Category: Category defying


This is a review: The electric tooth flosser I actually use, actually works, and is FUN.

Sing if you know the words:

Dentist: You’re not flossing, are you.

You: Yes! Of course I am. What a silly question. Goodness me.

Dentist: You can’t lie to me. I am the all-knowing mouth wizard, and as your gums are a piece of shit, I know for sure you have not been flossing. This is not speculation.

You: But I do! More than I used to anyway. Like, a few times a week at least. I got those pick things you told me to use.

Dentist: I need only LOOK at your gums and they bleed. Keep this up and you’ll have rotten breath, rotting teeth and far more time in here being lectured than you or I have time for.

Me: Sounds sexy. I’m in.

… This is how it goes. Always. I try to floss, I really do, and I know it’s more crucial than brushing for mouth health, but, I just, I don’t know, it’s so dull and time-consuming and gross.

Thankfully, my dentist, the kind, well-meaning but tough Angelo Lazaris is a realist. And after years of lectures, thought he might have found the solution with the Philips Sonicare Airfloss.


USE IT, he said. Twice a day. No ifs, buts or excuses. Just do it, FFS.

I charged the odd little thing on it’s little hockey puck sized charger for 24 hours, wondering if really I might have found the holy grail of flossing: something quick, simple, fun, and effective.

First use was the kind of thing you’re grateful you’re not on a reality TV show: a lot of spit, a lot of laughing, and some super cute drool. But now I can do it real good and be prepared to fall of your stool if you’re on one, because I now look forward to flossing.

Here’s how it works.

Brush your teeth as normal. Some people (“my dentist”) will say you should use an electric toothbrush, but I’ve tried and am too lazy. Plus, I travel too much to carry all that charging paraphenalia around. This flosser lasts two glorious weeks without a charge, so I can travel sans kit.

You fill the small chamber with water – I get two flosses from it, just – and close the cap. Some people like to use mouthwash in there instead or a mix of the two.

At the base there is a rubber sealed on / off switch, turn it on.

Line up the wee little jet onto the bit between your teeth, and press the big green button at the top of the white handle. There’s a click, and a woosh/puff noise as the jet shoots.

A blast of water and air shoots out and blasts all the debris between your teeth clear out.

Tip: Keep your moyth closed or your mirror will be smattered with all that filthy floss excrement.

Continue doing each gap, around whole mouth. Spit as required. Cute!

NB: You might have some blood the first few uses, I did, but sadly that isn’t that strange for me when flossing. However, by day four or so, no more! Man, Angelo is gonna lose his ship when he inspects my gob next…

Rinse mouth out thoroughly – mouthwash optional – and you’re done.

And pickle my walnuts if it isn’t the cleanest my mouth has felt, professional clean aside. I love it. I bloody look forward to it, even. Takes care of business, you know? Even the noise the jet makes makes me feel I am taking care of business.

Here’s a video so you can see it all unfold. Quick! Make some popcorn and settle in for a thrilling ride.



It’s brilliant for unenthusiastic, recalcitrant flossers. Because now you will floss. 

Your check-ups won’t be as riddled with fear and lectures anymore.

It’s fast, simple, effective, FUN.

It’s not that great for those with teeth that are VERY tightly jammed together. You will know if this is you because when you floss, you often have trouble getting the floss up to the gum, or it snaps. Since I had Invisalign, the back third of my mouth is very tight, but I am finding this is still working, and in fact, since I could NEVER get my grubby fingers up that far, at least something is now getting cleaned up there. However, I try to get in there with manual floss occasionally too, just in case. NO I AM NOT LYING. How dare you.

If your teeth are widely gapped, this is A VERY AWESOME device for you.

It costs $150 which is a bit more than your usual dental floss. But it’s worth it. Will last you years, they tell me, and you only need to replace the nozzle once every six months.


Four and a half teeth out of five.

Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments

The only eye makeup I took with me to NYC for a month.

(Mascara and lash curler not withstanding) was this:


The key player was the nude palette. All of us should have one. Find the right one and you’re set like Joan Jet.

The one I chose was from those Palette Queens at Benefit. It’s called the World Famous Neutrals palette in ‘Easiest Nudes Ever.’ (There are two other options in the range, which I’m not convinced I would not love more.) It costs $44 and is new on the scene. I was impressed. I also love their Brows a-go-go palette and their Cabana Glama palettes, since you asked. (And if you didn’t ask, I apologise.)

But then, Benefit always do cracking palettes. Terrific combinations, useful, easy to use products, nothing superfluous, except for perhaps the size of the actual cardboard box. Excellent for those who are tentative about trying new looks, because the colours are generally universally flattering, but also they include visual step-by-steps. This one has the steps and a mirror in the palette. What fun!

I chose this palette for travel because it has all I need for a variety of looks.

Specifically, ‘day’ and ‘night.’

It has two lovely cream eye shadows, one that’s a creamy pinky-rose shade (shade name: R.S.V.P)  and one that is a darker, browny-bronze shade (shade name: No Pressure!) both of which are perfect for:

A) priming the eyelid before powder shadow

B) ensuring there is no funny business in terms of creasing or rapid fading.

Then there are four  powder shadow shades. I mostly use the two brown ones, the innocuous, suits-everyone shade of light brown (shade name: Thanks a Latte), and the dark chocolate brown (shade name: Matte Espresso) that is terrific for drama, definition and using wet as a liner. Great for smudging into the lower lashline for a lived-in look, too.

There are also two very light shades, pink (shade name: Pinky Swear) and vanilla (shade name: Call My Bluff), for using in the centre of the eye  and under the brow bone and on the inner ‘V’ so that your eyes look VERY WIDE OPEN AND PRETTY. 


There was not one dingin’ occasion I couldn’t use this palette (with my favoured shadow brush for travel, the dual-ended Bobbi Brown eye shadow brush, which comes in her travel sets. But lots of brands do these – one end is thin and flat for liner, one is medium-sized brush for shading and blending).

My favourite day look was a wash of pinky-brown cream shadow up to the crease, and then pushing in a light taupe shadow, with some flesh-toned liner in the lower waterline with mascara, which was a cinch with this guy, and for night, cream shadow in a brown or bronze, just a touch further up than the crease for more excitement, then a dark brown shadow pushed into the lash line and blended up onto the lid about a cm, blended nicely of course. Some lower lash line biz, too. Then, as always, lots of mascara.

BUT, sometimes I get bored with just my browns and taupes and lattes and want something a bit more dazzly.

Which is why I included the small Becca Powder Shimmer in Damask (rose-bronze-gold) shadow you see in the picture, and also some gel liner (Lancome Ink Artliner in Black Carbon Ink.)

This allowed me to have the further options of either:

– A clean, precise winged liner (with a base of the R.S.V.P cream shadow all over the lid to keep it fresh)
– Some complementary eye interest to a red, pink or orange lipstick should I choose to sass such a thing, which I most certainly did. Flat or matte brown shadow with zingy lips can look a bit dull in my opinion. A bit of metallic spices things up. The great thing about No Pressure! as a cream shadow is that it has a hint of metallic sheen to it, so you already have a nice warm base in place even before adding bronze.

As a dame who generally overpacks, I gotta say, choose a killer palette to travel with, and chuck the rest. How many eye looks can you REALLY use on one trip? HOW MANY I SAID.


Responses to this drivel: 11 Comments

With regards to BB creams and CC creams.

I am asked about BB (and now CC) creams a lot so I have created a fictional character, Eoz, with whom I will conduct an informative and snappy lesson on their uses, meaning, benefits and dining preferences:

Eoz: First of all, you have such great hair. Tell me, are BB creams worth it?

Zoe: Thanks, Eoz. That’s kind of you to say. Regarding BB creams, yes, they’re pretty great. User friendly and time saving. However, some are taking the piss a bit in my opinion, generally the more numerous and varied a products claims are, the less better it achieves any of its multiple components, so touting 10 benefits isn’t neccessarily a great thing.

Eoz: What does the BB even stand for?

Me: Originally, Korea where they first found their fame, BB stood for Blemish Balm, because they had skin-clearing capabilities, or were gentle enough to use post-procedure (laser, peels etc… I would use a very gentle, very pure mineral foundation personally.) Now BB generally stands for Beauty Balm.

Eoz: Aren’t they basically doing what tinted moisturisers have always done?

Zoe: Terrific question and outstanding detective work, Eoz. Yes is the answer, which as a dedicated tinty moisturiser fan, delights me, because suddenly the whole category has been reinvigorated.

Tinted moisturisers (should any still exist, having narrowly avoided being mildly adjusted and re-labelled as BB) give you a bit of hydration, a bit of sunscreen and some tint. A nice, simple multi-tasker that was great for days when you don’t need a lot of makeup.

BB basically creams do the same as this, but on a couple of cans of Red Bull and with high-achievers syndrome in the shape of Extra Bonus Benefits (depending on which you buy) like illuminating skin-tone perfectors, antioxidants, shine reduction, anti-aging and skin smoothing ingredients, primer, or pigmentation fading ingredients designed to even your skin tone over time. (I would not rely on your BB for fading pigmentation. That’s an exceptionally tricky task and one better left to a targeted brightening products like my favourite, Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum, or Dr Plunkett’s SuperFade, or Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, used on clean skin at night under night cream.) I think of them as new generation tinted moisturisers, basically. Just with better marketing.

Eoz: How do I use BB cream?

Zoe: With terrific ease; they are designed to simplify your routine. So instead of layering your day cream, sunscreen, primer, foundation, you can get it all in one wee tube. By all means use them as your one-step do-it-all on clean skin, although – lecture coming – I personally don’t believe the SPF in BB creams to be enough for our Aussie sun, especially when you use about 1/3 of the amount you need for that SPF factor to be working, so please use your regular daily moisturiser with SPF first, then your BB cream. The exception to this rule could possibly be a SPF 50+ BB cream, because the strength of the SPF means you can use even that pea amount and still get adequate protection.

They are often used under your foundation as a skin-perfecting base/primer and can act as a great mixer: I blend mine with moisturiser when my skin is dry, and with my foundation when I want more coverage, and I dab some onto my face late in the day for a hit of hydration. Please note despite their many charms, they can not be used as a sleeping bag.

Eoz: And now I hear about CC creams? Does this stand for Creme Caramel?

Zoe: No, you gorgeous dunce. It stands for colour or complexion correcting. CCs are for those with less… perfect skin than the average BB user. They’re designed to act as a colour correction product, something that generally takes a slew of green, yellow or pink based concealers and creams, followed by skin perfectors, and that’s all before the makeup is applied. They also claim to help with long-term skin tone correction, although I’m a bit suss on their efficacy in that area. Try a CC if you have redness, sallowness, or dark spots and find your BB cream is too sheer and ineffective, or you are still relying on your old colour correction techniques. CCs tend to be more lightweight, offer more coverage and spend less time on Facebook than BB creams.

Eoz: Which BB cream do you use?

Zoe: I like the L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB cream. So much so I bought a new tube to replace my old one here in the US, and look! It’s different! I like the fresh, healthy glow it gives, the smoothing feel and the coverage level, which is strong enough to even out my skin tone, and lightly conceal my pigmentation, but still looks as though I may not be wearing any makeup. I find it nicely hydrating, too, which is one of the reasons Estee Lauder’s DayWear Sheer Tint Release remains one of my faves, too.


Old Aussie tube Vs new US tube. Samesies.


I also love the new Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 30, (although it is actually SPF 50 the cosmetics regulator in Australia, NICNAS, hasn’t yet adopted the new Australia Standard which allows the SPF 50 claim, and as BB creams are classed as cosmetic, not sunscreen, they remain limited to an SPF 30 claim) because it’s lightweight, luminous, gives a lovely, fresh look to the skin, is buildable if you want more concealing, is hydrating, has antioxidants (Vit C – also good for fighting pigmentation) and as with the Nude Magique, you need only use the teeny, tiniest amount for your whole face. Also the tube is adorable. And it made it to my Amazing Face App must-haves. And it’s mineral oil and paraben free. And it sings lullabies at night.



Eoz: Thank you, that’s been very informative. Guess I’ll CC you around.

Zoe: BB good now.


Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments

And now the BEST massage I ever had.

We discussed the worst one already. Certainly the shitty ones are more entertaining and worthy of anecdotal archiving, but they also suck, and are a waste of time and coin, and that’s no fun.

I usually get massages with an incredibly specific issue, and a request for the firmest, most sports massagey therapist available. My issues is generally this, and please do sing if you know the words:

  • Sore neck
  • Sore shoulders
  • Sore back
  • Sore bit between elbow and hand
  • And all usually on one side, my ‘mouse’ side.

It’s violently obvious this is from writing on a laptop in a non-ergomonic set-up for 10 hours a day. I have made changes though: in Sydney, my primary residence, I now have an incredible sit and stand desk, which I LOVE and cannot recommend highly enough, and a proper, back-supporting chair (I bought both from here). In Melbourne and when I travel it’s generally the kitchen table, a chair with cushions for support/height and a stack of magazines to get the screen to eye level. Here is my current set up, on which I type this very post. Atrocious.


“… You write your BOOKS with that set up?”

Anyway. So I get a lot of massages. Sometimes once a week when I am on deadline or working a lot. For my body, but also my mind. A bit of release. Usually I just head  to one of the massage joints in Kings Cross, or ones on Bondi Road, but if I manage to think ahead and make an appointment I have a Shiatsu/sports therapist friend of mine come to my home, or use the Sydney Mobile Therapies guys in Sydney ($80 and they come to you – I give a lot of my girlfriends this as a gift).

For a massage that is great and also fancy and relaxing and stuff, I love Aurora Spa (in The Prince Hotel in Melbourne). I used to head to The Four Seasons in Sydney, but I hear they’ve changed everything now, so I am looking to try The Spa at The Darling, which I hear is terrific.

It all comes down to the therapist though, doesn’t it. When you find a good one, you’ll bloody follow them anywhere. Being a fussy, bossy client (firmer there please, can you just do my upper body, I can’t lay on my back, I don’t want the knee bolster please, no oil in the hair please, less Enya thanks etc) I will always fall hard for someone who just ‘gets it.’ Just take my money already.

Just on New York, that’s where I had the best massage of my life, back in 2011. It was booked on a recommendation from a lovely chap who happens to be high up at Mr and Mrs Smith, the luxury travel website, which made me feel certain it would be a Golden Recommendation, as opposed to the more common Silver Recommendation, which comes from well meaning but perhaps not as well researched folk.

But actually it was more Platinum.

It was at the beautiful Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa, (so what if Eva Mendes was in the ladies changerooms with me and the Olsens were being papped out the front, it’s no big deal) in their spa, called Shibui. It is a very beautiful little spa, constructed with Japanese timber brought in to the US specially (Robert De Niro owns the hotel, so I’m guessing money wasn’t too much of an issue) and there is a rad gift shop at reception featuring weird shit that you tend to buy when you’re all stoned and floaty after a treatment. Here’s what was in there last week:


Treats at the Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel, New York City



We were told to have the Healing Birch massage, which we did and then we compLETELY lucked out by getting the two most magical therapists, Kayo and Yasue. Afterwards, my gent and I just stared at each other from each of our tables and tentatively admitted what we both knew was true: that we’d just had the most wonderful massage of our lives. (Up until then for me it had been the Four Hand massage at Venustus in Paddington.)

As we’re in NYC right now, we went back last week and had the same massage/therapists and it was just as wonderful. I’d like to tell you what makes it so unique, but it’s very hard to articulate: they are Japanese therapists, and told us they use a blend of shiatsu, remedial and healing movements, but I would describe it as: stretchy, perfect-pressurey, and pressy in all the right spots. Quite possibly it was their locations, like this strange area underneath my armpit for example, that I never knew existed but was incredibly tight and painful, was made them so special, I don’t know.

Anyway, it is not cheap, in fact, it it is not even in the same postal code as cheap, but it’s a pretty special treatment. (I’ve sent a few friends there and they loved it too, so phew.)

Aside of talented therapist who asks you what you need/want from the massage (Relaxation? Muscle tension relief? Specific areas? No toes? Only toes?) a few other things make a massage great, in my opinion. Don’t feel bad about having high expectations and asking for what you want when you have a massage at a day spa/salon. This is a treat, a little bit of you time that you’re paying good money for: there’s nothing embarrassing or rude about you asking for the things that would make the treatment as enjoyable as possible. It’s a simple service transaction. Don’t be a lamb.

In an ideal world, and this is obviously more relevant to the day spa style massage rather than in-and-out kind, this is how my ideal massage would go….

– Parking is a breeze, no time limit or fines possible

– A warm herbal tea before treatment to relax and signal to body it’s time to switch off

– Fluffy robe and slippers, and the option of disposable underwear. (Always wear underwear unless you are having a body scrub or have been categorically told no knickers (Lomi Lomi etc). Go the disposables if possible, that way you can get straight into the steam room/sauna/shower straight after without needing swimmers/wetting your knickers/being a nude nut)

– Warm treatment room and therapist asks if you’re warm enough

– Mini consultation in which you’re very clear about what you want and all is understood

– Genuine spa music, not just daggy music that could pass as spa music – lyrics are hugely distracting for busy people whose minds can’t switch off

– Hot rocks and towels used wherever possible. Hot towels are probably the best thing in the world. Also, a little scalp massage to finish (if messed up hair isn’t an issue)

– Other therapists and customers are quiet so you don’t hear all about Kylie’s lunchbreak in your treatment room/mobile phones going off/clop clop clop up and down the hallway

– Half an hour nap on the massage table at conclusion of massage. OH SWEET SUGARPLUMS I WISH.

– Big glass of water for you once you’re up and out of the treatment room to stave off inevitable headache from toxins

Steam or sauna to sit in for 10-15 minutes after massage to let the muscles completely soften and relax, and get the toxins moving

– Hot shower to push massage oils deep into skin/remove the top greasy layer

– No tight/annoying clothes/heels/makeup to put back on, and no social commitments

– Nothing to do but go home and get into onesie and drink hot tea and watch, oh I don’t know, probably Gigli.

Did I miss anything in my over-the-top, obscenely obnoxious massage wishlist? Aside of having a scalp massage? What would you do? Where do you go? Where has your best ever massage been? Did you download my Amazing Face App yet? Why not? Oh, you have and you were kidding? Ha ha ha! You’re the best. Friends for life.


Responses to this drivel: 18 Comments

The worst massage I ever had. I dare you to beat it.

We’ll get to the best massage I’ve ever had later this week, (it’s at a spa here in NYC, where I am based for a while, and I just went back today “to check” if it really is the Best Massage in The World, and oh man, oh-man-oh-man-oh-man it was), but for now

It was during my honeymoon, and we were in Amsterdam. My husband and I had just arrived from Switzerland, and were finally recovering after a full, sexy week of influenza.

‘Let’s have a massage’ we thought gaily, as we walked the grey, blustery New Years Eve streets full of seedy looking young male quads looking for firecrackers/pot/sex/all three.

Stupidly, I didn’t do what one should do in a foreign city and a street edging on but not legally in the red light district, which is research it, and find a great spa or something, and make sure it’s worth it. My thinking was in Sydney and Melbourne we can pop into any high street massage joint and generally have a pretty wonderful result, so when I saw a pink sign in a window saying:



Great! I thought. Ripper! Also there was an ‘anatomical’ pressure point thingy poster, so my ridiculous brain thought, well, they know their stuff.

After being buzzed in, we pushed open the door into what looked like a loungeroom and were met with two very, uh, sexily dressed young women. I say ‘with’ and not ‘by’ because they continued putting on their makeup and chatting as we walked in.


But then, as if picking up on the fact we were about to 360 and flee, they asked us which massage would we like, and come through, come through, etc etc and it kind of started without us meaning for it to.

Husband was swiftly taken up two flights of stairs, which I didn’t appreciate because now I couldn’t just leave at will, because he’d be trapped up in their attic dungeon not knowing I’d left, and I’d be out on the street in the cold with only my sore muscles for company. I was taken up one flight of stairs into a dark room, where I was told to undress.

‘Is there a robe?’ I asked.

‘No, no, it’s just us, lay down, it’s fine.’

On a mattress on the floor with no sheet.

‘Oh, ha ha, you forgot the sheet,’ I said with a congenial, helpful laugh, my feet itching to leave just leave go go go.

‘It’s okay’ she said, smiling.

‘I’d prefer a sheet,’ I said, smiling.

She walked out, came back in, roughly threw a sheet down onto the mattress and gave me the kind of smile you might recognise from someone you have pissed off just enough for them to want to now give you a truly shitty customer experience.

I gingerly undressed as she checked her phone and grabbing a towel off a pile next to the door she seemed unwilling to offer, I lay down and covered my arse and back as best I could. Mostly because it was FUCKING FREEZING. Sleet outside, freezing. Hating everything with every cell in my snobby spa-massage-loving body thus far I looked up and saw a giant mirror on the ceiling, and one angled to face down on to the mattress on the wall. The room was painted red and the scent of, well, something very unsavory involving strawberry body oil (“cheap lube” – Husband). There was a curtain to my left, presumably where someone may dance, say, in front of a window to, say, attract a certain kind of consumer for, say, a certain kind of commodity. There might have been a No Sex policy, (I remain suspicious) but there was no mention of no first and second base being prohibited. Cute!

What followed was thirty horrible, disrupted, minutes of lazy, soft, ridiculous, amateur pressing and guessing, her straddled over my bum (buy me a drink first) me with my face pressed down onto a mattress that was privy to only Lucifer knows what each night. I couldn’t breathe because I was still blocked up from the flu, and every time I put my neck to the side she quickly replaced it face down again. If I dared to ask for more pressure, she would NAIL ME with the kind of short-lived pressure generally used for industrial jack hammering for a few seconds, before I would say in a friendly tone, ‘Oh a bit lighter please ha ha ha’, and it was back to fairy hands and pixie pretend massage.

After a bit of this, I tried to explain I wanted somewhere in between, and was met with a spicy, ‘I don’t understand what you mean. You keep changing your mind.’ At this point I was very, very ready to walk out. But again, the street was so cold… husband so unreachable and possibly enjoying an actual massage as opposed to the slop I was being served, which I didn’t want to ruin for him.

So it continued. She had long nails that left scratch marks in my skin for over a week and every, say, four minutes either her phone would ring, or the piercing GRRRRNNNNNT of the front door buzzer would go off. Yes, she answered the door mid-massage. Three times.

At around the 26 minute mark she did the slap-the-back thing, and said, finished, and walked out. Needless to say, once I was dressed I couldn’t WAIT to tip her for her delightful and professional massage therapy. Especially since husband and I both smelled like shame and (possibly, nay, probably) edible body massage oil for the rest of the day.

I kept the card she gave me with my change if you’re ever in Amsterdam.

So. Can you top it? Good luck.


Responses to this drivel: 1 Comment

The whole cleansing oil thingy, and why it’s great.

As I wrote last week, oils are great.

In particular, oil is a real good thing for your hair. Nourishes it. Makes it obedient. Feeds it. Tames it. Hydrates it. Reads it bedtime stories.

Now, onto the facey oil stuff, specifically, cleaning said face with oil.

Important starty bit: Do not fear oils on the face. Our skin is made up of oil and secretes oil, ('sebum') –  it gets oil. Good mates with it.


I cleanse with oil.

For those not on this skin care wagon already (it's the one with streamers and an infant donkey painted on the side) cleaning the face with oil sounds counter-intuitive. But! It is actually a fantastic, superb, wondeful way to thoroughly remove makeup and oil – yes oil! – from the face. The skin is made up of oil and moisture, so why not ensure its levels are topped up?

A good cleansing oil completely removes all impurities, even waterproof makeup, by using incredible like-attracts-like technology (replacing gross oil with nice clean oil), all the while keeping your skin perfectly balanced and not-at-all-stripped or dry. Remember: too little oil means your skin starts overproducing sebum and you get oilier skin, plus congestion/clogged pore/general unhappiness. Cleansing oils are hydrophilic, which means they can be washed off and dissolved easily and there's no build up or film left over.

And finally, cleansing oils are hydrating. Very much so.

I always cleanse with oil (as part of a double cleanse) when I've been wearing a lot of makeup, plus silicone primer and sunscreen, but if you have very dry skin, or clean your face then immediately need to moisturise right after because of tightness, (you're probably using the wrong cleanser, darling, skin should never feel tight after washing) you may really beneift from oil cleansing as it is inherently, deliciously moisturising. (Like all cleansers, there are different kinds of cleansing oils for different skin types – oily, dry, normal, whitening, etc.)

Fun tip: And a lot of people with acne find oil cleansing very helpful for stabilising and balancing and hydrating their skin, in particular a homemade mix of two teaspoons of castor oil, with one teaspoon of a carrier oil like jojoba oil plus a few drops of tea tree oil. Your skin may flip out for a few weeks! Especially if you've been using very astringent, drying skincare up until this. Your skin needs to adjust. You have been warned. 

I love Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse and shu uemura's Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium a/o Advanced. ("The Green one.") 

Shu uemura cleansing oil


How to clean the face with oil:

(There are a few ways to do this. None are wrong so long as you start with a dry face and end with a thorough removal of the oil.)

  1. Start with a filthy face. No makeup removing required. 
  2. Put some cleansing oil in wet hands and massage all over (your dry, dirty) face for at least a minute, until it is fully emulsified and all milky. Clean and massage over your eyes, too. But close them tight because oil in the eyes is ANNOYING.
  3. Leave the oil to sit on the skin for a bit, then either rinse off with warm water, or take a hot-warm face cloth and rest on the face for ten seconds or so, to compress the oils into the skin. 
  4. Wipe the oil off the face with the cloth (or just rinse) til she's aaaaall gone.

If your skin feels great, stop there, or follow with your regular cleanser for a very thorough clean, also known as a double clean I mentioned earlier. Then serum/moisturise as normal.

Have you tried cleansing oil? Made your own? Tell us your tale, you rascal!


Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments

I use many oils each day and they are terrific. Like these hair oils, for instance.

Yesterday, as I was elegantly spilling ice cream down my wrist and cursing the hot, gorgeous Melbourne sun, I got to thinking about an email a fruit had sent me regarding oils and are they really good for the skin and hair, and if so, and why haven't we been using them forever.

We HAVE, you gorgeous dunce!

We definitely have. Oils are fantastic, on every stinking inch of the body, hair and nail. As proof, I thought I would spend the next few posts listing all of the oils I use (in an average day/week). 

I then call on you rascals to do the same in comments, because it's a lovely thing to share beauty tips, and who knows, Caitlin might not know how much you love Bio-oil, and how it helped your scars fade, and Jess might inspire all of us with her homemade jojoba, sweet almond and rosehip oil hand elixir.

Today, hair.


No. They may have done so in the past, but the texture and technology and types of oil we use now has changed. Now they're varied in usage and thickness and, when used properly (trial and error is usually how to discover this, not always the side of the bottle), hair oils can very convincingly change change how the hair looks, feels, behaves and if you're lucky, smells. (But not tastes.)

And, you know what? The hair can do with some oil, actually. Coats it, protects it, nourishes the scalp. Is wonderful as an overnight treatment, and can help a lot with styling and obedience. 

The key is finding the product with the right texture and 'weight' for you, and then starting off with a VERY small amount. I am referring more to the new generation styling oils than the old-school treatment oils, which are generally washed out (see: hot oil, v05) and actually designed to be thick and heavy in the hair so that it really penetrates the cuticle and conditions the scalp.

Argan oil arrived as a key ingredient and led the new wave a few years ago, proving a lovely salvation for dry, knotty, shitty hair with flyaways, and split ends. Argan-based hair oils offer deep hydration, repair AND act as a pre-styling smoothing tool, which is fun. But you gotta try a few and find the right one. Very curly, thick dames might love Moroccan Oil, for example, and get an enormous thrill from the shine and sleekness and anti-frizz benefits, but a fine-haired cutie like me does NOT love Moroccan Oil because it gives her 1.5 days out of her wash, when she is used to at least four. Too heavy. This is where the lighter version of MO comes in, and fine-haired ladies might use that, or else something like Kerestase Elixir Ultime Oleo-Complex Versatile Beautifying Oil (Kerastase, please trim the fat from your product names) or even a touch of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (Multipurpose dry oil for face/body/hair) on the ends, just for taming purposes.

Here are the hair oils I use and enjoy:

For pre-styling I use a teeny spray of Davines (pronounced DA-vi-ness) OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion (maybe catch up with the Kerastase gang and all name edit together) on damp hair, starting at the ends and I run it through the hair, moving up to no higher than about the ears, which avoids any lankness or heaviness on the scalp. It is very light. Gives great shine. Smells like a smile.


For treating I use Pantene Intensive Damage Repair Oil on damp, clean hair and then sometimes even wrap a towel I dampen and microwave for a minute around my hair for 15 minutes. No rinsing required. The oil is actually quite lightweight, and especially great when I have been overstyling my hair a lot because I am competiting in Miss Tapdance NSW or something.You can also use on dry hair.


For travel I take a small vial, possibly a sample, of Orofluido – a not-too-heavy Argan oil delight I use on damp hair to protect before styling/letting it dry naturally/add life after swimming/tame frizz.


A lot of babes use coconut oil on their hair, but it is too much for my wuss hair.



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Primer isn’t a fad product.

If you enjoy wearing makeup, and you get snitchy when that makeup doesn’t last then I cannot for the love of Liza Minnelli understand why you are not wearing primer.

You wouldn’t paint your walls without priming them first, would you? (Ignore the fact that our face is nothing like a house please.) Primer is a staple, you guys. A must-own. It’s not a silly thing that will come and go in the beauty world like nailpolish pens – although I personally wish nailpolish pens would come back hard – primer is clever and purposeful and effectual.

Some reasons that might get you across this g-damn line if you are not already there:

– Most but not all primers have silicone in them. This is a good thing, because it means this non-toxic silicone acts as a wall between your face and your makeup – meaning your makeup stays in place, because your skin cannot eat your makeup all day (because you are not feeding or watering it properly, usually – give it some exfoliation and a mask why don’t you?) It means thorough cleansing and exfoliationg a few times a week, this silicone, though. Don’t let that shit build up.

– Primers are flaw-fixers so that all the heavy lifting isn’t left to foundation and concealer, which to be fair, are not really qualified. Certain primers (I’m looking at you, Smashbox) can conceal the look of large pores, mattify shine, even out redness, boost glow; whatever. There are SO many different kinds now, and they all do different things, so be sure to find one that best suits your personal skin needs, not one some chump on a beauty blog recommends, even if she is a real nice girl and knows heaps about everything.

– Primer pretty much acts as spac filler. If you are the type of dame who sees wrinkles and fine lines as though they are neon lights or small waving hands, then primer helps to fill those in and plump them up before you apply makeup.

– Primer, the right primer, will cosmetically illuminate and add radiance to your skin before your makeup goes on. This is a wonderful thing and I cannot understand why if this was available to you, especially when you want your makeup to look IMMACULATE for an event, or last the whole day at work or at a wedding or your annual fly-fishing conference, you would not adopt it.

My two go-to primers these days:



The Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Perfect Primer one is slightly tinted and full of SPF 30+ skin care and heavy with silicones to really smooth out the skin and plump up fine lines, which I have around my eyes and quite enjoy filling in. It’s very thick and velvety, and adds a lovely evenness to the skin. If you have cracking skin, it could be used alone as a skin perfector on top of moisturiser but I prefer using it under foundation. Also, the size is tiny and perfect and very awesome for this travelbot. I love it.

The Face Of Australia Face Base 3-in-1 Primer is less powerful at skin-perfecting and line-filling, but its benefit is that being all creamy and moisturiser-like, you can skip your daily face cream and use this straight onto cleansed skin which means less layering/build up on the face. That said: I recommend sunscreen first, obviously then primer – the SPF 15 in here and such a small amount won’t do nada. It’s hydrating and helps makeup last longer – simple. Also it is about $10, so that’s something.



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Video: A genuinely non-drying long-last lipstick in many awesome shades.

Uh oh, looks like someone can't stop blogging about lipstick!

(Me. That someone is me.)

Today I am more vlogging, as those who dabble on the innernette are wont to say, and my subject is the new lipstick launch by our good friends at Revlon. Revlon have sponsored this blog and video, but since when it comes to talking about coral and berry-toned lipsticks I could talk for a solid week, or even 10 days if I had lozenges and water, and this is a genuinely excellent lipstick, their request for a 'two minute' video has been deeply betrayed. I apologise, Revlon. Make your lipsticks less interesting and delightful for The People and I won't be forced to jibberjab for six minutes next time.


I would've thought Revlon would still be flying high from their Just Bitten Balm Stains, outstanding as they were, but those devils don't quit, and their new lip star is already here.

She's called Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick, and she launched this week. The headlines are that she is of velvety texture, and she does not dry out a dame's lips as she coats them in a fine selection of extremely young, fresh, fun colours like summery soft coral-melon, and trendy-runway-famous-Russian-model berry.

This non-drying bit wouldn't be so exceptional except that long last lip products ALWAYS DRY OUT THE LIPS. But things have changed. An thank goji berries for that.

I'll let the video/my head do the talking, and now, after 9 hours of wearing Ultimate Suede (in It Girl), I shall either remove it with a cotton pad and some cleansing oil, or gently take a facial makeup remover wipe, and massage the product off my lips, which is the fastest and laziest and most effective way to remove what is DEFINITELY, no two ways about it, worthy of the ColorStay name.



Final important bit: It's $25.95 and you can buy it all the places you normally buy your Revlon. ("Not Bunnings.") 

Final unimportant bit: I was tired and shitty on Sunday so wore Finale (the red) with bronzer and big black sunglasses to brunch, and in an instant felt terribly glamorous and like I might actually be very famous and from Hollywood.



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We all love orange lipstick these days, right?


Thought so.

My pick for years has been Ginger Fawn from Tom Ford's Private Colour Collection, and when I say private, I mean he keeps them in his home, locked up, and only if you say the magic password ("Gwyneth loves kale") do you get access.

But that's all over now. That shade was discontinued, as was the whole Private Collection. (I have a special knack for making great lip products I love tip-toe off to cosmetic heaven; be sure to never recommend me your most cherished lipstick shade.) Tom kicked all the privacy, and the (sexy, Dynasty-style) gold and white packaging, and went sleek ebony and gold casing for his lipsticks, now just called Lip Color.

Of course, they are just as less exquisite. And there are more shades. And they look incredible when pulled out of a handbag to be re-applied.

The replacement orange shade is Wild Ginger, and is it glorious. Sold out for ages, but is just back in stock. (From a handful of David Jones stores, $65.) A vibrant, exciting, POP of reddy-orange, (good if you aren't ready for pure orange) it instantly peps up my face, makes any bronzer or tan I happen to be definitely wearing sing, and makes my teeth and eyes beam. I feel awake, alive, polished. It applies like a dream, all smooth and creamy, and I don't get cracks and creases.

Here's mine, all pretty and posh before I mashed it on to my kisser. 


And after, with a purple t-shirt which is not an accident because I highly rate orange and purple together.

Photo 2

A word on orange lip colour: I firmly believe that any skin tone/age can wear it. The very pale, the very dark, the very teenagey, the aged and elegant – all of us, all of us! 

So try it, why don't you. Go on. It washes off.

Unfortunately, cheaper brands are a bit behind on the orange and coral wagon for some reason. They tend to stick to high-selling shades like pinks, nudes and red. And when they do attempt orange, they always dump shimmer in there, or make it too pink or bronze, or too sparkly. 

That said, L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick inVolcanic is pretty excellent, and Revlon's Orange Flip is a bloody corker, and it's cheap and has been around since your granny was smoking in fast cars and kissing bad boys. (Also from Revlon is their new ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Cruise Collection, which I will go into detail about next week, and which is a terrific soft coral-orange shade.)

MACs Vegas Volt and Morange are both very popular (a bit more pure orange than red-orange like Wild Ginger), as is Bobbi Brown's Jenna, which is a nice matte version. And of course one N. Perdis' Hara lipstick is a much-loved and cult (very) bright orange.

But if you're feeling spendy-luxe-I-deserve-a-treaty, and I very much encourage dames owning one or two Special Lipsticks to flash around like posers given the chance, give Wild Ginger a nod.

Ms Bosworth would want it that way.




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