Clinique Take Off The Day Make Up Remover – Review

A good eye make up remover makes all the difference come bed time. One that doesn’t pull on your eyes and doesn’t require much effort to remove make up is always best. I was excited to try the Clinique Take Off The Day make up remover when I received a sample in a gift with purchase a while ago. The formula requires you to shake the bottle to mix up the top layer of oil and the bottom layer of…. not sure, and then saturate a cotton pad. I’ve tried one of these types of “need to shake” formulations before in the Garner Clean Sensitive 2in1 Waterproof Make Up Remover and I wasn’t totally impressed. Unfortunately, I also wasn’t totally impressed with the Clinique make up remover. clinique I find that I need to use quite a lot of the liquid to remove my mascara and eyeliner, but in the end it does get it off fairly cleanly. I like to try and use less liquid to get value for money personally. For the price that you would pay for this in store ($35!), I would recommend using a cheaper option that would do the same, or a better job to save money. I quite like the value and quality of the Body Shop Eye Make up Remover with chamomile or the Nivea Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover.

What eye make up remover do you love? Leave me a comment!

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Maybelline Plumped Up Colossal Mascara – Review

Do you want eyelashes that are thicker and longer without having eyelash extensions? Yup! I’ve found a mascara that can do that, doesn’t cost the earth and you can add it to your grocery basket at the supermarket.

The colleague compliment test has given this mascara two compliments and questions about if my eye lashes are real. They have both written down the name of the mascara so I think I should probably take our shares in Maybelline because I’m practically selling it just by blinking at people.

I’m going to let these photos speak for themselves:

Pre-mascara application and wearing Maybelline Master Graphic Eyeliner: pre mascara Mascara on the left eye only (see the big difference!!!):

maybelline pumped up mascaraMaybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara in Black on both side of lashes:

maybelline pumped up mascara  BOOM! Huge, beautiful long lashes!maybelline pumped up mascaraHere’s how the brush looks. Its a spooly bristle brush rather than a silicone brush that a lot of modern mascaras have (eg Covergirl Lashblast). I think these type of brushes do a better job of applying on the lashes. It tapers to a nice tip with allows you to get into the corner lashes nicely. I do find that the formula can have a tendency to get clumpy, but not too bad. Just pump in the bottle before applying and go over the lashes a few times to brush it in.maybelline pumped up mascara

I really like this mascara! It’s easy to get off with eye make up remover and is going to be your new favourite! You can purchase Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara in Australia in Supermarkets, Priceline and selected pharmacies for around $20 but keep your eye out for specials!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have tried it too!

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Things to do with a week in New York – The Ultimate guide!

times square

New York is one of the greatest cities in the world and I am lucky to have been twice. The last time I went, I asked one of my friends for a list of things to see and do, so she gave me her ultimate list that has been passed around her friendship circles. It has pretty much every attraction that is worth visiting, plus a bunch of great restaurants. I have added my tips and passed this on to a few of my friends too who have come back raving about what a good set of tips it is so I thought I’d share it with the world here on my blog!

Get your note book and printer ready – Here is the ultimate guide to New York:

Best Accommodation for Backpackers In New York

  • There are lots of hostels in New York, but I stayed at Hostelling International on the Upper West Side (891 Amsterdam Ave). It’s really good as far as hostels go! Its very close to the Subway and Central park in an interesting area. It’s a massive hostel and they have lots of cheap/free tours you can take, provide towels, have an outdoor courtyard, computers, lots of chairs and chill-out space, a kitchen, free wifi and have a nice cafe to grab breakfast from. I preferred to walk up the road to McDonalds or the Street Cart that did a coffee and donut deal (what? I was on holidays!) Get a map from the hostel check in desk and keep it on you at all times, it will be your bible! I first stayed at this hostel on my first trip to New York in 2006 and it has certainly improved since then (I love the new bathrooms!). If you are travelling around America, I’d suggest joining the Hostelling International Membership as it will give you cheaper accommodation at their other locations around the country and you get a coupon for one night for free (use it in New York if you can because New York’s hostel costs more than any other hostel in the other states I found).
  • If you aren’t on a budget, staying near Times Square is a good option to be close to everything. If there are a few in your travel group, check out Airbnb and book an apartment in Chelsea, Soho, Little Italy or there abouts.

Getting around New York

  • If you are in NY for a week or a bit less, get an all week subway ticket because you will be hopping on and off a lot around the city.

    One of the beautifully decorated subway stations

    One of the beautifully decorated subway stations

  • Wear comfy shoes because you can do a lot of walking, but if you get the subway pass you’ll be able to save some distance for yourself
  • Cabs are another option, but the subway is so efficient and cheap, you won’t really need to get in a cab unless you want the authentic NYC Yellow Cab experience.
  • If it’s your first time in New York, take a hop on hop off bus tour just to get your bearings and some background on the city.
  • There are 2 airports – JFK and La Guardia. If there are a lots in your tour group then getting a taxi or 2 will be economical for you to split the cost to the heart of Manhattan. If you are solo, take the Super Shuttle bus that you can book when you arrive at the airport and it will take you directly to your accomodation. Don’t forget to tip the drivers a few dollars (about 20% of the fare).
  • Buses out of town – I took a Megabus to Boston and it cost me about $30. You can even get fares for as low as $1 with this company around America. Amazing! The Megabus took off from the side of the road on 34th st between 11th and 12th ave. I was impressed with the coach experience for this short trip (although it was hot and tiring waiting in the sun on the pavement for the bus to arrive). There is also the option of Peter Pan (similar to Megabus) and Greyhound (ewwww try not to go on a Greyhound bus unless you want some really interesting stories to tell your friends – I’ve got a few interesting stories from my travels). Something to remember with bus and train travel in America is that you  must be there fairly early to secure your seat or someone else will get on and take it (even if you have booked a specific time to get on the bus and you turn up on time. Just be early and get in the line).

Shopping In New York:

Take empty suitcases because you’ll want to buy a lot!

    • Times Square and around the area is where you will find the huge stores. Toys R Us, Sephora, Forever 21, M&M World etc.

Times Square By Night

    • Go to Macys department store in Herald Square and go up to the mezzanine floor. Present your passport to the visitors desk there and they will give you a card to receive 10% off everything in store. 
    • Sephora (Times Square) is the best store to visit for ALL of your make up needs. Go bezerk with perfume, eyeliner, skin care etc. Try nail polish on and take it off as many times as you like in the store! You will find Sephora located at various places around New York and America in general.

      My Sephora purchases

      My Sephora purchases

    • Forever 21 is a HUGE  fashion store with  many cheap clothes to choose from. It’s more of a teenager/College student type of store but you could find lots of good things there.
    • American Eagle has great cheap jeans if you need any. They fit like a glove and so many of my friends have raved about them too.
    • Victoria’s Secret/Pink have a number of big stores in New York. I highly recommend getting a bra fitting from one of their specialists and buying a few pairs of bras. My friends and I spent at least 1 hour in there getting fitted for some every-day-wear t-shirt bras and I am so glad I did. I am in LOVE with my super soft and supportive bras (I adore the Victoria’s Secret Perfect Shape Tshirt Bra and the Pink Wear Everywhere Lightly Lined Bra)! The team in store are so friendly and helpful. They spend ages with you making sure you get the best fit. There is no service like it in Australia.
    • Century 21 –21- 22 Cortlandt St World Trade Centre Stop. Hit and miss, but always great for hosiery and underwear. And if you’re lucky amazing designer buys from last season upstairs. It’s a crazy big department store, where you try on the clothes on the top floor. You’ll find designer brands such as Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs cheap here. 
    • Shops on 5th Ave – best around Broadway, Prince & Spring Sts, All the big names such as Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys are here.
    • Soho – Spring Street and all surrounding streets (around 6th ave, prince, spring). Top Shop, Zara, Madewell. Soho markets on Spring street great for scarfs/ jewellery 
    • American Girl Dolls, 609 5th Ave (just down the road from Rockerfeller centre) – If you have a special little girl in your life, you need to take them to this store! Basically it’s like no other kids store you have ever been to. Girls can create their very own dolls that look just like them or are one of the American Girl hero characters that comes with a book series and history lesson. You can buy them accessories like dresses, glasses, even casts and crutches! You can take your doll to a tea party in the store too. My friends cousin had one of these dolls and it was so beautiful. She pulled a bunch of it’s hair out and sent it to the doll hospital. When it came back to her, she was in a hospital gown with a note. So cute and the attention to detail of this brand is amazing! If you have a little girl with you, allow at least 3 hours to visit.
    • Barneys- 660 Madison Ave & 61st. Brilliant one stop shop for everything. Barney Co op two floors are definitely worth a look. The shoes are to die for too.
    • Bergdorf Goodman- Department Store 5th Avenue and 56th. Another good one stop shop for everything clothes-wise.
    • Club Monaco- 160 Fifth Ave. It’s a similar price point to Country Road, but cooler stuff.
    • Marc Jacobs- 403 Bleeker St Meat Packing district. This is the Marc by Marc Jacobs mens and Womens stores. But they have fantastic bits and pieces, clothes. The main store is 100m up the road on the corner at number 385. Jeffrey- 449 14th St
    • H&M- 640 Fifth Ave (at 51st ). Cheap and chic clothes from Sweden.
    • Urban Outfitters- 526 Sixth Ave. Good for the boys too.
    • Zara- 750 Lexington Ave.
    • Intermix- 125 5th Avenue All the stars love this shop. Great designer bags, denim labels and clothing. There are at least three of these boutiques but this one is the biggest and carries everything from new edgy designers to labels like Chloe, Stella Mcartney etc.
    • American Apparel- 121 Spring St. Love the basics every colour under the rainbow…brilliant!
    • Steven Alan- 103 Franklin Street. Great mix of stuff from all over. Great shoes and bit and pieces.
    • Eva – 227 Mulberry Street. All around here is a great spot to wonder, lots of amazing shops more boutique shopping than high street.
    • Opening Ceremony- 35 Howard St between Broadway and Lafayette Streets. One of my friends favourite boutiques in New York! They always have AMAZING bags, shoes, clothes and good sales on too!
    • Top Shop – good for men, Soho
    • Loft, 770 Broadway – I really loved this store for affordable lovely clothes.
    • Ann Taylor, 149 5th Ave- My friends and I shopped up a storm here! Lots of nice office type clothes.
    • Apple Store, 767 5th Ave – This is where people line up to grab the very first of any Apple product and you see the iconic glass building on TV a lot.
    • FAO Schwartz – Got kids? You need to take them here and be greeted by one of the big toy soldiers and play on the keyboard that you can dance on (remember in Home Alone?). I made my very own Muppet puppet here (I have been wanting one for years!)
Here's my Muppet that I designed at FAO Schwartz. I love him! His name is Emmett.

Here’s my Muppet that I designed at FAO Schwartz. I love him! His name is Emmett.

2 day shopping plan in New York – SOHO AND MEATPACKING DISTRICT:

  • The best shopping is in Soho and then walk into the Meat Packing District. In Soho, shopping is on Canal street and then you walk up towards Greenwich Village up Broadway and all the streets off to the left and right until you get to Houstston St. Then from Greenwich Village walk up Bleecker st which is the most amazing street (so leave lots of time) up into the Meat Packing District. My friends crammed Soho, Greenwich Village and Meatpacking all in one day but would allow at least 2 full days in Soho. Meatpacking shops dont open till 11am so go to Pastis for breakfast (9 Ninth Ave) and then have the afternoon shopping there. Its very small but concentrated, has brands but not like Chanel and LV, more like Alexander McQueen and DVF, much more fun.

Broadway and Shows In New York

  • TKTS booth – if you want cheaper broadway shows, go to this red booth in Times Square pretty much under the stairs in the heart of the square. It opens from 3pm and there is a line so be there early to get in the line. It only sells tickets for shows of that night. Have a look at the shows that are playing and choose what you want to see. I saw Jersey Boys and thought it was great. It’s not a very glitzy musical though so pick something else if you like shows with sparkles and girly things. Wicked and Mama Mia are classics!
  •  ‘Sleep no more’ – an amazing play where you wear masks and walk around a hotel which acts as the set and you can interact with the actors (can’t buy tickets from TKTS booth unfortunately)
  •  Look online in advance if you want to see some shows filmed. Classics like Jerry Springer and Dr Phil are filmed a few hours out of Manhattan but apparently aren’t too hard to get to. In Times Square you can get in to see MTV filming shows if you get there early in the morning usually.
  • The Today Show is filmed every weekday morning on the corner of 49th and Rockefeller Center before dawn. Get there at about 6:30am for a good spot and bring a sign with a “HELLO DAD” type of message if you like, and get ready to cheer, smile and wave to the cameras. This show is filmed outside so be prepared for the weather.

Attractions and Museums

  • Times Square – So many colours and things to look at! When you come out of the subway station, the grandeur of Time Square will hit you. It’s buzzing with people, shops, street performers (if you want to take a photo with a fake looking Hello Kitty, Elmo or a Minion this is the place). If you’re lucky you’ll see The Naked Cowboy. This guy walks around, rain, hail or shine, in white undies in a cowboy hat and boots while he plays his guitar for tips. He’s been doing it for years. There are hundreds of amazing shops here too. See where the ball drops on New Years (it actually looks tiny when you stand in the square. 

    Here's the Naked Cowboy in his prime back in 2006.

    Here’s the Naked Cowboy in his prime back in 2006.

  • Guggenheim – 5th Ave. Another famous art Muesum that people think kind of looks like a toilet. It has some interesting architecture.

    Inside the Guggenheim

    Inside the Guggenheim

  • Moma (Museum of Modern Art) –11 West 53rd Street. b/w 5th and 6th Aves. Great space and loved all the art they had there (Warhol etc). – It’s free on Friday nights from 4pm I think. Get there early there is a line
  • The Metropolitan Muesum of art (The Met) 1000 5th Ave – Lots of ancient artefacts and exhibitions.
  • Love Statue, 1359 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave).

    Love Sculpture 6th Ave

    Love Sculpture 6th Ave

  • Chelsea market – (in Meat Packing District) great fresh food and cool things to buy
  • The Grand Central Terminal Building is beautiful and you can pose like Serena from Gossip Girl on the balcony.
Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

  • Top of the Rock – 30 Rockerfeller building. Make sure you go all the way to the top. There are 3 levels that you can go up to. First has glass surrounding it and the others up the stairs are great and very open. Better for photos. When you get there, buy tickets with card through the machines to avoid the human payment line. They don’t tell you that but it will save you time. Once you get your ticket, you’ll have to wait an hour or so for your time to go up the top depending on how busy the day is, sometimes it could be 2 or 3 hours wait so try and get there early. There are shops to look at and eat at in the complex while you wait your turn too. Also at Rockerfeller check out the big golden Prometheus fountain that you see in movies and they have an ice rink around in Winter. Stand outside the Lego store for a good view of it. Apparently Top of the Rock is a better view than the Empire State. The building has a very interesting history too that you will learn about in videos as you wait to go up the lift.

    In summer there are cafes in the forecourt of the golden Prometheus sculpture and in Winter it is an iceskating rink with a giant Christmas tree looking on.

    In summer there are cafes in the forecourt of the golden Prometheus sculpture and in Winter it is an iceskating rink with a giant Christmas tree looking on.

Top of the Rock - Facing Central park

Top of the Rock – Facing Central park

  • NY Highline walk – What used to be an old train track has now been converted into a nice park. There are some good photo locations through it and it’s very pretty.
My friend and I visited the beautiful New York Highline

My friend and I visited the beautiful New York Highline

  • Yankees games are apparently a fun experience. If the football is on that would also be fun to experience. Yankee Stadium is fantastic at night. Catching the subway to the Bronx is fine on game nights and walking in with the fans is an experience in and of itself. 
  • Central Park is a must. Make sure you are wearing comfy walking shoes and have a map (preferably your mobile phone so you can look at Google Maps because it is easy to get lost in there). Make sure you allow for 2-4 hours to look around and maybe pack a picnic, eat lunch at the Boat House or visit Wholefoods. Go to ‘Strawberry Fields’ where the “imagine” Beatles memorial is. The Dakota Building where John Lennon was shot is across the road. There is also a really beautiful bridge and cloister at Bethesda Fountain. You’ll probably recognise it from various movies set in New York. I thought the Southern end of Central Park was better than the Northern Part, so if you don’t have a lot of time, don’t bother with the top half.
Strawberry Fields in Central Park. This is the John Lennon memorial.

Strawberry Fields in Central Park. This is the John Lennon memorial

Central Park Bethesda Terrace

Central Park Bethesda Terrace

  • The Statue Of Liberty. There are 2 options for this one. Option 1 (the cheap scenic option) Get on the Statten Island Ferry and it will take you for a nice cruise past Ellis Island where Liberty is. You can stand on the deck and get some beautiful photos with her behind you. Option 2 (the more expensive option) Get a cruise from Battery Park that will take you direct to Ellis Island where you can stand in front of the statue itself or climb inside.

    Statue of liberty from Statten Island ferry

    Statue of liberty from Statten Island ferry

  • 9/11 memorial. Check out where the towers fell and the memorial water falls. It was about $25 to get in and apparently it is really good. You can get in free after 5pm on Wednesdays I think (check on that). I went to a little church called St Pauls down the road from Ground Zero and I found it really moving. It houses some beautiful memorials to the victims and workers of 9/11. The church provided a sanctuary and support network to a lot of the emergency service crews by providing places for them to sleep, eat and speak to councillors. It was a very human element. I highly recommend visiting St Paul’s and learning about the history the little church has to offer on it’s own.

    Tributes and badges  from 9/11in St Pauls Church

    Tributes and badges from 9/11in St Pauls Church

  • Flatiron Building 175 5th Ave- One of the classic buildings in New York. Situated on a corner, this building is in a triangular shape and has beautiful architecture. Just up the road is Madison Square park which is a nice place to sit.
The Flatiron Building on a rainy evening

The Flatiron Building on a rainy evening

    • Empire State Building – You can go to the top and look out at the view, but I’m told that Top of the Rock provides a much better view.
    • Check out the outside of the restaurant from Seinfeld (Toms Restaurant 2880 Broadway (cn W 112th st,) in the upper west side and then walk through Columbia University and check out the beautiful architecture. Barak Obama once attended this university.
Toms Restaurant - As seen in Seinfeld and the restaurant that the song Tom's Diner was penned about.

Toms Restaurant – As seen in Seinfeld and the restaurant that the song ‘Tom’s Diner’ was penned about.

  • You can hire bikes in various places around the city if you feel inclined. You can ride or walk East to the Hudson River and there is a great path that goes the entire length of Manhattan. You can ride your bike down the bottom of Manhattan to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty too near Battery Park. 
  • Wall Street Stock Exchange – take a photo with the charging bull statue and then you might want to walk down to Battery Park and visit the Statue of Liberty on the ferry.

    Wall St, New York

    Wall St, New York

Neighbourhoods in New York

      • Soho- really good shopping area. Best streets are Broadway (massive), Greene St, Prince St, Spring St. Easily a whole day of wondering around the shops and great hotels, architecture and restaurants/ bars. Very ‘New York’ looking area.
      • Meatpacking- Great food around here. Soho House, Pastis, good shops like Shelly Steffe, Jeffrey etc.Gansevoort St and Hudson and 14th are right in the centre of it all.
      • West Village- Main street to see is Bleeker St and around there. More suburban area. Really beautiful area just next to Meatpacking.
      • Chelsea – A really pretty little area to walk around in. It’s known as the gay hub of New York and there are some cute cafes and homewares stores. Visit Chelsea Market to pick up some nice food and hand made crafts.
      • Greenwich Village – take a walk around Washington Square park. There are always buskers and kids playing with their nannies on the lawns. Take a photo in front of the Stanford White Arch.

        Stafford Arch

        Stafford Arch

      • Nolita- (North little Italy) Like Melbourne there are real hubs for each culture. China town and Little Italy have great food. Great shopping. Just head to Mott, Elizabeth and Mulberry Streets. Really cute area with small cafes. And restaurants.
      • Lower East Side – more ‘artsy scene’. The artwork on the walls to the cool clubs and bars make it a fun area to explore. Main Streets Rivington, Orchard, Ludlow, and Stanton. St Marks Place is the main hub of the area and there are some punk type shops and hipster cafes around. If you like Jeff Buckley, you can walk past where he used to live 233 E12th st and see Arlene’s Grocery where he used to play 95 Stanton St.
      • Upper East – Where a lot of the rich people live as you would know if you ever watched Gossip Girl
      • Upper West- In a short time frame I’d leave this area alone. My hostel was in this neighbourhood and so is Columbia University and Tom’s Restaurant from Seinfeld, but nothing else worth seeing.
      • Brooklyn and Williamsburg – Think hipsters, warehouses, people who are too cool! I took the “L” Train to Williamsburg and looked around there in Bedford st which was cool and very similar to Melbourne I thought. I then took a green train near the Brooklyn bridge and looked around that area. You can see where Michelle and Heath Ledger lived. Next to it on the street near a fire hydrant is where he wrote his daughter Matilda, and dog, Hugo, in the concrete. 126 Hoyt Street (across from Dean Street).

        Outside the house that Michelle WIlliams and Heath Ledger owned is a fire hydrant where Heath etched his daughter and pet dogs names.

        Outside the house that Michelle WIlliams and Heath Ledger owned is a fire hydrant where Heath etched his daughter and pet dogs names.

Walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge. I did this at around 5pm as the sun was setting and it was beautiful! I highly recommend it! Its a much better view walking back to Manhattan over the bridge than walking across it to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Bridge

  • Queens – I went on a tour to Queens that was organised by my hostel (Hostelling International New York). They took us to the Queens Museum (Don’t waste your money visiting it in my opinion), we saw the site of the Worlds Fair with the big globe (that was pretty cool) and we ate lunch in the big China town area. If you like Louis Armstrong, you can visit his house museum 56, 107th St. If you are short on time, I’d say skip Queens.
World Fair Unisphere in Queens

World Fair Unisphere in Queens

  • Harlem – I went to Harlem on a $10 tour with the Hostel I stayed in (Hostelling International New York). That was quite interesting and they took us to a gospel Church. My friend recommended that if you want a really different night, go up to the Abysinneium Church in Harlem on a Wed evening (6pm) for gospel – it is not in the tour books and is much better, more intimate than Sunday sessions (Sundays at 8am and midday). You get to sing along and the music is brilliant!! Then stay up in Harlem and go out to the Dinasour BBQ restaurant, then go to St Nick’s Jazz bar. Apparently Harlem is pretty safe these days so you can take the subway up and back… but as a solo single lady traveller, I wouldn’t go there without a group or after dark.

Food Recommendations in New York

These were all recommended to me by my friends, friends, friends from the pass on circle of this list so hopefully they are all still amazing and in business when you read this:

  • Street carts, There are lots of silver street carts around the city selling all kinds of things from hot dogs, to curry, to kebabs, to ice creams and drinks! You can eat from these and they are fairly safe…. but I didn’t risk eating any chicken from them.
  • You have to go to one of those typical American diners for dinner one night! Katz is one that was recommended to me but I never went.
  • Public- 210 Elizabeth St. Great atmosphere, really cool décor and fabulous bar for cocktails before dinner.
  • Pastis- Little West 12th corner of ninth Avenue. (212 929 4844) Always seen in Sex in the City. Great for breaky and world famous for the crowd that turns up constantly.
  • Soho House- Meat Packing District. Great roof top bar/ restaurant poolside.
  • The Mercer Kitchen- 99 Prince St Soho (corner of Mercer and Prince) bottom of The Mercer Hotel. Great spot in the heart of the shops. Amazing space and cocktails as well as fabulous food. Yummy lunch / brunch place when hanging out in Soho.
  • Balthazar- 80 Spring St Soho. A famous spot in Soho. Always busy, but the food is pretty good.
  • Au Pain- Great Breakfast or Lunch stop in Soho. They do ok coffee and great salads etc for lunch.
  • Tao – 42 E. 58th Street Telephone: (212) 888-2288 where the beautiful rich young people drink 
  • Magnolia Bakery – 401 Bleecker Street
  • Mandarin – for somewhere fancy for dinner, AMAZING. Go before sunset so you can have a few drinks watching the city as the sun goes down
  • Olives – 201 Park Avenue South. Telephone: (212) 353-8345 (for lunch)
  • Sea Grill Rockefeller Center 19 W. 49th St. (5th & 6th Aves.)
  • Blue Water Grill 31 Union Square West (Flatiron/Gramercy/Union Square at 16th St.) Telephone: 212 675 9500 VERY NYC sit on lower level.
  • Da Silvano Restaurant 260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, (212) 982-2343.
  • Bar Pitti 268 Ave of the Americas New York, Greenwich Village (212) 982-3300.
  • Mario Batali Buddakan – 75 9th Avenue in Meatpacking District – 212 989 6699. Seriously great Asian Fusion restaurant. They filmed a scene from the Sex and the City movie there.
  • Kingswood – 121 West 10th St in the West Village – 212 645 0018 Owned by a couple of Australians. Great for drinks and then dinner and excellent value as far as NYC restaurants go.
  • La Esquina – 106 Kenmare Street – 646 613 7100 Mexican underground. Cool restaurant and good food if you like Mexican.
  • The Stanton Social – 99 Stanton Street – 212 995 0099 Good restaurant and bar. Good on a Saturday night.
  • Double Crown – 316 Bowery on the Lower East Side – 212 254 0350 Great for dinner and drinks.
  • STK Steak House – 26 Little West 12th Street – 646 624 2444. Steakhouse with a DJ. Very NY.
  • Butter – 415 Lafayette Street in Nolita – 212 253 2828 Make a reservation for late on a Monday night and then try to get into the club downstairs. The nightclub downstairs is THE place to be on a Monday night. Full of models and actors.
  • Morimoto – 88 10th Avenue Meatpacking. Trendy Japanese. Famous chef.
  • Katz’s Delicatessen – 205 East Houston Street at Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side You’ve got to have a NY Deli meal for lunch one day. Katz’s is an institution.
  • Barney Greengrass – Restaurant on the top of Barney’s department store – great for lunch or a break when shopping.

Bar recommendations in New York

  • 230 Fifth – A roof top bar that overlooks skyline of NYC – amazing you must go – the most amazing views/ cocktails and roof top bar. Go before sunset and sip a cocktail with a dressing gown on! (It’s on 5th Ave, number 230 – hence the name!). A MUST visit!
  • Rose Bar – Rooftop of The Gramercy Park Hotel. Great bar. Must visit.
  • Bowery Bar – 40 East 4th Street – 212 475 2220 Another Downtown Institution. Good for dinner and drinks. Has a big beer garden.
  • Employees Only – 510 Hudson Street at 10th street. Another really cool local bar.
  • Southside – 1 Cleveland Place Soho. Great on a Thursday night. Have drinks at Employees Only and head down to Southside around midnight.
  • Morell’s Wine Bar – Rockerfeller Plaza Yummy Pizzetta, great wine and fantastic people watching when you’re near Rockerfeller.
  • Zinc Bar (Jazz) – on a Fri night for live music – on W3rd street near Washington Square

2 day shopping plan in New York – SOHO AND MEATPACKING DISTRICT:

  • The best shopping is in Soho and then walk into the Meat Packing District. In Soho, shopping is on Canal street and then you walk up towards Greenwich Village up Broadway and all the streets off to the left and right until you get to Houstston St. Then from Greenwich Village walk up Bleecker st which is the most amazing street (so leave lots of time) up into the Meat Packing District. My friends crammed Soho, Greenwich Village and Meatpacking all in one day but would allow at least 2 full days in Soho. Meatpacking shops dont open till 11am so go to Pastis for breakfast (9 Ninth Ave) and then have the afternoon shopping there. Its very small but concentrated, has brands but not like Chanel and LV, more like Alexander McQueen and DVF, much more fun.

A few more tips for travelling in New York

  • Remember to tip pretty much everyone in the service industry! Hairdressers, bartenders, waiters, cab drivers, bus drivers, hotel clerks if they carry your bag, leave a few dollars on your nightstand if you are staying in a hotel as a tip for your cleaner every day. You don’t need to tip in fast food places such as McDonalds or Taco Bell. Remember that these people are usually paid only a few dollars an hour by the company they are working for and rely on tips to make a wage. Keep as many $1 bills as you can in your purse to use for tipping because they don’t like giving you change.
  • You’ll find New Yorkers are pretty blunt and a bit rude. They like to boss you around and be quite authoritative (you’ll notice this even before you leave the airport with the airport security yelling at you for not moving in the line fast enough or something!). Even asking questions to staff who are in customer service positions will get you blunt, un-friendly responses. I like to smile at them and be super thankful to see if I could crack a smile out of them.
  • Be prepared to be called Ma’am or Sir and be ready to call people that.
  • Here’s a handy map of New York from City Sights which is one of the hop on/hop off bus companies to help you with your planning.

Good luck planning your trip to beautiful New York City!

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How to do 80s hair, make up and dress up for a party

How do you dress up in 80’s style? Let me show you!

I recently attended an 80’s party and went through the process of searching for the perfect 80’s outfit and boofing out my hair to 80’s mega proportions.

80’s Hair -Big, boofy, over processed with LOTS of volume:

wet curly hair 80s style

Wash your hair and turn your head upside down while you scrunch lots of mousse in the roots.  This will give you volume and texture for when you back comb it later. It’s all about the products you use that make 80’s hair so big.

taft mousse 80s australia hair volume product extra strong hold

Taft mousse spray pump foam

mousse in curly hair scrunch 80s

After I applied the mousse, I blowdryed my hair upside down with a diffuser attachment. Diffusers space out the hot hair and dry a little slower with less pressure so it helps to make curly hair even curlier or add volume to roots if you have short hair.

breville avanti hair dryer diffuser white aqua

I have naturally curly hair so it made it easy for me to get it to crazy big 80’s volume. If you have straight hair, I would recommend using a curling iron or bendy curling rollers to curl your hair really tightly after adding the mousse to the roots. Don’t forget to spray about half a can of hair spray all over your hair and don’t be afraid to comb, comb and comb that hair back to boof it out anyway you can.

how to dry curly hair with a diffuser upside down

Use more mousse or curling gel to scrunch the hair as you use the diffuser to get bigger, fluffier curls.

80s hair style curly bandana scarf bow

Put a bandanna or a scarf in your hair for a super 80’s look and to help keep your crazy 80’s hair out of your face.

80s hair style curly bandana scarf bow

Time to pump up that fringe 80’s style!

Spray your fringe with hairspray. LOTS of hairspray! Take a comb and back comb down the hair towards the roots. Your fringe will get nice and puffy and then you can gently comb it a little smoother while still maintaining the volume. Try and puff it out into a round fringe if  you can!

PRO TIP: 80’s fringes were huge and stood up tall! To get this look lay your fringe out flat on your bathroom bench with your nose on the bench too. Spray your fringe with so much hairspray that it sticks to the bench and is very stiff. Back comb to your hearts content and watch your hair go heavenwards!

how to tease 80s hair fringe bangs big back comb

Here are some 80’s hair style examples:

How to do 80’s Make up:

Colour and lots of eyeliner is where it’s at!

I wanted an authentic but not too over the top look so I lined my eyes top, bottom and in the water line. Think Princess Diana… and Madonna of course. I used Stilla Smudgestick eyeliner.

80s black eyeliner

For my eyeshadow I used an Inglot light gold eyeshadow all over my lids and then used emerald green in the far corners to give a subtle 80’s look and make my eyes pop.

A lick of mascara, red or bright pink lipstick plus some dark eyebrows and you’re done!

80s green eyeshadow eye make up pretty

80s green eyeshadow eye make up pretty

80’s style costume:

I went a little street punk in my style. I wore a paisley bandana in my hair, a paisley shirt, 3/4 leggings, a cool courdroy overalls dress, white slouch socks and black ankle sneakers. So 80’s! Radical man!

80s dress up overall dress skirt corduroy ankle boots hair make up leggings 80s dress up overall dress skirt corduroy ankle boots hair make up leggings dress up fancy dress 80s dress up style curly hair paisley shirt 80s dress up style curly hair paisley shirt 80s dress up style make up and hair

Other theme options are:

  • Aerobics – lots of fluro, slouch socks, side ponytails and, if you’re daring, lycra bike shorts with a leotard over the top!
  • Prom – Go to an opshop and pick up a taffeta, big shouldered 80’s party dress.
  • Office – You need a powersuit! Shoulder pads, square toed and heeled shoes and loosely brushed curled hair with a rounded fringe. Don’t forget to add a brooch to your lapel for extra style points!
  • Character – Pick a character from your favourite 80’s movie or a musician. Madonna is an easy one with fingerless gloves, long necklaces, tank tops and a ruffle mini skirt. Adam Ant, George Michael, Michael Jackson or Maverick are some good options for the guys.

What will you wear to your 80’s party? Let me know if this tutorial helped you!

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Stilla Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner

I wear eye liner and mascara every day as part of my usual beauty routine. I’m lucky to have thick long lashes naturally, but I still look quite different without some liner to enhance my eyes.

When I was in America this year I spent some quality time at Sephora and tried a few different eye liners. I was using Clinique Quickliner Intense at the time and considered buying it again because I liked it and it was cheap at Sephora, but I decided to try something new.


I gave the Marc Jacobs eye liner a whirl on my hand and really liked it but the sales lady told me that she didn’t think that was the best one and she has heard some bad reviews on it. She recommended Stilla Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner. I’m really impressed with it at the moment!

Stilla_smudge_stick_waterproof_eye_linerStilla_smudge_stick_waterproof_eye_linerIt has great dark coverage and is a soft and gentle to apply. It is quite similar to the Clinique Quickliner but a litter darker and richer I think.

It is a wind up stick that is easy to use, however one of the main things that bugs me about it is that it doesn’t come with a sharpener or a smudge wand. Both of those features are pretty standard in eye liners. I would have really expected the smudge wand to come with this since it is a smudgey pencil! Not having a sharpener is also annoying if I want to draw wings on my liner – this just makes it short, fat and stumpy.

You can see in this photo the beautiful dark line it gives. I usually just draw it on top of my lash line, however you could try and smudge it with a cotton bud which kind of rubs it off (not the same as a smudge wand so you could grab a cheapy eye pencil from priceline to get a rubbery smudge wand if you wanted it instead.

Stilla_smudge_stick_waterproof_eye_liner Stilla_smudge_stick_waterproof_eye_liner

While it says it’s waterproof, I find it really easy to get off with my normal eye make up remover. As you could see in the dry cotton bud swipe photo above, it rubs off fairly well too, even easier with water of course. Although, if you were crying or took a bath, it wouldn’t budge from your eyes unless you wiped it with a tissue or your hand.

I really like the Stilla Smudge Stick as well as the Stilla liquid eyeliner (that I will write about eventually) and would happily purchase again.

You can purchase Stilla Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Australia from Mecca Cosmetics for about the same price as Sephora in USA – about $26.

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I’m a beauty blogger. Here’s a list of my favourite beauty products ever.

I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now (oh my gosh time goes so fast and I remember trying hard to think of a name for this little blog and the handful of supermarket beauty products I had at the time to review and tutorials I wanted to do.

Now, all these years on, I have had the opportunity to try all kinds of products. Many of which I write about on here, and others that don’t cut it or I haven’t found the time to write about yet.

So, I wanted to go over some of my old posts and pull up a few that detail products that I have fell in love with as I have used them over and over.

Clinique Moisture Surge

I use this every single morning after I wash my face. It absorbs so quickly and I can put my foundation on right over the top.

clinique moisture surge face gel hydrating

Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment

This really is Miracle Hair Treatment! After washing and towel drying my hair, I put 4 pumps of this creame in my hair and comb it through with my wide tooth comb. The power of this treatment is really visible when you heat treat your hair. Using my GHD straightener and this bottle of magic, my hair becomes soooooo smooth and shiny. I always get compliments!

Eleven Miracle hair treatment bottle

Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial In A Box

I use this product once a week and my skin really enjoys it. It comes with cleanser, eye cream, exfoliant, hydrating mask and SPF 15+ face cream. I’ve run out of the masque that came in the box (they only give you a small sachet of that but all of the other products are generous), so I just use Dermatalogica Skin Hydrating Masque. This kit is the perfect Christmas or birthday present.

Sanctuary Day Spa Brightening Facial In A Box ReviewFoot care products

I love my Body Shop Foot Pumice and also the Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Intensive Conditioning Foot Mask. The dry heat and sandals play havoc on my feet making them rough and dry so it’s important to keep them nice and neat and conditioned.

Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Foot Masque

Australis Voluptulash Mascara

I have pointed a few of my friends in the direction of this mascara and they love it as much as I do. It comes off with water in little tubes and gives beautifully long separated lashes. Give it a go!

voluptulash australis mascaraClarins Skin Routine

I have been using this cleansing system for a few years now and I have been happy with it. I also really like the cheaper Boots alternative.

Clarins water cleanser cleansing milk alpine herbs

Kiko Milan – Eyebrow Pencil

I have been using the same pencil every day now for 2 years and it’s just beginning to come to an end. That’s value for you! My mum went to France earlier in the year and so I put in a special request for one of these pencils as a back up and she got me 2! I’m set for another 4 years now! I love the colour and the gentle coverage this pencil gives, plus it comes with a tiny pencil sharpener and a brush. Such a great value pencil to add to your suitcase if you’re in Europe (or a little gift a friend can bring back for you!)

kiko milan eyebrow pencil

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nails

I really do love this super easy nail system! Nails will last a week at least and they are nice and shiny and hard. You just need at least half an hour of free time to sit still and do them without smudging them. So many great colours too!


So there you have a it! A quick summary of some of my favourite beauty products.

What are your top beauty products that you can’t live without?

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Crabtree and Evelyn – La Source Foot Mask

After a long week pounding the pavement in sandals with the blistering sun drying out my skin, I love nothing more than pampering my feet. I do this around once a month, especially in hot weather when my feet are a little sticky in shoes or dry from walking in open shoes on pavement. I’m really surprised how much damage that can do to my skin actually!

I set out a towel and get a bucket of warm water and then I apply Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Intensive Conditioning Foot Mask. I seriously LOVE this stuff and briefly spoke about it in my foot care post last year (I’m seeing a trend).

I rub the creamy mask all over my feet and it smells like magical peppermint. Peppermint cools and deodorises.

Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Foot Masque

Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Foot Masque instructions

The Crabtree and Evelyn box comes with 5 sets of spa booties (basically thick plastic sleeves for your feet). I put them on over my masked up feet and wait 20 minutes (enough time to watch an episode of Portlandia!).

Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Foot Masque


Then it’s time to take off the booties and rinse these tooties in a warm bucket of water. I love how instantly soft and smooth my feet feel! I then get my awesome Body Shop blue foot pumice and scrub and scrub the dead skin off of my feet. Ohhhh yeah! I could practically be a foot model after this treatment!
Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Foot MasqueHave you tried the Crabtree & Evelyn Foot Mask before? If you love sweet smelling, hydrated and smooth feet, you’re going to love it as part of your beauty routine.

The Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Intensive Conditioning Foot Mask retails at $30 and will last you ages!

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