Scented candles are really one of life’s little luxuries. So much money spent on something that literally goes up in smoke. I was feeling a bit down the other week so decided a little pick-me-up was in order. I’ve been meaning to try Maison Balzac candles for a while now, but could never manage to track down their candles to check out in person. So I thought I’d take a punt and order their Ménage à Trois set featuring miniature versions of three of their best selling scents – La Rose, La Blanche and 1642.
When I went to order them off the Maison Balzac
site they had already sold out but I ended up buying them through The Design Hunter shop
. Buying scented candles prior to smelling them is a bit risky (what if I don’t like the smell? Or I’m sensitive to the scent? etc.
) but after looking at the fragrance notes for each candle I decided that the chances of me liking them was pretty high. Luckily for me, my gamble paid off. These candles are a floral dream
About Maison Balzac: Maison Balzac is a collection of perfumed candles handmade in Australia. Each candle is developed as an ode to memories from founder Elise Pioch’s childhood in the south of France and is designed to evoke olfactive memories or experiences.
La Rose: Inspired by her grandmother’s love of roses, this candle is the floral-iest of the floral candles. With notes of tea rose, violet leaf and geranium, lighting this candle is like stepping into a rose garden in full bloom.
La Blanche: This candle is an ode to white flowers and winter citrus. It’s designed to recreate the perfumes of a florist’s atelier with subtle green notes of daphne and bergamot. The scent is fresh and clean and, despite winter citrus being an inspiration, it reminds me of the tropical summer evenings of my childhood.
1642: This candle is a bit moodier than the rest. It’s made in collaboration with Doctor Cooper Studio and is designed as an ode to 17th Century Vanitas. It awakes the perfumes of Adriaen Van Utrecht’s painting from the year 1642, Vanitas – Still Life with Bouquet and Skull. I love the entire concept behind this candle and the lush packaging is a bonus.
I’m ashamed to admit it but we’re five months into the year and I’ve only completed reading two books. TWO. This is coming from someone who would regularly smash out a book a week back in the day. I blame Netflix. As such, I’ve made it my mission to get into the habit of reading more books on the reg. Right now my list of books to read is filled with stories about female musicians. It all started when I read Just Kids by Patti Smith, which quickly earned its spot as one of my favourite books of all time. I’ve recently bought M Train and Girl in a Band, which I cannot wait to get stuck into (the difficult part is deciding which one to read first). In the interest of grrrl power, and maybe starting an ad hoc book club of some sort, I’ve compiled a short list of books about or by girls in bands. Feel free to add any more in the comments section.
Just Kids by Patti Smith – “the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies”.
M Train by Patti Smith – “M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today”.
Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon – as a “founding member of Sonic Youth and role model for a generation of women… she writes frankly about her route from girl to woman and pioneering icon within the music and art scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s as well as marriage, motherhood, and independence”.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein – “this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll”.
Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus – “the first-ever history of Riot Grrrl, is a gripping narrative with a sound track: a lyrical, punk-infused chronicle of a group of extraordinary young women coming of age angrily, collectively, and publicly”.
A good hair straightener is a worthwhile addition to any styling kit. I was recently able to try out the ghd Platinum styler
and it has proven to be quite a nifty little thing. When it comes to styling tools, a lot of jargon gets thrown about. You know, heating technology this and patented that. All very important things I’m sure but it usually just goes straight over the top of my head. The main things I want to know are: is the product easy to use, will it turn me into a hair styling guru (probably not but with some practice here’s hoping), and will it be something that I end up using time and time again? So far the ghd Platinum ticks those boxes. I’m not one to wear my hair pin straight so instead I’ve been using it to create a ‘do with a bit more movement. You know, those loose effortless waves that actually require some effort to create. It’s like the hair equivalent of no-makeup makeup. Read on to see how I’ve been using my ghd platinum styler.
How To Create Loose Waves With a ghd Platinum Styler
1. Start with clean, straight hair (either blow dried or straightened), making sure you’ve applied a heat protective spray before any heat styling. Go for a heat styling product with curl enhancing properties for best results.
2. Now, the curling part is the bit that requires some practice. I watched many YouTube tutorials and tried and failed countless times before one day I miraculously just ‘got it’. The best way I can describe the action is to: grab a section of your hair, clamp the styler down, turn it on itself and rotate 180 degrees, then pull the straightener towards the end of the hair shaft, creating the curl. When you release it you should have a curl that looks something like in the third photo above. I probably should have made a video instead but, you know, hindsight etc.
3. Pin the curl up to help it hold its shape. Repeat the process in sections until you’ve worked all the way around your head. I start on the bottom half of my head and make my way to the top, pinning as I go. Let the pinned curls cool completely before releasing them. Then I usually work my fingers through to break up the curls and finish it off by brushing the waves out. A bit of hairspray probably wouldn’t go astray either.
My hair notoriously can’t hold a curl and they drop out quite easily, but I’ve found that pinning the curls while they cool really helps them hold their shape. I also swear that brushing the curls out with a paddle brush gives them a much nicer, more ‘natural’ finish. Other tidbits/lessons I’ve learned the hard way are:
Always Use Protective Products
For a while there I’d just skip using heat protective products. Either because I didn’t have any handy or I just didn’t like putting lots of product in my hair. These days though I always use a heat protective spray as it not only helps prevent damage but it also leaves my hair looking much sleeker after styling. I don’t have a particular one to recommend as I’m always trying out different products (if you have any favourites let me know so I can try them out).
Work in Sections
As tempting as it is to go completely gung ho on your hair, a little bit of patience goes a long way. I’m a sucker for a shortcut and I’ve been known to just work away at my hair haphazardly and as quickly as possible. However, over time I’ve come to the realisation that working in sections is not only more effective but efficient as well.
Have a Backup Plan
Nobody likes a bad hair day. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have ever put a lot of effort into my hair only for it to look completely rubbish at the end of it all. So I always have a quick-fix backup plan. Did those planned beachy waves turn out to be a frizzy mess? Rub on some smoothing serum and turn it into a tousled low bun. Hair end up too
straight? Work in some volume boosting powder to give it a bit more oomph, etc. Worst comes to worse, always leave enough time to start over.
[The ghd Platinum styler in this post was gifted. All content was based on my experience using the product]