Beat Yo’self 30

The 30th season has well and truly arrived, and it includes my own movement into the next decade. What better way to celebrate than to “beat my face” and also engage in “treat yo’self”! This post is going to be link heavy, but I don’t pretend to be someone who does tutorials, nor am I going to do a tutorial better than Lisa Eldridge or Wayne Goss – just go to the originals! So here are my go-to tutorials and tips if you want to give yourself a bit of extra oomph for a 30th (although this is not restricted to 30th’s only!).

CONTOUR

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How to Contour Like a Pro – Invisible

Wayne Goss is amazing, and this tutorial is #onpoint. I love the idea of contouring, but am so anti sharp lines and cake face (as I’ve said before, you are not a bakery!). I watched this video once, used Wayne’s techniques and was loving myself sick instantly. This is perfect for someone who wants to have dimension, but is acutely aware that most 30 year olds don’t want a drag look.

COLOUR

The beauty of the summer party season is that anything goes! I think the lighter the better, but if you’re into bold colours, that works as well. I’m really not into tanning, bronzers, sun kissed skin and so on, but colour is important! There is NO excuse to be pale at a party during summer! This does NOT mean you need a fake tan, it does not mean you need to wear a darker foundation – it just means you need to consider some dimension and glow. I love porcelain complexions and think it can be so ultrachic. If you are a MAC NC10-type (i.e. very fair) go for a Clinique Cheek Pop. They are so cute, perfect for Spring/Summer and completely useless for my complexion!

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The Summer Edit | ViviannaDoesMakeup

Vivianna is a gorgeous British blogger/Youtuber and has great tips if you want something subtle or are really concerned about looking clownish.

For those blessed with more tanned complexions or want something with a bit more pop, you will never go wrong with the NARS cult classics – Orgasm and Deep Throat – they have a summery shimmer without looking like you’ve massacred yourself in body glitter (those reading who are 30 will definitely recall the Body Glitter Craze of 2000). Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.38.11 pm.png

EYES

Those who know me well know how much I love colour on the eyes – but it’s tough during summer. Sydney summer’s can be hard work – humid one hour, 40 degrees the next hour, pouring rain the 3rd hour and then bizarrely cool 4 hours later. This is a lethal combination to anyone who is prone to oiliness – eyeshadow creases and panda eyes. I honestly don’t know if a particular product can help all of these rapid climate changes, so less colour is more when you aren’t confident re: the staying power. Feline eyes will never go out of fashion, so go for it. Make sure your eyeliner won’t budge (go for liquid or gel) and keep it simple and chic. One of the simplest yet best tutorials I’ve seen on a feline eye (and I promise you, I’ve watched loads!) is this one by Charlotte Tilbury.

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The Feline Flick |Charlotte Tilbury

LIPS

It’s summer and either you are 30, or you are about to enjoy the company of 30 year olds – you can do a bold lip! Red, orange red, pink, berry, purple – whatever you want!

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Easy Summertime Pink Makeup Tutorial

Honestly, look up any of Lisa’s lips tutorials – whatever look you go for, just make sure your cheeks balance it out – you do not want to look washed out! A good tip is if you are going for a bold lip, do them first so you can get a feel for how much colour is needed on your cheeks.

I’m told that the greatest joy of entering your 30’s is that you basically don’t give a hoot anymore about the things that really don’t matter. What a thrilling thought and I think it rings true for makeup as well! If you are 30, you have been wearing some form of makeup for more than half of your life – you got this! These are just some tips if you are hitting the party circuit, but do whatever it is that you want. Enjoy!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

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The Teen Face

We all remember our awkward teen years, right? Bad eyeliner, poorly matched foundation and Lip Smackers… surely it wasn’t just me? The teen makeup market looks totally different from when I was in that phase, but I think a line needs to be drawn somewhere. Girls are going to be girls, but what do I actually recommend for those starting their makeup journey?

BASE
We all know teenagers don’t actually need foundation or significant coverage, but they just don’t listen! Acne can never be truly covered up, so no need to waste your time with a thick foundation. We all dream of an even skin tone however, so if we can’t win the battle, let’s help.

revlon bb cream

I keep bangin’ on about this stuff because it really is so good. Revlon Photoready BB Cream has SPF and pretty decent coverage – it really is a skin perfector, it will help accentuate and hide all the right things ($24.95).

EYES
Young lady, step away from the eyeliner. You do not need it. I know Taylor Swift looks amazing with her cat eye, but she is literally a star. You are not Tay Tay. Instead, go for an eyeshadow! I admit I have always loved eyeshadow, and wore it as a teen rather than eyeliner, but this habit has not changed for me.

FOA Nude Palette

One can never go wrong with a palette – but we are not talking about the Urban Decay Naked palette for a 14 year old. Face of Australia is such an underrated brand in my opinion. They have released 2 nude-ish palettes: Nude and Naked which retail for $18.95. A smokey eye is possible for a party or a brown shadow across the lash line for a softer eyeliner look.

LIPS
Ok, I know Lip Smackers aren’t really a thing anymore for anyone with MQ (Makeup Quotient). Go for a balm that is in a crayon form – easy to apply, has enough colour to add variety to your life and is much classier than a chapstick.

covergirl lip balm

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm is the right price and product. $12.95 from Priceline means it will go on sale, there will be no tears if it’s lost or stolen (remember how valuable makeup was at that age?), and it will add some moisture back to lips. If Covergirl isn’t your thing, there are loads of versions of these balms in every major brand in Priceline.

CHEEKS
Ok, this was something I didn’t really touch in high school, but nor was there such thing as Instagram or YouTube tutorials when I was in high school! Now, be warned that most people are committing crimes with bronzer – so try a blush instead.

savvy blush

Savvy by DB is perfect for those learning. I’ve made lots of errors with blush in my life and continue to make errors, but until you can own classic universal shades like NARS’ “Orgasm”, go for something cheap and easy. $4.99 from Priceline and there are 6 decent shades.

LASHES

Mascara was probably the most irresistible makeup item when I was a teenager. It made such a difference to my eyes and I just loved it. I find it really hard to wear on a daily basis as an adult (disclaimer is that my eyelashes are dark, so I don’t need the colour), but this may be because I wore it so religiously in my teen years.

essence mascara

Oh how I wish something like Essence existed when I was 14. A brand that is cheap and easy to find, has a huge range of products but isn’t intentionally trying to break you out (such as products that are found in a $2 shop). The range is cheap as chips, and when you’re a teenager, you really just want a bit of colour and some volume (or at least that’s all teenagers should want from mascara). This stuff is $5.75 from Priceline and can be chucked at the 3 month mascara life cut-off with no hesitation.

As for the rest: contouring, strobing, highlight, lip liner, liquid eyeliner etc… Well, you have to earn your stripes for that stuff. Plus, does a teenager’s weekly allowance really allow for that kind of makeup use? I can barely afford it as an adult!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

 

The Office Face

Cheers to the week before a long weekend! Hello everyone, how nice of you to pop by – or should I say, how nice of me to blog for a change! I won’t go into apologies because I respect you more than that – just keep reading, please! A warning that I’ve included some selfies – a pre-work selfie when makeup is decent is not a crime.

I’ve been inspired by a friend who has recently informed me that she’s moving onto bigger and better things and going into the world of The Office Face. That essentially means she’s going to be working in an office, doing her neat little 9-5 gig, giving her plenty of time to put her slap on in the morning, as well as a calm, regulated environment in which makeup is most appropriate. For the record, she worked in a cafe before, but I can see why you thought she may have worked in the mines. I’ve been doing the office thing for years, so hopefully can shed some light on my regime and beliefs on The Office Face.

I’m constantly trying to become a morning person and constantly failing – but I love to dream. I do however aim to get up roughly around the same time everyday, with Sunday as the exception. I rarely wear makeup on a Sunday but will wear a full-face Mon-Sat. Now, any self-respecting beauty lover will not let weekdays stop her from playing around with colours and ideas. For someone like myself, 71% of my week is spent at work – I cannot justify my makeup addiction if I don’t wear makeup to work, or even worse – wear the exact same makeup to work everyday. So, here are my top tips for The Office Face…

Find your colours
Mine are purples, greys and browns. Anytime I try a blue or green, I stuff it up and hate my final look and am kinda shocked when I see myself in the mirror throughout the day – if I’m thinking “what were you thinking?” what would my colleagues be thinking? There is no time to correct errors on my mornings so I either play on the mornings when I have a tonne of time, or play with these safe shades.

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Perfect your base
I know it sounds insane, but I mix around 2-3 shades for my base for work. People think this sounds so over the top, but the key is mixing, and using the right amount – I’m not putting on two individual layers of two different colours! So it’s a tiny pump of one, a tiny pump of another – very manageable.

Brushes
I wash my brushes on average of about once a week, and really avoid getting too much crap on my hands in the morning – nobody got time for that! If I’ve overslept and am really rushing, I’ll even squirt the different colours of foundation directly onto the brush and mix it directly onto my face. I have no time or tolerance for washing my hands multiple times in the morning just because I’ve got makeup all over it!

Plan your balance
If you’re doing a noticeable eye look, you need to tone it down with the lips. This is a workplace, there needs to be some difference on the weekend. I know this is a golden rule anyway for makeup application but I think the rules are a bit tighter for The Office Face – as soon as you have some noticeable colour or pop to your eyes, you need to play down the lip.

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Moisturise
You are going into an air-conditioned environment – you need to keep that skin hydrated. I don’t know who you are if you aren’t wearing moisturiser all the time, but you are crazy to not wear it in the office.

Lip choices
Choose something you can maintain within the workplace. Me? I will rarely (by that, I really mean never) touch up my makeup at work – so I have to be careful about what I realistically will maintain on my lips. If you are able to maintain your red lip, go for it – but if you aren’t sure about your mirror access or even your motivation, try to keep it to something fairly neutral. Your colleagues do not need to see cracked and feathered red lip liner.

So those are my Office Face tips – don’t let anyone mock you if you love workday makeup – you go there more than The Ivy, so it’s worth the investment.

And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

40% off, you say?

You must be living under a social media-free rock if you haven’t heard about the Priceline cosmetics sale this week. Check out #pricelinehaul, #priceline #bbloggersau and you will see lots of Priceline love! I’ve become a big fan of the 40% off cosmetics sales, and since the RRP is pretty controlled for cosmetics, I think you generally do get a good deal (unlike their perfume sales). They always market it as a 2-day sale, and it is usually on Tuesday/Wednesday, so requires some careful planning for those that work Mon-Fri, 9-5. Luckily, Priceline is incredibly accessible and can quite often be visited during a lunch break.

So, we’ve got one more day of the sale, and here are my little raves and rants about what I think you should check out (sale goes until 11.59pm online, and until COB in store).

Bourjois – I am a huge fan of this entire brand, and it hardly goes on sale compared with the other Priceline brands. The 40% off sale is the best time to check out this stand – this sale is about stocking up as well as trying something new! I recommend trying a foundation or a blush from this brand (foundations come down to around the $20 mark, and blush is $12.00 on sale). Plus, this stand seems to get very little love at this huge sale, so you’ll get some peace and quiet here. I picked up the Felt Tip Liner for $14 yesterday, but haven’t tried it yet, so can’t recommend it.

L’Oreal – I’m not a huge L’Oreal user, but again, this is the time to try something new. I really rate the False Lash Telescopic mascara which comes down to $16.17 on sale. They had some other gorgeous stuff that I was interested in yesterday, but their stock levels were really low. If anyone is after a nude lipstick and has an olive skin tone, check out the Colour Riche Lipstick by Freida Pinto. I found the tester and fell in love, but no unopened stock unfortunately.

Revlon – Do not be tricked into the Lip Butter at this sale! It is really easy to pick up a Butter for $10, so 40% off at $13 is not a steal. Everyone is loving the Gel Envy range, but I found it chipped really quickly – this may be the fault of my application technique, so I’m just leaving this at the moment. It can also be picked up for some good deals lately, so not a major temptation for me. I really like the Photoready BB Cream Skin Perfecter ($14.97 on sale), but only recommended for those who want light coverage and a dewy finish!

Rimmel – I’m a massive Rimmel lover, but this brand goes on sale a lot, so I always found the attention it gets at these sales very surprising. You can pick up Rimmel at 40% off so often, so don’t waste your time here unless you are restocking! But if you insist on buying something this week, the Salon Pro nail polishes are great, and the Apocolips range has expanded to some matte finish products, so these may be worth checking out (all testers gone at my local Pricey!).

Essie – This is where you should make some serious savings! These don’t go on sale at a 40% drop very often, they are almost always neglected at these sales (as a lot of people don’t realise nail polish is included in cosmetics), and they are well worth the attention. Regular readers will know I love Essie polish, so no surprise I picked up some things yesterday. I really recommend trying out the Good to Go topcoat – perfect for late night nail polish appliers like myself ($10.77 on sale).

Australis – I know it’s almost cliché to mention this product, but it’s my duty to make sure it’s included for anyone who may not know about it! The AC On Tour kit is a powder contour kit that you can pick up for $10.17 at this sale. It’s not exactly Anastasia Beverly Hills, but it’s pretty bloody good for $10! Even if you don’t love it, you will enjoy playing around with it, and for makeup lovers like myself, it’s an exciting little purchase to take home, because nothing else in Priceline is quite like it. The stock at my local Priceline was crazy, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your hands on it like people did last year.

Anyways, those are just some of my recommendations, I’d love to know what everyone else picked up, so please comment and share below! My love for makeup is like a disease, so let me know if you recommend anything I should check out today (I have until 11.59pm!).

PL Collage

Wedding Emergency Action Plan

Two posts in one week – shocking! Once you’ve recovered from the double post, you can fall over again when you read the title. But do not fear – I am not having an emergency wedding! But my cousin is getting married! It’s not an emergency wedding, but a wedding that I’ve only decided this week to attend… did I mention the wedding is in London?

Wedding Emergency Action Plan has kicked into gear – flights were booked yesterday (I leave in 2 days), outfits were selected over the weekend (I hate everything I own), and jewellery was coordinated overnight (I was less than impressed with my options). My WhatsApp has been going crazy with messages back and forth with my cousins, as well as with the bride. I’ll be staying at the brides’ mum’s place, because I want to be in the thick of the action. I’ve decided to forgo professional hair styling and makeup in lieu of my own skills, but it does mean I have to plan wisely – makeup can weigh a lot! My mum will be going with me, so we are both getting things organised for the next day or so.

After some discussion with a cousin regarding my makeup and skincare routine to prep for this wedding, she commented that my mum and I seemed to have a “Wedding Emergency Action Plan” – once given the sign, we started implementing it immediately. I figured it would make for a good blog post!

Wedding Emergency

So my beauty wedding emergency action plan actually started over the weekend – I had quite orange ends in my hair, from all the sun and usual wear & tear that occurs on blonde tones. I called in the Fudge Clean Blonde Toning Shampoo – this stuff works a treat. It’s not the easiest stuff to use; it requires gloves and time, but it definitely does the job. Work up a lather in your hair, then let in sit for up to 5 minutes – it’s the sitting part that is tough for me. I really recommend gloves, and if you do it in the shower like me, try to wash away any splash back immediately. Along with the shampoo, I use the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Mask – regular readers will know I really rate this product. This just involves a bit more time; this one needs to sit for up to 10 minutes. So really, once you use these two together, you need a solid block of extra time with your regular hair washing.

Next is all the pre-skincare work I need. My skin already feels terrible post-Hawaii, so I really need to brighten it up in a few days. Adding in another flight (25 hours, at that) which will deliver me to London 24 hours before the wedding isn’t exactly ideal for beautiful skin. So I’m planning to do the stuff that I’ve only ever read about – inflight skincare. The plan at this stage is to do the SK-II Facial Mask either Wednesday night or Thursday morning – I knew I hoarded the mask for 11 months for a reason. I am expecting pretty spectacular results, but I need to maintain them during the flight. I’ve got my Caudalie Beauty Elixir ready to spray inflight (suddenly travel size seems like a wise purchase) as well as another great mask to apply – the Glam Glow! My plan at this stage is to use the Yes to Cucumbers wipes to keep myself feeling fresh, use the spray as a toner, and then once I’m on the second leg of the journey from Abu Dhabi, to slap on the Glam Glow mask and go to sleep. I’ve hoarded some Glam Glow sachets from Sephora, so it will be easy to take on board. I’m due to arrive in London at midday on Friday, and need to hit the ground running.

So, wish me luck! It’s my first family wedding in 8 years, so I’d really appreciate not looking old and weathered, hence my sudden commitment to inflight skincare. Let’s hope that no irritation occurs…

Goodbye OPI

Hello all! Firstly, my apologies for not blogging very consistently as of late – as regular readers will know, I’ve been away in the US for a few weeks. All good things must come to an end, so I’m back in Australia, and back in winter mode. I’m working on a few different posts that are looking at some of the new products I picked up (quite a few of them are much raved about products), but I need some time to have a proper play around and see if they are worth the hype.

During my trip, it become clear to me that my long relationship with OPI is officially over. OPI’s brush is no longer the be-all and end-all, and nor is their formula the best on the market. They remain one of the most expensive salon formulas in Australia, so it’s time to move on. I follow the brand on Facebook, so constantly see updates of their new shades and ranges, and one that interested me a lot this year was the Brazil Range. I picked up ‘Amazon… Amazoff’ which is a lovely teal shade – or so I thought. I also picked up ‘Red Hot Rio’, which also disappointed me. Neither shade was horrible, but neither had any sort of wow-power. The teal shade ended up looking horrible on me and I changed it after one day (God bless holidays!), and the red was just… well, it was just another shade of red.

It’s been a while since I used OPI, so I’d forgotten about the large monstrosity of a handle, and even the brush seems to have put on 10 pounds. You can catch a glimpse of the polish in the photo below – there is nothing as refreshing as a Mint Julep in Louisiana.

drink

So that’s it from me OPI – you have been good to me, you’ve been a lovely indulgence for many years, and helped build my love for nail polish – but no more. It’s Essie for the mean time – I picked up the gorgeous ‘Mint Candy Apple’ which you can kind of see in the picture below. I figured it’s about time I included some selfies on this blog, so here I am, in all my Harry Potter fandom glory – enjoying a butterbeer in Hogsmeade (i.e. Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida).

butterbeer cropped

Until next time…

Where did all my money go? (US Loves)

It went to the Kate Spade store, that’s where. Now, this isn’t a beauty post, but I really wanted to do a ‘US Loves’ post, and this brand takes the crown. I got some things on my last US trip, but this time, I’ve been completely shameless about it.

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If I had endless cash to spend, I would buy some of her clothing, a pair of shoes, some jewellery and essentially all the bags in the store – large and small. Her designs are so spot on – there are more that I want than I don’t, which is tough on my bank balance.

The colours, the quality, and the designs are just divine. The ultimate combination for a Kate Spade and makeup lover like myself was splurging on a makeup bag!

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(Excuse my photo quality – not the best since I’m on the road)

I’ve packed all my travel makeup into this new bag, bar all the larger spoils of my Sephora hauls – palettes, bottles etc.

If you’re not familiar with the brand, have a look at the Kate Spade website , I assure you that you will fall in love.

Until next time…

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US Beauty Burn: Sephora Formula X

Hello USA!!! I’ve been in the US for the past 4 days, with my best friend, MO. We started our trip in San Francisco, which I knew was going to involve lots of hills of walking, but they really do redefine my understanding of hills in that city. My legs and butt feel very toned after 4 days of walking. It didn’t help that our hotel was at the top of a huge hill, so even a simple day of shopping involved a huge gradient.

Anyways, great city, and although the shopping didn’t excite me as much as I had anticipated, it was still great, and many $$$ were spent. One of the first Sephora items I picked up was the Formula X nail polish. I picked up shade ‘Enigma’, which is a nice turquoise blue shade. I’m really feeling blue shades on this trip so far, hence why I was drawn to this shade. MO picked up a gorgeous pink shade ‘Eureka’, and we were excited to paint our nails after a long day of sight seeing.

What a huge disappointment! The packaging is so cute, and I am a lover of their former ‘by OPI’ range, so had reasonable expectations. The brush is useless, and the formula is a bit too thick for my liking. It made for a really horrible painting session, and although the finished look was alright, it was really disappointing for a polish that retails at $USD10.50. My tip for this product is to save your pennies and buy up an Essie Polish instead. The wear has been pretty good, two days later, I only have one tiny chip on the tip of one nail, but it’s not enough of a feature to seal the sale for me in the future.

Stay tuned for more US burns and loves…

US Beauty Burn: Bath & Body Works

Ok, so this is more of a brand burn, rather than a beauty burn. This store is mentioned by pretty much every American You-Tuber I’ve seen, and I couldn’t recall seeing it on my last trip to the US. I was keen to make sure I found one this time, and was even thinking I would stupidly buy some small size candles! I love candles, and was under the impression that these candles are to-die-for.

I was thrilled to find a Bath & Body Works in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, which is a pretty fancy shopping mall in SF. It had huge sale signs on the outside, and baskets of goodies when I entered… Or so I thought.

HOW IS THIS STORE SO POPULAR??? For the Aussie readers, the comparison point I have for the products in this store is like, the Target and Kmart scented body products that we can find in Aus. Heavily perfumed, cheap formula, and tacky packaging. Imagine a WHOLE STORE with this type of product! Gross! The candles had the potential to smell OK, if they had about 50% less fragrance in the wax.

It’s not like I am obsessed with spending $40 on a candle, but I do prefer the result in my home of one $40 candle, than of twenty $2 candles. People were going nuts in the store, which was inexplicable to me. I can’t stand those heavily perfumed body lotions available in discount stores in Aus, so there’s no way you can tempt me in America.

Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything. I checked out the majority of the store,d my eyes grew wider as I spent more time in it. My travel friend, MO, had to leave, as her tolerance for cheap goods is much lower than mine.

So… for all the Aussies, in future, take the Bath & Body Works YouTube reviews with a pinch of salt… And for the Americans… Please explain?

Until next time…

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The US Wishlist: Treats!

Anybody who knows me, knows I love a good treat. I don’t need much convincing on a regular day, but when I’m away from home, I need no justification! The US is known for it’s wicked food opportunities, so here’s a little taste test of what I’m looking forward to…

Image M&M’s Salty & Sweet Snack Mix

I picked up a bag of this randomly last year, and brought it home… who knew that the Mars company could make such delicious mini choc-chip cookies, and tiny pretzels? Obviously they have the M&M’s thing down pat, but their ability to add in a savoury snack was quite amazing – these were delicious! Well worth adding to the treat collection!

Image M&M’s Raspberry

Ok, this is a total Cherry Ripe rip-off – and I love me some Cherry Ripe. These have since come to Australia and I haven’t actually bothered buying them – treats like these need to stay in the US. These are a delicious M&M version of a Cherry Ripe – so stay away if you hate coconut, but if you love Cherry Ripe, I trust you’ll enjoy their little take on it.

Image Magic Mix Trail Mix

A humble trail mix, you say? Ah… but this is American trail mix. Which means they have added delicious chocolate to it! This is my “healthy” snack of choice, and it was quite shocking to discover that this even exists! I tried to copy it once I returned home, but mine just never turned out right – I do think Americans have a great handle on the concept of trail mix, so just adding chocolate bits to a nut mix wasn’t enough at home.

Image  Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream

OK, this is obviously available in Australia, and in fact, is really easy to find. However, the US, particularly the East Coast, has flavours we can only dream of Down Under. Again, my disclaimer is that I love ice-cream, and it is my #1 treat of choice, so it only makes sense that I should attempt to try all B&J flavours ever.

Image The humble bagel

As I wrote this crazy blog post, and thought about all the food I would consume while away, I realised I had almost forgotten my favourite one…. the bagel. West Coast, East Coast, bakery, small convenience store, hotel, off the street… it doesn’t matter where you buy your bagel, if it’s on American soil, it will be delicious. Do not come near me English muffins, don’t even think about it crumpets, and bread… you are dead to me. ‘Nuff said.

And of course, who goes to the US and doesn’t find the latest in Oreo technology? I’ll update you all once I see what’s the latest there…