OPI New York City Ballet Collection Review

I’ve been really into pastels of late! Whether it’d be fashion or beauty, pastels offer such a light feminine chic! After a spring clean of my nail polish box which involved throwing out a whole lot of dried up polishes (thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a bottle of nail colour in my life!) and the bits and bops that seem to accumulate at the bottom of the barrel, I was seriously low on supplies!

So after stumbling upon the OPI New York City Ballet Collection online, I decided to make the purchase! It had all the pastel shades I had been looking for,  a pink, a white, a grey and as an added bonus, a clear glitter polish in mini size bottles which I hoped would reduce some of the wastage.

So the shades included in the collection are:

  • My Pointe Exactly (sheer grey)
  • Don’t Touch My Tutu! (wispy white)
  • Care To Danse? (lilac)
  • Pirouette My Whistle (silver sparkle)

While I’m a huge OPI fan, unfortunately this collection didn’t deliver. The consistency of the polish went on smooth and evenly as per all OPI nail colours, however, the colour or lack of was probably the biggest deal breaker. The polish created a milky, translucent effect which was quite beautiful – if only all three shades didn’t produce the same result. Even after three coats, I still found it difficult to differentiate between the three colours as per below (thumb – My Pointe Exactly, index and middle fingers – Don’t Touch My Tutu!, ring finger and pinkie – Care To Danse).

The biggest positive was the silver sparkle polish, Pirouette My Whistle, which has my full tick of approval! Like snowflakes on a frosted window, it added that much needed ‘pop’ when layered over the other colours.

Overall, the effect of the four shades, when used together created a pretty little manicure, I just wished there were more contrast between the three pastel shades!

  • OPI New York City Ballet Collection: 6/10

As I’m still on the look put for more pastel nail colours, please share your favourites!!

Cassie xx

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My All-Time Favourite Beauty Products

Having battled hyper sensitive, break-out prone, combination skin for years, I’ve become increasingly careful about the products I use. While my skin has really settled now that I’m in my twenties, one could call it paranoia, has meant that it’s not often that I welcome a new product to my daily staples. On the rare occasion that I find a product I truly fall in love with, I tend to jump in wholeheartedly, religiously drenching myself in it. So these are my top beauty must-haves (at least for now)!

Avene Eau Thermale Trixera Emollient Cream
I’m convinced that this luxurious, hypoallergenic cream can cure a whole host of skin ailments! An amazing face and body moisturiser, infused with water from the Sainte-Odile springs in France, its anti-irritant properties has calmed my skin from redness, allergy related sensitivity, dryness in the winter and sunburn in summer. I use this daily, particularly on my face under my BB cream. The large tube last for ages and being fragrance free, it won’t interfere with the scent of your perfume like other body lotions!Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Compact Powder
My favourite compact by far as you may be able to tell from the numerous scratches and fingerprints! This powder creates the softest, sheerest veil. Everything from the sleek gold compact to the dewy light to medium coverage is just perfect! Due to my neurotic obsession with everything and anything anti-aging, of course I had to find a make up that added something positive to my skincare routine. Containing a Matrix Rebuilding Complex (no idea what this is but sounds good to me!), skin-brightening photonic green crystals as well as Vitamins C and E, this age defying formula fights wrinkles and provides anti-oxidant power!Napoleon Perdis Divine Goddess Lipstick in Calypso
Though I love that little bit of extra chic a classic crimson pout adds to any outfit, the all day maintenance can be a real hassle, not to mention the unsightly thought of unevenly faded lips! I wore this colour in a previous outfit post, Romance Was Born, being a pink kinda girl this is my go-to shade – my pocket size tube of confidence! While I adore this playful colour, it is its rich, creamy formula and bold pigments that creates a long lasting, fade proof pout, even through eating (though perhaps not fried chicken) is what keeps me back coming for more.Skin79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm SPF 25
I’m a huge advocate of this product. I’ve used this BB cream for years and still can’t get enough! An anti-aging treatment, skin brightener & toner, UV protector, make up primer, mattifier by controlling sebum production and light coverage tinted moisturiser all in one. It’s because of this product that I haven’t used liquid foundation in forever! This BB cream creates a smooth base and extends the longevity of my Napoleon Perdis compact powder. A built-in sunscreen means it prevents aging as much as it treats it. Even if you don’t spend much time outdoors, you’d be surprised how much sun damage can happen just during day-day driving in the car!L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil
I had to spice things up by throwing in a hair product! This is the only saving grace for my regularly chemically hair. Initially devoted to the coveted Moroccan Argan oil, I grew partial its lighter texture and fragrance scent (as an added bonus, it’s much cheaper too!). A unique blend of six oils, (lotus, chamomile, rose, tiare flower, matricaria and flax). It leaves locks soft and healthy when infused into wet hair, can be used as a deep nourishing mask to treat damaged strands and roughly scrunch into dry hair as a leave-in condition for added shine!

So that’s it from me and don’t forget to share the products that you can’t live without.

Cassie xx

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Beat Your Sugar Cravings: Chocolate & Acai Bliss Balls

My insatiable sweet tooth has always been my demise when it comes to healthy eating! In an effort to keep my sugary cravings under wraps, I’ve been throwing together these delicious, super nutritious little bliss balls!

These no-bake, healthy treats are super easy to whip up even for the most baking challenged. It’s a recipe I concocted after researching a few different ones online and taking my favourite bits from each. This recipe can be easily adapted to suit your preferences. Play around with different dried fruits, seeds, grains and protein powder, swap the honey for molasses to see what you can come up with!

So what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (not dessicated)
  • 12 dates,
  • chopped finely
  • 3 tsp organic honey
  • 4 tsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp acai berry powder

Add rolled oats and shredded coconut to a blender. Adjust the setting and pulse a few times. The blend should be grainy but not a powder (like in the photo above).

Pour the blend into a large bowl and add the chopped dates, honey, almond butter, unsweetened cocoa and acai berry powder. You may need to adjust the measurements slightly to get the right consistency. If the mix is dry and falling apart when you try to roll up a ball, add a little more almond butter or honey. If it’s too wet, add more coconut or oats.

Now roll up the mixtures into 3cm balls. This recipe should make around 15, give or take how large you make them. Now enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container for whenever you have that sweet craving at school, work, on the go or as an after dinner treat!!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know how you go!

Cassie xx

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Style: 28.4.15 Animal Print, Fab Or Faux Pas

Coat by Gorman, dress by KAIN the Label and watch by Swatch.

Animal print has always been one of fashion’s most temperamental friends. Get it right and you’ll be looking oh-so-fabulous, get it wrong and you have yourself a glorious faux pas. A trend that has woven in and out through the seasons, animal print is as timeless as a bold, crimson pout!

I had planned to do this photo shoot outdoors but with the heavens spewing down with a vengeance the entire weekend, I sadly had to take this indoors. This coat from the Australian label, Gorman is one of my favourite statement pieces. Whether it’s for work or play, I love throwing this on to spice up any neutral ensemble!

So when it comes to these safari inspired prints, I tend to stick to the following rules:

Keep it classy: too many dominant elements in an outfit makes it look more drag than fab. Go for simple classic silhouettes for coats and dresses and select jewellery that is more understated, after all the print itself should be the star of the show!

No mitchy-matchy: A matching leopard print tracksuit surely makes the majority of us shudder. Abiding by the same concept, avoid the tack as in most cases, one animal printed piece is more than enough!

Less is more: for a more subtle look, accessorising with a leopard print scarf or a zebra print pony-hair belt can really tie an outfit together and add something extra special.

As always, hope you enjoyed this post!

Don’t forget to share your favourite ways to work animal print and if you had any suggestions on what style post I should do next, I’m just a comment away…

Cassie xx

2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia: My Edit Of The Top Must-See Collections

Alas, in a chaotic scramble of designers, models, editors, bloggers and make up artists, Australia’s largest fashion event has come and gone again! In the midst of a hectic mid-week, I’ll keep it short and sweet but not without sharing with my fellow fashionistas, my favourite collections from the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, held in Sydney last week.

Fashion Week veteran and the godmother of the Australian fashion industry, Carla Zampatti kicked off the event with a burst of bright meadowy shades of yellow, pink and blue, coupled with clean lines to infuse a modern touch to classic silhouettes. Bubblegum pink heels peeking from under each ensemble added an adorable twist to this elegant collection… Photo: Lucas Dawson Photo: Lucas Dawson Photo: Lucas Dawson

In complete and utter contrast is the strikingly bold, unapologetically unique collection from Romance Was Born. An unlikely marriage of juxtaposing elements: tribal inspirations meets futurism, kaleidoscopic colours meets uniform black and angled sharp lines meets oversized, carelessly draped fashions, calls on all the eccentricities of a sci-fi, parallel universe, in a good way of course! Photo: Lucas Dawson Photo: Lucas Dawson  Photo: Lucas Dawson

…and finally a throwback to what you might now know as my favourite era in history. Johanna Johnson had us in awe of the grace and glamour of the old Hollywood charm. Cloche hats, feathered collars and effortlessly seductive gowns does justice to all the glitz of the 1920s… Photo: Lucas Dawson  Photo: Lucas Dawson Photo: Lucas Dawson

Which concludes the end of my super speedy edit of the top must-see collection of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia! Hope this has been an uplifting part of your mid-week and don’t forget to share your favourite picks from our Aussie designers!

Cassie xx

Green With Envy: A Twist On a French Classic Nail Art Tutorial

Pinks, reds and burgandys tend to be the usual shades I opt for when it comes to nail colour. I must admit that I was equally excited yet skeptical when I purchased this bold emerald polish by Revlon. On first test, the colour was rich, unique and definitely popped! I decided it made for the perfect accent for this super simple twist on a classic french manicure!

All you need is:

  • A bold or bright nail colour (I’ve used Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh)
  • A top coat (my recommendation: Revitalnail Nail Hardener)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Disposable eyeshadow applicators

With a steady hand, carefully paint the white tips of your nails with your chosen shade by following the natural curvature formed between the nail beds and tips. The technique that I’ve found useful is to use small dashes and once you’re happy with your initial coat, reload your brush and apply your second coat in one smooth motion.

If you’re not too confident with free handing, you can use pre-cut adhesive nail strips created specifically for french manicures as a guide or you could create your own adhesive guides using tape.Now for a quick tidy up! Dip a disposable eyeshadow applicator in nail polish remover to clean up any mishaps. I like to use this step to really neaten up the curve between the now green and pink parts of your nail.Once your brightly coloured tips are surface dry i.e. they shouldn’t smudge when the next coat is applied, seal your manicure with a layer of top coat to give a polished finish … and voila! Painting your french tips free hand can take a little practice but once you have this technique perfected this look really becomes a piece of cake!

Cassie xx

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Style 12.4.15: Extending The Wear Of Your Summer Wardrobe

Jacket by BCBGMAXAZRIA, top by Kookai, maxi dress by Kookai, boots by DKNY and rings by One By Tuleste.

Unless you’re living smack bang in the middle of the equator, for most of us, the reality is that around half our wardrobes remain unused for a good six months of the year. Through the summer past, I’ve lived and breathed in jersey maxi and midi dresses. Maybe it’s the no fuss, feminine chic they offer or maybe I’ve been too darn lazy to be putting a complementary top and bottom together, but saying goodbye to some of my favourite pieces for another two seasons was just too hard to bear!

Inspired by my previous post on layering, I’ve given myself a cordial pat on the back for devising this ingenious way (probably a bit of an over statement!) of extending the wear of these summer dresses for a greater part of the year. I started off by throwing a grey marle, long sleeved top underneath, but added this black leather jacket and boots to give more of an edge to this outfit. In the past season, I tended to pair this maxi with ballet flats, keeping the look light and playful, so I was pretty pleased with the new dimension these winter staples added. In fact, this super comfy, blue jersey dress is hardly recognisable as the one that I had spent many sunny days lounging in.

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, this look would also be a great accuse to coax on the warmer weather by bringing out those summer pieces a little earlier. You could also play around with layering different tops, but be sure to keep it simple by ensuring that colours are relatively neutral as well as stay away from pieces that might add too much bulk to the outfit!

Cassie xx

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Break Free From Chips & Breakages: Recipe For Long, Healthy Nails

I find doing my nails quite therapeutic. It’s for this reason I rarely get my nails done at the salon, saving me a whole heap of money too! I literally beam with pride when my my natural nails are mistaken for acrylics so one of the questions I am often asked by friends is how to maintain healthy nails and prevent breakages (because we all know how devastating that is!).Get To Know Hand Cream My first and most important tip: hand cream! I literally have a tube of this stuff everywhere; in my hand bag, my car, at my desk at work and on my bedside table. Just as the skin on your face looses moisture throughout the day, particularly if you’re surrounded by air-conditioners and heaters, moisturising your hands regularly is the easiest way to prevent dry, brittle nails. For extra TLC, rubbing cuticle oil into your nails once daily will help give them that added nourishment and keep cuticles look soft and supple! My recommendation: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (Fragrance Free) and Revitanail Nourishing Treatment Oil

Cut, File & Buff Just as for healthy locks, we trim our hair, it’s vital to cut and file your nails regularly even when you are trying to grow them out. Trim down any chips to prevent further splitting of nail layers and finish off with a quick buff to smooth down ridges. My recommendation: The Body Shop Nail Polishing Block and Manicare Nail ClippersPerfectly Coated Give your nails the protection they deserve with a sleek coat of nail strengthener. This not only shields them from the elements but many products also double as a top coat or contain nail whitening properties. Another crucial tip if you tend to hand wash dishes is to make it a point to wear gloves when doing so. As tedious as this may sound, frequent exposure to water and the chemicals in detergent causes nails to dry out. My recommendation: Revitanail Nail Strengthener

Breath Free Nails that are constantly covered with polish, gels or acrylics will turn yellow and often weaken. So much as we all love that fresh mani feeling, it’s essential to let your nails breath! I try to alternate the weeks I have polish on and stay away from gels and acrylics completely (I can already feel the glare from those of you who might wear gels 24/7!). But trust me, your nails will thank you for it!

Nourish From Within A balanced diet is the building blocks for providing your nails with the essential nutrients they need to grow. Nails are composed mainly of keratin, a protein found in hair too! So naturally, foods such as red meats, salmon, eggs, milk and nuts that are high in protein as well as contain biotin, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for the development of healthy nails. I also take a hair, skin and nails supplement for that added nutritional boost, but it’s best to check with your doctor to ensure that you’re not exceeding the recommended daily intake as some minerals are toxic in certain levels. My recommendation: Swisse Ultiboost Hair, Skin & Nails Liquid.

Hope you found this post useful and thanks for stopping by as always!

Cassie xx

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His & Her Smoothies: My Easy Smoothie Recipe Base to Get You Started!

I’m obsessed with smoothies! Not only do they make a great meal on the go (perfect if you’re constantly on the run like myself!) but they can also be a nutritious pick me up during the day. I’m always skeptical of those ready made ones from cafes/smoothie bars as they tend to contain tones of sugar and little raw ingredients.

For me, tasting good is always the first priority! I’ve become accustomed to this simple base that I use to start off all my smoothies, which also doubles up as a delicious banana honey number on its own. Depending on the size of your blender or sweetness preference, you might need to adjust the measurements to suit.

Smoothie Base (serves 1)

1/2 medium banana
1 tsp organic honey
3 ice cubes
300ml unsweetened almond milk (add a little more or less if you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency)

Here are some of my favourite combinations to add to my smoothie base above! But you can also add other fruits, oats, whey protein, acai powder and chia seeds. The possibilities are endless!

My top picks!

Papaya Raspberry Smoothie
1 cup papaya
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
+ smoothie base

Mixed Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
+ smoothie base

For my man!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 heap tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp peanut butter
+ smoothie base

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Cassie xx

Check out my Dad’s giant zucchini in the background!!

Style: 4.1.15 Weekend Picnic

Tee and skirt by Kookai, clutch by Oroton, flats by Tommy Hilfiger, cuff by Giles & Brother and my usual, Karen Walker sunglasses.

Hope everyone’s Easter weekend is off to an egg-citing start! Melbourne tends to boast itself to be the most liveable city in the world, however, if you ever were to visit, one of the first things you will find is that the weather is hardly accommodating. While we have officially entered Autumn a good month past, the weather has been a yoyo, varying from sweltering hot days to bone chilling winds that rip through the finest knits.

Last Sunday however, the odds were in our favour. Perfect sunny skies that made for ideal t-shirt weather and a weekend picnic, with good food to supplement great company. Adding a little more flair to the humble tee, I picked out an old favourite, this printed silk skirt from the Australian label, Kookai. To top it all off, I settled on a pair of ballet flats featuring neon pink and orange accents that compliment the sunset tones of this skirt nicely.

Of course, there would have been no picnic without some fancy nimbles! Being tasked with bringing sandwiches, I made two delectable combinations: roast chicken with a generous spread of chilli jam between two slices of an olive pana di casa loaf (any crusty olive loaf would do fine) and a baguette stuffed with honey leg ham and Swiss cheese. Both of which went down a treat!

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time!

Cassie xx

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