Zoe’s beauty blogs from 2006 – now

08
Apr

The difference between AHAs and BHAs.

Since launching Go-To, and including AHAs in the range, I have had a mountain of questions from dames regarding them, and BHAs, and is the range safe for pregbots and suitable for blemished faces and so on.

So, I thought I would conduct a small, cute lesson on these compounds, both of which WILL make your skin better. Now please pop on your learning beanies or at the very least just skim to the bits that are succinct and dot-pointed so you can get back to filing your nails.

As an introduction, Hydroxy Acids, (which are in both BHA and AHAs) are active skin care ingredients that improve acne and congestion, reduce pigmentation and brighten/even the skin tone,  help reduce discolouration, and reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, they give glow. Lots of lovely glow. 

ALL ABOUT THE BHAs

Starts with a ‘B’ not an ‘A’

Short for Beta Hydroxy Acids, and derived from man-made sources. The most common BHA is salicylic acid, but there is also benzoic acid and buteric acid.

BHAs are the best option for acne, oily skin types, blackheads, blemishes and breakouts. (BHAs don’t have a direct effect on acne bacteria, but they DO clear mild to moderate acne nicely without over drying.)

BHAs’ chief job and skill is deeply cleaning out that nasty oil and build-up in your pores, and limiting the oil on the surface of the skin

Mostly used for clarifying, de-oiling, deep-cleaning the skin, and hugely popular in anti-acne skin care

Oil-soluble (making them terrific for cutting through all that oil and mess in your pores)

Also great at whipping up scrambled eggs for lazy sundays

Less irritating than AHAs

BHAs work best in lower concentrations, so ideally the sally acid should be listed as one of the final ingredients on your product

BHAs are not suitable for pregnant women

BHAs won’t increase sun sensitivity

Use in this order: Cleanser then toner then BHAs then serums then face cream then sunscreen (during the day).

Good BHA prods: Clinique Clarifying Lotion, Mario Badescu Anti-Acne Serum, Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, NeoStrata Clear and Smooth anti-blemish pads … which also has some AHAs – not uncommon in acne prods; many combine AHAs with BHAs.

 

Dermalogica Skin Clearing WashClinique Clarifying LotionMario Badescu Anti-Acne Serum

 

AND NOW THE AHAs

Starts with an ‘A’ not a ‘B’

Short for Alpha Hydroxy Acids, AHAs are derived from plant, fruit and milk sugars, and are most commonly: glycolic, lactic, citric and mandalic acids.

AHAs are a chemical exfoliant (as opposed to a physical one, such as a face scrub)

AHAs are excellent for dry, dull, aged or uneven-toned/sun-damaged skin

Will walk the dog if asked nicely

Mostly used for anti-ageing and skin refining due to their excellent exfoliation properties, e.g: their ability to diminish lines and wrinkles, retexture the skin, fade pigmentation and brighten the skin

Water-soluble

AHAs break down the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together, allowing rank, dull, old skin cells to fall off and new, fresh skin cells to come through

Like the good, thorough exfoliant they are, AHAs allow the products you use next (serums, masques, creams) to penetrate better and do a better job.

AHAs can be irritating and cause sensitivity and are definitely stronger than BHAs. Always start off with low doses and usage and build up a tolerance. Or, better yet, play it safe (but still get great results) by sticking to one AHA product, used 3 x a week.

AHAs can turn on you if you’re not careful. Layering AHA products each day and night is stupid and extremely short-sighted. Be careful. I have friends who unknowingly use an AHA serum, cleanser and face cream daily and while their skin looks great today, in a short time, if this level of multi-tiered chemical exfoliation is maintained, skin sensitivity and photosensitivity of the irreversible nature will set in. This is both the beauty and the curse of AHAs… people get addicted to the glow and start to overuse, an altogether terrible idea as your skin has only finite layers and you can’t just exfoliate and exfoliate forever – skin ends up raw and sensitised and prone to rosacea etc etc.

AHAs make your skin sensitive to the sun. If you use AHAS you MUST USE SUNSCREEN EACH DAY. Must! And please try to ensure it is photo-stable also. (So, use a physical/mineral one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide ideally. And avoid avobenzone, which is not photo-stable.)

Use in this order, and preferably save your AHAs for the PM: cleanser then toner then AHAs then serums then face cream then eye cream.

Some good AHA prods: Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys, MD Formulations Facial Cleanser with 12% Glycolic Acid, Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir.

 

md-formulations-facial-cleanser-with-glycolic-250mlGo--Exfoliating-Swipeys-50-wipes-4995olay-night resurfacing elixir


Of course, many people use both BHAs and AHAs and that’s perfectly fine (and a lot of products incorporate both, especially skin-clearing products) I just recommend the slowly, slowly, gently gently approach, both when you first dive in, and just always and forever, really.

Responses to this drivel: 47 Comments
01
Apr

Your new favourite skin care line.

… Has officially launched!

GoTo_YellowEO copy

 It’s called Go-To, and I created it.
You buy it exclusively from gotoskincare.com, which is now live, and a lot of fun.
We send prods to you fast.
You use and love.
We (telepathically) high-five.
And nearby, a small family of wombats huddle together for a nap.

To celebrate the launch today, I thought I would run you briefly through each of the five products, since I’ve been a bit cagey about them up until now. Knowledge is power, after all! So is money and political status, but that’s less relevant in this situation.

As I have previously pointed out previously, Go-To was designed to be uncomplicated, simple, effective and easy (and fun) to use. Each of these products are useful for all of us, whether we wear a shittonne of skin care and makeup each day, or we just slap on some BB cream and race out the door. Because we all need a cleanser. We all need a moisturiser that will protect our skin from free-radical damage. We all need to exfoliate. We all need a lip balm that actually works. And we all “need” (enjoy?) a multi-purpose oil that can be used everywhere from the heels to the elbows to the nails to the hair to the face.

 THE CLEANSER

Go--Properly-Clean-2995

It’s called Properly Clean, $29.95, because I was sick of cleansers that didn’t do a good enough job. Lazy cleansers. Naughty cleansers. Cleansers that couldn’t keep up with women who used many layers of skin serums and brighteners and primers and so on. They were either too thick and left residue, or they were too foamy and drying, or too scrubby and harsh, and they didn’t nearly remove all the primer/sunscreen/makeup I’d loaded onto my face that day. So, I made one that was as soft and smoothing and lovely on the skin (in use and after being rinsed off) which I think the face demands, but which, because of the Willow Bark Extract (a non-irritating cousin to salicylic acid that ever so gently removes grime and build-up), also actually gets the job DONE and takes care of BIZNEZ.

Fun fact: This was the first product we got right, and my husband loves the shit out of it. And he’s a BOY.

THE EXFOLIANT

Go--Exfoliating-Swipeys-50-wipes-4995

 

Called Exfoliating Swipeys, $45.95, because, well, that’s what they are, these single-use, zingy-smelling little cotton pads take the confusion and error out of exfoliating. Because there’s a lot of that! We either use too many exfoliating products, too often (I have friends who are essentially performing a mini chemical peel each night with all their strong cleansers and  toners and creams), or we don’t do enough, which makes our skin dull and congested and unhappy. The ideal way to exfoliate, in my mind, is softly, thoroughly and regularly. So, I made a solution of gentle AHAs (lactic acid) and hydrating essential oils, and dunked 50 textured pads in it, and now all YOU have to do is swipe one all over your face after cleansing 2-3 times a week, and you’re set.

Fun fact: I was least convinced we had the scent of this right, but have had more positive feedback on this scent than any of the products.

 

THE MOISTURISER

Go--Very-Useful-Face-Cream-3995

 

After a while as a beauty editor, you learn that are a few iconic face creams that remain steadily popular over time. They tend to be very nourishing, but lightweight and quick to sink in. And suitable for even sensitive skins (making them loved by makeup artists to use backstage at shows on models/shoots). I wanted to make one of these all-purpose, lovely creams, because I am arrogant enough to aim that high. BUT. I’m a firm believer that defending and protecting the skin from free radical damage (which come from UV rays, the environment etc), the cause of premature ageing (wrinkles, lines and sun damage), via powerful anti-oxidants is just as important as hydration and the perfect texture. So, I sourced the magical super anti-oxidant, Alma Berry, which has 30x more Vitamin C than oranges (and is anti-inflammatory and super soothing), and popped in some CoQ10, the grand dame of the anti-oxidant world, as well as Vitamin E, so that when you put on Go-To Very Useful Face Cream, $39.95, in the morning (under your physical sunscreen, obviously), you are protected throughout the day, and when you put it on at night, you are working to neutralise any free radical damage you accrued. I love this cream for MANY reasons, including it’s lovely silky texture, fig and rose scent and ability to be worn day, night or mid-flight, but that it’s guarding my skin so thoroughly, well, that’s the bloody clincher.

Fun fact: There is no sunscreen in Very Useful Face Cream because I wanted it to be all-purpose, day/night/flight. I wear a physical sunscreen over it during the day.

 

 THE LIP BALM 

Go--Lips-1495

 

I hardly keep my passion for lip balm under wraps. Am always banging on about how I can’t find the perfect one, or why the one you’re using isn’t working, (petrochemicals, usually) or applauding those that do help my lips… So when I got to make my own, you can bet your bronzer I took it seriously. IT HAS TO BE THE BEST LIP BALM EVER I said to my softly spoken, mild-mannered biochemist. OUR LIP BALM MUST WIN, I reiterated. So, we got to work. Adding all the ingredients I know to actually do something, and which make good lip balms more than just quick-fix barriers. And after just 20 versions, we got there with Lips!, $14.95. It features seven oils, ultra medical grade lanolin, anti-oxidants, butters and beeswax… all bundled up in the perfect formula of creaminess with a pretty sheen and the subtle flavour of pure pomegranate. It’s delicious and I swear by it. So there.

Fun fact: It’s called Lips! because I was so jubilant at having finally landed on the best possible lip balm formula. (In my eyes, anyway. My very bias eyes.)

 

THE MULTI-PURPOSE OIL

Go--Exceptionoil-4995

As a dame who travels quite a lot, and has had to master a smaller toiletries kit than any beauty editor should ever be forced to endure, I know the value of a solid do-it-all prod. Something that can be hauled out and quickly fix rough heels, elbows, cuticles, or soothe and heal little scratches and bites, or hydrate the body, or condition split ends, or add some sheen to foundation, or act as a potent serum (gently dabbed onto the face under face cream – better left to dry, not oily skins). Makes sense then, that I would want to have a crack at making my own… cue Exceptionoil, $49.95. It is SO PURE and so delicious, and with a blend of ten oils and almost as many butters and waxes, the skin bloody loves this balm-oil. (One beauty ed has even said it has sorted out her eczema, so maybe it’s even more magic than we know!) It sinks in fast, leaves no residue, and boasts certified Monoi di Tiare from Tahiti (gardenias macerated in coconut oil) for a – quite frankly – criminally pretty fragrance.

I need to say here that if you DO purchase Exceptionoil, please remember it is an OIL, and needs to be treated as such. In that it might be very runny when you open it, so please be careful. Also, just like that coconut oil you cook with, it will change solidity in accordance to the surrounding temps. (An hour in the fridge will help thicken it if it’s stupidly runny.) And if you travel with it? Like any oil, you should keep it in a plastic ziploc bag.

Fun fact: One customer has been adding a few drops to her bath with truly lovely results and very soft, scented skin. Clever!

… Of course, you can read (and watch) all about the prods in more depth at gotoskincare.com, and see all of the ingredients too, and also all of the things we DON’T put into the products (palm oil, petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, silicones, GMOs, synthetic colours or fragrances, animal testing of any kind).

To all of you who have already purchased your Go-To, and have been kind enough to take the time to let us know how much you are loving the products and packaging on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Gruzzleplonk,  THANK YOU.

It’s scary launching a skin care line! You’re asking women to put things on their face and telling them their skin will like it, but skin can be so bitchy and so individual, and so you just make it as good as it can be, and you bloody hope for the best. Also! No store! No way for you guys to sniff and play and try the products before buying them – you are just putting blind faith into them and putting them into your virtual cart, and it is THAT leap of faith and trust that I am so deeply grateful for, and promise not to ever mess with.

You’re gorgeous dames, and I bloody adore you. I will shut up Go-To for a while now, promise. Just had to push her out to sea first.

Zo-To x

Ps Go-To and I were on A Current Affair last night!

Responses to this drivel: 64 Comments
26
Mar

Stuff I’m loving, using and doing as a pregbot.

… Which means this isn’t a strictly beauty post, so a lot of you scoundrels can probably skip it and get back to more important things, like snake-charming and jellybean tasting.

BUT, for those who are interested, I wanted to list some of the things, that as a now quite heavily pregnant dame, I have found useful and great during this somewhat awkward stage of life.

 

WARDROBE


BONDS BRAS.

Bras become a real pain in the tit in pregnancy. Forget all those sweet lacy triangle numbers and even your old reliable t-shirt bras: there are two orbs on your chest that seem to grow more every week, like mutating bacteria, and they are heavy, and they are annoying, and occasionally they are sweaty, and despite your husband’s delight and interest in them, they feel about as sexy as a the business section of the paper. Early on in the piece, when underwire was still feasible and didn’t make me want to throw shit, I loved the Bonds Microfibre Smooth It bra, and now, later on, I love their Maternity Contour Bra, which is a soft cup, but gives impressive enough lift and shape that you can wear it and not feel like the dogs are running all over the yard, all uncontrolled and loose. I also give the odd crop top a nod, but the shape they give is terrible, so it’s just for home wear.

 

BondsMaternityBra

 

NEW BALANCE SNEAKS. WITH ORTHOTICS. AHEM.

Already a fan of NB, and the owner of several fun pairs of 574s, it was a bloody gift when I was told they were probably the best shoe for me to wear daily. My beloved Nike Balanzas and Frees were too unsupportive and bendy, and my Zara trainers and rad Maison Martin Margiela hi-tops (eg, my “dress sneakers”) stopped fitting a while back (due to swelling – cute!), so NB were the unwitting winners anyway. Due to the extra 15 kilos or so I have amassed on my front, my feet were killing me, and I also nabbed plantar fasciitis on my left heel (don’t be jealous) so I saw a podiatrist who put little heel lifts in (I always wanted to be Millhouse) then orthotics to help with the flat foot pain us preggos get. Don’t walk in pain, pregbots. Get your feet sorted and wear the right shoes. Also, wear the right SIZE of shoe: my feet have easily gone up 1.5 sizes, which is real fun and sexy in case you were wondering, so be honest about this, and don’t do what my primary school teacher, Mrs Clegg, did, which is jam your poor feet like stuffin’ in a dang turkey. I also just bought some slip-ons from Seed, in a size that seems enormous for me and yet somehow fits perfectly, because I needed something a bit dressier than bloody trainers, didn’t I? Speaking of Seed…

New Balance 574s


SEED ANYTHING. 

Maternity wear, for those who are yet to stumble down its confusing, bulbous path, is a terrifying world, full of cheap stretchy fabrics and unflattering boob-high waistbands and a complete lack of style in general. I am at a complete loss why some clever bird has not stepped up and created a range that Real Life women will actually wear and like, cos my GOD there is a market. As such, I avoid traditional maternity wear like it has a cold sore and is trying to kiss me. Instead, I go to places like Seed, who do great, normal clothing in very long lengths which means you can easily flip them into maternity gear. This sparkle knit below has been getting a real caning, for example. Country Road is also pretty good. Even Cotton On does a good longy.

 

Seed Sparkle Knit

 

ASOS MATERNITY

I know I just dissed designated maternity wear, but ASOS is the exception. I started buying a few t-shirts and dresses off ASOS back in about my fifth month, when the bump was starting to pop, and have kept on with this trend roughly monthly, when my size changes so much, I need some more dedicated t-shirts and as I bought last round, leggings. YES, LEGGINGS. I know you’re not meant to wear leggings as pants, we all know that, but pregnancy affords special fashion consideration so put those judgy eyes away and show some empathy for ol’ fatty tum here. I also think their dresses are pretty great, for when you need to look glamorous but wish not to spend one million dollars at Zimmerman, which I did do about a month back, because it was fun and I needed a new dress for my baby shower, but you can’t be doing that every week.

ASOS Maternity Asos Maternity Dress Scarf Designasos-grey-asos-maternity

J BRAND MATERNITY JEANS

Oh, what a saviour. As someone who spends far too much money on J Brand jeans in real life, I was thrilled to be able to carry this trend through into preggo life.  I have two pairs of Mama J jeans, one black and casual, and one skinny and blue (for “dressing up” with booties or heels) and they are all I have needed. I found that – amazingly – I had to go down a size from my regular size, so when you’re trying on, keep this in mind. The elastic around the lower tummy will allow the bump to grow nicely, you don’t need to up-size for that. Just pay attention to how they fit on your thighs and arse and work off that. And sure, Beyonce wore Mama Js when she was up duff, whatever, no big deal, it’s not as though I want to be her and do everything she does always!!! And so what if I do.

 

beyonce-mama-j-brand

KOOKAI MERINO WOOL FITTED DRESSES

I discovered these probably a month or two late, but oh, it’s such a dingin’ blessing to have discovered them at all. And look, in full transparency, I probably haven’t set foot in Kookai for about 10 years. But! Very glad I did. Because like those red and white circles at the beach, they certainly are their own brand of life-saver. I am slightly ashamed to admit I have now bought four, (they are $120 each, which I think is actually quite decent considering cost per wear/the fact they are pure wool) BUT I justify that with a book tour and lots of press for the launch of  my skin care range Go-To (ZOMG IT LAUNCHES NEXT WEEK!) and needing to look cute and dressed up when really all you feel like is wearing leggings and trainers and a big old t-shirt. They come in a pile of colours and different cuts, long sleeved, capped sleeves, low V-neck with a high back (I reverse these and get two looks in one dress) and so on, and look, getting to the point, if you are pregnant, I think you should just bloody go buy one. There. I said it. They don’t call me Straighttalkin’ Sally for no reason! Or ever in fact!

BlackKookai RedKookai

SKIN

PIGMENT-CONTROL SERUMS AND GENTLE ACIDS.

Many many pregbots will be gifted with a lovely face of hyper-pigmentation during their 9-10 months of baby-carrying and you can either let it take over, and shrug and watch it slowly buzz off when you have your baby, or you can keep a lid on it, and control it, and save a lot more work at the other end. I use either Aspect Extreme-C, Aspect Pigment Punch or SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator of a morning, under my face cream and/or physical sunscreen, then again at night. (I layer another serum on for hydration, as I mentioned in this serum layering post.) Also, I exfoluate with AHAs 2-3 times a week, using Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys, of course. And once a month, I go have a full-strength salon peel with either lactic or glycolic acid. This has been working. The pigmentation is still there but it is scattered, rather than clustered and deep, and my facialist totally gave me a scratch and sniff strawberry sticker last week for good work so I’m doing alright I reckon.

** Remember – the most crucial thing when you’re doing all this preventative pigment work and using acids is SUNSCREEN. And please make it a physical one. Many thanks.

PregnancyPigmentation

 

STRETCH-MARK PREVENTION

I’m not going to pretend a few creams will save your arse (literally) from stretch-marks, because a lot of it is genetic, BUT, you should definitely do your best to keep that skin supple and elastic so that it can grow without pulling and tearing. It just makes sense. I have talked about what I’ve used previously and am still keeping up with that, although I can now reveal the body balm-oil I am using is my very own Go-To Exceptionoil, which, when warmed up between the hands and slathered on to the boobs, thighs or mega tum is delightfully nourishing and silky.

 

HEALTH

MAGNESIUM POWDER

Terrific for sore joints, pelvis, back aches, calves etc… I skull a glass each day, and believe it has definitely made things better. I’m not sure if it helps with my swollen, sore, unbendy fingers and my enticing fat feet, or if anything can, but I remain hopeful.

SOLIDEA MATERNITY COMPRESSION SHORTS

These are kiiiiind of like Spanx, only they really are not, because there is nothing tight around the belly, just a lovely big pocket. No, these shorts are all about support of the pelvis, back and thighs, and circulation. They are not shapewear. I got mine at the physio and have worn them to DEATH. Especially when doing a lot of walking around or if I need to wear heels, because I like the tightness and the support. As a bonus, they are lovely and smoothing, and so are excellent under tight clothes, like my Kookai dresses. That they are called ‘Panty Maman’ is just a bonus, really.

Solidea Maternity Support Shorts

 A CLEAN DIET

Pretty obvious when you are trying to grow a human. Although my clean diet is not entirely out of choice, I’m afraid. I have gestational diabetes, so have to be very careful about what and when I eat. (And take my blood glucose levels after every meal, which isn’t at all annoying.) As you all know, gelato is pretty much one of my food groups so this has all been a bit of a blow to ol’ Messina Mary. BUT! On the positive side, I am now a total health cat, and little Schrumpet won’t be overweight and a potential diabetic later in life, so it’s a huge win, really. Plus, there are, like, sugar free Snickers recipes out there now, so all is not lost.

PREGNANCY PILATES AND SPIN CLASS

My body has a leeeettle bit carked it in the last few months, a pelvis issue means I can’t do my beloved walking, so in order not to become a complete lounge lizard, I found a great place (Fitwise Physiotherapy in East Melbourne) that does clinical pilates (with lots of attention paid to the all-important pelvic floor muscles) and a pregnancy spin class, which is zero resistance and possible for even the heavily pregnant and ‘pelvic impaired’ like me. Swimming, you say? Yes. Everyone is like, “swim, do swimming, what about swimming” but I hate swimming, I’m shit at it, it’s too much effort with all the hair washing and styling required afterwards, and the pelvic issue means I can’t do half the leg actions anyway, I can only walk in the water. Which yes, is fine and I probably should do, but haven’t found time as yet. GET OFF MY BACK WILL YOU, I WILL DO IT. Gosh. And not one bloody word about yoga either, thank you very much. I’m aware of it. I know it exists. I know I should do it. Shhhh.

MASSAGE AND REFLEXOLOGY

Since I’m not really blowing a tonne of cash on cute shoes and cocktails, I spend my treat cash on massages and reflexology where possible. Designated preggo massages are fine, (the one at QT hotel in Sydney is outSTANDING) but they can be a bit hit and miss. I use a qualified sports physio massage therapist who is trained in preggo massage instead, cos she goes very hard and deep and doesn’t pussyfoot around the glutes and pelvis and calves and feet which are really, really fucking sore, actually, and deserve every second of the pummelling they get.

PREGGO PILLOWS

My darling husband saw/felt/couldn’t sleep either because I was having a shitty time sleeping and bought me one of those enormous, U-shaped pregnancy pillows to try and help, but sadly I found it claustrophobic and too hot and it now sits sadly at the end of the bed, looking at me hopefully each time I go to bed. What I DO love, though, is the Bellybean, which is low and soft, and sits perfectly either vertically, between your knees and under your tummy, or horizontally, supporting your back and your belly. Big fan. Lovely pillow. Five golden beans.

 

Bellybean

 

Okay that’s absolutely enough. I’m bored so I can only imagine how bored YOU are.

If I think of anything else I will update.

If you have any great suggestions or recommendations, list them below or forever hold your oversized stomach.

 

Responses to this drivel: 56 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
06
Mar

Serum layering: It’s very much allowed.

Over the past few days I’ve had the delight of meeting many of you on my book tour. (… And have you purchasing the very first round of Go-To in our sold-out, 48-hour pre-sale. THANK YOU!! I was completely taken aback with your enthusiasm and support. You gorgeous bloody bastards. My goodness.)

Invariably during these events a few beauty questions will arise, for the same reason I always have furniture questions around interior designers, and food questions around nutritionists and kneepad questions around rollerbladers.

One that struck me as being a great one to clarify and confirm for all fruits was: Can you layer serums, or is that too much for the skin, and you should just use one?

And as I told sweet Alice fruit on Monday night: Yes! For the love of lactic acid, yes. I layer my serums every single day.

JUST REGARDING SERUMS:

They are treatment products. They are concentrated, far more active and effective than skin creams, and tend to cost more because they have more potent ingredients and you use less of them. So, think about it: what exactly do you need to treat? Which area does your skin need help? Dehydration? Acne? Dryness? Sagging and loss of firmness? Big pores? Pigmentation?

Choose your serum(s) on this basis, and keep in mind what you use should change according to your skin’s needs, the seasons and hormonal changes, like the pill and pregnancy. There are do-it-all serums, (such as Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair) which are great for skin that is relatively normal and not yelling for attention in any area, and of course a good rosehip oil with anti-oxidants can act as a great serum, but if you have specific issues, I say go for specific serums.

As an example of layering and the reasoning behind it, here’s what I do each morning as a pregnant woman waging war against hyperpigmentation:

1. Cleanse

2. Apply five drops of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, which features a filthy amount of potent anti-oxidants (Phloretin and Ferulic acid) to protect my skin from free radical damage (“premature ageing”) which also brightens the skin (thanks to the Vitamin C). It’s non-sticky and far more pleasant to use than Skinceutical’s cult serum, CE Ferulic I reckon.

SkinCeuticals-Phloretin-CF

 

3. Apply some Aspect Pigment Punch serum, which helps to stop pigmentation from coming up in the first place.

4. Apply a zinc-based physical sunscreen, such as O Cosmedics Mineral Pro Tint, which by now you all know I adore. Physical sunscreens go on TOP of serums, remember. Chemical sunscreens, by comparison, go first and onto clean skin… making it hard to get serums to penetrate, and another great reason to make the switch to a physical.

OcosmedicsMineralProSPF30

5. Slap on Smashbox CC cream for a lightweight, glowy look but still medium coverage.

OR! if it’s a fancy day and I need to do a full face of makeup:

5. Tom Ford Illuminating Protective Primer (INSTANT FACIAL IN A BOTTLE, but best left to those with dry, not oily skin.)

Tom-Ford-Illuminating-Primer

6. MAC Face and Body foundation and then colour makeup.

At night, I cleanse, apply Pigment Punch, then a beautiful hydrating and nourishing Sodashi face oil (that is almost but not yet available to buy, I’m sorry), and then an anti-oxidant filled moisturiser that just happens to be from my own line.

So, as you can see, I definitely layer my serums.

I do this to ensure in the morning I am going out into the world fully defended and ready to prevent UV damage from causing the signs of ageing and also pigmentation, and at night to confirm my pigmentation has been “punched” and then add some lovely deep hydration and more anti-oxidants for all-round skin health and healing.

Others might use something for controlling congestion and oily pores followed by an anti-oxidant broth, or even a very active Vitamin C serum coupled with a hydrating, juicy one for a day where bright, glowing, plump skin is needed more than plain old treatment solutions. It all depends.

Things to note:

– Layering two is fine; three is probably the limit… bit much for your skin, and probably a sign you need a more all-round serum.

– Not all serums are good for night AND day – retinols or retinoids and AHAs, for example should be saved for PM use.

– Make sure your serums aren’t fighting each other, or you’re doubling up on ingredients or benefits, or the cumulation of the ingredients doesn’t mean you’re basically giving yourself a mini chemical peel each day. In other words, get professional advice before you embark.

– Serums cannot rollerblade very well and will be embarrassed if you ask them about the best kneepads to buy.

Responses to this drivel: 45 Comments
04
Mar

And now something for the die-hard fruits.

FBGTPS

It’s the day!

It’s the day we (kind of) lift the (still pretty opaque) veil on my skin care line, Go-To!

Yes, fruits, a full month before we unleash the site and the products on the rest of the world, you loyal fruits, the gorgeous dames who have diligently indulged my my beauty dribbles since 2006, you have the chance to try them first. Well, some of them. Three of the total five, to be exact. Oh come on! It’s a sneak preview, I can’t be giving everything up on the first date. I’m not that easy.

You can read all about this special 48 hour fruitybeauty/Go-To pre-sale here, or you can just pop your swimming cap on and dive right in.

Remember: The sale begins today, Tuesday March 4 at 10am, and concludes in entirety at 10am Thursday March 6. The Go-To site – our “flagship store” – will then retreat back into its cute turtle shell until we launch proper on April 1.

Also remember: We will be releasing the (admittedly pretty) limited stock in bursts, so there’s no need to panic and all go online at 10am today. If you get on there tomorrow morning, I assure you there will new stock be ready to go. If you go on there Thursday morning… well, you can try your luck. Who knows. All products sold in pre-sale will be shipped the last week of March, the idea being you receive them before Everyone Else, who won’t receive theirs til post April 1.

I thank you in advance for all of your spectacular support and excitement, and wish you the fantastic skin you bloody well deserve.

Oh. And here’s that link you’ll be looking for. It goes live at 10am, EST.

… Viva la pre-sale!

 

Responses to this drivel: 85 Comments
27
Feb

Be the first to try Go-To!

As I mentioned last month, I wish for nothing more than to bathe in a tub of pure golden fairy floss each night before bed.

Actually, there is one more thing I wish for: that my loyal and lovely fruits are the first to sample my skin care line, Go-To!

I wish for this because since 2006 you have provided me with comments, questions and feedback on beauty, and so much of that amazing intel formed the foundation of this range, and the reason I created it at all.

You were confused about what to use on your skin so I made it uncomplicated!

You were annoyed at products that didn’t deliver, so I made sure my products were effective!

You were pissed off with nasties in your skin care, so I left every single one of them on the curb, crying for their mama!

You already have products you love and want to keep using, so Go-To slots in easily around them!

So, let’s get you using them, and before anyone else, care of the fruitybeauty/Go-To PRE-SALE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!

That’s right viewers, from 10am Tuesday March 4 until 10am Thursday March 6, there will be a limited amount of select Go-To products that you can purchase, direct from the wonderful Go-To website, which is the the exclusive stockist of Go-To.

I am making it limited – in terms of stock, and the type of products available – because while I want you rascals to be able to try Go-To first, I still very much wish for April 1 to be the big, exciting, mega launch day. I guess you can think of the pre-sale as part sneak peek, part tease and part fodder for bragging rights to your mates, because we will be shipping you your first taste of Go-To the week before it goes on sale officially.

Real important things about the fruity/Go-To pre-sale extravaganza:

1. Wearing underpants is important, no matter what you hear.

2. While we do have limited stock allocated for this pre-order fun fest, we will be releasing that stock in bursts over the pre-sale period. This means that if you come to the site on Wednesday morning, instead of smack on 10am Tuesday, there will still be products available to purchase. This A) prevents a site meltdown, B) prevents a Zoe meltdown when the site melts down and C) and makes it all a bit more fair.

3. There are a total of five Go-To skin care products in the range. I will be releasing three of these for pre-sale, which you can read about in full glorious detail on the site. Should you try to buy the two remaining prods that are being reserved for April 1, you will be politely but firmly denied.

3. We ship to Aus, NZ and internationally. So, uh, everywhere.

3. The full Go-To site won’t be going live until April 1, but we have created a special pre-sale version, just for the fruits, which is live only between that 10 AM Tues – 10AM Thurs period. The link for that special fruitybeauty version of the site will be posted here early next Tuesday morning.

4. You CAN pass on that link to friends, there’s no way I will know if you have because the government asked me to return all of my surveillance cameras, but the more we just keep this whole affair something special just for the loyal fruits who read this blog, the better, I reckon… (Also, more chance of you getting some product, over ‘them’.)

5. Any questions? Comment below and I will clarify.

Guys, this is all TREMENDOUSLY exciting.

That sentence deserves way more of these: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 Go-To skin care logo

 Also, I hopefully will be seeing a cute bunch of you on my book tour for The Wrong Girl this and next week! What a blast.

 

 

Responses to this drivel: 40 Comments
20
Feb

Allow me to introduce you to my very own skin care line: Go-To.


Today I take immense joy in announcing the name of and first peek at my skin care line, Go-To.

Go-To skin care logo

Since we’re still a fair way off launch, this is really just me sharing the name and giving you a little snizz at what the products look like, care of the image below which features Lips! our lip wizard.

Why the name Go-To? Because Clinique was taken. Also, I found that during the creation and manufacturing process I was constantly describing the products in the following ways: “This is, like, the essential, foolproof, go-to moisturiser,” or “it needs to be girls’ go-to exfoliator” or “this is the perfect go-to travel product” or “I’m exhausted can I go-to the cafe and get a coffee now?”

GoTo_Lips_Purple

“I love this lip balm. So much.”
- Zoe’s lips.

 

As I explained in this initial blog last month, the products and range thereof have very much been formulated to act as your skin care basics. The simple, reliable foundation products you rely on and need to maintain healthy, happy, glowing skin. By all means bring inject those power serums and peels and masks and treatments that you love, but also feel a bit smug knowing Go-To has got your back when it comes to the necessities of daily skin maintenance.

And that’s my version of daily skin maintenance, by the way – a fussy beauty editor of 10 years who has a strong/educated/totally inflated opinion about what she knows works, what women feel comfortable using and what the modern woman’s skin actually needs. So, hydration, yes, but also protection from ageing and skin discolouration in the form of powerful anti-oxidants. Some gentle AHAs for foolproof, effective exfoliation. And a cleanser that will actually remove all that primer and sunscreen and long-wear makeup I keep telling you to use.

As well as being effective, I went to great (some might say “annoying”) lengths to ensure each product was perfectly natural. Zero nasties. No palm oil, (obviously) no petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, silicones, GMOs, synthetic colours or fragrances. There has been no animal testing of any kind, except on me. (And sometimes Meowbert cos he gets dry lips.)

So there you have it! Millions more details to come of course, but for now, this is Go-To skin care. Officially on sale April 1, a date that I am assured people take very seriously. You can start stalking us gently on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Plangscootch too, if you like.

(… Full details on our fun pre-order campaign coming early next week!)

 

Responses to this drivel: 48 Comments
19
Feb

The quick, non-sticky way I self-tan when it’s hot.

Because it is SO FOUL laying in bed on a hot night wearing a shiny layer of thick fake tan. Not to mention (except for the fact I am mentioning it) sleep is impossible and the stench is unfair on bedmates. Also, being a pregbot, I am approximately 67% hotter than usual, and cannot handle a sheet, let alone a doona’s worth of heavy tanning cream.

But sometimes we desire some colour on our skin, no?

One option is to shower in the morning then apply your tan, but in my house (and this city of ongoing oppressive heat) sashaying around in thick creams or even lightweight tanning micro-mist sprays isn’t as delightful as one might imagine. Plus: Stinky. Gradual tanners are okay, (I favour the Ecotan and Garnier versions, although to be fair I pretty much love all of them) but can still start to feel a bit sweaty and ‘fragrant’ within a few hours, especially if you’re busy chasing alpacas around the ranch like I am.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing. It works. It not smell. It fast. I get a lovely deep tan.

1. I exfoliate skin gently in the shower, but without the shower being on. Then turn taps on and rinse off. (Exfoliators work on dry, not wet, skin.)

2. I dry off thoroughly  (water makes tanner not work) and then – often just on the areas I need to be tanned, so, legs chest and arms, say – spray Santorini Sun Sunless Tanning Lotion onto those bits. It’s free of nasties, which is nice, and it’s a spray, which makes it far less cloying than a cream. I like it because it’s a gorgeous green-based colour (read: not orange), dries super quick, and gives a REAL nice deep tan in just one application. (You can easily get a spray effect/depth look in two applications.)

Santorini-Sun-Sunless-Tanning-Lotion

3. This product has very little spread, though, so I put some light body lotion in my hands (too hot for thick ones), and then swipe and swoosh the tanning lotion over my skin. I don’t massage it IN to the skin – you don’t need to, it will work perfectly just being spread evenly over the top of the skin – I just swipe it over my body making sure there are no dark patches or splodges anywhere.

4. I massage some extra body lotion onto the wrists/knees/elbows etc to avoid build up.

5. I wash my hands real thoroughly with Aesop’s Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, because it has little bits of pumice in it to exfoliate the hands, making it EXCELLENT for fake tan hand prevention. This is the only hand wash I keep in my bathroom, due to its excellent ability to remove all remnants of tanner and makeup.

 

AESOP_reverence_aromatique_hand_wash_500ml_1

 

 

6. I pop on something black and get on with things, feeling quite impressed with A) my instantly bronzed skin, B) the fact that I can sleep soundly and not feel sticky despite said bronzed skin, C) the knowledge that I will not have orange hands in the morning and D) the speed at which I have carried out my tanning session. (NB: It’s actually fine to do this ritual in the mornings too… I never feel that sticky or stinky.)

7. I have a Paddle Pop. Probably banana flavoured.

 

Responses to this drivel: 8 Comments
13
Feb

Is your shampoo too heavy for your hair?

It might be, you know.

Your hair might not even be fine, it just might be that a specific product is too weighty for you. (Same thing can happen with mascara. If you get drop down every day, switch to a lighter formula… curling or lengthening over volume-boosting, say.)

Often the reason for heaviness comes down to ingredients designed to do things like nourish dry hair, tame curls, or get rid of frizz. If you’ve ever used a deep conditioning mask for example, and then felt like your hair was lank and kind of dirty even though you’d just washed it, you know what I’m talking/writing about.

Oils (especially almond oil which slips into a lot of shampoo and conditioner these days, even Head and Shoulders uses it now for nourishment) are often to blame, but many attribute silicones as the culprit of this heaviness, although as a lass with REAL fine hair (in a literal sense, not a sassy street talking sense) but also hair that loves a frizz party, Silicones are a bloody dream for my hair. They give my hair obedience and make humidity buzz off. (Any fans of ye olde Frizz-Ease will know just how helpful silicones can be.)

Don’t be fooled into thinking silicones are The Bad Guys. Silicones are excellent for conditioning, thermal protection and the aforementioned frizz obedience, and as well as being in loads of shampoos and conditioners (supermarket and salon brands), are in a TONNE of styling products, from best-selling frizz tamers to smoothing and straightening balms to that Moroccan oil you love so much. (Look on the ingredients for those ending in ‘cone’ to see if you’re using silicones.)

My theory is use whatever you like, and your hair responds to. If that’s organic and sulphate free, great! Full of silicones, no problem! Expensive and salon only, terrific! Judging others on their hair care preference seems bizarre. We’re all just trying to snaffle a Good Hair Day and limit the time we spend styling our hair each time we wash it: AMIRITE?

As long as you use a clarifying shampoo once a week (we should ALL be doing this regardless – especially those of us who love a a bit of mousse, hairspray, sea salt spray, volume powder or dry shampoo etc) and a hair treatment that’s targeted to your hair’s needs, then there shouldn’t be any problems.

CURLS
My natural hair with no styling product, just Pantene Beautiful Lengths shampoo and conditioner.
See? See why I like it?? No frizz! Obedient curls!

One brand that’s copped a lot of stick for using silicones is Pantene. A brand I am a proud ambassador for, and a big fan of.  I like it because my hair behaves when I use Pantene. I have zero issue with their formulas, and knowing that I am likely to slap a styling product with silicones in it as soon as I dry my hair anyway, obviously don’t care about silicones in my shampoo and conditioners. I like the shine, I like the frizz fighting and detangling properties; it suits me just fine.

 That said, I’m not against having slightly more… weightless hair. And now that I live in Melbourne, not Sydney (or should that be… Frizzney?!) (Zzzzing!) I have way less need for frizz taming qualities. The 4o degree dry heat is foul, but at least it’s not muggy. So, maybe I can try something sans silicone, I think. Just for a change. (And it’s good to switch up every once in a while, even if you revert back to your favourite before long.)

In a move that is oddly in sync with my geographical movements, Pantene just created a shampoo that’s silicone-free (and paraben and dye free) called Ice Shine. It’s a very thorough, lightweight shampoo that removes dirt and oil and build-up from your hair and leaves zero residue. If you’re a fine-haired doll, you will likely enjoy the effect very much. (There is also a conditioner and a treatment – both paraben and dye free, although not silicone free.) I like it when I need volume in my hair, or am creating a blow dry I need to last for as long as possible. (Several months, ideally.)

FYI: I generally only ever condition the mid-lengths to ends – no need for conditioning the roots if you have fine hair, regardless of whether you’re engaging a silicone-based conditioner or not.

Pantene Ice Shine Shampoo - low res Pantene Ice Shine Conditioner - low res Pantene Ice Shine Rinse-Off Treatment (2)

Sound good? Do you want to try it?

(YES THAT’S THE SOUND OF A GIVEAWAY, SOMETHING I ALWAYS NEVER DO!)

Well you can. Pantene is so proud of Ice Shine’s fabulousness that they’ve given me 10 packs of Ice Shine to giveaway.

It’s real easy to win.

Follow @panteneANZ on Instagram and comment on their latest post featuring Ice Shine, telling us why you want to try it. The comp will be judged by myself and Pantene and entries close 9am Feb 17th.

Could not be more simple. And yes, emojis are welcome.

 

Responses to this drivel: 31 Comments