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Lifestyle

  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Erika Geraerts, Founder of Fluff Casual Cosmetics

    Meet Erika Geraerts. As one of the co-founders of communications agency Willow & Blake, Erika also co-founded skincare company frank body, which went on to become a huge international beauty brand. In 2016, Erika left Willow & Blake and frank body, and has since been working on her new venture in beauty, Fluff. This one is her favourite. Erika likes to spend her time around plants, dogs, good friends, and good food and coffee.

    Fluff was founded by Erika Geraerts who thinks that makeup is fun, but not necessary. We want you to create and accept beauty, making it up for yourself.

    Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there and did this help create Fluff? I would say I am the least beauty obsessed person I know. My entry into this industry came through writing – I love people and connecting with them through brands, and the stories they tell. It’s only in the last five years that my interest in clean formulas and better packaging experiences has really come into focus, however Fluff’s message — of beauty being more than makeup —  has a far greater meaning for me.

    What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? What are your favourite beauty treatments? I am obsessed with oils; jojoba, coconut, olive. I strongly believe they are the foundation for every beauty routine, and perhaps, all we need.

    In terms of treatments, I am quite passionately against anything that strips or peels away the skin, laser, needling, or drying ingredients like clays. I believe our skin experiences moisture imbalances, and this is always the focus of any treatment I have or product I buy.

    In regard to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? My go-to skin therapist is Stacie and her team at Little Company in Melbourne and Byron Bay. They know what my skin needs, they don’t push any unnecessary treatment on me, and I trust that they want me to look like me, not someone else.

    What are your thoughts on Botox and fillers etc? I personally do not like Botox or lip fillers. I believe society and social media (both brands and influencers) have placed an increasing amount of pressure (of which I have felt), particularly on young people to conform to this unrealistic standard of beauty, and as a result we have a group of people looking increasingly more like each other, instead of themselves. Age gracefully – it’s beautiful. Lines tell stories.

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? Fluff is working on a moisturising mask which I am excited about. I just bought Josh Rosebrook’s Antioxidant Cacao Mask and Nourish Shampoo and Conditioner and Serum Spray. I go to Little Company every few months (I wish more often) for a treatment. I love their LED light therapy and I am looking forward to doing that again.

    What is your favourite beauty magazine? Who are you listening to in podcasts, or watching on Instagram or Youtube? I don’t really read beauty magazines, I usually find out about products by browsing in a few stores I like, e.g. The Lab Organics, as I trust their product selection and offering. I love Gemma Watt’s podcast on beauty, as well as Beauty Island. But my favourite podcasts are Mark GrovesTim Ferris, and Ezra Klein. I’m not really across Youtube but on Instagram I love BalenciagaIjeoma OluoJena CovelloNY Times, and of course, Britney Spears.

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  • InBeauty, Features, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Jose Bryce Smith, founder of Original & Mineral

    Jose Bryce Smith has amazing hair. That relaxed wave with some dark roots peeking through gives me the ultimate Cali cool-girl hair vibes, and now I know what products she uses – I too am a little closer to achieving this, right? Probably not as I’m extremely uncoordinated especially with a hair tong – I have burns to prove it! – but either way, I really enjoyed speaking with Jose about her business, her beauty secrets and her morning routines.

    Once a Vogue Beauty Editor’s ‘best kept secret’, Jose Bryce Smith is the original pioneer of ammonia free hair colour in Australia, and the Founder / CEO of clean luxury haircare company, Original & Mineral (O&M). Her haircare line is a powerhouse, stocked across the globe and responsible for the expert colouring and five-free formula of O&M aficionados across 15 countries and several continents.

    Where did your love of clean beauty come from, has it always been there?

    Growing up my mother and my grandmother were always into organic and natural in food and skincare, when other kids were having chocolate, my mum bought me yoghurt raisins and we were never allowed sugary drinks. She brought me up to be concerned about chemicals and although I loved beauty, I always looked for the cleaner, more natural products.

    What are your favourite O&M products and why?

    I have very fine hair and so I love Fine Intellect shampoo and conditioner as it has lilly pilly which acts like natural collagen and plumps my hair and then I can’t live without Atonic, which is our thickening spray. Project Sukuroi is another, which is our gold smoothing balm which I use on my blonde blow dried ends and I rarely leave the house without Desert Dry which is the perfect mix between dry shampoo and texture, it makes my hair go from flat to fabulous in seconds.

    What are your favourite skincare or haircare ingredients, and why?

    I love macadamia oil, coconut oil and argan oil, they are so smoothing and repairing. I have always done a lot of heat styling and colouring with my hair and it’s about protecting it whilst still living my life and staying blonde. Its so brilliant that natural oils can replace synthetics now.

    Tell me about your hair history, has it been ever evolving? 

    I’ve always been passionate about my hair, I had long hair when I was young and pretty much I’ve had every style from a short crop to a perm, black to blonde and for a decade I had a signature haircut which was a blunt fridge and platinum blonde – that was my trademark. Now in my 40s I’m a bit more relaxed and I am into beach waves for day and glamorous waves for night! For most of my life I have been blonde apart from a few times where I got persuaded to try something different, it never lasted long!

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? 

    We are always testing new products and so I am very lucky that I get to try lots of whizz bang ingredients – I’m obsessed with clean and I drive chemists crazy with my desire to take out chemicals whilst still delivering performance. For me it’s always about volume, give me anything with volume and I’m a happy girl!

    What do you do when you have a moment for #selfcare, maybe a wellness ritual or something? 

    I’ve learnt over the years that for me my morning ritual is critical for setting me up for a successful day. I wake up early, generally around 5.30am and I meditate for 10 minutes. I then have a breathing routine (5 mins) and then I do EFT tapping which is clinically proven to clear blockages, then some kind of exercise – right now, a lot of walking! And during that time I plan out my day, I find that meditation is the best for creating space and allowing new experiences to come in and the breath is so good at grounding, I have a lot going on and so I try to do things that keep me in my body and out of my head. I also love to relax at night in an Epsom salt bath I do several times a week.

    What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? 

    I love Vogue UK and Allure, both which have the perfect mix of beauty and fashion. I’m a podcast and Audible addict so my playlists are never ending and always changing, I’m currently loving Hillary Kerr’s Second Life and UnStyled by Christine Barberich, and have recently also started listening to Behind the Beauty with Bobbi Brown. Some of my Instagram faves include CredoBeauty, WWD and WWW.

    May I ask what’s next for O&M, anything exciting in the works? 

    We are focused on our global expansion, the O&M tribe is growing around the world through the best hair salons, we are in 15 countries and we have several more planned for the end of this year. We also spend a huge amount of time and money on research into clean haircare and we are evolving and constantly looking at ways of reducing harsh chemicals in haircare of the O&M brand. Therefore, we will continue on our mission and we have some exciting new products coming out …

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  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    Recycled Beauty

    With everything happening in the world right now, I’ve recently started up my own little vegetable garden in an effort to buy less groceries and reduce plastic packaging and in just a few weeks, I’ve got a handful of delicious herbs and veggies sprouting everywhere! While I am making a positive impact outside, it soon occurred to me that I cannot say the same for my beauty cabinet – I mean, what can be recycled and where would I even begin?

    Luckily I know a gal whose knowledge far exceeds mine, and Allison McNamara, founder of the clean line of algae-infused skincare MARA Beauty, has kindly shared some information that can help us all begin to limit our environmental impact without sacrificing our much-loved skincare routines!

    First up, I asked Allison what steps we can take right now for a more sustainable approach to beauty, to which she said: “Use less products overall. Invest in multi-hyphenate products, like our MARA Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil that removes makeup and also rinses super clean. Stop using single use beauty, like sheet masks, makeup pads and cotton balls! Take the time to properly rinse out excess product in your containers and of course, shop local when you can to really reduce carbon footprint. Make sure you’re recycling your beauty products properly – many larger brands and companies (including Credo Beauty in the US and Nourished Life in Australia) have recycling programs and incentives to ensure your beauty products get recycled and don’t end up in a landfill.”

    After another way to use your empty glass bottles?https://www.tiktok.com/@themarabeauty_/video/6820118297661607173

    When it comes to specific products, Alison shared that aluminium and glass are both awesome recyclable materials in your beauty packaging. Unit cartons made from paper and water-based coatings & vegetable inks are also recyclable as well. There are even brands who take measures to be zero waste, making packaging out of biodegradable and compostable materials that break down in landfills. She does warn though, be weary of virgin plastics, which can usually be recycled but are also adding to the plastic already in existence. Post-consumer recycled materials are great because they are made from pre-existing, recycled materials however they are not usually recycled again because of the capabilities of local municipalities.

    Being in quarantine at home for about five weeks now has given me plenty of time to reflect on how I can implement more sustainable practices and this one is especially high on my agenda. What steps do you take to reduce your environmental impact, or reduce, reuse, and recycle? Share with me in the comments!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Beauty During a Pandemic with Sari Hoban, PA-C

    While I appreciate the enormity of the current situation we are in – and one that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon – I’m still a skincare junkie at heart and always will be. When I was given the opportunity to speak recently with one of Allison McNamara’s favourite skin experts in Sari Hoban, PA-C, it made my week.

    Please see below my chat with Sari on beauty during a pandemic, and why she believes that virtual skin consultations are here to stay!

    Sari Hoban, PA-C is a nationally Board Certified Physician Assistant in Los Angeles, CA specializing in aesthetics: injectables, lasers and skincare. She was recently awarded the Top 100 Injectors in America designation for 2019-2020 voted on by patients and fellow peers in the industry. She is a national speaker for PCA Skin and an educator for medical school programs. Sari specializes in a natural aesthetic and is renowned by her patients for her emphasis on the individualized patient experience and her less is more approach.

    What can patients do at home to stave off fine lines and wrinkles without in-office treatments such as lasers or botox? There is no replacement for in-office treatments such as lasers or neuromodulator injections (botox/dysport), but there are at-home treatments than can help until aesthetic offices reopen. Typically, neuromodulators like botox or dysport are injected into muscles to reduce the muscle’s movements, and therefore reducing the lines those repeated muscle movements cause. An at-home option is to use a topical neuropeptide. This will work similarly to a neuromodulator like botox to reduce the movements on the skin surface causing fine lines. I personally use and love PCA Skin Exlinea. You can also couple this with the use of a retinol, topical vitamin A, which will increase cell turnover and aid in reduction of fine lines, pores, age spots and more. There are many retinols on the market and they are not one size fits all. The key with retinol is to start slow and be patient as it can take 4-6 weeks to see the effects.

    What can patients do to combat acne during these stressful times? First and foremost, be sure to wash your face morning and night. While our normal schedules have shifted, it is highly likely our normal skincare routines have gone out the window. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Also, add in washing your face right after you exercise even if you don’t shower right away. Look for powerful anti-acne ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid in your skincare products. If the world of skincare is overwhelming to you, I am offering virtual skincare consultations to help counsel patients appropriately and get them on a good skincare routine.

    A lot of people are breaking out due to mask wearing. What can we do? By wearing a mask for an hour at the grocery store or a 12 hour shift at the hospital, the mask is trapping air, moisture and heat, leading to inflammation, irritation and acne breakouts. Avoid wearing makeup if you know you are leaving your house and will be wearing a mask as that will only add to clogged pores and congestion. If wearing a mask for extended periods, try taking it off periodically, if safe, like in a private restroom, and wash your face. During this time you can also apply salicylic acid spot treatments to those dreaded acne zones and then replace your mask. At least you have a powerful ingredient helping combat the congestion occurring inside the mask while you go about your day. If you are not a frontline worker, try to opt for a cotton breathable face covering and wash with a fragrance free detergent to avoid irritation.

    What safety measures will need to be in place when aesthetic offices reopen? Aesthetic offices are seeing a shift in the way they conduct business. Most offices have been closed for 5-6 weeks and may be closed for at least 3-4 more weeks. Telemedicine or virtual consultations have become increasingly popular and are likely here to stay. For in-person visits when the time comes, it will be common for patients to be prescreened before their appointments, to arrive in masks, have their temperatures checked at the doors and to come to their appointments solo (rather than with a friend or family members). It is also likely offices will not see as many patients each day and will need to stagger the volume of people coming through their doors, so wait times to get on the schedule may be slightly longer. I also think virtual consultations will be here to stay. There is a good amount we can cover prior to the appointment date, and it is wise to decrease the time spent in face to face interactions. If everything has been covered virtually, then you can just get to business when it is time for the appointment!

    Are you taking virtual consultations? Yes! While I cannot inject or perform lasers at the moment, I can conduct a consultation virtually to discuss your aesthetic goals and come up with a treatment plan for when the office reopens. I can also provide a comprehensive skincare plan and ship products to you!

    You can find Sari Hoban on Instagram @goseesari or her site www.goseesari.com.

    Please remember that medical information provided by Sari Hoban, PA-C, in the absence of a visit with a health care professional, must be considered as an educational service only. The information should not be relied upon as a medical consultation. This mechanism is not designed to replace a physician’s independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. 

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Links I Love

    Who would have thought the majority of us would have so much time to ourselves; to be productive or simply chill, without the need to wear a watch or keep track of the time (and days!). While it’s a weird time, it’s also allowing us to place a pause button on life and for that, I am ever so grateful.

    Here are some interesting links I’ve found recently, which I hope you too enjoy:

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  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Erin Cook, Beauty Director at Gritty Pretty

    Gritty Pretty is one of my favourite digital beauty magazines, and with Eleanor Pendleton at the helm – it’s no surprise why. Every time a new issue alert arrives, I push everything to the side and immediately dive in. Erin Cook is the resident Beauty Director who I’ve followed on Instagram from what seems like forever now, and I was thrilled when she accepted my offer to feature in this series on my blog – I mean, Erin knows beauty and knows it well. I always make a point of reading her articles (a recent favourite here) and if truth be told, I might stalk her on the regular to keep myself up to date. That out of the way; let’s chat makeup, skincare and beauty with Erin Cook!

    Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? Growing up, my number one true love was magazines. I was obsessed with the beauty, fashion and pop culture pages of Total Girl and then Dolly and Girlfriend before graduating to Cosmo, Cleo, Nylon, Yen and Frankie. For a long time, I loved fashion and beauty equally but beauty obviously won out – I think that’s because I always felt a little excluded from fashion. I grew up in a small town where I didn’t have the money or the resources to really delve into the world of fashion. (This is before online shopping.) Whereas beauty on the other hand… It was easy to walk into Priceline and pick up the hot new $15 eyeshadow palette from Revlon and try my hand at Cosmo’s latest smokey eye tutorial. Was it pretty? Absolutely not. But it was accessible to me.

    What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? Hoo boy! I hate to choose between my children but I think everyone secretly has a favourite child. (Mum, dad, if you’re reading this – it’s me, right?) I douse my skin in hyaluronic acid day and night. It’s so great for drawing moisture to the surface of your skin, making it look and feel super plump and super juicy. Bonus points if the hyaluronic acid-based serum has some niacinamide in it to calm my skin when it’s pissed off because I tried a new product that claimed it was going to change my life. Speaking of hydrating, squalane is so good(!) and I think we’re going to see more and more of it! Where hyaluronic acid is more of a surface hydrator, squalane can delve a little deeper for longer lasting hydration. Great for my dehydrated skin.

    Retinol is almost unparalleled when it comes to anti-ageing and creating smooth skin and small pores. Almost every dermatologist I’ve interviewed swears by it and they’re the real experts here. I get really cute hormonal acne on my chin once a month that I’ve just come to accept and treat as I go. For these guys, I love a salicylic acid spot treatment. Salicylic acid is the business for pimples – it’s anti-inflammatory and unclogs pores and calms redness and just try it already.

    What are your favourite beauty treatments? I’m not loyal by any means but the top spot at the moment goes to HydraFacial! HydraFacial is the Real Deal – and you can find it at skin clinics all over Australia which is great. It exfoliates, sucks all of the gunk out of your pores and then infuses a bunch of potent antioxidants (tailored to you) back into your skin. There’s no down time and you walk on out of there with skin that is noticeably glowy. Where’s the lie? I don’t like any treatments that are too extreme. Anything that requires downtime or involves layers of skin shedding off my face isn’t for me. I want to treat my skin nice and keep my skin barrier intact.

    In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? As a journalist, I want to speak to the experts that are well respected and at the top of their game. To become a dermatologist requires many years of study at a university level, same goes for scientists and cosmetic chemists. However, there are some very knowledgeable skin therapists out there too. I look at academic credentials and experience before reaching out to experts.

    What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? You do you! If you’re going to do it, go somewhere reputable. I don’t have anything in my face at the moment.

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? I’m obsessed with CHANEL makeup – their global makeup artist Lucia Pica is so cool and makes me want to work on my makeup stills. I just ordered MegaBabe deodorant online this morning because apparently it’s a natural deodorant that actually works. Time will tell! Treatment-wise, I really want to get a bit woo woo and get a super relaxing facial, preferably with crystals involved. Mostly for my brain but if it helps my skin too – great!

    What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I love Porter and Vogue UK at the moment – they’re similar in that they offer super high-end visuals with in-depth reporting on topics that haven’t already been done to death. As for websites, I’m into Into The Gloss, The Violet Files (part of Violet Grey), Man Repeller, Goop (with a grain of salt), The Cut, Byrdie, The Coveteur and The Strategist. Violette (Estee Lauder’s global makeup artist) is the coolest person on YouTube in my opinion! As for podcasts, Fat Mascara are my OG beauty podcast (I feel like I know them at this stage). I’ve just started listening to Allure’s beauty podcast, Goop Beauty Closet is worth a listen too – plus, The Glossy Beauty Podcast and The Beauty Brains.

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  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Carrie Barber, Contributing Editor of Violet Grey

    Carrie Barber is a freelance Creative Director who caught my eye some time ago on Instagram, thanks to her effortlessly stylish French-girl hair (read her haircut story) and eyebrows that are the closest thing to perfection I’m yet to see. As well as contributing to Violey Grey (the industries beauty edit), Carrie has worked with  brands including Glossier, The RealReal, Sephora and Augustinus Bader – so there’s no surprise that I wanted to ask Carrie all the beauty questions.

    Warning – skin goals ahead …

    • Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there?I have always been interested in makeup, throughout middle school I was adamant about wearing four shades of blue eyeshadow, but my Mom was always very natural with a routine of drinking a lot of water and wearing sunscreen.  I didn’t get obsessed with beauty until I worked at Sephora right after graduating college. Once I started, I was hooked and it felt like where I was always meant to be. As I have gotten older, and been in the industry for almost a decade, I am now more obsessed with skincare and wear less makeup every day.
    • What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why?  For me, it’s about the product texture and how it finishes on the skin. That being said, I want my products to work so I look for a high percentage of active ingredients. Currently I use two hydrating products in the morning, SkinMedica HA5 and Biologique’s SERUM AMNIOTIQUE with Dr Sturm Face Cream and Sun Drops. At night I use U Beauty’s Resurfacing Compound and La Mer Creme de La Mer. If I wear makeup it’s Westman Atelier or Koh Gen Do.
    • What are your favourite beauty treatments? My favorite treatment to get is Lymphatic drainage at Ricari Studios. It’s like a two for one: it detoxes your body and feels like a massage. Its so relaxing, I fall asleep every time. For facials I see Camille Fields or Biba in Los Angeles.
    • In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? Honestly, I trust my beauty editor friends the most. They are the most skeptical and have seen it all, so if they really like someone, they mean it. I think its important to find someone who you connect with and that takes care of you, regardless of their celebrity or social following.
    • What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc?  I personally have done both, and am really happy with the results. This isn’t everyone’s opinion but I think wait as long as you can to do either, and keep it conservative. Make sure you see someone with the right credentials, fillers is not a place to be thrifty.
    • What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment?  I really really want to see Joomee Song.
    • What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube?  I will always and forever read Into The Gloss. My favorite magazine is Self Service Magazine. My favorite instagram is @cyndlekomarovski and I am not much a YouTuber but love watching Katie Jane Hughes do makeup.

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Video tutorial: Gua Sha Facial Massage

    I recently wrote about the benefits of gua sha, of which which there are many, but as I wrote that piece I began to wonder where I could find the correct way to physically hold and maneuver the tool for comfort and maximized results, which lead me to Wildling Beauty who have created a culture of self-loving beauty through sophisticated self care rituals.

    They explain that technique is everything, and the most important thing to remember is to keep the gua sha facial massage tool at a 15-30 degree angle to the skin at all times, which maximizes the surface area of contact between your skin and the tool. To explain this better than I can, below I’ve popped a detailed tutorial with Wildling’s co-founder Britta Plug, describing how to use their Empress Stone for lifting, toning and brightening of the face, neck, and decollete. Watch this video first, then follow it with the How to Practice the Empress Ritual.

    As well as Youtube, Wildling Beauty have quite an array of IG videos from improving skin texture with gua sha, to TMJ relief for those suffering from jaw pain or tension. There is even one on softening frown lines with gua sha – which just goes to show a few minutes creating a self care ritual each day can go on to have long term benefits for the mind and body ….

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    New | Customised Solid Fragrances

    For someone who has become quite a fragrance whore lately, it’s no surprise that I’m thrilled to be playing with a newly released solid perfume, in Narrative Lab. For those who aren’t aware, a solid fragrance is just a concentrated version of your usual spray on perfume/aftershave or eau de parfum, but it’s suspended in a natural wax base rather than alcohol which means it provides additional skin nourishing benefits when you apply it to your skin.

    How do you use it? With your fingers, apply as liberally or as little as what suits you. There is no right or wrong way to use solid wax perfume.

    Each solid fragrance palette comes with three fragrances, built upon the same keynotes of the base fragrance. I choose Rose Above, a floral rose, with the scent of wild berries with fresh rose, magnolia and woody patchouli base tones. I find the scent lasts a good couple of hours, and because I’m slightly addicted to the clicking open the case, it’s no hassle to reapply as needed. They also offer the same scents in a roll-on perfume oil, which is just as travel friendly as the pots. It’s worth noting that the pots are comparable to a 50ml perfume spray, which is quite a lot considering the tiny size.

    Narrative ingredients are as natural and organic as possible with no nasties – vegan and not tested on animals. Narrative has worked with industry experts, formulators and product developers over many years to create these scents, but they’re also very selective with the factories and packaging materials they use, ensuring they are trading both to a high-quality manufacturing standards, but also with ethical working conditions. Where possible, Narrative use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified or recycled paper and make sure all other materials used is either reusable or refillable.

    For reference, the Narrative Roll On Oils are $59 AUD and the Solid Fragrances are $99.

    Good for the earth and our noses!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Conscious Beauty

    While the beauty industry was once prone to excess, and some may say over consumption, recently there has been a change to more sustainable approach to products and tools. Nadia Eizadi, conscious beauty guru and owner of Bat Your Lash, an eco and sustainable beauty salon, has taken her next steps in challenging wastage in today’s beauty industry with the launch of Pandoo, a one-stop-shop for sustainable beauty tools.

    “My inspiration to start the range started when I realised how much waste the beauty industry creates. To be hygienic we had a lot of single use tools such as mascara wands, lip applicators and cotton ear buds. We were using and disposing so much in a day. To know the effects of what plastic does to the environment and our planet was disheartening and worrying. So I made the decision to swap the tools that I could from plastic to bamboo. What I couldn’t buy, I created”, Nadia said.

    Encouraging consumers and professionals alike to replace their plastic tools with a more eco-friendly, sustainable solution, Pandoo provides an alternative to the often-overlooked plastics in our beauty routines. Nadia says: “We chose bamboo because of its many benefits. It is 100% natural, biodegradable, anti fungal and antibacterial. It absorbs greenhouse gases, not to mention it’s amazing growth rate compared to other natural resources. Knowing that plastic takes 1000 years to decompose and bamboo only takes 2-3 months, it makes it the eco-friendliest option. My aim is to try to reduce landfill as much as we can, so switching to bamboo (although it is slightly more expensive) is really a no-brainer.”

    Pandoo is launching with three key products; Ear-Buds, Lip Applicators, and Mascara Wands all made from the super-powered plant, bamboo. Nadia says “Since Pandoo is bamboo based it has many benefits as mentioned previously, additionally we have also made the swap from using plastic to using biodegradable satchels to post our products. Not only are our Pandoo beauty tools promoting and supporting an environmentally conscious way of life, but so is the packaging in which customers are receiving their products. It’s a win/win!”

    Here’s to saving the earth, one beauty product at a time!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Hand Care Advice for Summer 2019

    We’re all about skincare, especially of late, but are you one to actually take your care of your hands? I must admit, I strive to be that person but I often fall short. I consider it a good effort if I remember to apply cuticle oil and hand cream before bed, but most notice I admit, I forget.

    With this in mind, I enlisted the knowledge of Enbacci founder and skincare expert, Yong-Li Zhou, to shed some light to how I can adopt a serious #handcare routine, and more importantly – where to even begin.

    As Yong-Li Zhou says “Our hands are constantly exposed to environmental pollutants. They are exposed to harmful UV rays while we are walking down the street, driving the car, talking on a phone, and playing most outdoor sports.”

    This means that as the skin on the hands and wrists are susceptible to photoaging much like the face (crows-feet anyone) they require the same level of care and attention as the skin on our face. Enbacci have a dedicated hand care range, designed for all skin types, ethnicities, genders and ages; and is available nationwide online and via the brand’s flagship store located in Melbourne’s city fringe.

    To cleanse, Yong-Li Zhou suggests Enbaci’s Nourish Hand Wash to effectively clean and disinfect without leaving hands feeling dry, taut, or irritated. This gentle formula repairs damaged skin, restores moisture and offers antimicrobial properties to protect skin from harmful surface bacteria. Once dry, Yong-Li Zhou recommends applying the Brightening Hand & Nail Cream SPF15 to nourish and protect your hands, keeping the skin looking youthful for longer with this Vitamin A and E rich cream.

    It’s worth nothing that while freckles on the hands and fingers are not always a cause for concern, they can be a precursor to certain skin conditions and cancers. “Taking the right skincare precautions and having regular check-up’s with your GP or dermatologist will ensure your hands stay youthful and healthy for as long as possible,” said Yong-Li Zhou.

    Hands up who is ready for summer 👐

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    For The Friend Who is Obsessed with Monogramming

    Monogrammed items are everywhere right now, from iPhone cases to handbags. We all love a personalised piece, especially when it’s a gift so let me introduce you to Beysis, formally known as Say It With Polish. From humble beginnings with the launch of a single customisable nail polish line, the Beysis team has recently expanded into an extensive range of thoughtfully designed beauty and lifestyle essentials, including personalised and refillable perfume atomisers, candles, makeup cases and compact mirrors. They’ve even curated a range of stylish and practical water bottles, while still creating their stand-out nail polish range.

    Name them, monogram them, make them yours!

    Featuring minimalistic, classic designs, Beysis create products that are sustainable and functionable, which you can order in just a few clicks. I remembering gifting my bridesmaids a nail polish each with a personalised message before my wedding in 2016, and it was such a treat for both them and I, creating such a beautiful memory.

    Australian owned & designed, all of Beysis’ beauty products are also certified cruelty free by Australia’s leading body, Cruelty Free Australia, with their polishes also being ‘10 Free‘ which you can learn more about here but basically, this means that their polish is free of all the nasties commonly found in nail-polish, all without compromising on quality or performance.

    For the friend who has everything, or even if you’re in the mood to #treatyoself, make Beysis your first stop. 

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  • InLifestyle

    What I’m Lusting After This Week

    Inspired by the weekly edits published by British Vogue, I thought I’d start to share my week in review as a way to further connect with you, my reader. I also would love to know what you’re doing, listening to and eating this week so please pop a comment below and share!

    LISTEN 

    This last week was spent catching up on episodes from both The High Low with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Skyes, and Glow Journal with Gemma Watts. On Dolly and Pandora’s recommendation, I’m about to start reading Bridget Jones Diary to relive the 90’s once again through Bridget’s hilarious antics. I don’t recall previously reading the book, only watching the movie oh, a million times. I always had such a crush on Daniel Cleaver, or maybe it was just Hugh Grant?

    In the nail studio of a weekend, I’ve playing the Spotify playlist ‘Work Chill’ by Helene Raynor but while I’m tapping away at the computer, I constantly have the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood soundtrack on repeat during the day while I dream about living life in carefree and fun 60’s…

    PURCHASED

    I recently purchased a fresh supply of Ultra Violette but changed from the Queen Screen to the Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen, and finally bit the bullet and bought The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Previously Advanced Retinoid 2%), which came highly recommend by the internet.

    LUSTING

    Currently lusting over Estee Lalonde’s newest collection with Daisy London, while daydreaming about my two weeks of leave in late October and wondering if a quick jaunt to NYC or London may be in order? Either way, I am in desperate need of a pedicure as I’ve neglected my totsies for far too long this winter.

    EAT & DRINK

    My husband and I enjoyed the most beautiful brunch on Sunday at Hill Street – I of course chose the smashed avo – but this dish had so much extra flavour in the dukka and pesto, oh and maybe the side of bacon too. I’ve decided I’m over the taste of wine lately, and have deemed my drink of choice to be vodka + cranberry which is going down a treat. Add a slice of lime and it’s almost a cocktail in your kitchen.

    We spent our Sunday wandering the local markets where I picked up a latte and some homemade kombucha, while we debated between a homemade carrot cake and an apple + rubarb cake – the apple won out – and smelt the delicious wafts of french style crepes from the food truck. Speaking of delicious, my husband made the most incredible vegetable lasagne without my favourite part in the cheese sauce and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. We’re always trying to increase our veggie intake, and this is one of the best ways to do in my book!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like Working for a Luxury Beauty Website?

    Ever wondered what it would be like to work for a luxury beauty website? Well wonder no more, as I’ve been lucky enough to speak with Amber Cotterell and Beth O’Keefe, who both work for luxury independent beauty platform Calissa. Calissa prides itself on its edited selection of premium and niche brands. As a British brand, they’ve cherry picked the best products from home as well as sourcing favourites from all over the world. The team is always on the lookout for the next big thing in beauty, and orders will be delivered to you quickly, reliably and in award winning recycled and recyclable packaging (almost) anywhere in the World.

    For serious #workenvy, just scroll down …

    What does a general day look like for you, and what aspects are beauty related?

    Amber: Everyday of the week I do something different. One day I will create banners for the website, as well as creating social media posts and another day I’m coding images into the background of the website. A typical day for me would be to come into work in the morning, look at my emails first thing and see what I need to reply to and if I need to do anything from those emails. I then focus on the workload that I have to do, each day I have a different lot of workload to do (I keep a schedule on what I do on what day.) For example; Monday would be creating all the images you can see on the homepage. Tuesday would be changing the banners and then editing our descriptions. Wednesday I would be creating a blog for the website. So each day is different, however the average week is the same.

    With the beauty aspect, it’s quite hard to see what’s beauty related. We sometimes get our brands to come in and give us training lessons, where we learn more about the products, and we get to try the products out. We also sometimes get given free samples that we can take home and use, and this is all to help with the descriptions of the products because if we’re writing about a product we need to know about the product. We also do a lot of research on brands and up to date beauty trends for blogs. I would say that’s the kind of beauty related stuff we do.

    Beth:  As Amber said every day is different! My day typically consists of designing website banners, email campaigns and any visual content you see on the website. When I’m not designing I am usually researching the beauty industry for the latest trends and topics that we can feature in a blog post. As many of the brands we stock have an amazing back story when they invite us to training days I often convert this information and share our knowledge through a blog post. The creative aspect of my role consumes most of my week however there are still marketing responsibilities me and Amber have to keep on top of, for example discussing a marketing strategy for the following months. As my role is very creative I would say about 60% of my tasks are beauty related, I am constantly learning about brands, ingredients, trends – the list goes on!

    What involvement do you have with Calissa, and how closely do you work alongside the team?

    Amber: So our team is a pretty small, Beth and I work in the Marketing Team. There is one person who specialises in Customer Service, one person in accounts and the two directors of the company, so we are a very small team. However, because we’re a small team we do a lot of things together. For example if there was a customer service query, I might be asked to help out answering the question, or if I need a price list then the accountant will be able to provide it for me and might even complete the task that I want done. It’s quite nice to work in a smaller team as you get to know everyone individually, and it’s easier to ask for someone to do something. With Calissa, Beth and I have 100% involvement within the website, we create the website content as well as the banners, category pages and images alongside that. We also are in charge of looking after all of the social media platforms and emails. So regarding the Digital Marketing aspect of Calissa we have 100% involvement.

    Beth: Calissa is 100% mine and Amber’s responsibility. We design the visual content, the written content and ultimately make sure the site is running to the best it can! As Amber said our team is very small and we are all there to help each other when we need it however the teams have very different job roles, as Amber and I are the marketing team we work very closely with each other to ensure the website looks and feels the way we believe our customers want it to look.

    What are your ‘ride or die’ beauty products, and is beauty a huge part of your life?

    Amber: I’ll be honest before starting here I never really focused on beauty products, I had a big part of makeup but beauty wasn’t something that I had really thought about. As I started learning about different brands and products I started becoming more interested in things I had never thought about, like vegan products. I’m not a vegan and never thought about buying vegan or natural products. However when I started working here, I became a bit more aware of the benefits of buying vegan or natural products, so I try to buy more products within that range.

    I have a few favourite products that I think now I’ve started using I don’t know what I’d do without. The first one is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, I absolutely LOVEEE this product, I use it everyday after putting on my makeup. It’s great as a waking up mist and I love it as a setting spray. The next product is the Electric Ink Tattoo Daily Moisturiser, I have a few tattoos and especially in the summer they can look a bit faded from the sun, so I like to add some of the daily moisturiser to give it that extra glow and makes it look fresher. My final product would be the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, at first I’ll admit I couldn’t use it, I’m not a good sleeper, I wake up a lot during the night and most of the time have 4 to 5 hours maximum. However once my body got used to the smell, I fall asleep with the click of the fingers. It relaxes me so much.

    Beth: I would say beauty is a huge part of my life but i’m quite settled in my ways, other than the samples that are featured in our posts I don’t try as many new products as I perhaps should! That being said when I started working for Calissa I was very pleased to see all of the vegan, organic and sustainable brands – this is the reason I am quite reluctant to try new things. Being particular about the ingredients and morals of brands has made it more tricky in the past that however now is starting to change with my role here and I can’t wait to try some of the products we will hopefully be bringing to our customers in the near future!

    My “Ride Or Dies” would be:

    1. Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Body Oil– this smells amazinggg! Every morning it’s the perfect moisturiser after my shower, the scent wakes me up and my skin remains soft throughout the day.
    2. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Intense Moisturizing Cream– honestly the texture of this face cream is out of this world! Never have I used a face cream so velvety in my life and now i wouldn’t be without this product for the world!
    3. Emma Hardie Moringa Renewal Treatment Mask– Once a week I used this as an overnight mask and in the morning it rinses off my face so easily!  leaving my skin with an even complexion and super smooth! I don’t feel the need to moisturise after using this and my skin stays smooth and hydrated all day!

    What’s the biggest beauty tip you could share with my audience?

    Amber: See I don’t have that many beauty tips, I have one makeup tip which works for me but it does look weird. My tip is once you’ve applied lipstick, and you’ve got a tissue and dabbed off the excess of the lipstick you can get some translucent powder and dab it onto your lips and it sets your lipstick. Not too much powder only a tiny bit to set it, so it’s not too sticky and doesn’t come off. That’s my tip, I do it every time I wear lipstick so it doesn’t come off and I think it makes lipstick last longer. The only other tip, which I’m not sure is a tip, is that some beauty products can be stored in the fridge so the products themselves last longer. I don’t know if these are new tips or if people already knew them but those are my tips.

    Beth: I am very simple with my makeup, using the same stuff everyday and my routine is quite hard to break! The only bit of advice I can think of would be using a brush to apply foundation rather than your fingers! I must admit I am guilty of using my finger in the past but now I’ve converted to a brush I would never go back! As finger tips are grooved you actually waste most of your foundation! With a brush you can achieve a smooth finish and still have foundation left in your bottle when you’re done! Foundation is a key part to most peoples makeup routine, while on the topic I would say primer! Works a treat.

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Skin Journal – 28 Days to Rejuvenation

    The Skin Journal – 28 Days to Rejuvenation reads the headline.

    You know me, I had to know more – skincare is my jam.

    In a nutshell, this beautiful addition offering from clean beauty makeup artist Georgina Alexandra is a solid, concrete skin care journal where individuals’ own routines are put on paper with the help and guidance of expert advice, allowing for self-reflection and real results. You will learn to understand, love and care for your skin with this guide and experience a step-by-step daily model that provides you with useful daily tips and tricks, real facts and information, plus insight from experts about the beautiful new habits you will be creating.

    This intrigued me greatly, so I reached out to Georgina in the hope of learning a little more about her and The Skin Journal, and she very warmly accepted. Georgina explained that after studying makeup artistry, she was left confused post-graduation when it came to skin care advice and disliked the toxicity found in commercial products. “I only use clean products because it is better for both our health and the environment. I have a passion for education, and I love to be a part of the conversation about the importance of our health and the correlation between what we are putting on our skin that is being absorbed and the high importance of our planet, too.”

    “The Skin Journal educates you along the way with tips and tricks and everything you need to know to start your own overall wellness journey.” Georgina explains. “Absolutely anyone can pick up and read it, it is for all ages. Originally I wrote it for brides, now, since writing it is for everyone to create a relationship with their skin, learn how to read our skin, understand the whys and educate themselves on the cleaver container that holds our body.” Georgina said.

    Of course I then asked Georgina the question, “What does clean beauty mean to you?” She replied, “Consciously choosing. Clean beauty means using products that support our choice to be healthy in all aspects of our lives as well as products that support our environment and overall well-being”. Georgina hopes that her journal’s holistic and self-starting approach will help with “releasing the inner feminine goddess of each beautiful soul with the teachings of understating the cosmetic organic, natural, non-toxic and sustainable world.” Redefining the approach to taking care of one’s skin natural while bringing a sense of ease and self-authority, Georgina is set to help women achieve a natural, glowing complexion with healthy skin care and makeup choices.

    Putting her education and passion into action, Georgina shares her talent by continuing to work in makeup artistry. “I am working nearly every weekend with my bridal clientele, and I also create makeovers for any occasion offering skin coaching to all my brides – your makeup will only look as good as your skin’s health. 1:1 makeup and skincare coaching are available online for everyone!” She also incorporates regular workshops and events, where she says “We focus on an in-depth understanding of everything I cover in the book and so much more. We do a day to night time makeup look using (obviously) all natural certified organic products. It is a wonderful way to ‘try’ on different foundations, feel and touch other products and learn even more about what suits your face shape, skin tones and everything in between! See what works and what doesn’t along with education on application. It is such a fun day!”

    Lastly, I asked Georgina what is the one thing we can all do to improve our skin’s health today. Her reply? “Be consistent with your daily routine – this is why I create the journal. So many ladies swap and change products after a few days because they don’t see change, my journal keeps you informed, encouraged and supported. Cheeky number two – add oil into your routine – doesn’t matter the skin type, add some sort of deeper hydration product that isn’t a moisturiser and see how fresh and youthful your skin becomes!”

    Georgina Alexandra – clean beauty makeup artist and The Skin Journal founder
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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle, Travel

    Celebrating Bastille Day with Katrina Lawrence

    If you’ve followed my blog from the start, you will be well aware of my quite obvious girl crush I have on Katrina Lawrence, the former beauty writer and now author and travel consultant at Paris for Dreamers. After the book launch of her first book Paris Dreaming: What the City of Light Taught Me About Life, Love & Lipstick., Katrina realised she had much more to say on the subject of Paris, and was happiest when advising others on how to get the most out of their next Parisian jaunt. Which is why she wrote a book on walking tours with a difference — Paris for Dreamers: Whimsical Walks Through the City of Light’s Delights — as well as launching the website, to give other Paris dreamers the inspiration they need to have their dream Parisian experience.

    With Bastille Day coming up on Sunday, I couldn’t not speak with Katrina about everything Parisian, and of course her covetable french beauty staples!

    What does Bastille Day mean to you?

    On a personal level, I’ve been in Paris for Bastille Day numerous times: with my grandfather when I was young, with girlfriends when we were all footloose and fancy-free, and a couple of times with my young sons. So I have a variety of memories of this fun and festive day.

    But from the point of view of a Francophile — a lover of French culture, history, food, everything! — Bastille Day represents a celebration of the human right to a good life.

    Bastille Day might not at first seem like it should be a happy event. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison, a bloody siege that led to the Revolution and the so-called Terreur, a time of such frightening and indiscriminate violence that it gave the world the word ‘terrorism.’ But although the French Revolution saw some truly evil men commit atrocious acts, it was above all a fight by the people for equality.

    What I love about the legacy of the revolution is that it wasn’t about dragging everything down so much as elevating everyone up to a better life. Old aristocratic habits weren’t killed off by the guillotine. Restaurants boomed after the revolution. Opera kept playing. The fashion industry kept spinning. People continued to drink champagne. I adore that about the French, their firm belief that everyone has the right to drink champagne, that we should all be able to have a life worth celebrating.

    So Bastille Day is about saluting the freedoms and the rights that allow the French to live well. In France there is free education and healthcare. People are highly taxed for it, of course, and income is not particularly huge in France. But most people get by, and have the time and money to enjoy picnics with friends, long family lunches, holidays here and there, those seemingly small pleasures that end up being the big things in life. And when you’re in France on Bastille Day you see this, everyone out enjoying life’s little joys — the picnics, the pétanque, the macarons, the rosé!

    You were a beauty journalist for many years — what did the French teach you about beauty?

    Oh, so much. I loved interviewing the perfume ‘noses’ in particular. They’re such artists and I now really appreciate a beautifully crafted fragrance, especially one that leaves a lasting sillage — that scent trail that Parisiennes love to wear like an olfactory scarf!

    I also interviewed many beautiful French women, from skincare formulators to actresses and models, and what I soon came to realise is that the effortlessly chic look they do so well actually does require a certain amount of effort! But they know when to draw the line, so to speak — they’re not chained to their bathrooms. They know which beauty tasks require the most attention. So, for example, they’re ultra-diligent with their skincare, and regular facials, which means they can get away with a quick daily makeup routine of minimal foundation (if any), followed by a smudge of liner or swipe of red lipstick. Similarly, they use good-quality haircare, so that if they air-dry their hair, it will still look healthy even if messy. It’s like carrying around an old Birkin bag — it might be battered but, hey, it’s Hermès!

    A Parisienne once told me that she can’t spend too long on her beauty regimen as she would miss out on too many other things that are important to her, such as reading the newspaper or catching up with friends. The key for her was in knowing how to do the minimum work for maximum results.

    For most Parisians, looking groomed is a social duty — they like to live up to the gorgeousness of Paris. I love this about them, the pride they take in themselves as much as their city. Grooming is also a form of self-care here. After all, it was a French brand that came up with the tagline ‘Because you’re worth it’!

    What are your favourite French beauty products?

    • Anything from the wonderful Bioderma. Especially their cult cleansing water, of course, but also their anti-redness skincare, which I find soothing for my rosacea.
    • An Embryolisse moisturiser followed by Embryolisse Secret de Maquilleurs — I usually need coverage on my cheeks for my aforementioned redness, and these two products combine for a great base.
    • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. I am nothing short of obsessed with this shampoo. I love the exfoliating action and how it makes your scalp feel so fresh, but also that at the same time it’s super-gentle on hair, especially of the highlighted variety. Also, the lather is exceptional for a sulphate-free product.
    • Suncare by La Roche-Posay. The formulations are as lightweight as they are high-coverage.
    • Guerlain L’Heure Bleue. I adore a thematic perfume, a fragrance with a beautiful back-story, and this is the ultimate for me. It was inspired by Paris’s famous blue light, that vaporous, violet-tinged twilight. Cue a powdery sparkle that dissolves into a seductive muskiness, with a potent sillage that takes you well into the after dark.

    Finally, can you share any Paris travel tips?

    Of course! It’s my favourite thing to do! I have thousands of them but if I had to pick out a few tops, they would be …

    • Just go. Whenever you can. Don’t think you must sync your holiday to a particular season if you have limited timing options. Of course, Paris is sublime in April, when the pink cherry blossoms are in full bloom. But it’s a city that is exquisite in every season. You just need to make sure you’re fully equipped for that season (say, pack Uniqlo thermals for winter), and tailor your itinerary to suit the conditions. In other words, don’t plan for late-night picnics by the Seine if you’re going to be there in December!
    • Pack walking shoes. Or a few pairs. Paris is for wanderers. It’s relatively flat in surface, it’s doesn’t take too long to criss-cross, and there are so many picturesque ways to get from A to B — there’s always something to swoon over, such as a pretty flower-laden balcony. This is how you find a Paris of your own. I always recommend leaving one day on the itinerary completely blank — this is the day for just walking wherever your fancy takes you. And in Paris, a city of so many portals to a past time and of so much beauty, that fancy will always take you somewhere amazing. Oh also, all the walking works off all the macarons and cheese!
    • If you’re heading to Paris in peak season, consider pre-purchasing tickets for the larger museums and more popular monuments. Just be aware that, with most of these, you’ll need to commit to a specific date, possibly even a particular time slot, too. That might be tricky at first, but you’ll be thankful for the forward thinking once you’re breezing through the fast lane.

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  • InLifestyle

    Making My Mark …

    While I’m never without my phone case, I’m not one to just slip on a clear cover and go – I need a bit of something, you know? I’m known in my circle for always updating my case whether it’s a marble design, a random array of Glossier stickers but now finally, I’ve upgraded to a MAISON de SABRÉ case. We’re talking a beautiful red (pomegranate red actually) pebble grain bovine leather with a hand pressed gold monogram of my initials, that looks as luxe as it is durable. And it’s a dream to find deep in my handbag, I can see it a mile away!

    When this arrived on my desk, I opened the minimal yet chic package to find the phone case enveloped in beautiful lining and I knew someone had gone to the trouble of making the little things count, it was gorgeous.

    This case wraps around the phones edge perfectly for maximum protection – I’m totally a dropper, and have gone through many a phone in the last few years! These cases retail for $79.99 and they also have card holders and clutches available for personalisation, in gold and silver. Speaking of personalisation, you can choose up to 4 characters for monogramming, with one of these characters being a ♡ – cute! Would you believe after three years I still get a kick out of seeing my married initials?

    I ordered this case on Friday 31st Mat (and delivery to Tasmania can often take longer than expected) yet this case literally arrived at my doorstep by 8am when I checked my mailbox before work.  Seriously, mind blowing. I also noted on the website that MAISON de SABRÉ offer free worldwide shipping, and inside the package I also had a voucher for $10 off my next order. Now that I’m on the monogrammed trend, I think the Blush Nude Clutch is next on my wish list…

     

     

     

    *Item gifted by the brand, with all words and opinions being my own
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  • InLifestyle

    All About That (Blue) Light…

    While I aim to practice what I preach – limiting social media usage anyone? – I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to giving into my vices. Once of my worst vices is sitting on my laptop or phone throughout the night, with not only my sleep disrupted. Blue light is fast becoming a phrase on my radar, as not only is it naturally produced by the sun, it’s also dispensed by fluorescent light bulbs and emitted by LED’s present in digital devices, i.e my laptop and iPhone.

    Similar in appearance to ultraviolet light and visible on the light spectrum, blue light comprises of wavelengths that range from 400nm to 500nm. While all artificial light, including LEDs, fluorescent bulbs and incandescent bulbs, can interrupt normal sleep patterns, when artificial blue light is received by the retina during times usually associated with rest, the body’s natural circadian rhythm becomes confused and unable to distinguish between night and day. In conducted trials, the study found that exposure to blue light supressed melatonin production by almost 85% and instead boosted alpha brainwaves associated with alertness and concentration. Not only this, but prolonged exposure to blue light can also have an adverse affect on our eye health, while causing neck and back pain and headaches. On a skin level, long-term exposure to concentrated blue light energy can cause skin damage, including colour changes, inflammation, and weakening of the skin’s surface.

    Now I like to sleep as much as the next person but mention potential skin damage, you’ve got me in. Dr Murad, the influential dermatologist behind his eponymous skincare brand, explains that, “spending four eight-hour workdays in front of a computer exposes you to the same amount of energy as 20 minutes in the mid-day sun. To put this in perspective, “seven minutes of sun exposure at 1pm is powerful enough to induce immediate tanning”. Therefore consider this your official reminder to apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ and above each and every day, with many brands beginning to release powerful skincare products that protect skin against environmental factors including UV rays, blue light and pollution.

    But back to eye health; I recently became aware of a new kid on the block, in an Australian eyewear brand EXYRA, who offer a range of prescription and non-prescription styles glasses with an advanced blue light filter. Unlike their competitors which use a lens coating to reflect harmful blue light, EXYRA’s innovative lens technology is made using a photochromic dye that absorbs and blocks blue light from entering the retina (watch video here). Maintaining true colour perception, EXYRA’s scratch-resistant lenses offer UV A/B protection while also reducing glare. Hypoallergenic and made from renewable materials that do not harm the environment, these styles provide an enhanced reading experience day or night.

    Assembled in Brisbane and available globally in prescription (single vision lenses only) and non-prescription styles, EXRYA glasses retail from $98 and can be purchased online, with the security of a money back guarantee available. I have been lucky enough to try the clear Allirea style over the last week, which is made from a beautiful clear crystal that’s bang on trend right now. I chose the non-prescription styles as I generally wear contacts day to day, and even though I was a little hesitant about wearing glasses over my contacts – my sight has not hindered whatsoever whilst working on my desktop, laptop or iPhone. They’re comfortable to wear, almost a little on the big side because they haven’t been fitted to my face like at an optometrist, and I’ve had many a compliment on my cool new glasses!

    The folks at EXRYA were kind enough to provide my audience with a discount code, which will entitle you to 15% off storewide when you spend $70 or more at EXYRA with the code ‘WhyHelloBeauty’. If you’re concerned about potentially harmful blue light, give these stylish frames a peep – you’ll love them!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    What You Need to Know about Skin Health

    Probiotic skincare, well this is new. I know all about taking a supplement including a pro or prebiotic orally, but using a skincare with a similar concept, this was new and exciting territory. As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, I suffer from rosacea on my cheeks, chin and nose and have done since I can remember. What I don’t mention as much, is I also have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, which is similar to rosacea in the idea it’s a bumpy red rash but even though I’ve tried fantastic skincare over the years, I’ve never used anything that has actively assisted in either of these issues. The redness on my cheeks especially is visible 24/7 and a personal insecurity of mine, and when I noticed after the first cleanse with a new product that landed on my desk that my redness was dramatically reduced, I was in shock. This never happens, and even the burning sensation from the redness had also subsided – the heat was gone.

    Each time I used either a product from the AMPERNA® range the same thing occurred, in less redness and also a less visible texture to my cheeks and chin areas. It occurred to me the other day while I was applying the cleanser to my skin that maybe the reason this product was working for me was due to the fact AMPERNA® is actually an active probiotic skincare range, and then I realised it was high time I learnt what this actually meant. I now want to share this with you.

    Put simply, probiotics in skincare act as a protective layer on the skin, boosting healthy looking skin by fighting bad bacteria with ‘good bacteria’. Skincare products with probiotics can help to:

    • Calm and soothe inflamed, irritated skin
    • Improve your skin’s appearance by reducing redness and locking in moisture
    • Reduce the signs of ageing
    • Help to reduce the symptoms and appearance of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions

    AMPERNA® is an Australian skincare brand committed to creating simple, active products specifically formulated for sensitive skin. This means the range is non-comedogenic, contains no sulfates, parabens, aluminium, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours or bleaches, and their unique probiotic complex is shelf stable for up to 12 months. The brand was created after Kiri Yanchenko, founder & holistic skin health advocate, found herself struggling with acne for the first time in her adult life. So began Kiri’s search for a solution that worked. She sought an ultra gentle skincare range that contained key active ingredients; however, the brand she was seeking didn’t exist. So she created it, driven by a deep understanding of what women really need from their skincare range, based on a holistic approach.

    Inspired by the AMPERNA® philosophy and the results I was seeing first hand on my skin, I reached out to Kiri to share my experience but in turn, realised this was something I needed to share with everyone. I wanted to share the importance of quality skincare of course, but also stress why we should be focused on skin health first and foremost. I asked Kiri to explain why skin health is so important and she said,Skin health is so important to your overall wellbeing. When my skin is happy, healthy and pimple & rash free (as I am sensitive to many things) I am much more confident and able to face the day; so we are in business to help people feel comfortable. I feel much more comfortable now than when I did when I suffered from pustular acne and perioral dermatitis. Using the wrong products with nasties in them, too many products and inferior formulations without good ingredients can really make matters worse. You can actually be doing your skin more harm than good and can also make yourself sensitized. People can be sensitive to certain things, like me; I am allergic to latex, fluoride, shea butter and plane trees for example. They can also become sensitized. Sensitized skin is a skin condition brought on by certain environmental, biological and physiological stressors; including excessive sun exposure, dry cold weather, alcohol and cigarette smoking, diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, a hormonal imbalance or thinning of the skin’s lipid layer due to normal aging, and the ongoing use of aggressive skin care products.”

    AMPERNA’s LIGHTWEIGHT SOOTHING+ EMULSION has been awarded Best Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin in the Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2018

    She also explains the much-discussed ‘holistic approach to skincare’ is based on treating your whole body well – including your mind. “Our skin is our bodies largest organ and it is often the first thing to show when we are not quite right/when our bodies aren’t at their best. It keeps our body temperature regulated, helps to prevent dehydration and infections and protects us from the elements. It’s so important to our wellbeing, yet sometimes we forget to give it the respect it deserves. Our skin is deeply connected to the rest of our body. So, it makes sense that it will be affected by what’s happening throughout our bodies, not just on the surface”, says Kiri. Some of the ways that you can take a holistic approach to your skincare (and overall wellbeing) include regular exercise, practicing mindfulness, keeping up your h20 levels, as well as ensuring a good diet, combined with the right regime of skincare products with the right ingredients.

    I asked Kiri, with skin health a priority, can you advise which foods we should be consuming and those we should avoid? Do you also suggest individuals take an oral supplements, in conjunction with their skincare? For diet; I found lots of water and green tea helped my skin (and still does) as well as really limiting the bad fats and sugars. I still use an anti-inflammatory diet to this day and I don’t drink coffee. Sure, I fall off the wagon to celebrate a business milestone with a gin and tonic but even that is a smart clean spirit choice. I find trying to make smart choices every day and turning it into a lifestyle is what helps me stay focused diet wise. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods like green leafy vegies including bok choy, celery and brocolli, fruits including blueberries and pineapple, salmon, bone broth, walnuts, coconut oil, chair seed, flaxseeds, tumeric and ginger. There is also a long list of things to avoid which include alcohol, saturated and trans fatty acids. Simple, refined sugars and carbohydrates are more inflammation-causing culprits. Limiting refined grains is an important factor in an anti-inflammatory diet as well. Whole grains should replace the refined carbohydrates, as truly whole grains are important sources of nutrition. If you’re interested in embracing this lifestyle, I would really recommend examining your diet and employing a lifestyle diet change to include good skin foods, and then maybe going to see a specialist and looking at the things your body lacks.”

    Here’s to better skin days, and embracing a lifestyle that supports you inside and out!

     

     

     

     

     

    * This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist. *

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    The Benefits of Vegan Beauty

    With World Vegan Day coming up on the 1st November 2018, I wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of vegan beauty products as this is certainly a hot topic right now within the #beautycommunity. I was lucky enough to speak with the founder Lux Aestiva in Katie Blyth, who is wealth of knowledge in this very subject.

    Lux Aestiva creates 100% vegan, natural and highly effective artisan skin and hair care products from original formulations that are bursting with omega fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Lux Aestiva’s botanical, hand made, small batch products are created using only the finest, ethically sourced raw ingredients which means there will never be any nasties in any Lux Aestiva products.

    What does the term vegan beauty actually refer to, is it simply that no animals were harmed in the making of this product? Yes, vegan beauty is definitely about not harming animals, but it’s also about not using any animal derived ingredients. So that’s avoiding animal products all together, including things like honey (which sometimes people forget comes from an animal)! I think today vegan beauty encapsulates a whole lot more than only being about the animals, it’s also about sustainability and being kinder to ourselves and the environment.

    Which vegan ingredients are the most effective for skin and haircare? A great one is nature’s own ‘Botox plant’ – the Hibiscus Flower, which combats ageing by limiting the activity of elastase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the elastin that keeps our skin firm and healthy. It’s also a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which which is effective for it’s ability to not only unclog pores and treat oily skin, but the malic acid and citric acid found in AHAs, gently exfoliate and brighten the skin. Lux Aestiva’s Wild At Heart Scrub contains the Hibiscus Flower, along with a host of other beneficial vegan ingredients. There’s also Prickly Pear Oil, the hero ingredient in our luxe oil of the same name, which comes from the plant of a cactus and is used for its hydrating and anti-ageing products. Then there’s a host of other great oils, such as Grape Seed Oil in our Wildflower Oil, which is packed full of antioxidants and linoleic acid, which helps reduce clogged pores. Or Hazelnut Oil which naturally helps to reduce oil production and strengthens skins elasticity. Or Marigold Flower, known for its antibacterial and immunostimulant properties, which also helps stimulate the production of collagen. The list is seemingly endless and when combined together, some of these ingredients are incredibly powerful!

    Which ingredients should we be especially mindful of to avoid when selecting skincare or haircare? Well for starters, always avoid skincare that has been tested on animals (that’s rule number one)! Then look out for ingredients that contain animal derivatives, such as animal fats like Squalene which is derived from shark liver. Or ‘Tallow’ which is an animal fat used to make soaps. Then there’s emu oil, mink oil and musk oil, all animal fats typically used in beauty. Then there’s bee products such as waxes and honey, and hyaluronic acid which can be derived from rooster combs (the red crown that mounts the head of a rooster). However, not all hyaluronic acid is animal-derived and safer versions can be manufactured via biofermentation. Keratin is another ingredient that is often found in a lot of haircare products, and mostly derived from the hooves, quills, and hair of animals (eek). If you’re in doubt, be sure to do your research and google the ingredients!

    Can becoming a vegan, or using solely vegan products, positively impact the community and/or the environment? Yes, I believe so. Whilst a vegan lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, it is important to try and do your bit wherever possible. If the idea of going completely vegan is just not possible, try to just cut back when you can. If it’s just choosing some days of the week to go animal product free or making the switch to vegan beauty, you are at least contributing in some way. The cosmetics and skincare industries have a dramatic impact on our environment, particularly affecting the hormone systems of animals who are agitated by personal care products that rinse down our drains and into our natural waterways. Then of course there’s the impact of the cosmetic and beauty industry’s heavy use of plastics in their packaging, which can of course affect our wildlife in numerous ways. So try to choose natural, vegan and sustainable brands whenever you can.

    If people are interested in learning more about vegan beauty, where should they begin? Start by familiarizing yourself with the vegan beauty brands that are available and try to make a switch (even if only slowly)! The term ‘vegan’ sometimes gets a bad rap but there are so many incredible vegan brands out there that often have great websites full of information for anyone looking to learn more. Also try to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that are definitely not vegan, and avoid them wherever possible!

    Are you a vegan, or is this something you’ve been considering? I’d love to know, so share your thoughts below!

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