Come to me my precious

I’ve decided I’m a grown up and therefore allowed grown-up (read expensive) make up.

The last lot I bought lasted a year and a bit and would have lasted longer but a certain teenage daughter decided it was really nice and used it.  Grrr.

So this week I ordered some more, this time direct from the States.

Now I would have bought it locally but the pricing in Australia is ridiculous.  Foundation for example… US$30-50 or AUS$70-90.

I do like going to a beautician and being “fitted” for my makeup – finding exactly the right shade and last year I bought locally.

But that is just price gouging.

So why such a mark up?

The US dollar is worth less than the Australian dollar at the moment – it should be cheaper.

Add some for freight maybe… that wouldn’t be more than a couple of dollars for each item max.

And I’d be happy to pay that.

Luxury tax?  Apparently not.

No it seems we are charged nearly 40% more for our makeup because we are willing to pay it.

Well I’m not.

Now the makeup I wanted (and this is the same with many other brands) does have an online presence in Australia, which has the same mark up as the shops.

The US website does not ship directly to Australia.

How to shop in the US when they don’t ship to Australia directly

I set up a redirect address in the States through a US Shipping company. Just search for “US shipping only websites”.

Then I ordered my make up on the US site and sent it to my new US address.

When it gets there, I will get an email asking me to instruct them on where it goes from there.

Then I pay the freight to Australia.

The freight will be about $28 which is less than the mark up on one foundation.

I hate the fact that I can’t go down to a local business and support them, but if I do, well I will just be supporting an absolute rort which has gone on too long.

And now I have a new hobby… tracking my makeup as it makes its way to me…

I’ll let you know if/when it gets here.

The journey so far


Getting excited now

Furthur Update:
It arrived. And I love it. And I saved 41.55% approximately by shopping online.

How cheap is too cheap?

The other day my son said he needed some new clothes.

Now I’m lucky, because he doesn’t care about labels and would rather have lots of cheap clothes than one or two designer pieces.

Except when it comes to hiking gear.

And he is still enjoying the suit I bought him for his year 12 ball.

So we went down to Kmart at his request and for $138 bought:

2 jumpers
3 teeshirts
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair sandshoes

Not a bad little haul.

But I felt guilty.

The jeans were $7.

How can you make jeans for $7??

You can’t even buy the material.

Imagine all the work that has gone into them.

Growing the cotton. Harvesting it. Processing it. Cutting it. Sewing it. Delivering it from China to Australia.

Then the mark up in the shop.


Who have I had to exploit to enable me to buy those jeans?

Today, in order to write this post I went to the Kmart website.

From the website

50 cents?

Must be a typo.

This is getting ridiculous.

The guilt didn’t stop me from buying the jeans this time.

I try and justify the cost against the $150 I spent on my own jeans a few weeks ago.

And that’s stupid too.

This world is crazy.

Android verses iPhone

For the last month I’ve been in the fortunate (?) position of “owning” two mobile phones.

One, I’ve had for over a year: the quickly superseded Samsung Galaxy S – an Android phone.

Two, my work phone,  a brand new iPhone 4S with the Siri feature disabled for security reasons, which replaced my Blackberry Bold.

Every day I unconsciously compare the two and so I thought I’d share my observations with you.

Android keypad


  • I love Swype.  This enables you to “type” by dragging your finger around the keyboard.  It is superfast.
  • Menus.  In every app, every screen you can nearly always find more options to do more stuff.  If you can’t see it on the screen, it will no doubt be in a menu.  Even if there is an option on the screen and you are suffering domestic blindness, you often find the option in the menu.  This is good.
  • Market.  It is not iTunes.  This should be enough of an explanation.  It is easy to navigate.  Easy to download.  I can put apps easily on the SD card freeing up memory.
  • Flexibility.  I don’t need to wait to upgrade my phone operating system.  If it gets upgraded I can (or rather Groover can)  root the system.  It’s like getting a whole new phone.
  • Contacts.  Easy transfer of contacts.  Seamless interaction with Google products.
  • Favourites.  I can use my one Favourites menu to text or call or email.
  • Sliders.  I like the fact that my apps all live off the front screens… unless I want them on the front screen.
  • Widgets.  Android has them.  They are good.
  • I love the universal power thingy.
  • I like the little menu on the top bar that shows me notifications.
  • I like the big screen.


  • Nice packaging and nice touch and feel.  It feels more solid (and indeed is heavier) than my Samsung.  It has that Apple sweet design.
  • I really like that little switch on the side that makes it silent with one touch.  It’s annoying to have to click the up and down buttons on the Android to make games silent.  And the silent touch button on the top menu of Android only controls phone functions.
  • I like the setting that allows me to see what messages/emails I have even when my phone is locked.
  • I like that it has a flash – my Samsung doesn’t (although I think the new one does).
  • I quite like the one touch to call favourites… although I keep forgetting that it doesn’t give me the option to message so I dial people when I want to message them.
  • I like the voicemail link at the bottom of the call menu.
  • I like the way you go straight into contacts by sliding the front screen to the left… well your finger goes right but the screen goes left… that’s a handy little feature.
  • I like the fact it asks me what size of photo I want to email.
  • I like the variety of apps.  But that’s more of a whinge at companies and organisations who only or mostly develop apps for iPhones and ignore the huge Android market. You know who you are!


  • Well lets start with apps… and see the last point above.
  • Also hate the way iPhone won’t download an app unless I’m on wireless (but I concede that might be a work setting).
  • iTunes
  • My main whinge with iPhone is the keypad.  What’s up with that?!!!!  To get to numbers and symbols you need to change keyboards. To find an underscore you need to go to a third keyboard.  Frustrating.  And no Swype.  Apple – you need to get Swype.
  • And I’d like widgets on the iPhone… I like a really big clock because my eyesight isn’t what it was.
  • Android could do that notification thingy when the phone is locked – that would be nice.  While you get a symbol showing what has arrived, it’s nice to get a precis of the item without having to open a menu.
  • And Samsung should defs get that switch that allows for quick silencing of the phone.
Oh and could someone teach me how to search in iPhone mail?

Just a note on Blackberry – what I liked most about my old Bold was the keypad.  Keypads are important to me. 🙂

So I suppose you want to know what I would buy if I had to choose between them.

Yeah no…

I don’t know.

I think at the moment I might have to go with a Swype-enabled phone – simply because it is so good, and I hate the Apple keyboard.

But if Apple fixed that???

Then I might lean towards an iPhone because… they look better.

Sorry to be so girly and non-geek about it, but there you are.

iPhone keypad

Four shopping days

“Happy place, happy place.”

There are only four days til Christmas to finish (er make that start) my Christmas shopping.

And in reality – make that one and a half.

I’m playing Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, hair and tanning on Wednesday, Thursday two functions to attend, so really… I’m looking at today.


Which is why I’m chanting “happy place” in my head and distracting myself with photos like this one… taken by Dippity:


Shoe heaven again!

Hello from way up here!  Up here in the stratosphere!

Aren’t these shoes great.  Okay I know they are probably not to everyone’s taste… Groover and Dippity don’t like them… but I think they are fab.

I haven’t bought a pair of shoes for AGES so I’m very excited.

And they weren’t too expensive.  🙂

Can’t run in them though…

I like to be serviced

Get your mind out of the gutter and into the garage.

Creative Commons License photo credit: eiko_eiko – Yes, this is NOT my car.

The other day I jumped in my car – late for work – actually late to miss the nasty traffic – and noticed that my coolant light was on.

I *carefully* drove very slowly to the nearest service station and asked the man there if he had any coolant for my car.

While he was filling up my water he also checked my oil – completely shiny stick – which as you know is not. good. He also topped up my tires and noticed that the brake pads were wearing thin.

Yes it’s been a while since I got my car serviced. Yes I’m bad.

Anyway the fellow was so nice I booked my car in for a service and he didn’t charge me for the oil as he knew I was coming in…

A couple of days later I drop my car off.

A different guy – from t’north of England – took my keys after calling me beautiful. And even though I knew it was the sales patter (I really should have had my roots done a week ago and could lose some weight) – I felt good.

Good about myself, good about leaving the car.

A couple of hours later, I’m at work and I get a call. It’s my Geordie from the garage.

“Hiya beautiful. Checked out your car. I’m afraid it’s going to come to $1500. Do you want to go ahead.”

“Yeah sure. Go for it.”

It was in the ball park of what I expected and frankly you don’t mess with brakes. They have to be done.

But it was the whole shmooze.

I don’t know why but shmooze with an accent gets me every time.

So fast forward a few days. This morning I walk down to the garage and pick up my car. Hi beautiful, hey guess what you won the raffle! Yeah me and boys reckon you were the best looking customer this week so we’ve given your car a valet service.”

Yeah they probably valet all their cars. I don’t care.

I’m poor, but I don’t care.

I feel special and I’ll go back.

That is service my friends, and service is good.

Why I hate generic brands

Have you noticed how many “home” brands there are in our major supermarkets these days? Not just the really cheap versions – the old “black and gold” labelled gear – but now a more premium range.

The Select brand from Woolies

In Coles for instance you get their Smart Buy cheap brand… then the You’ll Love Coles brand and a new Coles premium brand.

It’s the same in Woolworths… the cheap brand and the “Select” range.

They are usually substantially cheaper than the other brands.

It’s nasty.

It’s insidious.

And I know it’s mostly the same food.

You\'ll love Coles brand

I remember going to one of the dairy companies to see how they processed milk and seeing the cheddar cheese being chopped into smaller blocks and being wrapped in plastic with several different labels.

That’s right.

The same cheese – just different labels.

So I know it’s most likely the same food but – and this is my sticking point – I don’t like being manipulated by the big corporate supermarkets into squeezing out the smaller manufacturers. The other manufacturers. I just don’t like it.

I buy branded food on principal… my one-woman stand against the corporate giants who will one day ONLY sell “their” food – and then who will get to set the prices?

One guess.

The best clothing sale in Perth

Me being Dusty in a little frock I picked up at the saleThis Saturday I’ll be getting up early for the only fashion sale I set my alarm for.

It’s the Bindaring Clothing Sale 2008 on at the Claremont Showgrounds.

Trust me this isn’t one you want to miss.

Pictured right is petit moi in a little number I picked up in the sale a few years ago. The photo was taken two years ago at the premiere of Dusty The Musical – hence the wig.

There’s a jumble sale and a boutique sale (that’s the one I line up for) and a runway show where the really glitzy stuff is auctioned.

It’s a great day – you’re sure to pick up some great bargains – and it’s all for a good cause!

Could there be a better excuse to go clothes shopping?

Oh and a tip if you’re ever photographed by a social photographer and he wants a full length shot.

Stand on an angle – and suck EVERYTHING in.

And ask him nicely to airbrush your ass.


Sleeping bag cover up!

Dippity is going camping. Her first camp with her new school. She’s pretty excited but a little worried that she won’t be able to get her sleeping bag into its bag. And I don’t blame her.

What is it with sleeping bag makers!

Why can’t they design a bag that makes it easy for a kid use?

Now sure, I could have TMATP* and bought a down filled stuff-in sleeping bag. I have one of those myself and they are great. Warm, compact and best of all easy to store in its little bag. Instead I decided to cut the price tag by more than half and buy a very warm, good quality bag that you need to roll up and put in its bag. IMPOSSIBLE.

It’s hard enough for me, let alone a 11 year old.

sleeping bags

Am I alone?

Tell me about your sleeping bag woes…

*TMATP = Thrown Money At The Problem

Classy names may mislead you

bottle shop

If you saw this sign – what kind of establishment would you think you’d be entering?

A bottle shop… right?

bottle shop

Trust Margaret River to find a way to make the local bottle-oh sound classy… it was the fellows walking out with a bag of ice and a slab of beer that gave them away…

What next?

The Margaret River Regional Food Centre for their local supermarket?