Monday, 25 July 2016

Keeping My Face Hydrated

I may have mentioned before, I tend to stick to lightweight gel type moisturisers to avoid the dreaded issue of milia seeds and because my skin doesn't like to be weighed down with all your negativity, man.

It's relatively normal and not overly prone to breaking out so I like to keep things simple and keep products minimal.

I was gifted the Stem Organics Hydrating Face Fluid at the Adelaide Bloggers United event in February and have finally admitted defeat on scraping out the last of the bottle with the tube thing - short of smashing said bottle and getting the last smears of the bottom, it was done.

I thought about repurchasing and went to the Stem site to check it out. Sadly I coudn't justify the $46 for a replacement bottle, given I am usually a "whatever's on special at the supermarket" type of gal.

I decided to test out some of the other moisturising products gifted at the same time. You may be wondering "seriously, how much loot did these people bag at this event?" I'll tell you how much . . . BLOODY LOADS. I'm serious. Over $1300 worth. This is just one bag of five. You can see the Stem stuff right there in the middle.

Anyhoozle, I decided to try the Elucent Skin Whitening moisturiser. We got the whole range of full-sized Elucent skin whitening stuff, another very generous brand.

First feelings: it's more of a cream texture than a gel and feels very sunscreeny, which makes perfect sense because it is, in fact, SPF 30+. The smell is inoffensive and it comes in a solid pump dispenser.

I also had a try of the Enbacci Skincare grape stem cell system by using the Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Essential Creme sample which was a whipped souffle type affair but went on quite thin and kind of watery with the face feeling stiff afterwards. I've since found (when googling for the link to add here) that it's actually more of a toner / balancing creme so that's operator error on that one.

In summary, I think I'll save the Elucent one for summer when I need more SPF action and cast my eye around for another daily moisturiser with a lighter feel.

Edit: Popped down to Priceline and picked this up - largely because of the pretty box and price point. Will report back!

What's your favourite face hydrater?

All products were kindly gifted at the Bloggers United event in Adelaide. All opinions and images are my own and authentic. For more information, please see my PR and Media Policy.

Friday, 22 July 2016

How To Find an Outfit Quickly [guest post]

Guest contributor Bridie returns to Almost Posh with this handy guide on how to go from panic-buy to presentable in six easy steps.


All dressed up and nowhere to go? Sure, maybe in your 20s.  Now, you desperately want to stay home under the heater, drinking wine, eating apple crumble and wearing trackies that are warm from the dryer (sorry – too specific?! Nah, I bet you want in on that!) but these days you have parties to go to, things to do and yet; nothing to wear.


Recently I had the good fortune to be invited to an engagement party.  The invite specified “don’t come dressed like a hobo – don’t be afraid to be the best dressed guy or girl in the room” – and yes, with my nuggety physique and square jaw, it would be easy to be best dressed GUY in the room, but I digress…

After having a baby and deciding to focus on basics and building a capsule wardrobe (more on that to come!) of items I love, I find it difficult to spring for fancier clothes.  If I spend all my cash on frocks and frippery then there’s not much left for the day-to-day clothes appropriate for work, the park and trackie-clad-couch-sitting-crumble-eating. But if you don’t spend any money on appropriate going-out clothes, you will inevitably be invited to something fabulous and having nothing to wear.  It’s Murphy’s Law.

In the interests of full disclosure, it would be remiss of me to lead you to believe that our fabulous hosts for the night had not given much notice for their event. Of course they had. Months. I had more than enough time to clothe myself appropriately, but had put off the task because it involved dressing up and planning and I had better things to do, like go to the dentist and clean the grout in the shower. (Okay, dressing up isn’t THAT bad, but sometimes….)

Anyway, say you’ve left it to the last minute…if you’re in Sydney or surrounds, our friends at The Iconic^ have got your back, with 3-4 hour delivery.  3 hour shipping with free returns would be an absolute lifesaver – just order a selection, pick the best for the night and you’re good to go!

If, however, you’re not in Sydney and only have Saturday afternoon to select something before you go out Saturday night, then the following tips should help:

1.       Panic! Hahaha kidding….DON’T PANIC!

The more you panic, the more you will trigger your flight or fight reflex. Your animal brain will laser focus and you will lose peripheral vision, leading to the loss of bargains that might ordinarily be present from the corner of your eye. Okay, there is absolutely no science behind that (note to CSIRO – more shopping research needed.) BUT enjoying the process will put you in a better frame of mind and hopefully lead to a more enjoyable night, when you get home from shopping.

2.       Find a security blanket

Find an item from your wardrobe that you already like, that you know fits and that suits the occasion.  Shopping for a dress, and shoes and a bag and a floral brooch like it’s 2001 is just too much stress – you need to be on the hunt for one or two items max.  I often base outfits around shoes I already have as I know they’ll fit and won’t cause any blisters on a night out.

3.       Shop with military precision

Plan your route, like you’re Rommel attempting to seize the Suez (what the?) Seriously, you have no time for distractions or weird detours to pick up a honeydew melon, look at sheets or whatever…JUST SHOP.

4.       No dalliances

Stick to stores that you know fit.  If you’re over 30 and not built like a whippet, then you know certain stores* ain't got nothing for you, so rather than descend into a pity spiral, just move on past. Similarly, now is not the time to be considering new yoga pants if you’re headed to a cocktail party tonight.

5.       Consider small boutiques

This is where #shopsmall comes into its own.  If you build up relationships with small boutique owners you can present them with your dilemma and often they will be more than helpful. Some of my best outfits have come from small boutiques where they have interesting clothes at decent price points and are willing to spend the time to help a shopper in need.

6.       Makeup on point

Sure, you might not have luck at the shops, but if you’ve followed these tips, your shoes will fit and your makeup can carry the whole look.  Red lipstick and a cute pair of heels can go a long way.

Now, grab your slippers, Cinderella - it's time for the Ball!!  What are your top tips for getting a killer last minute outfit?

See How To Shop With Success and Shopping: Instore vs Online for more thoughts on the subject and for the mums out there, try 15 Handy Hints For Shopping With Kids.

*Not naming names, but we all know of a few stores like this, amirite?!
^ denotes affiliate link

Monday, 18 July 2016

Posh Picks: Ponte

I am a big fan of ponte.

Calling it a miracle fabric is not overstating it in any way. Recently Bron at Flat Bum Mum delivered no less than 44 ways to wear ponte pants to demonstrate their awesome versatility.

Ponte or Ponte de Roma to give it its full name, is a double-knit interlocking fabric, which in layperson's terms means stretchy, comfortable and solid. It's great for fitted items because it holds shape (both yours and its). No need to worry about anything showing through, including dacks, and you get the look and comfort of leggings with the warmth of pants.

Bron's post inspired this week's Posh Picks - and remember ponte isn't just for pants! I hereby present to you some excellent pontification across a range of items.

1. Glassons | Biker Ponte Pants | $39.99 or 2 for $60
2. Glassons | Elastic Panel Ponte Pants | $39.99 or 2 for $60
3. Katies | Ponte Stripe Dress | $59.95
4. Katies | Stitch Detail Ponte PU Jacket | $89.95
5. Katies | Stripe Ponte Skirt | $39.95
6. The Iconic | Atmos&Here Full Ponte Skirt | Was $59.95 now $41.97
7. The Iconic | Wite Trafalgar Jacket | Was $89.95 now $44.98
8. The Iconic | Dorothy Perkins Ponte Shift Dress | $59.95

I'm going to assume you're already a fan of ponte and ask what is your favourite piece to wear?

This post contains affiliate links. By clicking through and purchasing, you don't pay any extra but I earn a small amount of coin to expand my ponte collection. Please see my PR & Media policy for  more information.

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Pureology "Pure Volume" Style + Care Infusion Review

Still on the hair kick this week as I review Pureology "Pure Volume" Style + Care Infusion*.

Pureology Pure Volume Style + Care Infusion | Almost Posh

As I've mentioned previously, atop my head is hair that is fine yet plentiful so volume-enhancing products have always been something I've looked for and if there is the added bonus of being kind to colour-treated weaves, then I'm all in.

I was sent this nifty new product to put through its paces. First, I did a control test - how I would usually dry my hair. This is a wash, blow dry and a misting of Pureology's "Colour Fanatic" spray* (reviewed here) for heat protecting.

Beth | Almost Posh

Off topic: that lip colour is Colourpop Ultra Matte "Sundae". Super bright! Thanks, my lovely benefactor.

Back to my weave. I washed my hair as normal with Matrix Hello Blondie shampoo and conditioner* (reviewed here) and then twisted it into my Smurf hat microfibre hair towel. I'm also wearing a proper towel so don't be all looking in reflections!

Beth | Almost Posh

See how the packaging is literally two products in one? There is a tube within a tube, or "dual-chamber" as they call it in the business.

Pureology Pure Volume Style + Care Infusion | Almost Posh

With a handy dot to show you where to press:

Pureology Pure Volume Style + Care Infusion | Almost Posh

Now it says to use "a small amount" which I always find subjective. What's small? A pea? A 10 cent piece? A Suzuki Swift? Be more specific please. This is why I don't do well with freestyle baking.

This is how much I went for. Too much? Not enough? Who knows. But see how it comes out? Tricky!

Pureology Pure Volume Style + Care Infusion | Almost Posh

I applied to damp hair as directed and blowdried as normal. I considered doing another video for this review but I thought five minutes of me with my head over the bath drying my hair upside-down wouldn't be that entertaining and I haven't got my editing skills up to speed yet.

This is what Pureology have to say on the matter:
The innovative dual chamber Style + Care Infusions feature a caring cream formula and a styling gel formula, that fuse together at the moment of application to provide a multi-benefit blow-dry product. Customised for all hair types, each of the three formulas are cocktailed with PUREOLOGY’S exclusive Style + Care Complex which features Xylose Sugar and Intracylane to strengthen hair, insulate the cuticle layer and protect against heat damage. Each tailored formula also offers a specialised ingredient to beautify every desired hair look…
There are three different products available in the range:

PURE VOLUME  |  Wheat Protein to create body and lasting fullness

SMOOTH PERFECTION  |  Camellia Oil to create ultimate smoothness

CURL COMPLETE  |  Coconut Oil to tame and beautify all curl types

It's also made from 100% vegan ingredients if that's your jam.

All that, and this is the final result:

Beth | Almost Posh

That lip colour is Chi Chi "O.M.Nude!" which is another kind donation!

I can see a little bit of lift and I can feel more texture than usual. Having read the instructions again, I think I should have emulsified between my fingers first and maybe applied more than I did. I'm usually pretty light on applying product to my hair as I don't like it getting limp or too greasy. I'll continue to use it and report back as it smells pleasant and why wouldn't you.

One thing though; this shiz ain't cheap. The 150ml tube retails for $51.95.

What are your volumising tips? Any holy grail products to share?

Linking up with the Monday Makeup Madness link party!

* denotes gifted items.

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Friday, 15 July 2016

Mid-Year Review: Wardrobe, Blogging and Business

So. Mid-July already. 162 days until Christmas.

I know.

My daughter will be starting kindy in six months and I am approaching my late thirties at a rate of knots. Still, this means I draw ever closer to the planned 90s radness of my 40th birthday party which I'm excited about.

I thought I'd check in with my start-of-year goals and projects so you can see how I'm tracking.

Wardrobe Update

Jumper sweater wardrobe | Almost Posh

At the start of the year, (well, February as it turns out, close enough) I took some time-honoured wardrobe auditor advice and did the old turn-the-hangers-around trick in my wardrobe.

It was a simple but effective way to get visibility on what I was wearing - well, my hangable things anyway. Still haven't heard of a solution for folded drawer-based items. As the months progressed, I'd look at things that were still facing the wrong way and go, "Yeah, you know what? I'm actually not going to wear you again ever" and into the donations bag it would go. Or I'd think, "Obviously I haven't worn you for a while, so out you come to play."

There are still a few things turned around that aren't getting the boot though; including special-occasion dresses and things that are cool but I just haven't had the opportunity to wear them yet, usually for opportunity / seasonable reasons. Some more items have been archived to The Vault - too pretty to lose, not wearable often enough to be taking up wardrobe real estate.

I've been really happy with my approach to clothes this year, including tracking my spending with the Style Cost Project and the "love it or leave it" philosophy in store change rooms. I'm saving both bucks and space by not bringing home anything unnecessary. As a blogger, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of having something new to blog about or share on Insta. Now I just try and wear old things differently.

The one downside I've faced is that I accidentally donated a good pair of jeans that I still very much wanted instead of another pair that were meant to be donated. That hurt a bit.

The key outcome from this exercise is that I'm going to continue to turn my hangers around every six months. It's easy as, costs nothing and it really does makes a difference.


Blogging | Almost Posh

I wrote about my blogging goals for 2016 at the start of the year too. How am I doing? Glad you asked.

1. Grow, grow, grow

Slow and steady wins the race, so they say. I would look at my Google Analytics page in extreme puzzlement, wondering how I could possibly only have 65 page views in a month and being too ashamed to share my povvo stats in my media kit. So how's this, after really working through every possibility, I recently discovered I still had THE OLD TRACKING CODE FROM MY OLD DOMAIN in Blogger. FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS. What. A. Numpty. Once that was fixed, up went my page views. It will be a while before I have accurate historical stats to go off but I feel a lot more love now. My social media outlets continue to chug along and I still get what I consider to be good engagement (thanks y'all, keep it coming).

2. Approach brands directly

This is something I still struggle with (the SHAME!) but I'm pleased to say I have had some success with this initiative so I'll continue to battle the cringe factor and keep doing that, as long as it fits in with the overall Almost Posh vibe and whatnot. I've also been more selective with what I've accepted from approaches by brands - including requests for do-follow links, and as hard as that can be, I feel good about it. Nobody wants their blog penalised by Google, after all.

3. Invest in the blog and my bloggy development

In April, I got an ABN and went legit by incorporating the blog into my small business start-up, Writemate. This has meant learning all about the ins and outs of income, expenditure, and being able to claim back blog type investments which has been different. I've haven't yet attended any formal training but I have gone to events and had some excellent networking activity which is as good, if not better, than a course if you chat to the right peeps.

4. Attend ProBlogger

This was a massive one for me, so when tickets first went on sale at 12.00pm local time, I had my ticket by about 12.04pm. Then, as I spoke to various people I was keen to meet there, I felt a growing sense of dread. Hardly anyone I "knew" (or wanted to get to know) was going. The topics didn't feel right for me. A family wedding loomed nearby. I started getting super anxious at the thought of blowing so much cash on flights, accommodation and - let's face it - outfits. A panicked advertising campaign to offload later and thankfully someone picked my ticket up for a reduced price. I only lost $20 but saved a fortune to put towards the possibility of more intimate blogger meetings and events. This is a lesson learnt in not getting caught up in the hype.

Have you checked in with any goals, aspirations or resolutions you made at the start of the year? How are you tracking? Ever turned your clothes hangers around?

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