Christmas Gift Guide

It is that time of the year & if you’re anything like me you’re already trying to sort out gifting so everything isn’t last minute. This year I have not only put together a gift guide but I have also created a new Gift Edit to try & help you find cool gifts for the people in your life.

It is so important to me that these guides help you shop small this Christmas, which is why there is a big focus on small businesses in this post. As a small business, I know how much this time means to an independent brand. Instead of buying a mass produced, heavily ‘inspired’ product, try your best to shop locally this festive season. Trust me, your purchases mean to the world to the handful of people behind these brands.

GIFTS IN STYLE

When it comes to style presents I always stay clear of clothing and stick to accessories. Accessories mean you don’t have to worry about sizing and you can get some great finds for under $25!

Headwear. There are so many great options around at the moment from a great beret, a straw hat for summer or even a cool headband!

Earrings. Think about their personal style, are they more likely to keep it classic or have a little more fun with earrings?

Bags. Bags don’t need to be designer. With the move to reduce plastic there is no better time to gift someone a grocery bag they will actually want to use.

Underwear. Bralettes are the way to go, they are sexy while still being understated. Can’t go wrong with brands like Love Stories!

 
 

FOR THE MEN IN OUR LIVES

Magazines & Books. I love magazines & books for myself but they are also the perfect gift for the men in your life. If you’re struggling to find magazines, Magnation might be the website to help you out this festive season.

Tech. All sorts of tech do the trick but this HAY x Sonos One in green is too damn good not to mention.

Beauty. Treat the men in your life and luxe up their beauty routine with a new after shave or skin care!

Coffee. Whether it is a coffee machine or accessories I always find pairing it with a bag of coffee does the trick for the perfect gift hamper.

 
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GIFTS IN BEAUTY

Perfume Discovery Sets. To be honest I think these the best gifts. The cost is normally lower than committing to choosing just one fragrance for someone and they are the perfect size to travel with.

Brush Sets & Beauty Accessories. Who doesn’t need new make up brushes?! They are such good value for money and these by Mecca Cosmetica look so damn pretty! Make Up bags are also always a safe bet for a happy girl at Christmas.

Palettes. The palettes that are released at this time of the year always have me weak at the knees. I could not recommend the Hourglass palettes more. They are my favourite powder formula and these palettes will last you years!

 

GIFTS AT HOME

You can not go wrong with gifts for the home, this is probably why most girls I know have at least 5 half-burnt candles in their room at one time.

Candles. As above! At this time of the year I love a Christmas Candle but not the cheesy kind. Lumira has one I am eyeing off that says christmas without shoving tinsel in your face.

Artwork. Not only is it a perfect way to support creatives at this time of the year but it something personal that I can promise your friend will cherish. I have an illustration from an 18th birthday present and it still means so much to me.

Bedding. This is the perfect gift for a lover or a roommate!

Trays. Who doesn’t need a good tray?! They are perfect for everything from beauty, perfume, accessories, incense/candles!

 
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FOR THE TRAVELLER

Personalised Travel Accessories. The perfect gift for someone who is always in the air. Get it monogrammed or stamped with their favourite emoji!

Travel Books. Perfect for someone who loves to travel but doesn’t have any flights booked.

Travel sized goodies. Can’t go wrong with things in tiny packaging.


Please let me know about any small businesses that you think would be perfect to add to The Gift Edit down in the comments as I will be constantly updating that page until Christmas.

jasmine x

October Journal

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THE HIGHS

Where do I even start with the highs from this month?! At the start of the month I flew down to Sydney for the Cosmopolitan Women of the Year awards and this girl took out the title of Creative of the Year!! I have worked from home, (what seems like) alone for almost 5 years so I found this to really be a chance to stop & take in all that I have achieved. Even though I work for myself there are so many of you that are out there supporting and sharing the love for my work which made this award even possible. The trip was made even more special by my mum joining me for the 4 days. Hotel Revesis, a high on it's own merit (more on that below). Spicy margaritas at North Bondi Fish. North Bondi Fish in general. Room Service & Foxtel nights after extremely exhausting days. My mum absolutely nailing being an #instagrammum even though she did take a minute long burst (candids for days). Being by the ocean even just a little bit. Releasing my new artwork collection and it being so well received (thank you thank you thank you). Such interesting discussion around my last blog post: Pressure to be a Girl Boss. It has probably been one of my favourite blog posts from this year that I have written. Finding a house to move into & signing a lease. Donating unused beauty to Friends with Dignity.

SYDNEY TRIP SUMMARY

WHERE WE STAYED..

Hotel Ravesis, Bondi Beach. Without a word of a lie, this was kind of my dream hotel. Firstly the location is perfect. Not too far from the city but right across from Bondi Beach! The interiors are also as if they were designed right out of one of my dreams. Archways, moss green, pink & white everywhere. Everything is so beautifully designed down to the Do Not Disturb sign. It even made me want to buy all the merch available at the mini bar (I had to have the set of playing cards, see above) Their food & cocktails were also really yummy. Can not recommend more!

WHERE WE ATE... Since I was out at the awards most of the first day, and the photoshoot the next we didn’t explore too much. But we did stop at a few worth mentioning.

Sonoma Baking, Bondi. Went here a few times for breakfast & baked treats, 10/10.
Bills, Bondi. My mum had never had the hotcakes so I of course had to take her there at least once.
North Bondi Fish, Bondi. Mum and I had the best long lunch here, their spicy margaritas had me hooked. I still crave them.
The Grounds of Alexandria. I finally got there! My COSMO shoot was actually just across the road so I met up with Mum there after. After two big days of nervousness, I got a big burger and chips and was surrounded by flowers - perfection.

WHAT WE DID…

The first day in town I had the COSMO awards followed by a meeting so needless to say after 3 hours sleep the night before I was incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted by the time we got back to Ravesis. I just wanted to eat room service in bed and prepare for the shoot the next day. I was a little nervous about the COSMO shoot because I had no idea what to expect. What would I wear, would I feel like myself, what if I froze? All of those worries went away once I got onto set. The team was so beautiful and made me feel comfortable and more importantly like myself. The rest of Friday was spent at The Grounds then back at Ravesis for cocktails. Saturday was a big eating day. We went to Bills for breakfast, people/dog watched at Bondi then over to North Bondi Fish for a long lunch. A few cocktails later we headed over to paddington to look around at the single fronted houses & stores. Super Dreamy. Sunday was fly home day.


THE LOWS

The first week of October felt really stressful, I wasn’t in control of a lot that was going on which meant I was a little all over the place and didn’t feel organised. This didn’t last though, as it never does. Not being able to sleep until 4:30AM on the night before the awards. I ended up getting desperate at 4AM, downloaded some sleep story app and listened to someone who sounded like David Attenborough talk about lavender fields. It was quite a rainy month so there was a lot of days that shoots were planned but we couldn’t do them. Realising that we now have to do the nightmare moving part after finding a house. The realisation that I have way too much for one human. A new copyright infringement came up so I am now having to go through that with yet another national retailer. Thought I would get through the year without a major one but no such luck.

GOALS FOR NOVEMBER

Launch the HIS & HERS Italy photo book along with some re-prints of Paris & Japan in Mid November. I also am currently working on the 2019 Calendar for release late November. As I type this I am currently in our new house but my goal for the last week was really just to get through it. It was beyond exhausting so I am really just looking forward to enjoying being in the new space and get re-inspired.

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What happened to you in October?!

J x

Pressure to be a Girl Boss

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I have been thinking a lot around the idea of success lately. The first two definitions from the Oxford Dictionary are ‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose’ and ‘The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status’. I can’t help but feel as though today there is a lot more emphasis on the latter or the perception of it at least.

Running my own business and sharing so much online means that I am faced with the idea or pressure of success head on most days of week. Doing so, it has meant that I have had to redefine my idea of success and constantly keep myself in check. For the purpose of trying to keep this blog post concise, I want to focus today on the pressure of building a ‘successful’ business.

During the last 5 years of working for myself I have felt the pressure to fit the type of the powerhouse woman who has a cool studio (not in your home), building an empire with employees and is perpetually ‘busy’ & ‘tired’. Believe me, I felt silly even writing that. There is so much about that picture that isn’t right for me but sometimes it can be hard to realise that and stand up for that. There are so many times that I have met other people in the business that either talk down to me for working from my home studio because it isn’t “as professional looking”, encourage me to expand expand expand, hire people, outsource my work so that I can take on more and more and more. I am not saying that they are wrong or that they aren’t valid and good points but those types of conversations can leave you thinking ‘Is what I am doing not enough?'

This is where I really had to ask myself why I was resistant to doing those things and work on defining my own idea of success. Why don’t I want to work from a studio? Well first of all, I save so much time because there is no time spent getting ready for work or travelling. I also am able to save money on double rent which in return allows me to be less stressed about money. Why don’t I hire a team of photographers/designers/interns etc? To be honest I really love working alone. I don’t want to be the on delegating or outsourcing, I want to be the one doing the work. I don’t want to get more work just for the sake of giving it to someone else and taking $$ off the top. I also am very aware of the cost of hiring and the level of productivity that would need to be brought to the table to make it worth it just isn’t there at this moment. I absolutely freaking love working but constantly working nights and weekends isn’t something that would make me feel successful. I am happy for it to maybe be a monthly occurrence but success to me is having a work / life balance. If that means not making insane amounts of money that is okay, if that means being more picky with what projects I take on, that is also okay.

One of the great things about working for yourself is that you have the freedom to do it the way you like. There is no point working for yourself and having that freedom only to do the status quo. Just because you don’t have employees or a cool office space and working 60 hours a week doesn’t mean you’re not a boss. I wanted to write about this today to show you that there isn’t only one idea of success, we don’t all want the same things and that is okay.

As I am getting into my later 20s the personal ideas of a success are also becoming a lot more apparent, children, proposals, marriage and houses. Let me know if you would like me to touch on this in another blog post.

Jasmine x

September Journal

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I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t put this off until mid October to write so here it goes, my September Journal..

THE HIGHS

First of all, I really wanted to pick up where I left off in August’s Journal. My creative collaboration with Love Stories Australia was launched earlier in the month and I honestly couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Collaborations can be tricky at the best of times let alone with a international brand but this was probably the smoothest collaboration I have had yet. From our first meeting to the end result their openness, creativity and trust they gave me was something that I will always be grateful for. And I couldn’t be more proud of the imagery & lettering that is currently in their Bondi & James St Stores. It was worth all of the self doubt. On the note of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I also shot a photography project for my next print collection. I wasn’t sure how it would work out and we were up against it with the weather but I couldn’t have been happier that we did it. Shout out to Michael for working with me on this and being the structure I needed to get it done between storm clouds. My friend Jade & I went to Montrachet Boulangerie, a French patisserie in Brisbane and ate more than our weight in pastries - no regrets. Kelly Thompson had our creative chats at Creative Hub in Melbourne this month and even though it was a quick trip it definitely was a high this month to meet and get to chat to those that came along. I got colour put in my hair for the first time in 12 years by Mia from The Mia Collective and don’t hate it even the slightest. Those who have been reading my journals will be excited to know I also picked up my new hard drive finally (more on that in New In). I got my tax return done for last financial year (yay me!).

 

SOME FAVOURITES FROM FASHION WEEK

NEW IN TECH

A few new tech pieces this month. After 4 months I finally picked up my new external hard drive storage system. It was really time to invest in a much better set up so I went for the G-Tech G-Raid Thunderbolt3 16TB. I chose this one because it includes two hard drives where one automatically backs up to the other. They are also removable and replaceable once full and look a lot nicer than most which is a bonus. My second bit of new tech would have to be my new iPhone. My contract was up on my 7 so I upgraded to the XS model. So far so good but the front facing camera does do some weird things with light sometimes. For example my hair looks a lot lighter in the front face camera vs the back? weird.

LISTENING TO THIS MONTH

I am including this segment this month because it has been a huge month for Podcasts. My podcast came out with Jaharn from Your Creative Start talking frankly about money. I also have been really loving podcast’s out of the UK. Firstly an old favourite The High Low and secondly The Fringe of It. Both a mix of less serious & more serious chats all in one episode. Couldn’t recommend more. Then two Australian women released podcasts this month which are both amazing. Gemma Watts released her no-bullshit beauty podcast called Glow Journal and Alison Rice released Offline The Podcast which talks to online profile women about their true selves offline.

THE LOWS

I found this dress I really want on eBay for half the price but the seller doesn’t have a measuring tape to see if it will fit me so I have to let it go. Random question: do you own a measuring tape? I have always had one but I don’t know if I am an anomaly here. I burnt myself abnormally often this month. I don’t know why but I currently have burn scars on most fingers. Missed out on a house that would have been pretty lovely. Celine. When everyone was up in arms over the logo changed, as much as I didn’t love the change I really didn’t see it as a huge deal but that show left me annoyed. Firstly, the casting was wrong, secondly the woman presented is not something I would ever aspire to be but more importantly I felt it completely disregarded and disrespect the Phoebe Philo Celine customer.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS MONTH

As much as you like to take care of everything yourself and be in control you probably need some help this time around. Learning that saying ‘I just need to get through the next two weeks’ every month probably isn’t sustainable.

WHAT I READ THIS MONTH

I picked up How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne mid way through the month when I needed something to stop me from working/sitting online. I finished it within 24 Hours. It was something that I feel like so many women in their 20s/30s would really relate to this book and hit home.

GOALS FOR OCTOBER

I want to be able to release the latest artwork collection & have the His & Hers Italy print ready before the end of the month. They are my two work priorities this month as I slow down on client work heading into Christmas. Get away to the beach.

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How was your month? Are you as terrified as I am that we are already in October?! Although I did get super excited to see Christmas decorations in store today.

jasmine x

NEW IN BEAUTY: September Review

Phone case is Daily Edited, Saucer is vintage & MIrror is Made Of Tomorrow

Phone case is Daily Edited, Saucer is vintage & MIrror is Made Of Tomorrow

You guys know the drill, out of everything I have been putting on my face/body & hair this past month or so these are the handful that I will be keeping in my life & I feel are worth the mention…

FACE

Let’s start with a new foundation. I was gifted the Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation late august. Usually with new foundations I put them on my skin maybe a few times and don’t reach for them again because they haven’t lived up to my Clinique Even Better Glow. Last month the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue earned its mention for a slightly lighter coverage for those days when you just want a tint. However, when I first put on the Clarins foundation it didn’t feel like either of my other favourites in texture. It is so thin that a little goes a long way and feels more like a thin serum to apply. The finish is slightly different where I would call it a satin finish rather than dewy or luminous like the other two. I think coming into the warmer months I might pull this out more often because my sweat will help me out with luminosity. If you like full coverage or even medium coverage, this isn’t one for you. Also I would recommend testing the shades and letting them dry down before picking a shade. It is nothing drastic but it is something to consider with this foundation.

Next up is a new liquid blush/bronzer/highlighter trio. This was an impulse purchase at my local Mecca (we all have those right?). I justified buying the Hourglass Illume Sheer Colour Trio because of all of my interstate travel I have been doing for work and needing something that had everything in one place. Firstly, this isn’t for all skin tones unfortunately. I think it would even struggle on most medium to deep tan skin tones if I am honest. But if you are lucky enough to be pale enough for this, it is a winner. They are probably the most blendable, easy to work with cream products I have used. They are impossible to make look muddy or streaky and even if you have never used cream products before I think you would apply these with ease Now for the colours. The bronzer is the perfect shade in my opinion. It isn’t too warm or too cool toned. The blush is pretty but it is very warm/peachy toned. I find when I put it on without foundation on it leans more peach and can wash me out a little. However, the combination of a lightweight foundation, the bronzer and blush is so natural and fresh looking. The highlighter shade isn’t my favourite but then again I am bias towards the Mecca Cosmetic Lit From Within Illuminating Balm.

glass is west elm & earrings are reliquia

glass is west elm & earrings are reliquia

EYES

Both products worth mentioning are in the singles category due to the fact that I have been having to pack a minimal makeup bag and let’s be honest, I am not over here doing a smoky halo eye with glitter detailing. First up is the new Nars single, duo and quad eye shadows / palettes. Yes they are pigmented, yes they blend well so what is all the fuss? They are magnetic. This may not seem exciting to anyone except me but the fact that I can switch out what I take in my quad or duo is super appealing to me. I had the Isolde Duo which is two shimmers so when I went down to Melbourne I popped out one shimmer and replaced it with shade Sophia so I has the perfect matte brown and golden shimmer.

Secondly, the single shadow Sylvie by Chantecaille has been one of my go-to shadows for the last month and a half. It isn’t too warm and blends beautifully. That being said, I was gifted this so the price tag didn’t hurt my wallet. I do think it would be something to purchase once and use on your eyes 5 days a week for 2 years until you hit pan. I have been reaching more and more for my single shadows of late because as much as I love palettes, I feel I only normally use one or two shades from them anyway.

HAIR & TOOLS

This month I was also introduced to Hair by Sam McKnight after it launched at Mecca. Besides from the packaging being amazing, the product lives up to the hype. I would recommend all the products but the two I have been using the most have been the Dry Shampoo and the Barely There Texture Mist. I have very soft hair that can lack texture so the texture mist does a great job without weighing my hair down.

What products have you fallen in love with over September? jasmine x


This post was not sponsored, all opinions are my own as always.