Here are the answers to the first ten questions. I’ll do ten a day until I’m done. Here’s some hefty weekend reading for you!
As a curly-girl myself I have to ask, is your hair natural curly? And what products do you use on it?
Yes, my hair is naturally curly as of my ninth birthday. Before then it was long, thick and slightly wavy like Brenda in 90210. My hair looked like hell for most of high school because I was trying to get the balance of maintence and product right. Here a few hair rules that I live by…
* Embrace your curls and aim for volume. Don’t try to flatten, thin or layer it. Let it do its glorious, unkempt, been-rolling-naked-in-an-Elizabethan-field thing.
* Curly hair looks best when slightly dirty. Sad but true. I only wash my hair twice, maybe three times a week tops.
* Serums, gels, and special frizz sprays are crap and expensive. For washing, I use Head and Shoulders shampoo. I use any yummy smelling conditioner. Then, while my hair is still wet I slather on heaps of a creamy leave in conditioner. My favourite is a cheap Sunsilk frizz free leave in conditioner that I buy from Coles.
* I let my hair dry naturally whenever possible and when I blow dry it I only do it to about 60% dryness. I then add a little wax – at the moment I’m using Vo5 Matte Putty that I also buy from Coles. God, I’m a cheapskate. Then scrunch and dry a little more. I use a little spray of Cedel hair spray every morning too.
* I also never brush my hair. I only finger comb through conditioner in the shower.
* I’ve been dying my hair a few shades darker in the last few years and it’s really helped with the frizz. I’m naturally a mid to dark brown. Now I’m brown to black. I just use a chemist semi-permanent like Loreal. Roomy Smaggle dyes it for me and she’s the bomb.
* I also take a multivitamin every day and I eat heaps of fish with yummy good oils in them in. I’m sure they are both having magical potion like effects on my hair. Oh and when I went on the contraceptive pill a few years ago my hair went straight. No joke. I stopped taking the pill immediately but it still took a while for my hair to go back to normal… it’s still not quite the same.
I work in a less than stimulating office job which leaves a lot of time for online shopping. What are you favourite online stores?
I don’t do a lot of online clothing shopping because I’m fussy but here are some stores that I regularly use and have had OUTSTANDING service from.
Etsy – for crafty goodness, American Apparel – for cotton basics, Active Skin – for my favourite cleanser and moisturiser, Funkis – for clogs and Swedish goodness, Dymocks Online – For books. I’m boycotting Amazon because they are annoying me, Suppbitches – for supplements, proteins and vitamins, Girlprops – for junky funky jewellery, and as lazy as it sounds my new favourite is Coles Online – you can do all your grocery shopping and they deliver it to your door and carry it up the stairs and PUT IN ON YOUR KITCHEN BENCH for $9. I may never grocery shop again.
How did you achieve such a lovely, elegant blog? No matter what you blog about it makes me happy.
Wow I’m having a serious blush fest over here! If you’re referring to design, the secret is Mr Smaggle. He makes my blog pretty. If you’re talking about content… well… I just kind of write articles that I think I would like to read. I’m generally a happy person and I seem to attract a lot of weird, wonderful and crazy situations so I’m never short on stories to tell. I also stick to a rule that if I wouldn’t tell Mr Smaggle’s mum, my grandparents or my little cousins (all who read Smaggle) then I won’t write about it. I don’t censor myself and I’ll talk to anyone about anything – tampons, periods, the annoying girl that served me at the supermarket, stupid drivers – but I leave my truly personal experiences private. I think that keeps my blog a little more professional. Or ‘elegant’ as you say!
What would be your best, inexpensive tip of making your old wardrobe feel new so that you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window and think ‘My! Don’t I look fabulous today!’ without spending much (or any) money?
I’m a total tight arse when it comes to clothes but I will spend money on anything that is perfect and made from 100% natural fibres. Anything else is just dress ups for me. Here are a few tips for when you’re short on cash –
* Clean out your wardrobe. You will be AMAZED at what you find.
* Make a rule that you have to wear different accessories everyday and mix it up. A necklace one day, big earrings the next, then brooch, etc. That way you end up working your way through your accessories collection and getting out of your style rut at the same time.
* Scarves are awesome. Tie one around your waist, your head, attach one to your bag… Scarves are the most underused and over purchased accessory in the world. Make use of the sneaky drawer full of them that I know you have…
* Alter your clothes. Get any ill-fitting pieces tailored to fit or hem your own dresses to change the length.
* Have a clothes swapping party. Invite all your similar sized friends to clean out their wardrobes, have them over for afternoon tea, throw the clothes into a pile in the middle of the floor and go nuts. Donate any unwanted pieces to charity.
* Thrift. Always.
Any tips on op-shopping? I’m quite good at finding things but not so good at adapting them into my everyday wear.
I don’t really see how op-shopped clothes are any different to retail clothes when working them into your wardrobe but here are some tips for op-shopping – Canberra Style!
* Don’t buy something because it’s good quality and cheap. A $10 Country Road top is a waste of money if you’ll never wear it.
* Never op-shop with a particular purchase in mind. You just won’t find it.
* Look in the men’s and plus sized sections. I’ve found excellent drapey shirts and dresses by shopping outside the box.
* Never pay more than retail for anything. This is a real problem in Australia with Supre and Valley Girl clothes fetching prices of up to $15 which is barely less than the original price. Just don’t go there.
* Don’t buy anything that needs major alterations. If it needs a button sewn on or a hem fixed then fine. It’s not worth it if needs anything more than that.
* Material Pleasures – the Gorman House Markets and Kingston Markets second hand store is awesome. They just opened during the week in Fyshwick too. The lady who owns it is very enthusiastic and she often gives discounts for multiple items. Best second hand shopping in Canberra by far.
What foundation items would you suggest for someone rebuilding their wardrobe from…well nothing?
Like, actually nothing? Cool! Lets pretend I just skipped the country with nothing but a credit card… Once I got to Copenhagen (dream destination) I would buy…
* Beautiful nude seamless underwear. Bras, knickers, form fitting body stockings and full briefs. A few of each in black as well. I have no need for bras that are colourful or covered in lace or undies that have half the arse cut out of them and I have never understood the purpose of white underwear.
* Cardigans in grey, black, brown and plum.
* Calf length dresses in pastry colours – taupe, beige, nude and cream. Black, forrest green and teal blue also.
* A beautiful pair of leather boots in black, camel or brown.
* Strappy leather sandals in brown, nude or black.
* Killer heels. No rules. Go wild.
* A pair of neutral wedges.
* A pair of red shoes. I have a theory that red shoes go with everything.
* A pure wool coat in grey.
* A trench in beige.
* Tailored skirts in floral prints.
* Linen and cotton shirts.
* A few hair clips and head bands with feathers or flowers.
* A million pairs of tights in every colour. Black wool, grey, red, berry, yellow, polka dot…
* Some delicious, thick knee high socks.
* Scarves. Big square ones with tasselled edges for wrapping around my head turban style.
* A long sterling silver necklace with a simple pendant on it.
* A pair of large stirling silver earrings.
* A chunky silver men’s divers watch.
* Several pashminas.
* The perfect shade of lipstick.
* Good quality work out gear with funky Nike hi-tops.
* A million wooden bangles.
* A giant pair of sunglasses.
I have no need for pants but if you must buy some dark denim slim leg jeans.
That was fun.
What gave you the impetus to move states and pursue your jewellery course? I mean you are clearly following your passion, but how do you reconcile that with all the practical stuff?
I think it’s bullshit when people say that you can achieve anything as long as you believe in yourself. I think you can achieve anything if you know what you want, you’re realistic about it and you work your butt off. It’s really difficult to make a living in any creative industry. I just don’t see why everyone puts pressure on themselves to ‘make it’ in their field. Being paid for your creative contribution to the world doesn’t validate it.
The reality is, at the end of the day you have to pay your bills. I’m an actor, writer, jeweller, designer and teacher. I make money doing all of these things but teaching pays my bills. I could give myself over to all or one of these industries and try to ‘make it’ but you know what? I like money. I like wine. I like shoes. I like going away for weekends with Mr Smaggle. I like paying my rent like a grown up and having a fridge full of food. I’m not about to gamble a comfortable life away on something that may or may not happen. When I finish my ‘real’ job I come home, write an article for Smaggle, do a few hours at the jewellers bench, do some sketches and head to a rehearsal. I’m actively involved in all of these industries so if I happen to get ‘discovered’ at some stage then that’s great. If not, I have money in the bank to buy my silver, my stage make-up, pay for my internet connection and buy a sketch book. If you work hard enough you have enough time to do everything. Sorry Scribbles dear, that sounded cranky didn’t it? I meant it be optimistically forceful!
You always have new outfits on with beautiful accessories and the like – how do you afford to keep up with the latest fashion? Also dressing for your body shape? Is there a special formula to know what you look good in?
As I’ve said before I’m a very frugal shopper but I mostly buy good quality clothes in nuetral colours as my basics. I also NEVER dress in the latest fashions. I usually find anything on offer in chain stores is pretty bloody vulgar. I shop in boutiques for funky affordable pieces, Target and K-Mart for basics and recently I’ve been shopping in old lady stores like Table Eight and Sportscraft. They actually have beautifully designed dresses that cover your backside and there’s nothing made from nasty polyester. I’m currently having a love affair with linen…
In terms of shopping for your body shape. Just look at yourself. Really look. I refuse to believe that the women out there sporting muffin tops, side cleavage and cellulite can’t see it. They either don’t care or are lying to themselves. When trying something on, don’t hold your stomach in and pull your shoulders back or try to hide whatever flaw the piece of clothing is highlighting. Jog, jiggle, sit and slouch. If it looks good in all these positions it’s a keeper. If it only looks good when you tilt your head to one side and stop breathing don’t buy it. Der.
I also wrote an article about this a little while ago.
How to find your body shape and learn to rock it.
What would you recommend as key items in any woman’s wardrobe?
This one was sort of covered earlier but I don’t think that my basics will help anyone really. Trinny and Sussanah (who I love) list basics like –
* A good white shirt
* Well fitting black pants
* A light weight tailored blazer
* Plain white t-shirts
So… um… are we going horse riding then? All of the above items look terrible on me and as such I don’t own any of them. There are women out there who look sleek and sophisticated in tailored suits. I look like a man. I do think all women need good quality shoes – flats and heels, clothes that flatter them, supportive and invisible underwear and signature jewellery in precious metals. A good hair cut and skin routine is also essential.
Do you have a special cup or mug or glass that you use? One that’s special enough that you have a nice little internal (or external!) tantrum when you see someone else using it? And if so, what does it look like?
Brilliant and ridiculously appropriate question. Yes. I do have a special mug. In fact, I have two. One lives in my Melbourne house and was given to me by Co-Dependent Smaggle years ago. It’s white with ‘PRINCESS’ written on it in pink. It’s chipped and I refuse to throw it out because I love it. No one uses that mug because they are very aware of the consequences. I tip out their tea.
The second one is a white mug with flowers on it and it lives at my old work place in Canberra. I still work there on my holidays and my mug is still in the kitchen. Someone has now adopted it and it regularly disappears. It then shows up again, dirty, in the sink. I don’t know who the culprit is yet but Browny and are watching… our eyes are everywhere. Someone else used it once about two years ago and I saw him take it into his office and then he went away on holidays. I had security unlock his office door and stole it back. A-hole. Take MY mug…
Love Lady Smaggle
P.S Part two is on its way. If you have any questions to add you have until Tuesday.