Tag: beauty how-to

14
Mar

I made a new book.

It’s called, ‘How To Write Intriguing, Interesting and Punchy Book Titles That Will Make People Immediately Want To Pick Up Your Book and Read It.’

Ha ha ha! As if. I would never use the word intrigiung because I can’t actually spell it. (See?)

But seriously, I am releasing a new book in June!

It’s called Amazinger Face, because, well, it is. In that it is the much-needed update to my beauty book, Amazing Facewhich I wrote back in 2010, and which is still glorious, but needed a makeover.

xamazing-face.jpg.pagespeed.ic.eqVow3wPwH

The cover. Still a total babe.

img_13731321 year-old me signing it back during the book tour.
And that’s Molly, from memory…

There are a few reasons I believe Amazing Face needed an update. (And yes, so does Textbook Romance probably, but guys, I’m so busy with my turnip farm and pet ferrets that there is just no time right now.)

1. My position on sun protection has changed. A lot.

I went for a facial last year and at the conclusion, the funny and extremely well-informed facialist presented her copy of Amazing Face with 400 post-it notes jammed in it regarding things she wanted to discuss or contest. Mostly regarding the stuff in there on skin care and sun protection, which I thoroughly agreed with her needed updating, because it was too brief for one, but mostly because since writing the book, I have made an evangelical, noisy switch from chemical sunscreens to physical, and I hated there being a book out there with my name on it that didn’t reflect my passion and education on and for properly applied sunscreen, and also, of course, physical sun protection.

 2. The beauty landscape has changed.

When I wrote Amazing Face, us beauty editors were the only ones really communicating trends, reviews, tips and technology to you, the beautiful public. Now there are countless vloggers, bloggers, makeup artists, derms and hair stylists with a shiny Youtube channel, a fat sack of Instagram followers and a pretty great technique with a foundation brush, actually.

Also, since the proliferation of online shopping, social media, and retailers like Sephora landing in Australia, we have access to around six billion more products and brands than when this book first went to print, and I wanted to include and honour these new kids on the block.

3. Products come and go.

Nothing like going to your favourite, best-ever beauty reference book (too much?) to see which nude nail polish you should buy, only to find the one recommended has been brutally yanked from shelves. War and famine aside, there might not be anything worse.

So, I went through every single product I mention in the book, and I checked if it was still:

A) Available

B) Relevant

C) The best I had tried in that category

D) Tasty on crumpets.

And look, some were still around, and some were still the best on offer, but many were not, or had been surpassed by a sexy new offering from another brand. You cannot believe how many new products I have jammed into Amazinger Face you guys. It’s friggen filthy with them.

4. I have written a lot of beauty content since then.

(And had a baby, so I know heaps more about stretch marks and pigmentation now. Lucky me.) It seemed silly to waste five years of pretty helpful beauty advice, and not fatten up and update a book that I adore and am so proud of, especially when cuteheads pop photos of it next to candles and other pretty tone-parallel books on their Instagram feed.

5. I made some of my own beauty products.

Since releasing Amazing Face I have launched a simple, effective, irritant-free skin care line, Go-To, because I felt there were gaps in the skin care industry that I knew how to fill, because yes, I really am that arrogant.

I wanted to include my products in my beauty book, because I believe in them, and of course I think they are the best in the category or why the frigdog would I bother making them. Don’t worry though, it’s subtle. I’m not that gross. Or AM I.

6. I have a phenomenal designer.

Allison Colpoys, her name is, though I refer to as Queen Magical Designypants. Al kind of created a whole new book design when Amazing Face came out; her work was (and always is) somewhere in the future, superfresh and unlike anything else out there. I’m SO LUCKY TO HAVE HER. When Amazing Face was finished neither of us could imagine a better, more delightful design.

But zoom in your spacemobile to 2016 and we have both grown up, and changed our style, and are inspired by new things, and so, in the same way I wanted to refresh all the copy and products within the book, Al wanted to overhaul the entire visual feast. Which she did. And it’s absolutely lush. Godammit she’s talented. (Buy her stationary range here! Her tear-inducing children’s book here!)

7. I get bored and need new projects.

And believe me when I say/write that even though it’s just an ‘update’, it has been quite the project.

 

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Proofing is terrific fun! Ask any author!

Anyway! All done now. Almost ready for you to get your mitts on. Here’s the new cover. Here’s the new look. Here’s my pretty, papery sweetypie.


Amazinger Face, Zoe Foster Blake

Amazinger Face is officially on sale June 27, but if you’re smart and cute and smart, you’ll pre-order now, here (and get almost 20% off.) That’s what a smart and cute and smart person would do.

And hey. Thank you to all of you for buying and reading Amazing Face. The feedback you have given me over the years on that book has brought me much joy, satisfaction, and many happy tears, not to mention acting as the catalyst for me to start Go-To.

I’m positive you will love her sophisticated younger sister just as much, even if she does borrow your leather jacket without telling you sometimes.

Fondest,

ZFB

Responses to this drivel: 23 Comments
14
Mar

The Beauty of Day Beforesies.

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

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

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

Some of my Day Beforesies include:

HAIR

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

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

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

 

TAN

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

Chux-Magic_eraser

 

SKIN

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

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

 

ELEMISFruit-Active-Rejuvenating-Mask

 

NAILS

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

 

Badmanicure

 MAKEUP

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

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

 KateMossSmudgedliner

 

FOOD

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

Responses to this drivel: 36 Comments
01
Aug

Making an Effort: Bronzey Lids and Melon Lips

Ugh, I know. There are so many ridiculous “beauty blogger” words in that title.

But! I assure you, this Making an Effort is actually very simple to do.

Making an Effort, by the way, is something I just made up that is not dissimilar to my original fruitybeauty concept of Make an Effort Monday, except this one is way more wild because it might be on a Tuesday or even a Friday. I know! The new fruitybeauty is so outrageous. She probably parks in loading zones. Point is, sometimes we just gotta make an effort. Easy to become lazy and neglect all those delicious eye shadows and lipsticks we own. I do. Gary Pepper Girl would want it this way.

Here’s my MAE look, taken at the prestigious Zoe’s Car Studios. I like metallic eyes with girly pink lips. It balances it out, adds some softness. Bronzed eyelids with red lips are also pretty high up my favourite looks.

Bronzey Lids Melon Lips

 

THE BASE

Apply primer. It will make your skin look great. I used the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, (fork out the $95 at DJs Elizabeth St and Bourke St) which is fucking incredible, if I may be so vulgar. It’s illuminating and skin-tone-evening, has some sunscreen and makes your skin look like you had a facial yesterday.

I compounded this glow by applying with my fingers the outstanding and much hyped Lancôme Teint Visionnaire liquid foundation, which deserves its own post, and may just get one. It’s designed for mature skin, (code for: will give radiance and glow and fill in lines, hence my favourite kind of foundation) and as such, gives my skin a rude shade of health. If I’m not wearing a lot of colour on eyes and lids I use BB or CC cream, but for this look I wanted a full and even base of foundation.

LancomeTeintVisionnaire


THE EYES

A quick swipe of cream bronzer over the lid, blending out just up and over the crease line, as is customary if I harbour any hope for my eye makeup to stay in place. I used Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Bronze which is a lovely sheer bronzey colour and terrific for green eyes.

Bobbi Brown Beach BronzeBeccaJacquard

I followed on with Becca’s Eye Colour (Shimmer) in Jacquard, pressing it in lightly with my fluffy shadow brush just up until the crease. Then, black liner along the lash line to define. (I blended a more little shadow over the line so it wasn’t so sharp or obvious.) And then mascara. My regular tubular gear, Clinique Lash Power, probably.

THE BROWS

Filled them in (almost, anyone else see the gap atop my brow?!) Ahhh, what fun) with the Bobbi Brown brow kit, which is to say, a thin, stiff brush, and a brown brow powder. (Eye shadow works perfectly well, too.)

THE CHEEKS

Not too much here. Don’t want to compete. Just a very soft swipe of the wonderfully illuminating St Stropez Bronzing Rocks, currently my favourite and most loved bronzer due to its ability to, well, NOT look like bronzer. It’s not for those who don’t like shimmer, (even though I find it sinks seamlessly into the skin and isn’t so much shimmer as ‘gleam’) but it is for those who don’t like a matte, muddy bronzed look, and who are capable of a light handed touch.

I take it, using a fluffy blush brush, along the top of my cheekbones and around like a boomerang along the top of my brows, and then super lightly blend into my hair line on the right and left sides of my head. I finished with a touch of Benefit Coralista blush on the fleshiest parts of my cheek.

Picture 9903

 

THE LIPS

An oldie but a goodie – Laura Mercier Lip Color in Tangerine Cream. Loved this shade for about a decade now. A gorgeous pinky-melon-coral that brightens the face, whitens the eyes and teeth, and suits A LOT of skin tones. It does! It really does.

lauramercierTangerine

 THE NECKLACE

Since someone with terrific taste in fake jewels is bound to ask, is ZARA.

 

Responses to this drivel: 17 Comments
26
Jun

Q&A: Is the Clarisonic worth it?

Zoe, do I need a Clarisonic? Everyone is talking about them but I don’t know if really just a cream cleanser will do (and a bi-weekly scrub). Have you written about them before? I have dry, sensitive skin, prone to a little patchy eczema in winter, but otherwise manageable. I also get the occasional break-out around my chin, which I’m told is hormonal. Meg

Oh, Meg. Silly, silly Meg. I will never tell someone they “need” something, unless it is to wear sunscreen or to fill in their brows or to try pink lipstick or lash extensions or gradual tanner or this awesome pimple drying lotion that really works or dry shampoo.

What a hilarious joke! I am the biggest and most loving beauty bully this side of a revolving door.

Now, in fact I have written about the Clarisonic before, and I use one myself – the original Clarisonic Mia, $140-ish (there is a Mia 2 now, $179-ish, and it has cool colours and cool beeps that tell you when to move on to the next part of your face) – on occasion. I do get lazy, I must admit. I used about 5x a week when I first got it, but too much travel makes falling in love with appliances tricky.

I like the Clarisonic for the reasons most people do:

Skin feels more smooth.

Makeup seems to go on better, and you get a better application.

Skin care products used afterwards seem to penetrate deeper. Terrific news for those spending serious clams on serums.

It is gentle, and after using it, the skin feels extra clean, and glowing, and debris is thoroughly removed.

These are all good things. Especially if you’re dry-skinned, or the type to work outdoors in grime, or wear, say, sunscreen, primer and foundation and then colour makeup each day. (Like I do sometimes, and when one round of cleanser won’t cut it.)

Let me not be your guide, though, because I know at least six women personally who LOVE and SWEAR by and WANT TO THIRD BASE their Clarisonic. One of them is a girl called Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom I do jazz ballet with on Tuesdays.

 ClarisonicMia

 

But is it for you, Meg? Let’s see. Obviously I can’t see your skin, and double obviously I am a writer, not a beauty therapist, but I’ll have a crack:

You currently cream cleanse and bi-weekly scrub – this sounds like good practice to me. And great job on the cream cleanser for dry/sensitive skin. Anything too foaming and scratchy will irritate you. You may even like to switch to a chemical exfoliant, something with lactic or citric acid, say rather than a physical exfoliant (“scrub.”) I prefer these because they exfoliate evenly, and feel more thorough. Personal choice. (I especially enjoy exfoliating “peely” wipes, like these Philosophy Microdelivery Pads.)

philosophy-microdelivery-multi-peel-pads

 

 

The hormonal breakouts? The jury is out, but a few bloggers seem to think it helps lessen the anger of the breakouts and the number of blemishes (I would put this down to the basic fundamental of your skin being cleaned properly, and the treatment products being used up next being able to sink in real good and do their job.) Some say it makes it worse.

So, bottom line, yes, you might love it. You might love it a lot. A deep clean is paramount to Great Skin, and the Clarisonic certainly ensures that. If you’re not getting it from the Clarisonic, then that 2-3 weekly exfoliation will do the trick.

Responses to this drivel: 51 Comments