Bring it on!!
Winter is officially over and I say gooooooood riddance. I know we are still 3 months off summer but I feel Spring is a good compromise. The days are longer, the weather is (usually) better and everyone seems to be in a better mood!
So, the stockings get put away and perhaps you may even start wearing a skirt or 2. Exciting! Now, if you are anything like me, I have a tendency to get dry skin, especially during the colder months. Like a snake. Its gross.
The key here is to exfoliate. Get those disgusting dry skin cells off your body now!! What do I use? Well I’m still a fan of Frank Body Scrub. It smells delicious and it leaves your body feeling like velvet. Yes, it is messy but it is worth it.
I also love the Aesop Geranium Body Exfoliant. A little bit of this really does go a long way and scrubbing with this will leave you feeling refreshed and polished.
And then what next??
Hydrate! I am not faithful to any particular moisturiser. To be honest I make use of Priceline’s 50% off sales. They have a huge range. The only body cream that I would say I haven't been a big fan of is the Palmers Cocoa Butter Intensive Relief as I find it is one of those ones that leaves white streaks which are hard to rub in.
I LOVE Bio Oil, I baste myself in it, if they sold it in a litre bottle I would buy a dozen!
Also, try lathering yourself with coconut oil. Its great for dry patches even for us eczema sufferers!
So start prepping that skin of yours…before you know it, you will be in a summer dress and you will be flashing those luscious glowing limbs!
I was recently away with some friends and we randomly started talking about weird stuff/routines that we did when we were younger in the name of beauty and vanity.
For all of eternity I have had dry skin. Best resolution when I was 15 was basting my face in Vaseline to sleep. And I don't mean the moisturiser. I mean the petroleum jelly type. Scrape a nail across my well lubricated face and that nail looked like a grease plough. Needless to say, my pillow case had to get changed frequently...
Toothpaste is great for drying out pimples. So good in fact that it creates a lovely red ring of dried out flakiness. Yes it works but yes it irritates the other skin around it.
For me, there was the long term goal of bigger boobs. I can confirm that smothering your décolletage with mayonnaise or toothpaste makes absolutely no difference. It does NOT work. No real surprises there. Bless my younger self!
I trained as a classical dancer with the Royal Ballet and part of our daily routine included putting surgical spirit on our feet. Now this isn't a weird routine or habit, this was a necessity to dry out the skin so it created hard callouses….all the better to stand on pointe with. And yes, I still have ugly feet because of it!
Although it wasn't a weird treatment, I insisted through my teens that I should wear this purple tinged lipstick that had a bluey/pinky shimmer. I called it purple. My parents called it "Death". It was pretty horrific in all honesty. I thought I was so edgy. And rebellious. I would purposely wear it knowing that my parents didn't approve. To the supermarket. Everywhere! I wasn't able to find a photo of it unfortunately...I think mum actually refused to capture the evidence!
So was there anything that you used to do in your younger years that you thought was going to solve all your beauty woes or wore something that only YOU thought was edgy and beautiful?
and create something new...
Makeup can be an everyday routine that can become a bit of a bore.
I find at the turn of the seasons, it is a great time to evaluate what is in your makeup bag. Chuck out those wrong purchases and buy something new and fresh.
But where do you start? If you go to a makeup counter, they will sell you what their company has produced and only that. Although I am MAC girl I don’t only recommend their delights, I am open to other suggestions if I think there is a better product.
This past month has seen me making a lot of recommendations of makeup products during our Eyebrow Styling appointments. I love talking about makeup and leading people in the right direction to feeling and looking fabulous. It can be hard to demonstrate and make my recommendations as the appointment is too brief.
So, why don't you think about booking a lesson in with me? Let me get my bossy head on 🙂 I ask you to bring in your existing makeup & brushes and then we can sort through it. I will show you how to apply makeup in step-by-step instructions and then you can do the other side. I promise I will balance you before you walk out the door. And whats more, you get to take away eye charts, face charts and a tips and tricks booklet. Stick those charts on your mirror and follow the instructions. Easy!
Like anything, it takes practise and a bit of time. Before you know it, you will be polished, flawless and fresh in no time and you will have done it yourself!
Time has absolutely flown. I have just celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary, which blows my mind.
It really was the best day. I would happily do it again & again….mind you, the old bank account probably wouldn't allow it. So much planning and headspace too but ALL worth it!
I still question whether I should have drunk quite so much alcohol the night before with my bridesmaids….especially as I had been on a detox for the month leading up. I was one eager beaver to get the party started. I did a hell of a lot of rehydrating with drinking coconut water and then moisturising the morning of the wedding. It is amazing the difference having a glass or 2 of vino makes on the skin. I may have had tired skin but I had a very happy heart!
I realised I never did do a product breakdown of my makeup look. So, I thought now is as good as time as any!
m a k e u p b r e a k d o w n
Base : I used Face & Body Foundation all over my face because I LOVE the finish and the fluidity. I built up coverage with Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. And then underneath my eyes (where my slight hangover was evident) I used Select Cover Up Concealer….10 hours sleep in a tube!
Lid : The look I wanted was all about the eyes. Gold hues against blue eyes make them POP and this was a day I wanted them to shine. Goldmine by MAC is one of my favourites which I pressed onto the eyelid. A really simple thing to do to freshen up the eyes is to use a light colour on the inner part of the eye. I love a colour called Nylon which is a very pale lemon colour applied with a soft fluffy brush like the #217.
Socket : Contouring doesn't have to be difficult. Start off with a medium colour like Kid that follows the outer part bone socket to about two thirds of the way towards the inner eye. Then I started darkening the outer socket with Tempting and then Sketch.
Lashes ; I cant go past the individual lashes. They stay on better than the row of lashes and I love how you can build the thickness and length where it is needed for each individual. Personally, the Ardell lashes are my favourite. They are easy, they don't look synthetic and they don't break the bank.
Brows : One word for us blondes. Fling. It is the BEST colour for us lighter haired ladies. Unfortunately MAC refuse to bring it out in anything but a skinny pencil that only winds up (and not down). Use it every day and you are likely to burn through it in about 6 weeks. Annoying and expensive! Save it for special occasions 🙂
Warmth : I used a bronzer by MAC called Shadester. They call it a sculpting powder so it means that you can create a very contoured look. It is matte and it is the perfect colour as it minimal redness in its hue and it has no shimmer BUT the pigment is extremely strong so blend, blend, blend.
Blush : I wanted to keep the glow to my cheeks so I used a combination of Margin and Springsheen. They have a fine milled shimmer to them which creates a radiancy to the skin when it catches the light. They are my absolute favourites.
Lips : I LOVE my red lipstick, especially a fabulous colour called Lady Danger by Mac but I knew I wanted to have a good snog at the alter and I didn't think that the colour would necessarily suit the hubby. So I decided that I wouldn’t upstage my eyes so I kept it very light and soft by using a great lipstick called Blankety. I then topped it up with my favourite lipgloss called Big Baby.
Make it last : I love to set my makeup so I spray Urban Decay All Nighter once my makeup is complete. It helps rehydrate the skin creating a dewy finish and it helps to keep all the products in place.
I would like to thank my friend Tara who applied my lashes for me as I would never have been able to apply those individual little suckers with all my excitement. She also did a beautiful job of my bridesmaids makeup.
And I will always be grateful for Vicki Macfarlane, who is the best bridal hair lady in town. She knows her way around a head and over the years I have worked many a wedding with her. My hair did not move and it was an absolute pleasure to have her there with me on my big day.
What a day, what a year and what a marriage. So far, so good 🙂 xxx
how long will you let them grow out for?
Its funny how eyebrow shapes follow “trends". It doesn’t sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the thicker brow that is in fashion at the moment but if you look through the past you can almost pinpoint the decade just by looking at the brows.
For every parent out there that refuses to let their children touch their own eyebrows, I salute you! Its this yearning we have as teenagers to remove hair, I can’t remember why I wanted to pluck my eyebrows, I think I just felt like its something I was meant to do. Luckily I didn’t get too pluck happy with them.
There are countless brows that I have rescued over the years from the dreaded "over pluck” and I know its a long and painful growing out process. Let me tell you, the regrowth doesn’t always come back where you want it. You can guarantee that those particularly useless hairs positioned on your eyelid will be persistent though. Frustrating.
I do think seeking help from a professional is a good idea. Would you cut your own hair? Nope. I have spoken to so many clients and they love their magnifying mirrors. I don’t. Its not real life and no one looks at us that closely (except maybe our loved ones and I would hope that they are forgiving).
What I would recommend is come in for a regular shape and then in between appointments you can do a little bit of tidying up. Below are some tips to help with the maintenance:
▪Tweezers - I LOVE my Rubis tweezers that are angled and skinny at the tip. They get every hair first time and they allow me to grab the hair just as it breaks the surface. Tweezerman are great too.
▪Brow Comb - By using a brow comb it will help keep the hair that you want to actually keep out of the way whilst you pluck. I like to use a plain mascara wand.
▪Magnifying mirrors - Its a distorted perception of our face. Instead use a normal mirror and remember to take a step back occasionally so you can see your whole face.
▪ Good Lighting - This should not be the natural lighting in your car. Using your rear vision mirror. Whilst you are stopped at the traffic lights. PLEASE. Overhead lighting can create a shadow from the brow bone so I do find natural lighting is the best. Sit in the garden with a cuppa or by a window in your house with a hand held mirror. Alternatively if you happen to have a mirror with lights around it like the celebrities do, use that!
Dimples without the smile!!
Otherwise known as “orange peel”, “cottage cheese" and "hail damage”. Personally, I just think its DISAPPOINTING.
After a recent trip overseas in warmer temperatures walking around half naked in a bikini I couldn’t help but notice mine and everyone else's dappled skin. And they say skinny people don’t have cellulite. Pfft. Wrong!
According to wikipedia, 80-90% of us post adolescent females have it. So in theory, its become the “norm”. Which in some ways is reassuring but it got me thinking why?
I don't claim to be an expert, a scientist nor a biologist but I am naturally nosey so I decided to look into why it exists. Of course, there are many theories and every one has an opinion. But these seemed to be the main offenders:
- Hormones. Those good old chestnuts. It would explain why males manage to skip this beautiful butt and thigh landscape. Us girls get it all don’t we?
- Genetics. Luckily for some nationalities and races, their genetics have managed to avoid the contribution to a dimpled society. But for the rest of us, if your mama has it, chances are you will too. Not only did I get my dad’s ears and forehead, I can thank my mum for my squishy bits?….No, not really. My mum has great legs. She really does, even at the age of 71.
- This is an interesting one, Clothing (?) Tight clothing across the butt can mean poor blood flow….so those tight leggings that suck everything in at the gym are actually not favourable? Who doesn’t love the feel of a good wobble?
- Smokers, Exercise Avoiders and the Stationary. Get up off that office chair once in a while!
- Stress. I don’t know anyone that isn’t stressed at some point in their lives. And I don’t necessarily mean something traumatic. I actually mean our everyday lives. Time. Time nowadays seems to be our biggest stress. We are busy. All the time.
One of the most disconcerting things to me though are all the magazines out there photographing and creating "stories" on this subject. The paparazzi just "happen to be (lurking around) on the beach" to capture celebrities with their pants down. One day, celebs are being celebrated for not being stick thin but then the next day, their cellulite is the latest shock horror news. Its boring. And more importantly, completely irrelevant.
So yep, cellulite exists. Its all around us. The best thing we can do is be kind to ourselves. Eat a diet that is right for you, exercise and sleep well. And more than anything, forgive your body for being expressive…my dimples on my butt are bigger than the ones on my face….so what!?
Ahhhhh over the years I have discovered that a "good tan" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I know, it's the more safer option than actually baking yourself in the sun but it's not having the right effect if you KNOW its fake, right? Whether it be because of bad application leaving you with stripes or whether it's just because it is the wrong colour.
It's imperative that the right one is used, which unfortunately means a bit of trial and error. But think of it this way: When you are trying to match foundation to your skin, you are looking for the right texture (oil-free, moisturising etc) and more importantly the right colour. So why wouldn’t fake tan be the same?
I have a yellow undertone to my skin (growing up I was called Bart simpson…kids can be so cruel) so applying a yellow based “golden” tan is going to look ridiculous and make me look jaundice. Not quite the desired effect. I am a control freak from way back so if I am going to wear fake tan its going to be applied by me and me only. It's a lot of effort and it requires some pretty interesting body contortions but so far I've been pretty successful. Luckily, I was blessed with long gangly arms!
For us “Simpsons” I love the Ella Bache Great Tan Without Sun as it has a bronze undertone which means it gives my skin a subtle warmth. What I love about this product is that the lotion is actually coloured so you can see where you apply it to prevent the lines and patches. Unfortunately it is a 6-8 hour one so make sure you don’t have to exert yourself that day and I tend to stay indoors. You will look dirty by the end of it so maybe wear some older clothes. See, I said it was a bit of effort.
There is obviously a bit of preparation and some things to look out for. Follow my tips and you will be a bronzed god/goddess in no time!
- Exfoliation - This HAS to be done in the lead up to your application. 2 days before and then again the day before (especially in the colder months). The tan will sit on the dead skin cells if they aren’t buffed off creating patches (and grossness!). Try using an exfoliating mitt with circular motions or use my favourite product at the moment Frank Body.
- Hydration - Fake tan will always dry out your skin so you want to make sure that it is well nourished before its applied. This should be done in the lead up everyday to create a smooth palette for the tanning product. Mix a bit of Vitamin E oil or Bio Oil into your body moisturiser to ramp up the hydration.
- Application - If you aren’t a control freak (like me!) then head to a salon that either specialises in fake tans or go off a recommendation. I send all my brides to Bronzalicious in Neutral Bay. They have every make of tan available under their roof and they match the product according to your skin tone and your desired darkness. Some will only need to be left on for 2 hours which is a winner in my eyes.
Please, please, please do not be a serial fake tanner though. Your skin will need a rest in between and trust me, it takes weeks for it to be off completely even with a good amount of exfoliating! Although I'm not of a scientific background, I don’t think pickling your skin in this tone changing substance can be good for you too right?
Now that the warmer months are upon us and I don't want to blind everyone with my white and mottled flesh I guess I will start warming up for my contortions!!
I PROMISE to NOT use filters on any of my photos that showcase my work....
Do you know why? Because my work is about real life, real vision and what we see in real time. None of us are walking around with filters on our eyes. There are so many apps to help us achieve a flawless and in my honest opinion an unrealistic look nowadays. I think it is messing with our perception!
Instagram is wonderful for a lot of things but I'm beginning to think that "reality" is being a little bit warped.
Granted, filters can make a photo look pretty. They can accentuate colours. They can smooth out lines and creases. They can make us look younger. Give that photo a tea-stained sepia tinge and we are instantly "vintage". There is even a function where you can whiten teeth and eyeballs!
Its clever. Not only are we "smugging" about an amazing experience that we are having (and actually not being that present in the moment because we HAVE to record it on our phones) but we can now look EXTRA beautiful whilst doing it!
I am a sucker for it, I've definitely used them on myself in the past...if in doubt, change your photo to black and white and I can guarantee you will instantly look better haha!
Some may argue that makeup itself is "fake" and "cheating" and I suppose I would agree to a certain degree. We use it because we want to look our best, we like the transformation and the confidence it brings. Makeup should NOT feel or look like a mask though.
So, my instagram account that displays my makeup won't have filters on, no sireeeeeee. I want to showcase my work, I want it to be MY work. No clever lighting. No filter. And no plastic fantastic models either. I like to see how beautiful a woman can look naturally.
Let's look and enjoy the REAL things in life!
Does anyone else feeling like their skin is thoroughly confused at the moment?
Yes, yes it is!
There is a tightening, a flakiness and a dullness and I am sick of it. The time has come to have a bit of an overhaul on my routine and the products that I am slapping on!
It is a case of finding the right formula for you but here are my recommendations:
▪Cleansing and Makeup Removal - This can surely be done at the same time can’t it? Some brands love to advocate these processes be done separately but I am l.a.z.y. I use a product by Bobbi Brown called Cleansing Balm Rinse during the cooler months and it melts my makeup off and cleans every pore and crevice on my face. I love it because it doesn't strip my skin of much needed hydration during the winter. And then during the summer I use Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I only do this at night and then I will just splash my face in the morning with a bit of warm water.
▪Exfoliating - I love the feeling of my skin after exfoliating. My favourite is the Clinique 7 Day Scrub, apparently you can use it everyday but you wouldn’t want to use anymore than twice a week as it will confuse your skin to produce too much oil. By exfoliating, you will be removing dead skin cells, encouraging circulation and creating a smooth surface for foundation.
▪Moisturising - I actually use the same cream morning and night and its just by Olay. During the day, it creates a hydrated base for my makeup to be applied and then at night I step up the hydration by adding a serum like Dr Lewwin’s Ultimate Lift Serum. In the colder and drier months I bump it up with Rose Hip Oil or Vitamin E oil. It is really important to spend time rubbing in your products properly…you will notice a difference especially when you apply foundation.
▪Eye Cream - Moisturised skin cells are plump cells which means less lines and wrinkles. So pick a cream rather than a gel for under the eye area. Concentrate the cream under the eye for during the day when wearing makeup and then at night you can add it to the upper lid. I am currently using Clinique Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream and its doing a lovely job.
▪Over complicate - Lets not overcomplicate things by using a ton of different products. For example: Toning, in my opinion is the biggest waste of time, there is actually no evidence that it does anything! BUT, if you like the feeling of it, you can use Rose Water.
I strongly believe that the most expensive product isn’t necessarily the best either. Just because it has a fancy name and fancy price tag does not mean that it is going to work miracles. The main focus should be building a routine that you can maintain. Try to get products that hydrate, this in itself will help plump up the cells smoothing out lines and help with the elasticity of your skin. Bright and perky, thats what we are looking for!
The colder weather has left my skin feeling less than happy. The temperature rises…the temperature drops. In this transitional phase of the year my skin doesn't know what to do with itself.
From personal experience I know that I absolutely hate getting out of the shower during winter…I have to give myself a serious talking to. And then its a mad rush to dry yourself as quickly as possible before literally leaping into your clothes. If only it was that simple and quick though. If anyone else is like me, the tightening of the skin quickly transcends to flakiness and its not pretty. I don’t like imitating a snake when my clothes peel off at the end of the day, its gross.
So what do we do to stop it from happening to our bodies? Hydrate, moisturise, hydrate, moisturise and then some more of the above if you get a chance.
Here are some tips to keep you smooth and silky during this in-between season where the skies cant seem to make up it’s mind:
▪Hydrate from within - Remember to drink plenty of water…we have a tendency to keep less hydrated when its colder, this will show in your skin!
▪Temperature - As tempting as it is, having a scolding hot shower dehydrates your skin (and makes it even more difficult to get out at the end!)
▪Cleansing Skin - Try to avoid any product that contains soap as this will strip your natural moisture and will leave you feeling extremely tight after. I Love Aesop’s Geranium Body Cleanser. When my dermatitis plays up I use Goats Milk Soap which is neutral and gentle to wash the day’s grime away.
▪Exfoliate - Keep it regular at once (or more if you can) a week if you can. This will remove the dead skin and it will help prevent ingrown hairs and pimples. Exfoliating encourages circulation…the more circulation to our skin cells, the plumper they are which will mean a beautiful smooth finish. Use an exfoliating mitt, a brush or an exfoliating scrub. I have just discovered a fantastic exfoliating scrub product called Frank Body….it smells divine and works an absolute treat!
▪Hydration - The market out there is completely saturated with choice for products, it really is a case of finding the right one for you. I like the more natural products, I find the more fragranced products are not as hydrating. Mind you, the Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Balm smells divine and that moisturises my body pretty darn well. Before I go to bed, I LOVE to absolutely baste my body in Coconut Oil…and yes I mean the stuff you cook with….you can’t get more natural than that and I smell delicious!