Your guide to getting gorgeous gams this Summer with Schick

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As I write this, it’s a Tuesday morning in December in Nice, France, and the thermostat is sitting at a pleasant 11°C. Back home in Adelaide, that classifies as positively chilly; but after a week of Venice’s flooded canals and bone-chilling winds, the French Riviera seems positively toasty.

In my leopard print Mink Pink sweater, pencil skirt, Spurr ankle boots and bare legs, I’m copping some interesting looks from the rugged-up locals, but I don’t care. This may be my last chance to show off my sleek and silky pins before winter truly hits and they’re buried beneath an avalanche of thermals and Nobody’s, not to be seen again ’til Spring.

Just before departing on this continental adventure, a Schick Hydro Silk razor landed in my letterbox for review, under the guise of getting your gams summer-ready (more on that later). My limbs are unfortunately heading nowhere near summer, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be spiffily smooth, and for this purpose the Hydro Silk has proven itself to be a wonderful traveling companion.

The unique moisturising strip, with water activated moisturising serum and refreshing marine extracts was enough to see me through a stint with neither shaving cream nor moisturiser (I’m not the best at packing). Meanwhile, the five curve sensing blades allow for a smooth, even shave in mere minutes, leaving more time for exploring and croissant-devouring (not necessarily in that order).

For those of you lucky enough to be gearing up for a sunny December and beyond, here’s everything you need to know to get your pins poolside perfect, along with some Instagram-sourced inspo:

20131205-174633.jpg20131205-174722.jpg*Allow your shaving cream or gel to soften the skin for a few minutes before you begin to shave.
20131205-174801.jpg20131205-174826.jpg*Press lightly in an upward motion towards your knee, using short, smooth smooth strokes with a steady, even pressure. Don’t rush or press down too hard – you should let the shaver do the work.20131205-174923.jpg20131205-174945.jpg*Change your razor blade after approx 5 uses. A dull razor blade can irritate the skin, cause razor rash, and you can cut skin more easily with a dull blade.20131205-175023.jpg20131205-175206.jpg*Underarm hair grows in lots of directions, so to get the closest shave possible you may need to shave side to side and down, as well as the traditional up (against the grain of the hair growth).20131205-174743.jpg20131205-175246.jpg*After shaving underarm hair, don’t apply antiperspirant for several hours until natural barrier oils return to protect the skin.20131205-175316.jpg20131205-175425.jpg20131205-175409.jpg20131205-175452.jpgAll in all, it’s not hard to see why the Hydro Silk has become the number one selling razor amongst Australian women*. I just wish I’d packed more than one refill to see me through to Summer.20131205-175520.jpg20131205-175549.jpg
Be sure to follow Schick on Facebook for inspo, giveaways, tips and other goodness.

Images: @begomartin3, @manrepeller, @erinwasson, @isabellaias, @suki_swim, @mahinaalexander, @gypsyone, @frank_bod, @brittanynicholelucas

*Based on unit sales of new women’s razors launched in the last 12 months. Aztec National Grocer Scan 8/9/13.

Venice: photo diary (part 1)

I will never tire of Venice. This latest trip marks my fourth journey to the island, and yet every time I seem to stumble on more undiscovered secrets.

Alex and I spent 8 days in the Internet-free bliss of this cosy Airbnb apartment. Despite only being a 5 minute/3 bridge walk from the train station, it felt like we were in a hidden pocket of the ‘real’ Venice – few tourists, stacks of quirky locals and plenty to discover in the surrounding ‘calles’.

In fact, we found so much to love in our neighborhood that I drew a map, which I’ll attempt to somehow digitise and share with you all.

And though waking up to a blaring air raid siren and having no idea what the f**k it was for wasn’t my favourite life experience, I’m glad we got to experience a sodden, flooded Venice. Plus, gumboots!!!

I took a lot of photos, so expect another post containing the rest soon.

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For closer-to-the-minute travel updates, follow me on Instagram.

A shot of style: Billini SS13-14

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Is it a coincidence that Aussie shoe brand Billini sounds an awful lot like tasty champagne-based treat Bellini? If their delicious new S/S14 collection is anything to go by, I think not.

Entitled Hola Mexico, the new range encapsulates the colour and vibrancy of Mexican culture through some ridiculously cute kicks. Tall and short, straight up and with a twist, the 9 different styles will suit all tastebuds.

Read on as I serve up the top 5 (okay, 6 – it was too hard to choose!) tastiest treats from Billini’s latest collection, and the Mexican cocktails that’ll have you dancing all night in them.

The Luxe in Blood Orange + Habañero and blood orange tequila

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Sharp, fruity and fiery: the Luxe is a so-cool-it’s-hot sandal that will see you in good stead from poolside to pavement (and the cocktail lounge in-between). The metallic embellishments and vibrant patent finish ensure you’ll look polished enough to get into any establishment, whilst the lack of heel promises to keep you safe from any stumbles that may occur after a few habañero and blood orange tequila shots.

Ingredients:

1 bottle (700ml) blanco tequila
½ blood orange
½ habanero or Scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded

Put all the ingredients into a clean, airtight container and leave to infuse for a week. When the flavours have permeated the tequila, sieve the liquor back into the original bottle.

My tip: Serve in shot glasses with a blood orange wedge, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

The Glory in White + Mojito DF

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‘White hot’ is the best way to describe the Glory. With stems thick enough to withstand hours of mojito-fuelled twerking on the dancefloor, it’s arguably your perfect summer party platform. I can already picture how good it would look paired with tanned limbs and tangerine toes – my other two summer must-haves.

Ingredients:

20g demerara sugar
large handful of mint leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
70ml apple juice
70ml tequila

Muddle the sugar, most of the mint leaves and all the lime wedges in the bottom of two tall glasses with a pestle or the end of a rolling pin. When you have extracted all the juice from the lime, pour in the apple juice and tequila, fill with crushed ice and garnish with the rest of the mint leaves.

The Atomic in Brown + Smoked peach old-fashioned

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If the blogs are to be believed, Birkenstocks are going to be big this summer. But since there’s no way you’ll ever catch me in those cumbersome clompers, I’ll instead channel my inner Jesus-freak in the Atomic: an unassuming, Roman-style sandal made for wholesome excursions to the local farmer’s market (to buy cocktail ingredients, of course).

Ingredients:

small pinch of salt
100ml reposado mescal
5ml peach bitters
20ml gomme syrup
rind of 2 oranges
2 orange twists, to serve

Half-fill a large glass (or the glass from a Boston shaker if you want to be a pro) with crushed ice and water, adding a small pinch of salt. Put the glass inside the shaker, add the mezcal, bitters, gomme syrup and orange rind and top up with large ice cubes. Stir very well with a bar spoon for around 4 minutes.

Strain into 2 tumblers. Garnish each with an orange twist and serve with a small black straw.

To make a citrus twist:
Take a sharp knife and cut off the ends of the fruit. Now cut off the peel from one end to the other, shaving as finely as possible to avoid the bitter white pith. You want to end up with strips about 1cm wide. Curl the strips around your finger to make loose corkscrew shapes and use them to garnish cocktails.

The Galaxy in Citrus + Tamarind Margarita

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Like a blast of zesty fresh air, the Galaxy is the perfect stiletto to brighten any day or night. Bright without being neon, and with an eye-catching metallic ankle strap, the boys won’t be able to look away (nor will they want to – after all, anyone who has the good taste to pull on a pair of these is automatically a Class-A babe). The Galaxy will look as good with a pair of statement floral trousers as it will with a thigh-skimming summer party frock, making it the trans-seasonal heel of choice.

Ingredients:

fine sea salt mixed with chilli powder, for rims (optional)
70ml tamarind purée
70ml tequila
30ml triple sec
2 lime wedges, to garnish

Prepare 2 tumblers with chilli salt rims if you wish. To get the perfect rim, dip the cocktail glass into a saucer of water so that only the very edge is wet, then dip the glass into a saucer of whatever salt/sugar mixture you are using.

Shake all the ingredients over ice and pour into the tumblers. Garnish each with a wedge of lime.

The Morgan in Black + Bloody Maria

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Reluctant to relegate your grungy winter ankle boots to the back of the cupboard? Never fear; Morgan is music to your blackened punk-rock heart. It’s flat, it’s studded to within an inch of its life, and it’s perfect for long nights on your feet dancing away at whatever gig/music festival/house party you find yourself at – because aren’t countless party offers one of the best parts about summer?

And when the sun comes up and the party dies down, the Bloody Maria will be there to easy all your aches.

Ingredients:

chilli powder, for rims (optional)
140ml blanco tequila
500ml good-quality tomato juice
juice of 1 large orange (about 100ml)
juice of 1-2 limes
25ml grenadine
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges and chilli powder, to garnish

Prepare tumblers with chilli rims if you wish. Shake all the ingredients over ice and pour into tumblers. Garnish each with a wedge of lime and a dusting of chilli powder.

(Leave out the tequila from this recipe and you’ve got yourself Sangrita – a popular Mexican aperitif traditionally served in small glasses alongside a shot glass of tequila and sipped in equal measure).

The Lorna in Tan + Green tea and rhubarb Collins

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The Lorna is more than just a gorgeous bohemian platform sandal. It’s Billini’s first leather offering; a latticed upper atop a 70’s wedge base just begging to be shown off in crowded seaside cocktail bar. Ideal for gypsters and Nicole Richie-wannabes, the Lorna would be best paired with maxi lengths and stacked hardware (of the accessories, not handyman, variety).

Ingredients:

100ml Green tea tequila**
50ml fresh rhubarb syrup***
50ml fresh apple juice
200ml soda water
green apple slices, to garnish

Pour the tequila, rhubarb syrup and apple juice into 2 tall glasses and stir well. Add enough ice to fill the glasses, then top up with soda water. Stir again and garnish with the apple slices.

**To make Green tea tequila, place 60g green tea leaves (the best quality you can buy) and 1 bottle (700ml) blanco tequila into a clean, airtight container and leave to infuse in the fridge for 48 hours. Sieve the tequila, discarding the tea leaves, then pour back into the original bottle

***To make fresh rhubarb syrup, chop 500g rhubarb into small pieces and place in a saucepan with the zest of a lemon, the juice of half that lemon, and 5 tablespoons sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You want the syrup to be quite sweet, so add a touch more sugar if needed. The leftover syrup will be delicious with Greek yoghurt.

The entire Hola Mexico collection is on sale now over on Billini’s website – it was stupidly difficult to choose only 6 styles to feature here, so do yourself a favour and check out their whole range. With prices ranging from $39.95 to $79.95, you actually can afford to buy one for every cocktail. And if you’re a social kinda gal, like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram for sneak peeks and serious sartorial inspiration.

All cocktail recipes have been taken from Thomasina Miers’ Wahaca: Mexican food at home. This is the best cookbook you will ever buy. Seriously. The recipes are easy, cheap and will broaden your view of Mexican cooking far beyond the boundaries of burritos, nachos and tacos (though it has plenty of those too).

 

Images: The Lovely Thrills, Bright Green Laces, Billini, Net-a-shopper

 

Grey Skies, Grey City

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I wouldn’t usually consider myself a religious person, but today I’m worshiping at the altar of Grey City. With these ‘Slash’ wedges I could stomp all over the impending deadlines and other stresses that are plaguing my working world at the moment and dampening my blahgging mojo. And better yet, that dainty peep-toe would force me to get off my bum and repaint my toenails – something I don’t think I’ve done in a good two months. Sadly, my present ‘saving to go overseas in five months’ situation means it’d take a miracle for me to get my hands on a pair of these. You, however, just need to click here.

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P.S. And in the springtime, I’d dump Slash for Blaire, his more open-minded and floaty-dress friendly cousin.

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