Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Mascara Advertising Experiment.

As some of you are aware I am a qualified make-up artist. Naturally this means that I have applied one or two coats of mascara in my time. It is also the reason why mascara advertising really gives me the pip. In fact there is one particular advert that really gets my blood boiling. Not only does the model photographed have blatantly obvious false eye lashes on, I would also say that the photograph has been heavily altered with a photo shop package. Either that or the model is actually from a species of space aliens who are related to camels and as such, have the longest, thickest, most voluptuous eye lashes EVER. Now in fairness to the cosmetic brand, they do state in microscopic writing that lash inserts (*snort* if you wanna call full bar lashes inserts) were used for consistency. But really, how many people would see that ? How many first time mascara users will scadoodle off to the shops and come home expecting an eye lash miracle ? And how many first time mascara consumers will compare their own lashes to the ones in the advert and think that they have done something wrong and will possibly give up on using mascara all together ?

I know, I know, I'm ranting, but I get frustrated because I constantly come across women who say "Oh, I don't use make-up, I don't know how." Of course it's hard when you are faced with unrealistic end result images.

So anyway, today I thought I would show you the difference between what you will realistically end up with, and what some cosmetic brands would have you believe your end results should be. And just for the record, I really like the mascara brand that I use. It may not give me the dramatic full body and volume it claims, but it has a great consistency, gives nice results and stays put in our humid conditions. That's three big pluses as far as I'm concerned.

No mascara

A coat of mascara which promised full body and volume.

With the addition of a line of bar lashes.

With computer enhancement.

So how about you ? Does this kind of advertising really annoy you or do you think it is just widely accepted that most of what we see in magazines these days is a created with smoke and mirrors.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Love a Sunburnt Country...

I love Australia. I really do. I spent my youth enjoying living in Victoria and now I am embracing calling Queensland home. To top it all off I adore the mountain, it is my idea of perfection. But part and parcel of living in a semi-tropical environment surrounded by bushland is the creepy, crawly, slithery, web spinning, blood sucking critters who also happen to think that this is a pretty darn fabulous place to lay down their hats and set up a welcome mat.

Last night one of these aforementioned unwelcome intruders did stealthily creep inside our humble abode (well actually it could have been making an incredible ruckus by teeny, tiny standards, but I guess until the cockroaches start speaking English, we'll never really know). And the intruder looked just like this......

In fact, I am certain that this was the exact intruder, so how she managed to get a mug shot on the University of Sydney website, one can only imagine. This little critter, for those of you who are blissfully unaware, is an adult paralysis tick. Nasty, nasty little blighters they are.

As I am still awaiting the crime unit, I don't know exactly how she managed the break and enter, but she may have taken the Fat Cat Express or hitched a ride in on The Coaches baseball cap. Small and cunning, no wonder she is considered one of our greatest adversities on the mountain.

Anyway, to cut a long (they don't call me The Waffler for nothing you know) story short, at exactly 12.17am The Coach came hurtling into the bedroom saying he needed my help. The horrid tick had taken up residency on poor little Petal's face, right between her nose and her left eye.

Being the calm and collected mama that I am, I assessed the situation, grabbed my trusty bottle of Tea Tree Oil, a cotton tip and my pointy tweezers and set about removing the unwelcome invader. Petal went back to sleep with a cold, wet face cloth over her eye and Madam Tick was unceremoniously sent to the rubbish bin. Sorry Madam Tick, but your home invasion days are over.

Today Petal looks as though she went a few rounds with a heavy-weight boxer. She'll be fine but the site will be itchy and sore for at least a few days, if not until the end of the week.

So yeah, I love this country with all of my heart, but if all the ticks, deadly spiders and snakes were to decide to seek greener pastures, it really wouldn't bother me, not one little bit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Reveal.

Before we even get started today I have a confession to make. Two confessions actually. The first is that I have sat on this blog post for about six months debating about whether or not I really wanted to stick my mug all over the page and then post it out into the great big webosphere. The second is that I never, ever, NEVER, under any circumstances leave my house without make-up on. Did I mention, NEVER ?

Sometime back, actually not long after I took these photos, the lovely Jodie over at Mummy Mayhem, initiated a bloggers without make-up day. This day took the blogging world by storm and brought up many interesting debates about just how comfortable women were in their own skin. I clearly fell into the 'I would rather die a thousand deaths then show my bare face to the world' category.....until now that is.

Actually these photos started as a personal experiment. After years of sitting down and spending at least thirty minutes each day meticulously applying all my make-up, I thought it would be interesting to break it down into stages to see what I could skip and what really did seem to make a difference.

Anyway....I think that I've procrastinated as long as I here's me, without a a single speck of make-up and a suitably unimpressed expression :

I'm sure that you can appreciate, in the interest of not alarming small children, I took this first shot from a little bit further back....eek.

Now this is more like it. Here we've tamed the wild brows, applied concealer and powder and a dusting of bronzing powder..oh yes, and I managed a small smile.

Next, the eyes, five shades of eye-shadow (I'm all about subtlety), eye liner and mascara.

A slick of lip gloss.

And, ta da, here's the end result, and a far more happy looking Waffler.

Oh, and just for fun, here's what happens when you send your photo through to the ever-so-clever @gotads on Twitter. I may have borrowed Miranda Kerr's hair but the cleavage is mine, ALL MINE I tells ya, and you know I would never tell a lie...well...most of the time...
So there you have it, the make-up journey I take nearly every single day. I'll be the first to admit that I'm insanely jealous of women who can just get up and leave the house (especially that woman on the commercial who rolls out of bed, pulls her hair into a ponytail and dives out the window, she's my own personal hero) and perhaps the day will come when I can have the confidence to walk out the door in my mostly natural state...but I will never leave the bushy brows....over my dead body.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Terribly Busy You Know.

For the life of me I can't work out why The Coach keeps questioning what I do with my days......

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meeting. 6.30am. My Room. Be there.

As I sit, the clock ticks over to 9.07am. The young folk are still in their pyjamas but this is contrary to the busy activities that have already taken place at an early hour. Not by me, I might stress, I have simply managed to take a shower, eat a bowl of porridge and savour a latte, but the young folk have held an intense meeting, so intense it couldn't possibly be disturbed for trivial matters such as eating or showering.

In fact, the meeting was of such great importance that it required minimal lighting and optional slippers or teddy bears. Yep, Le Artiste had things on his mind, and by jove he was going to have the whole situation under control by sunrise. It would seem that earlier attempts to get the meeting under way were thwarted by Petal's desire to hide under the doona with a packet of playing cards, but Le Artiste is nothing if not persistent.

I must confess, I have enjoyed the serenity provided by The Meeting, because as we all know, important meetings produce only a solemn murmur. There is no laughing or silliness, meetings are serious business, especially when held in your pyjamas under a pop up tent (the cone of silence was already occupied it would seem).

But now it appears the meeting has adjourned. Petal is shuffling past with a Magna Doodle covered with writing (and the odd flower and smiley face) whilst Le Artiste is hot on her heels, wearing a satisfied smirk that would make Donald Trump proud.

"Mum, I have sorted everything out. I have told S that she has to be good, and not argue with me or she'll get more litter duties, and I made her repeat it back to me lots of times so it really sticks inside her brain."

Phew, am I glad that's sorted. Poor Petal, no wonder she keeps looking up at me and longingly asking if I might consider going to the hospital to pick her up a little brother or sister (or perhaps I could swing by the Sexyversity, which my friend's children assure her is the place to produce a new sibling these days).

Oh well, perhaps I can be of service by answering the phones, producing the Babycinos and plating up the breakfast pastries, but I better get a wriggle on otherwise I might get called into a meeting, yikes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's your flavour ?

Given the choice, your average child would probably opt for a lollipop or ice-cream.
A child with some sort of dietary deficiency may opt for a stamp.
Petal, well she just licks the toothfairy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Creative Space

And today, we jouer avec le crayon. Would it disappoint you to learn that I am not wearing a beret jauntily on my head ? But perhaps a croissant and cafe de lait may make my acquaintance this afternoon, oui ?

It has been such a pleasure to spend the morning sketching up a new idea, now I am off to visit Kirsty, where I can see some other busy little bees. Perhaps I shall see you and we can share my croissant. No, no, really, I couldn't possibly eat it all myself anyway.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Please be kind to other people.
You can't always tell when someone feels like this on the inside.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Did I just give birth or have a partial lobotomoy ?

This morning Petal and I had the following conversation :

Me : Oh dear my sweet, you still have a temperature. Let me know when you need to go to the toilet because the doctor has asked us to take a wee sample.
Petal : A wee sample of what mama ? And why are you talking in a Scottish accent. (okay, only joking, I wasn't really talking in a Scottish accent at all)
Me : Now all you have to do is pee into this teeny, tiny jar. All good ? Excellent.
Petal : But how do I do that mama ?
Me : *Sigh* (really, she looks like such a bright child) weeeell, when you go to the toilet, you just carefully hold this little....
Petal : Why can't you hold it ?
Me : (hastily trying to recall if I have a handy biochemical suit or veterinary rectal gloves) Well you might accidentally wee on my hand. Ewww. *adding a little laugh for good measure*
Petal : That's okay. You can wash your hands after.

Hmm, yes, a valid point made by Petal, but really, now that both of my children are school age, I'm not quite so willing to get, well, dirty on the job, so to speak.

The truth is that I think I have paid my dues. I know I'm not the only mother of a son who was caught out during a nappy change (although the fact that my little nephew accidentally peed on his own face still makes me giggle, just a little). I also know that I'm not the only mother who has dealt with nappy explosions which were so toxic that I couldn't help but wonder if my child was sneaking out of the cot during the night and scarfing down vast quantities of cabbage and beans with a side order of buttermilk. I'm also pretty confident that I'm not the only mother who, when in a shopping centre with a toddler who has suddenly turned green, has simply cupped their hands together and said "It's okay sweetheart, just vomit in mummies hands." (Seriously, you've done that right ? Please tell me I'm not the only one who has done that).

Ah yes, the things we put ourselves through for the love of our children. It's all funny (and rather disgusting) in hindsight, but we do it without a second thought. Oh hang on, is that a giggle I hear from the couch ? Could Petal be on the mend ? Yes, YES, I think the fever has broken, hurrah, looks like I can put the biochemical suit away, at least until next time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Completely pointless images.

Over the last three weeks, I have looked out at a lot of this.

But joy of joys, one morning the sun peeked out and I rushed to the gardens.

Clearly, this turtle felt the same way I did.

And this luminous canopy of leaves made me sigh with happiness.

Please come again Mr Sun. The rain has been lovely, the lawn is lush and the tank is full.
We miss you.