Zoe’s beauty blogs from 2006 – now

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.

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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: 21 Comments
17
Aug

Gained a baby, lost my curls.

I’ve Googed it, and it’s a thing: you can lose your curls when you have a baby.

For a while I was in denial. I couldn’t believe that my curly hair had just racked off for ever. No more waves. No more bounce. No more texture. Just hair that was foreign to me: straight (but not the good straight – limp straight), thin, lank and completely unresponsive to the products and styling that used to boss it around so perfectly. Every morning it felt like I had used a super heavy conditioning treatment the night before.

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My pre-baby hair.

Baffled, I began to idiotically point fingers at the Bhave keratin smoothing treatment I had just before I had Sonny, in May 2014.  I emailed the lovely crew at Bhave in December, frustrated with the weird wig on my head.

Keep in mind that Bhave, like all keratin treatments, is temporary, and washes out in about three months, so I was really going out on a limp little limb of feasibility here:

“Ummm guys, the keratin seems to really love my hair… it is hanging about and making my hair flat and lank and heavy? I’m confused and wondering what you might advise? I keep cutting my hair shorter in the hope it will grow out…”

Also keep in mind I am a dingus and had no idea what was really going on and they were very polite despite the fact that what I was suggesting was impossible.

They sent me their prep shampoo which would strip the keratin out… but by then I had:

A)  Waltzed into Edwards and Co and had a big snip because I thought that would definitely stop the problem, and,

B) Been educated on said trip to Edwards and Co about what pregnancy hormones do to hair texture.

In short: they really fuck with them.

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The Big Snip. God it felt good. Like a re-birth after being in the baby fog for six months. Highly recommend it.

Oh yes, we all know about gaining hair as we grow the baby, and losing it once we stop breastfeeding it, but what of the texture change? WHAT OF THE TEXTURE CHANGE?

I’m not the first mum to notice a complete change of hair, nor are big hormonal hair changes a new phenomenon: I had a friend at school who had straight hair until 13 and then it went bonkers corkscrew curly. It was fantastic. She was impossibly beautiful. It all just worked. Ditto the boy who had the opposite: wild curls until high school and then just, nothing. Simple, straight, normal hair. I think he was relieved.

I understand now that hormones mess with the shape of the follicle, (shape determines curly or straight hair), and babies are completely worth it, but it is annoying. It’s as though I am starting again after decades of knowing and understanding my texture and unique hair idiosyncrasies. I am supposed to be an expert in beauty and hair and shit, but now have the styling skills of a salmon, and hair that is way too much work.

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My post-baby straight, floppy hair. And the cute little culprit. (Maybe all my curls went into his mega curl.)

I have bought a new curling tong, and cleared out my entire styling kit, (especially all the curl boosting stuff, the heavy creams, the frizz fighting stuff, the oils, and the straightening balms), now relying on volume boosting mousse and texture sprays and volume powder to try and mimic the old natural texture and grip (oh man is grip something I took for granted: now nothing holds in my stupid slippery hair: not curls, not waves, not styles, not bobby pins, not nothing. I may as well have hair that is made of washing up detergent.) I don’t use conditioner, it’s way too heavy, (I use R+Co One Prep Spray instead which protects against heat styling and gives some grip and texture) and I have an unhealthy reliance on my poor hair stylist Lauren to product some texture, any texture, with highlights and crafty cutting. I am several postcodes from wash and go, in fact I am in the next country.

Perhaps it’s karma for complaining about my curls since I was a zygote.

For having it permanently straightened.

For using ghds daily for two years straight when I was 24.

Some say the curls will come back, that it can take up to 18 months. Some say my next pregnancy might swing me back the other way. And some* say curls are for dumdums anyway.

I say Sonny owes me some godamn curls and he’s not getting any pocket money til they’re back.

 

Here are some links on this topic: here’s an NPR one, an anecdotal one, and a forum one.
Here are some links not on this topic: frog spirit animals, a very funny film clip, and delicious peanut butter mug cake.

*No one.

 

Responses to this drivel: 44 Comments
04
May

Event beauty preparation.

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

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

FACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BODY

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

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

HAIR AND MAKEUP

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

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

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

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

NAILS

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

TEETH

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

JUST ON THE DRESS + JEWELS…

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

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

Keshett Jewellery

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

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

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Responses to this drivel: 27 Comments
03
Nov

When one facial isn’t enough.

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

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

The Hardcore One

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

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

The Lovely One

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

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

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

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

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

MADEBSMADE. beauty space

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

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

Where do you go for your hardcore or lovely treatments?

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

 

Responses to this drivel: 12 Comments
15
Oct

Rather Good Things.

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

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

1. Cinnamon Scrolls from Oregano Bakery in Sydney.

Oregano_Cinnamon_scrolls

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

 

2. The iPhone 6 Plus.

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

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

3. Surrender, by Slow Dancer

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

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4. Bright Starts Lots of Links

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

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5. The DermaQuest Power Alpha Peptide Resurfacer treatment

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Cool turban, babe. Not so cool pigmentation.

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Responses to this drivel: 13 Comments
07
Oct

Go-To available at Westfield!

If there’s one thing we here at Go-To skin care love to do, it’s only be available to buy online.

But then, one day, as I was walking my pet llama, Bananallama, I thought, why not release Go-To into the wild for a special little burst, and allow The People to see and try the products in Real Life?!

Why not indeed.

And so, I present to you, the dates of our highly-anticipated (by me, mostly) Go-To Westfield pop-up* stores!

A chance for those who’ve been keen to suss out the brand (and those who’ve never even heard of it) and test our much-loved cleanser, our genius exfoliating swipeys, our wildly gentle and popular face cream, our multi-purpose body oil, loved by many a make-up artist, and of course, our hero product, Lips!

We will have fun Go-To Captains manning the stand, and cute things for you to take home, and if all that fails, well, you can always just grab a donut and coffee and hit DJs.

SYDNEY

WESTFIELD BONDI JUNCTION [near Sunglass Hut]
THURSDAY OCT 9 – SUNDAY OCT 12

(I will be there Friday Oct 10 from 4-5 and Saturday Oct 11 from 2-3.30 should you want to come say hi/drill me on AHAs.)

MELBOURNE

WESTFIELD DONCASTER  [near Guess]
THURSDAY OCT 16 – SUNDAY OCT 19

(Again, I will be there Friday Oct 17 from 4-5 and Saturday Oct 18 from 2-3.30)

BRISBANE

WESTFIELD CARINDALE [near Lorna Jane]
THURSDAY OCT 23 – SUNDAY OCT 26 

(TBC on my popping by….)

I can’t dingin’ wait. See you there, shiny hair!

* My apologies to those in Perth/ACT/Adelaide/Dubbo. I would love to have done pop-ups nationwide, but this is just a wee experiment for us, and because we are so small and so busy working on new products/looking after gnarly teething five-month olds, we chose to limit our activity for now. For now. I love you no less, and apologise for being so eastern seaboard-centric. I shall stub my big toe thrice daily as penance.

 

Responses to this drivel: 4 Comments
16
Sep

The makeup you need to look good after a long-haul flight.

…. is 12 hours sleep, a facial, a blow-dry and some professional makeup. Easy!

Alternatively, there is this sassy little kit which I take with me for a long-ass flight, which is Every Flight really, because I live in Australia, land of farawayness from everything.

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As a beauty editor, it’s easy to overpack on the cosmetic front, but after long enough in the game, you start to learn which products are clever and multi-purposey enough that you can leave behind the other 2289 ‘essentials’ and just pack those.

Important note: I highly recommend having some lash extensions popped on before you go. I usually just get the outer corner so it’s not too obvious when they go wongly and start falling out. Just add it to that annoying Lady Prep List of waxing, nails, tan, elbow polishing, etc etc. They’re a tops idea for holidays in my opinion because you look lovely even when you have no other makeup on, and they negate the need for mascara in hot and swimmy environments.

The Long-Ass Flight Kit

1. A BB or CC cream with moisturising and illuminating properties, like the Napoleon Auto Pilot BBB cream, $49.50 which is my new fave, and which does wonders on my dry, thirsty skin. Great coverage too – halfway between the usual BB cream sheerness and a foundation.

2. An undereye concealer that brightens and hydrates, which the Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up, $38.50, does because it has a concealer embedded in a hydrating gel stick, so you avoid those fine lines that are the first to show when your skin is tired and thirsty, and you get a wallop of concealer too. Clever!

3. Some creme blush to rapidly and authentically wake up the cheeks (and lips if required) with a flush of colour, like the very fresh and delightful Becca Cosmetics Lip and Cheek Creme in Tuberose, $24. That the compact is tiny, unbreakable and has a mirror means it ALWAYS comes travelling with me. (I love Becca to travel. Their eye palettes esp.)

4. A genuinely hydrating and protective lip balm, care of my very own Go-To Lips!, $14.50. Planes thieve so much moisture: do not leave it to a shitty, non-last, mineral-oil filled tube or stick to do the job. Because it won’t.

5. Much gum and mints (not pictured) cos no one’s cute with breath of an ox. Also, you can offer it around if the chap or lass next to you has manky breath and you look generous and kind even though really you are deeply offended by the bacteria in their mouth and two seconds from asking for another seat.

Responses to this drivel: 6 Comments
11
Sep

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

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

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

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

(Here are some handy FAQs that might help.)

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

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

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

Also, explaining Hypoxi.

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

What I wanted to achieve from this program:

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

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

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

What I have been doing:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

A) I cannot do any other exercise

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

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

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

More soon, you gorgeous rascals!

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

 

ZoeFosterBlakeHypoxi

 

Responses to this drivel: 8 Comments
05
Sep

Skin care I’m packing for a summer holiday.

Next week I am off Greece and Italy but NOT Iceland, for those who keep asking.

It will be warm but not violently hot, we will be swimming a lot, and I will eat tonnes of feta. All of this thrills me.

I used to pack 74329 cosmetics and toiletries for these trips;  there would be a bag of face skin care, one for body, one for hair, and one just of makeup. I would take a tong and my ghd, as well as several brushes. And there would STILL be space for one bikini and my passport – amazing!

These days I have streamlined it considerably, in large part due to my own skin care line being so dang perfectly useful (which is why I made it), and having a baby whose accoutrements soak up most of my packing space.

So here’s the skin care I’m taking because it’s:

A) useful information for those wishing to protect and look after their skin while travelling to warm climes,

B) pervy knowing what other people use,

C) a wonderful way to extoll the virtues of a well-curated toiletries bag, and

D) less stressful than actually packing them.

 

So! We have…

1 x Go-To Properly Clean cleanser cos it takes off all my makeup and sunblock real good. One full bottle will get me around 30 days.

Go-Properly-Clean-2995.jpg1 x SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF antioxidant serum to wear under sunblock each day to help prevent UV damage and premmo ageing. This anti-oxidant step (onto clean skin, first after cleansing) is important. We should all be doing this every day, in my opinion, holidaying or not.

skinceuticals-phloretin-cf

1 x Aspect Pigment Punch pigment prohibiting serum to stop hyperpigmentation before it even really begins, rather than getting smashed by it and working on it doubly hard when I get home. (I will book a lactic peel for the week I get back all the same. I will go to Brooke at Me Skin and Body in South Yarra cos she knows her shit.)

1 x Invisible Zinc SPF 50+ water resistant physical sunscreen to wear on top of serums to thoroughly, physically protect my face and neck, even while swimming. I will make husband wear this every day also. Here are my thoughts on physical vs chemical sun protection.

1 x Go-To Very Useful Face Cream to wear at night because it’s lovely and hydrating and full of antioxidants to heal any UV damage I collected somehow through the day, and halt the free radical damage that occurs for up to 72 hours after sun damage, NOT that I would ever get any of course, cos I am a wild control freak about that and wear big hats to prove it.

1 x Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys… except I am just taking a little stack of them in a re-usable makeup jar for space saving. Being a thorough, chemical exfoliant, this will give my sunscreened skin a deep clean every few days, and you really want that, trust me.

2 x SK-II Facial Treatment masks as well as sample sachets of Elemis Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask and Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Mask for a hydrating boost every five days or so. Full size tubes and jars of mask are way to big and space thievey for me.

SKIImask

 

I will buy my body sunscreen and body lotion and after sun (full of antioxidants like vitamin E at the least) stuff over there cos they’re way too heavy and space consuming to pack at this end.

Also, I bloody love an overseas pharmacy visit. Last time I was in Mykonos I found a bruise healing cream that, to be crude, defecated all over Hirudoid in terms of effectiveness.

No, I did not bruise myself dancing on tables, how dare you.

I was dancing on a podium obviously.

 

Responses to this drivel: 10 Comments
06
May

The easiest, quickest hair I’ve ever had.

Which is what you want just before you bring a teeny human home from the hospital, isn’t it?

YES.

And that’s precisely why I did what I did.

What did I did?

I booked in for the  bhave™ smoothe™ keratin therapy (which is Aussie-made and entirely free of formaldehyde, because the days of keratin smoothing treatments with formaldehyde are OVER) (or really should be) and is a nourishing smoothing treatment for the hair that kicks frizz and tames curls for 2-4 months.

I have tried Another Brand of keratin smoothing previously, which was fine, but after doing an event with the lovely Nikki Parkinson from Styling You in February and hearing her rave about how much she loved bhave, (and she lives in Frizzbane, so she really gets the need for smooth, fast hair) I wanted a go.

Why I did what I did:

Keratin smoothing treatments are well-loved because they give those of us with tricky mops the famed ‘wash and go’ hair we read so much about in magazines and in Disney stories. I want this hair as I head into newborn territory. Very much. And, after two weeks, I can vouch that bhave has made my grooming/hair/appearance approximately 458% easier and swifter. I just wash hair. Dry it off with hair dryer. Use brush if can be bothered. Go. You know, the stuff of godamn dreams.

What’s the process?

I went to the wee little Reveur Cheveux salon in McKinnon where Neil Cleminson – Creative & Technical Director of bhave (a brand also boasting a lovely range of wash and care and styling products – all sulphate and sodium chloride free – as well as the keratin therapy) performed the miracle. It took around three hours all up. I have fine hair, coloured hair, damaged hair, and none of these things mattered. Any hair type can do it.

What happened to my hair?

For the first 48 hours your hair will be REAL flat. That’s cos it’s setting. And you’re not to touch it. It took me back to my days of getting permanent ionic hair straightening (“Japanese straightening”) back in the early 2000s. I was obsessed. Seven hours in a dingy Chinatown salon was nothing to a young squid back then. Hangovers, Snickers and magazines were my faithful companions. It allowed me to have a fringe and hair extensions and all manner of previously ‘straight-hair’ only joy. Was a real shit when it grew out though.. Pube scalp, we affectionately called it.

bhave2

My hair during the ‘setting’ stage of bhave. Highlights suddenly SO light!

As soon as I washed my bhave hair, the flatness racked off. As a fine-haired babe you do wonder if you’ll be left with nothing, but in fact it’s just very silky and smooth. Feels healthy. Happy. Sure, it requires a bit of mousse and blow-drying if I want volume, but to be honest, the quick dry off with a barrel brush does the job for me. And I do mean quick – this is hair that dries in less than five minutes. I love the speed but I also love the obedience.

Also, rain? Whatever. It impacts my hair not one bit. This is a Big Deal for a life-long member of the Frizz Society.

I should mention that my curly hair did go straight with the treatment, (it still has some body, to be fair) but you can request maintaining your wave if you like. (It’s a keratin-infused smoothing treatment after all, not a straightening treatment.) I figure since as the treatment wears off my curls will return anyway, why not go straight, yeah? (Plus, straight, silky hair makes a high ponytail super swishy and cheerleady, a secret hairstyle love of mine.) And I can easily tong in some waves if I want them.

In terms of my colour, it really faded it. I was practically a blonde when I left Neil. That’s why you should wait til your hair needs colouring (and cutting) when you book in for your smoothing treatment. It will just nick all your colour so don’t waste your cash colouring beforehand. Neil recommends waiting at least a week (with two washes in there) before colouring and cutting.

Regarding colouring and cutting:

I was so bloody due for it. Even before I had bhave. So a week after my smoothe treatment, I waddled off to Elliott Steele in Ivanhoe to see Carly, who owns the salon and who is a top dog colourist for OriginalMineral, a company whose salon colour I have loved for a long time. Carly was one of those babes you instantly get along with, and I promise the fact she was also pregnant had nothing to do with it. It felt like I was in a sitcom salon, yknow? Where everyone is warm and having fun and are mates and I’m sure a bottle of wine sneaks out at 5pm each day.

Carly, using O&M’s splendid  CCT (Clean Color Technology, AKA free of ammonia and nasties) went over the top section of my hair with a lovely, cool, ashy dark blonde/light brown semi (I wanted to go a bit darker than usual) and then toned the lighter ends with a slightly lighter shade of the same ashy dark blonde.

ASHY and COOL, as always, are my key words when having my hair coloured. I bloody hate red tones. And if you do too, you’ll never utter the words CHOCOLATE, or WARM or RICH when explaining the kind of brunette you would like to be.

Then Carly  snipped off some ends (a good thing to do after bhave, since the straightness accentuates any splitsies) and quickly blow-dried it (impossible to slowly blow-dry hair that has had bhave) and I was off.

Here’s how it looked the day after. (Hair ALWAYS looks better the second day.)

O&M2

I always look like I just woke up since being pregnant. Cute.

 

Would I recommend it?

Yes. I may only wash my hair twice a week, but the styling and setting of my curly, fine, frizzy, tricky hair that follows (I am a fan of the old-school mousse/blow-dry/tong procedure which then lasts 3-4 days) takes TIME and I have been told roughly 627 times a day that that is one commodity new mums do not have. (As long as we get to eat sashimi, I’m okay with that.)

It’s also great if you’re going off traveling or to a very humid climate (the last time I did keratin smoothing was before living in NYC for summer – a veritable frizz orgy.) Be aware though that if you have very fine hair – as I do – it can last longer than you may like, and your hair can, after a few months, still be lacking in volume.

 bhave™ smoothe™ keratin therapy starts at $199 – cost depends on the length and thickness (which will affect how long it takes.) Click here for some more info.  And click here for some hungover owls.

 

NB: There has been some conflict over whether keratin smoothing treatments (along with, oh, you know, everything) are safe for pregbots, however there is so far no evidence of any adverse effects. Safety came into question because the old formulas were BURSTING with atrocious chemicals and in truth were probably unsafe for any woman, pregnant or not. But formulas have changed. Despite Neil cautiously suggesting I wait until after I’d had the baby (most stylists will, to err on the side of caution/avoid litigation/play it safe, which is far better than them not ) I researched thoroughly, and decided that since bhave is completely free of formaldehyde (as well as any ingredients that break down into formaldehyde) I was fine with it going on my hair. Also, bhave doesn’t flat-iron in the product at a temp that causes fumes and steam – another reason these treatments were to be avoided. Bottom line: it’s completely a personal decision, just like choosing to highlight your hair or having gels on your nails or a glass of pinot once a week or having narcotics in the delivery room or watching far too much One Born Every Minute.

 

Responses to this drivel: 46 Comments