Some Current Cherished Beauty Products: June 2013

Because why not?

I love them, I am gibbering about them to friends and strangers alike (my taxi driver was VERY rude when I was busy explaining the benefits of a gel blush stain, it was almost like he didn’t care at all) so they must be pretty cherished.


I was banging on about this at the Amazing Face Masterclass* Wednesday night. Why I like it, is because like a (good quality) BB cream, it’s far more skin-perfecting and gives more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, which is essentially just a face cream with some tint. You see, a BB or a CC cream works to make sure your skin looks even-toned and perfect (as well as providing some sun protection and priming qualities depending on which you buy), it’s far more cosmetic.

And a CC cream, (stands for colour correcting) works even HARDER to even out and perfect your skin. Which is terrific for someone like me with brown spots/pigmentation… or someone who has redness, or someone with sallowness or even some post-acne scarring, say. It just makes everything look… better. But not like you’re wearing a kilo of makeup.

The coverage from the Smashbox CC is light-medium, and the finish is healthy, but not shiny. The texture is quick thick, and I apply it with my fingers, or a brush so I use only what I need, and get precise coverage.

I use alone on clean skin, unless:

– My skin is thirsty or I am going to be outside for more than 30 minutes, in which case I add daily moisturiser with SPF underneath (The sun protection is actually more than token with this CC! Imagine that.)

– I want more coverage, in which case I blend with some foundation, or add foundation on over the top in certain areas.

Like many BBs and CCs it claims to fade/brighten dark spots over time, but I have my serious skin care for that, I’m more interested in the instant and cosmetic effects.

I was also just sent the new Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector, (let’s just call it “their CC cream”) which is copping some sweet reviews overseas, so I will try that out and let youse guys know on a standard bomb rating, just how much of the bomb it is.




Cheek stains can be terrifying.

BUT, if mastered, can become quite the addiction (cue Benetint/Posietint/Chachatint) due to their lasting power and the way they sink perfectly into the skin, rather than sitting on top of it. Also, they make for a gorgeous flush of colour on the cheeks when dabbed on with ones’ index finger.

Pure Color Cheek Rush in X-Pose Rose


Application tends to be where people come unstuck. Best used over liquid products (they can drag and mess up on top of powder) fingers can get real stained, and sometimes leave blend lines. But blush brushes are too dense. I use a synthetic stipling brush for all my creme/gel/liquid cheek products because it is so soft, and so good for quick buffing into the skin.

To be specific, I use the MAC 188 brush:


And after squirting some of this fun, translucent pinky gel onto my wrist (to be VERY quickly scrubbed off post cheek application), I dab my brush into the gel, then swiftly work the gel into the fleshy part of my cheek, taking it up and back towards my temple for a youthful, uplifting fresh pop of colour that will last until the very last season of Two and a Half Men in 2019. See?

Photo copy

 Like I’ve been out for a play in the leaves. Lovely.

*It was a one off. But it was very successful and fun, so maybe we can do more. I will let a dame know.

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The real reason your lips are so dry.

Is probably the same reason mine are: because you keep blowing kisses to your millions of teenage fans.

But bizarrely, there are other reasons for our lips to become dry.

Other reasons as to why no matter what you use, and what you do, your lips are tight, flaky, dry and essentially, showing you physically how furious at you for not tending to them properly or protecting the properly in the first place (from heat, heaters, wind, cold, snow, the sun or too much making out), and failing to buying them that pony you continue to promise them even though you know the yard isn’t big enough.

1. You have been using a lip barrier, not a lip balm.

And chances are that barrier is full of petroleum, which is a mineral oil derivative, and which I will not sanction if you are genuinely serious about healing dry lips, because IT WON’T DO SHIT. All it can hope to do is act like cling wrap over your lips, a film of thick grease. But it can not add moisture or encourage hydration. It just can’t. So sure, if your lips are in cracking shape and you are about to go out into the wind, load up. But if they are sore and cracked and painful, don’t mistake that lubricating feeling for moisturisation, cause only a dingus would do that, and I’ve seen your report card, and you’re no dingus.

2. You have used cosmetics that are drying.    

Like most lipsticks and glosses, sadly. Gosh, some are just the WORST aren’t they? Such a G-damn shame too, because the colour, texture and finish might be outstanding, but the next day your lips are ripped to shreds with creases and cracks. I wore one of my favourite red long-last lipsticks to dinner the night before my wedding because my skin was looking terrific thanks to 400 facials and red lips was all I wanted/needed, and it was a very very very bad idea because the day of my wedding my lips were a mess. Idiot.

But it’s not just lip products. Often you can involantarily swipe some BB cream or foundation or even moisturiser (especailly those with AHAs) over your lips and that can cause havoc. Gone are the days when people like me with blogs like this would tell you to press concealer all over your lips before applying lipstick, because all that does is dry the HECK out of your lips. (You’d use a lip primer or just a nude lip pencil instead.)

3. You are dehydrated.

Whenever I’m having my makeup done and have dry lips (“most of the time”) two times out of three the makeup artist will scold me for not drinking enough water. The lips are one of the first places on the body to show a lack of water in the system, so pay heed. Also, think about what you’ve been doing when next you have dry lips, it’s viable you’ve been depriving your body of water, whether from too many blankets at night, or travel, or partying. It will take a day or so to get them back on track, and get those water levels up in the body, so start sipping, man.

4. The environment is walloping you.

Heaters in winter, air con in summer, snow, wind, sun, salt… it’s almost like the earth has shares in Burt’s Bees.The thing is to be prepared: prevent rather than treat. So before you even board that plane, or head of for a day at the beach, or settle down in front of that roaring fire (you are a Girl Guide’s leader, right?), think lips. Protect and nourish them with a lovely moisturising lip balm (or even barrier at this stage if you are so inclined.) And of course, use SPF for all day time/sun activities. Otherwise you get burnt lips, aged lips and maybe – if you’re real lucky – a cold sore.

5. You keep licking them.

Have some self-restraint for God’s sake. It’s the lip equivelant of giving a drunk girl more tequila because she’s thirsty. Don’t do it.

When you find yourself with very irritated, very dry lips, I recommend:

Sipping a litre or two of water over the next couple of hours. Not gulping as you’ll just wizzwozz it all out.

– Taking a warm, damp face cloth and gently, so gently, exfoliating your lips by massaging the cloth over them in small circles. Some will tell you to use a toothbrush for this. Ignore them. They are morons.

– Smearing some (manuka if possible) honey to the lips and letting it sit for 10 minutes.

– Press it into the lips so it’s all gone, then apply a nourishing lip balm of your choice.


I would love to recommend a bunch of great lip balms at this point, (I won’t be recommending a certain red tube which is petroleum based and although great for cuticles, bites and rashes, is not healthy for or useful for the lips) but to be very honest, I’m pretty disenchanted with the whole category. None seem to work for me, and I have tried, I would think, more than the average woman due to my job/travels/the first question I ask any skin or makeup expert what they use and then buying it.

Currently I am using Lanolips 101 ointment which I like for its thickness, and I also have a Lavera stick in my bag for when I inevitably leave the Lanolips in a pocket, or on the floor of the car. And I like the Mecca Lip De-Luscious SPF 25 too, it’s creamy and a bit shiny and glossy, although generally I don’t wear ones with SPF at night.

Lanolips 101 Ointment


What do you use?


Will it fix me? 

Responses to this drivel: 102 Comments

The worst facial result, ever.

I had a facial this week. It was delightful: a relaxing and nourishing Kerstin Florian facial at Aurora spa in Melbourne. My skin looked glowy for the second round of Amazing Face app how-to videos I shot yesterday and I’m very happy.

A makeup blogger from Singapore, Juli (AKA Bun Bun) however, didn’t fare so well after her facial this week. In fact, she fared about as well as a kilo of electric spinach at Denpasar.

She had what was a fairly innocuous facial at a regular salon, no needles, no peels, no fancy machines. But over the next few days, rather than plump, radiant skin, she has been through a nightmare of epic skin proportions.

She went from this…



To this…



To this…




It looks like severe cystic acne, but in fact is an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients used in the facial, most likely a plant extract. Yes, it can happen, and no, it’s not easy to know if you’re allergic until, well, you’re allergic.

The second doctor she saw (the first was, rather the like the clinic who gave her the facial and then erroneously popped all of the pus bumps as a cure, therefore making it far worse and making her liable to scarring – top work guys, take five!) advised that this can sometimes happen and although it will settle, she will have hyperpigmentation for many months.

And a morbid and nightmarish fear of facials forevermore, I expect.

Poor poor girl. Read the full post on her terrible and rapid reaction here (but maybe skip it if you are the queasy type).

I feel for her because her face is her trade, but also because this kind of enormous, swift and unsightly descent into angry all-over pustules would be a fucking huge blow, not to mention incredibly scary, except for the bit where I did mention it, because that’s exactly what it would have been.

I had my own allergic reaction in a skinclinic back in 2010 which I’ve never written about MOSTLY DUE TO EXTREME ANGER AND AN INABILITY TO WRITE ABOUT IT WITHOUT SWEARING and not wanting to take down said skin clinic in flames, even though they deserve it. Can’t say something nice, rah rah rah.

In a nutshell (probably a highly allergic one, like a peanut) my face blew up to Will Smith in Hitch proportions within about three minutes after some anaesthesia was applied. The nurse took one look at me, a bad, scary look, and then left the room. She returned with the Doctor a few minutes later (I’m in full panic mode by now) and without a word, he quickly administered Phenergan (and anti-histamine) intravenously, then made me take two 25mg Phenergan orally. “Are you allergic to anything?” he asked.

“I didn’t think I was…” I said, touching my face which was easy since it was about a km further out that it normally was. (They refused to give me a mirror.) (Really.)

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had Phenergan, but one 10mg tablet sends me straight to sleep. So you can imagine how cool and together and alert I was at that stage, having never had it before, and with no concept of its T-Rex tranquiliser effect on my body.

After 15 minutes, they let me DRIVE HOME, (!!!!) looking like a child’s inflatable toy, terrified, and sleepy as a bear. They gave me no phone number for after hour care and told me it would be fine.

Next day, worse. I waited til 9am then called in a panic and was told to take more Phenergan and it would go down. Also, ice it.

No apologies, no call us if you’re worried, sweet fuck all.

Five days I had that swollen face. Couldn’t go outside, felt like a monster, couldn’t write my book I was on deadline for because I was so doped up. Skipped several events and spoke to my solicitor who advised unless I was seeking damages (i.e.: loss of income, so, say, if I’d been booked to host an event and couldn’t do it because of my face) the costs of legal chasing would cost more than we could hope to earn. I was so stinkin’ angry. The aftercare was a farce, and the fact they let me drive home high as a kite was disgusting; I could’ve had 10 car accidents and to this day am thrilled, shocked and grateful I didn’t. I was also embarrassed. I’d tried to make a good, young face “better” and this was my result.

I don’t know exactly what my point is, except that I guess I thought if a beauty editor with the power of the media behind her can’t get decent treatment and is sent away when her face looks like a beach ball, then what hope do the general public have for good care and intelligent proceedings when a freakish allergic outcome occurs? Poor Bun Bun suffered a deluge of terrible advice and knee-jerk reactions with hers, and it absolutely made everything worse.

One of the comments under Bun Bun’s post was “don’t fix what is broke,” which is a hard pill to swallow when your job is to review facials and have good skin, but it was the exact same thing my then boyfriend/now husband said to me after my mess, and the reason I won’t touch lasers and so on now.

(On the plus side, I learned what Phenergan was that day, and now try to procure them to take on 14 hour flights.)

Have you had a horrible, terrifying facial experience? I feel like today might be the day we all share them…


Responses to this drivel: 40 Comments

Finally! Proof that sunscreen DOES keep your skin younger, longer.

Not that I generally need proof of course, I usually just roll with my opinion and say it in a convincing enough manner so that you all believe me.

HAHAHAHA! As if. I say it an aggressive manner so you’ll believe me. Different.

But seriously. This is the kind of proof I like best, because it pertains to probably my biggest and loudest piece of beauty advice I can give to any one, of any age, and is always my answer when people ask me what my number one best beauty tip is, and that is, (sing it with me now):


There is also this one:


And it’s so nice to have that yelly little sentence finally backed up in a scientific fashion.

Because oh sure, we all know the power of sunscreen when it comes to lowering the risk of cancer and sunburn, that has been proven extensively, but this, this is a purely cosmetic finding, because they* were measuring only the photo-aging of the skin, which means the visible aging of the skin in the shape of wrinkles, loss of skin firmness and of course, a shittonne worth of pigmentation or age spots.  Those in the four-year long study who had not used sunscreen regularly showed severe photo-ageing. Those who applied sunscreen most days had no detectable ageing of the skin. Simple.

Yes, the skin will age over time. This is inevitable, unless you are Kris Jenner. But we now have Real Life Lab Coat proof that it needn’t age quite so fast, and quite so visibly, with the use of daily sunscreen.

Other terrific facts to fall from this folder:

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO START TODAY. Even those who began applying their sunscreen “most days” (Not Enough! – Zoe Foster Blake) from middle-age reaped the benefits.

MOISTURISER WITH SOME SUNSCREEN ISN’T ENOUGH. Your foundation, BB or day cream may have some sun protection, they do not typically have the same long-lasting effect as sunscreen, Dr Adele Green, who performed the study, says. In my opinion, a BB cream should be fine for a regular (in office) day with less than 10 minutes sun exposure, but any more than that and you should use a full-strength sunscreen underneath.

In fact, just dingin’ do it anyway! Do it, for God’s sake. Daily face sunscreens have come along way, and are several planets away from the gloopy, thick shit we used to get served. Ideally, choose a daily moisturiser with high broad spectrum (UVA and UVB – crucial, especially since the ageing stuff comes almsot solely from UVA) SPF 30. There are millions out there, and even the very inepensive – Neutrogena, Nivea, SunSense – do a terrific job.

Nivea Light Veil

I enjoy the (hydrating) Ultra Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+. Feels lovely and does everything I need.



Sunscreen should go directly onto clean skin, not over the top of your moisturiser.

Also remember:

That thing I said about scrunchies.


*Dr. Adele Green from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and colleagues analysed data from 903 adults younger than 55 who were followed from 1992 to 1996. Half of them were told to put sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater on their head, neck, arms and hands every morning, and to reapply when necessary. The others used sunscreen according to their own discretion.

Responses to this drivel: 26 Comments

Leave the filter off your selfie today.

Just for one day.

Oh COME ON. I will if you will. In fact, I will anyway, as my Instagram and Twitter will prove.

It’s all part of #filterfreefriday (which of course you should hashtag your picture with, because otherwise you won’t feel part of the movement and no one wants to feel un-part of a movement.)

It’s not a big deal. After all, we used to not even have filters and effects for our photos! I know. Madness. Who can even remember those heady pre-2010 days.

What #filterfreefriday is about, is this: Trilogy skin care, who you will remember from my many thumbs-ups for their terrific Rosehip oil, have launched a 100% Unretouched campaign, to cement their love and preference for honest, natural beauty.

It started when they used an unretouched model in their advertising campaign recently, and received a Texan truckload’s worth of positive feedback because of that decision.


So, they’ve now made unretouching their thing, and promise to only use honest, natural images in all their campaigns. No, they’re not the first to forego the digital magic, or even the first to state a preference for ‘real beauty’, but what Trilogy’s move says to me is that there is a bigger movement at work. A backlash of sorts.

I was asked by the lovely ladybirds at Trilogy to support the 100% Unretouched campaign which I was thrilled to do, because A) I like their products and their philosophy, and B) It makes sense that a natural skin care brand promotes natural beauty in their advertising. Also, it’s skin care, not makeup: let’s see the dang skin.

It should be noted that I am not against retouching. I love slapping a filter on my Instagram. But I support Trilogy’s stance on not retouching in their campaigns, because they are taking responsibility for their own part in what the media portrays as “beautiful,” and I salute that.

And, you know, why shouldn’t we strip the filters for one day? Might be nice to see what we all look like without the aid of ’70s contrasting and mellow saturation for 24 hours.

To that effect, I got to pose (retouch-free, obviously) in their campaign imagery. Here I am. Yes, there was makeup, yes there was hair sassing, but there was no retouching.


And here’s the group shot. I am smiling happily alongside the wonderfully effevescent and funny Jenny, who is the Australian Biz Manager for Trilogy and quite a barrel of fun, and Amanda, the model from the original campaign. Here we are, having the time of our lives. (I kept the t-shirt. Quite love it. Makes me sing A Certain Song.)



If you support Trilogy in their 100% Unretouched campaign, then for the love of Lo-Fi, snap a selfie and tag it #FilterfreeFriday today. And then maybe scarper over to the Trilogy Facebook page and upload that filter free pic on their special Facebook app, so you can get a 100% Unretouched badge on it, and maybe win a skin care pack, too.

If you don’t support the campaign and would in fact like to see MORE retouching, then here’s a treat, just for you:

Responses to this drivel: 5 Comments

The Worst Lip Gloss Ad, Ever.


Copywriter: What if we went with…I dunno… “Spread those sexy lips?”




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Five hair styling Don’ts that for your sake I hope you never do.

Like most of you, I have hair on my head and tap shoes on my feet.

It is healthy but naughty hair: fine, curly, cow-licky. It demands much styling and effort to look good. I constantly implement new tricks or maintain strict old habits to keep this to an absolute minimum, because while good hair is certainly something I like to have, the amount of time I am willing to dedicate to it is minimal. In fact, I am a fan of the “set” – washing hair, then spending half an hour using several different products and styling tools to ensure everything looks terrific, then enjoying the pay-off for 3-4 days. I think it’s smarter than every day spending 13 minutes doing your hair*, but what would I know, besides your bra size and my 5x tables.

Speaking of bananas, here are some of my top hair don’ts:


This is a classic Mum Used to Do It When I Was Little So I Still Do It, error. This does terrible things for your eventual hair style, especially if you have curly or frizzy hair. Instead, pat it dry with the towel so you don’t mess up the cuticle and get all the split ends partying.

The (hand towel size) Manicare Supa Dry towel is a KING. Dries hair 4x faster than normal towel. Glorious.


The hair likes and needs its oils. And overwashing can make the whole thing worse, just like overwashing the skin can enthuse more pimples/oil. A lot of the time very fine haired dames can get another day from their hair by not using conditioner at all, or using a lihgtweight spray one only on the very ends, using dry shampoo all over the scalp and blow-drying through, or taking the time to properly and thoroughly dry and style the hair when they wash it. Hair gets lank faster when it’s permitted to air dry because you aren’t extracting all moisture from it. Also, use a thermal/ceramic barrel brush which will make drying 50% faster.

A spray conditioner on the ends (like Schwarzkopf Seah Mineral Spritz Conditioning Spray Fine) is much better then using traditional wash in-out conditoner for fine haired dames.



Do a Refresh Texture Blast! This is easily achieved by spraying sea salt spray all ove rthe hair, roots to tips, then BLASTING your hair dryer on high heat all over with your head flipped upside down for 30-60 seconds. You will have excellent grip and volume now, and can easily create a textured updo or pony. Trust me.

O&M Surf Bomb is the perfect tool for the tip above.


Because g-dammit guys, this is the stage that counts. This is where you create body and volume (mousse or root lift or all over thickening spray) or smoothness (blow dry cream) or curls (curling balm) or flexible nourishment (hair oils). What you put on your hair at the DRY hair stage is a very different bunch of coconuts, and is more about finishing touches like texture and polish. But the wet hair stage? That’s where you create the scaffolding of your hair style, and give it the power to last and have hold and do what you want it to do.

Bumble’s thickening spray – used on wet hair and blow-dried through – is renown for giving marvellous texture and lift all over.



Do they know the hair? Do they wake up with it every day? Do they know how it behaves in humidity? With hard water? After a mask? Do they know the dolphin? Does it call them at home? (Just for the Ace Ventura fans.) NO. And while they can certainly consult you, and advise what would look great on you, or suit your face shape, ultimately YOU need to be the one who makes the call about what’s happening in that chair. Because the right cut can make life easy, and the wrong one can make it hell.

Cute/arrogant example: I have fine and curly hair, so layers are not great. They make my hair look thin and give a Christmas tree look. So I get my hair cut all one length with a few gentle layers around the face to prevent boredom and give more versatility/softness to the face, which I ask to be dry cut, so that the cutter can see my texture and length when the hair is dry, not when its wet and ridiculous.

Yes, I am a lot of fun to have in the chair, why do you ask?

*The average amount of time we spend doing it according to a new study by Pantene which also found that 91% of us believe a person’s hair is a key element to their sex appeal. Study did not reveal effect of Croc wearing and sex appeal but I assume it was in the negative.

Responses to this drivel: 21 Comments

Australian Beauty Best-sellers: Priceline, part one.

If you’re anything like me (wide, four wheels, red paint) you are nosy and curious about what other people like. At cafes I ask what the most popular dishes are, and at gelato shops the most famous flavour, and in foreign countries I need to go to the most popular restaurant. I even ask my hairdresser which hair cuts and colours are most popular at the present, not because I want them, but because I am annoying.

So, I’ve decided to ask beauty brands and retailers what their best-sellers are. Partly because of aforementioned nosiness, but also because I am fascinated as to what you rascals spend your money on. Oh sure, I can sit here on my camel and tell you what to use and buy, but you will of course do precisely as you please when it comes to what you like and need and what interests you enough to spend your lollies on.

I’m starting with Priceline, because they are a terrific indicator of the General Population: we all shop there.

These are the makeup products that smoked their cash registers for the past 12 months, but I’m guessing you already know this, cause you contributed to it, you spendy little squids.

Here is part one:

FOUNDATION: Nude By Nature Mineral Cover in Medium 


My word! And here I was thinking mineral foundation had enjoyed its moment in the sun. Not even nearly. My niece uses this and claims it “covers everything” perfectly without looking too makeuppy. I’m a diehard liquid foundation fan (Nude also do one of those) so have never tried this.

PRIMER:  L’Oreal Base Magique Smooth Primer


I know and like this one. Little bit goes a long way, pores look smaller, makeup stays put, the use of silicon makes it glide on like velvet and fine lines are nicely filled in before you splunk on your foundation.

CONCEALER: Maybelline Concealer Cover Stick in Medium


Still going! I was using this in high school. A classic concealerwith a waxy base ideal for concealing pimples, the scars thereof and redness. Not for use under the eyes – you need something creamy there as the skin is basically oil-free and needs all the moisture it can get.

BRONZER: Rimmel Sun Shimmer Bronzer in Sun Bronze


Another classic, faintly luminous, and with a very fine powder for a sink-into-the-skin finish, (not to mention the <$20 price tag) I get why this one is still smashing it. Apply lightly, is the key. You should never be able to see bronzer… you just look …healthy… a bit tan. Glowing.


EYELINER:  Maybelline Master Precise Liner in Black


Well I am impressed. Thin-nibbed liners are not the easiest thing to get used to, and even uneasier to remove if you make a mistake, but clearly you guys have managed it, because of all the liners – gel, pot, kolh, pencil – this is your favourite. So well done. Now let’s all wear winged liner to celebrate.

Do you buy these things?

Check your handbag, you might.

Part two in a couple of days. Til then, behave and NO PULLING YOUR SISTER’S HAIR.

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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.

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Don’t buy your mum something useless for Mother’s day, you dingus!

Buy her (and I do say buy although I recognise the 3% of you who will make her a macaroni necklace) something useful. Something that spoils her obviously, but also maybe even exposes her to new and fantastic skin, or a lively, youthful new lipstick. In all likeliness, it will be something she may never have thought to buy for herself, and that’s always a good gift, isn’t it? What a good child you are! The favourite, I’m sure.

 Here are three things I recommend for your gorgeous mum next Sunday.


I agree, it’s big stinkin cliche, but not many mum’s sashay off for a massage on their own accord. Chuck in some acupuncture or reflexology or kinesiology maybe, for somthing different? And what about a service that comes to her? I am most partial to the mobile massage industry, and recommend these guys in Sydney. Cheap and excellent.


Something she can pop on at night before bed that will work lessen the look of her wrinkles, but more than that, (because wrinkles aren’t even that big a deal in my books, it’s MUCH more about even skintone) her skin will look radiant, smooth and plump. Alive! Gloriously alive. How wonderful. Choose products that have retinol, preferably. (Retinol: A vitamin A derivative which is viewed as the holy grail ingredient of anti-ageing. There is also the much stronger older sister, prescription-required retinoids.) It has been proven that retinol will make a difference to her skin. Retinol stimulates the skin to generate hyaluronic acid and collagen, which makes the skin plump and firm, but it also lightens pigmentation, slows down inflammation, exfoliates for smooth skin texture and reduces appearance of pore-size. Whether or not it will feed the cat remains inconclusive.

Maybe not for her if she: has rosacea or very sensitive skin.

Make sure she: Doesn’t apply it through the day; wears broad spectrum sunscreen every day.

Options: REN Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate, Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum, AVON Anew Clinical PRO Line Eraser Treatment L’Oreal Revitalift Face, Contours & Neck, ROC Retonil Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum and La Cerise Organic Retinol Serum.

Just on that AVON one, here’s me talking about it, or rather why it is has been such a big deal on A Current Affair last week:


Even if she is a dedicated nude babe or red lipstick vixen. Just try it. Pink lipstick is an instant face brightener, and is terribly youthful. I know you’re there saying, “Oh, you don’t know my mum,” and you’re right, I don’t, even though I’m sure we’d get on famously, but there is a spectrum of pink she can choose from, varying from the soft corals to the bold berry pinks. And I don’t know a woman alive who wouldn’t appreciate a beautiful fancy new lipstick to sass around, whether she thinks of it as a face-changer or not. (Go Chanel or Tom Ford if you’re feeling splurgy.)

A basic key:

If she is cool skin-toned and most suits/wears silver jewelery, go for blue-based pinks like raspberries, mauve, fucshia, fairy floss (pale versions thereof, probably…) and magentas. Try MAC Lovelorn, Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Cosmic Pink or Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede in Muse.

MAC Lovelorn. See? Pink!  

Wears gold jewellery? Tans easily? Go for warm pinks, those that are rose or orange-based. Try: Illamasqua (don’t know how to pronounce that? Read this) in Scandal or Elizabeth Arden Ceramide lipstick in Melon.

Confused? Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Voile de Rose suits every skin tone.  


Mums are the best but often they’re in a makeup or hair rut. It’s true! It is. Even a lot of us are. So, maybe this is an oppurtunity to gently show her a flattering new path.

In terms of hair, a cut and blow dry is such a dazzling confidence booster. Maybe she could get some layers cut around the face to soften things? Or what about some highlights? They really lift and lighten up the face. Like the pink lipstick, very youthy. Even just some around the face might be nice? Or, you could just shout her a semi if she doesn’t want anything permenant. Washes away in 6-8 weeks but adds incredible shine. Plus, it means she can try life with auburn or mahogany or mulberry hair for a bit. Outrageous!


Napoleon Perdis’ rather awesome Woollahra Lifestyle store.
Has furniture, accessories, great carpet, and of course, makeup.

If she has the hair situation quite under control thank you very much, maybe send fancy pants to get her eyebrows shaped, (keep them thick! And have them tinted) or to a wonderful makeup counter for a beautiful makeup. In Sydney and Melbourne, the Napoleon Perdis Lifestyle stores or the Chanel beauty boutiques are hard to beat. Also Bobbi Brown counters are very non-scary and helpful. Plus, the cost is usually redeemable on product… cue pink lipstick?


For her poor tired feet, of course.


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