All posts by molotovpigtails

Melbourne based hairstylist and make-up artist, Molotov Pigtails affordable services for weddings, debs, editorial, film and television. Contact via email for rates and full list of services.

How to fall head over heels with your hometown

As I touched on briefly in an earlier post, life threw me a curveball last year and I made the move back from Melbourne to Adelaide.

I think most of us start to feel tired of the city we live in once the magic wears off of it being a new place. I remember the fairy dust vibes of Melbourne when I had first moved there versus the state of normalcy I felt when I left, nearly a decade later. 

Having come back home, I’ve had an opportunity to see what has changed and to revisit places I hadn’t been to in years and years and I realised with each growing day that I was starting to really love my home again.

Here’s how to make your home feel new and magical in your eyes all over again:

Go to the places you enjoyed as a child

While this may be initially quite depressing when you’ve realised that many places are either: a) not as big as you remembered, b) old and worn out or c) not even there anymore, this is probably the most interesting way to rediscover your sense of childlike fun and interesting spots with a new perspective. Find the fairs by the beach, the weekend markets your mum dragged you to as a child on Sunday mornings, the playground where you hung out with your high school boyfriend so you could make out without judgement… whatever. Find the places with emotional significance and remember how you felt. The thing about having a history in certain places is that it ties you to your home irrevocably and gives you somewhere to share these milestones and moments with the people you love.

Visit every tourist spot you possibly can

Do it over several days. Visit each place on a day off or a weekend when you’re bored and ran out of things to watch on Netflix. Looking at museums and galleries and really seeing what your city has to offer is an eye opener. For example, I only realised fairly recently that the art gallery of South Australia has a hieronymous Bosch piece. I had taken the museums and galleries and places I had visited for granted and stopped truly seeing what was there. Becoming a tourist again is an important way to find the heart and soul of your home. Visit both the natural landmarks and the man made ones and you’ll be surprised at how much there is to do and see.

Find new watering holes to visit

Aim to try a different cafe, restaurant or bar until you find some that you truly love. The routine of having the same places that you eat or drink or hang out at can be comforting but also monotonous. You may find your new favourite hangout or brunch spot. Yes, I said brunch. You can take the hipster out of Melbourne, but…

Take photos of the places you take for granted 

There’s two reasons for this really. The first is that redevelopment happens constantly and they may no longer exist in the future. The second is that by treating every space as an Instagram worthy affair, you can actually see those places with those rose tinted glasses again. 

For example, I had a mini iPhone photo shoot at both the local botanical gardens and in Chinatown and saw the beauty that I had been missing for years:

It’s important to love your home and feel like you’re proud of and connected to the place you choose to live. Life feels like an exciting adventure when you can find new sources of fun and mystery and beauty. 


On Girl friendships, the importance of saying “I love you”- how to find your Girl gang.

One thing that really stands out for me in my adult life is the dramatic shift of balance between friendships. Comparing my relationships now to the ones I had in high school is near impossible because they simply don’t resemble each other.  

We as women have society dictate so much to us; how to look, eat, exercise… but mostly, how to judge ourselves and judge others. You don’t have to go far to see headlines on magazines critiquing celebrity relationships or bodies or bitchy memes attacking other girls’ makeup skills or slut shaming them. We call the practice of destroying other women’s self esteem ͞clapping back͟ as though their mere existence is so offensive to us that our condemnation is a response, rather than an attack.  

This brings me to our close female friendships. We’re so reliant on our judgements that we pass on others and ourselves that it effects our interpersonal relationships. How can we truly love ourselves without a village of people who support us and love us too? And how can we love others when we treat our day to day lives and accomplishments as a competitive sport? Life is not a pissing contest.  

You don’t get a prize for how many boxes you tick on social media bingo, but you do feel an immense sense of reward when you find your tribe to come home to after every uphill battle, breakup and every good moment like a pregnancy or a promotion.  LI have been so fortunate that despite my headache of a year in 2016, I’ve had a group of loving and supportive people around me who have continued to help me grow when I was able and to carry my
crosses with me when I was at low points. Here is quick how-to guide for adult friendships:  

1. Do not be friends with people who judge you.

This may seem like common sense, yet this is something many women struggle with. If you
feel like your friends would judge you for your life choices, your appearance or your tastes,  they’re not your friends. You do not need to live your life as a series of confessions, but if you feel like you need to lie or hide facets of yourself which you hold dear, you need to leave
that relationship. Pronto. Its unhealthy. 

2. Say ͚I love you͛. Mean it.

This is something we all need. We all want to feel like we have people around us who love
and accept us and who care about us. Friendship is not a one way street. If you feel like you are being cared for, express it. Show thanks and gratefulness when people help you or show small acts of kindness and consideration.  

3. Show an interest.

I find it easy to make friends and maintain friendships. Often, I’m baffled as to why people who I think are so interesting, intelligent, attractive or talented would want to spend time with me so I actually asked one of my close friends. I was told “you actually stay in touch with me”. We all want to be texted first or invited somewhere, yet none of us want the  awkwardness involved in the act of inviting someone for a coffee or sending them a text.  

Everyone finds it awkward or stressful and fears that they are the person who’s too keen.
You’re probably not. Keeping in contact and showing an interest is so easy, yet makes such a difference.

4. Do not judge others

The things which matter to us in our lives and we discuss with our friends are usually our romantic relationships, careers and families. These are sacred ground and we use our friends
as a sounding board when things aren’t going great or to express excitement. As a result, we
often polarise the image we show others. How many times have you had an argument with
your S/O and vented to your friend only to have the negativity pass and your friend now hates your partner. It’s important to vent about things when they’re bothering you, but likewise remember that your friends do the same. You can offer advice, but it’s never your
place to get involved in other people’s relationships or jobs or to punish them as a result. If
you decide to be horrible to your friend’s partner or boss, you’re sabotaging their lives instead of being supportive. Let them make their decisions and support them through them
and you will be offered the same.  

5. Realise that your different relationships will fill different roles and so will you in their lives.

We all have different friends which we enjoy doing different things with. We have friends
who we enjoy going on a night out with, some which you will binge watch trash tv and talk
with at home, many who fall somewhere in between with, a ride-or-die (or two if you’re  lucky) and the people who you go to for advice as well. You also have a role in which other
people place you. Some people will be happy to hang out at home with you but don’t seem
to invite you out when they’re partying. This doesn’t mean that you’re boring or they don’t
like you, it means that they value your time most when you’re at home and eating pizza and
marathoning stranger things. Some friends enjoy the weird mundane daytime adventures
where you start with a coffee date but somehow, inexplicably end up at Ikea. Some friends
are people who you adore and have known for years, yet somehow only get in touch when
something important happens and will drop everything for each other in a time of crisis. All
of these relationships hold an equal value, but we can’t be everything to everyone and we
cannot expect that same standards from others either. Being free from jealousy makes your
time together happier and your load a little lighter when you’re staring at the ceiling at 3am
after deciding to drink an evening coffee (again).  

6. Remember that you are not in competition.

Not with your friends, not with anyone. Life is not a contest. Do not compare yourself to
your friends because you perceive them as being prettier, more successful, etc. We all have
things we admire in others but it doesn’t somehow mean that you yourself do not possess
admirable traits as well. One person’s beauty or intelligence or talent does not exist at the
absence of yours. Cut out people who make you feel like you’re in competition and resist the
urge to be jealous.

Remember, every good girl gang is based on a foundation of mutual respect and awesomeness. 

Hi everyone

Hi everybody!

After a long absence, I’ve decided to rebrand the MOLOTOV PIGTAILS blog.

In the year or so since I’ve last updated, my life has been turned upside down. I left my long term partner, moved interstate and found my girl tribe and ride or dies along the way.

I’ve always loved blogging, but I want a blog that is more closely aligned with my interests and views and reflects better on my own lifestyle. I will keep all of my makeup posts on the site as they are still read occasionally, but my content will be opened up to many varieties of topics.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey, I can’t wait for what’s coming next.

XX Keelie

Wella stylevision 2016!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to do makeup for Ryan brown from joey scandizzo salons and his entry for the wella stylevision competition. I am pleased to announce that our work was shortlisted to the top 10 nationally and, as a result, we will be going through to the finals to recreate this look again and hopefully onwards to overseas if all goes well.
You can find Ryan’s amazing hair work herehere.

The Molotov pigtails guide to skincare for sensitised skin. Part II- moisturisers

This is the second part to my list of reviews of various skincare products I’ve used on my dry, sensitive and breakout prone skin. Enjoy!



Clarins daily energiser cream-gel

As mentioned in my previous post, I used to work under the clarins group, but I actually bought this when I was repurchasing the cleansing milk to qualify for a gift with purchase (I’m not the only one who has done this). It was recommended to me on counter as it was within my price range, targeted for my skin type and age group and I quite liked the consistency.

This product is available as both a cream and a gel cream, and I opted for the gel as it was more lightweight for summer. 

I had no issues with sensitivity or breakouts, but it wasn’t as hydrating as I would have hoped and I found that it made my skin feel a little sticky after application, but that would fade away after half an hour or so. It looks beautiful under makeup, but it wasn’t fantastic for my skin. It’s probably better for a normal skin type than my dehydrated skin and it’s nice and lightweight. The price is also right as it was around $40AUD.

Kiehl’s ultra facial cream

I was given a deluxe sample of this by a friend who works at kiehl’s who was concerned about my sensitivity. 

This product was really hydrating and very gentle. It feels beautiful on the skin and looks great under makeup. I had a mild breakout, but this was also during my first few weeks of trying my clarisonic and when I tried it again later, I didn’t have that issue so I think it was more of an issue with the initial breakouts you get with a clarisonic and less to do with the formulation. This is a product I would use again as it’s economical to buy and a good all rounder.

Clinique dramatically different moisturising lotion +

This is another old faithful of mine. The consistency is very lightweight and it smoothes out and soothes the skin almost instantly. I prefer it in the summer as I need a more heavy duty moisturiser in the cooler months, but I can’t really fault this product except for the slight sheen that it leaves on the skin for a couple of hours afterwards.

It’s beautiful under makeup but I honestly would only use this with the rest of the Clinique 3 step products, where I feel it works best.

Creme de la mer moisturising cream

I was given a couple of samples of this by the beautiful girl from la met after we got talking about my quest for the perfect moisturiser.

This moisturiser was amazing on my skin, but it’s very rich and I realised quickly that a little goes a long way. The consistency is quite firm initially and it sort of melts onto the skin once it’s warmed by your body heat, so it’s better to leave on the back of your hand for a couple of moments before applying unless you’re having a mid winter dry skin crisis and really need the extra product.

The price made my eyes water though, so I never repurchased it and, while it was lovely, it isn’t lovely enough for me to justify the price tag when there are a lot of other wonderful moisturisers on the market.

Laura Mercier infusion de rose nourishing creme

I fell in love with this moisturiser when it came out. It’s very rich and heavy, but feels feather soft on the skin and is incredibly hydrating. It also smells divine, just like rose water. 

I had no issues with my skin whatsoever using this product as it’s designed for all skin types and marketed towards “stressed” skin. It’s not cheap, but a wonderful moisturiser to have in your arsenal.


Laura Mercier infusion de rose nourishing oil

This, on the other hand, hated me. The fragrance made my skin irritated and sad. I broke out, I got a rash on my cheekbones and it added an unwanted sheen to my skin. I was devastated, I really wanted to love this product but it simply wasn’t meant to be.

I would recommend this oil for more mature skin, or dry skin which isn’t sensitive or even a combination to oily skin type instead of a night cream. A cool feature of this product is that you’re able to add a few drops of it to any other moisturiser to turn it into a night cream or treatment, just make sure you’ve checked your skin for irritation first.


Natio badescu hyaluronic day cream 

I trialled this recently as I needed a new moisturiser, but didn’t have a huge budget for it.

This cream is hydrating, but not overly rich. It’s lightweight and absorbs in quickly, which is great under makeup, and it also smoothes out the skin slightly. Your skin will be natural, not dewy, after it settles into the skin, which is great for those who have more combination skin and don’t want to look shiny.

I like this product, but I don’t love it. It does it’s job, but doesn’t improve the skin by any means. It doesn’t irritate or break me out, which is fantastic, but it’s an ok moisturiser, not a great one.

Mario badescu seaweed night cream

I bought this with the hyaluronic day cream. It’s nice and affordable, which is a plus when buying a night cream as they can be very expensive.

Again, this cream is probably better for normal or combination skin, even oily skin. It mattifies slightly and while it’s moisturising, it starts off sticky and takes an effort to really work it into the skin. It stops being sticky after a few minutes, then settles to a natural matte and smoothes the skin.

Again, no irritation or breakouts but, like the hyaluronic day cream, it was ok. It’s something I would buy when I have a lower budget, but not something I would buy if I was more cashed up and had better options available.

Laura Mercier repair eye serum

This is a game changer for eye serums. It’s super hydrating, non irritating and has an optical brightener so it actually slightly counters the appearance of dark eye circles and brightens. 

It’s made with argan oil as a key ingredient, but it’s not too rich or oily. It’s actually surprisingly light weight and I love using this.

Lancôme hydra zen neurocalm soothing anti-stress moisturising cream

I’ll give you a minute to recover from the ridiculously long name.

Ok, still there? Good. Stick around for this review.

This was the holy grail of moisturisers for me. It’s a beautiful consistency, not too heavy but not too light. It isn’t shiny, but gives a naturally dewy finish which glows under your makeup like you’ve been eating well and have an adequate amount of sleep. As I see the statistics of who views my posts, I know you’re not sleeping well because you guys are on my blog at 2am. You probably need this. 

A little goes a long way. The moment I applied it, I could almost hear a chorus of angels  because it starts soothing the skin straight away. It’s so comfortable and does everything it’s meant to do and more. I won’t start raving, but I would like to. 

What’s your favourite moisturiser? Leave me a comment!

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The Molotov pigtails guide to skincare for sensitised skin. Part I- cleansers.

I’ve always had difficulty finding skincare which works for my skin as I have very dry, sensitive skin but I’m also prone to hormonal breakouts (fun!). As a result, I’ve tried a lot of different cleansers, moisturisers and serums, oils and toners to see which works for me. Here is a list of products which I’ve used and some short reviews to accompany them, as you may find them helpful. I’m not sponsored by any skincare brands, so these are either products that I’ve bought myself or have been sampled by various counters. I’ll be breaking this segment into a few parts, so this is part I.



Clarins cleansing milk

I was working for a brand who was owned by the clarins group, so I was able to buy clarins skincare at a discounted price for a short while. In this time, I bought myself a small bottle of the cleansing milk and repurchased it again at a department store a few months later at the full size as I really liked it.

This cleanser is very gentle, quite moisturising and really smoothes out the skin, however I found better results using it with my clarisonic as I found that it didn’t really cleanse away leftover makeup or dead skin without the buffing motion of the clarisonic brush. 

In my opinion, this cleanser would be fantastic for extremely dehydrated skin, especially more mature skin, but if you wear a lot of makeup (like I did when I was working on makeup counters), you’ll need to invest in a heavy duty makeup remover or use a cleansing oil beforehand.

Shu uemura cleansing oil

I had some friends working at the shu uemura counter who were kind enough to give me a sample bottle of the cleansing oil (the green one, as they said it would work well with my skin type).

I have always loved shu uemura cleansing oil, but this was definitely more gentle than the original formula which I used a few years ago. It works beautifully to remove all traces of makeup and hydrates as it cleanses without making drying out the skin or adding a sheen of oily residue. I found I still need to moisturise quite a bit afterwards, as I have quite dry skin, but I encountered no sensitivity or breakouts as a result. 

Josie Maran argan cleansing oil

I bought a bottle of this product from MECCA around a year ago as I was searching for the perfect skincare. It was more hydrating than other cleansing oils I’ve used, but it was so sticky. The texture really put me off, especially as it’s really hard to rinse off because it’s the consistency of honey. It tastes foul and, unfortunately, tends to run onto your lips because it’s really sticky. 

However, it did a beautiful job of cleansing off all makeup and debris and also left my skin very hydrated, so I didn’t need to use heaps of moisturiser afterwards. I also didn’t have any issues with breakouts or sensitivity.

Sukin sensitive cleansing gel

I bought this from Priceline a couple of months ago as I really needed a new cleanser and was on a bit of a budget. It’s very cheap (under $10), so I didn’t have an issue with buying it without any knowledge of how it would work because I  wouldn’t have felt bad if I had an irritation and had to give it to someone else.

I use this with my clarisonic and find it works really beautifully with it. It’s by no means improved my skin texture, but it also hasn’t made my skin worse and I’ve had no reactions for it. Definitely a good budget buy.

Clinique mild liquid facial soap

I was a devotee of Clinique skincare for years, as a result of buying the three step for ages, there’s always a bottle of this laying around in my house which I’ll use when I run out of cleanser or in between brands.

This is a product that I always go back to. It’s very gentle, it cleanses well and I never have any bad reactions to using it. It’s also not a ground breaking formula, so while it does the job, it’s nothing special by itself. it works better with the entire three step and is probably one of the products you can substitute easily when using Clinique skincare without messing up your results. Nonetheless, it’s not too expensive, it works well and I will always have some handy in my bathroom.
Which cleansers would you recommend for dry/sensitive/angry skin? Leave me a comment below.
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New shots from a recent shoot!

Shot in the polly cocktail lounge.

Photography by Camilo Mateus, model is Jaquillyn Mariah, styling by styled by Pariss, hair and makeup by MOLOTOV pigtails hairstyling and makeup. 

The beauty industry is for “dumb” people.

So a lot of people seem to think that the beauty industry is for “dumb” people who “couldn’t do anything else with their lives”.
I ask those people if they’ve actually thought about what these jobs entail for a moment.
You need an understanding of biology to understand the structure of the skin, hair, nails etc and the proteins that they’re made out of and what substances will or won’t harm them. You need to understand what will or won’t blind or burn or irritate somebody before you put it on their body. You also need to know what that rash, lump or redness means and if it’s a contaminant that will effect your other clients… Much like a nurse.
You need an understanding of chemistry to understand which chemicals are irritants, how their properties effect the absorption of other compounds and which products will cause reactions amongst each other than can be harmful or helpful. You need to mix dangerous chemicals (especially in hairdressing and beauty) and know how to apply them to someone else’s body without seriously injuring them AND make it have a cosmetic effect.
You need an understanding of colour, both to enhance and to hide different physical afflictions on someone’s body. What will add something more beautiful and what will hide tiredness, a rash, a bruise, acne. What will make someone’s skin look less stressed and more youthful. What will suit different skin tones. What will hide age or illness.
You need an understanding of shapes and symmetry that will rival an architect or an engineer. How to make an optical illusion with things that are part of a physical body and hide perceived flaws to accentuate perceived goodness. You need to be precise with angles to make sure you do this properly… A millimetre is the difference between success and failure.
You need an understanding of psychology. Why someone wants to look a certain way, why someone is hesitant to change their appearance (and often identity or race) or embrace it. You need to understand how to read body language from a stranger and make sure they’re comfortable and listen to stories that you normally wouldn’t hear from someone you’ve just met.
You need to understand business. People will do anything to convince you that your work is worthless when you work eight to ten hour days on your feet. How to price yourself based on both time and materials and travel.
You need to be strong. You’re on your feet while people sit in an office, your arms will ache from having them up at someone else’s face or hair for hours of the day. Your back will be screaming after contorting yourself uncomfortably and your feet will be in agony most of your waking hours.
It’s not an easy job. It’s not a glamorous job either as you spend most of your day touching other people’s bodies and bodily fluids, oils and hair. It’s actually quite gross sometimes, but it is rewarding.
My question for you if, after all this, you still seem to think it’s a job for people of lesser intelligence: why do you allow people who you think are stupid to put things on your skin or eyes or trust them with scissors and volatile chemicals.

Instagram giveaway

I’m doing a giveaway on Instagram!
One lucky follower will win a sugarpill cosmetics Edward scissorhands palette and their new liquid lipstick, designed by my favourite merbabe Bei Badgirl in the shade trinket (which launches on Thursday!)

To enter, simply follow me on Instagram at @molotovpigtails,  repost this image and tag #molotovgiveaway
Entries close on February 28th and the winner will be chosen randomly via a random number generator. Keep your fingers crossed, and good luck!