Category Archives: Fashion & Beauty

Fashion trends: Autumn/Winter 2014


As part of Riccarton Style Week I popped along to Westfield to hear fashion stylist Stephanie Rumble talk about the latest fashion trends and how we can incorporate them into our wardrobes.

Trends are a new way to wear fashion, and this season’s main trends are floral grunge, heritage, urban punk and sports luxe.  Some of these I can definitely relate to, and others not so much.

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Stephanie Rumble
Paint colours and fashion colours
Paint colours and fashion colours

A revelation for me was that fashion colour trends follows paint colour trends, and that designers work closely with colour experts at Resene.  It was fascinating for me to see how trends for interior colours and fashion colours follow so incredibly closely.  I had no idea!

With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Stephanie expertly showed us how to put together outfits from a rack of clothes she’d chosen (impressively quickly) from nearby shops in Westfield.  She passed on her tips and tricks for colours, patterns, our shapes and sizes and embracing new trends and new shops.  I for one saw garments from shops I always walk past, but now I’ll be in to browse. It’s inspiring to have someone show you how to wear trends that you see but aren’t quite sure how to wear.

Putting an outfit together
Putting an outfit together

Floral Grunge

This I can do, I have a bold large patterned floral top which I bought when floral grunge first came out a couple of seasons ago.  This isn’t  pretty floral, instead think bold and assertive prints.  Combine floral and leather or denim, both of which are very on trend.


This is very much me.  Think English country estate and chunky knits and away you go.  Tweed, herringbone, muted colours and lots of texture.

Urban Punk

I remember tartan the first time it was fashionable and have a vivid memory of choosing my first pair of tartan trousers and wearing them with great pride.  It’s back, but I don’t have the trousers… Stephanie had on a fab tartan jacket, and as she pointed out tartan has son many colours in it, it’s pretty versatile.  Team it with ankle boots or whose with a bit of patent, or metal trim.  Leather jackets fit in this trend well, with the biker jacket style being very popular.


Think trendy trainers and comfy weekend wear or dashing to the school run.  Baggy t-shirts, anoraks, boxy crop tops and add a touch of metallic.  A bomber jacket is a key piece for this look.

We all loved this one!
We all loved this one!

Check out Riccarton Style Week for yourself at Westfield Riccarton.  Free seminars and advice, workshops and colour consultation.

Riccarton Style Week, 7-13 April:

Tuesday: 12.30pm, 2pm & 4pm How to buy the Wardrobe Essentials

Wednesday: Colours Day – I’m booked in with Stephanie for a colour consultation, but it’s booked out now sorry 😦

Thursday – Sunday: Style Lounge – free one-on-one style sessions

Saturday: In-Store Styling Day – stylists will be in different stores to help you shop

Stephanie Rumble has her own image consultancy Flair Image



Wool with sex appeal – the ultimate underwear

Brilliant singlet packaging
Brilliant singlet packaging

Wool with sex appeal – just in case you’re wondering, I’m talking about my new and fabulous woollen singlet!  I’ve long been a fan of Icebreaker and have several of their outer layers or jackets as we lay people call them, in varying weights (that’s warmth for lay people), but this is the first time I’ve bought their underwear.

We’re in the middle of the notoriously unpredictable autumnal weather here in the southern hemisphere and whilst the afternoons can be blissfully warm, the mornings are decidedly chilly.  I’ve been donning my Icebreaker Siren Cami (with adjustable shoestring straps) underneath my tops and have been insulated very nicely from the cold, yet in the heat of the afternoon I’m not too hot.  This is the natural brilliance of wool.

The singlet itself is super fine, moves with my body unlike my cotton versions, and is the perfect length to tuck into shorts and trousers and not spend my time tugging and tucking it back in.  It’s lovely and soft, machine washable and comes in super cool packaging.  I bought a white one and I’ll be going back for another in black.

My take on Icebreaker’s Siren Cami: Perfect merino underwear that keeps you warm in the cool and cool in the heat, looks and feels fab.  Brilliant product.

Brilliance in underwear
Brilliance in underwear

Beauty Review: Eco Store Lip Balm


I’ve always admired Eco Store products on the shelves in the supermarket – attractive monochromatic packaging and an ethos and story behind the brand that really appealed.  But, having trialled their lip balm this week, I was left disappointed.

Eco Store began in 1993 by husband and wife duo Malcolm and Melanie Rand in the basement of their house in an eco-village here in NZ.  They were concerned that despite using sustainable and organic gardening methods on their property, they were still being exposed to chemicals in their cleaning and body-care products.  This heralded the birth of Eco Store.  Twenty years later they now have fifty cleaning and body care products on the market.  Their lip balm was the first of their products I have tried.

I use lip balm twice a day every day, after brushing my teeth, and I’ve always used trusty Chapstick.  But succumbing to the packaging and natural ingredients, I bought the Eco Store Beeswax Lip Balm.  It has a plant-based intensive moisturiser, with sweet almond oil which claims to sooth and protect dry lips.  Well, it didn’t.  It smelt and tasted nice, slightly beeswaxy but not too much (which had been my initial concern).  The problem is, it stays on the lips and doesn’t really seem to absorb effectively, which meant that I needed another good application in the early hours of the morning as my lips were dry.

My take on Eco Store Lip Balm: Disappointing.  I liked the smell and the natural ingredients, but it just didn’t deliver on moisture or protection for long enough.  I’m going back to dependable Chapstick.

Beauty Review: Estée Lauder Double Wear Powder


I’m not one for a full face of makeup but I’ve always worn a powder product with a hint of foundation. I used to use Clinique’s Superpowder Double Face Makeup but after grilling the makeup artist for my sister’s wedding for her recommendations I switched to Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Powder and haven’t looked back.

I like my skin to be even-toned but not caked with foundation, and I find that the Double Wear Powder does this very well. My morning makeup routine is a spot or two (or many) of concealer, apply the Double Wear Powder over my entire face, enhance my cheekbones with blush and then on goes my eye makeup. Nice and easy, and it gives a natural yet groomed finish.

I reckon the Estée Lauder product is better than it’s Clinique counterpart as firstly it lasts twice as long and I can pretty much get a year out of one compact (and that’s using it daily), and secondly, I reckon it stays on my skin longer therefore giving better coverage. At the end of the day I wipe it off using a skin cleansing wipe, splash my face with warm water and then moisturise.

There’s a range of shades and colours and you need to get a professional to match it for you.

Recent Purchases: Colour on Colour

I’ve been following the fashion stylist Stephanie Rumble’s Facebook page for her business Flair Image for a few months since I heard about her 2013 one year challenge of not purchasing any clothing/shoes/accessories.  She completed the challenge with few outfit repeats (I’d love to know how she keeps track of all the items in her wardrobe), and I’ve been hooked on her daily posts ever since.

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Every day Stephanie has really helpful and practical styling and fashion tips and I’ve taken a couple on board recently; to wear colour on colour and that a dress is the pear shape’s best friend.  Stephanie pointed out that most of us wear colour or pattern with a neutral, and challenged us to wear colour on colour, and for those of us who are pear shaped, Stephanie recommended that a dress was to be seen as our bestie.

Well, as you can see – I took her advice to heart with my two purchases yesterday and it turns out Stephanie’s advice was spot on.  Today I have worn colour on coloured pattern and I’ve had SO many comments about this outfit.  From a woman in the Ballantynes (Department Store) bathroom, the mums and teachers at school, to my son’s Psychiatrist.  Mission accomplished with flair.

I also purchased this lovely kaftan style top which is lovely and floaty to wear and is versatile – wear on top of a swimsuit, with white skinny shorts or trousers, or black skinny shorts or trousers and it can move happily from the beach to the restaurant.

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Both my dress and kaftan were bought from Kimberleys for 70% reduction from the original price.  Makes me even happier…

Sometimes it’s meant to be

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Sometimes it’s meant to be.  Like today, while waiting for my mother in the changing rooms, this dress caught my eye.  It was the only one like it on a rack full of clothes, which was about to be sent away as they were odd sizes, but that particular dress was my (not so odd) size.

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Mum and I were in Ezibuy, not a shop we usually frequent, but my mother was in need of clothes for a conference, and I had been sent their catalogue (which mum had liked) after purchasing jeans for the boys from NEXT (the UK brand they stock), which I wrote about in the blogpost Half Price Happy.

I’ve been wanting to have a few more dresses in my wardrobe as they can be flattering IF you get the right one.  This dress was the right one for me – gorgeous pattern, fitted like a glove, right length, and it makes an impact in just the right way.  But, the best thing was the price $69.99 and that was the full price.  I would have expected to have seen a ‘1’ in front of the $69.99, and would still have thought it a good buy.

Sometimes it’s meant to be, and this dress was meant to be mine.

Travel glamour…NOT!

Travelling for work always sounded glamorous to me, until I actually had to travel.  Then I realised it really wasn’t. Early flights, airports, waiting, taxis, windowless over-air-conditioned rooms, carb-rich foods, more taxis, another airport, more waiting, and a late flight home.  Not. Glamorous.

Today I travelled to Auckland for work, but despite being un-glamorous, I must confess I actually enjoyed not having two small boys in tow.  While I waited I sat in peace, read with no interruptions on the plane and spent the day with adults in a learning environment.  These particular adults are all teaching a course on Small Business Management and they are all small business owners themselves and it was fascinating chatting to them during breaks.  There were fashion designers, a B&B proprietor, a property finder, an artist, and one person ran a research station for dolphins (I think..).  Really interesting creative people.  Not a bad way to spend a day.

The travel itself made me realise it’s been a long time since I did it with any regularity, and when I did it was from London – the other side of the world from New Zealand.  The most exotic travel I do these days is on a gravel road up into the back of beyond.  We have a swish new airport here in Christchurch which was long overdue.  We are a small city, but have a lot of international visitors, and now have a gateway to impress – we even have air bridges with floor to ceiling images of sheep farms complete with the sounds of sheep baa-ing – I kid you not!  But, it would appear that boarding passes are passé – text messages are the quickest way through the gate, and while I pulled out my book, everyone else pulled out their kindle.  Times change fast and I’m feeling slightly left behind.

Travel wardrobe: I wore a black Country Road dress I bought online and has been a favourite item this summer – light, flattering and super comfortable it was perfect for today, and I wore for warmth my new merino-silk boxy cardigan, also from Country Road.  The silk with the merino makes it incredibly soft and beautiful to wear.  I was going to include a photo of my outfit, but as I didn’t do the clothes much justice, and haven’t mastered the skinny-pouting look, you’ll just have to use your imagination and take my word for it.

Have a great weekend and if celebrating Valentines is your thing, have a great night, and if not – don’t forget to say those three little words to your nearest and dearest.