Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eating Out | Red Door Corner Store, Northcote



The sun decided to pop its head back around the corner in Melbourne and my craving for sweet French toast hit a peak. After perusing the online menu for Red Door Corner Store (70 Mitchell Street Northcote ,Vic) I decided on the Brioche French Toast and made my way over with my best girlfriend in toe. RDCS is a place we hit up a few times while we were studying at university but the menu seems to have been updated since then, and the place was packed out when we arrived at 11am on a Sunday. There was a 5 minute wait for an inside spot, so we bit the bullet and headed to the garden round back to nab a table.

I love trudging along the faux grass path to get to the garden, which was full to the brim with hipsters sitting at nice little tables topped with potted succulents. The waitress was quick to drop off menus and a jug of water, which is always a good start to any meal. I studied the menu, despite already having decided on my choice, and was awfully tempted by the Housemade Crumpets (with Myrtleford butter, preserves, rooftop honey $9.5) and the corn fritters, but ultimately my sweet tooth won.



My flat white was pretty bang on, but the only sugar available was coconut sugar which I think polarized a few people as I heard whingey whispers from other tables over the course of our meal. I didn’t mind the caramel-esque taste it lent the caffeine though so I’m on board with the dark brown sweetener.

Adding brioche over regular bread immediately gives you the upper hand I think, and it was no different at Red Door Corner Store. It was basically a baked quince toasted sandwich with rosewater custard as the butter, and man that custard was divine. Sweet but not tooth-achingly so, it hit the spot for me and the sweet syrupy goodness drizzled atop the bread was the right balance when paired with the quenelle of cream hanging out on the plate.

It was actually my first time chowing down on quince and I must say – rather pear like? The praline was actually the most jarring thing for me, it was a bit of an attack on the tooth but overall the meal definitely needed a crunch factor so I can see why it was on the plate.  As you can see in the photo below, I demolished it so I can’t be too critical about these things.

Corn, Zucchini and Quinoa fritters ($16.5) came out rather unlike what I was expecting (I always think flat pancake style creations with a jumble of corn visible) and more like little fried parcels sitting around a rather large coleslaw salad. I liked the addition of the corn in the salad (always a good addition for me) but it didn’t quell my dislike for coleslaw in general so I didn’t munch on that. The spicy looking sauce was dairy -free despite looking quite creamy, and the burst of capsicum flavour was definitely needed with the kinda doughy fritters. My partner in crime loved the general gist of the meal and was delighted with the fritters so I think it was just my expectations that let me down a little bit. The addition of smoked salmon (an extra $5.5) was a surprising one with this meal – we were thinking of soft red ribbons of salmon (a breakfast fave surely?) but instead a huge and delicate pink salmon steak was perched aside the meal and was pretty much a meal in itself. A bargain but not something we’d add to the meal if we were to do it over as it was just too much!

For less than $50 including coffees, Red Door Corner Store served up a gorgeous spread that kept hunger at bay until dinner that night, which is definitely the sign of a good brunch! I'm definitely saving room for one of those delicious looking cakes next time I visit...
Emma x

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Best Drugstore Beauty Buys

If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up the day before payday, the lure of Myer and its luxe cosmetic brands is often out of reach for many of us (payday itself is a whole other story!) It’s days like those where I turn to the drugstore aisles in search of a beauty fix, and in the sea of cheaply made duds there lies some gems that are really worth your while. I thought I’d skim through my drawers in search of the best drugstore beauty I own, and I came up with a lot more than I anticipated! I’ve split my recommendations into three categories to make things easier, and now is as good a time as any for my Australian readers to pick up a bargain with Priceline holding their 40% cosmetics sale for two days only (today and Wednesday 25th)
EYES:
I couldn't think of an eyeshadow palette from the Australian store that has really impressed me, so turned to my Total Intensity by Prestige Long Term Relationship Single Eyeshadows instead. The pigmentation is insane, I've got the MAC Club dupe Hocus Pocus and the stunning Bewitched. I don't wear these all the time but they are great quality, I'll need to do a full post for you soon as I think they're underrated. Eye staples that I use daily are also drugstore gems, Covergirl's Clump Crusher mascara and essence Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Hot Chocolate.
LIPS:
I'm loving lip pencils and long lasting lip products right now - the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet's are a firm favourite (shown here in the shades Frambourjoise and Pink Pong) but the newcomer from Rimmel is floating my boat right now, too - the Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colour in Make Your Move*. I've recently fallen for the $2 essence lipliners too and plan on picking up some back-ups during the Priceline sale (seriously, too cheap people!) but another more vibrant lip pencil option is the new Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils*. I have been wearing the natural Nude Perfection* and the bright Fab Orange* over and over since they hit my desk!
BASE & BLUSH:
I'm a big fan of affordable foundation offerings, and the newest release on the street is the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Oil Free Foundation. I've been trialling it and so far it hasn't knocked my beloved Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3in1 Foundation from the top spot, but it's still pretty good and worth a try! I struggled to think of a decent high street blush until I clapped eyes on my Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Sticks* in my everyday drawer (shown here in Coral Sheen, Pink Fever and Just-Pinched Pink) They are probably the only blush I'd strongly recommend from Priceline - if you've tried a great drugstore blush I'd love to hear about it though!

What drugstore staples do you swear by? Will you be picking anything up from the Priceline sale?
-Emma

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Currently Obsessed : Golden Peach with MAC

Reorganising my daily drawer for what seems like the millionth time and I stumbled upon an eye combo that I hadn’t tried before, and thought I’d put it to the test.  I’ve been relying on my neutral shadow palettes to create easy-to-wear eye looks lately and this is a lot peachier than I’m used to, but I’ve found it to really brighten up things and I actually wore this shadow combo every day last week!

 

MAC Rubenesque
I bought the MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque at a CCO (does that stand for cosmetic company outlet?) in Las Vegas and flashbacks of watching Miss Glamorazzi beauty video’s back in the day resurfaced and made me drop it into my cart. It’s a warm peachy shade with lots of fine golden shimmer that doesn’t apply as smooth as my Painterly Paint Pot, but it’s of a smoother quality than the other shimmery Paint Pots I own so I will give it a star for that. It can turn a bit of an unpleasant orange on me if I layer it up too much thanks to my pale skin, so for this look I’ve left it light and then went back in with my MAC powder shadow in Retrospeck.
MAC Retrospeck
I acquired Retrospeck in the Royal Assets : Warm Eyes palette from a blog sale and it’s something that I have loved from day one. It’s a bit too ‘blonde’ and golden for me at times but I still wear it often (that’s love, right?) and when it hits Rubenesque magic happens and it creates a gorgeous eye look that I can’t get enough of.
What is your favourite eye combination? What MAC Paint Pot do you swear by?
-Emma

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Beauty Scenario Tag


Although not technically tagged for this beauty scenario tag, I’ve been reading quite a few of the responses from other bloggers lately and Larie’s post in particular spurred me to jot down what I’d do if these crazy situations ever happened…
1. You have to get rid of all of your foundations and only keep one high-end and one drugstore; which do you keep?
I was shocked when I realised that I don’t really dabble in high-end foundations or bases…what kind of beauty blogger am I?! I think Illamasqua Skin Base is as high-end as I’ve ever fallen for (I like YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat but it’s a bit too glowy for my skin) My drugstore option would either be Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Foundation or Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3in1 Foundation. Actually now that I’ve thought about it, I’d rather just keep those two drugstore options instead!
 
2. You go for an interview, and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?
I think I’d gauge the situation and the individual before making this decision – I’m often the one running after people who’ve left the bathroom with their skirt tucked up to let them know, but other times I feel too intimidated to mention little things like lipstick on teeth. I always let my friends know though, so there’s a plus for me ;)
3. You're not feeling yourself and need a pick-me-up lipstick. Which do you go for?
I think right now I’d probably go for my Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencil ‘Fab Orange’ as it’s my current obsession, but more often than not I’ll play around with my eyeshadow to perk myself up before I reach for a lipstick.
4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years; how would you do your hair or makeup differently?
I never wore makeup throughout high school, apart from the occasional foray into a smudge of black liner on my upper lash line. I had great skin until I went to uni (ironic, dontcha think?) so I never really felt the need to wear anything – I do wish I’d worn mascara more often, and taken advantage of clear skin with long lashes for a prettier look. Hair wise, I’ve never really been into it and not much has changed!
5. You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott haircut but they hear wrong and give you a pixie cut - what would you do?
 A) Smile, say thank you, call your mum and cry hysterically
B) Cry in the chair and things get awkward
C) Complain to the manager and demand a refund
Real talk – I would have lost my bananas!! I did have an unfortunate too-short haircut around year 8, but I brought a picture into the salon and all so I am totally to blame for that mess. Round faces with chubby cheeks like mine often don’t suit short hair – mine definitely doesn’t!
6. Your friend surprises you with a 4-day city break and you have one hour to pack. Which 'Do it all' palette do you pack in your makeup bag?
What an awesome friend – bit late notice though missy! I’d probably forgo a whole face palette and just stick a thin shadow palette and a Chanel blush into my bag rather than going for something like the LauraMercier Lingerie Palette…though it might be nice to push myself out of my comfort zone and get more use from that!
 
7. Your house has been robbed. Don't worry, everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided. What's the product you really hope is safe?
My Chanel Joues Contraste blush stash better be unharmed or so help me…that collection is a true labour of love!
 
8. Your friend borrows makeup and returns it in awful condition. Do you:
 A) Pretend you haven't noticed
B) Ask them to re-purchase it
C) Secretly do it back to their makeup
I give away makeup more regularly than I lend it out, though I do let people use stuff at my house if they’d like to (or I’ll do their makeup for them more often than not!) I would
I don’t think I have any friends who’d do something like that, especially the ones that know me and my beauty obsession well, but it does irk me when people swatch my makeup before I’ve taken pictures of it! #beautybloggerproblems
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I love the way that random tags force you to think about things in a different way, crazy as the questions may be. I have a newfound protective spirit over my Chanel JC’s and an appreciation for great drugstore makeup bases now!
-Emma

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The 'Project Use It Up' Face

Working on using up my older beauty products is an enjoyable process for me – it’s reminded me of how lovely some of the products are, but has also forced me to appreciate just how great some of the newer products in my stash are. It’s made me rethink that moment in the store when I used to buy ‘new’ but mediocre formulas and shades, and made it clear that that was not only a waste of money but distracted me from the quality within my drawers. Having a makeup stash full of wonderful, exciting and stellar products is my end goal I suppose, and I’m happily plodding my way through some of the beauty targets set out in my Project Use It Up in this makeup look.

A trick that I’ve found to work when I’m consciously using up something is to add a new or exciting product into the mix with it, to spice things up and keep yourself from going completely mad (if you’re like me and love to switch products all the time!) This time around I pulled out my Chanel Poesie eyeshadow palette; it’s one of the newest additions to my makeup drawers and creates such an effortless eye look. I then added in some of the ‘Project Use It Up’ contestants, the pan-tastic NYX ‘Peach’ Blush and my Clinique Chubby Stick ‘Whole Lotta Honey.’ Not yet in my project purely because I forgot to include it is my mini pan of Nars ‘Laguna’ Bronzer – let’s consider this mention his official induction into the challenge, shall we?


There has been a big change for me in the hair department – I felt like a new woman when I walked out of the hairdressers with a fringe (or bangs, as my American friends call it!) I have a post forthcoming on the hair products I’ve switched over to, but for now I’d love to hear your tips on using up products and what you think of this simple, everyday makeup look!

-Emma

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New on Shelf

I’m totally guilty of snapping pictures on my iPhone as I peruse the shops, and love popping them up on Instagram or just looking back while considering which pieces I’d like to purchase. I find this to be helpful if you’re unable to regularly visit your Priceline or Myer as it gives you an insight into the ‘shiny and new’ things without you having to run out and buy each and every one. There are some pretty neat new things out that caught my eye on recent outings, and after noticing just how many I’d snapped I thought it only fair to share their ‘newness’ with you, too. Enjoy!

I made an attempt to buy the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous foundation while in Hawaii but they didn’t have my shade in stock – it just launched in Australia last week and was half price at Woolworths so I snapped up one in the shade 105. Trialling at the moment and so far, so good!

Out of the two new essence collections, Good Girl Bad Girl definitely contained the products that tempted me most. Out exclusively in Priceline, the shimmery star-embossed ‘Good Girls Wear Peach’ is stunning and I can see the lipsticks selling out fast in shades of dark vampy purple and bright fuchsia.

essence have also rolled out another collection exclusive to Target, Like an Unforgettable Kiss which is whimsical and romantic looking. The nail polish shades are quite nice and the duo heart blushes seem like a matte, pale version of the Too Faced blushes that are popular.

Always fond of a new Australis nail polish, I have to admit I chuckled a little bit when I looked at all of the names of these- well done Australis! I definitely want to check out the bright pink Mexican Madness in store and Swagger Like Us purely for the name…


Quite an impressive display for the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks, don’t you think? I remember watching this video and thinking they sounded alright, but I think a re-watch is in order to help me decide on which shades I should try!
An ultra-affordable new release on shelves now is the bath and body range from Kmart! I’ve heard good things about the body scrub and the fragrance mist in Jasmine smells wonderful, very similar in quality to something like Victoria’s Secret from what I can gather. I have enough fragrance mists to sink a battleship but I have a feeling these will still come home with me…

 
Enchanting Nightbird sounds so enticing and it definitely suits the winter theme for Bourjois 2015. The crème 24hr shadows are supposedly really nice but I’m all about those new lip crayon shades – Sweet Macchiato, come to your coffee-loving Mama!


A new player in the affordable micellar water realm is fine by me, and I like the packaging of the new L’Oreal Skin Perfection 3in1 Micellar Cleansing Water !
 
I’ve actually heard that the new Max Factor Crème Puff blushes are akin to the Hourglass Ambient Light Blushes…that has definitely made me want to pick one up even more!
 
Speaking of Hourglass, the new Modernist eyeshadow palettes have launched at Mecca and are pretty stunning! I wasn’t too sure about the joint shade idea and overall look of them at first but the shadow texture is quite impressive and the shades all seem quite lovely.
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So there you have it – a round-up of lots of new goodies on beauty shelves right now! Have you bought any of these yet? Which of these looks most tempting to you?
-Emma
 
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

February Eats

Another month, another food round-up for you all! I enjoyed some home cooking this month and the small handful of meals I ate out were really lovely and a nice treat. I'm still yet to indulge in new cuisines as per my 2015 goals, but I did make Greek lemon potatoes once more so at least I'm working on that goal!
second attempt at Greek lemon potatoes
seared tuna at Red Door Corner Store, Northcote
Chicken Satay from Paul Louey's, Rye
Brioche French Toast with Peach and Orange Custard from Red Door Corner Store
Another attempt to perfect my Greek lemon potatoes was a success, less of a success was the chicken satay from Paul Louey's in Rye that I had on Valentine's Day. $18.50 for this plate seems a bit excessive and it wasn't anything special (the Thai restaurant in Rye serves much better satay!)

A much better meal was shared with my best friend Candice at Red Door Corner Store - I went for the Brioche French Toast (yet again!) while Candice had the Seared Tuna. I had my first try of seared tuna that day! I have a full review of RDCS coming up on the blog.
homemade chicken & feta bowl, with spinach, rice, capsicum and corn
my home spin on a SumoSalad - southwest chicken w honey mustard dressing
a long-time favourite treat - Dorito's with Salsa!
Marion's Kitchen Korma Curry
We didn't eat out very much in February, and I tried to stay away from food court lunches by making my own versions at home. I threw together the chicken and feta bowl using bits and bobs from the fridge and freezer, whereas the 'el Bovary sumosalad' was a more thought out idea - I threw together everything I usually eat in my SumoSalad together and it was a pretty damn good copy!

Doritos and salsa are a rare snack for us nowadays but Mister and I really love them - why so addictive, huh? Last but in no way least was the Marion's Kitchen Korma Curry which we made with chicken - her boxed meal kits are the bomb, do yourself a favour and try them on a lazy weeknight!

raspberry swirl muffins for Mister's work lunches
Dairy Milk Picnic
Rolled Oats with honey and brown sugar apples
Baking spree - raspberry coconut tarts, banana tart and coconut turnover
Muffins don't personally float my boat but Mister loves them for taking to work, so I whipped up some raspberry swirl flavoured ones for him to take in and share with the boys. I seem to get bitten by the baking bug more often nowadays and I love experimenting with flavours, but sometimes you can't go wrong with a classic! Speaking of classics...Dairy Milk Picnic Block - turning a non-choc lover into a choc-lover since 2014.

I love eating oats for breakfast and often have overnight oats as they're really filling and delicious, but I didn't prepare anything overnight so whipped up some honey brown sugar apples to spice up some plain cooked rolled oats.

A big baking spree happened! I made tarts for my nephews birthday and then the rest just happened. The coconut turnover was the best out of that bunch for me, juicy and sweet with awesome flaky puff pastry.
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A big month of baking, it seems! What is your favourite thing to bake or make at home? Do you ever copy a favourite take-out/food court recipe at home?
-Emma

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