Category: Spa + Salon

04
May

Event beauty preparation.

These are the people, the treatments and the shortcuts involved in my Logies preparation this year. You can easily use a similar approach for your wedding day, 40th, or cincoanera.

You will note the absence of Flaky Jim’s Skin Palace. This is for good reason. NO MORE, JIM. It’s over.

FACE

As I have mentioned more times than can possibly be interesting, my chief skin concern is hyperpigmentation. I am about to stop breastfeeding, and hoping that the final remnants of the hormonal pigmentation will fuck off when that happens, but that said, I get it regardless of cute babies I make. So, I used the Logies as an excuse to do something about it and improve my skin in general.

I will do longer post on the treatment I’ve been having, DermaFrac, for the last couple of months, because IT IS ACTUALLY WORKING, but the headlines are:

  • I have it every 2-3 weeks at Me Skin and Body in South Yarra
  • It takes 40 mins because I skip the dermabrasion bit, I just have a lactic peel, micro-needling and the LED
  • There is no downtime, and it has really broken up my pigmentation and brightened my skin tone. (This is my goal. Wrinkles are fine, it’s the uneven skin tone that annoys me.)
  • It’s not inflammatory like lasers or IPL, which can actually make my pigmentation flare up.

In the final two weeks I had my beloved Omnilux LED lamp (at Duquessa, in Carlton) for a criminal amount of plumpness and glow. I always recommend this to women getting married when they ask, “what should I do with my face?”, because your skin will look heavenly under makeup, IRL and forever and always in the photos. I had four sessions over two weeks, the last one on the day before the Logies.

I have been using Cosmedix Simply Brilliant followed by Go-To Face Hero for super nourishment and antioxidants, followed by  a physical sunscreen in the AM, and SkinMedica Lytera follwed by Face Hero and then Go-To Very Useful Face Cream at night.

Here is my skin with no makeup just before my skin with lots of makeup. All the pigmentation on my forehead and the top of my cheekbones is so light and scattered now. (Clear eyes care of Omnilux. No juice cleanses here.)

*Usually I would have a light AHA peel before two of these lamp sessions, but because there is a lactic peel as part of Dermafrac, I just have a cleanse, the 20 minute lamp then buzz off.

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BODY

I’m currently the Hypoxi ambassador, which means I get to do AS MUCH HYPOXI AS I LIKE. I would be a total dickhead not to use this magical goldpass before an event where I am wearing a fitted dress, so I have been going as often as I can. I use the HDC machine for lymphatic drainage, then the s120 to help fluid retention and tone up. I also walk a lot and do a bit of half-arsed Kayla Itsines at home on the rug while Sonny heckles me about my wussy handweights. (I still have a hip injury, so can’t do the cardio maniac training I used to love.)

I had the delightful Karla from Brown Bodies come to my home to do a St Tropez spray tan two days before the event. This seemed a very convenient option, except that Sonny WAILED LIKE A GODAMN BANSHEE the entire time (scared of the noise? My underwear choice?) and I had to keep popping out of the tent, and running to him and leaping over the baby gate in nothing but my tarty spray tan g-string (I shudder to think of the view poor Karla had) to soothe him without actually touching him, because that would mess up the tan. Not one of my finest moments. The tan was gorgeous, though.

HAIR AND MAKEUP

When I have events or MC duties or photoshoots I call on my cherished hair and makeup sausage, Laura Gilham. She knows what I like, she’s fast and I always book her months in advance so she can do me on Logies day. It calms me knowing she will do something great, and that we will have fun, and that when I say a browny-mauve smoky eye she gets it, and that she knows I NEED a dewy complexion, and matte is the devil and that my length hair is tricky to fingerwave.

I chose fingerwave-esque hair because the dress was so clean and modern in the end, that my slicked down tucked behind the ears look I was going to have was wrong. That look suited a more floaty, romantic dress, but as the dress became more simple, I needed to add some excitement. Hence, the waves.

(This is far too close up. I looked way better from across the room.)

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There is no need to have your “own” hair and makeup artist, of course (but if you go to a lot of events, the convenience of them coming to you can be worth it and it becomes far less wanky than you might imagine) you can shimmy into a salon and get your hair done beautifully, (I recommend Edwards and Co because they excel at naturally glamorous hair) then go to a counter like Chanel, Napoleon, MAC or Bobbi Brown for your makeup. Take references for both hair and makeup so there’s no guess work and no tears. Also a photo of you in your dress so they can see the colour and neckline.

NAILS

I got a $20 manicure using OPI’s So many clowns… so little time. Bubble Bath is too pink on my olive skin, and Samoan Sand can look a little almondy sometimes; this is the perfect sheer, milky-ivory-beige.

TEETH

I mostly just made sure they didn’t get knocked out and were clean.

JUST ON THE DRESS + JEWELS…

I was very lucky to have Mr Magic Gown Steven Khalil (he did my wedding dress, and also a previous Logies get up) make me a frock for the night, and even MORE lucky to have a gown that involved no Hollywood tape, no boning, no corsetry, nothing too clingy, and no cleavage spill. It was comfortable, easy to wear and I felt fucking tip top. This is not normal for such an event. Maybe I’m getting older but I can’t be arsed with severe discomfort in the name of fashion anymore.

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I wore vintage Art Deco jewels from Keshett, which I loved. I went black as a nod to the belt. As usual no clutch because I am likely to get it wrong, so my husband just puts my lipstick and phone in his garter.

Keshett Jewellery

Here is said husband, and the reason I am even at the Logies, the handsome, funny, adorable, Logie-winning, Gap Yearing wildman himself, Mr Hamish ‘The Bachelor’ Blake.

He really is my dream date: fun, hilarious, cute and GREAT at finding me sliders and fries at the after party.

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03
Nov

When one facial isn’t enough.

Occurred to me the other day, as I thoroughly (oh-man-you-can’t-believe-how-much) enjoyed a delicious, skin nourishing Sodashi facial at Made. Beauty Space in Hawthorn, that I sometimes just talk about the strong facial treatments I have, and fail to mention the other ones, which are a lot more traditional and enjoyable, but no less important.

In an ideal world, a world where we had wash-n-go hair that always looked immaculate and we never needed to wax and our manicures and pedicures lasted for six months, we would make time for both kind of facial. Because while both are helpful and useful for the skin independently, together they are like some form of magical skin superhero. One does the heavy lifting, the ugly stuff, grunting and causing discomfort with a terribly cliche no pain no gain attitude; the other coming in with a lovely soft blanket, some white chocolate cheesecake, a huge glass of hydrating coconut water and a little kiss on the forehead. (Neither facial should ever be like this.)

The Hardcore One

This one is important because not unlike a tenacious Hollywood manager, it Gets Shit Done and Makes Things Happen. This is where you actively fix your skin problems, usually ove over a program or course and a series of sessions. These are purpose driven treatments. You have targets, like uneven skin tone (pigmentation) or acne, or thick, oily skin, or dry, lined skin, and you fire with things like strong peels, IPL, LED, lasers, microdermabrasion and so on. These are not pleasant treatments. In fact they generally sting or hurt quite a lot. But man do they get results. Do not expect to float out of the clinic or salon on a high, expect to leave laden with after care products and skin care that will maintain and amplify the effects of the treatment.

When to have them: To make dramatic changes to the quality/look/state of your skin. Before a big event (wedding etc). To refresh and boost the appearance of your skin.

The Lovely One

You know this one. Mood lighting. Three deep breathes before we start. Lovely soft music. Steamer. Extractions. Lovely long facial massage. Thick (sometimes thermal, sometimes cold, sometimes stingy, sometimes claustrophobic and rock hard – depends what your facialist determines your skin needs) masks followed by a hydrating mask, a foot and arm massage and a spritz of rose facial mist before a pixie flies in and rings a tiny pixie bell to signal the treatment is over. You leave smelling like a fancy hippie and in danger of being hit by a car because you are in a state of outrageous bliss, and seriously consider having a little nap in the car. These facials are excellent for relaxation, deep hydration, revitalisation and nourishment for the skin.

When to have them: Ideally, you would have one every 4-6 weeks for maintenance, to clean out blackheads, to ‘feed’ and revitalise the skin, and boost what you’re doing at home.

Of course, plenty of salons and clinics offer both kind of facial, but I personally choose to go to different people/places with different skill sets and allow them to do what they do best.

One way to think of it is the same way as you do your serums…  One should be a problem-solver, an active, concentrated, targeted results-getter, (this is used first, on clean skin, by the way) and the other should be nourishing, comforting and hydrating, like a gorgeous facial oil, say (this goes on just before your face cream). Together they work to make your skin as good as it can be, but in different ways.

Where I go: In Melbourne I recommend Brooke at Me Skin and Body and like neoSKIN in Richmond for the hardcore stuff, and Made Beauty Space for the lovely, peaceful, relaxing one.

MADEBSMADE. beauty space

In Sydney, I see my gorgeous, magical Natasha – 0422 650 773 – in Double Bay for my lovely facials, and the insanely elegant Jocelyn Petroni for my peels and Omnilux etc… although she is also fantastic at the lovely ones. The Clinic in Bondi Junction is also a go-to for my hardcore stuff… peels but also laser hair removal etc).

Jocelyn-Petroni-vogue-picJoceyln Petroni. Cute as a dang button.

Where do you go for your hardcore or lovely treatments?

Just kidding, I already know! Been following you on Twittinstabook for years.

 

Responses to this drivel: 12 Comments
15
Oct

Rather Good Things.

Here’s a list of some Rather Good Things. I’ve mentioned before how much I crave recommendations on everything, so I just arrogantly assume others feel the same way.

Oh come on. I know you love lists. Seen you on Buzzfeed, getting your list fix. Cute animals. Seeing if you’re a real 90s baby. Etc.

1. Cinnamon Scrolls from Oregano Bakery in Sydney.

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I found these cult scrolls when my friends bought me a six pack of them the day before The Logies a few years back. Which seemed a bit cruel at the time, but they weren’t to know I was in pre-event tight-dress sashimi and berries only mode. I of course ate two the moment I got back to my hotel room post-Logies. Obviously. That Gelato Messina did an Oregano Cinnamon Scroll flavour earlier this year has only strengthened my adoration. Obviously.

 

2. The iPhone 6 Plus.

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Oooh, toooo big, I thought. Then I got one. Day one started off with ooh, too big, why am I using an iPad posing as a phone? And then, by lunchtime I had changed my tune to, ooooh, so big! I LIKE THE BIGNESS IT WOULD SEEM. I like it because I can see more of everything. More of my emails. Text rallies. Webpages. And Instagram pictures look phenomenal.  While I am a complete Apple tragic, and I have a Macbook Air and an iPad Air because of their lightness and littleness and ease-of-use-anywhereness, I seem to still do everything on my phone. All my emails. Millions of texts. Researching online. Social media. All of it is done on my phone. (Especially since I am often breastfeeding or holding my tiny giant and have only one hand.) Now I am not peering, now I am reading properly. Everything feels fresh and new!  You Samsung kids were really onto something after all. (AND, it has a ‘recently deleted’ photo album in case, like me, you always accidentally delete pics you didn’t mean to.)

NB: I bought a case for it because the bigness and slipperiness made me feel like I was going to drop it all the time.

3. Surrender, by Slow Dancer

I found this album by serendipity on Rdio and it has been thrashed in our house. Because it is marvellous. Slow Dancer is an Aussie lad, it transpires, which is great but mostly I just want to say that this perfectly edited ten-track wonder is smooth as heck and the perfect dinner or driving music. (Listen for free here.) I tend to pop it on at about 5pm and it makes the whole evening feel groovy and pour-us-a-winey. Put in on and impress your friends, why don’t you.

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4. Bright Starts Lots of Links

Another mum gave me these when Sonny was about three months. Said she found them useful, maybe I would too? Since then they have proved themselves invaluable about 17 frillion times. I go to text her daily to applaud her vision. They are perfect for his fat little paws to gab onto, they make anything playful, you can jam any toy, teething ring, soft toy (by the tag) and dangly whatsit on a ring or five and you have instant toys. They hang off prams and activity centres, (those play mats you lay on the floor with the overhanging bridges) cots, and they keep muslins clipped over the pram when Sonny sleeps. And they were a bloody lifesaver on our international flight/trip last month because we had new toys and new variations thereof hanging off errthing always to excite our baby and we were total hero parents. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.

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5. The DermaQuest Power Alpha Peptide Resurfacer treatment

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Cool turban, babe. Not so cool pigmentation.

 

I have had two of these at Me Skin and Body in South Yarra (Brooke, the owner, is pretty much in charge of my skin these days) in the past fortnight since I got back from being overseas in a sunny climate which, as usual, made my hyperpigmentation come out, and because of all the flying and sunblock, made my skin dry, dull and just so shit. The idea being that it will help bring out and fade that pigmentation but also brighten the skin in general, clear out all the grubby clogged pores, retexturise the skin and make it JUICY with hydration.

The professional-only treatment (in other words, you have to have it in a clinic or salon) combines lactic and glycolic acid to perform a gentle peel (this is pretty much the ideal combo of AHAs in my opinion for visible results but no flaking or swelling or even redness afterwards) with peptides, the darling of anti-ageing skin care, to rebuild and strengthen the skin, stop inflammation and diminish fine lines. The perfect treatment to get skin looking happy and healthy again. (Peptides become more important for us when we are in our forties, but they certainly don’t hurt to get into if your skin needs some extra TLC.)

I will likely have one more (since it’s racing season and I am doing some events it doesn’t hurt to have nice looking skin, ay) and then just maintain at home with my Go-To cleanser/face cream and Exfoliating Swipeys, plus a brightening serum, like Aspect Extreme-C. Triffic!

 

 

 

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11
Sep

Hypoxi: what it is, why I’m doing it, and why I love it.

I was recently awarded Hypoxi Brand Ambassador of Australia by her majesty The Queen of Ungland. (Similar to the Queen of England, but more fictional.)

It’s a role I’m proud of and here’s why: I really like Hypoxi. It works for me. I first tried it whenI reviewed it for Harper’s BAZAAR back in 2007 and I fell for it pretty hard. So I was more than happy to partner up with them.

Hypoxi, for those who have not heard of it, is a form of lightweight training designed to shift fat from those VERY stubborn areas of fat on the body. Using some spacey, hi-tech machines and some fetching neoprene attire, Hypoxi combines gentle exercise with vacuum pressure, and is suitable for any level of fitness. It’s perfect for those who are otherwise fit and healthy but cannot, no matter what, ditch the fat from this area.

(Here are some handy FAQs that might help.)

For the majority of women, and certainly me, the target areas would be the arse, lower abdomen, muffin top and thighs. No matter how much I train or how well I eat, some jiggle and wiggle persists around these areas. It doesn’t consume me; I’m happy with my body, but it feels unfair that I do all the squats and drink all the green tea and use all the firming lotions and still, it remains untoned.

And that’s where technology can help. And where Hypoxi comes in. It works JUST on these areas, it cares not to take away bulk from areas like the boobs, which is usually the first place it goes. Just these problem bits! The bits you want to tone and shrink. (The last time I did it was just before summer and I was back into my tartiest Ksubi denim shorts before the four week program was complete: success!)

Hypoxi is notoriously hard activity to articulate – I strongly suggest you go into a Hypoxi studio and have a poke around if you’re curious – but if there’s one thing I’m okay at, it’s chess.

Also, explaining Hypoxi.

In a nutshell, the machines stimulate circulation to the areas discussed above using high and low pressure vacuum technology. You do light exercise as this is happening, cycling or walking on a treadmill, staying well in the fat-burning zone (NOT cardio). During the half hour workout and the hours following, your body stays in that fat burning mode, and since you have all that circulation gushing to those areas, THEY are the areas the fat will be burned. You are told not to eat carbs for 4-6 hours after Hypoxi, and for VERY GOOD REASON: If you eat carbs, THEY are what will be burned off, not your fat cells. So don’t do it. Not worth it. Have some bloody chicken salad instead. And no booze. Do the right thing; see the results. Simple. (Eat carbs before your session instead.)

What I wanted to achieve from this program:

I had a baby four months ago, and once he moved out of his tent, he lazily left it fully assembled. I have the pooch, in other words. Mums know about the pooch. Also, could do with some toning after four months of cake because I am breastfeeding and playing to the myth I have 500 spare cals a day specifically for cake.

Now. For matters I will explain in full detail in another post, I cannot exercise. Can’t even walk more than 10 minutes, in fact. This is because I have Osteitis Pubis and chronic pelvic instability, something that kicked in around week 20 of pregnancy, and saw me on crutches for the last five weeks of it. It’s a REAL fucker, to be blunt, and I am seeing many specialists and doing heaps of boring rehab to get better. Alas, going for a run or getting back to bootcamp is not an option. A stroll to the post office is even a bit of a mission.

Hypoxi, however, is zero impact and extremely gentle. I was given the OK to do it from my Osteo, and it has been wonderful to feel like I am at least doing some form of exercise, as soft as it may be. So, if you’re injured you can still do Hypoxi, is the headline.

What I have been doing:

The recommended 12 sessions over four weeks. Each Hypoxi session I do 20 minutes in the HDC machine, followed by 30 minutes in the L250, three times a week. You CAN just use one machine (the L250 or S120), but the results are said to be 30% better when you combine the two. (Thankfully it’s quick enough that I can take Sonny if I need to and he will sleep at least 40 of those minutes.)

The HDC is kind of like a lymphatic massage, or cupping. It’s recommended to do before you use the other machines because it accelerates the results, and offers particularly good results on cellulite. It involves laying down in a very strange astronaut-type suit, (in loose tracky pants and a singlet; no shoes) with small hoses attached to it that attach to a small robot-looking machine, and then the suit fills and un-fills with air to the point of olvely tight suction, and small little cups inside pop onto the problem areas like a massage. I love it. It’s very relaxing. Lots of women sleep. I make overdue phone calls. Here’s a relaxed brunette showing what happens.

Then it’s onto my 30 mins in the L25o. This involves putting my shoes back on, and also popping on a neoprene skirt, which zips up to just under your boobs, and then, as you lay down on the machine, seals from that skirt down into the pressure chamber. (See the visual aid… This “lid” will then close on this happy blonde woman so that her legs are no longer visible and there is a sealed off chamber for the vacuum to work.)

 

If I wasn’t injured I would probably use the S120 which you are seated upright and cycle on, as it’s most popular for younger, fitter types, whereas the L250 can be used by all fitness levels. I work up a light sweat in the L250, but nothing you need an urgent shower for afterwards. Many dames change and head straight back to work.

So that’s what it is, and how you do it, and why I’m doing it. I am about to complete my program, and will proudly reveal my results once I’ve been measured.

I reckon I am probably a fairly good case study, if I may be so bold as to say, because:

A) I cannot do any other exercise

B) I am breastfeeding six times a day, and as such I am always hungry for carbs, ALWAYS, even when I’ve just had some carbs, and am certainly am not on any form of lean and clean diet (although, placing my professional beanie on for a second, I think Hypoxi is a terrific reason and impetus to start a cleaner diet and a new exercise routine – think of how amazing your results could be!)

C) The results are quantifiable. You are measured at the start, and every four sessions, and then at the end. So there’s no fudging it.

D) I don’t put my name to shitty products or services that don’t work. Except for that one time Slimy Sal paid me $40 to be in his used car yard commercial.

More soon, you gorgeous rascals!

PS There is a swish competition Hypoxi has going on, where if you sign up for Hypoxi you could win a $10,000 holiday to Yasawa Island Hotel Spa and Resort in Fiji. Faaaaancy!

 

ZoeFosterBlakeHypoxi

 

Responses to this drivel: 9 Comments