22 December 2015

Video: What's In My Bag (Out + About)

When I go out and about in my free time, I like to take a bag that makes my heart sing. This sequin bag from Topshop does just that. This suits for a night out, a visit to a gallery or a wander through the park. Click below to watch my video about what I can fit inside it!

20 December 2015

Reminds Me Of...


Kind words. Sponge and coulis. Framboise, cerise, fraise. Evening gathering. Lush decor. Everything's alright. A sense of belonging. Crystal bowl. Crimson satin. Light heart. Bubble and buzz. MAC Ruby Woo. Welcome jazz. Diamonds are forever, and friends are pretty good too.

Collage of the moment. Art + words by Philomanie.

24 November 2015

Something Like...

Saturated azure. Melting ice on ocean view. Crystal blue tile mosaic. Luscious aquatic sounds. Floating in meringue sorbet. Sapphire flame for horizon days.

Collage of the moment. Art + words by Philomanie.

12 October 2015

Video: What's in My Bag (Day to Day)

Hey everyone!
A while back, Estée Lalonde (the artist formerly known as Essie Button) did a video with her grandma with the tag 'What's in My Bag'. It was so sweet and I could not get over the fantastic calculator that her grandma has! I was totally inspired to do my own version of the video, albeit sans calculator. It was filmed a little while ago but it's still very much my routine. Warning: this video contains a mobile phone with buttons!! a.k.a. a non-smartphone.
I hope you enjoy the video. See you next time!

04 October 2015

Video: Shop My Makeup Stash

It's time to get real with my inner hoarder - surely, I'm not the only one? I am a firm believer in having 'back-up' versions of products...although sometimes it's good to just get on with using them! See me delve into the collection of long-held treasures and shop my makeup stash. Thanks for watching!

23 September 2015

Video: Laura Geller Mini Review

Hi! If you've ever found yourself curious about Laura Geller cosmetics, take a look at my review of the 'Baked With Love' set on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0mHUXvQqS8M
The set includes a baked blush, baked highlight and lip crayon - all with delicious sounding names!

Hello! If you're curious about Laura Geller cosmetics, check out my mini video review of the 'Baked With Love' set:

14 September 2015

Video: My Most Reached-For Beauty products

Hey there, lovey people of the internet! August was a busy month, hence the slight pause since my last post. Here I am again with a new video! In it, I mention my 11 most reached-for beauty products. Feel free to let me know what yours are!

See you next time!

28 July 2015

Video: Recent Beauty Favourites - July 2015

Hello! New video time!
I love the word 'favourite'; it makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. What's not to love about the things you love most? I have a published a video about beauty bits that I have enjoyed during these last few autumn winter months and are therefore deemed recent favourites. Warning: many eye shadows and lipsticks ahead. THE COLOURS, CHILDREN! LOOK AT THE COLOURS! Thanks for washing...I mean watching.

25 July 2015

MAC + Nyx

Sometimes, it's about the three-letter brands. MAC. NYX. YES. I recently had occasion to acquire some such products and was pretty impressed. Myy precioussses. Although MAC cosmetics are available in Australia, I just find them too highly priced to justify. For example, a MAC lipstick in Australia costs $36AUD compared to in Canada $20CAD, where the exchange rate is pretty similar. I decided a while ago to avoid buying MAC cosmetics in Australia because they charge too much, in my opinion. Anyway, I found Allanaramaa's blog sale and that was the end of that. I ordered the two MAC lipsticks and two MAC eye shadows in this post and they are all so pretty! The Nyx items I purchased at Target in Australia.

L-R: Nyx Blush in Dusty Rose, MAC Lipstick in Fire Sign, MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo
Blush + Lipstick
  • Nyx Powder Blush in PB02 Dusty Rose - My first Nyx blush and I like it a lot! The Dusty Rose colour is just that; flattering and more peach- than grey-based. The matte formula is nice and smooth; it is pigmented enough without transferring too much colour. It is a smart, safe and affordable blush, people! (I'm also keen to check out the Cinnamon shade - mentioned by non other than @KathleenLights1 - but I'm not sure if Target Australia carries it.)
  • MAC Lipstick in Fire Sign (Lustre) - This and Ruby Woo below are my first MAC lipsticks ever! The (self-imposed) wait is finally over. Fire Sign is a goregous orange-red sheen. I cannot stop wearing this! It doesn't last too long, but that's fine with me because I like to re-apply it. If you're after a pretty, versatile lustre lipstick from MAC, please consider Fire Sign.
  • MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo (Matte) - I know, I know. Everybody loves this. And now, I'm part of the club. It's such a beautiful, classic red lipstick. There are no more words.
Both photos L-R: Nyx Damage Control, MAC Star Violet, MAC Cranberry, Nyx Heat
Eye Shadow
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Star Violet (Veluxe Pearl) - A very nice, warm, mulberry/mauve pink colour with a subtle gold sheen. So so beautiful. The Veluxe Pearl finish is quite pigmented and buttery, if you will.
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Cranberry (Frost) - A very popular shade and for good reason: cool cranberry pink/red with a luscious frosted finish... Yes. This colour is absolutely beautiful, so check it out if you're on the hunt for a deep pink eye shadow. Class.
  • Nyx Hot Singles Eye Shadow in HS70 Heat - A beautiful, warm, orange red with good pigmentation, reminiscent of cinnamon. Perhaps a more daring colour but I think it is so yummy. My first Nyx eye shadow, as well.
  • Nyx Hot Singles Eye Shadow in HS14 Damage Control - Lastly, a warm medium grey with a subtle amount of shimmer. The pigmentation is less strong than Heat, but this is no problem for me as I'm happy to keep building it up. This also helps it stay looking chic by not being too obvious. The first grey eye shadow I have had in a long time, or possibly ever.
A Few Shout-Outs
  • Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush - I have been searching for a fine eye liner brush for a while to use with my current favourite Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner. Real Techniques has a good reputation for a drugstore makeup brush brand, so I thought I would give their Silicone Liner Brush a go. I am glad I did! This brush has a silicone point (no bristles), so you can easily make a clean, single line with your liner. It's perhaps less fussy than other eye liner brushes with individual bristles (animal hair or human-made). It's also very easy to clean - bonus!
  • ELLE Australia Magazine July 2015 - ELLE Australia has been my favourite fashion and lifestyle magazine since it launched in October 2013. If I could work for a magazine, ELLE Australia would be it. The team at @ELLEaus do a fantastic job and the magazine is edgy as heck. The July 2015 issue features the stunning Nicole Warne of @garypeppergirl as well as other coolios. If you don't get this month's issue, keep an eye out for next month's one!  
Let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions for related products. Thanks for stopping by!

21 July 2015

Video: Silver Grey Eye + Pink Lip


Hello! I thought I would try my hand at demonstrating a makeup look. It's more show-and-tell than tutorial per se, but I had fun doing it! I'm enjoying exploring different colours to use at the moment, especially during winter; I feel bolder when it comes to trying striking or less conventional colours. Grey eye shadow, cranberry red eye shadow, dark plum lips... Makeup is an exercise in creativity. Let me know if you have nice things to say!

05 July 2015

Blush + Gold

...And now for some few items on the blush to gold spectrum! Gold, copper, bronze, pink: love! I pretty much bought these items on a whim because each cost $2-$4. For that price, I thought it could be fun to try out some different colours and ranges. *rationalises* BOE Beauty and Face of Australia are carried at Big W (among other stores), and I found the Maybelline Color Tattoo and Rimmel lipsticks at Chemmart, which is a discount drugstore in Australia. I ended up with:
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 220 Pink Chic & 375 Piccadilly Pink
  • BOE Beauty Blush in Pink Goddess
  • BOE Beauty Bronzer in Glow
  • BOE Beauty Highlight Shimmer Powder
  • Face of Australia Iconic Nail Polish in Beauty Queen & That's My Crown
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk
Clockwise from far left: Rimmel lipstick in Piccadilly Pink, Face of Australia nail polish in Beauty Queen, BOE shimmer, Face of Australia nail polish in That's My Crown, Rimmel lipstick
in Pink Chic, BOE blush, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk, BOE bronzer
Let's face it: The bronzer, blush and shimmer from BOE Beauty are quite pigmented and in pretty colours: classic warm bronze colour (think NARS Laguna), and warm peach pink (think NARS Orgasm). The bronzer and blush show up nicely on my fair skin and are pretty blendable, which is good because they could go on pretty strongly if you're not careful. They also each have a very subtle amount of shimmer, but nothing to be concerned about.

That said, the shimmer powder is in a different category because it is extremely bright and light-reflective. It is a cool, white gold colour, which may make it tempting to go all out. However, please be cautious and start out with the tiniest bit! It is very pigmented and the particles are the biggest that you'd want to use for a face highlight. I would also use this as an eyeshadow to be honest, and even then, it's pretty noticeable.

Swatches clockwise from top left: BOE bronzer, BOE blush, BOE shimmer

Pink about it:
The two Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks are - you guessed it - full of moisture! The formula is quite creamy but still classy and not gooping everywhere. I really like both the shades: Pink Chic is almost bubblegum pink but very wearable. To me, it is more of a cool pink, so I like to wear it with a cool eye shadow (blue, gray, even lilac). Pink Piccadilly, on the other hand, is a warm, deep blush pink; kind of a 'my lips but better' shade. Nice.

I must say, I was very pleased to find the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk because I think it's no longer in the current range stocked in Priceline, etc. The colour was from a previous line of colours in the range and it's a shame that it's not sold in more stores because it is GORGEOUS. As you might know from my previous post on the Maybelline Color Tattoos, they are great cream eye shadows. The formula is smooth and long-lasting, the colours are luscious, and it is so easy to apply! Naturally, when I saw the sassy Pomegranate Punk shade, it had to be mine. The colour is a dark pink/brown/cranberry; not really blush-gold spectrum but deserves an honorable mention. Swoon.

Swatches L-R: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk, Rimmel lipstick in Piccadilly Pink, Rimmel lipstick in Pink Chic

The nail polishes by Face of Australia are also very nice. Beauty Queen is a #respectablenude shade: wearable, sophisticated and simple. That's My Crown is full of different-sized glitter: smaller ballet pink shimmer, gold sheen, and bigger sugar pink particles. So fun for a party...or even everyday life.

Thank you for stopping by! Don't forget to check out my YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/philomanie. See you next time!

24 June 2015

Vote Now! Beauty Vlogger Idol


I am currently a finalist in Beauty Vlogger Idol 2015 run by The Glow website. This is a competition open in Australia and New Zealand to people like me who are starting out making beauty and lifestyle videos for fun. The overall prize is a video contract with The Glow, which would be awesome! 

My finalist video entry is open to public voting NOW at http://www.theglow.com.au/hair-and-nails/beauty-vlogger-idol/beauty-vlogger-idol-voting/. So, please check out my video, vote for me and share the link with anyone you like! 

Voting closes at 11:59pm Western Australia time on Wednesday 8 July. Your support is very much appreciated. 

Thank you!
Laura Gray

P.S. While you're at it, check out my other links for Philomanie!

18 June 2015

Video: Beauty + Skincare Haul A/W 2015

So, I bought all the things. Video recording and excitement ensued. Come check out what I got in my new video! Learn about champaca! PLUS exciting announcement coming soon!

23 May 2015

Video: I Heart Fall

Autumn is in full swing in the southern hemisphere, so I thought I would do the 'I Heart Fall' tag. I just love an excuse to wear a scarf, even if it means a moment of awkward fumbling.
Watch below or click over to YouTube for some #respectablenude times (no actual nudity; just the colour)!

13 May 2015

You Are What You Wear

In my research about wardrobe psychology and style analysis (which I am thoroughly enjoying), I came across a great book called You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Say About You by Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2012). I found this to be a fun and engaging read, with several clear chapters each addressing with a specific wardrobe ‘issue’. For example, there are chapters on buying too much, keeping too much, revealing too much, and so on. You can fid other examples of her writing at Psychology Today.

Dr Baumgartner is clearly well-educated and her writing style is very relatable and friendly. Her analysis of each of the style ‘ailments’ in the book is very clever and resonates with the reader. In my view, the tone of the author is crucial to the reader’s feeling of acceptance if they happen to be struggling with a particular wardrobe stumbling block. There are many anecdotes used throughout each book, which all serve to illustrate in real-life terms how a person might face an issue but then how than can be resolved and they then feel empowered for the future.

Another engaging aspect of the tone is that Dr Baumgartner relates her own personal experience in fashion and wardrobe-building, often admitting that she particularly likes shopping or that she appreciates fun, beautiful clothing. This is certainly a strong approach compared to what one might otherwise (pessimistically?) expect of someone with a doctorate in psychology: a dry and critical analysis of why we weak consumers are blinded by our own pain points and end up with a closet full of junk. I am so glad she did not take such an approach.

This book is clearly aimed at a female audience, which I think is fine considering that – to make a generalisation – it would be likely that more women than men would be likely to pick up this book in the first place. I enjoyed the book because it meets three of my key criteria: a) on a topic I’m interested in; b) intelligently written; c) fun! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is at all interested and/or in need of help with their wardrobe situation. As I have experienced myself, having a cleared-out, organised and happy wardrobe feels good!

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this book or any others in the 'fashion psychology' genre!

07 May 2015

Video: Clothing + Accessories Haul

My next video is here already! As promised, I am bringing you my recent clothes + accessories haul in video form -find it over over on YouTube. I must say that I'm very grateful to be able to have nice things. Oh, that spiked necklace. Watch to the end if you like watermelon red!

03 May 2015

My First Video - April Favourites 2015

Hello! I am excited to say that I have published my first YouTube video! It's about my favourite items for April 2015. You can find my video over at the YouTubes. I'm sure there's room for improvement but I'm glad I gave it a go. Be nice!

30 April 2015

Cool Weather + Nails

 So, the weather is cooler now in the southern hemisphere, so I’m in the mood for some sassy nail colour. In the autumn and winter, I tend to choose from a couple of colour groups, so I’ve included examples below:


  • Colour Theory Nail Polish - It’s a Boy: This is a cool light blue, appropriate for ice queen vibes.
  • Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Polish – 290 Constant Caribbean: Peacock teal blue; an eye-catching metallic shade. So fun!


Deep Purples + Wine Reds

  • Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - 660 Grape: Dark metallic purple for the violet-inclined. It also does smell somewhat of grape!
  • OPI Nail Lacquer – Lincoln Park After Dark: Such a classic; very deep purple, almost black. A nice, daring colour without being 100% noir.
  • Max Factor Gloss Finity Nail Polish – 185 Ruby Fruit: A sumptuous dark wine red colour, and fool-proof chic for cool weather.



Nude Browns + Pinks a.k.a. RESPECTABLE NUDES

  • Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Polish - 220 Toasted Almond: I have warm feelings for this milk chocolate colour! Not too dark, not too light, but just toasty.
  • Rimmel 60-Second Nail Polish – 500 Caramel Cupcake: I have dubbed this my ‘respectable nude’ colour! It is a light blushing brown/pink colour and very flattering on fair-medium skin tones.
  • Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay 7-Day Gel Nail Polish – 130 Rose Poudré: This is similar to Rimmel’s Caramel Cupcake, though decidedly much more pink. Mauve, blush, dusty rose are all appropriate descriptors for this shade.


Party Pops

  • Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay 7-Day Gel Nail Polish – 180 Rose Fuschia: Watermelon love! This bright warm-toned hot pink is sassy! Prepare yourself for flattery.
  • Sally Hansen Colour Frenzy - 320 Splattered: This sparkle polish is very cool and artiscis with particles of different colours and sizes. For an ombré effect, paint the first coat all over the nail, the second on the half of the nail furthest from the cuticle, and then third coat on the very tips. This also works well on top of a solid nail colour (black, gold, dark pink). Snazzy!
  • OPI Nail Lacquer – Rising Star: This is an opulent warm gold shade, fit for your next glamorous event. Gorgeous goddess ambience.
Let me know your favourite colour or fall nail trend!

24 April 2015

Sneak Peek: Clothing + Accessories Haul


Hey everyone! These pictures are a sneak peek of my first foray into filming YouTube videos. I recently filmed a collective clothing and accessories haul which will hopefully be up on YouTube in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

15 April 2015

Getting Inked

Colours left to right: Icy Mint, Bad to the Bronze, Inked in Pink

Hello! I want to share with you my thoughts on the Maybelline Color Tattoos. They have been on the market for a while now and I thought I would try some. I have three shades which I have accumulated over time (all on sale!). The first shade I bought was the classic Bad to the Bronze (a.k.a. On and On Bronze outside Australia), following the recommendations by Essie Button and Lily Pebbles.
In my meandering journey through beauty, this Bad to the Bronze colour was the first that made realise just how flattering bronze can be on my relatively pale skin. I had previously held the (naive) notion that bronze eyeshadow/colour looks best on olive-deeper skin tones and that my attempt to wear bronze on my eyelids would pale in comparison (ha!). Trying this golden bronze Maybelline Color Tattoo has been a game-changer for me.
Once impressed by the formula, I ventured into more daring colour territory: Icy Mint. This pale mint green may not be for some, but due partly to my deep-set eyes, I am often attracted to lighter colours for application on the eyelids.
The most recent addition to my Color Tattoo collection was in the shade Inked in Pink. Sigh. It is a gorgeous pale pink with warm undertones, so chances are that it would suit many skin tones.
All three shades have fierce staying power, as one would expect, given the product name. They are also easy to apply whilst ending up with a flattering look. Just pat some colour on your eyelids, concentrating on the outer half, and gently blend if necessary. Simple and pretty!