Tag Archives: Australia

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. 

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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!

Moisturisers

  

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.

Cleansers

  

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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Product review: redken diamond oil

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I’m a firm believer that hair colour is a journey, not a destination. The plus side is having has pretty much every shade of the rainbow in my hair. It looks cheerful, it’s fun.

The downside is that there are time like now where I need to give my hair some downtime or it really will fall out.

(Quick recap, in the last three month my hair has been dark blonde, light blonde, a mixture of pink and turquoise, pure turquoise, mint green, white blonde, hot pink and now it’s black again….. Whew)

I’ve got a great protein treatment that I work with to keep my hair happy and as healthy as possible during my madness, but they’re not nourishing enough to give your hair the dose of hydration it needs to keep it soft and shiny.

Enter diamond oil.

I originally bought the treatment

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Which looks like this. I was hooked. My super thick, frizzy and frazzled hair would feel super soft and nourished after a mere five minutes with this baby in. The trick is to scoop out slightly less than you think you’ll need. It feels sort of firm in the jar, but it literally melts into your hair like butter. Amazing. Plus it smells great.

I’ve heard feedback from people with rather fine hair that this product is simply too heavy, which I feel is a fair response. I would avoid it if your hair is also naturally quite oily unless you’re targeting damaged ends as it will weigh your hair down and make the oiliness worse. This product is designed for dry, damaged, thicker hair… Otherwise I would recommend the conditioner instead. This isn’t a cheap treatment, but it goes a long way and it does wonders.

After being addicted to the treatment, I ended up buying the actual oil as well to care for the ends of my hair extensions. The oil is fairly lightweight but, again, a little goes a long way and a few drops is more than enough.

This oil is a jack of all trades, you can use it instead of your Argan oil to make your hair glossy and soft after styling. You can dowse your hair in if before washing to keep your shampoo from stripping it dry if it’s especially damaged. You can sleep with a double or triple dose as a nourishing overnight treatment, you can even add a few drops to your conditioner to turn it into a hair treatment.

It’s fantastic value and comes in a beautiful glass bottle shaped like a diamond with a glass dropper. The main negative feedback I’ve heard is that the button on the dropper eventually stops working and pouring it out is wasteful as you’ll always have too much. The other problem is, obviously, the fact the bottle is glass…. Being so breakable is not a great way to make this portable for overnight trips or for us stylists.

Overall I would give the products a 4/5. They’re fairly good value, work the way they’re meant to but the price is unattainable for some people plus the packaging could use a few tweaks. I would recommend only for people who need the moisture and have hair thick enough to absorb the oils, otherwise redken have some other great products like the “all soft” range which is less heavy going.

Products to watch Jan-April 2014

There are so many exciting products on offer at the moment! whether they’re holiday limited edition collections that are still floating around or products that I’m anxiously awaiting the release of, here’s my list of must have products for this season.

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Riri heart MAC holiday collection– Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in 2x Dare
My dear friend Holly gave me this palette as a birthday present (which means I received it 5 days early!!) due to her amazing job at MAC Cosmetics. I am usually more of a matte shadow person because I find the colour payoff usually isn’t as good with pearlescent or glittery shadows or that they tend to crease up after a little wear. I wore this to a rock show lately and was pleasantly surprised with not only the colour payoff, but how absolutely exquisite the colours are. They shine with a multitude of iridescent undertones that change with the light. I am in love with this palette. The only downside? it’s a limited edition only release….

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Clinique A Different Nail Enamel For Sensitive Skins

I don’t know about you guys, but as an infrequent sufferer of eczema, this has on occasion made it difficult to paint my nails. Normally, I would just resign myself to the knowledge that it would be gone in a few days and just leave it alone, but it’s nice to know that for long time sufferers of sensitive skin, there is a nail polish that you can use that won’t flare up any skin conditions or cause an onset of contact dermatitis. Like all Clinique products, you know this has been tested  by a team of dermatologists and this peace of mind alone makes it worth trying. As for the cons, there’s a limited colour choice and I’ve heard mixed reviews about the colour payoff. I’d pick a colour you’re likely to wear often and keep it as a backup if you’re one who suffers from sensitivity.

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Limecrime Velvetines- the Clueless Witch Collection

When I heard this collection was being launched a few days ago, I kind of made this weird strangled noise in the back of my throat. It’s no secret that I LOVE the velvetines range. This new collection, also affectionately referred to as the “gothatines” offers a dark berry red not unlike MAC lipstick in Diva called “wicked”, a deep brown shade called “Salem” and, my favourite, a matte black lip colour, a game changer for the industry. Glossy blacks are available from time to time within various cosmetics companies depending on fashion, otherwise using a gel liner or eye pencil has always been the only real path to a clean black lip. Now we finally have a matte black lip stain for all our sartorial needs. I’m buying ten.

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Limecrime velvetine in Black Velvet.

The new Velvetines range launches in March.

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Clarins 3 dot liner
I saw an advert for this in the Australian Elle magazine about 3 days ago and instantly walked to a Clarins counter to give this product a try. The tip looks odd, like a highlighter with wedges cut out of it, so you expect it to be quite firm and difficult to move… it’s actually very flexible and easily creates a wafer thin line just as it can create a bold, 60s style “come hither” liner. The real feature that makes this product special though, is that it’s three points enable you to wiggle them in between the top lashes to create a tightlined effect without the risk of blinding yourself (it’s fast drying, unlike many liquid liners) or the discomfort of trying to reach a liner brush or eye pencil onto your top waterline in the hopes of making your lashes look thicker and eliminating that annoying little gap of nude looking skin you often find when doing your liner too quickly.

Photoshoot with Jess Mm and Mark Hillyer!

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Photography: Mark Hillyer
Model: Jess Mm
Make-up/hairstyling: Molotov Pigtails Hairstyling and Make-up.

This was a really fun shoot to undertake. I initially drew inspiration from Andy Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe, though what resulted was a little more special.

Jess is an absolutely gorgeous model and very fun and easygoing- in short, amazing to work with. Mark likes to think outside the box. Together, we deviated from the original plans and decided to make this more bubblegum editorial. Something surreal, yet still tangible and identifiable.

The make-up took a ridiculously long time as I had to colour match the contours, highlights and foundation in an airbrush to a bizarre shade of bubblegum. Jess looked sunburnt until the eyeliner was applied near the end of the application. Glamorous. However, she was an extremely good sport as I styled a waist-length wig into a pseudo bob and fiddled with the base colour until it looked right.

Thanks so much to both of you for your extreme patience and creativity that you added to a half-baked concept I brought in to you both.

What do you think of the shots? let me know below.

xx

Where have I been? Plus dandy andy

….Well, actually, a few job interviews. My computer has been in and out of repair for the last six odd weeks and I’ve had a few jobs which for various reasons I will not be sharing on my blog.

This Sunday (the 21st of July), I will be working with my good friend Ashley on a Film Noir style short film. She will be styling (major wardrobe envy!) and I’ll have the task of creating beautiful 40s style hair and makeup looks on the actors.

Next Saturday (the 27th of July) I shall be shooting with Mark Hillyer and Jessica M to create some interesting art together. Several looks and I’m posting my inspiration board to Pinterest, so take a peek. However, I can safely say that one main look I’m hoping to acheive is inspired (not a blatant copy! I despise plagiarism!) by Andy Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Harry and countless other people and inanimate objects he screen printed during his time in The Factory.

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This is very personal to me. Andy Warhol is one of my idols. He created an artistic space for so many people and revolutionised high art by refusing to conform to it… or to create his own brand of high art. I want to be someone who can turn the ordinary into high art and make the already fantastic into tangible, memorable, iconic pieces of artwork. So hopefully I’ll be able to pay homage in a way that I feel is appropriate.

In any case, I’m still alive and will hopefully be posting more often now that I’m -touch wood- using a computer that works once more.

XXX