Preparation continues for impossibly stylish home time during the cooler months ahead. Being a recluse has never felt so chic. In this edition we explore the ritual of drinking tea, changing up your grooming regimen, and making some new additions to keep comfort levels high. I’ve been thinking about climate change this week, writing this story while it’s high 20s outside and sunshine. It appears that these are the new seasons: Spring, Summer, Spring, Autumn, Winter, Ok-I’m-fleeing-to-Bali, and repeat.
DRINK MORE TEA
The more stressful life becomes, the more I’m coming around to the calming benefits of taking tea.
Tea time usually elicits an overenthusiastic outpouring of joy from devotees of the ritual. The slowly-fading art of sitting still and staring out a window in contemplation is certainly a healthier alternative to settling in with a warm cup of mulled wine (however enjoyable the other cup of cheeky ‘tea’ may be). I’d always been a coffee addict, screaming the house down if there wasn’t any in reach. However, the more stressful life becomes, the more I’m coming around to the calming benefits of taking tea. My friend Dennis Marchese, a Melbourne advertising copywriter and budding photographer, started a blog devoted to his love of tea and homewares, called Tea Mattina. We asked what tea time means to him,
‘Tea at the end of the day takes all the negative things away. It’s a simple pleasure I love and couldn’t live without.’
The Teamattina mood board
Teamattina tea tastings – a little cup of Italy
‘I love curling up in a sunny spot on the sofa with a big cup of crème brûlée tea, a cannoli, and my mags.’
Melbourne tea brand Madame Flavour was started by Corinne Noyes eight years ago. She’s passionate about the quality of tea blends, and the way it is stored. Noyes sources ingredients ethically, buying from individual tea estates where she can be assured of the welfare of the staff, and she’s hands on, blending her own teas, and regularly consulting with followers before releasing new flavours.
Madame Flavour recently teamed with Melbourne fashion illustrator Alexia Petsinis to produce their first range of gift teas, featuring two new custom blends housed in beautifully illustrated storage tins, combining flavour with style.
Madame Flavour encourages people to experience the pleasure tea drinking has traditionally provided, and the limited edition tins illustrated by Melbourne designer Alexia Petsinis have been created with a luxurious experience in mind.
Lady Grey : One for Grey lovers, this blend features Ceylon and Assam leaf teas with New South Wales Lemon Myrtle leaf, large pieces of orange peel and blue cornflowers.
Beautiful Breakfast: A full-bodied, fresh Ceylon loose leaf tea that is created from three of Corinne’s favourite local estates. This tea is divine in taste and aroma, with just a hint of sweet vanilla that amplifies the delicious malty black tea notes. It’s the perfect blend if you like your tea with a hint of milk.
The limited edition Madame Flavour tins are available exclusively at Coles (check the Mother’s Day displays) from now until May 8, or until sold out. A select number of tins are also available online. Click here for a list of Madame Flavour tea and herbal infusion stockists.
SHAKE THAT BEAUTY
‘Autumn is a great time to revisit your beauty routine. Seasonal eyeshadow colours are fun and mean that you can do a day time smoky eye, without looking like you fell out of a nightclub. Your skin and hair care should change too, as they adjust to the cooler weather.’
This pot of sheer sunshine from Elizabeth Arden will gently coax your summer face into autumn with a seamless gleam. Formulated with vitamin E and sunflower oil it will keep your skin nourished somewhat, even if the leaves outside have started to turn. Twice I’ve been complimented when wearing this, with a little bit of, “Wow, you’re glowing!” and “Have you been to the beach?” And, quite frankly, I don’t want it to stop. So before the pallid chalkiness of winter sets in and we need to do the unthinkable putting away of bronzing products, take a last trans-seasonal cruise with this little gem. Contained within the cutest nautically-themed compact, it is sheerer than a flat-out bronzer and will give your face a golden pick-me-up on a cool autumn morning. One where you’d rather be putting on a swimsuit than a spencer.
Glam Wire Tip: Get your kabuki out and go for it, just quietly.
Bourjois Paris Smoky Eyes Trio in Gris Lilac
This handy trio of Bourjois Paris baked shadows is presented in a teeny round palette, one that elicits memories of making up dolls’ faces as a kid. Despite the reference to toy makeup, the packaging is tight, cute and practical. The enclosed applicator is the same in theory only, so use your own. I had the pleasure of playing with three shades in Gris (or grey) Lilac, a combination I was convinced would be an eyelid-smacking showstopper. Eventually it was, with a little effort. Although enriched with mother-of-pearl pigments (and how lush does that sound) I found the only colour with any real oomph was the darkest one, in an amazing gasoline shade worth the price of the set alone. I prayed that the other two shades would give as much payoff but smoky sheen was all I got. Nothing wrong with that if it’s subtle smoke you’re going for. But for the rest of us, use a heavy hand and a stubby applicator brush to do the job. Once done, the dirty lilac/grey combo really does give a sultry look that is flattering to all eye colours.
Glam Wire Tip: Baked shadow formulas have, as their name suggests, a hard outer coating. Don’t be afraid to scrape away a little at the palette using a damp applicator for more intensity.
Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection Eyeshadow Brush
We got our hands on tapered shadow brush #203 in preparation for a blending frenzy. Quite simply, this slender, platinum beauty will make your other applicators cry in shame. The tip is soft and fluffy yet shed-proof (and has a slightly weighted handle), so we found it perfect for swishing on a base colour without fuss. It will also work well with heavier-pigmented shades for a smoky autumn eye – use it to blend shadow in at the crease. One thing it wasn’t so great at was picking up baked shadow pigment (it just tickled the top of the pallette) but Real Techniques have many more brushes where this came from, right for the job. Inspired by luxury, this premium collection is available in platinum, gold and rose-gold finishes that will inject a dose of disco diva into your make-up armoury. Even better, the brush synthetic brush-heads are made of the softest taklon and are 100% cruelty-free.
REFINE & REPAIR
Philosophy Total Matteness
For those greasers among us who prefer to shine on the inside only, Philosophy’s Total Matteness skincare line will mattify an oily face like no other. The products are designed to reduce oil and diminish the appearance of pores, with each product containing hardworking ingredients such as lentil-seed extract, glacial clay, bamboo and salicylic acid. I’m a fairly recent Philosophy convert so was overjoyed to be able to put this trio to task on my own skin. My own skin does tend towards greasiness in Spring/Summer, but I should add that it can be an annoying combination of all types, depending on the day.
This pore-minimising and mattifying cleanser can be used in two ways; either as a straight-up cleanser or as a weekly treatment mask. The glacial clay works to deeply cleanse and unclog enlarged, dark pores whilst leaving the skin smooth and soft. Be sure to use sparingly as a cleanser – a little of this does go a long way in working to de-shine. It has a nice, cooling effect on the face (without the menthol tingle of similar cleansers I’ve used) and leaves everything smooth, soft and – surprisingly – less red. Win/win. Those with extremely oily skin can use this both morning and night, as well as take advantage of the masque option the product offers. However, for me (and for those with more normal/combo/mature visages), use it as your morning face wash, so it can work to keep the ensuing day’s shine at bay. Then you can opt for a more moisturising cleanse at night. Also, if you use it in your morning shower you can ensure the clay-ishness of the cleanser is totally rinsed away without leaving any powdery (read face-mask ghost) residue.
The toner in this collection is perfect for mattifying and keeping the pores clear after cleansing. Lentil seed extract balances and smoothes any problem areas without stripping and irritating, leaving a nice calm-feeling face. Again, you can use this twice a day and be left with an oil reading of nada. However, I found it the perfect accompaniment to the cleanser in the morning – post-shower and pre-make-up. The bottle is huge, so the joy of using this will last a long time, whilst the user-friendly nozzle at the top gives complete control over application of product. I dabbed enough to cover about half a cotton pad and just swiped over my entire face, watching with delight as it (literally) mopped up any shiny bits.
Philosophy tells us that this little beaut will ‘help pores pull a disappearing act’. With glee, I imagine the smattering of pin-holes on my face being taken to a remote location and never seen again. This small bottle just about pulls it off. As the final step of the pore-erasing routine, it contains lentil seed extract and bamboo to keep things matte. The bottle is small, however even the greasiest of skins should only have to use this sparingly if using religiously in conjunction with the other two products. The recommended application is ‘as needed’, although apart from a pea-sized amount in the morning, I wouldn’t imagine needing to use it before bed or even throughout the day. But for those who do – it will so work.
Glam Wire Tip: The Total Matteness line is amazing, so if you have a lot of shine to dull, this will work absolute wonders. It is also effective on other skin types if used more sparingly, and will prime any face perfectly for making up. Don’t be afraid to mix and match – I use the cleanser and toner in the morning, but use a moisturising SPF before applying the pore-erasing serum. This avoids absolute chalk face for me, and my pores are still diminished.
Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Treatment
A twist on an old classic, this formula is an absolute win for lovers of soft, sheeny lips. It contains organic lemon oil and 70% medical-grade lanolin, a mix of which results in a pleasing lemonade taste, gradually fading on the lips to a zesty tingle. This promises to keep any pout hydrated for hours, if 50 global beauty awards are anything to go by. And it does. Other formulas for those who would rather not suck lemons include Banana Balm Lip Sheen, and 101 Ointment Fruities in Green Apple, Strawberry and Peach. At any rate, if you’re looking to rock the Bordeaux-coloured lip trend for autumn, give your lips a sip of this first to create a deeply moisturised base. Buy it here.
Glam Wire tip: Remove the lid before applying to lips (just checking you’re paying attention).
Dr Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution (Soothe & Sleep with Lavender)
Surely there’s no better way to surrender to the onset of cold dark nights than by slipping into a hot, heavenly-scented bath? The lavender formula I used (and really, really needed) worked its magic to ease aching muscles and promote general serenity, making me feel relaxed as a bowl of jelly. The lavender essential oil continued its soothing work even afterwards, leaving my skin soft and tingly and the bathroom smelling like a vintage parlour. I was indeed prepared for a restful sleep, but whether or not this eventuated is another matter – Dr Teal is not to blame for that. These finely grained salts come packaged in a no-nonsense weighty bag, from which you can pour the good stuff straight into the tub if you like (although 2 cups under running water is recommended), or sprinkle into your shower gel for a body scrub like Nanna used to make. Other do-gooders in this line include Detoxify & Energize (with Ginger & Clay) and Pre & Post-Workout (with Magnesium Sulfate and Menthol).
Glam Wire Tip: Use also on sprains, stings or swelling by mixing a more concentrated amount (1 cup salts to 4 cups warm water) and soaking a cloth. Apply cloth to affected area until it cools, then repeat.
With the change of seasons our tresses also start to turn, along with the inclement weather. Formulated especially for dry and damaged hair, the Goldwell Dualsenses range isperfect for restoring moisture, its protein-rich formula helping to rebuild and protect locks from further damage. The age-old excuse “sorry I can’t, I’m washing my hair” is perfectly acceptable on a cold autumn night if you’re staying in with these goodies.
Cream Shampoo: This creamy, gently vanilla-scented shampoo contains lush-sounding ‘pashmina silk proteins’ to rebuild, strengthen and smooth. It is silicone free, so won’t leave your hair with that strange coated feeling. It creates a silky lather and prepares hair perfectly for conditioning without stripping it.
Anti-Breakage Conditioner: Lightweight yet effective, this softens and conditions hair and gives amazing shine. It is extremely rich, so if you have finer hair you don’t need any more than a twenty-cent piece sized blob.
Thermo Leave-In Treatment: Heat-activated, this delightfully gloopy leave-in treatment works immediately to restructure damaged lengths inside and out. After just one application, my hair looked less unruly and less crispy than usual – even after the usual hairdryer/straightener punishment/combo. For improved manageability and shine, I give it the thumbs up.
6 Effects Serum: This magic serum keeps hair supple, improves elasticity and controls what I consider a familiar nemesis – flyaways. I only need to use on the ends and my hair seems happy with this.
The Goldwell ‘Rich Repair’ line is up to the task of not just restoring weather-damaged hair, it is also a godsend for those who over time have processed, bleached and punished their crowning glories in every way possible.
GROW AN INDOOR PLANT
Having plants indoors is good for your breathing – they help to remove indoor pollutants and absorb the carbon dioxide that you breathe out, in turn releasing oxygen. Health benefits aside, growing plants in a sunny window when it’s chilly outside can have a surprisingly positive effect on your outlook. This monstera deliciosa started as tiny cuttings from my Nanna & Pa’s home. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s one of the last things I see at night before going to bed, and a living reminder of two really important people from my childhood.
ADD TOUCHES OF LUXE TO YOUR HOME
If your towels feel more like a dry loofah scrub on your skin than a light spongey kiss, then it’s time for an upgrade.
I was sent samples of the dri.glo Australian Towel Collection to try. Though made from premium cotton, at first they weren’t overly fluffy to the touch, so I put them in the wash and dried them to see the result. What I find with towels is that they can feel beautifully soft in the store, but once you wash and actually use them, the pilling starts and lower quality towels show themselves very quickly as the balding tea towels that they are. I suspect the soft touch moves more units out of stores, with little thought given to their value when in use. Post-wash, the sample towels were soft and fluffy. The face washer is the best I’ve ever used. So luxuriant and gentle on little faces. Apparently over-drying towels in a dryer removes moisture that is naturally present in cotton, causing it to feel harsh – which is possibly something I wish I’d known years ago. It’s true – towels are a worthwhile investment if you enjoy your shower time and relaxation at home.
dri.glo towels are 100% Australian owned, designed and made (in the only weaving mill left here), and they are made with the intention that you will use them for years and years, not months. They’re available in bold and classic colours, but the hues of the season are white, silver, charcoal and moonbeam (did I ever tell you about my thing for towel colour names? Who comes up with them? Oh, never mind). Go towel shopping here.
Add extra sass.
The addition of a few new objects can lively up your living space (as can a big clean out, let’s face it). We’re loving the Skipper grey check Alpaca blanket from Australian homewares brand Kate and Kate – perfect for couch time, along with touches of marble and suede. Click on the images below to view the gallery.
Read The Garb Wire Edit: The Face of Autumn Part I here. New fashion, books, music & film inspiration.
This editorial was created by Melissa Ogier at The Garb Wire, with contributions from Tania Ogier. Samples for review received with thanks from Madame Flavour with special thanks to Jane Wong, Coty Inc, The Trish Nicol Agency, 360PR and iD Collective.
Pictured at top: Studio Boot Studio Boot in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands as featured in the book entitled The Creative Workplace. Available now. Click image for more information.