Category: Skin

01
Apr

Your new favourite skin care line.

… Has officially launched!

GoTo_YellowEO copy

 It’s called Go-To, and I created it.
You buy it exclusively from gotoskincare.com, which is now live, and a lot of fun.
We send prods to you fast.
You use and love.
We (telepathically) high-five.
And nearby, a small family of wombats huddle together for a nap.

To celebrate the launch today, I thought I would run you briefly through each of the five products, since I’ve been a bit cagey about them up until now. Knowledge is power, after all! So is money and political status, but that’s less relevant in this situation.

As I have previously pointed out previously, Go-To was designed to be uncomplicated, simple, effective and easy (and fun) to use. Each of these products are useful for all of us, whether we wear a shittonne of skin care and makeup each day, or we just slap on some BB cream and race out the door. Because we all need a cleanser. We all need a moisturiser that will protect our skin from free-radical damage. We all need to exfoliate. We all need a lip balm that actually works. And we all “need” (enjoy?) a multi-purpose oil that can be used everywhere from the heels to the elbows to the nails to the hair to the face.

 THE CLEANSER

Go--Properly-Clean-2995

It’s called Properly Clean, $29.95, because I was sick of cleansers that didn’t do a good enough job. Lazy cleansers. Naughty cleansers. Cleansers that couldn’t keep up with women who used many layers of skin serums and brighteners and primers and so on. They were either too thick and left residue, or they were too foamy and drying, or too scrubby and harsh, and they didn’t nearly remove all the primer/sunscreen/makeup I’d loaded onto my face that day. So, I made one that was as soft and smoothing and lovely on the skin (in use and after being rinsed off) which I think the face demands, but which, because of the Willow Bark Extract (a non-irritating cousin to salicylic acid that ever so gently removes grime and build-up), also actually gets the job DONE and takes care of BIZNEZ.

Fun fact: This was the first product we got right, and my husband loves the shit out of it. And he’s a BOY.

THE EXFOLIANT

Go--Exfoliating-Swipeys-50-wipes-4995

 

Called Exfoliating Swipeys, $45.95, because, well, that’s what they are, these single-use, zingy-smelling little cotton pads take the confusion and error out of exfoliating. Because there’s a lot of that! We either use too many exfoliating products, too often (I have friends who are essentially performing a mini chemical peel each night with all their strong cleansers and  toners and creams), or we don’t do enough, which makes our skin dull and congested and unhappy. The ideal way to exfoliate, in my mind, is softly, thoroughly and regularly. So, I made a solution of gentle AHAs (lactic acid) and hydrating essential oils, and dunked 50 textured pads in it, and now all YOU have to do is swipe one all over your face after cleansing 2-3 times a week, and you’re set.

Fun fact: I was least convinced we had the scent of this right, but have had more positive feedback on this scent than any of the products.

 

THE MOISTURISER

Go--Very-Useful-Face-Cream-3995

 

After a while as a beauty editor, you learn that are a few iconic face creams that remain steadily popular over time. They tend to be very nourishing, but lightweight and quick to sink in. And suitable for even sensitive skins (making them loved by makeup artists to use backstage at shows on models/shoots). I wanted to make one of these all-purpose, lovely creams, because I am arrogant enough to aim that high. BUT. I’m a firm believer that defending and protecting the skin from free radical damage (which come from UV rays, the environment etc), the cause of premature ageing (wrinkles, lines and sun damage), via powerful anti-oxidants is just as important as hydration and the perfect texture. So, I sourced the magical super anti-oxidant, Alma Berry, which has 30x more Vitamin C than oranges (and is anti-inflammatory and super soothing), and popped in some CoQ10, the grand dame of the anti-oxidant world, as well as Vitamin E, so that when you put on Go-To Very Useful Face Cream, $39.95, in the morning (under your physical sunscreen, obviously), you are protected throughout the day, and when you put it on at night, you are working to neutralise any free radical damage you accrued. I love this cream for MANY reasons, including it’s lovely silky texture, fig and rose scent and ability to be worn day, night or mid-flight, but that it’s guarding my skin so thoroughly, well, that’s the bloody clincher.

Fun fact: There is no sunscreen in Very Useful Face Cream because I wanted it to be all-purpose, day/night/flight. I wear a physical sunscreen over it during the day.

 

 THE LIP BALM 

Go--Lips-1495

 

I hardly keep my passion for lip balm under wraps. Am always banging on about how I can’t find the perfect one, or why the one you’re using isn’t working, (petrochemicals, usually) or applauding those that do help my lips… So when I got to make my own, you can bet your bronzer I took it seriously. IT HAS TO BE THE BEST LIP BALM EVER I said to my softly spoken, mild-mannered biochemist. OUR LIP BALM MUST WIN, I reiterated. So, we got to work. Adding all the ingredients I know to actually do something, and which make good lip balms more than just quick-fix barriers. And after just 20 versions, we got there with Lips!, $14.95. It features seven oils, ultra medical grade lanolin, anti-oxidants, butters and beeswax… all bundled up in the perfect formula of creaminess with a pretty sheen and the subtle flavour of pure pomegranate. It’s delicious and I swear by it. So there.

Fun fact: It’s called Lips! because I was so jubilant at having finally landed on the best possible lip balm formula. (In my eyes, anyway. My very bias eyes.)

 

THE MULTI-PURPOSE OIL

Go--Exceptionoil-4995

As a dame who travels quite a lot, and has had to master a smaller toiletries kit than any beauty editor should ever be forced to endure, I know the value of a solid do-it-all prod. Something that can be hauled out and quickly fix rough heels, elbows, cuticles, or soothe and heal little scratches and bites, or hydrate the body, or condition split ends, or add some sheen to foundation, or act as a potent serum (gently dabbed onto the face under face cream – better left to dry, not oily skins). Makes sense then, that I would want to have a crack at making my own… cue Exceptionoil, $49.95. It is SO PURE and so delicious, and with a blend of ten oils and almost as many butters and waxes, the skin bloody loves this balm-oil. (One beauty ed has even said it has sorted out her eczema, so maybe it’s even more magic than we know!) It sinks in fast, leaves no residue, and boasts certified Monoi di Tiare from Tahiti (gardenias macerated in coconut oil) for a – quite frankly – criminally pretty fragrance.

I need to say here that if you DO purchase Exceptionoil, please remember it is an OIL, and needs to be treated as such. In that it might be very runny when you open it, so please be careful. Also, just like that coconut oil you cook with, it will change solidity in accordance to the surrounding temps. (An hour in the fridge will help thicken it if it’s stupidly runny.) And if you travel with it? Like any oil, you should keep it in a plastic ziploc bag.

Fun fact: One customer has been adding a few drops to her bath with truly lovely results and very soft, scented skin. Clever!

… Of course, you can read (and watch) all about the prods in more depth at gotoskincare.com, and see all of the ingredients too, and also all of the things we DON’T put into the products (palm oil, petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, silicones, GMOs, synthetic colours or fragrances, animal testing of any kind).

To all of you who have already purchased your Go-To, and have been kind enough to take the time to let us know how much you are loving the products and packaging on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Gruzzleplonk,  THANK YOU.

It’s scary launching a skin care line! You’re asking women to put things on their face and telling them their skin will like it, but skin can be so bitchy and so individual, and so you just make it as good as it can be, and you bloody hope for the best. Also! No store! No way for you guys to sniff and play and try the products before buying them – you are just putting blind faith into them and putting them into your virtual cart, and it is THAT leap of faith and trust that I am so deeply grateful for, and promise not to ever mess with.

You’re gorgeous dames, and I bloody adore you. I will shut up Go-To for a while now, promise. Just had to push her out to sea first.

Zo-To x

Ps Go-To and I were on A Current Affair last night!

Responses to this drivel: 64 Comments
14
Mar

The Beauty of Day Beforesies.

I’m often asked for my best beauty advice, and I often go completely blank when trying to come up with some, before rambling on about dry shampoo for the 683th time.

But sitting here after a strong coffee, it has come to me at last! The advice I swear by! The best kind that is widely useful! It’s Day Beforesies. 

When I need my best hair and skin and tan and nails and even makeup (in some instances) I do it the Day Before. This allows things to settle in, and settle down, and relax a little. Things are a bit lived in, a bit less perfect, a bit more malleable. Also, it gives you some time and room for error, should there be any (in the way of orange wrists or over boofy blow-dries.)

Some of my Day Beforesies include:

HAIR

I really swear by this one  (f-word swear). My hair never looks good or behaves when freshly washed. Few people’s do. It’s slippery and boofy and silly, or fluffy and frizzy. So, I always wash it at night, particularly if I need it to look nice the next day for an event or a big trip to the post office. (The life of a stay at home writer.) Here’s how I achieve the perfect second-day hair: I wash it, then apply some root lift mousse (I like L’Oreal Professional’s Tecni.Art Volume Lift Root Spray-Mousse for its small nozzle and targeted spray, making it easy to get to the scalp/areas that need root lift, rather than spewing up a big ball of mousse you have to distribute with fingers and generally get wrong. Also, it’s soft, no stickiness or feeling like you just added concrete to your hair) on wet hair and then I dry off to 80% using high heat on my hair dryer, and my trusty Denman styler brush, taking the hair in every direction all over the head so the nozzle of my hair dryer can get in there and get that volume from every angle. (“Wrap drying” I refer to it in Amazing Face.) The drying off will give it some smoothness, but I then secure in a very high bun for more volume and wave until bed time, when I let it out.

Next morning? Lovely waves with a tonne body that can very quickly blow-dried smooth with a barrel brush, or curling-tonged and then lightly sprayed with hairspray/sea salt spritz for glamorous curls/waves. (Which will last a few days, then a few more with dry shampoo.)  Try it. You’ll see. Do the work in prep and enjoy days of good hair.

Loreal-tecni.art-volume-lift-250ml-spray-mousse-1314-pDenmanbrushstyler

 

TAN

This one is fairly self-explanatory. We don’t do a deep tan application (or get a spray tan) on the day we need to look tanned. We do it the afternoon or night before, so it can kick in and we don’t stink up the joint. And we always add a little bit of lotion to the elbows, knees, wrists and ankles when we’re done so as to dilute in those bits, and make sure there’s no orange makes. Then, the next morning we shower off the excess and apply a thick, fragranced body lotion, butter or balm to lock the tan in, and hydrate the skin and mask any remaining scent. If there are any little areas of build up around the ‘bends’ (elbows, knees, ankles or wrists) I use a bit of body or hand scrub (lather with water in hands, but keep the bit you are trying to stain-remove dry) and then rinse. If things are terrible and people will likely notice I have a deep cigarette butt coloured line around my wrists, I get out my Chux magic eraser and very gently, using ONLY the white side, rub it on the spot til it goes. It’s harsh, it’s not recommenced for even remotely sensitive skin, but it works when nothing else will.

Chux-Magic_eraser

 

SKIN

In-salon facials are wonderful things, I recommend them very highly for ongoing skin maintenance and long-term results. But don’t expect to look good on the day you have one. Whether it’s a highly active facial (peels, micro-dermabrasion etc) or a lovely, nourishing, traditional facial, you will not look good on the day of the facial. You will look red and blotchy. You will look roughed up. You will look glowy but half asleep. You will have small pieces of mask sticking to your nose and hairline. It’s not good. And, furthermore, it’s not a good idea to load up with makeup after a treatment – ideally book facials as late as possible so you can just go to bed (and avoid sun exposure if you’ve had a strong peel) and let all the goodness sink in overnight. The results will be there in the morning, usually. (Some medi-peels are different, they can take a few days to kick in due to the ‘peeling’ process.)Wash that face, see how your eyes are bright and clear and your skin bounces with health. NOW you can see the results. NOW you can put on makeup. NOW you can dazzle everyone.

The exception: At home mini-facials before an event are fine to do on the day. I often exfoliate then do a quick 10-minute mask before makeup for events. My favourite pre-event mask? Elemis Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask.

 

ELEMISFruit-Active-Rejuvenating-Mask

 

NAILS

You know how sometimes after you have your nails done, they look a bit… raw?… And a bit ouchy, and if you chose a red or a dark colour and they have attacked your cuticles, or you had a shitty manicurist, your hands or feet can even look a bit, well, brutalised? Yes. Well, that’s usually (rough manicurists aside) because it’s all so fresh, and your cuticles need to settle back in against the nail, and the raw look of nailbeds that have just been filed and buffed and scrubbed and polish-removed and painted needs to be given some time. So do it the day before. This is especially true if the colour makes your skin look lifeless – you can pop on some fake tan, OR, if you had gels/Shellac and hate the colour because it makes your hands look like Aunty Edna in her casket, the poor dear, even paint over them with a coat of regular nail polish. (It can be removed again with a swipe polish remover and your gels will be perfect underneath.)

 

Badmanicure

 MAKEUP

This one is a biiiit of a stretch, and probably not really worth advocating, but sometimes second day liner looks way better than perfect, neat liner. You know the kind, the smudgy, Kate Mossy kind (she was the one who kind of invented second day kohl, saying she never really cleaned her eyes and just kept adding more each day…bit gross but not terrible every now and then) where your eyes are rimmed perfectly in black, in a way that cannot be created by hand and kohl, only sleep and time. The look is best when you’ve done a REALLY smoked up eye the night before, and even despite all your best makeup removal efforts, a black frame still lines your eyes. I must admit I have on one or two occasions applied a rim of black kohl along my upper and lower lashline (and the inner lower) before bed to get this hell rock n’ roll babe look the next morning. All you need do is add mascara and a flush of sweet pink cheeks. Or, more liner, and some brown shadow just keeping it in close to the lashline, top and bottom, and heaps of mascara, and go hard out.

Another thing that kind of counts as makeup is brow tinting. I recommend going strong on tint day if you can, (eg: have no plans that night) so your tint will last longer. By the time you wash your face that night or the next morning even, the tint will calm down, and any that was on your skin, not the hair, will go, and you will look less Bert/Ernie and more Brooke Shields.

 KateMossSmudgedliner

 

FOOD

Spaghetti bolognese. It’s always tastier the second day. You know it, I know it: why fight it?

Responses to this drivel: 36 Comments
06
Mar

Serum layering: It’s very much allowed.

Over the past few days I’ve had the delight of meeting many of you on my book tour. (… And have you purchasing the very first round of Go-To in our sold-out, 48-hour pre-sale. THANK YOU!! I was completely taken aback with your enthusiasm and support. You gorgeous bloody bastards. My goodness.)

Invariably during these events a few beauty questions will arise, for the same reason I always have furniture questions around interior designers, and food questions around nutritionists and kneepad questions around rollerbladers.

One that struck me as being a great one to clarify and confirm for all fruits was: Can you layer serums, or is that too much for the skin, and you should just use one?

And as I told sweet Alice fruit on Monday night: Yes! For the love of lactic acid, yes. I layer my serums every single day.

JUST REGARDING SERUMS:

They are treatment products. They are concentrated, far more active and effective than skin creams, and tend to cost more because they have more potent ingredients and you use less of them. So, think about it: what exactly do you need to treat? Which area does your skin need help? Dehydration? Acne? Dryness? Sagging and loss of firmness? Big pores? Pigmentation?

Choose your serum(s) on this basis, and keep in mind what you use should change according to your skin’s needs, the seasons and hormonal changes, like the pill and pregnancy. There are do-it-all serums, (such as Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair) which are great for skin that is relatively normal and not yelling for attention in any area, and of course a good rosehip oil with anti-oxidants can act as a great serum, but if you have specific issues, I say go for specific serums.

As an example of layering and the reasoning behind it, here’s what I do each morning as a pregnant woman waging war against hyperpigmentation:

1. Cleanse

2. Apply five drops of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, which features a filthy amount of potent anti-oxidants (Phloretin and Ferulic acid) to protect my skin from free radical damage (“premature ageing”) which also brightens the skin (thanks to the Vitamin C). It’s non-sticky and far more pleasant to use than Skinceutical’s cult serum, CE Ferulic I reckon.

SkinCeuticals-Phloretin-CF

 

3. Apply some Aspect Pigment Punch serum, which helps to stop pigmentation from coming up in the first place.

4. Apply a zinc-based physical sunscreen, such as O Cosmedics Mineral Pro Tint, which by now you all know I adore. Physical sunscreens go on TOP of serums, remember. Chemical sunscreens, by comparison, go first and onto clean skin… making it hard to get serums to penetrate, and another great reason to make the switch to a physical.

OcosmedicsMineralProSPF30

5. Slap on Smashbox CC cream for a lightweight, glowy look but still medium coverage.

OR! if it’s a fancy day and I need to do a full face of makeup:

5. Tom Ford Illuminating Protective Primer (INSTANT FACIAL IN A BOTTLE, but best left to those with dry, not oily skin.)

Tom-Ford-Illuminating-Primer

6. MAC Face and Body foundation and then colour makeup.

At night, I cleanse, apply Pigment Punch, then a beautiful hydrating and nourishing Sodashi face oil (that is almost but not yet available to buy, I’m sorry), and then an anti-oxidant filled moisturiser that just happens to be from my own line.

So, as you can see, I definitely layer my serums.

I do this to ensure in the morning I am going out into the world fully defended and ready to prevent UV damage from causing the signs of ageing and also pigmentation, and at night to confirm my pigmentation has been “punched” and then add some lovely deep hydration and more anti-oxidants for all-round skin health and healing.

Others might use something for controlling congestion and oily pores followed by an anti-oxidant broth, or even a very active Vitamin C serum coupled with a hydrating, juicy one for a day where bright, glowing, plump skin is needed more than plain old treatment solutions. It all depends.

Things to note:

– Layering two is fine; three is probably the limit… bit much for your skin, and probably a sign you need a more all-round serum.

– Not all serums are good for night AND day – retinols or retinoids and AHAs, for example should be saved for PM use.

– Make sure your serums aren’t fighting each other, or you’re doubling up on ingredients or benefits, or the cumulation of the ingredients doesn’t mean you’re basically giving yourself a mini chemical peel each day. In other words, get professional advice before you embark.

– Serums cannot rollerblade very well and will be embarrassed if you ask them about the best kneepads to buy.

Responses to this drivel: 45 Comments
04
Mar

And now something for the die-hard fruits.

FBGTPS

It’s the day!

It’s the day we (kind of) lift the (still pretty opaque) veil on my skin care line, Go-To!

Yes, fruits, a full month before we unleash the site and the products on the rest of the world, you loyal fruits, the gorgeous dames who have diligently indulged my my beauty dribbles since 2006, you have the chance to try them first. Well, some of them. Three of the total five, to be exact. Oh come on! It’s a sneak preview, I can’t be giving everything up on the first date. I’m not that easy.

You can read all about this special 48 hour fruitybeauty/Go-To pre-sale here, or you can just pop your swimming cap on and dive right in.

Remember: The sale begins today, Tuesday March 4 at 10am, and concludes in entirety at 10am Thursday March 6. The Go-To site – our “flagship store” – will then retreat back into its cute turtle shell until we launch proper on April 1.

Also remember: We will be releasing the (admittedly pretty) limited stock in bursts, so there’s no need to panic and all go online at 10am today. If you get on there tomorrow morning, I assure you there will new stock be ready to go. If you go on there Thursday morning… well, you can try your luck. Who knows. All products sold in pre-sale will be shipped the last week of March, the idea being you receive them before Everyone Else, who won’t receive theirs til post April 1.

I thank you in advance for all of your spectacular support and excitement, and wish you the fantastic skin you bloody well deserve.

Oh. And here’s that link you’ll be looking for. It goes live at 10am, EST.

… Viva la pre-sale!

 

Responses to this drivel: 85 Comments
27
Feb

Be the first to try Go-To!

As I mentioned last month, I wish for nothing more than to bathe in a tub of pure golden fairy floss each night before bed.

Actually, there is one more thing I wish for: that my loyal and lovely fruits are the first to sample my skin care line, Go-To!

I wish for this because since 2006 you have provided me with comments, questions and feedback on beauty, and so much of that amazing intel formed the foundation of this range, and the reason I created it at all.

You were confused about what to use on your skin so I made it uncomplicated!

You were annoyed at products that didn’t deliver, so I made sure my products were effective!

You were pissed off with nasties in your skin care, so I left every single one of them on the curb, crying for their mama!

You already have products you love and want to keep using, so Go-To slots in easily around them!

So, let’s get you using them, and before anyone else, care of the fruitybeauty/Go-To PRE-SALE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!

That’s right viewers, from 10am Tuesday March 4 until 10am Thursday March 6, there will be a limited amount of select Go-To products that you can purchase, direct from the wonderful Go-To website, which is the the exclusive stockist of Go-To.

I am making it limited – in terms of stock, and the type of products available – because while I want you rascals to be able to try Go-To first, I still very much wish for April 1 to be the big, exciting, mega launch day. I guess you can think of the pre-sale as part sneak peek, part tease and part fodder for bragging rights to your mates, because we will be shipping you your first taste of Go-To the week before it goes on sale officially.

Real important things about the fruity/Go-To pre-sale extravaganza:

1. Wearing underpants is important, no matter what you hear.

2. While we do have limited stock allocated for this pre-order fun fest, we will be releasing that stock in bursts over the pre-sale period. This means that if you come to the site on Wednesday morning, instead of smack on 10am Tuesday, there will still be products available to purchase. This A) prevents a site meltdown, B) prevents a Zoe meltdown when the site melts down and C) and makes it all a bit more fair.

3. There are a total of five Go-To skin care products in the range. I will be releasing three of these for pre-sale, which you can read about in full glorious detail on the site. Should you try to buy the two remaining prods that are being reserved for April 1, you will be politely but firmly denied.

3. We ship to Aus, NZ and internationally. So, uh, everywhere.

3. The full Go-To site won’t be going live until April 1, but we have created a special pre-sale version, just for the fruits, which is live only between that 10 AM Tues – 10AM Thurs period. The link for that special fruitybeauty version of the site will be posted here early next Tuesday morning.

4. You CAN pass on that link to friends, there’s no way I will know if you have because the government asked me to return all of my surveillance cameras, but the more we just keep this whole affair something special just for the loyal fruits who read this blog, the better, I reckon… (Also, more chance of you getting some product, over ‘them’.)

5. Any questions? Comment below and I will clarify.

Guys, this is all TREMENDOUSLY exciting.

That sentence deserves way more of these: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 Go-To skin care logo

 Also, I hopefully will be seeing a cute bunch of you on my book tour for The Wrong Girl this and next week! What a blast.

 

 

Responses to this drivel: 40 Comments
20
Feb

Allow me to introduce you to my very own skin care line: Go-To.


Today I take immense joy in announcing the name of and first peek at my skin care line, Go-To.

Go-To skin care logo

Since we’re still a fair way off launch, this is really just me sharing the name and giving you a little snizz at what the products look like, care of the image below which features Lips! our lip wizard.

Why the name Go-To? Because Clinique was taken. Also, I found that during the creation and manufacturing process I was constantly describing the products in the following ways: “This is, like, the essential, foolproof, go-to moisturiser,” or “it needs to be girls’ go-to exfoliator” or “this is the perfect go-to travel product” or “I’m exhausted can I go-to the cafe and get a coffee now?”

GoTo_Lips_Purple

“I love this lip balm. So much.”
– Zoe’s lips.

 

As I explained in this initial blog last month, the products and range thereof have very much been formulated to act as your skin care basics. The simple, reliable foundation products you rely on and need to maintain healthy, happy, glowing skin. By all means bring inject those power serums and peels and masks and treatments that you love, but also feel a bit smug knowing Go-To has got your back when it comes to the necessities of daily skin maintenance.

And that’s my version of daily skin maintenance, by the way – a fussy beauty editor of 10 years who has a strong/educated/totally inflated opinion about what she knows works, what women feel comfortable using and what the modern woman’s skin actually needs. So, hydration, yes, but also protection from ageing and skin discolouration in the form of powerful anti-oxidants. Some gentle AHAs for foolproof, effective exfoliation. And a cleanser that will actually remove all that primer and sunscreen and long-wear makeup I keep telling you to use.

As well as being effective, I went to great (some might say “annoying”) lengths to ensure each product was perfectly natural. Zero nasties. No palm oil, (obviously) no petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, silicones, GMOs, synthetic colours or fragrances. There has been no animal testing of any kind, except on me. (And sometimes Meowbert cos he gets dry lips.)

So there you have it! Millions more details to come of course, but for now, this is Go-To skin care. Officially on sale April 1, a date that I am assured people take very seriously. You can start stalking us gently on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Plangscootch too, if you like.

(… Full details on our fun pre-order campaign coming early next week!)

 

Responses to this drivel: 48 Comments
19
Feb

The quick, non-sticky way I self-tan when it’s hot.

Because it is SO FOUL laying in bed on a hot night wearing a shiny layer of thick fake tan. Not to mention (except for the fact I am mentioning it) sleep is impossible and the stench is unfair on bedmates. Also, being a pregbot, I am approximately 67% hotter than usual, and cannot handle a sheet, let alone a doona’s worth of heavy tanning cream.

But sometimes we desire some colour on our skin, no?

One option is to shower in the morning then apply your tan, but in my house (and this city of ongoing oppressive heat) sashaying around in thick creams or even lightweight tanning micro-mist sprays isn’t as delightful as one might imagine. Plus: Stinky. Gradual tanners are okay, (I favour the Ecotan and Garnier versions, although to be fair I pretty much love all of them) but can still start to feel a bit sweaty and ‘fragrant’ within a few hours, especially if you’re busy chasing alpacas around the ranch like I am.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing. It works. It not smell. It fast. I get a lovely deep tan.

1. I exfoliate skin gently in the shower, but without the shower being on. Then turn taps on and rinse off. (Exfoliators work on dry, not wet, skin.)

2. I dry off thoroughly  (water makes tanner not work) and then – often just on the areas I need to be tanned, so, legs chest and arms, say – spray Santorini Sun Sunless Tanning Lotion onto those bits. It’s free of nasties, which is nice, and it’s a spray, which makes it far less cloying than a cream. I like it because it’s a gorgeous green-based colour (read: not orange), dries super quick, and gives a REAL nice deep tan in just one application. (You can easily get a spray effect/depth look in two applications.)

Santorini-Sun-Sunless-Tanning-Lotion

3. This product has very little spread, though, so I put some light body lotion in my hands (too hot for thick ones), and then swipe and swoosh the tanning lotion over my skin. I don’t massage it IN to the skin – you don’t need to, it will work perfectly just being spread evenly over the top of the skin – I just swipe it over my body making sure there are no dark patches or splodges anywhere.

4. I massage some extra body lotion onto the wrists/knees/elbows etc to avoid build up.

5. I wash my hands real thoroughly with Aesop’s Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, because it has little bits of pumice in it to exfoliate the hands, making it EXCELLENT for fake tan hand prevention. This is the only hand wash I keep in my bathroom, due to its excellent ability to remove all remnants of tanner and makeup.

 

AESOP_reverence_aromatique_hand_wash_500ml_1

 

 

6. I pop on something black and get on with things, feeling quite impressed with A) my instantly bronzed skin, B) the fact that I can sleep soundly and not feel sticky despite said bronzed skin, C) the knowledge that I will not have orange hands in the morning and D) the speed at which I have carried out my tanning session. (NB: It’s actually fine to do this ritual in the mornings too… I never feel that sticky or stinky.)

7. I have a Paddle Pop. Probably banana flavoured.

 

Responses to this drivel: 8 Comments
03
Feb

Nanoparticles in sunscreen have been deemed harmless.

Which is good news because the sunscreen you use might have them and you’d obviously like to know you’re safe. Right?
Right.

Quick science lesson for those who were busy watching reruns of Big Bang Theory: nanoparticles are particles with one or more dimension less than 100nm … smaller than the average skin cell, essentially. Nanoparticles are (and have been for many years) used in sun care, particularly physical/mineral sun blockers containing zinc oxide because when nano-ised, those ingredients are clear, instead of opaque and milky and unappealing for consumers like you and me and Shezzy next door.

Nanoparticles have been under scrutiny for a while due to their wee size, and the fear they are able to penetrate our skin cells, and cause free radical damage to the DNA… which can lead to shitty things like, oh, you know, cancer.

Rational concerns.

But new research shows that zinc oxide nanoparticles are fine. Our immune system breaks down the particles before they enter the blood stream. Great work, immune system! Now be better regarding cold sores, please.

As an enormous and evangelical fan of zinc oxide-based physical/mineral sunscreens (which block the UV rays from your skin, and are a far better choice for those worried about hyperpigmentation) over chemical ones (which absorb the UV rays) I was delighted to learn this. While the CSIRO deemed nanoparticles safe a while back, there was still a school of thought that perhaps the nanoparticles were entering the cells. If they didn’t enter the cells, though, all was well. And now we know they don’t.

Which is great news. It’s real unfun finding out that something we use (daily, for many) could be causing havoc with our health. Particularly as someone who actively tells women to use zinc oxide products. Admittedly, I was never personally too concerned, nanoparticles have never been proven to be a health risk, and our TGA is extremely tough on cosmetics and particularly sun care, but you of course always want to make sure that something you love isn’t secretly stabbing you in the back/skin cells. Of course, for peace of mind, there should probably be transparency (scuse the pun) of ingredients and any nano-ing thereof on all labels, and I’m sure in time there will be.

Important Thing: Just because a product features zinc oxide, doesn’t mean it uses nanoparticles. And chemical (non zinc oxide) sunscreens use nanoparticles, too – the biggest clue is if a sunscreen is clear: that’s generally when nanos are in play.

Yes, the research is zinc oxide specific, (there are other particles on nano levels in sunscreen) but as with the argument about Vitamin D (essentially all of our slip slop slapping means we’re a nation that is chronically deficient in Vitamin D, and as someone who IS low in vitamin D, I now try to get about 10-15 mins of sun a day ) I think the risk of not wearing sun protection (skin cancer, prematurely aged skin etc) especially in this country where old lady Ozone dare not wander, far outweighs these concerns. I’m not alone.

Just on zinc oxide physical sun care products, here are some I love and use: (on top of my serums and moisturisers each morning): O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF 30+ (tinted) or Aspect Hydra Shield SPF 15 and DermaQuest DermaMinerals On The Go Finishing Powder (excellent for the handbag to take shine down and reboot your sun protection real quick.)

 OcosmedicsMineralProSPF30

Aspect-HYDRA-SHIELD-SPF-15

DermaMineralsOnTheGo

And one I don’t:

zinka

Not since about 1987 anyway.

Responses to this drivel: 30 Comments
21
Jan

The glorious sorcery of POST-makeup line fillers and complexion perfecters.

As we age, many of us womanly folk have the same desire: to fill in fine lines, blur out imperfections, and just make our complexion look fresh, even in texture, youthful and healthy.

Some of us rely on skin care and makeup and facials to do this, others prefer needles and lasers and others still choose to mash up asparagus and wear it as face paint, which is odd, but I would never judge.

What you may not know, is that there exist some tricky little products (and applications thereof) out there, and after giving them a wallop, and seeing your lines magically kind of blur away, you may even like to add them to your arsenal. Some can even – and I say this with no word of a bullshit – effectively mimic the smoothness of Botox. Just for a few hours, but still.

These soft-focus effect products work to fill in and effectively “remove” lines, blur the skin’s texture, and smooth the face – all jobs job generally reserved for pre-foundation products like primer, or foundations with light-diffusing ingredients. (They’ll sometimes also generally mattify and make pores look smaller, although that’s not their key job. Use a dedicated product, like Benefit’s Porefessional, for that.)

Optical diffusers and skin smoothers aren’t new, but recent variations tend to be lighter and less ‘siliconey’ feeling than they were five years ago, which is a good thing, especially for those who don’t like the feel of too much gear on their face, and who like to do little touch ups on their lines during the day. (I generally need a line-plump up by late afternoon, once the air con and coffee has stolen all my moisture.)

The original, and definitely one of the best is Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. It comes in a wee pot, and will last you about six months at least, because you should only be using amounts suited to pixies or elves. Dab – DON’T RUB – this velvety little ‘balm’ directly onto your lines underneath your foundation, wait a few minutes, then apply (ideally paint using a foundation brush) your foundation on. Alternatively, you can dab some lightly onto those same areas after you’ve applied your (liquid) foundation.

Clarins Instant Smooth

One that I wrote on last year and which has sold it’s little orange box off, is Nanoblur. It’s not quite the miracle they tout it to be, other products give similar results with far less confision, and Nanoblur could definitely improve their instructions because as any quick search will expose, most reviews of it end in the poor lass trialling it quitting due to the product balling on their skin, or their foundation looking like a three-year old applied it. But I’ve had some luck with it. The key is to remember you apply it AFTER foundation, you NEVER rub it in, and it is NOT PRIMER. There are loads of wonderful primers out there, but this isn’t one of them. Also, don’t get tricky and add it to your foundation – horrible idea. I did that. Yuk.

It works magnificently when I wear no make at all, or just tinted moisturiser, (apply your moisturiser before Nanoblur) but generally speaking, I use it with liquid foundation, and like this: I apply a moisturising physical sunscreen (such as Aspect Hydra Shield) and let it fully sink in. Then I apply my CC cream or liquid foundation, with my fingers or Beauty Blender, patting it on gently, letting it fully sink in. Finally, I very gently and lightly (so as to avoid slipping and balling) pat Nanoblur onto the areas I want to soften. I do not rub it in. Ever.

Nanoblur

There is also MAC’s Prep + Prime Line Filler, which will please those who felt their original Prep + Prime product wasn’t perhaps gutsy enough. Just like the fellas above, it works to camouflage and soften lines, but having some primer qualities as well as a filling ones, (yelly note: this is NOT A PRIMER, it’s for spot line softening only, the small tube gives a hint as to how much you should be using) it offers more when it comes to keeping makeup in place, for longer, and in a more flawless fashion, on/around/under the Prep + Prime Line Filler.

I have dry, not oily or pore-visible skin, so I can’t tell you how it works on those issues, but what I can tell you is that I’m a Leo and prefer lattes over cappuccinos. Also I can tell you, of slightly more relevance, that this tiny tube’s contents does great things for filling out my smile lines (it’s been a fun life) and forehead crinkles (but also a deeply thoughtful one.)

MAC-Prep-+-Prime-Instant-Line-Filler

 

The bottom line:

– These are not primers. They are basically velvety little spac fillers.
– Dab onto your face, do not rub.
– Generally they are to be applied AFTER your foundation, (exception: Clarins Instant Smooth works underneath makeup beautifully) and just onto the precise areas you want to soften/blur/look like your 10-yr old self.
– They’re great for touch-ups during the day, or a freshen up after work/before your hot date at Hog’s Breath Cafe.
– Do not spread onto Cruskits and eat as a snack.

The REAL bottom line:

Thank you all so, so much for your enthusiasm and excitement regarding my forthcoming skin care line. You blew my socks off, and that’s saying something because I was wearing thigh-high lace-up boots.

 

Responses to this drivel: 16 Comments
14
Jan

I’m launching my own skin care line.

I am!

I really, really am. And HOLY SHIT IT’S EXCITING. I am so thrilled to even be writing this (admittedly cryptic and annoying) post about it, such has the level of secrecy been thus far.

I’ve been working on the range since 2012, and I can say with absolute certainty that it is the finest skin care in the entire world, which might sound like an arrogant, unqualified and completely outrageous claim, but that’s only because it is an arrogant, unqualified and completely outrageous claim.

Still, it’s very, very lovely, and I am almost certain you will like it, because, well I kind of created it with you in mind.

You being all of the gorgeous, enthusiastic, curious, feedbacky fruits I’ve had the pleasure of writing for and interacting with since I became a beauty editor a decade ago. You’ve been so beautifully honest about what you like, what you don’t like, what you use, what you think you should be using, what you know you should be using, and most vitally, just how confusing you find skin care to be.

And I agree. It IS confusing. There are so many dingin’ products out there, and so many different steps, and so many avenues and options to pursue, and so many big sciencey words and terrifying potential skin issues, it’s no wonder so many of us:

– just stick to whatever we’ve always used in the hope it’s doing something/anything

– buy whatever is new and shiny and popular because the ads make it sound so rad

– copy whatever our mum/sister/friends use

– resort to rubbing peanut butter on our faces before bed.

And look, I’m the first in line to try products with dazzling claims and fancy new ingredients. That’s my job. BUT, ultimately, and I say this as someone who can literally choose to use any skin care product she desires, and has given very many of them a good whack over the years, (and will continue to) simplicity is the backbone of my skin care routine. (Also, I travel a lot and have got my basics down to a fine art.)

All I really use is:

A great cleanser.

Something with AHAs to exfoliate.

Moisturiser.

Lip balm.

A physical sunscreen.

Targeted serums.

Stuff to keep the skin on my body nice.

And so I wondered…. would it be the craziest thing in the world to make a tight edit of really very useful, incredibly simple, extremely natural but very effective skin care products that combined my years of experience testing and using a wide range of them, with the ingredients I know work, with my desire for simplicity and my firsthand understanding of what women actually want (and need, whether they know it or not) from their skin care? And – gasp – make it all a bit fun, too?

No. It would not be the craziest thing in the world. (That would be smoking on a commercial airliner while announcing loudly that you are messenger from out of space here to expertly cull the population using planes as your weapon and caramel sauce as your sustenance.)

That said, it has been a BIG BIG undertaking. I now get why not many people start their own skin care lines. It’s hard. Stressful. Challenging. And even though I have an exceptional team around me, including overwhelmingly valuable guidance from my dear friend, Megan Larsen, founder of  superb organic skin care brand (and personal favourite) Sodashi, it’s been a huge, wild learning curve, one not helped by my insane levels of fussiness and perfectionism and endless demands of my brilliant biochemist for ‘less ingredient X’ and ‘half of a whisper more of ingredient Y,’ and questions regarding making something ‘less grabby but not too slippy, you know?’

Zoe Foster Blake Skin Care Samples
Some of my many many samples…

Here’s an example: This is VERSION 16 of my lip balm. And that’s not even the final one. No surprises there, though, you guys know how fucking pedantic I am about lip balm. Always have been. Never quite found the perfect one. So, if I am making my own, guess where all of that pedantic fury is going to be funnelled?

Zoe Foster Blake Skin Care Versions 2
Version 16. The almost final product. 

To say that I am impressed with this particular product is a violent and spectacular understatement. I don’t want to talk it up too much, but actually, wait a second, yes I do. It’s excellent. It is! Am I allowed to say that? Who cares. As you can imagine, it’s stupidly exciting finally getting the products to look, feel, smell and act just as I imagined them to, and use them and love them, and just be disgustingly proud of them like a gross stage mum. 

You cannot know how excited I am for you all to try them.

Speaking of which, this post is obviously just a frustrating teaser, but the range will officially launch April 1. (Yes, on April fools day. You know me).

Well before then, though, I will of course give you all the proper details about the range like, oh I don’t know, the name maybe? And the product breakdown, what they do, the long list of nasties we left out, the cool shit we definitely didn’t leave out, what they look like, smell like, where they like to eat lunch, where they were made, and where you can buy them.

AND! Hold on to your hand creams, because in February I am doing a special pre-order campaign just for my faithful fruits. Of course I am! You helped create the range, it’s only fair you get your silky paws on it first.

Yours in giddiness and perfectly nourished lips,

Zo

 

Responses to this drivel: 174 Comments