Tag Archives: pretty

First World Beauty Problem: My white sheets look like someone has painted them brown as a practical joke

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SOLUTION: Fake-tanned sheets: a been a battle I’ve been fighting for about 10 years now. Similar to my war on fake-tanned hands, this ongoing battle has turned into fights with my Mum and disgusted remarks from my boyfriend. I am quite the fake tan enthusiast – I have pale skin and really worry about sun damage and I’m also terribly vain and just really like being a tanned babe. Although I reach my goal of being golden brown, I continually miss my goal of having crisp white sheets, lovely bathroom towels and white t-shirts that stay white under the arms. I never understood how annoying this fake-tanned sheets problem was, until I moved to Sydney 2 years ago and started doing my own washing. All those years, I just thought my Mum was being a painful complaining nag but in reality, she was the BEST fake-tan removing legend. I called her and said ‘I have no idea how you have put up with me and my fake-tanned sheets’ and she wished me luck in finding anyone else that would. So because I refuse to get darker sheets or stop wearing tan, I asked all her tips and have worked out how to become the Martha Stewart of fake-tanned sheets.



This is for those sheets that are insanely tanned and you worry you may have to buy new ones. It’s also for those of you that are not water-conservationists, because it’s basically double washing. After stripping your bed, you run a shallow bath of warm water. You put a small amount of washing powder or Napisan in there and make sure it’s all distributed evenly. Put your sheets in and mix them around a bit. Walk away and pretend you have a life. You can leave them in there overnight (if you forget about it, which I often do) or you can leave it there for at least 2 hours – when you return, you’ll see a difference in the sheets already. Sometimes all the tan is gone, sometimes it will have just faded. Then, you drain the bath/sink, squeeze those sheets out a bit and put them into the washing machine. Go about your regular sheet-washing routine, yet just for safety you can use a lid of Vanish Oxi Action Crystal White Powder to your regular load and watch the magic happen.



This is for the sheets are more or less OK, but there are a few spots that the sneaky tan managed to rub off. This is also for the time poor and for those that think a double wash is excessive. I find it easiest to spray or rub the spots that need some TLC directly while they are still on my bed (just making sure you don’t go nuts and go through the sheet). Sard Wonder Soap never seems to fail – this little multi-purpose stain remover was a staple in my Nan’s laundry who with six children of her own and 11 grandchildren using her house as just an epic playground, she knows a thing or two about removing stains. It comes in a handy little stick that you can rub on like a deodorant directly on the fake-tan stain and leave for 5 or 10 minutes before putting your sheets through the wash. A spray like Napisan Preen Oxi Action Trigger will make short work of that tan stain, if you leave it for about 5 to 10 minutes before putting through the wash.



The quick cover is for when you have slept out of home and have woken to ruining the sheets of your gracious host’s bed. I’m surprised I haven’t died of that panic or embarrassment yet. There have been mornings that I have woken before my boyfriend, noticed tan on his crisp white sheets and pretended to still be asleep while he gets up and goes to the bathroom so I can clean and cover before he sees the tan – that’s how psycho he goes when he sees it. I have noticed him hugging me and thinking it was lovely, until I realized that he was just ensuring that less of my fake-tanned body was touching the sheets. Firstly, some quick tips on making this ‘out of home’ problem less difficult – ensure that you have showered off the original coat of tan, ensure that you haven’t put oily moisturizer over your tan before jumping into bed and ensure that you’re not too hot – sweat and tan are the sworn enemies of white sheets. IF after all this effort you’re still getting tan everywhere, carry White King Stain Lift Wipes. They are meant to be for ‘on-the-go’ stains or for people with OCD. Or, you could quickly scan their cupboard for the sprays you’d use for the ‘Spot Attach and Wash’ step and spray the spot, then grab damp (clean, obviously) Chux and give the spot a little scrub. There is another amazing product called the Chux Magic Eraser, which is supposed to be for household surfaces and for out-of-control children who draw on the walls. I use it for shoes and I also use it for quick tan removers, because this little baby removes EVERYTHING. It looks like a little cube of soft polystyrene that when combined with a bit of water, becomes your best friend that will get you out of a sticky fake-tan situation.


I know that I am making life more difficult for myself by committing to my tan. I even go to the extreme of timing an application to when I have time to wash the following day – it’s honestly the behaviour of an addict. In a slight effort to give myself a break, I don’t use white towels, because the minute I hang them up in my bathroom after being used, I feel I am opening myself up to being publicly judged. I’m also sure that any hotel I’ve ever stayed in would hate me, because I get SO excited about using towels I don’t have to remove tan from, that I really overuse their kind hospitality. The moral of the story? Never fear, you don’t have to live with fake-tanned sheets. And as I have said for 10 years to Mum and continue to say to my boyfriend: “would you rather me be pale and unhappy?” “No” they tell me, but on the inside, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.

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Filed under advice, cleaning, fake tan, stain removal, tan

First World Beauty Problem PROFILE: Vie Active

PROBLEM: I hate my body so I need to work out

SOLUTION: Work out because you love your body. And do it now! For #moveyourbodyloveyourbody by Vie Active

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For me, finding the motivation to exercise is like finding the motivation to work. If I go to Officeworks and have all the right pens, folders and planners, I find I’m the most productive because I find inspiration in my fantastic new tools. It is in this mindset that I look for clothes, shoes and drink bottles to inspire me to want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I already look horrendous after struggling through the couch to 5km App on my phone, so I certainly don’t want to have the added worry of wearing ill-fitting and uncomfortable clothes that make the experience that much worse. I am not yet at the stage where I ‘love’ going for a run – I am at the stage that when I start running, I notice all the excuses I can use to stop running, like my pants are too hot, my drink bottle is leaking, I think I’ve just spotted someone I know and I look gross and my hair is in my face. When I’ve finally run out of all my excuses, I am able to focus on my goal of not dying during the run and getting to the other side. This is where I’ve chosen to profile Vie Active – a functional, fashionable fitness range that is designed and tested in everyone’s favourite soft-sand running track, Bondi Beach.

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Vie Active creators Noa and Bryan are *that* couple that are exceptionally fit, exceptionally nice and make you want to live a healthier lifestyle. As a trainer and a mother, Noa would continually find herself in work-out gear at all hours of the day and needed something to take her from exercise to brunch with ease. With a focus on comfort, fit and fashionable prints, Vie Active’s leopard print will take you from an intense run, right through to poached eggs at Jed’s – genius really. Yet that’s not where the genius part of Vie Active ends – it leaves you with no more excuses to not work out. The colours and prints are awesome, so you can’t say that you feel gross. There are no scratchy tags or pinchy zips, which usually make themselves known at the 3km mark. And the drink bottles are so clever with a little handle and stand-up straw, you can’t really blame it for doing anything other than keeping you hydrated and chic. All this aside, I haven’t even mentioned their secret weapon…

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Vie Active use Merino wool – the world’s most technically advanced fibre for performance. Merino practically whispers inspirational quotes to you when going up a hill. Merino helps regulate temperature and moisture, absorbing 35% of it’s dry weight in moisture vapour transferring it away from the skin, which basically means it keeps you cool when hot and warm when cool. It’s natural elasticity means it stretches with you, adding to the comfortable fit and meaning less chance of stretching out of shape (while you’re trying to get into shape) and you can simply throw in the washing machine and dryer when done. Another fun fact, is this super wool absorbs the sweat, leaving you feeling fresher and sexier than ever. If this wool was a boy, I’d probably marry it.

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Speaking of love and marriage, Vie Active promote a healthy lifestyle because you love your body, not because you hate and want to get hot. During Feb, Vie Active are spreading the message: ‘Move your Body, Love your Body’ by spreading the love through their hometown haunt, Bondi. I attended the first of these fitness sessions last week at Vicious Cycle in Bondi and all I can say is I was glad I was wearing the leopard Alice running short in merino wool – people who do spin classes are on another level. You can join in too! Saturday 15th is BUF sessions at 7:15 am on Bondi Beach, Friday 21st 6:30 am yoga at Barre Body and Feb 25th yoga at Tamarama with Mind Body Sol. Just make sure you register for the newsletter at www.vieactivewear.com and keep an eye on their Instagram account @vieactivewear. You can also get some fantastic recipes on their website via the blog, which includes delicious things like stawberry muffins! Strawberries! Muffins! And so easy even a hopeless MKR contestant wannabe like me can do it! Honestly Vie Active, just stop giving.


*Recipe published on Vie Active by Sasha Hartley

Try out these super easy strawberry muffins. These are perfect for breakfast, as snacks throughout the day or to bring as a healthy treat to a friend’s house. They are sugar free, grain free, wheat free, dairy free and delicious!

What you’ll need:
2 cups of almond meal
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
1 cup of chopped strawberries
3 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tspn vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir until well combined, then pour into muffin moulds.

Bake at 180 degrees for 20-25minutes

Leave to cool and then enjoy!

Not a strawberry fan, replace the cup of strawberries with your favourite berry or even some grated apple.

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Filed under exercise, lifestyle, profile

First World Beauty Problem: When my handbag is a mess, my life quickly follows


SOLUTION: I think you can tell quite a bit about a person and their state of affairs by how messy their car or handbag is. When my car is spotless and my handbag is clutter-free, I really feel like I’ve got my life together. I’m usually wearing matching underwear and have a blow wave on these days, too. How many times have you seen a girl get flustered at the register because she can’t find her cards? How many times have you had to wait behind a girl in a bathroom because she can’t find her gloss and has her bag up on the sink for a search? How many times have you seen a girl carry around what looks like a suitcase because she has emergency items coming out of the seams? This girl is often me. I even have a bag that resembles a suitcase and right now, it has a highlighter and copies of my toll invoices, just in case I wanted to do that at the pub while waiting for my drink, obviously. That’s stupid and I’m stupid for doing it because I know better! And so should you. Here’s how to get your life and handbag together.

ASK YOURSELF, ‘DO I REALLY NEED THAT?’ (…then follow that question with ‘no, but do I actually, really, really need that?’ because you probably answered yes to the first question)

De-cluttering your handbag is much like cleaning out your wardrobe. Some girls are fantastic at this and cull if a top folds incorrectly. Some girls (like me) have one-wear dresses that they know they won’t possibly wear again, but you never know when a floor-length gown may come in handy. It’s these girls that need to understand the first step of de-cluttering your bag – it’s the first step to a better life.


You probably have items in your handbag that are for emergencies – this means the Panadol, the tampons, the pens, the hand cream – all these items can be cut. If reading that gave you a minor panic attack, you can keep just 2 Panadol tablets, 1 tampon, 1 pen and you still have to get rid of the hand cream.

You probably don’t need all those coins either – keep coins in your car for emergency parking money and in your bag, only gold allowed.

You definitely don’t need all the cards you have in your wallet – how many USA Nails loyalty cards do you need before you get a free mani?! Not worth cluttering up your wallet for. Keep the essentials – licence, credit card, keycard, health care and business card.

Try to be aware of each item in your handbag – look at putting your phone in a side pocket, try to keep your makeup in a little makeup bag (if you need that much…) and keep all your cards/money in a wallet/purse. The less junk you have rolling around in there and the more organized items holding all your essentials, the more your life falls into place around you.

A good way to think about the items in your bag is what you would put in the Kenzo clear pouch or the transparent neon Mimco bags. It’s amazing what having your items on display for the world to see does to your de-cluttering skills. You only carry your coolest sunglasses, your cleanest purse, your phone and a nice lipstick because you would like to think you’re low maintenance. Don’t we all…


Makeup is always my biggest sacrifice when cleaning out my bag. I tend to carry around what most people have in their bathroom cabinets and really struggle with finding a product I don’t ‘desperately need’. Yet, I have managed to filter down to these handbag essentials:

Something for the lips

Something(s) for the face

Something for the body

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For the lips, I carry 1 balm and 1 whatever-I’m-wearing-that-day gloss/lipstick. To make this very easy, I have taken to Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, because they are small, compact and combine great colour with a nice glossy finish.


For the face, I carry a compact foundation for touch-ups and to double as a mirror. MAC Studio Fix Pressed Powder has been a favourite for many years because of the coverage, yet it can be drying. Chanel Teint Innocence Compact Foundation is a beautiful option for your handbag and looks stunning every time you take it out to use the mirror, yet it is a tiny bit chunky for small clutches and evening bags. The answer to this chunky problem is Clinique’s Even Better Compact Makeup, which has been specifically made in a slim compact case so it’s the perfect fit in your handbag and therefore, the perfect fit for your life.


For the body, I always carry perfume. I find the best companion for a clutch is the Clean rollerball – it’s the size of a gloss and smells SO fresh. Shower fresh, in fact. A good tip is to always go for the small sample-sized perfumes – they are the best ones to carry around for touch ups and they are usually a gift with purchase! How thrifty!

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your life will fall into place once your handbag is sorted. Think about the essentials, get rid of the junk and hold onto the chubby sticks.

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First World Beauty Problem: I’m sick of having to work on my skin when I’m awake and I’d much prefer that my skin work for me while I sleep

Ed Mic #4

SOLUTION: Beauty regimes can be tedious, time consuming and exhausting. Sometimes you need a rest during the process – or you just want to go to sleep after a session of attempting to wipe off the years. Unless you’re some crazy hot model, not many of us wake up looking like we do in our Facebook profile pictures and I haven’t seen too many selfies going around of girls pouting the second they open their eyes. Skin care is necessary if you want to wake up looking fresh and one of the best times to look after your skin is while you sleep, letting all the serums and creams work for you. Aside from the odd massive night out where you wake up with your eyelashes on your cheeks, when you sleep, you’ve got a nice, fresh face, unaffected by the elements – no sunscreen and no cover-ups. This is the time to fix what the day has done. This is the time to lather on the creams and do nothing but wait for them to penetrate (…which is possibly a poor choice of wording when speaking about night time). When you go to sleep tonight, after you have said ‘no you hang up first’ and watched all your favourite shows and laid out your clothes for the following day, *this* is what you should be doing:


Now, I understand that sometimes, you’re still wearing your makeup in bed. You’re an idiot, because it doesn’t take long to use wipes to get rid of it, but it happens. I do it more often than I wish to admit and I haven’t died from it yet, and nor will you. The important thing is that you know it’s bad and you rectify it at every possible chance. You need to CLEANSE. Double cleansing is even better, because you’re taking off your makeup then actually cleaning your skin. Makeup remover will do the trick for the first part – I’m a little obsessed with Bioderma, La Mer have a gorgeous cream cleanser, Aesop’s Fabulous Face Cleanser basically melts your makeup off and Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanser is always a good one to have on hand. Clinique have an aptly named range called ‘Take the Day Off’ and it does just that – another great choice when cleansing your face. A beautiful mask before bed may not be an every-night kind of thing, yet if it was, you’d choose Jurlique’s Rose Moisturizing Cream Mask – I could stay in that for hours.

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The next step is serums. Serums are the forgotten step in night care and they may just be the most important. Think of a serum as the difference of Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. It’s the difference between a long black and a flat white, or the difference between juice and cordial. It’s like concentrate. It’s pure. It’s the little secret to fighting all your issues that you use sparingly and a little bottle should last you a while. You want serums with Vitamin A or C – they do so much, but in short easy to read terms, fight aging and give you back some bounce. Jurlique’s Purely Age Defying Firming Face Oil is just beautiful, Super by Perricone Night Recharge Retinol Treatment boosts moisture retention, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is almost a right-of-passage (as is anything by Estee Lauder – always makes me feel very grown-up) and rosehip oil never goes astray (which you don’t have to spend too much money on – Trilogy, A’Kin, Kosmea or Natio all do the trick!) In the serum category, you can also put in lotions (like Jurlique Age-Defying Night Lotion – winner) and eye cream.

Eye cream is something you need to own. Unless you like looking old and having bad eyes – then you can skip this step. The skin there is crazy delicate, so dab it on so very gently under and around your eye with your ring finger/little finger, not using too much (A. because it’s a waste and B. because you might get all congested). Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream is renowned, La Mer Eye Balm Intense feels like it’s working the minute you pat it in (and it would want to for how much it costs…) and Clinique’s Repairwear range have a wonderful correcting eye cream that works as well as their Repairwear night cream. Cream, of course, is the final step.

Seal in all the amazing work you’ve done with a beautiful moisturizer. Forget about things with sunscreen, forget about things that have illuminators – just get your face moisturized. L’Oreal provide some wonderful options (like Revitalift) that you can get at a supermarket, Clinique kill it in this area, because Repairwear actually feels like a mask of goodness all over your face.

Also, change your pillow. I was told this many years ago and it made so much sense it always stayed in my head. Sleeping with your face in the same spot over and over again isn’t going to do your skin any favours. You’ve shed, your moisturizer has rubbed off there and you may have drooled – how embarrassing for you if you have. Flip the pillow, use another case, change your spot – do whatever it is so that you’re not just smearing your face in the same stuff again and again. How simple.



I find it really annoying to tan or lather moisturizers on during the day, because I’m so impatient and can’t be bothered waiting to dress. I find that before bed is the best time to use your heavy creams and oils all over your body, because you wake up so silky smooth, instead of slipping around during breakfast. Bio Oil is a staple of mine and I hope I can credit it to the reason I have no stretch marks post-children. Kiehl’s classic ‘Crème de Corps’ never steers you in the wrong direction, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is a favourite and I love Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist, because you can feel the rose petals making you a better, moist version of yourself.

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Your hands really get a beating – not even Madonna can hide the years there. I don’t ever, ever go to bed without hand cream. It takes two seconds to do and it really should be part of your bedtime ritual, along with checking Instagram and setting your alarm. Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm doubles as a cuticle cream and makes you hands feel like silk. Dr Anne Howard, the most wonderful dermatologist based in Melbourne, recommended Neutrogena’s Norwegian hand cream to me a few years ago for dry hands and I wouldn’t recognize my Mum’s bathroom cabinet without at least 3 of these little tubes in there. It takes two seconds to put a tiny bit of hand cream on and rub your hands together, so unless you don’t have hands, I don’t want to hear any excuses about not using it.



The poor little forgotten feet – they get neglected as much as the hands when we go to sleep. I used to think I could just get a pedicure and my feet would be fine for ages – they’re just feet and I use them to walk on. But, I am a keen bare-foot-walker and shudder at the thought of what my feet would end up like if I didn’t practice the following. I ALWAYS include my feet when moisturizing, especially around the heels. I don’t use moisturizer on my feet every night like my hands and God help me if I ever get to that OCD stage. However, I do occasionally indulge in treating my feet to the same Neutrogena joys as my hands – the Norwegian formula just makes them feel so soft.



I have suffered from dry lips for as long as I’ve had lips. Forever. I have so many lip balms and moisturizers that I feel it would take another post just to explain them all. I would have the worst possible sleep if I had dry lips – it basically guarantees I would be waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Chap Stick have released a Day & Night set for lips that haven’t left my side since I received them. The Day lip care has sun protection and the Night Repair feels like a lovely soft coating on your lips that it’s a pleasure to wake up in it.

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My Mum always told me if I went to bed with wet hair I would wake up with a cold. This hasn’t happened yet, and eating crusts didn’t make my hair curly, so I think there were a few gaps from my upbringing that I am slowly filling in. Most of the conditioning treatments I do in my hair are washed out shortly after application and are not for sleeping in – I’m not a massive fan of sleeping with hair stuff in (and annoyingly, it’s probably because my Mum’s advice really got into my head). Really, for the 10 minutes you lose doing a treatment during the day, you’ll gain back by staying out later on a date that you got asked on because you had such good hair. Don’t sleep with things in your hair that aren’t designed for overnight – you’ll just need to wash it again anyway and you’re gross. Redkin Real Control Overnight Treat is a lovely option for those of you that really don’t have 10 minutes to spare. Another thing to remember with your hair when sleeping is using a nice soft hair tie to reduce breakage when you’re tossing and turning during that dream again, and remember wearing your hair out will just create an extra 5-minute painful brushing session when you wake up. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to spend that extra 5 minutes sipping on coffee or eating.



I am continually being told I need more sleep. I am a bit of a night-owl and find it really hard to go to bed and miss out on all the cool shows on TV. If I got the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night, I’d probably be a better person in general, but I’m way too hyper. And having to wake-up at 4:30am every morning makes it difficult to sleep with the worry of a potential sleep-in. I am surprised I haven’t yet died from the panic of sleeping through my alarm – it’s a form of torture. I used to drink T2 Sleep Tight tea before bed and can’t say for sure that it was working…I think I just fell asleep because I was tired. Yet, it tastes lovely. Since taking Swisse vitamins for Sleep, Sleep and Relax and Relax Superfood Powder in a nice mug (it tastes like a beautiful hot chocolate!) around an hour before bed, I have noticed that I sleep much more soundly and am certainly calming down more before lying in bed starting at the ceiling and going through tomorrow’s to-do list. (Also a form of torture..) If you don’t get your beauty sleep – the above is almost wasted on you.

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Another Mum-tip was to never sleep in my clothes or things that are too tight – which I have done as many times as I’ve worn makeup to bed. Yikes. Yet, I really do believe in the importance of sleeping in comfortable, 100% cotton lovely pajamas. It has the same impact on the mind as wearing matching underwear, and you know how much you have your life together on the days that everything is matching. I die for anything Sant and Abel make – they are a Sydney based sleepwear brand that really make you look and feel better in the bedroom. And if there was a fire, I’d be pretty happy running out to safety in my Piccadilly Polka pink boxer shorts.

Megaphone #1

Goodnight x

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Filed under advice, new products, night care

First World Beauty Problem: I worry that I’m not cool enough and need some inspiration


SOLUTION: Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms. I have been inspired by a boy to wear caps, by a child to try nail art, by my Nan to wear scarves and by Instagram to take selfies of the gap between my legs – all to look cool. The only people that could ever say they don’t need inspiration to be cool could be Alexa Chung or Olivia Palermo – but I still don’t think they came up with Peter Pan collars and heavy eyeliner on their own. Sometimes, all we need is one little idea – one little piece of inspiration to change our entire look. It could be a new lip colour that your girl crush wears, it could be a serum that girl with insanely good skin uses or it could be a little trick that you try that seems to work for someone else, who’s pretty cool. I have three girls that are completely cool – they own their look, they set the trends and they make us (read: me) want to step up and be just that little bit more like them. Let me introduce you to them and hopefully, you’ll be way cooler for it…


One look at Victoria Curtis and you’ll want to buy her makeup. This glowing, bronzed, blonde stunner certainly practices what she preaches and ‘glows from within’, which is the aim of her signature line Curtis Collection by Victoria. After many years of searching the globe to find makeup that gave her the look she wanted and skincare elements she needed, Victoria developed a salon-quality high end luxurious makeup brand that now has followers like me wanting to get this glow she so professionally radiates. She’s the kind of girl that makes you want to double-cleanse. The Curtis Collection Illuminator is a lovely light addition to your makeup routine to add some shine, the bronzer leaves a sun-kissed buildable colour that suits many skin tones and the liquid eye-liner is a personal favourite of mine, because it stays on all day. The lovely Victoria will inspire you to keep up that healthy glow, because she’s never seen without it. And nor should you.


What would make Victoria die if she left the house without: Curtis Collection Baked Blush and Mineral Photo Touch Concealer! These are my two ‘go to’ touch up products when I am out and about. My favourite blush shade in “Fashionista” gives my complexion the ultimate pick me up during the day, adding an instant pop of colour and vibrance to the face and the eyes.  My Mineral Photo Touch Concealer on the other hand I can not live without. It is the perfect way to keep the under eye area looking fresh all day long!

How Victoria always looks like such a flawless babe: My secret to achieving a flawless complexion are to follow our 4 skin perfecting makeup steps. I always apply our Retexture Creme Face Primer before any foundation application. This ensures that the texture and surface of my skin is smooth and even by hydrating any dry patches which would naturally absorb your foundation over hours of wear and absorbing excess oil from those areas prone to shine! This miracle primer will ensure that you have a flawless, silky smooth canvas for your foundation – definitely the key to perfect, glowing skin! To achieve the Curtis Collection signature glow I mix our Radiant Glow Illuminator in with one of our Mineral Foundation Formulas to add extra luminosity and vibrance to my complexion! I apply this all over the face and finish with the Illuminating Bronzer for a lit from within, natural, sun kissed glow. This combination will definitely have everyone asking what your secret is!!!

How Victoria’s glow makes you want to be like her:  When I first launched the Curtis Collection, I had everyone asking what I was wearing on my skin that gave me such a “luminous” glow! As a result I decided to name this look ‘The Curtis Collection Signature Glow’! This look is definitely all about flawless, luminous, airbrushed skin that is lit from within! All of the Curtis Collection products have been specially designed to work together to create the glow that we have become renowned for! To achieve this signature look, I always apply our Radiant Glow Illuminator all over the face with my foundation and finish by adding a little extra to the bridge of the nose, brow bone, cupids bow and cheekbones to create the perfect contours and catch the light in all the right places! I then apply our Illuminating Bronzer where the sun would naturally hit the face and layer our Baked Blush on the cheekbones to achieve the ultimate “goddess” like glow! For added colour and vibrance I like to apply V Gloss on the lips and Mineral Shimmer Dust on the lids! The rich pigment and opulent shine are absolutely divine and add the perfect finishing touch to this signature look!



The minute you meet Liberty, you immediately regret your outfit choice, because she’s wearing something you want to buy right off her back. Luckily, she is one half of Australian fashion label Watson X Watson, so you literally can. After one conversation, you’ll wonder how you can survive one more day without their staple figure-hugging dresses or leather pants. With her effortless curls, flawless tan and clear skin she radiates health – especially when she smiles. When she flutters into a room, everyone turns – girls eyeing off her look and boys wondering if they could take on her boyfriend. I had the pleasure of asking this sun-loving fashionista what her secrets are, in the aim of turning into her:


How Liberty’s skin always glows and makes everyone else jealous: I’m one of those girls who barely wears make up – i love the natural look and believe a polished look starts with glowing skin. Girls I have found the secret to effortless glowing skin. It’s La Mer and it changes your life. You press it into your skin and after a few weeks of using it your skin will literally GLOW. I’ve just entered my thirties but people get seem to think I look like I’m 26/27 its nice to take few years off with your moisturizer .

What Liberty does to her hair to make her the envy of every girl in Bondi: Well taming my curls is no easy feat! My boyfriend calls me his little LION because my hair has a personality of its own. Although I find my hair in much better condition, it grows faster and looks more glamorous since using REDKEN products. I love the new diamond oil and the ALL SOFT range for every day shampoo and treatments. Start using them you will notice a dramatic difference in the way your hair feels and the way it behaves.

How Liberty manages to look so pretty and bag such a babin’ boyfriend:  It’s important to have fun in life. Be nice to people, be friendly and take time out to drink good champagne with your friends or man and enjoy life. I can’t go past fabulous dinner parties with good friends and copious amounts of Laurent Perrier champagne. I also adore exercise and throwing on my favourite Nike trainers and jogging the Bondi to Bronte, its my way of chasing the sun all year round. When I can’t find the sun, I’ll usually drop in to The Bronzing Boutique in Double Bay for the best spray tans in Sydney! I still believe the prettiest thing a woman can wear is her smile. Smiles light up a room way faster than any lipstick but when you do need a good go to mascara or lipstick you don’t have to spend a fortune I’ve been using Maybelline mascara since I was 14 and its still the best! If I need a holiday as much as I love Europe in the Aussie winter and their summer the quickest most relaxing holiday I’ve ever been on was here locally in Australia at HAYMAN. One of the best things I’ve ever done and I will definitely be going back as soon as my next collection is completed. Australia does luxury so well.

Hayman poolside


It’s hard to believe Candice is the mother of twins. She still looks like the pint-sized blonde bombshell that broke into the Australian music scene with her hit Falling – only difference now is she has a few more pint-sized fans screaming ‘Mum’. Her skin is flawless, her hair is always done and how she manages to have the figure of me in Year 10 post-twins, I’ll never understand. When I asked Candice how she managed to lose her baby weight and maintain such a smokin hot bod, she replied with “have twins and you’ll understand – you never stop”. A diet I maybe won’t try just yet.


How Candice is the envy of all the Mums at school: Believe me, I’m just as exhausted as the next Mum! But I don’t leave home without my  foundation, which is MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC37. Also, I NEVER go in the sun- fake tan all the way! A product I love and everyone should try is definitely Elle Bache Exfoliant Revivalisant. It gives my skin a nice shine when feeling dull and it makes your skin feel amazingly soft afterwards.

Candice’s must use hair product that makes her hair the envy at parent/teacher: I wash my hair every day, even when I can’t be bothered. I use supermarket shampoos and conditioners – nothing expensive, because it doesn’t need to be. I do treatments once a month at my hair salon too, just to keep it healthy. My hair looks terrible dirty!

How Candice’s body looks so amazing: My secret has always been pilates. I practice at home every second day. At least twice a week, I’ll have a sauna to relax and it also helps my skin. I drink lots of water and take Nutra-Life Organic Magnesium Vitamins which are great for stress and overall health. As for stretch marks, they never went away but I couldn’t care less :)


If you need some inspiration to be one of the cool kids, take some tips from Victoria, Liberty and Candice. Being cool doesn’t just happen – you need to open your (Curtis Collection lined) eyes like Victoria, let out your (REDKEN tamed) hair like Liberty and chill out with some magnesium vitamins like Candice. You won’t ever have to worry about not being cool enough EVER again.

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First World Beauty Problem: My hair is always so flat that I worry it is holding me back from marrying well

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SOLUTION: Everyone has seen those ‘ladies’ that strut down High Street Armadale or Queen Street Woollahra with big hair. They don’t work, unless you count organizing charity fundraisers as employment. They carry designer bags and put them on the floor when having a soy latte, because it doesn’t matter if they get ruined. They drink wine on Wednesday’s, because it’s Wednesday. They have 5ct+ stones on their left hand and they ask what your last name is, because they might know your family. The other thing they all have in common, is volume. Their hair never drops, just as their glasses are never empty. Flat hair has the potential to really ruin your life. When you see girls messing up their hair at the roots in the bathrooms and buying industrial sized hairspray at Priceline, you know that they are all privy to this secret. If your hair drops and always seems flat, follow some of the below tips to pump it up, eat lunch at the MLC centre or Australia on Collins and watch what happens…


Freshly washed hair, much like animals and children, is so difficult to work with. It’s fluffy, light and has this attitude that it can do whatever it wants, like an over-confident child. Dirty hair is a little more broken down and will do what you tell it to do. Although it seems ridiculous, the first thing I do to my freshly washed hair is put product in it. I towel-dry it with product, I blow-dry it with product, I straighten/curl it with product and I spray away any thoughts it may have of moving. 2nd or 3rd day hair will usually give you the best volume, because the oils help it to stay put and it’s been through a bit over the last 48 hours, so it’ll generally comply. You don’t need to wash your hair every day either – your hair is fiber, like wool, and if you washed your new wool sweater every day it would start looking gross. This is the same for your hair – and it will probably become needy because it’s used to all your attention. Exceptions to the rules are those of you with crazy oily scalps or some kind of medical condition like psoriasis on your scalp. If this is you, God have mercy. (And use very light shampoos, even baby shampoo will help you, and a prayer).



Think about using volumizing shampoos and conditioners – Pantene is always a winner and Kerastase Volumactive Shampoo is lovely and light. These shampoos should feel like they are lifting your hair from the root and not dragging it down with coating. The shampoo/conditioner combo won’t do all the work on its own, yet it’s good to know you’re working from a good base. You’re basically just washing the last lot of product out to put the next batch in – like a lady would do a juice cleanse before a week of long lunches. And who doesn’t love a long lunch?!


The ladies with the big hair learnt how to do that in the 80’s when mousse was massive, and when you see them brunching at Bills with a blowy, you can see how well that worked for them. My advice is to get on the mousse bandwagon. Redken and Goldwell have some winners – and remember, not too much and apply from the root. Volumizing powders may turn you off initially, because they don’t feel lovely. They feel gritty, grubby and tough – and that’s because they are. They have a job to do and it’s worth getting over the weird feeling to just enjoy the result. Try Schwarzkopf Osis in the little red bottle. It looks so cute, yet it’s so powerful.

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Now, hairspray can kill your volume because it can be heavy. When spraying your hair, tip your head from side to side and even spray underneath, just like they do in the hairdressers. A finishing spray (like Moroccanoil hairspray) with some shine is just fine for your ends. Dry shampoo does wonders for volume too, yet don’t be disheartened of the white mess it leaves on your hair. You can brush it out and spray over it. My favourite is Klorane.


Teasing and backcombing are not the best things to do for your hair, but wow, it looks pretty great when you do. A little bit of breakage for an awesome result is something I am willing to do – you can always fix your hair with conditioning treatments and trims. And you only live once, so do it with a dangerously awesome ‘do. Just a little tip, to do this, you’ll hold up a section of hair, generally towards the top of your head, and you’ll brush from halfway down that section towards your head. It’ll look messy and knotty, and that’s the aim. When you place it back down, you’ll smooth over it and spray it and it becomes our little messy secret.

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Volume can be a result of cutting layers into your hair. Layering confuses me, because it is supposed to ‘thin your hair out’, which is does, yet it can also add volume when you blow out and curl the shorter parts. My advice is just to not argue with the logic and get layered. It works.


When you are blow drying your hair, tip your head upside down and dry it from underneath. You’re blowing the roots directly up and will have to do a dramatic flick when you get up, which really makes you feel you’re making progress. Then, once you’re up, blow the hair from the roots directly up. This way, you’re drying your roots in the position you want them to go, which is sky high. And you’re working out your arms, which is some great accidental exercise.


Colouring your hair can be a blessing for volume. Virgin hair is the most annoying type of hair to work with, thanks to its strong morals. Coloured hair is a little ‘easier’ to work with – no pun intended. If you’ve always wondered why your hair is so flat, it may be because you’ve never coloured it and remained pure. Good for you. We all wish that.


This is a little invention of mine that honestly seems to work. It’s time consuming, but nothing worth having ever comes easy, which is a line I will tell my daughters someday when it comes to dating boys. If you curl your hair and look in the mirror and think ‘oh God I’ve gone too far’ and for some reason your legs start doing a little Irish jig, then you’re on the right track. Brush it all out and straighten the ends and your hair will be so confused and tortured it won’t respond to being straightened and stay relatively big. Silly hair. Smart girl.

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Once again, tricking your hair is the way to get volume. Changing your part is another quick trick that will leave your hair all confused and big. Go to the middle, go to the opposite side or wear a headband – whatever is different to your usual routine will make your hair stay upright, because it wants to go back to its home.


When you’re doing your makeup, pop your hair up into a high bun as it’s setting/drying and spray some sea salt spray (like Bumble and Bumble) in it. Go about your business, then when you’re ready, untie and have a look at your creation! You’ll need to fix up some messy parts, but the general idea will be there.

The Royal Wedding

Ask any lady and they will tell you, volume is the key. It’s probably the key to your family home if you play your cards right. After reading this, nothing should be holding you back or your hair down. The only way is up, ladies.


Filed under hair

First World Beauty Problem: It’s my birthday and I need to sparkle, glitter and shine (like it’s my birthday)

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SOLUTION: I absolutely adore birthdays. I’m sure everyone thought I’d grow out of the over excitement and countdowns, but I haven’t and I won’t, because birthdays are awesome. Your birthday is the best day – between the Facebook notifications, text messages, presents and parties, it’s difficult to stop smiling and speak in a normal pitch. And the day is all about you – unless you’re a twin or your parents inconsiderately had you on Christmas Day. Your birthday is the day you can utilize anything with glitter and highlight and illuminate your face like you’re on fire (…as you will be on the dance floor later). It’s your day to shine and to ensure that you do, here are some shiny, sparkly tips to make you glisten on your birthday through to the early hours of your not-birthday.

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Highlight and Illuminate everything!

Highlighters and Illuminators are confusing products. Not many people know how to use them or understand what they do. They just seem like another unnecessary product aimed at silly girls like me who think makeup will change their lives. And it does. Your life actually improves when you use them.

Highlighters are aimed at doing what the name suggests – highlighting your natural features. They are used on the cheekbones, around the eyes, on the top of your lip and sometimes, on your nose. Highlighters are your secret weapon which capture the light in all the right spots and make you look like a babe. You’ll probably attract the eye or every boy and green-eye of every girl. You can get them in a loose powder, pressed powder, liquid, cream stick – they all do the same thing. And it’s magic when you do it right. When you apply, think of that spot on your face that will reflect the light – right on the top of your cheekbone and just above your brow bone. I love Benefit’s High Beam and Miss Popularity, Stila always have winning shimmery options (like their ‘All Over Shimmer’) and MAC’s loose shimmer powders stay on for ages.

Illuminators add that glowing radiance to your skin that you see on models and in magazines. You can mix your illuminators with your primer or foundation to brighten you up and make sure your highlighter will absolutely pop. It’s supposed to make you glow and lighten all those dull spots on your face, like under your eyes and on the side of your nose. Illuminators can sometimes come in the form of a serum (like Estee Lauder’s Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator or like Chanel’s Le Blanc de Chanel) which you’ll put on before anything else. They can sometimes be disguised as concealers, like Touch-Expert Advanced By Terry (which smells like roses, like everything they do) or Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, which if you don’t already own, you should probably stop reading and go and purchase it. And illuminators can just be obvious like Nars ‘Copacabana’ Illuminator, which always seems to be found in a makeup artist’s kit.

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Sparkle eyes!

You’ll have a twinkle in your eye anyway, because it’s your birthday. How exciting! Yet some shimmer and sparkles on your eyes will never go astray on this special day/night/week/month. Always have a light base, even a nice cream base, before applying your glittery eye shadow. Now, I would never be one to tell the birthday girl what to do, but for maximum effect, stick the light glittery shadow on your lid and on the inside of your eye. It opens you up and makes you look so pretty when you blink and that little shimmer of glitter catches the light. Also, I wouldn’t rule out coloured eye-pencils tonight! MAC and Chanel have some gorgeous colours (and their pencils stay around for ages) which will give you some colour and still allow your eyes to glisten. And in all this glitter mess, don’t forget lashes. Wear falsies if you have to! It’s your birthday! Be pretty! (MAC #7 lashes are always a winner – if someone doesn’t compliment you when you’re wearing them, either you did it wrong or ask for your money back).


Glitter lips!

Who doesn’t love a good glitter gloss?! And the birthday night is the night to wear it! Depending on your base colour, picking a gloss with sparkles will elevate your birthday to a place you only thought possible after a million shots. Chanel Levres Scintillantes is the classic – there are a million to choose from and they look just beautiful when you take them out of your new birthday clutch and reapply. The rule of the birthday is to reapply, because there will be a million people taking a million photos of you and Instagramming the colour out of them, so make sure that no matter what filter, those sparkling lips will shine.



Body shimmer is the final little birthday touch to just take you to another sparkling level. Use a little on your shoulders, your collarbone and your legs, just so you look impossibly perfect. I still rate my first ever bronzed shimmer, which is Sportsgirl’s Body Glow – horrendous fake tanner, but amazing shimmer highlighter. Nars’s Body Glow is gorgeous (be careful, it gets on your hands…) or just a swipe of the bronzer brush will do the trick.


Above all, make sure you enjoy your birthday! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it much more now that you’ll be a highlighted, illuminated, sparkling, shimmery starlet! I’m excited just thinking about it!



Filed under body, eyes, lips

First World Beauty Problem: Sure, blondes have more fun, but what is not fun is my diminishing bank account and dead hair.


Q: How do you make a blonde laugh on Saturday?

A: Tell her a joke on Wednesday.

SOLUTION: Saying ‘blondes have more fun’ rolls off the tongue as easily as a blonde joke. That’s exactly what I said when I was convincing my friends and family that my new blonde do was a good decision, because I wanted to have more fun. In hindsight, there was nothing fun about roots, dry hair and breakage, but I felt like a babe at the time, so I ignored most of these things. My natural hair colour is black and before I made the choice to strip my hair of everything my Mum loved about me, I had to answer to a chorus of ‘oh no that will never suit you’ and ‘why would you do that to yourself’ and ‘your hair will never be the same’. I shrugged and assumed everyone was jealous. They weren’t and they were right, but I’m sure some were still a little jealous. You need to think of blonde hair as adopting a child – a draining, annoying child, who sucks your funds and makes you pay a billion times more attention to your hair than usual. Even though I know all this, I still loved my adopted child and probably haven’t really learned anything from the experience, because I look longingly at photos and consider going back. What a blonde thing to do! For all the smokin’ hot blonde babes reading, here is how to care for your hair…(assuming you can read).



You’ll be hard pressed to find a natural blonde nowadays – sure they WERE blonde, but those gorgeous highlights don’t just grow with age. The life of a blonde is a difficult one – even more difficult if you’re a brunette. You have to make sure the blonde suits your skin tone, and if it doesn’t, you’ll find yourself with a compulsive little fake tan habit. Platinum, golden, strawberry, dark blonde – there are lots of options before you go straight for Gwen Stefani, so take the time to work out your colouring and your best fit. Also, you need to ensure your eyebrows match, which for me meant going to the extremes of getting them bleached,which was a fun burn-y little exercise. You’ll also need to learn to speak up, because when you start on a dark base and your hair starts throwing red, crying in the car won’t help you. You need to have a very open dialogue with your hairdresser and listen to their advice because they have seen people like you a million times over thinking you will walk out of the salon like Blake Lively. I won’t judge you, because I thought this, and I secretly still do. For inspiration, check out Ferhan Talib’s wonderful Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/iconjane/best-blonde-hair-colours/



You should care about what shampoo and conditioner you use anyway, but a blonde really needs to care. If you’re going to pay crazy money to be blonde, it makes perfect sense to continue to dish out the dosh in order to lock in those locks. I am a little slutty when it comes to committing to a shampoo/conditioner combo and have never really settled for one – so in terms of what I would recommend, the answer is many, because I’ve been around the block. Try L’Oreal Professional Shine Blonde, Kerastase, PPS, KMS, John Frieda or Bed Head Dumb Blonde – they all work and it’s good to rotate your brand anyway, so your hair doesn’t get comfortable and used to your current product and let itself go. Also, be very aware of combing through the conditioner, because blonde hair has a tendency to knot (it’s the bleach’s fault) and you’ll be in breakage hell if you try to comb it damp. Get a Tangle Teezer – they even have ‘Aqua Splash’ for wet hair, and send your thank-you notes to the email address provided below.



Toner is something every single blonde should own. If you’re a blonde and you don’t, it’s probably why you’re single and why people don’t compliment you. But we can change all this! A toner will take away any brassiness from your colour that you can see sometimes under the light. It basically makes your blonde colour pearlier, brighter and prettier. It’s purple – deep purple and it may look like it will stain your hands, but it won’t. Think of using a toner like exfoliating your face – it’s not for every day, but when you need a good clean. I’ve heard that toner should be used every 4 weeks, yet I use mine almost twice as much as that and I’m fine. My dear friend Amelia used her 4 times more than me and she ended up with blue hair when swimming, so a happy medium between Amelia and the 4 week recommended time frame is probably perfect. Use whatever your hairdresser recommends, because they’ll know the best to suit your blonde, but as a guide, Goldwell 10V is a cult favourite and I’ve heard rave reviews for Revlon’s Professional Nutri Colour Crème otherwise known as colour balls, yet I have a particular liking for Pravana Pure Light Toner.



Some great things you’ll notice about having blonde hair is that it won’t look as oily and dirty as your dark hair might and you’ll notice it has a little more body at the root, because of the bleach. However, blonde hair is ALWAYS thirsty. It’s basically in a constant state of crying for your attention, because you’ve effectively killed it with product. So, you have to fix it with product too. You need to use conditioning treatments and oils to remind your hair that you love it and to stop all the tears. My favourite is Kerastase Volumactive Treatment or the old faithful V05 Hot Oil treatments. My blonde friend Lisa absolutely swears by Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Hair Therapy because it pays particular attention to your ends, which you’ll notice as a blonde, will have a tendency to break and split just that little easier. Using hair oil, like Moroccan Oil and Argon Oil will help you, especially at the ends, because coloured blonde hair will just want to drink anything you give it, like a selfish drunk.



It is so important to remember that when you change your hair colour, you need to change your colours. I struggled with this concept, because I just assumed that everything would match just fine, because I know my own face. Wrong. Platinum blondes kill it with bright pink/red lips, golden blondes look so lovely with light pinks and peaches and beachy blondes suit brown and bronzes on the eyes – you’re going to turn enough heads with your hair so if you get the makeup right too, there’s no stopping you marrying well.



Eyebrows are an issue for blondes. Some of you don’t have eyebrows and some of you have black brows that you wish you didn’t have. Brunettes – you can bleach your brows…but it’s not the best option. If I had my time again, I’d keep them dark and perfectly manicured. Albinos – Tinting your brows at the Benefit Brow Bar is a great option for you, because they will happily colour match and ensure that they don’t come out too dark. Or, you could buy an eyebrow pencil (my favourite is Benefit’s Instant Brow Pencil) for quick touch-ups.

Dry shampoo is the best thing for blondes because not only does it give you an instant dry ‘clean’ and body, but it will disguise your roots and blend them in a little. I absolutely love Klorane Dry Shampoo.

When towel drying your hair, be gentle. Your poor hair has been through the ringer, so take care and pat dry instead of vigorously rubbing every last drop out – your blonde hair is sensitive and wants a knowing smile; not a massive bear hug.

When you’ve washed your hair and are just about to turn the shower off, make sure the final rinse is done with cold water. This closes the pores of your hair and locks in shine and the fantastic products you’ve just used, and will probably wake you up too.

Q: Hear about the blonde that got an AM radio?

A: It took her a month to realize she could play it at night.


Filed under blonde, hair

First World Beauty Problem: My nails stress me out – I suck at doing them myself, I don’t know what colours are cool and they always chip.


SOLUTION: I would be lying if I said I haven’t shed a tear after getting a manicure and smudging/chipping/ruining it within 5 minutes of leaving the salon. Cast your judgment, yet I’m positive everyone has been close to that feeling of extreme stress when you’ve committed time and effort into waiting for your nails to dry, only to immediately ruin them because you’re impatient and clumsy. Nails are the thing you notice and it’s such a lovely feeling to have perfect, neat tips. If I had my way, I’d get a mani/pedi every other day and never, ever have to focus on my own hands and feet with surgeon-like concentration, which usually ends in me getting frustrated, giving up and dealing with a multitude of mistakes I’ve made. Luckily I’m not a surgeon. And luckily for you, I know lots of tips (ha!) for the best nails, which is obviously more useful anyway.

STOP BITING – Shamefully, I am a recovering nail-biter and occasionally fall back into old habits when I am busy and panicked. Sally Hansen’s ‘Nail Biter’ polish, which is a clear varnish that tastes absolutely disgusting, didn’t even stop me from biting, because after the initial bitter shock when it hits the tongue, I was able to bite and whince through the taste to achieve my pointless goal of short horrendous nails. Comments like “there are more germs under your nails than a public toilet seat” and facts about bacteria I was putting in my mouth by biting my nails didn’t deter me, because if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Just like my washing. The only thing that stopped my biting was pure vanity and a genuine interest in my nails. I viewed them as another project that I had to learn about and focus on. I got every little gadget, file, buffer, cuticle cutter and more so I had the tools to make my nails pretty, which is very similar to buying new stationary at school or new workout gear when you get a gym membership. Sure, sometimes you hand in assignments late, get coffee instead of the gym and bite that annoying little bit in the corner of your nail, but I won’t judge you. You’re only human – you can fix it and you can appreciate the pretty nails a lot more when you’ve been at the low point of hiding your nails in shame. Oh, the shame…


TAKE CARE – Think of your nails like your face. You clean it, you exfoliate it and you keep it in perfect condition. Your nails need attention and if they don’t get it, they’ll annoy you by being weak, scratchy and discoloured until you notice. I never understood this concept and covered my ignorance in brightly coloured polish. The universal aim is to have strong, healthy nails – not to pretend you have strong, healthy nails. You achieve this aim by using Revitanail – that’s the polish you can buy at any chemist in the big-ish square bottle. Follow the guide in the box, which starts with 2 coats, followed by 1 coat for the next 5 days, then remove on day 7 and start the process again. You do the process 3 times, which all up is 25 days of concentrating on your nails. Sure – that sounds a little crazy, but so does having gross, weak nails. If after 25 days, you’re unhappy with your perfect, beautiful nails, you probably are crazy anyway and nails aren’t going to make you happy – medication will.

Another way to achieve your healthy nail goal is to invest in a hand and nail cream and moisturize it in every day, paying particular attention to your little cuticles. A winner is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, because it’s a miracle-working balm that does everything. It’ll probably send you flowers after your 25 day Revitanail program, too. Finally, if you’re a little OCD (aren’t we all? Isn’t that normal? *twitches*) then invest in some nourishing oil as well that you massage into your cuticles.

If, on the terribly unlucky chance, these steps aren’t helping you, look at taking Hair Nail and Skin vitamins. Blackmores and Swisse make great ones and I have heard that girls attribute their newly found confidence to them. If they don’t help you, just bite your nails. You’re doomed anyway.


ACRYLIC/GEL – I had fake nails for many years. I worked in jewellery and got sick of continually ruining manicures by opening clasps on necklaces and bracelets and also enjoyed the ‘click’ they made when I tapped along to a fun little tune. It is a mixture of a powder and a liquid that solidifies on your nail as a coating to add length and make you look awesome. There isn’t much difference between acrylic and gel nails anymore – basically acrylic is the original and gel is the new, more durable, odorless UV product.  Your nail will have to be filed and buffed down for this coating to go on, which means you’re thinning (and effectively ruining) the nail underneath. It’s really not the end of the world, because any damage you do can be repaired, but it’s a good idea to let your nails breath every now and then, because they absolutely can’t under a mountain of hardened crystals. The pros – you (almost) can’t bite your nails, they give the illusion of a wonderfully thick perfect nail that you don’t have pay attention to and you can choose your length. The cons – you’re putting money into something that isn’t actually helping your nail and you’re living a lie. Having lived the lie for many years, they’re an easy little solution to crappy nails, yet I probably wouldn’t go back now, because I’m so old, wise and judgmental.


SHELLAC – Shellac is the new kid on the block – it’s a lasting polish that claims to be chip-free for up to 14 days. It’s at least double the price of a basic polish, so that extra money obviously buys you peace of mind. A good point to remember is just because it hasn’t chipped doesn’t mean you can leave it on forever – it still needs to be removed and reapplied. Stories of yellowing and horrendous nails emerging after leaving Shellac on for too long are enough for me not to push the envelope on the time frame, yet you may be more of a fungus daredevil than I.


WHAT IS COOL?! – If you’re ever confused about what is cool in the nail world, just look at what Chanel are doing. Chanel release new nail colours each season and as soon as they do, OPI and Essie usually follow suit. One of their latest colours, ‘Frenzy’, which is a lovely neutral colour which suits many skin tones, is probably the start of a new trend. At the moment, I’m seeing neutrals, dark green and some heavy reds that keep coming up in magazines, yet as a general rule (which should probably be applied to your life) just think ‘what would Chanel do?’


HELP, I’M AN IDIOT – I’m an idiot too and I ruin my nails all the time. Here are some quick idiot-proof tips:

-         Before you paint your nails, make sure they are filed and buffed. Do this with a glass file – you can go back and forth without the risk of ruining or catching the nail and it lasts for way longer than a classic emery board.

-         Use a base and top coat. This will prevent staining on your nails and ensure you’re getting the best out of your polish.

-         Just like any manicurist, use remover on your clean nail before you polish – it will take away anything left on there that may ruin the chances of a perfect manicure.

-         When you polish the top coat on, seal the colour by one little horizontal swipe at the top of the nail. You would have seen this done before in the salon and I believe it’s the sealing trick.

-         Reapply the top coat after a few days – it seals the colour and adds some more shine.

-         If you do chip the dry polish, you can fix it by dabbing the colour in the chipped area and coating with top coat again.

-         If you smudge a mani that is yet to dry, you can sneakily fix it by massaging it in with oily hands. Lightly patting and rubbing towards the top of your finger may save you many tears.

-        I am a fan of short and neat nails, and a big fan or the square shape. The square shape suits short nails, but isn’t great for longer nails in terms of chipping potential. If you round them off, you’ll have less chance of those annoying little corners chipping.

-         If you continually moisturize and push your cuticles down, you’ll avoid having to cut them, which is great. Cuticles are there to protect your nail and keep bacteria out, so cutting them off leaves you all vulnerable. As a cuticle-cutting addict, this tip is hard to follow. One step at a time…


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Filed under nails

First World Beauty Problem: I feel like I’m getting old, boring and my life is dull


SOLUTION: Everyone has had this awful little feeling creep in at one time or another. Maybe it’s a rainy day? Maybe you no longer show the year you were born on Facebook? Maybe you just saw teeny-boppers in hotpants drinking Cruisers in the street without a care in the world? Or maybe you just need to colour your life up and stop being such a downer. The last time I put colour in my hair (that wasn’t from the standard blonde/bronze/gold/brown highlight wheel) was either at a dance concert or on my last day of Grade 6. We used ‘hair mascara’ and sprayed blue-in-a-can to our hair and walked into school like a boss. How rebellious! How crazy! Look, Mum! Then, we grew up and started getting ‘real’ colour and highlights in our hair and scoffed at the youngsters trying to be cool on muck-up day. As usual, what goes around comes around, and the hair-colouring phase is back, and I am completely on board. If you feel like you’re getting old, boring and your life is dull, I suggest you get on board too.


Kevin Murphy Colour Bugs are the newest, fun-est, most amazing-est little invention and I can’t get enough of them. They look like a bug, with very easy little spots to grab on to, but they don’t bite or annoy you like a bug might. It’s makeup for your hair – chalk, in fact. Think of the Colour Bug like a highlighter – you literally rub the bug into the ends of your hair and the colour comes out immediately. In fact, the colour gets everywhere immediately, so make sure you’re not wearing your pretty clothes, because no one has time for hand washing. You rub in more for a brighter, more intense colour and can fade other colours in with it, like white, for a pastel or gradual effect. The process takes less than 5 minutes and in that time, you won’t be able to stop looking at how cool you are in the mirror.


Some things to remember:

  • For highly coloured and porous hair, spray a protective spray (like a heat protector) before you apply, just so the colour won’t stain and stay around for a week – brightly coloured hair is really probably more a weekend treat and probably won’t be appreciated in the weekly budget meeting in your pantyhose and kitten heels. A little bit of hairspray before you apply may just make your hair that little bit more resilient to the crazy awesome fun you’re about to rub in it.
  • This bug goes everywhere – and I mean everywhere. Stand clear, put a towel down and don’t put your white iPhone next to you as you are applying. You’ll get it all over your hands, all over your neck and all over your back – get messy when you are applying and then grab a makeup wipe and clean away. It will continue to rub onto you until the colour has sunk in a little, so be patient and maybe don’t go wedding-dress shopping.
  • Get the style you want in your hair first, do the bug, then brush/spray and re-style around it.


Brett from Suki Hairdressing in Paddington tells me the next installment in the Kevin Murphy Colour Bug range is neon and I haven’t stopped smiling since I heard this. Feel young, be fun and colour up your life with Kevin Murphy Colour Bugs – you’ll have as much fun as you did at your Grade 6 graduation or dance concerts. Maybe even listen to Spice Girls to really get in theme…



Filed under hair