Beauty Treatments To Heal Summer Skin Breakouts & Make Your Skin Glow

heal breakouts summer skin glow
Did you go hard with the partying, drinking, merriment over New Years? I didn't. But nonetheless, here I am in this ridiculous 30 degrees and upward heat of Melbourne, not idling in air conditioned office space but happily trundling off to Hot Yoga or walking instead of taking the tram.

All of this has an impact on the skin. Fortunately, much research has proven that at any age, exercise strengthens and fortifies the skin from the very deepest layer of the dermis to essentially create "young", naturally radiant skin. There is a catch though - not all exercise is beneficial. Just like healthy food is good for you, even too much of it is...too much. So, while short bursts of high intensity training are good, doing over 45 minutes of intensive training on regular occasions will deplete the skin and body. Especially if that training is outdoors in the elements.

Some people like to get a manicure as their luxury treat-to-self but I'm much more into having my face kneaded with delicious smelling things or having all the nasties sucked right out of it with high powered machines. If it's going to make my skin clear and glowy, bring it on! I've done the hard work for you and tried and tested stuff. Here's the essential treatments in Melbourne and skincare to know now.
natural beauty therapist melbourne

Belinda Hughes is an award-winning organic beauty therapist. She is an absolute master face massager. I was sceptical, to be honest, the first time I saw her over a year ago. Could natural, organic skin products applied gently without a whole lot of high powered lights and lasers and harshness really impact my skin? Turns out, yes.
There's not many occasions when I'm totally bare-faced but after Belinda massaged and cleansed and masked me, my skin was so dewy and fresh and there was zero puffiness around my eyes: I felt absolutely confident with not a skerrick of concealer. I mean, for the rest of the day! I have a tendency to get spots after a facial too, but nothing. Total clarity and dewiness. The key is that Belinda doesn't apply the same treatment and products to everyone. She is an expert at analysing, suggesting and then making the magic happen. Her latest development is the Matcha Treatment. I have used a matcha face mask in the past and nothing tightens my skin like that fabulous green powder. It's like an antioxidant powerhouse. If you are conscientious of sustainable, ethical skincare and products and you have concerns around your skin, I cannot recommend Belinda enough. You can find her via her website, Facebook and Instagram.

claire francoise microhydrodermabrasion

If you have never had Microbrasion with the added benefit of water (hydrabrasion), you have never known the joy of a magic wand exfoliating all the dead skin cells and blockages right off your face, literally. It's fantastic. I have seen Claire for infrared laser and also for skin needling in the past. To meet Claire, with her radiant, clear skin and cut-glass cheekbones, is to know you are in expert hands. This is a woman who takes her skin, and your skin, very seriously. Microhydrabrasion is painless and quite relaxing. The skin is thoroughly cleansed before the wand is applied over the face. Two days later, my skin looks and feels 100% smoother. A few spots I had before the treatment have cleared up too.
Claire Francoise clinic is based on High Street, Prahran and fortunately, you're a simple walk from several amazing cafes, plus a great fruit and veggie store and a whole lot of vintage clothing places. What's not to love? Make a booking via the website, Facebook and Instagram.

makeup to get the glow

Time to glow. After the facial, the microdermabrasion, the skincare that is going to keep your pores clean and clear... that's when the makeup comes into play. As a teenager with terrible acne for a few years, I relied on makeup to conceal, cover, hide. Now, I respect that makeup can be used to enhance great skin and features. Rather than rely on makeup to hide, focus much more on skincare and establishing routines and a lifestyle that protect and nourish your skin. I always find that a diet rich in protein and exercise that is moderate without being excessive and tiresome is the best way to master a natural glow. I'm completely loving the lavender, fresh, pink-based tones right now. Could it be that Valentine's Day is approaching? Or just that I love a fresh, playful pink any time of the year?
Both.
Any excuse.
I'm loving the new MAC Next To Nothing foundation, which gives a sheer coverage so that your natural skin just looks smoother and more even with a dewy glow. If you've got a few post-hot-yoga spots (a small price to pay for enlightenment!) then dot on some MAC Studio Waterweight concealer.
Contour your cheeks (aim for the centre of the cheek, right under the pupil of each eye and brush upwards towards the top of the ear) with shades of blossom but keep a light touch. You want to look a little flushed, not as if you've been slapped. I am loving ZOEVA Blush Palette in Pink Spectrum. Try a combination of MAC Lavender Jade (purple/pink) with nude, coffee coloured ZOEVA Pure Lacquer in Strong Career.I like to use the darker shade as a base with a pop of deeper pink that allows the outline of beige to remain. 

Beauty & Wellness October Obsessions


Who doesn't need stirrup barre pants, grippy ballet socks, one-piece leotards and flattering, high waisted capri pants in their life? WHO?

I discovered Zakti Activewear via a British Health & Fitness magazine and haven't looked back. Not limited to UK customers, obviously. They have done a brilliant collaboration with dancer Kimberly Wyatt. Ideal for barre, pilates, yoga and dance classes and - bonus! - you won't see 20 women with the same pants as you in class.

Research backs up the many health benefits of fish oil omega 3. It isn't naturally produced by the body and needs to be consumed, either through fatty fish, walnuts (ideal plant based omega 3!) or supplements. BlackMores Fish Oil is my daily joint, skin, heart, gut, muscle and overall wellbeing supplement of choice.

On the path of essential muscle, joint, bone, skin and gut health, did you know elite athletes and ballerinas take collagen supplements? The alternative is bone broth, but a tasteless collagen powder like GelPro Advanced Marine Collagen in your water, nut milk smoothie or even your acai bowl in the morning is an ideal way to boost your protein intake and feed your cells essential nutrients to build and maintain bone, muscle and skin tissue.

Recovery time demands magnesium. This mineral is present in most cell functions within the body so if you are stressed, getting sweaty a lot or post illness, you're likely in need of a magnesium boost. Taking capsules is okay, except that it's likely you're just going to pee them out rather than really benefit. If you apply magnesium as a cream, spray or even soak your feet in a magnesium salt bath, you absorb a great deal more and the massage effect has additional benefits. Go for pure, high grade stuff like Elektra Magnesium Spray & Flakes

Michael Kors Wonderlust because life is too short to stay in one place and also too short to not smell like heaven in a glass bottle. Plus...Christmas Is Imminent. Time to make a wishlist.

BYS Highlight Palette is my key to GLOW - like a beacon of beautiful good health and because a little bit of contouring (not Kardashian level everyday...) will always be welcome.

Sukin Shampoo & Conditioner because this organic company and their products are all about no toxins, no nasties, no animal testing. Also because it's affordable, Australian and gentle on your skin, scalp, hair and the earth.

My Froothie Blender is the B O M B. I can whizz up my protein smoothie in the morning (try roast pumpkin left to cool overnight with cinnamon, almond milk, big spoonful of marine collagen and a little shake of nutmeg) and also make a whole lot of raw food goodies like purees, dips, sauces and even mashed sweet potato and carrot/turmeric soup. Oh the endless possibilities! 900W or go home.

Last, but not least, my bathroom cabinet is a mecca of wonderfulness. At the ready every week is my Medik8 Clay Mask to nix the nasty stress/pollution and sweaty-face spots that occasionally appear. My nails always benefit from a layer of super glam - loving the cult brand Smith & Cult. Because it's a cult thing, and it's the goddess queen that is Kat Von D... on the daily, long lasting lip colour demands Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick (either Lolita or K-Pop).

Cruelty Free Beauty


Now that the vegan lifestyle is no longer identified with kale-socks-and-sandals and anaemic hippies, there’s a growing curiosity and desire for products that aren’t made of any animal products nor tested on animals. 

Fortunately, there’s no lack of choice and quality in this area. Being vegan can be a challenge when it comes to finding sharp shoes, but when it comes to hair and makeup there’s a treasure trove of brands and products that are guilt-free. Where these brands are not 100% vegan, they are absolutely cruelty free.

INIKA is all organic, all natural Australian makeup. There’s a vast array of mineral eyeshadow shades, certified organic lipstick (Orchid Fields is the perfect shade of violet) and also offers mineral bronzer, foundation, illuminiser and blush. Prefer fluid foundation and in need of an eyebrow pencil? No worries, they’ve got you covered for that too.

Zoeva is high-end makeup (your budget will need to stretch a little here..) and there’s also a range of professional standard makeup brushes. In store, it’s available in Australia via Sephora but there are several online stores that stock it too. While the entire range is not certified vegan, the brushes are synthetic and entirely vegan and every product is 100% cruelty free.

Laura Mercier is entirely cruelty free and does not test products or ingredients on animals. None of their suppliers nor third parties test on animals either. Because Laura Mercier is cruelty free, their products are not sold in China, which requires animal testing on makeup by law. Here’s a hint too...if your favourite brand (perhaps one that has Miley and Lady Gaga in their ads?) is sold in China, there’s a good chance it tests on animals and won’t be ceasing this any time soon.

Kat Von D makeup is not only a cult range fronted by one of the most beautiful, tattooed goddesses on the planet but also entirely vegan.  The liquid lipsticks (especially Lolita) are raved about by makeup artists, instagram makeup stars and beauty lovers internationally. The liquid eyeliners and palettes are one of the top sellers at Sephora both in the US and Australia. While buying Kat Von D makeup won’t guarantee the perfect cat’s eye look, nor that you’ll turn into a 6”4 punk rock goddess, it will allow you to get a small step closer to the dream.
3ina cruelty free beauty

3INA is a Cult Beauty Brand. Three words to send shivers of excitement down the spines of mascara loving maidens and lipstick lovers. 3INA (pronounce it "MEENA") launched in Melbourne in 2016 with stores in Melbourne Central and Soutland. Professional quality Euro-made makeup that doesn't cost your weekly wage. Guaranteed cruelty free, super bold colours and unique collections. The latest UV collection takes on a nightclub attitude under UV lights where it goes all disco under the lights. I love the richly pigmented pink and purple mascaras especially. The Chubby Highlighter is better than two espressos for disguising no sleep. 
elf cosmetics cat woods blog

ELF is the super budget friendly vegan brand you can depend on for all the basics as well as the bells and whistles products. From foundation to concealer, eyeliner to blusher, bronzer and lipstick, ELF products commonly fall into the under $20 basket meaning you can live guilt free and debt free after stocking your makeup cupboard. Beautiful. Literally.



Winter Wellbeing: Body, Hair & Face

As you know - or will come to know - I get excited at anything that sparkles, glows, emanates colour, smells beautiful, looks amazing... whether it's eyeshadow, yoga pants, organic coconut oil, if it's divinely presented and a joy to use, I'm all for it.

Now that Winter Is Here, it's time to ease up on the self tanning if you're so inclined and instead to slather on moisturiser under your socks and sleeves. If, like me, heavily over heated rooms and shops really play havoc with your sinuses, I totally recommend Xlear. I discovered it at a health foods store but it's also in Priceline and other pharmacies. No steroids, no nasties, all natural and it clears up and moisturises at the same time. Alternatively, saline spray might be your best friend.

Life is short, and you only get one, so use all the good things and indulge yourself in beauty and wellness rituals that revive your body and your spirit. Sometimes it's the tiniest luxuries that remind you there are simple joys to be had every single day.

Eminence Coconut Body Firming Lotion is a richly scented, creamy lotion that is perfect for winter. Rather than disguising your scaly little limbs under full length leggings all winter, get out of your steamy shower and smear this all over. Then go forth into your day or night, knowing you are channelling some tropical summer vibes of your own.

I've just had my hair lightened to a very pale blonde ombre at the ends so it is super sensitive and dry. Because I refuse to give up on sleek, smooth and straight, I have to do all the things. Here's my advice regardless of whether you have coloured hair or not:
  • Use a heat-protection spray or leave-in product
  • Don't use the same old straightening irons you've been using for years (they're too hot!)
  • Invest in quality hair care and high tech stylers if you use them regularly (I have recently discovered 100% Australian EVY iQ styler. Never going back - this is the best!)
  • Wash twice a week and use a masque once a fortnight or more often if needed

Holiday Gift Guide for Wellness, Fitness and Beauty Addicts

Who doesn't have that last minute panic of What On EARTH Do I Give Jane, Rosie, Steph...etc? Here's the simple, straightforward guide to what's out there that makes a great gift for the wellness oriented pals in your life.

Bobbi Brown Wine & Chocolate Nail & Palettes

It used to be very much that makeup and beauty and supplements were all about what you don't have, what you want to conceal, what you are deeply lacking and need to spend all your hard earned moolah on to ensure you are fulfilled.

In fact, many brands and media still push this idea.

Thankfully, there are some brands out there with a message that is really positive. Sure, they're still selling you things, but there is not that toxic message that you need this because you are inherently lacking and this is the answer.


The latest collection is Wine & Chocolate. Divine, of course! A full range of eyeshadows, lipsticks, blush and to-die-for nail hues in beige, crimson, grape, chocolate and ballet pink. I'm obsessed with nail polish in Chocolate and brightening blush in Pink Truffle.

Onzie Activewear

Made in LA by yoga devotees FOR yoga devotees. I have Onzie leggings and capris that I still wear daily after 5 years and they look exactly as they did when I first wore them. These aren't 3-wears-and-a-wash style activewear that quickly gets consigned to the donation bin. 
There's an all new collection just out for men and women - that's right! Onzie has a men's range and a children's range so you could dress your family, friends and workmates in matching outfits.

My hopes are entirely pinned on those leopard shaper leggings. A burgundy open back hoodie? I wouldn't say no, Santa.

philosophy Fragrance

Every year, philosophy releases limited edition Christmas bath and body goodies which are beautiful to look at and divine to smell. The tried and true longstanding favourite of mine and many others is amazing grace. The box features the philosophy behind the name and the fragrance and on opening, there's a little message: "believe in miracles".
I love being reminded of this each time I go to spritz it on and I do think to myself - be amazingly graceful!



House of Matcha tea

What an awesome discovery THIS has been! House of Matcha does high-grade matcha green tea. It is neon, kryponite coloured and the special set comes with a whisk, bowl and an easy-to-follow set of instructions for preparing your matcha. The preparation is key.
The limited edition gift set is the perfect present for the dedicated matcha lover or your friend, mother, daughter, husband who is all about wellness but hasn't discovered the deep joy of matcha green tea powder. I drink it as a tea and also use the powder as a seasoning for fish and vegetable dishes. I've also seen it used to flavour smoothies and chia seed pudding. Get creative! As they say, "800 years of Japanese practice and perfection" is pretty reliable.


Super Green Beauty Buys

There's a real explosion of brands new and old doing fabulous #greenbeauty products. What's this? Cruelty free, natural-based products that harness the power of plants, oils, environmentally friendly packaging and sustainably produced and manufactured ingredients.
These used to be ridiculously expensive products only available via luxury stores or, at the other end of the spectrum, packaged in ugly brown boxes at the local organic co-op. Thankfully, a rise in consumer demand for ethical, beautiful, luxurious and yet affordable beauty products means you have a treasure trove of Australian and international brands and products to opt for. I've tried, tested and truthfully recommend the following.

For cleansing, Sukin Purifying Gel Cleanser and the Super Greens Facial Scrub are divinely scented, gentle and under $15 each. In fact, the Super Greens is my favourite range (the face moisturiser is a must) and post workout shower time is 100% better with the Botanical Lime Coconut Body Wash. No sulphates and no parabens in any of these products!

Botani is a small, local operation that does beautifully packaged, scented skincare that is environmentally conscious, designed to nourish the skin and also the soul. I know that sounds hokey! I just breathe this in as I'm using it though, and I know it's one of a small batch, not created in some massive factory without heart. It's available at health food stores, Go Vita, Priceline and Great Earth. I especially adore the Acai Berry Active Antioxidant Serum (it's berry, berry good!) and the Boost Balancing Moisturiser for non greasy hydration.
Simple is available all over Australia and online. It's also super affordable for budget beauty babes. The name says it all really. Nothing but the basics and really, you don't want to settle in with a mug of tea and a blanket to have to read through the ingredients list of your skincare. I use their new Aqua-Lock Cleansing Facial Wipes for the post-workout, pre-shower period where you just don't want to get sweat and germs all over your iPhone. The Hydrating Cleansing Oil is ideal for when I've been overdoing the retinol and just need to use something really gentle and non violent.


J'adore this Swiss nail polish and nail care range. Sure, Mavala doesn't have the fancy, funny names like OPI, but it does have the most gorgeous mini nail polishes and if you are a creature who loves change and tends to only use nail polish 10 or so times before the next colour beckons, you won't need full sized lacquers. These are also 5 free, cruelty free and definitely get the Green Beauty prize for nail care. Fabulous range of colours too. Those Swiss beauty designers are way ahead of the game on knowing what the international fashionistas are going to want to opt for in regards to colours. From neutrals through to pastels, brights, gothic to glam, not a colour missing from the range. Love Alpine Green and Blue Curacao mini nail lacquers, and the lip liner in Innocent Pink for an everyday, subtle definition to the lips. I'm all about pencils.
The Body Shop is an international green beauty and wellbeing name that everyone knows. Begun by an entrepreneurial and ethically driven woman with a vision for beautiful products that emphasise sustainable ingredients, manufacturing, fairtrade and supporting farming communities. There is no doubting that vision carries through to this day and while all the classic fragrances and ranges are still going strong (Vanilla, White Musk, Vitamin C) it is some of the newer ranges that are truly exciting me! As a banana paddlepop devotee, the banana shampoo and conditioner is heaven for me. I am also all about a fresh, citrus scent and Pink Grapefruit body mist and the eau de parfum has the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. It can be worn alone or layer the body mist with something a little more herby like sage or jasmine based lotion or eau de parfum.

Avalon Organics does a great range of Vitamin C based skincare as well as their popular lavender range. I use the Vitamin C cleanser, Lavender scrub, Vitamin C Toner and moisturiser. No nasties, just simple formulas that are potent. There's a reason you will easily find Avalon Organics at health food and organic stores. People who care about what they put in and on their bodies are fans of this brand and have been for decades. Vegan, no false fragrances and no synthetics or parabens.

Burt's Bees does the basics with pizzazz, from moisturisers to hand creams, baby powder and lip balms to the new range of makeup that is gorgeously packaged in honeycomb inspired columns. I adore the beeswax based lip and face products. They are fabulously packaged, deliciously scented and sustainably, ethically produced and sourced. I adore the Baby Bee Skin Creme as an all-round balm (even nostril balm come hayfever season!) and any and all of the cleansers.

Eminence Organics is an award winning green beauty cult brand. I have been guilty of opening jars of blueberry and acai berry spiked serums and desperately wanting to eat them! The smell is so divinely pure and genuine, you could believe you were about to coat your face in strawberry puree. While it's not a budget buy, you absolutely get the quality you pay for. I adore Coconut Milk Cleanser (very gentle, very yummy) and the Sweet Red Rose Tonique (will make you want to get out and literally smell the roses!)
Certified organic, Australian beauty brand The Divine Company is a new player in the green beauty game. They hit David Jones stores in Australia only this month! I predict a riot, as some Britpop lads would say. Now, look, I'm as sceptical of marketing messages as any smart, savvy shopper, but in fact I really like what The Divine Company state on their website. They acknowledge that many beauty products and brands are entirely about the external appearance whereas beauty and self-care are much more about being elements of a holistic approach to wellbeing. I've been using The Miniature Series which is excellent, again, for the gym bag or for throwing in your carry-on bag when travelling. Try ACO Organic Certified Illuminating Day Cream and the Purifying Series (cleanser, toner, day cream).
As a pineapple and coconut scent addict, the whole (ALL AUSTRALIAN) bx Earth range totally appeals to me. Fortunately, it is super affordable (you'll find it at the local supermarket!) so you can afford to nab every scent combination. My tips? Desert Lime and Coconut hand wash and Pineapple and Coconut. It's like a G-rated mojito for your body!
Promising to "be friendly to your skin, and the environment" - I genuinely love the playful approach they have taken to product packaging, names and the level of care and consideration they've put into using quality ingredients and crafting the most appealing scents and formulations. Try You Scrub Up Well and Good Morning Sunshine (citrus fresh tangerine!)

Be A Glow Getter


Alpha H


Exclusive to Sephora Australia, I've been using Clear Skin Daily Moisturiser to blitz a couple of spots (can't always cleanse and tone between yoga and barre classes...) and I can thoroughly recommend it. It isn't as addictive as the Liquid Gold that tingles but leaves skin thoroughly revitalised if you apply overnight.



VMV Hypoallergenics


Exclusive to Sephora in Australia, VMV Hypoallergenics is ideally suited to sensitive skin and also to skin prone to acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and allergies to typical makeup.
Their packaging is beyond design 101. Little suitcases package eyeshadows, blushers and bronzers. The Skintelligent beauty blush brush comes in its own recycled paper bag with soy-based ink. If you are a fan of #greenbeauty you are ticking every sustainability, environmentally friendly box on the way to karmic heaven. You’re going to look especially lovely when you get there too. My picks are Smauve and Heat blush palettes and you absolutely MUST have a blush brush and no-water-required brush cleaner spray (hypoallergenic of course!).

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
Look no further if you’re after luxe and a brand name you know and trust. I once read a book on Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Though Estee Lauder didn’t enter the picture until towards the end, all those makeup queens were the true pioneers and entrepreneurs of their day. BronzeGoddess has been a cult hit for beauty lovers since it was released some years ago. With a fragrance, colour palette and face/body bronzers as part of the collection, you have your pick of products.
Right now, it’s all about highlighting and the “strobing” effect where the skin is given a glowy effect all over. That said, you don’t want to blind people with your ridiculous luminescence. Be subtle. The Bronze Goddess Palette has a bronzer, coral hued blusher and gold highlighter. Each shade could be used alone but in combination, it adds vibrancy, shade and light to your face.

Bobbi Brown
Talking of glow, the only foundation I consistently return to over and over is Bobbi Brown. I loved the cushion foundation but I'm a bit old school and a liquid foundation that I can pump out a reliable and ritualistic amount is perfect for me. Totally recommend the Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation. I wear it to the gym and it still lasts all day without giving me spots. Bam.
My next trial? The Foundation Stick. My shade is Warm Ivory but there's a zillion to choose from whether you're icy pale or Grace Jones. Also, for highlighting heaven, you can't go past the subtle gold glow of Telluride Highlighting Powder.

e.l.f
Hello budget beauty. Not only will you get change from your weekly pocket money allowance, you’ll also have the happy glow of knowing many e.l.f products are vegan and therefore, cruelty free and ethically produced.

There is a full makeup range for face, lips, eyes and also a skincare range if you’re so inclined. A makeup artist friend highly recommended their brush sets (a BUDGET quality brush set? YES!). I can back this up. Most of the brushes are vegan but not all. If this is of concern, do your research and you can always ask via email or online.

Makeup Must Have List for 2016 - bronzer for fair skin, bold lips, pastel nails


There's a zillion makeup brands and products out there - I should know! I find myself in seventh heaven any time I am near a Sephora or a Mecca Maxima. So many colours! The packaging! Oh, the sparkle!

But.
There's what is absolutely worth the spend and the space in your makeup cabinet, and there's the novelty factor. Herewith, the products absolutely worth your hard-earned dollars and my solid gold assurance that I use them, I love them and I totally recommend them.

Bold Liquid Lipstick that Lasts: Estee Lauder Pure Envy Liquid Lipsticks in Savage Garden and True Liar. Savage Garden is a deep, midnight purple that can be a subtle stain if you apply one coat, or a dark, violet gloss if you apply 3. True Liar is a fuschia-pink that applies dark and lasts and lasts and lasts. Much more daytime friendly if you’re not going for an A+ in Bold at the office!

Foundation That Does Double Duty: Bobbi Brown Skin Perfecting Fluid is the ultimate! Sure, it's not cheap, but consider Cost Per Wear. Every damned day if you want to convince people you are from an alien planet where everyone has glowing, flawless skin. I also love Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation - again, not a bargain basement product but you get what you pay for - A Grade Skin.

bobbi brown estee lauder evelyn iona
Concealer You'd Take To A Desert Island: Organic, perfecting Evelyn Iona concealer. God forbid I use up my current stash. I am obsessed. Whatever any makeup artist says, I apply BEFORE foundation. Then touch-ups later in the day as required. #GreenBeauty y'all.
Matte Bronzer for Fair Skin: Bobbi Brown Golden Light Bronzer. Because nobody likes to have a smear of orange or glitter across their face, combat style. Your bronzer is meant to give you a healthy glow, not look like you’ve been shoving your face into a bag of Twisties. Hard to find the perfect blush for fair skin, that does subtle but complexion-boosting, but I have. Bobbi.

Nude Lip Pencil: Bobbi Brown Art Stick is a lip defining pencil that works just as you'd use a lip liner, except that it glides and has a softness to it that means no dry lips, no sharp lines and no vanishing within an hour or at the first sign of lunch. I use the nude shades alone for definition or as a base for stronger colours. My favourite shade is Bare.


Overnight Serum That Makes You Glow: I can't pick just one here. I alternate between two and both are fantastic. I work out daily and wear makeup daily and these are the maintenance tricks required to rejuvenate and fully refresh my skin. It's like a 3 hour facial in an overnight serum! Both Mesoestetic Collagen 360 (Available at RY) and Alpha H Liquid Gold (via Sephora) are Must Haves.

Pastel Nails That Aren’t Sickly Sweet: OPI (available at RY) does 5-free nail colours that have a cult-like following for a reason. Beyond the snappy, laugh-out-loud names, their formula and colours are pure salon quality and the packaging is simple, chic and collectable. That’s my excuse for housing a zillion more than I need, though! What you must Add To Cart is the gelato hued gorgeousness of Gelato On My Mind (pale mint green), Mod About You (pastel pink), Your Such A Budapest (pale lilac purple).

Beauty Body and Scents - the EOFY Special

That's right! End of Financial Year - when accountants finally dress up in glitter and sequins and do backflips while they calculate your tax return.

Ahem.

But really, after you've gone through the trauma that is doing your tax, the real joy is working out how to spend that amazing wonderful bonus money that is your tax return. I suggest you throw some of those magic notes at beauty and body products that are going to make you look, feel and smell AH-MAZE-ING. You don't even have to leave your keyboard. See, I'm just like an accountant! Efficient.

My big dilemma is that I've decided to invest in a cult beauty item - because that is how my tax return is best partially spent. In smart investments. I can't decide WHICH of the NARS' The Multiple shades is for me. I do love pearly, cosmic Copacabana, but then there's the CULT factor of Orgasm. Do you have one? Do you recommend it? Alternatively, lipstick in Dominique is purple based and we know how I feel about purple...

For decadent, luscious packaging and scents, MOR is a classic. My sister was obsessed with Marshmallow (as are many judging by the endless ways you can have it: perfume, lip balm, lotion, wash...). I'm all about the garden-fresh scents of Blood Orange, Basil and Sencha Verbena Hand & Body Wash. The Blood Orange Perfume Oil comes in a roller ball that is perfectly sized for your top drawer at work or your gym bag (for $19.95 it's got your accountant smiling too!). I've had to do a serious bathroom cleaning session to make it look nearly chic enough to house the Basil Grape Hand & Body Lotion. A blessing. Each is under $20! Beauty on a budget. You're welcome!
Speaking of smelling heavenly and fresh, I am quite lazy so being able to spray my moisturiser on is totally ideal. And really, any excuse to go for a shop on Nourished Life! I just stocked up on ACURE marula and argan body oil spray in Citrus Ginger scent. So zesty.
As your accountant will tell you, it is smart to invest in cost-per-use or major investments every now and again. Considering I use this mask every second day and it leaves my skin super smooth and looking NOT like I just did two barre classes, I feel it meets the criteria. DNA Restoring Mask may not alter your actual DNA but it will make you glow. 
Now here is my dilemma. I can only choose one item on sale at Fresh Fragrances. Do I go with NARS The Multiple in some shade OR do I go with lipstick in Dominique? There's glow versus purple. OH THE DILEMMAS!

Classic Brand, Modern Skincare and Beauty on a Budget

I grew up with a nan totally dedicated to makeup and grooming (weekly cut and "set" with rollers and enough hairspray to freeze the whole of Seaford). She had a drawer full of Estee Lauder and Revlon lipsticks in various shades of pink and coral.
My mum would insist she's not fussed about makeup but a dressing table loaded with 20 shades of beige lipstick and every possible eyeshadow palette combination known to human kind would attest otherwise! 
So a love for makeup was in the genes. Skincare is the natural partner to makeup though. While I began using concealer and foundation to disguise pimples and redness as a teenager, it was only in my early 20s that I realised makeup is much more joyful as a form of expression and to highlight and emphasise great skin, bright eyes, and an angular face. 

With the advice of a very strict dermatologist (who insisted on Roaccutane to cure my teenage acne and she was right), I became used to washing, moisturising and duly applying Vaseline to avoid my lips cracking clear off my face.
I also learnt that "non comedogenic" means no blackheads and pore-clogging. This is good. I chose cleansers and moisturisers with the simplest of ingredients - no fancy scents and waxes or minerals. So it is with glee that I embrace the most budget friendly of skincare. Super glam and expensive products are a luxury and sometimes, entirely worth the expenditure for the amount of science and surveys they conduct. But nothing says "I WORK" like longetivity. So, forthwith, two brands that have been around for a looooong time and have been introduced by grandmothers to mothers to daughters and so on, and will be for decades to come.

Best of all, you don't need to hunt them out online or call a salon in advance to check on stock. They are two aisles down from the vegetables and laundry powder. For the price of a few coffees, you can have a daily skin ritual sorted for weeks or months.
Nivea and Vaseline have both had a modern makeover as far as packaging and digital presence, but their formulas have remained reassuringly simple and dependable. 
I swear by Vaseline petroleum jelly as a lip protector. It has so many uses though! A tattoo artist recommended using it to protect colour and clarity of my work for the two weeks after having work done. It can be blended with blush, eyeshadow, lip pigments to turn matte shades into gloss or to blend colours. It's a makeup artist staple! If you're dyeing your hair, it makes an excellent scalp protector. It's a couple of dollars. Go on.
As for Nivea - the packaging has had a major overhaul and the product range has expanded over the past few decades. My mother and sister are fanatical about the Q10 range. I like it, but my personal preference is the Pure & Natural range and also the Daily Essentials. I like that they're titled exactly as what they are. From scrubs to foams, milks to serums to sprays, pick what your preference is. Considering that they're a fraction of the cost of most skincare these days, you can afford to experiment!

Nivea originated in 1882 in Germany - not many brands can claim such a long life and many are too quick to jump onto novelty at the expense of sticking to the basics and doing them well. That said, the packaging design, product innovations and partnerships with celebrities and ambassadors who are relevant and iconic means Nivea has hardly been quiet on the marketing and modernity front. It was a total pleasure to indulge in a major Nivea haul this week. Here's what's taken pride of place in my bathroom cabinet and handbag:

Pure & Natural Soothing Day Cream: Formulated for dry and sensitive skin, this is ideal for those who are prone to spots and yet don't have an oily complexion. It's gentle and has a really subtle, calming scent. Must be the chamomile! 95% natural ingredients. No parabens and minerals.
In Shower Rich Body Lotion: Lazy girls rejoice! No need to shower AND moisturise. This is truly efficient. After washing as usual, apply this almond oil enriched lotion, quickly rinse and towel dry. Designed for very dry skin. Excellent remedy for winter scaliness.
Invisible Anti-Perspirant: For those of us who don't wish to raise our arms and display powdery marks all over our chic black gym gear. Or work wear - apparently there are people who don't wear sports gear all day too.
Soothing Cleaning Mousse: Again, dry and sensitive skin is catered for with a gentle formula designed not to leave you with alligator skin and redness. Ideal for multiple daily uses and should be followed with moisturiser.

Lip balm in Soft Rose and Vitamin Shake: Double duty lip balm! Gives a gentle rosy tint that says, I've just been skipping through the snowy alps after a facial and the Vitamin Shake because it sounds like a delicious smoothie but you can carry it around in your pocket or handbag day and night. No more crackly kissers for us.


If you're in Australia and you want to be the first to try new products, enter giveaways and receive free samples, you can sign up to be a MyNivea member free.


New Nude Makeup, Toxic Free Nails, British Beauty Lands in Oz...

So much exciting beauty and makeup business, my lovelies!

I'm going to kick off with the basics. The base, even. I adore Queen of Strobing Bobbi Brown for having every conceivable shade of "nude" when it comes to foundation, lipstick, eyes, blusher and concealer. Because not everyone in the world has one skin tone to cater to - and so many makeup houses are behind the 8-ball on this. For my own skin, I go with the Light/Medium foundation but there are so many shades. If you're unable to get into a store and be matched professionally, order online and do your research on the ACTUAL Bobbi Brown website
I'm a total addict when it comes to the Cushion Foundation. It metes out just enough to cover your face and you can tote it around with you for touch-ups (or post-gym showers). It's SPF 30. For an extra dose of glam, the Nude Illuminating Powder comes in at least 6 shades. I choose Nude. There's nothing glittery about it - super, super subtle.
You do need to buy the compact and the refill, but from there, the refills are easily affordable and you'll re-use and re-use.
And re-use.


As a yogi and a barre instructor, I spend a fair bit of time barefoot and looking at both toes and fingernails. Chances are, whether you're barefoot much or not, you're texting and tapping things almost non-stop so fingernail glamour is a non negotiable. Until recently, nailpolish was a toxic cocktail of formaldehyde (yup, preserving-dead-bodies stuff), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor (which can trigger allergies and disturb the hormonal balance) and parabens.

 Thankfully, most brands have recognised that these nasties aren't necessary and are proudly labelled 5-Free.
My latest discovery is Mavala - and since I'm prone to change my nail colour after mere days of wear, I've gone with the mini colours so that I don't feel bad about neglecting full bottles of nail polish for months and years!

My picks of the gorgeous mini range are Bamako, a deep sea-green that brings to mind the Emerald City from Wizard of Oz. I have topped this will Emerald Gold for shimmery bling effect.
My purple picks are Jelly Grape - a pinky purple that looks much bolder in the bottle and is truly flattering on pale and olive skin tones, and Touch of Provence - a true pale lilac.
Mavala also does skin and makeup. There's a new collection that matches a mini nailpolish with an identical lipstick. YES. My pick is Tallinn from the Symphonic Collection.

W7 - straight outta West London, innit? And it's Well Fit.
Ok, enough. I'm not Tom Hardy nor Scary Spice so I cannot continue with the British Slang, guv. I get excited when foreign fabulous brands arrive, like the ancient spice merchants, bringing colours, fragrances, shapes, designs and general exotica to our shelves. The best bit is this is totally accessible, totally affordable makeup that covers all the basics perfectly. Highlighter, eyeshadow kits, concealer, foundation powder, and a mini face blender... zig-a-zig-ahhhh!
Find it at My Chemist, Chemist Warehouse or go follow on Facebook.


June Gym Bag From Skincare To Sweatpants


June is miserably cold here in Melbourne. But even if it isn't shiver-to-your-bones icy where you are, these are excellent items to have in your gym bag, on your home shelf, or even stashed in the car for emergency use. Because if you break down, that's the perfect time to work your biceps as you wait for the repair guy (or girl).

Featured above.

Onzie capri

Made by LA yoga people to move, flex, moisture-wick and maximise your workout whether that's yoga, pilates, barre or weights. This heathered orange shade is the bright antidote to this dreary weather. It's summer in a pant! Get 'em here.

Cotton On handweights

Only 2kg you say? If you do some YouTube and Google time you will discover light handweights can be deadly difficult and totally effective. These are so chic in black and rose gold. Karl definitely would. At Cotton On.

Alpha H Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant

Alpha H does Serious Skincare. This is not your supermarket shelf standard. Anyone I know who has used it RAVES about it, me included. This is not a product I use every day or night as it's quite intense but I always wake up brighter and dewier when I do. At Alpha H.

Mellow Liquid Lip Paint

Sure, you COULD go lip colour free but it's a short life and there's a whole lot of colour in the world. So, with that in mind, don't choose to use lipstick that's going to end up on your chin after you've been sweating it out in BodyPump, barre or Bikram. Liquid lipstick that is super affordable? Yes please. Mellow Liquid Lip Paint right here.

Indermica Eye Treatment Night/Day

This is just so self-explanatory. But the reason I choose this product over the zillion eye products there are out there is because I usually wake up with sore or gluey eyes because even though it promises not to get in my eyes, somehow I react! NOT with this. And the bottle is ingenious. It's an all-in-one with two pumps so you can easily mete out day and night quantity as you need. Get it here.

Last but not least, a moisturiser that doesn't cause a breakout. Hallelujah! BetaMoisturise is a must. I'm not a teenager but get a super rich  moisturiser on my face and bam, spot time. This is tried, tested and terrific. Right here at Medik8 Australia. Oil free and mattifying.

Pop Your Block - Kye For Shu

Apart from kimchi and K-Pop, I have to admit I'm not up to speed on all things Korea. 

But this is Krazy Kool.


Kathleen Kye meshes her love of pop culture with illustrative details, oversized silhouettes and unexpected texture combinations (think furry pullovers with plaid cowboy shirts). She also does a look that I love, but haven't had the temerity or excuse to try yet: high heels with knee-high ribbed socks. Miuccia Prada, you have much to answer for!

For fashion and street cred, Kye had Leigh Lezark of The Misshapes to DJ her fashion show. Not for the first time, her aesthetic was likened to the Moschino mastermind, Jeremy Scott. Mad but monstrously good. A little bit like me.

Why the excitement now? 



Kye has just collaborated with makeup and skincare brand Shu Uemura on a limited range of lip, eye, brow and cheek products that are covered with her distinctive sketch signature. As a proud owner of bright red lipstick from the Shu Uemura collection with Yazbukey, I HAD to have something #KyeForShu


I have the drawing pencil on my wish list. It's coming. The lip balms and cheek cushions are to die for though! What's on your Wanted List?

Exclusive to David Jones. Find it right here!

Share your Kye for Shu looks and goodies on Instagram and hashtag #KyeForShu

Master Met Gala Makeup

Naturally, you were also hovering at the keyboard, eyes glued to the screen awaiting Met Gala photos on Tuesday morning. 

I have to say, with such an incredible theme, it was astonishing the amount of celebrities who interpreted this as "80s Halloween Party". Or just tossed on whatever designer frock their stylist lazily flung at them (ahem, Alicia Vikander...)
Fortunately though, there were some killer looks that absolutely nailed style, fashion, theme, futurism meets classic glamour. Nicole Kidman, Ciara, Poppy Delevigne, Clare Danes... did anyone really nail it in your view?

Apart from the amazing dresses and amazing bodies (Naomi Campbell, if there is ever a perfect robot woman she will definitely be modelled on Ms Campbell!) there were some trend-setting makeup looks to recreate. Will we see a wave of black lipstick wearing teenagers a la Taylor Swift? I think so. I'd be more inclined to opt for deep, deep purple! Or save it for your nails.
Get Ciara's Look with smoky, violet-hued mascara and sharp, precise liquid black liner. Nails can match the dramatic eyes in violet or go understated with a neutral beige.



Get Poppy's Look with deep plum lips and an illuminated (but not shimmery) complexion. Keep your hair glossy, glamorous and no wild shapes and textures.

Bobbi Brown Nude Finishing Powder (Bobbi Brown)
Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Crushed Plum Lipstick (Bobbi Brown)
Bobbi Brown Lip Liner in Pale Mauve (Bobbi Brown)

Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation (David Jones)





Forecast: Juicy Skin & Eyelashes

All new beauty products have been appearing on the market, with a heightened focus on both ethical production and ingredients, and also a greater emphasis on science and plant extracts.

Australian beauty lovers are worldly women, of course, and there's something very exciting in discovering an incredible brand that isn't widely available or known in Australia (Isa's Restoratives, hail Brooklyn!). There's something really joyful in discovering a local brand that is hitting the mark when it comes to killer packaging, great formula, ethical and local production. With that in mind, meet:
Skin Juice

Gorgeous packaging.
Let's face it. While you may not pick a book by its cover, you certainly go for beauty products that are going to make you glow just by seeing them in your cabinet.
Bright, graphic and clever tubes and tubs for the face care range won me over. I've been using the deliciousy scented Vanilla & Honey Face Mask for hydration, the mattifying and oil-fighting Citrus Juice for daily use, and the Good Juice as an overnight skin rejuvenator.
Because they are plant and fruit-based, the scents are absolutely gorgeous. Subtle but gently spicy. The cranberry and kakadu plum infused mask is especially yummy.
The pump action tubes are clean, easy to use and mean the product lasts longer without the taint of fingers-in-formula day after day.
The full range of facial products on their website.

Here's my proud boast of the post. I have naturally lengthy, up-curled eyelashes. Whee. It's great. While I'd love to add mascara for drama, I find that half way through the day my eyes get sensitive and red. So, naturally, the idea of boosting my lashes without needing makeup is perfect.
If you were a teenager in the 90s too, chances are you over-plucked your brows into a Drew Barrymore/Courtney Love era thin line and regret it. So lastnight I began using Medik8 Lash & Brow Duo. The First Green Cosmeceutical Brand. The plant and peptide-based formula goes on with a mascara wand morning and evening. The goal is to mend the subtle but annoying patchiness of my natural brows, and to thicken and nourish the appearance of my eyelashes. Available at salons and online.

Clean Up Your Act and Blush Right

The Cleanser
Fizzy Clean Face
I recently had a nasty episode of red, swollen facial skin after getting a little too enthusiastic with eucalyptus oil to solve a spot.

While I'm relegating the eucalyptus oil to cleaning my bathroom, I AM all for using savvy natural ingredients for skin treatments where it's safe, effective and delivered by a credible brand. Hence, my new addiction to Biore Baking Soda cleansing scrub and pore cleanser. This is perfect for acne-
prone and oily skin and also for your everyday combination skin (sometimes a bit dry, sometimes a bit oily, sometimes just right!) Dermatologist Tested. Just pump product into your hand, mix with water and voila! Instant skin scrub. Another bonus?

Super affordable. You will have extra dollars left over for makeup. Of course.
Biore Baking Soda Range
The Mask
Salon Quality At Home

Mesoestetic is one of the international leaders in medical-cosmetic companies making salon-grade skincare based on research and potent formulae.
They work with hospitals, universities and cosmetic and dermatology specialists on treatments to target acne, pigmentation, dryness, sensitivity and also for anti-ageing.

I'm new to the brand but I have been using the Pure Renewing Mask (because who doesn't love a mask in the morning or at the end of the day?)
I was fortunate enough to try the mask before it's launch in Australian stores and salons, but it will be available through select stockists.
Find an in-store or online stockist.
The Base

You're fizzy, just-been-to-the-salon clean and clear. You've got the blush ready to sweep on, but here's the vital step. Get your base right. You want a non-comedogenic formula (doesn't clog pores) that closely matches your natural skin shade. Don't test on your hand, test on your face.

I rotate the foundations I use because there are new products all the time and also, sometimes I am more tanned than the day before and need something a shade darker or lighter as necessary. As for my latest loves, both of them are budget friendly AND skin friendly. Australis Oh2Glow gives a luminous finish that won't suit oily skin, but great for the majority and Maybelline Superstay Better Skin.
The Blush
Pretty and poised never go out of fashion when it comes to makeup. Whether it's some serious contouring or just a gentle "I just ran for the tram" flush or "I woke up like this" glow, every skin shade has a perfect pink.

La Femme Flamingo Pink
La Femme is a new brand for me - it's cruelty free, it does every possible shade of pink you could dream of, and it's beautifully packaged.  As a general rule, which you are very free to break, the paler your skin shade, the paler the colour you want to opt for with your blush.
I'm a big fan of Flamingo Pink - it's richly pigmented but applied with a light hand (as it SHOULD be), it's subtle and looks gorgeously natural.
Lilac Champagne and Mulberry are a little more blue-based and will suit those with a cooler complexion. That said, they are also really flattering on olive skin.
The entire range of La Femme colours is at makeup mecca Scotty's - either at the Melbourne or Sydney stores, or online.
Scotty's Makeup Store

Where do I apply it? How?
Good question. Suck your cheeks in and make a fish face. The bronzer goes in the hollow from the outer face to mid cheek. Apply your blush, lightly, with a fluffy, pre-cleaned brush to the higher point of your cheek, from the outer edge of the eye to the hairline. You don't want to leave any lines so blend, blend, blend.
If more is more, and some days it really is, then add some highlighter. You can sweep your blush brush through a highlighter en route from blush to cheek for some shimmer and glow. Especially recommended on evening outings to catch the (disco) light.
Totally love the W3LL People Bio Brightener (vegan, cruelty free) from Nourished Life.

February Skincare, Beauty, Activewear and Fitness News

As you know, I'm Miss Fussypants when it comes to skincare, makeup and activewear.
If it doesn't do what it says it will do, it's out! Plus my skin is prone to breakouts if I use skincare or makeup that blocks my pores or has nasties in it. 
I have been using some serious clinical strength toner and whitening serum (take THAT, pigmentation!) from Medik8 so I'm balancing it out with a milky, gentle cleanser from Embryolisse ($35 at Scotty's Makeup). I'm also using the Lait-Creme Concentre overnight ($20 at Scotty's Makeup), layered over the pore refining toner ($39 at Medik8).
The Pore Refining Toner is alcohol free and while the witch hazel cleanses and attacks blackheads and other pore clogging yuckies, the aloe vera softens and soothes. If you leave it right next to your cleanser, you won't forget to use it morning and evening. 
When it comes to makeup, I have used everything from supermarket brands through to mega labels but it's important to note that Maybelline and Lancome are both owned by L'Oreal so there will be an equally uniform approach to quality makeup with both brands. For that reason, I have used Lancome foundation and actually PREFER Maybelline! It lasts through yoga, working out, the ever changing Melbourne climate AND I don't break out or dry out. My pick is the Dream Mousse Liquid ($22.95 at Priceline).


What's new and noteworthy in lips? Burt's Bees have always done kickass lip balms but now they've branched into lipstick. Joy! The packaging is reason alone to Add to Cart. The lid is like a little block of super chic honeycomb. Cruelty free and natural, of course. Stay tuned to their page for availability.


I've mentioned Australis Velourlips before. Matte liquid lip paints are my passion. I mean, yoga and dance, literature and travel and yoga pants of COURSE, but closely followed by lip paint. I was a teenager in the 90s, so perhaps that explains my deep love of matte lips. I just hate the gloss and goo of some lip products. I want my lip colour to last from the moment I apply it through to when I WANT to remove it! So it must last through me talking, sweating, drinking coffee and sweating, and talking. Velourlips ($10.49 at Priceline) is a cult product and it's so cheap, you can indulge in a few and either wear solo or try blending colours to customise.

As for concealers and foundations, what if I told you you could get PERFECT coverage without any blemishes and it would last through yoga, CrossFit, barre, pilates, running half a mile and even a sneaky post work coffee?
I have just discovered Mirenesse concealer and foundation. It's a cult brand amongst beauty and makeup professionals. Now I know why. I've been using the Ballet Pink CC Concealer. It's perfect for lightening under they eyes AND blemishes.
No wonder it's a hit at Sephora.
I'm also using their Velvet Maxi Lift Airbrush Line Treatment Foundation. It is going to make me eternally youthful and spot free while looking flawless. Sold!

Mirenesse lip liners are also my new obsession. Because long after your lipstick has transferred to the mid morning apple, your lip liner will be going strong. Because one is never enough, you can select from the duo of your choice. Mine is Forbidden Ink Natural Nudes.


As for activewear, SO much to wear, such a short life. Don't settle for less than "OM MY GOODNESS!" worthy pants, crops, tanks and sneakers. 
Onzie are the LA yoga crew who keep producing perfect fits, cuts, shapes and prints for yogis who want to look chic but also really need to be able to go from downward dog to peacock to eight-legged pose without hearing rrrriiiipppppp. These are yoga clothes made for yoga. The new Dreamer Collection is well named, because if you dream of yoga gear (guilty) this is exactly what you'd come up with. I am in love with the Candy Cloud print (pastel, feminine but fit). I also love Igloo. There's so much black, navy and grey happening in the gym. It's almost funereal. If you insist on needing dark pants, at least add some electric lights (Krypton leggings, pictured right).

Top 5 Matte Liquid Lipsticks


I was a teenager in the 90s so perhaps that explains my obsession with matte lips. But I think it's mostly the fact that I am a gym bunny, I drink a lot of coffee and I'm not big on reapplying lip colour. I love a lip stain for that reason too! It is long lasting. It endures. It looks good while doing it. A matte liquid lipstick is a lot like me.

If you absolutely insist, you could layer lip gloss on...but my preference is to keep it matte and experiment with colours. Try mixing a brown with a pink - or an orange with a pink - or even a pink and a purple. You only need a few shades to make an entire new palette.

Here are my top 5 matte liquid lip products and each of them are cruelty free and vegan.

1. Dose Of Colors

This is a cult US brand for a reason. The matte liquid lip paints are highly pigmented so it doesn't take much on the wand to leave a long lasting, deep colour on the lips. The absolute rainbow of colour options is jaw dropping too. From sandy pale to full-on party purple, whatever your shade of choice is, it will be here. I am loving Berry Me (Berry 2 was sold out!) Available in Australia from Scotty's Makeup (stores in Melbourne and Sydney, or shop online).
I also love Stone - a chalky, pink tinged nude that is gorgeous alone or with a brown or purple-based liner.

While you're shopping up a storm at Scotty's, add a nude Ben Nye lip pencil. While your matte lip paint will last, pencil can add longetivity AND make your lips look a little poutier if you draw right up to the edges. Do not draw around your lips. Do not.


2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar

Without wanting to sound too over the top, you will become obsessive about this stuff. Lip Tar is also available in an extraordinary spectrum of colours. It's proudly vegan and cruelty free. It's the stuff of makeup junkie's dreams. From the palest pastel pink to blue, green, every shade of red...if you can dream it up, it exists. Not widely available, you can get it at Scotty's Makeup (online, or in Melbourne and Sydney stores). I'm into Marion (left), a browny, beige totally 90s shade of nude. I am also loving Anita (above) for evening. Vamps pay attention. This is your shade.

3. Velvet 59
Not widely available and therefore, definitely more desirable, Velvet 59 is all about classic Hollywood class. The packaging is worth the price alone - you will want to wave your gold lipstick bullet around with glee. I also adore the Matte To The Max liquid lip paint in Vanilla Macaroon

While it would be too pale for me on its own, I combine it with lip pencils in brown, pink or purple to create new shades. Bonus? Customised to my skin and mood and long lasting. Available at Ricky's NYC.



4. Australis Velourlips

Homemade! So much love for this local brand that has only grown in size and confidence since I was given my first pastel pink lipstick at 12. 

The Velourlips have been such a mega hit that colours keep coming with cute, witty names to boot. These are so affordable for budget beauty buyers that you can easily justify collecting a few and treating yourself to a shade that is too daring for everyday, but perfectly suits an upcoming occasion. What's that perfect shade of fairy floss pink? Los Angel Es. The purple, berry hue is Shangi-Hi! These are non-drying, long lasting and come in every shade from brick red, practically black, mauve to beige. Follow Australis on Instagram for lip-spiration.

5. LA Splash
Those Los Angeles makeup maestros know their business. LA Splash is so much fun. So many super-flattering shades. For the indecisive, this is going to be an extraordinary challenge. You may have to just do them all. I have my sights set on Seductress (below) and Untamed (above).
LA Splash is available at Ricky's NYC.

Speculation!

I've heard amazing things about Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick and would love to add Lolita to my matte lip paint collection. Has anyone got it? Do you rate it?

Rickys NYC Beauty Haul

New York is a city of landmarks. From the Empire State Building to the Sex and The City style fashionistas, yellow taxi cabs and of course, the Manhattan skyline at night.
What beauty addicts in New York already know, and what I’m a new inductee to, is that New York is also the home of Rickys NYC. Sure, Jay Z and Alicia Keys didn’t include this in their ode to the city, but little known is that they wrote a WHOLE ALBUM about this place! (this is a lie, but they should have. Maybe I will.)

From cult beauty to the most insane, incredible walls and aisles of colours, textures, serums, lotions, lipsticks, paints, shadows, powders, hair extensions, eyelash curlers... you name it, it’s there in fifty shades and sizes. Get me to New York, New York!
So my travel budget has been chewed up for this year, but thankfully, you can order online. In fact, getting a box of beauty goodies plonked on your doorstep for delayed gratification is one of the most rewarding and exciting occurrences known to beauty junkies.


nugg facemasksNugg Facemasks
 Deep cleansing cucumber extract and jojoba, soothing shea butter and chamomile, exfoliating cranberry seed and jojoba beads, and revitalizing flaxseed and peppermint oil. Every mood your skin pulls (like a cranky toddler, right?) has a fix in these masks. Colour coded and smelling delightful, of course, these are high-tech masks using natural oils and promise not to dry out skin with their gentle formulas. Perfect for stashing in your travel case, gym bag or handbag for post-workout or just post-work skin revival.

Petite Bunny Gloss Bar, RickyCare Soft Touch Eyelash Curler, RickyCare Cleansing Wipes
It’s a gloss with a bunny head. What more do you want?
Eyelash curlers for those girls who need a bit more oomph to their eyelashes. Thankfully I was blessed with dark and naturally curly lashes, but they’re pink. What’s a girl to do?
I feel so Marilyn Monroe wielding them too. Cleansing wipes are an obvious call. With a lipstick collection at least the size of a small island, I feel it’s necessary to use at least 4 shades per day. This requires cleansing and starting over. There’s also the small issue of that “Glow” from post-workout face that is definitely nothing like sweat. It’s a glow. Cleansing is good, regardless, if you don’t want your glow to result in a whole lot of spots and blackheads.

Z Palette, Makeup Blender, False Eyelashes, Hair Clips
While a girl can never have enough makeup, obviously, there comes a time when you need to travel with it and you need to make that decision: What To Take and What To Leave?
This is where the Z Palette comes in handy. Get out a spoon or a scooping utensil of any description, take travel size quantities and put them in your little customisable palette with magnets. Then arrange. Voila! All your favourites, in an orderly, neat little package! Also perfect for gifting.
False eyelashes for the butterfly effect. Save them for a big occasion, or do as the most stylish women in the world do and decide that any day, any time is a big occasion and don them today.
A makeup sponge previously seemed to me to be purely for Makeup Artists. But since everyone is doing the selfie, instagram star thing these days, it appears that we are all amateur makeup artists! So the playing field is levelling a little and the tools the professionals wield can be ours. It’s cute and blue and makes my foundation flawless. You don’t absolutely NEED one, but if you wear foundation regularly and you love your tools, do it. Hair clips for pinning your tresses out of your face for makeup and eyelash application. And they have bows! Who could resist? Also good for avoiding the fringe-in-face during your workouts.


Lip Tar, Lip Stain, Lip Gloss, Lip Paint
For all the amazing makeup products out there, I will NEVER never tire of lip colours. Any. All. Gloss, shine, matte, neutral, dark, light...I love it all.
One might say I’m obsessed. Which is particulary fitting, because my biggest haul is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics vegan lip tar, lip gloss, and lip stains in matte and metallic shades from mauve and orange to neutral. SO good. I didn’t want to be totally one-track minded so I also have a lip tint mousse from LA Splash in Nymphaea which is suitably Kylie Jenner-lips worthy. There is a colour for you. Check out the below swatches of OCC Lip Tar.




Indulge in Pink Lipstick

How to indulge a taste for sweetness without a speck of sugar touching your tongue? Pink lipstick. It was frosted in the 80s, traded for power red and black in the 90s, but it has always been a staple of any beauty lover's makeup kit. There is, regardless of your skin tone, eye colour, hair colour or facial structure, a colour that will make your complexion pop and your face glow. These are my favourites. Indulge, my pretties. Pink lipstick is an investment buy.
Bite Beauty in Cassis is a deep, romantic and vaguely purple kissed hue. Available at Ry.com.au

Lavera Matt'n Pink is a paler pink shade that is nourishing to the lips. Available at Nourished Life

Too Faced Melted in Fig is a long-lasting liquid lipstick that acts as a stain. I discovered it in Barcelona and I still associate it with Barcelona and Paris. Available at Sephora

You may just want this for the luxe gold packaging. Don't miss out on the flattering, glossy candy pink shade though. Addictive. YSL Fetish Pink available at Myer.