m done.

If for some reason I need to put in a token extra effort (Preschool concert, Mother’s Day morning tea, really REALLY bad night where the only thing that will make me feel remotely human or alive is painting my face) I add these in:

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Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess. This neither turns me bronze (it can’t work miracles), nor into a goddess (again with the miracles), but it does give me a less ghostly appearance and sometimes even gives the impression that I have relaxed in the sun.

Revlon Colourburst balm stain (if I really want to look like I’ve made an effort) or Clinique Chubby Stick in Heaping Hazelnut (for a more subtle, generally polished look).

Chanel le crayon kôhl. Doesn’t have to be Chanel – anything smudgy and black will do. This is good when I am sick of looking like someone’s mum and luckily this looks GOOD with messed up hair because as you will notice my routine does not include a hair brush. Sadly I don’t think anyone is fooled by my rock-chick liner. The baby on the hip and the 7 seater car is just too much of a give away. And then, of course, there’s the handbag.

And that’s it.

XOXO Shopping Girl

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Optimism

There is something about exhaustion which makes me spend. I’m like an adrenaline junkie. Or any junkie really. Sometimes sugar and caffeine is just not enough of a buzz to get me through a tiring day.

If we didn’t have a baby the
house may not be as furnished and decorated as it is so far. There’s just no shopping like 3am Internet shopping. Or it’s 10am and 4 coffees seems excessive. Some people jog. I don’t.

Anyway, today I bought hand beaters. Mine broke a few months back. I was putting off the replacement purchase as I had often said that if my hand beaters, Kenwood and food processor all broke simultaneously I would think about a Thermomix. The Kenwood and the food processor haven’t been in the best of spirits so I thought I should give them some time (to die). Not having hand beaters has been really annoying. Why do I need so many appliances? It’s a kosher thing. Look it up.

The longer time went on, the more I realised that regardless of the health of my appliances, we simply do not have $2000 spare for a Thermomix. Buying furniture will do that.

So I replaced my handbeaters. And I did it in style. KitchenAid. Hot Pink. It’s that 4 boys things again. I take all my pink where I can get it.

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If Baby N had not had an ear infection (and molars breaking through I just discovered) who knows how long it would have taken me to replace my beaters. Always look on the bright (pink) side of life.

XOXO Shopping Girl

What did the postman bring today? #2

Not all shopping is fun. Sacrilege, I know, but hear me out. Yesterday I bought this:

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3 nights ago, Baby N woke no fewer than 10 times. Probably closer to 15. He didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep. He cried. I cried. In the morning he was a bit sniffly. “Baby N has another cold,” I told Working Boy in the morning. “Don’t have any expectations of me today,” I also may have added.
On Wednesday night I put him to bed at 6.30pm (it had been a loooong afternoon). By 7pm he was up again, hysterical. This went on for a few hours. At about 10.30pm I texted Working Boy and said “I’m beginning to think maybe it’s not just a cold”. A few hours later Baby N woke up for the day. With fever flushed cheeks. “Please check his ears before you go to work, Working Boy”, I said. (WB conveniently happens to be a paediatrician). Working Boy had a peek and said “yep they are pretty red. I think he needs antibiotics”. Now, WB is quite conservative when it comes to ears and antibiotics. So I am pretty sure Baby N’s ears must have been a somewhat spectacular shade of flaming scarlet.

Later, after battling with Baby N to nap, I waited in the mostly empty pharmacy for 20 minutes holding 14 kgs of crying ear infection. Like most shops (with the exception perhaps of pet-food stores) I really enjoy going to the pharmacy. But this was not fun.

However this was also mostly my own fault because no fewer than 3 gorgeous friends had offered to pick up the script for me* already (one deserves a special mention – EG – she arrived on my doorstep bearing coffee and a pain au chocolat). No, no I said. Baby N is a 4th child. I need to go to Woolworths anyway. We’re FINE to pick up the script. Except I should have accepted because it was a miserable experience. There are very, very few things money cannot buy but true friendship is one of them. I love you girls.

Or, if I felt bad to accept the girls’ offers I could have paid a small premium and a local pharmacy would have DELIVERED it. I am a huge fan of delivery. Huge fan. Not so many months ago Baby N went through a phase where he was too big for the Baby Bjorn, couldn’t sit up in the trolley but didn’t want to be lying in a trolley capsule. He also cried in the car and pram. A lot. I discovered that there is virtually NOTHING that you cannot have delivered to your doorstep. I did Coles on-line (delivery free on Wednesday), had fruit & veg delivered (2 great options here – one does sushi too!), the kosher butcher delivers for a small fee ($4.40. Worth it. Sooooo worth it), the kosher grocery store delivers, clearly all the online shops do……and the pharmacy. I love knowing that if things are going truly badly, the only thing I need to leave the house for is fresh bread. And as one of the above friends can testify (who picked up my bread for me on more than 3 occasions), sometimes you can have that delivered too. This is my tip to you: have your shopping delivered. Any of it. All of it. Whatever makes life bearable for you. I haven’t slept for three nights. I have Nespresso Indriya pumping through my veins (which, yes, can be delivered. The pods, not my veins). Delivery is my friend.

Speaking of deliveries, my other friend the postman came yesterday too. He delivered my bronze cushion:

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(Yes, you can now follow Shopping Girl on Instagram).
Gotta love you and leave you…..there’s a body imbalance I need to address. Too much blood, not enough caffeine….
XOXO Shopping Girl

* Working Boy also offered, saying that he would be home early. I know no such thing is true, so I declined. I was right.

What’s in my handbag?

Working Boy officially thinks I am bonkers. He said yesterday’s post was ridiculous as unless you had actually read any of the Value Tales recently, you would not find it funny. I said who cares? I have read them (many many times), so I found it hilarious. Anyway, who says an audience of two is not valid?

To keep things universal, today we’ll cover something everyone can relate to. Handbags. You don’t need to have read a pompous series of seventies children’s books to understand handbags.

You know those magazine features where they show what’s in a certain personality’s handbag? First there’s the latest designer handbag, and then the contents, a carefully curated collection artfully laid out. Each piece outdoing the previous screaming “Look at my life! Aren’t I stylish? Aren’t I savvy? Aren’t I clever and cool?”. It’s just like my handbag. You’ll see.

My father in law once commented that I had the messiest handbag he had ever seen. Let’s just say, I like to know that if I was stranded somewhere I could survive for at least a few hours, if not a day, with the contents of my handbag. This is actually somewhat ironic because rarely do I go further than a 10 minute driving radius from my house.
But anyway…..
Here it is. What’s in Shopping Girl’s handbag. This is no photoshopped mag feature. Gird your loins. This is the warts and all (I have 4 boys – apparently warts are inevitable 😁) version.

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Firstly, yes. I have so much in my handbag it required two photos.
1. Marc by Marc Jacobs something or other bag. They all have names, but really, who can remember?…..a birthday present from MOS-G years ago.
2. Mimco purse – an oldie but a goodie. Also a birthday present from
MOS-G another year. Yep she’s a keeper, that MOS-G.
3. Folder for all those loyalty cards.
4. Small case, technically for receipts.
5. Corn Thins – you never know when a baby will get hungry.
6. Heinz Sticky Fingers Wipes – because if baby does hungry you do know fingers will get sticky.
7. Case for re-usable shopping bag. Not the shopping bag. Just the case. It says my name and it says I’m charming. Yep, MOS-G again.
8. Blowing bubbles. Can’t say I’ve ever broken them out but better to be safe than sorry I say.
9. A $10 birthday voucher from my friend, Myer. If I see it floating around my bag, maybe I’ll remember to use it.
10. A Mimco hair elastic. In case of hair tying emergency?
11. Another small case. This one is for banking deposit slips. And there are actually deposit slips in there. Surprising isn’t it?
12. A spare nappy for Baby N. One size too small. Even though I carry a separate change purse.
13. It’s a blow up ball in a case. Or should I say “in case”. In case of playing emergency.
14. Disposable toothbrush. Yep, you’d think I was young, single and living in NYC. Although, granted, not if you looked at the rest of the handbag.
15. Instant wipes – just add water to these little discs. G-d forbid I am EVER caught out without wipes.
16. Mentos Kiss mints. I hate post-coffee mouth. I drink a lot of coffee. In fact I really imbibe more than I drink.
17. A door to the Thomas the Tank Engine Talking Roundhouse. Well, it speaks for itself really.
18. Hat for Baby N. All babies need hats with ears. Baby N has no idea how cute he looks because he pulls the damn thing off.
19. Emergency sultanas.
20. Empty emergency sultana box. Clearly there was an emergency.
21. A used parking ticket. Crucial to handbag ecosystem.
22. Loose receipts. 4. Isn’t doing his job properly, is he?
23. Small cosmetics case with tissues. Yep they have shoes on them. I don’t even need to say it anymore do I? MOS-G.
24. Spare keys to my parents’ apartment.
25. A small, blue matchstick.
26. The lid to a sippy cup. Not the sippy cup itself. Just the lid.
27. A small pink notebook. Rendered fairly useless by the iPhone yet still carried everywhere.
28. Lip glosses. Cos the UNIVERSE WOULD CEASE TO BE if lips stop shining. Personally I prefer kissing my baby often and not leaving a smear of Calvin Klein…..so these are mostly unused, but gosh I love the idea of lipgloss.
29. Bubblegum scratch and sniff stickers. Because in my imagination I am the sort of Mom whose tween children respond to stickers as behaviour “incentives”.
30. Bondi Beach parking permit. Mine expired in March. I’ve been carrying around the renewal forms since.
31. These are Nintendo points cards bought when I realised that no ten year old responds to stickers. No, I also don’t know why they have to come everywhere with me.
32. Corn Thins in ziplock. Because I forgot I had the other packet.
33. Scripts for Master T’s asthma and excema medications. I actually do need these but somehow when I am standing in the pharmacy they are nowhere to be found.
34. My old Medicare card. Now I have two. Not including this one. 6 people
don’t fit on one card.
35. A cable to connect my iPod to the car speakers. Useful. Would be more useful IN my actual car.
36. A bandaid. Again, never to found when actually needed.
37. A second spare nappy. Also one size too small.
38. Some loose change. Clearly thinks it’s too good for Mimco.
39. Expired driver’s license.
40. Some string. Yes, string.

So there you have it. The contents of Shopping Girl’s handbag. I can hear the magazines calling now……
XOXO Shopping Girl

The Value of Tenacity

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I dedicate this story to Working Boy, who loves his Value Tales. I hope he enjoys this reworking of the modern classic, The Value of Tenacity.

This is the story of Shopping Girl, who, thanks to her tenacity and enthusiasm, became one of the best shoppers of our time. The story that follows is based on events on one day of her life.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago (yesterday, in fact), a 35 year old girl leaned on a Caesarstone kitchen bench top and looked out at the cold wintry Sydney morning. Her name was Shopping Girl. “I’m glad we live in this house,” she said to herself, smiling. It was warm and cozy, with the heating on, and Shopping Girl liked it. But it was cold sitting on the floorboards, when she played with Baby N, and Shopping Girl realised she needed a rug.

Shopping Girl knew exactly the sort of rug she wanted, and she set about looking for it. What hard work it had been for Shopping Girl, trying to find the exact rug she wanted.

Finally Shopping Girl was ready to give up. Her fingers were sore from swiping and tapping, and Baby N needed a nappy change. But then she thought of Working Boy, and what he would say. “Shopping Girl”, he would say, “no one ever gets ahead who quits when the going gets tough”. Nodding at his words, Shopping Girl thought “I’ll just check the Pottery Barn website”.

And there it was. The perfect rug. On sale. Shopping Girl could not believe her eyes. She went to click “Add to cart”, but it would not work, and then she saw those fateful words “product no longer available”.

Shopping Girl hunted around a little
more, but no rug measured up to the Pottery Barn one. Shopping Girl was bereft. And forlorn.

Suddenly Shopping Girl heard a little voice. “Don’t give up Shopping Girl. You can get that rug if you work hard enough”.
“What?” said Shopping Girl, startled.
“I said that you can do it,” the voice went on. “All you need is tenacity”.
Shopping Girl raised her head to find out who was talking. Who do you think it was?
That’s right. It was the iPad on the floor next to her. Shopping Girl couldn’t believe her eyes or ears. Her iPad seemed to be talking to her.
“Tenacity means sticking with it, refusing to give up no matter what”, iPad explained, giving Shopping Girl a little time to recover from her surprise.

Of course, Shopping Girl knew that iPads don’t really talk (it’s not like they have Siri). She knew it was really her inner shopper she was listening to. It didn’t matter. She liked what she heard.

She picked up the phone and called the Pottery Barn store, inquiring as to whether they had the rug in store.
A charming fellow called David answered the phone. He checked the stock, and replied “All sold out, I’m afraid”. Did she take no for an answer? No she did not. “Yes,” said Shopping Girl, “I thought so. I just thought perhaps you might have one left on display or something”.
“Actually…” replied David, “we have a return right here!”
“Is there anything wrong with it?”. David answered that he would find out and call her back.

An hour later Shopping Girl’s phone rang and David happily reported that the rug was in perfect condition, it just had not suited the space of the previous purchasers.
“Could you give me the dimensions?”, asked Shopping Girl. And David did. And it was perfect.
“Where is the rug made?” asked shopping girl. “Working Boy won’t buy rugs from Iran”.
David, the model of excellent customer service, said he would find out and call her back.

But Shopping Girl could not wait for the call. Baby N was awake and soon the boys would need fetching from school. Shopping Girl needed a few things from Coles anyway so off to Bondi Junction she went. “That’s the spirit, Shopping Girl,” her iPad seemed to say.

Shopping Girl arrived in Pottery Barn to discover the rug was made in India. Clearly it was fate. Working Boy’s father was also from India.
Shopping Girl asked to see the rug. It was a little shaggier than she anticipated. She didn’t think Working Boy would like a shaggy rug. “You mustn’t think that way, Shopping Girl,” iPad scolded. “You can get this rug if you have tenacity.”

Shopping Girl spoke to Working Boy and explained all the benefits of a shaggy rug. She talked to him in terms he would not understand, like the need for different textures and styles from a design perspective. Shopping Girl persevered and talked harder and harder – and she got the rug. Working Boy agreed it was the right rug for the house. And if they didn’t like
it once it was in the house, they could always return it anyway.

We all have a lesson to learn from Shopping Girl; that with complete dedication to our shopping we can acquire great things.

You won’t all be shopping superstars like Shopping Girl. But if you do your best, and keep at it no matter how much you’d like give up, then one day, you too will discover the rewards of tenacity. Just like our friend, Shopping Girl.

XOXO Shopping Girl

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What would Shopping Girl do #1

I decided a week ago when I started this blog, that an advice column would make an excellent regular segment. I had even made up my own question. Except you’ll have wait until next time to find out what I asked me because on Thursday I received a real life request, from Uma. I’m calling her Uma, because she asked to be anonymous. And because she has a short black glossy bob.

“Okay shopping girl. Please please with a cherry on top help me find a leather jacket with cloth sleeves. Preferably black leather with grey sleeves. Rag and Bone did one but I can’t find it. Oh and adorable samples won’t help me as I am not an adorable sample size!
Challenge accepted?
Xxxx”

First of all, Uma, I like your style. But then again you were the first to wear Chanel Vamp polish so it’s hardly surprising. I’m also enjoying pairing black leather and grey fabric this season, and here you are trying to work it into one piece, you fashionista, you.

Because of time / baby / needing to feed family restrictions, I can’t physically trail Westfield looking for your jacket. You will have to accept that this is going to be an online shopping expedition. I also have to tell you, Uma, that I don’t think google has such a fine appreciation of the subtleties of fashion. Google: a black leather jacket with grey sleeves is NOT the same as a grey jacket with black leather sleeves. Not the same thing at all, Google. Seriously.

Now, onto the goods. This is what I have found for you:

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This is the black jersey sleeve biker, currently on sale at Dorothy Perkins for £30. I can’t do all the work Uma, you’ll have to go onto xe.com and do the maths yourself. But they do ship
internationally. The sale seems to be only 4 days, so hop to it to nab this one.

There’s a great looking option at ASOS, but you’re going to have to take my word for it and check back in a few days due to this:

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Moving on (I’ve holed myself up in my room with door locked and children roaming freely around the house. I’m on borrowed time here).

In case you’ve got some cash to splash Uma….

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Barbara Bui contrast sleeve jacket.
It’s reduced by 20% at the moment to just $2078.51!!!! Just think of all the things you can get with the $500 you’ll save. You could get a sleeve of a second jacket, even.

Taking things down a notch or 10 and a little more local, there’s this option at Witchery. The sleeves are black not grey, but I thought it was worth a mention.

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I hope this helps, Uma.
I’d better go and check what the small people
are up to. They’ve given up beating on my door. I think this is cause for concern.
XOXO Shopping Girl

Shopping News #1 – The Hall

Too many late nights staying up late blogging is playing havoc with my face. Namely bags. Bags can be a great thing. After all they hold the shopping. But when the ones under your eyes become big enough to hold the shopping themselves, it’s time to blog first thing and get to bed earlier.

In Shopping News today, the Cotton On Group has just launched “The Hall” – a homewards division of their ever expanding empire. I love Cotton On. I love the boys’ skinny jeans at Cotton On Kids. I love the oversize bibs from Cotton On Baby. I love that they launched Cotton On Free, the 9-14 division, just as my oldest son had grown out of all the brands he had previously worn. I LOVE my lounge pants from Cotton On Body (which I picked up recently for $10 in grey leopard print) – seriously divine to wear to bed and around the house (if I wore pants I would wear them out). And as for Typo – love does not even begin describe my feelings for this boutique-ish stationary emporium.

Now they have added homewares to the list, and I am excited. It’s not a massive collection, but if precedent is anything to go by, I am predicting growth. I’ll be waiting around for the 30% off sitewide email (you know with the Cotton On group that it will come) before making my purchases, but for now here are my top picks:

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The Deluxe Candy Jar. I love the idea of having a jar of gorgeously wrapped sweets permanently on the (yet to be purchased) coffee table of our lounge. I even love the idea of the boys having memories of how good a swiped mint tasted when they were feeling rebellious. Might need to wait until Baby N is a bit older, though.

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Black arrow cushion. I am going for a fairly monochromatic look in our living room. Black, white, grey, with a touch of copper / rose gold (yes, yes, I also read that copper is sooooo 2013 and it’s all about brass now) but my home ware taste does not update so frequently. This cushion is perfect for my vision, and at $24.95 (or $40 for 2) I’m not going to be precious about it when Baby N mistakes it for food or the big boys turn it into a floating island in one of their imaginary games.

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Square Rope Clock. I am not a nautical person. But there is something I adore about rope on decor and clothing. Likewise I am not an equine person either, but brown leather straps are fabulous on most things (even if they do make me think “horse”). We currently have no clocks in our lounge and living rooms. I think it’s time. Ha ha.

XOXO Shopping Girl.