It’s a bit lovely and peaceful in my house this afternoon. As soon as this post is finished I think I might sneak me some chillax time in the front courtyard. Mr Styling You has taken Flynn off to see the Roar play in the football/soccer final in Brisbane and I’m not picking up the teenagers until later.
I’m just back from a walk to the beach and realised it’s 22 years this weekend that I moved to the Sunshine Coast as a young, single journo. If this building could talk
Boy oh boy things have changed a lot around here. They’ve also changed just down the road in Brisbane too.
Now, if you’re a Brisbane-ite you don’t need me to tell you this but if you live elsewhere, when was the last time you visited BrisVegas? Maybe you’ve never been?
What you might be surprised to know is that some of Brisbane’s shopping precincts are now holding their own with their southern cousins. I’m a big fan of Brisbane’s Paddington and Fortitude Valley (particularly James Street) for a boutique shop.
And the city is now offering many of the stores that you would find in the city centre of Sydney or Melbourne.
The latest revamp of the Queen Street Mall has seen the Wintergarden Centre re-open looking all shiny, lovely and new. The Wintergarden was the first shopping centre to open off the Queen Street Mall in the 1980s. It was a VERY BIG DEAL. I bought my first Country Road tote bag from a store there in 1985. Which was possibly an even bigger deal for me, given the amount of dollars I’ve dropped in that store since then!
Now, the Wintergarden’s been all schuzzed up, some new retail players have set up home there and last Wednesday night I got to check two of them out – beauty retail outlet Mecca Maxima and US leathergoods company Coach.
With my girlfriend Amy – in tow for the road trip – we schuzzed OURSELVES up and quickly made ourselves right at home. Just quietly, neither of us have a problem with being surrounded by luxe cosmetics and handbags …
Why you’ll want to check it out: Mecca Maxima bills itself as “the ultimate beauty playground”. Think somewhere between the self-service of a Priceline store and the counter attention of a department store’s beauty hall. Help is very much there if you need it but browsing is made super easy with lots of accessible testers and clever store signage.
What you’ll find: The Brisbane store is a totally new look compared with the existing Mecca Maxima stores. You can pick up everything from Beauty To Go treats (like hand wipes or hair ties for next to nothing) or a luxe moisturiser by Eve Lom. Brands include a selection you’d find at sister stores Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics … plus more including Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Clarins and bareMinerals. You won’t find every product in those brands but you will find an edit of those ranges that is hard to beat.
My picks: I may have got a bit carried away. We were given a gift card to spend* but I may have just kept adding to my basket. Oops.
Warning: I challenge anyone to walk into this store and walk out without buying something.
Why you’ll want to check it out: It could be just me and my planned trip to New York in August but I just can’t get enough of anything NYC-related. Coach is a quintessential NYC brand. Add in Gwyneth Paltrow as an ambassador and I’m “enough already, just let me in the store”.
What you’ll find: Friendly staff (hi Emma!), a great layout and a good mix of bags, purses and other accessories – plus a men’s section housing a collection that I very much rated.
My picks: There was no shopping on the night but these went straight to my wishlist.
Warning: It’s a lust-worthy shop. Keep your credit cards tightly secured if you’re trying to “be good” and you know, save for a trip to New York or something!
I’m off to Sydney tomorrow afternoon for The Jasmine Awards’ breakfast on Tuesday morning but will be back home to back ANZAC Day biscuits in preparation for Wednesday? What are you up to this week?
* I was given a gift card from Mecca Maxima in accordance with my disclosure policy