Feb 23, 2018

David Mallett Haircare. Possible Parallels.

David Mallett is an Australian hairstylist who now resides in Paris where he has two salons including one at the Ritz.  Passionate about the art of hair from a very young age, Mallett is the go-to man for fashion houses such as Dior and Chanel.  Style icons such as Natalie Portman, Julianne More and Kate Winslet are just three of his numerous celebrity clients.

via The AFR
David Mallett at work.
Sydney Shop Girl is a fortysomething working mum (whatever that means) who calls suburban Sydney home.  Passionate about her hair, she's spent much of her adult, wage-earning life forcing it into cuts, colours and levels of straightness which are diametrically opposite to its natural stubborn state.

She is not the go-to woman that Chanel and Dior have on speed dial.  No-one 'fashion' has her on speed dial actually.  Rather, her most recent fashion 'moment' was picking up two pairs of sensible flats from the cobbler where she had their heels repaired and resoled.  The shoes were so 'sensible' the cobbler even made a point of mentioning this specifically when he retrieved the repaired shoes.

Sydney Shop Girl does not have any celebrity clients but she imagines that she climbs the same stairs and rides the same travelators as one or two 'Sydney Famous' style icons.  Literally following in their footsteps, she supposes.

She sometimes ponders the strange parallels in life she might share with said 'Sydney Famous' people but it's really all that it is.  Strange and truly parallel with no chance of their crossing.  Ever.

via The AFR
A promotional image for the David Mallett range.
It goes without saying that David Mallett and Sydney Shop Girl have never met.  While SSG has been to Paris once, she doesn't 'love' the city enough to visit it a second time.   Her hair and beauty budget also doesn't quite stretch to the approximately $425 AUD it would cost to have David cut her hair.

So, how have the paths of David Mallett and Sydney Shop Girl crossed?

I'm going to stop talking about myself in the indulgent third person and explain it all.

Behold the sleek, pared back packaging of David Mallet hair and behold also that famous Adore Beauty Tim Tam!

David Mallett's hair care range is available in Australia at Adore Beauty and I love it all!!!!  Both the products and Adore's customer service and appreciation.

What I bought:

  • David Mallett Shampoo #1 L'Hydratation $59 AUD (250ml)
  • David Mallett Conditioner #1 L' Hydratation $69 AUD (250ml)
  • David Mallett Hair Serum DM072 $79 AUD (50ml)

I also received a gift with purchase:
  • A travel sized David Mallett Mask #1 L'Hyrdatation ($99 AUD full size)
I can hear you gasping at those prices.

I will add to the shock and outrage by posting a photo comparing the size of the DM shampoo with my latest supermarket shampoo that cost $15 AUD.

The following is a blurb about the range from Adore Beauty's blog:

What are the four ingredients in David Mallett’s hair care range?

  • Keravis, a plant protein that helps to restructure and strengthen
  • Unsaturated Macadamia Nut Oil that hydrates and locks in nutrients
  • Japanese Nori Red Algae for elasticity, smoothness, and protection against the elements
  • Murray River Salt for a boost of calcium and magnesium, essential for hair

What makes David Mallett a unique hair range?

  • Concentrated formulas that do not weigh hair down
  • Haircare designed with sensitive scalps & allergies in mind
  • All products protect hair structure and prevent hair damage
  • No unnecessary chemicals - skin-friendly formulations only

via The AFR
Inside one of David's salons.
What I love about David Mallet's range is that it works for my hair.  At a price but it works.  The consistencies are generally thinner than what I would equate with products for drier hair but true to David's mission statement, this means that my hair isn't weighed down. There is minimal fragrance to the range which I'm also slowly getting used to.

Shampoo and conditioner #1
As a pair, the shampoo and conditioner work really well together.  They are both easy to disperse through the hair and then rinse out.  Results weren't overnight for me but over the first week of use, I did notice my hair look less brittle and feel much softer.  It has also been much easier to blow dry.

Hair serum DM072
I was a bit sceptical at first.  How could a serum so thin (and unfragranced) possibly work on this jaded woman's brittle tresses? But again, it did and it still does. I apply it to towel dried hair and then blow dry when I've sufficiently motivated myself to plug in my Parlux and switch it on. This can take several hours  (the switching on of the Parlux, not the actual 'blow dry' which is a five-minute job max) to happen and I've stopped using heat protectant spray while trialling the serum.

My blow dried hair with just the DM072 serum actually looks shiny where it ended up looking a bit fried in the balyaged bits when I used my regular styling product.  I've also noticed that my serumed hair 'holds' its shape better and still looks okay two days out.

Mask #1
Not my favourite product in the range, I'm glad I was using a free sample of it.  I'm going to keep looking and trying other brands.  I just didn't get that miracle turnaround you can feel the moment you rinse the mask from your hair that I have found with other brands.

Additional notes

My fireplace is predictably worlds away from the quirky chic of the one in David's Parisian salon..

I've been using the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse after blow drying my hair and it's working well with the DM range, adding a bit of shine and yes fragrance to my hair.


Yes.  That's right.  Coconut oil spray from the cooking oil aisle of the supermarket.  It's been a $5 find I've used for all sorts of hair related dramas recently.  I'm currently using it as a bit of a mask.  I spray it on my hair in the morning, tie it up and then wash it out at night.  It also works on flyaways which I have less of since becoming David Mallett's latest fan in Sydney.

Final thoughts
I'm hooked and will probably repurchase the shampoo, conditioner and serum.  Adore Beauty is also my most favourite online hair and beauty shopping destination at the moment so I'll be buying again through them.

Have you paid a ridiculous amount for haircare?  Was it worth it or did it leave you bitterly disappointed?

Have you had your hair styled / resurrected by David Mallett himself?

PS -humble apologies for all the typos.  Duly corrected my spelling of David Mallett's name. X

Feb 22, 2018

Lovin' Life 22/2/2018: Alphabetical Sydney.


'Alphabetical Sydney' is a lovingly illustrated picture book that celebrates the unique and lovable diversity of Sydney from A-Z. Written by Hillary Bell with illustrations by Antonia Pesenti, inspiration for the book came to the pair when they returned to Sydney from abroad with young families.  'Alphabetical Sydney' is a whimsical guide to Sydney seen through the eyes of children and the young at heart.

The Museum of Sydney on the corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets in the city is currently hosting a Creative Lab featuring activities and installations inspired by the book.

Admission is free with your general admission ticket to the museum ($12 AUD adults, $8 children over 5).

There's also compact but excellent gift corner in the foyer of the museum.

These wooden toys inspired by icons of Sydney life were my favourite finds.

I was just thinking that this toy candy jar would look lovely on my desk....

The 'Alphabetical Sydney' Creative Lab is on the first floor of the museum.

Just look for the icecream van and don't forget to press the red button on its door.

For a child who is usually first attracted to movement, crowds, brightness and constant activity Master SSG surprised me with his interest in every aspect of the room.  The lights were low (sorry for the white balance on my photos), the only sound to be heard was from the audio of the book being narrated and there was a distinct absence of anything that might be remotely climbable...

The wall of magnetic letters fascinated him as he set about creating letter patterns and later his name.

Large desks in the centre of the room were fully stocked with coloured pencils, glue and paper.  Each child entering the museum was issued with an activity pack to complete in the lab.

Master SSG's bat that we made from the kit got hung upside down by a mini peg amongst all the other bats resting in their crafty nocturnal habitat.

He then took a short break from the craft to dress up and hide in the book corner.

Before asking me to draw on his tag that we hung on the 'Where do you come from?' wall.  People from all over the world had already contributed their drawings.  I saw the Eiffel Tower and croissants drawn by a visitor from Paris and someone from India very artfully drew an elephant.  I'll 'fess up.  Sitting down at a table with pencils and paper on a hot summers day in the airconditioned comfort of the museum was actually very enjoyable even for me.

There was also a wall of 'phones' through which you could hear soundscapes themed to match the wall mural.

The final activity in the lab was to fold paper boats to float in the 'water' of Taronga Zoo Wharf.

The Taronga Zoo illustration was my favourite image of the day.  It holds many happy memories of our own ferry rides to and from the zoo.  The postcard version was available at the museum's store and even looking at it now as I type brings a smile to my face.

Have you read 'Alphabetical Sydney' or been to the lab at the museum? 

What was your favourite image?

Feb 20, 2018

Hickies (the Shoelaces). Thoughts From Their Newest Fan.

80% of this post's photos are of old pairs of trainers getting their shoelaces removed and inserted with Hickies (the shoelace alternative as opposed to the bruising of the neck) which is why I've opened with this completely unrelated image of a gathering of Chinese lanterns at the entrance of the Gateway food court. 

This second unrelated image is more on theme with the issue of comfort and practicality over the height of fashion.  I'm back wearing my ugly beige sun hat with its secure adjustable toggle straps around the crown and under the chin.  My chic panama hat flew off my head with the wind and over the fence onto a railway line last weekend and it pains me to think about replacing it this close to the end of summer.

I've also made my peace with where I sit in the world of 'of the moment' footwear.  I'm only in if it's going to be minimal effort to slip them on and off.  Which means that I was this close to ditching my Stan Smiths and Sky Hi Dunks because their shoelaces overwhelmed me.  I'm also simultaneously too young and too old to be considering velcro closures as a  life choice right now.

All of which are reasons Hickies came into my life.

Hickies are the shoe lacing system that aims to provide both great fit and the guarantee that you'll never have to (or want to) tie a shoelace again.  The closures are rubber-like, machine washable (on a cold setting) and come in a variety of colours for both children and adult sized shoes.  There's even a crystal embellished range.  

The Hickies brand and company has an interesting backstory.  Hickies' cofounders Gaston Frydlewski and Mariquel Waingarten are life and business partners who migrated from Argentina to the US to create their Brooklyn based company.  Initial funds were crowdsourced through Kickstarter with a goal of getting $25000 worth of funds from their 2012  campaign. They ended up wtih $159000 (I'm not the only one out there who hates shoelaces...) and presold 10,000 pairs of Hickies.  The company is now partnering with Adidas and other companies to release shoes already pre-fitted with Hickies laces.

A set of Hickies for adult shoes ordered from the brand's website is $21.99 AUD.  Included are 14 laces (enough for one pair of shoes) and a comprehensive set of instructions on how to fit the laces according to the fit you might desire.  Children's Hickies re $14.99 AUD a pair and best for children aged 4 - 8 years of age.

The videos and FAQ page on the web page are very informative and easy to follow so I won't bore you by rehashing everything here.  My only observation is that it is as easy as it looks on the video to insert the laces but be prepared to spend a bit of time removing existing laces (you may even have to cut off ends to make it easier to delace).   I also don't have terribly large fingers but did find it a bit fiddly to loop the ring side of each Hickie over the knobbed side to secure it.  You will lose a few minutes of your life doing this as well as some adjustment of the way you attached your Hickies after trying your delaced shoes on but the good news is that you'll then never have to tie laces on those shoes again!!!!  Just ease on and just as easily ease them off.

These are a couple of photos comparing the look of my Stans with Hickies and without.  You do lose that retro, young at heart look and gain a bit of that athleisure, futuristic vibe.  Or perhaps I'm overthinking it.

But I don't really care because I now no longer have to tie any laces on my Stans and there won't be laces to trip over or get knotted up in my overflowing shoe cupboard.  Is this not winning at life?

My Sky Hi Dunks have also gone laceless.  They possibly look a bit Kanye but as I won't be wearing shapeless greige sweats with them, there is little chance I'd ever be mistaken for him or KKW on the street as I stride out in these tie free beauties this autumn.

Another area of my life where laces have been a pain is with my running/gym shoes.  For some strange reason, I actually rather like tying up the laces of my trainers.  Perhaps it gets me into the zone for cardio and weights.  However.  I have this pair of Nikes that have ridiculously short laces.  Those stumpy double knotted bows I have to tie with them annoy me too.

So yes, they got Hickied too.  I found that doing a combination of regular fit closures distally and some looser fit ones more proximally have me the perfect fit.  Also, threading a few Hickies through that loop on the tongue of each trainer where the original shoe laces were threaded does help with providing a snug fit too.

I've run several times already this week with the Hickies in these Nikes and I'm impressed.  The firm fit remains consistent throughout the time you wear your shoes and it while it was a bit snug pushing my foot in, it was easier sliding them out.  The fit was as good as with conventional shoelaces.

My verdict is that Hickies were worth the dollars for me.  I ended up getting two free adult pairs with my order as well as a discount.  Delivery was prompt and I've had no issues with product quality yet.  It's been money well spent in 'upgrading' my casual shoes from last winter so that I'll be more inclined to wear them this year rather than cave and buy new shoes with no laces.

I'm hoping to buy a few pairs for Master SSG's weekend shoes as he's growing out of the velcro and elasticated laces sizes.

Have you tried Hickies?

If you have any further questions, add them in 'comments'.

Feb 19, 2018

Life This Week 19/2/2018: February Is...

February is the shortest month of the year but also one of the busiest for me as I attempt to ease back into real-world busyness after a couple of months mostly away from it.

It's hard not to be in denial about routine and efficiency when the last month of summer has been as (mostly) stunning as it has been.  But duty calls.

It's been out first month of 'big school' and the routine is becoming more familiar.  I've been roped into doing all sorts of unusual things like finding our contributions to the sound table and then having to send them in with accompanying notes to explain the left of field object choices.

Valentines Day has come and gone.  Not a day I observe to any degree but I did pause to appreciate the handiwork of the fruit and veg team at Woolies this week.

Chinese New Year was (unsuprisingly) my preferred holiday of the month.

Noodles have been eaten for long life and prosperity, red packets have been given.

Master SSG and I did our customary lap of Circular Quay again this year in search of the giant New Year animals that are displayed each year.  In a novel twist, the Guide Dog Association invited schools, local businesses and celebrities to reimagine the Guide Dog coin donation boxes that most of us will remember fondly from childhood trips to the shops with our parents.

It was fascinating reading the brief notes that accompanied each dog and the boys each gave a donation via their favourite dog.

We then moved on to the Opera House forecourt to meet the giant cheong sam attired dog that stood guard at the steps.

It was an exercise in futility trying to get Master SSG and his bestie to pose and smile nicely for us.


The three inflated monkeys were also irresistable to the boys as they ran past them lightly punching their air filled limbs.

These silk lantern horses are a favourite of mine.  I enjoy visiting them each year.  Their location varies but they always lend a kind of stateliness to proceedings.

The pom pom fringed umbrella that tops the horses' carriage against the palm trees and blue sky just says summer to me as well.

A golden snake slithered under the railway line near Circular Quay station and a tiger lounged atop the ferry wharves a little further on.

The mice were looking ready to party and also to support Mardi Gras with pride.

Most locals probably cringe at the thought of visiting tourist Circular Quay on a regular basis but I love going to see the neverending parade of colour and celebration as well as the everchanging and endlessly different people that pound its cobblestoned and wrought iron fenced walkway.

With autumn just around the corner, I've rebooted my hair and skin product regime courtesy of an indulgent order from Adore Beauty.  It was my Valentine's gift to self.  Expect a full report in a few weeks.

February's been a month for taking stock of my wardrobe.  I've taken a good long hard look at my wardrobe ahead of the new season and have decided that I love what I have.  That's possibly the first time you've heard those words from me.  Hopefully not the last time either.  Shoes have been sent in for repair because, again, I love what I have on my feet right now.

Other than that, I've just been getting through a list of little jobs that just need doing.

Rivetting things like getting more sticky tape rolls for my heavy duty desktop dispenser.  I had to step away from the very attractively priced eight roll pack.  Chances are the last few rolls would likely be yellow and desiccated by the time I get around to using them.

Clothes shopping was very restrained this month.  How could it not be after last month's trip and the pleasantly full suitcases that returned with me from LA.  Surprise.  I was back at Lulu Lemon this month.  But 'only' for two new black tank tops to replace a couple that were on their last legs.  It's still so hot and humid here, even in the morning so I reckon I'll still get plenty of wear out of them before the cooler weather sets in.  That was me justifying myself to me....

In shoe / fitness related news this month, I've given shoelaces the flick and invested in a few sets of Hickies laces.  They've changed my shoe wearing life.  I'll have no excuses to avoid wearing my Stans and Sky Hi-s this autumn because it's so much easier to put them on now without having to fiddle around with laces.  Yes, I am a grown woman but I'm also a bit lazy when it comes to weekend and after hours shoe wearing.  Expect a detailed post soon.  I knew that's why I got those Lulu tank tops.  To wear as I review the new shoe closure system I just adopted.  

I have @wangirls on Instagram to thank for introducing me to the work of crime fiction author Louise Penny this month.  I'm in the middle of reading 'Still Life', an Inspector Gamache novel.  Penny is a Montreal based crime fiction author who has won numerous awards for her writing.

I'm addicted to the way Penny writes.  Her world of crime fiction stands somewhere between Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell for me.  Her prose is beautiful, her Inspector Gamache a solid man who's had his ups and downs but has ridden them out with steadiness and a dry sense of humour in the manner of Hercule Poirot.  The characters in the small Canadian where 'Still Life' is set are at once likeable but also hint at some under the skin dark energy that Ruth Rendell also gives to her characters.

What's February been like for you?


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