Zoe’s beauty blogs from 2006 – now

13
Aug

Nail art is dead! All hail nude nails. Here’s how, and which shade is right for you.

Nail art was never going to last, we all knew that.

Oh COME ON, how many pictures of scrunched up claw hands with ombre polish or newspaper prints or American flags or godamn Nintendo characters must we be reduced to on Instagram before we decide enough is enough? Yeah I’ve done it, shoosh. But I don’t do it anymore. It’s not special or exciting or unique if we’re all doing is doing it, is it?  This is an industry of swift trends and what’s fun and enchanting this minute almost definitely won’t be in five minutes time. Just ask anyone who swore by at home micro-dermabrasion kits back in 2006. (“Me.”)

Watermelon nail art

Stop! No more!  Eat watermelons, don’t paint them on your nails.

Even if nail art hasn’t been officially called, then pass me my official calling skivvy and allow me to don my Calling It cap, for I am calling it. Let’s all cool it with the palm trees and pineapples and glitter tips for a bit.

I’m not entirely making this all up – a recent article in WWD compared nail polish’s meteoric rise back in the “recession” days of 2011, when sales went up 67% for high-end polish brands, and 35.7% for pharmacy brands, to what they are sitting at now, two years later, at 19% a piece. Which, yes, is still pretty good growth, but the boom-boom for polish has definitely gone.

Could be because there are so many brands on the (DIY nail art especially) nail polish bandwagon now, and competition is tough.

Could be a sign that the economy is back on its feet (nail polish, like lipstick sales always increase when there is an economic downturn).

Could be a sign that we are all just really into gel manicures and pedicures now, and traditional nail polish, with all that smudging and chipping, won’t cut it.

Could just be because like most trends, and therefore proving the very definition of the word, this trend is now over and a new one is about to rise.

IF I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that this new “trend” is for a complete and polar opposite to everything nail art is, which is to say, beautiful simple, nude, natural nails. I use “these” around the word “trend” because nude, natural nails are always in. Always.

eva_mendes_Nails

Daaaamn. Eva Mendes knows how to give good nude nail.

Whether that’s just a lovely nude, natural shade of polish (more on those in a moment) or gel (I use OPI Bubble Bath or CND Romantique) or just healthy polish free nails that are beautifully buffed, neat and shiny, there is something clean and fresh, and refreshing about simple, chic plain nails after a few years of so much colour and movement.

I’m quite partial to a coat of clear and some white pencil under the tip of the nail, you know, like we used to all do back before reality TV shows made the French manicure so incredibly tacky.

HOW TO BE GOOD AT NUDE NAILS

1. Make sure your nails are short, neat and naturally shaped. Naturally shaped, for the record, is usually the most flattering shape for your fingers, because it mirrors the way your cuticle sits at the bottom edge of the nail.

2. Choose the right nude/natural for your skin tone. Think of your nude polish as you would foundation, it has to match your skin tone. Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez might both be wearing “nude” polish but oh MY, will the shades they wear differ.

Basically, do your hands look better or worse with that nude polish? If your nude polish makes your hands look dead or sick, or chalky and cold, or dirty, or yellow, or red and raw, or your cuticle is really standing out, then you have chosen the wrong shade. If your hands look lovely, clean and neat, well, you’ve nailed it. Oh, well done Fosters.

Also, there are sheer and opaque nudes, the more sheer you go, the more truly natural you will look, but if you get the perfect shade, opaque can look just as delightful. One coat of sheer with one coat of opaque can give a lovely finish – don’t be bound to one polish per mani.

FAIR /COOL SKIN TONES

Generally you should probably head towards soft, creamy, mauve-based ballet pinks. Try: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail in How Romantic, Essie in Brooch The Subject or Allure, Deborah Lipmann in Tiny Dancer, Sally Hansen Complete Manicure in Shell We Dance.

ShellWeDance HowRomantic

WARM SKIN TONES / OLIVE

Something with a hint of peach or beige will be most flattering on us birds. Try: OPI Samoan Sand (my favourite), Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Royal Blush, Chanel Beige, Revlon Colorstay Longwear Enamel in Sandy Nude, Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nudite (It’s worth checking out the collection, French Nudes, this is from as there is a nude for every skin tone, ready-made, all done, bing bam zap.)

 estee-lauder-nudite samoansand

 

DARKER OR TANNED SKIN TONES

You guys will look best in coffee-coloured hues of nude and tan. Try:  OPI Tickle My Francey, Laura Mercier Lacquer in Bare Mocha, Essie Sand of a Beach, Chanel Inattendu, Dior Vernis in Nude Chic or Butter London in Tea and Toast.

 

Chanel_inattendu ButterLondonTeaAndToast

3. Maintain with top coat every second day to keep up the shine and prolong the life of your mani. I love Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine. Oh, and definitely steer clear of matte finishes. A high-shine finish ensures your nail stands out and looks healthy, even if the colour is extremely subtle.

4. Consider the toes. I was always a bright orange pedicure bird until a few years ago when I went soft sheer pink while on holiday in Greece. Felt better with my slight tan and leather sandals for some reason. More chic. Cleaner. More elegant. Toes are ugly enough without adding harsh colour, I realised, and I never looked back. Try it and see. But make sure you get the right nude for your skin tone – like I said, toes are ugly enough, they don’t need much assistance to look even more unattractive. But the perfect nude shade to complement your skin, and a neat, short shape – splendid.

Did I forget your favourite nude?

Was it this guy?

Naked-Cosmopolitan-UK-Naked-Centrefold-Defined-Muscles-What-Do-You-Think

Sorry, you know what I mean. Pop your most loved nude polish in comments below with your skin tone and share your wisdom!

Responses to this drivel: 38 Comments
08
Aug

A few wild new products.

I’ve just called this mascara in from Avon for one reason, which I think will become evident when you see this clip.

That’s right: because it makes me giggle.

No, no, I mean because I am curious regarding the design. I’m all for innovation, and that brush might just be the best thing any of us ever apply mascara with, so let us not judge until we have wonder painted, yeah? I’ll let you know how it goes.

Another product that intrigues me but which certainly sped past intrigue right into necessity for a lot of you, is Nanoblur, $30, which has been the number one selling product in Priceline since launch in January.

Nanoblur

Nanoblur claims to make “people look 10 years younger in 40 seconds,” which I think would be fascinating to see on an 11-year old. Essentially it ‘blurs’ lines and wrinkles, you see, using, light reflective particles. A bit of soft-focus in a tube, if you will. It feels and looks like a primer, and as if proving it’s not skin care, but an optical illusion product (for those liable to be confused) you use it after your makeup, and dab it onto crow’s feet, marionette lines, the forehead, etc. To be crude, it’s cosmetic Spakfilla.  There have been a few of these come out over the years, L’Oreal and Clarins both did similar products, but none have sold so phenomenally as this.

I’ve given it a few goes, but not enough to honestly say I’ve trialled it thoroughly. I softly dab it on to my smile lines with my middle finger, which I find always crease within about an hour of makeup being applied, especially if my skin is tired or thirsty, or just being, yknow, “old.”

The lines seem a little less obvious but the best part is that unlike the oils and balms I tend to use for this issue usually, Nanoblur won’t make your makeup move and slip. In that sense, you can pretty much use it in place of sheer finishing powder to take away shine, mattify, reduce imperfections, and make your makeup stay in place, which is important if you get shine or your skin eats your makeup like mine does….

It’s a kind of finishing primer, if you will. I am considering mixing a little in with my foundation next for an all-over blur. Why not! Why not indeed.

Have you tried Nanoblur? What did you think? Also, I love your hair like that.

Responses to this drivel: 22 Comments
03
Aug

New videos! New products! The Amazing Face App has been updated.

I recently spent a day shooting a stack of fun little makeup and hair video tutorials to pad out my gorgeous Amazing Face app, and the updated version just went live.

I also added my new Must-Have products, and some pro advice on how to pronounce tricky beauty brands so you never look like a dingus saying L’Occitane again, and a secret page with a picture of Ryan Gosling fully nude*.

amazingfaceapp-hero3
Image care of the fantastic dames at The Design Files.

 

It’s very exciting, especially for people like me who happened to have their name all over the app, and want it to be thoroughly awesome. The update is particularly terrific news for anyone who:

A) Already owns this helpful little beauty iPhone app, uses it consistently and has tired of the tutorials on offer

B) Was considering purchasing the app, and now has fresh incentive to do so

C) Enjoys beauty and quite fancies having a bunch of how-tos and advice in their pocket.

D) Has a face and wants it to be of the ‘amazing’ variety

E) Enjoys edamame beans.

Check your updates and download the new one, or snaffle a brand new Amazing Face app at the app store!

Oh, and … Android users, sweet, good-looking, intelligent and popular Android users, please don’t be angry with me or throw that tin of corn in your hand, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing a version for you any time soon. It’s a long story. I apologise for being so Apple-centric, and gently nudge you towards the actual book, or the ebook, or a large slice of cheesecake in the meantime.

*This is a lie.

Responses to this drivel: 18 Comments
01
Aug

Making an Effort: Bronzey Lids and Melon Lips

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

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

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

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

Bronzey Lids Melon Lips

 

THE BASE

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

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

LancomeTeintVisionnaire


THE EYES

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

Bobbi Brown Beach BronzeBeccaJacquard

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

THE BROWS

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

THE CHEEKS

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

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

Picture 9903

 

THE LIPS

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

lauramercierTangerine

 THE NECKLACE

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

 

Responses to this drivel: 17 Comments
30
Jul

Sleep in your makeup? Ruin your skin and look older, faster.

What could be better than being lectured at as you innocently read a blog?! Most things, I’d say, especially banoffee pie.

But for once this isn’t just me being bossy: The Daily Mail (yes, yes, I know, everyone’s font for authentic, intelligent journalism) did a study on wearing makeup to bed, and while admittedly, the poor dame subjected to the test didn’t cleanse at night for a whole month, and you might only do it once a week or so, you are still doing your skin damage.

Here she is, poor lamb. Before and after.

fml-anna pursglove 'after surgery eyebrow'-15.jpgslept in make up for a month

The findings were that not cleaning your face properly at night not only caused havoc with your skin, but it ages the skin.

If you don’t cleanse your skin at night – and I’m talking even the fastest in-shower foam and rinse – you may just be the lucky beneficiary of:

Larger, dirtier and more visible pores that may irreversibly stretch

Redness leading to rosacea

Deeper lines and wrinkles

Acute dryness

Irritated, puffy eyes

Brittle, shitty lashes that fall out

Not to mention feeling self-conscious when you read posts like this.

Bottom line is, and I know you’ve heard this before, but perhaps you’re still not listening because you have earphones in or something: You have to cleanse your skin at night.

I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to clean your face at the end of the day.  ESPECIALLY if you’ve been wearing a shittonne of makeup or even just sunscreen, or face cream. (It’s not just the products you need to remove, but dirt and grime from, you know, the world.)  If you don’t remove it properly each night, you’re building onto it again the next morning, and as this case study shows, the skin enjoys that about as much as a swift kick.

Even in your drunkest moments, use a facial wipe (keep them in your bedside drawer for just these occasions), or if you’re stuck at a “friend’s” place (WINK WINK) use his stuff, or even just wipe olive oil from the kitchen over the face with some tissues or toilet paper. Yes, that actually works.

Sure, you can do it a few times with no real consequence, but if you’re doing it more than say, ten nights a month, and this study suggests that a lot of women are, well, that’s enough to have a long term effect. Also, all those expensive and impressive serums and creams you’re using can’t do their job if your skin isn’t a clean slate to begin. Loading them on top of yesterday’s layers is an atrocious idea but a wonderful gift to any pores that were hoping to produce a pimple that day.

I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever done it, but that’s just the cute anal retentive babe I am.

What I cleanse with at night: On a normal day, when I just wear some daily moisturiser with SPF and BB cream I use  a cream cleanser in the shower. Massage on, rinse off. When I’ve been wearing full makeup, I first use a cleansing oil on dry skin, then I follow on with regular cleanser in the shower or over the sink. And three times a week I use an AHA exfoliating cleansing gel to really clean all that product I wear off.

In the morning: I quickly rinse with some Cetaphil and water to remove all the night creams and serums.

Are you guilty of this?

Will you now finally change your ways?

Isn’t it awesome fun when I yell-write at you?

 

Responses to this drivel: 58 Comments
24
Jul

Just some lovely new products.

That’s all.

Nothing to be scared about.

Here we go.

A LARGE, USEFUL SIZED BOTTLE OF WHAT MIGHT BE THE WORLD’S FINEST MAKEUP REMOVER SLASH CLEANSER.

Bioderma Crealine 500ml

I concede it is not a new product, actually, but a new size of a product (twice the usual 250ml) that we already all love, and is, ‘ow you say, magnifique. I’ve written about it before, and so has every person who has ever:

Been into a French pharmacy and bought some because they read about it on a blog or in a magazine
Been French and just known about it since birth, thank you very much
Been on a photographic shoot and had their makeup removed for a new look with this gentle, soft, powerful cleansing water
Been a model or a makeup artist or celebrity, because they go mad for this shit.

It can easily qualify as your night time cleanser, so thoroughly and wonderfully does it remove makeup and grime, but I prefer to use it as a makeup remover, then cleanse when I get in the shower again (for the heavier stuff like sunscreen and primers etc.)

(It’s a limited edition, this 500ml, and will be available via Adore beauty and Priceline and selected stockists just before Christmas. Buy regular-sized Bioderma Crealine st these places right now, this second.)

A HYDRATING MIST THAT SMELLS LIKE A COUNTRY ROSE GARDEN, AND QUENCHES YOUR DESIRE TO HELP WOMEN.

Jurlique Rosewater Intense

Mists are underrated. They are far more than just nice smelling water, they can tone, calm, soothe and depending on the formula, even brighten or firm or exfoliate. I apply a few mists before I apply makeup to ensure the face is happy and hydrated, and then often when it is complete, a few more to set it, and add just that touch of glow. Also, I keep one on my desk for squirts through the day. They smell good. Make me relaxed. Do nice, moisturising things to my computer face.

Jurlique’s new limited edition Rosewater Balancing Mist Intense, $69 is probably good looking enough and scented so deliciously that it need not incorporate a charity angle, but guess what, it bloody well does. Jurlique have an umbrella charity called the Ideas of Beauty Fund, which exists to support and empower women all over the world. This particular product sees them contributing a portion of each sale of this mist to AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience), which helps Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders complete high school at the same rate as all Australians, and more specifically, to help 500 young women become mentors for the program, which is obviously terrific. Also, it smells great. Which I think I mentioned. (And rose is the new gardenia, fragrance wise.)

A CHEAP, LONG-LASTING EYE LINER IN A TRENDY COLOUR.

CoverGirl LiquilineBlast

In scary news for some, exciting news for others, blue, aqua and green eye makeup is trendy again. I blame/attribute this to Pantone calling emerald green the colour of 2013. In any case, I think we can all agree a huge splodge of these colours on the eye suits only the very young, the very fashion-forward, or the very on-stage-in-an-80s-musical.

So, sneak into the trend (and in all honesty, watch your iris explode with new depth of colour, esp if it is blue or brown) with just a line of colour on the upper lashline. OR, smash a few cool-o-meters, by leaving the top lash line bare, (LOTS OF mascara notwithstanding) and do the lower lashline instead, smudging it in for a lived-in look. Oooooh, get you!

I like the CoverGirl Liquiline Blast liners in general, ($14.95) but found this shade, ‘Blue Boom’ to be quite fun for this exact style of makeup hooliganism. It’s soft, waxy and easily smudged (with a brush or the rubber smudger on the opposite end), but also stays nice and put when used as a thin, precise liner, because it’s waterproof, innit. You DO need to sharpen it, which might sound obvious, but with all the self-sharpening crayons out there, is worth mentioning.

Obviously if there are any new products YOU are enjoying, you ought to list them below. Can’t be all one way now can it? How terrifically dull that would be.

Responses to this drivel: 38 Comments
19
Jul

Underlights: for added volume, contrast and interest.

As I mentioned recently, arrogantly and in a way that assumed you cared, my natural, colour-free hair is fineWay too fine. Floppy, flat, dirty-in-two days, fine. I enjoy its colour very much, but its texture can suck a doz.

So I decided to have some “underlighting” done, a word I have coined (heck, let’s say dollared) which refers to having highlights painted on around the head, but with the following provisions:

They must not create the issue of “roots”

They must not be applied to or visible on the top layer of hair, but rather, underneath

Maintenance must be at an all time-low

The colour of the highlights must be very close to the natural hair colour

There must be enough of them to create a marked improvement in hair texture, “grip” and body

And so, with that list of cool and easy going rules, (written out helpfully here today in a way that you can use/remember them should YOU be interested in this technique) I slithered into the salon* of one Barney Martin (whose idea it was for me to boof up my hair with highlights for texture inspired all of this) and after a consultation with colour king, James Pearce (who got me from all-over blonde back to convincing brunette in a swift two-hour seating last year) I was lovingly given my underlights.

James explained that they would use two shades of high lift tint, (so, ammonia not bleach), one that was two shades lighter than my base, and one that was a shade or two darker. This meant, James explained, that there would be plenty of contrast, but it would look extremely natural. I liked this. Stephanie, a very talented colourist with the kind of wash-n-go texture that permits her not only short hair, but also a fringe (show-off) applied the colour masterfully, and an hour and a half later it was done.

In the continuing quest for volume, however, I had James cut my hair. There were still some layers in there, which is a shame since I’d had two blunt one-length cuts in the past three months, (the ones around my face I can handle – adds some softness) but the thing about layers is that they cling on to your hair like the scent of fish after cooking. And layers, you see, are the last thing fine-haired dames need, especially when the hair is long, and there are curls lurking around, smoking ciggies until they’re next allowed to roam free.

So, we cut it all one length, and quite a fair amount shorter. I instantly felt more me, and more stylish with the length. To me, long hair feels “pretty,” but slicing it off on the collarbones or above feels more … chic.

Here’s the “before” shot. What a godamn mess.
All that bleach ruining the last few inches of hair, all those limp curls…

Before

And now, here are a bunch photos taken by either me or Mario Testino, I can never remember, in order to show the different lights of the colour.

It looks, overall, a touch lighter, but so very, very genuinely naturally coloured, as if I just happened to be born with the most awesome, flecky, contrasty shade of brunette. It looks like the same natural brunette colour I’ve worked so hard to grow out, but there is all this excitement hiding underneath. If I was being unashamedly braggy, I would say that I feel a bit like I just got the hair colour of a bird in a ’90s Ralph Lauren ad, or Ms Brooke Shields in her Blue Lagoon days. And that’s all I could ever hope for.

More importantly  it FEELS thicker, it’s got a lot more texture (the haircut assists this greatly) and I just got almost five days out of it (not even from the salon blow-dry, from my own!)

Underlights2

Underlights1

Underlights5

Underlights3

If you’re a fine haired Shezzi who craves texture, contrast and body but NOT regrowth, then you may just enjoy this underlighting biz.

*Speaking (“writing/reading”) of salons, have you added your favourite salon to the fruitybeauty Personal Beauty Army post?

Responses to this drivel: 29 Comments
16
Jul

How to deal with a blind pimple and teach it a lesson also.

Look closely at this photo.

CLOSER.

The chin region, specifically.

BlindPimple

Can’t see anything?

Doesn’t matter, I am feeling enough for both of us to be able to see it because there is a WHOPPING great shiner on my chin. It feels like the size of a 5c piece, and might well be. As it’s a blind pimple, I can’t see it’s head yet, but oh, it’s coming. The fact that my whole chin is pulsing with pain guarantees it. Why it’s pulsing, for the record, is because it’s so deep, right down near my nerves. Regular, 20/20 vision pimples are up close to the top layer of skin, God bless them. So thoughtful.

In the interest of it not ruining my face for the next 10 days, and especially for the wedding I am attending this weekend, here’s how I will be dealing with this bastard. The technique works, which is the good news provided I  DO NOT pick at it, which I won’t. The bad news is that I have been known to pick at it.

While it’s just a painful, red, half-bump ice it and reduce the swelling

This is crucial, this bit. If you play this right, it might not Vesuvius all over your face. So: take an ice cube, and wrap in a tissue. Hold it on the spot for five minutes on, 10 minutes off. Do this at least three times in a row if you can. Drink lots of water.

When it starts to show a head, you need to carefully, gently get The Monster up to the surface

After a shower (the steam assists greatly in the drawing-out process), take a clean face cloth or a thick cotton pad and dip it into a sink of as-hot-as-your-skin-can-handle, water. Hold this compress, while swearing and kicking the toilet, for as long as possible. Re-dip in the water when it cools down. Do this for at least five minutes.

Now apply a drawing paste, a thick goo usually comprised of things like clay, sulfur and zinc oxide, to the head of the pimple with a cotton tip, and go to bed so it can do it’s work. and you will have either a very obvious whitehead in the morning, (or as sometimes magically happens, just a some faint redness, because it’s matured the whitehead so fully that it’s completely gone.)

Payot-pate-grise

I have been a tremendous fan of the famous and fantastic Payot Pate Grise for many years, and my beloved pimple drying lotion by Mario Badescu also works (although the skin will lightly flake due to the benzy peroxide). Magnoplasm, a hardcore drawing agent for boils, splinters and blind pimples is also excellent, albeit stinky and gross to use.

When the whitehead is right at the surface, it’s time to carefully extract 

If things are still red and tender, or shiny and taut, no touchy touchy. It’s not ready. Conceal it and repeat the drawing process that night/as soon as it’s viable.

If the whitehead is more evident than redness, and it’s trying to jump out of your skin, you’re ready, sugar.

Do the hot water compress biz from above for a couple of minutes, then wrap half a tissue around each of your index fingers. Put a finger each side of the whitehead, then carefully, very gently, with NO NAILS DIGGING IN, push down on the sides, then kind of roll your fingers upwards to encourage the head to pop out. The idea is to get down deep on the sides, and push the very bottom of the whitehead up and out. Do the same motion from a few different spots to share the pressure (and fun!) around.

You should see no blood. There shouldn’t even be indentations where you’ve been pushing: it has to all be very gentle.

Finishing up and preventing scarring…

This bit is important, you guys. Once you’ve popped it’s all open to bacteria, so be sure to lock that shit well out.

First, apply a bit of pressure on the spot, to stop any potential bleeding or swelling and redness. Then wipe on some purifying lotion with a cotton ball or pad. I love Gernetic’s Sebo-Ger, or Garnier’s Pure Active Daily Pore Purifying Toner.

Garnier Pure Pore Toner

Now leave it the hell alone for a couple of hours. It needs to heal and breathe. So no makeup, nothing. (Extractions are always best done at night, or a few hours before you need to go out.) Once the area is flaking a bit, and dry, use some paw paw ointment or some such natural emollient on the area to encourage healing and scar reduction.

If you follow these steps, you can successfully wallop a blind pimple without all the mess that usually accompanies them.

If follow these steps, I get all of that and a Snickers Ice Cream bar as a special reward.

Responses to this drivel: 85 Comments
11
Jul

Who makes up your Personal Beauty Army?

CHILL. I’m not asking cos I’m nosy, or because I want to steal them.

Yes I am.

Sorry.

After writing up a delightful beauty space earlier this week, one which I have decided has become part of my Melbourne Personal Beauty Army (a very specific appearance-based army focused on grooming and maintenance) I realised I still had a way to go in terms of my Melbourne PBA.

Like, just say I can’t shimmy back to Sydney to have Lien Davies masterfully, lovingly tend to my eyebrows for six weeks (I’m at seven and counting, things are getting tense) – who will do them?

[Just on Lien, she has released a fantastic ebook called How To Create Your Ultimate Brow Shape At Home – complete with How To videos and a mountain of gorgeous illustrations and photos. Yes, I see the irony of promoting her DIY Brow Shape book in the same paragraph as detailing my desire for a new professional brow shaper. Shut up.]

And what if I need a spray tan? FOR GOD’S SAKE WHAT IF I NEED A SPRAY TAN.

I don’t even have a hairdresser down here. Still pop up to Barney Martin for my hairs. (Finally getting my ‘underlights‘ put in this Saturday. Thinking very hard about installing a fringe as I do every now and again, but then remember do not have Jane Birkin’s hair texture/lack of cowlicks and am forbidden.)

 

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Jane Birkin arrogantly showing off her great hair texture and terrific fringe.

Anyway.

As I mentioned the other day, the way a dame generally finds her PBA is via word of mouth. And what better use of the comments section than for us to all share our PBAs? Let’s use our keyboards as our mouths, and our eyes as our ears and our teeth as our teeth! (In case we’re eating almonds.)

Just before we begin, let’s clarify the Personal Beauty Army Code.

To be considered a member of ones’s PBA, one must be not only reliable, talented, honest, skilled, pleasant to be around and offer better results than any other in their field, but they must thinly skate the line between being too good to share with others, and so good they must be shared with others”

Probably most women have a hairdresser, waxer and facialist in their PBA, but those who are slightly more invested in their physical upkeep, or who may be in a profession which demands a higher level of personal grooming, may also occasionally employ spray tanners, massage therapists, manicurists/pedicurists, eyebrow shapers, Botox injectors, dentists (for Invisalign/whitening, say), makeup artists for special occasions and of course, an ear polisher.

So, share!

Go right ahead and share. First clearly list which city you live in, and then list the members/salons of your PBA. And don’t be all greedy and keep some for yourselves. This is the sisterhood we’re immersed in here, we need to help each other out.

Just think, maybe one day your job as a Nanotechnological Bioinformatics System Integrations Researcher might see you transferred to Wollongong, and wouldn’t it be nice to know where to get some decent highlights when you arrive? Yes. It would be splendid.

In a perfect world, this post will become a kind of Little Black Book for Excellent Australian Beauty Services, where you can type in a search word (such as “Burleigh Heads”) and then just find the waxer of your dreams instantly…

So I dare to dream big. Sue me*.

A VERY HANDY HINT: Press Control F (“find”) and type in the city or state you’re looking for.

*Please don’t sue me.

Responses to this drivel: 327 Comments
09
Jul

Where to get a facial (and wax) in Melbourne.

Although I have (half) lived in Melbourne for three and a half years, I did not have a “beauty salon” until a couple of weeks back. Oh sure, I would have the occasional facial here and there, at spas like Isika and Aurora and the like, and look, they’re lovely places, but you need to have an ongoing relationship with your facialist, I think. And your waxer. Something a bit more… personal.

Ysee, these women become part of your Personal Beauty Army, they’re their for you when your skin starts being bitchy and needs a good talking to, they guide you towards magnificent skin when you have a big event coming up, and they don’t judge you when you finally step in for a bikini wax after months of “playing ’70s.”

Obviously I have a complete and shimmering Personal Beauty Army in my hometown of Sydney, but now that I am kind of based in Melbourne (“Taking winter seriously since 1788!”) I wanted to find one here. And you’d be forgiven for thinking a beauty writer might have a myriad of choices, but really it comes down to word of mouth, this stuff, doesn’t it?  A personal recommendation.

And so it is that I discovered MADE. Beauty Space in Hawthorn. I had driven (yes, that’s right, even despite all those frightening trams and terrifying hook turns) past it and noticed it a couple of times, which I have since decided was a sign. So when a friend recommended it to me, it took me about 0.02 hours to book an appointment.

 

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Now, get ready, because this is one of those paragraphs that is better suited to, I don’t know, a terrible furniture catalogue or a first time salon reviewer or something.

As soon as I walked into the beauty space, as it were, I felt calm. It was simple, chic, cosy. Soft exposed bricks and polished concrete floors balanced out vivid flowers and wild, colourful art. It was small, too, but there’s nothing wrong with small. In fact, my two most beloved facialists in the world each operate in a One Room Salon, and it delights me. Something about it feels so private, and secretive and like you’ve entered someone’s (a very stylish, feminine nurturing someone’s) personal sanctuary, and they’re about to dedicate it entirely to making you look and feel wonderful. I like it.

All done, thanks for hanging in there.

So Stacey Burt, one of the owners alongside Richie Angelo (I must say, I do very much like the name Richie on a dame) warmly greeted me in the wait area/reception bit, and I began gushing about the decor and the art, and the water jugs, just being a really understated cool guy, then she showed me through to my treatment room, one of only two rooms in the joint, both as stylishly set up as each other with fun little colourful rugs, and old industrial style trolleys for the towels and so on, and lovely cosy warm brown/latte and white blankets.

I felt a bit like I was in The Design Files version of a beauty salon, basically.

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What followed was maybe the most non-hurty and thorough wax I’ve ever had, (small sections is the key) and absolutely zero judging when I quietly asked for my ladystache to also please quickly be tended to. Oh COME ON! We all have them. Better off than on.

Then, the facial. A magnificent, first-class, energetic and nourishing Sodashi Thermal Infusion facial (you all know my thoughts on Australian chemical free skincare brand Sodashi by now) and this particular facial is fantastic when your skin is looking a bit meh, or you have something on in the next couple of days, and you’d like a face that is lovingly plumped up, and saturated with moisture and glow. I could tell Stacey was a pro not because, she literally is a professional, which is where the term “pro” is derived, but also because I fell deeply, gloriously asleep during the wonderful extended massagey bit. I always reckon this is where you can tell if your facialist is good, for the record. Consultation time is also important, but the way they massage, the energy and skill they apply, that’s what separates them from the rest.

 

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All shitfaced with relaxation, I had a bit of a chat to the two girls (who met while training back in their native NZ over a decade ago) before leaving, and proceeded to fall for them and MADE. just that little bit harder. They care deeply about their clients, but also about the skincare they use on them, they’ve been in the biz long enough to know what Not To Do with a salon, or treatments, and that’s almost more important than knowing What To Do, in my opinion.

They have a genuinely grounded, holistic, intelligent perspective on skin, which is why they painstakingly chose the organic actives (Sodashi, Sans Ceuticals) they use, and strong/effective (O Cosmedics) line they did. I accidentally spent 20 minutes chatting to Stacey during my treatment about skin care, which ones I love, which ones she loves, why she chose the brands she did, but then, when it came to the massage, she just gently, politely stopped answering and talking, which is the most elegant way to tell a client to shut up and relax possible. Bravo.

They’ve only been open a few months, but are tremendously busy, which on the surprise level, was around the “not at all” level for me. Seems like these girls really have got it MADE!!!!

As if I was going to finish there. Give me some Godamn credit.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact there is THREE hour parking on the street (a small but big thing, it’s not that fun thinking about parking tickets when you’re mid-treatment, and yes Mum, I really did just write that sentence), or that there was zero chance of Enya being played, because they just stream cool shit from Spotify through to their wireless Sonos speakers (I only know what all of those words mean because we recently bought Sonos speakers for our home and they are BRILLIANT), and so I was treated to The Lumineers, and Sia and Bonobo and Cinematic Orchestra, and that made me real happy, because my brain always pays way too much attention to what music is playing during facials or massages, and if it sucks, well, I notice.

Things shouldn’t suddenly become naff, and pink and frilly, or sterile and clinical or daggy and ’80s just because you have decided to look after your skin and body. And amazingly, this exact thing happens all the time. I have no idea why so many beauty salons insist on subscribing to this horrible and outdated idea of making you feel like you’re, well, in a beauty salon.  MADE. Beauty Space feels and looks like a beautiful, stylish little home, and I reckon any of you will be bloody thrilled should you visit.

 

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Responses to this drivel: 30 Comments