Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcoming winter

It's now midway through Autumn and a slight chill fills the air as Summer gently slips away. After I spent almost a decade living in the hot Middle Eastern desert, it's rather nice to experience the change of seasons, as much as I dislike the cold, and Winter does have it's advantages; family ski trips, heartwarming food, snuggly Ugg boots, mulled wine, and hot baths. Nevertheless, I really can't bring myself to say 'bring on Winter' with much gusto!

However, I did find myself contemplating a hot bath last night - I was discouraged by the fact that the tub needed a clean first - far too much work. But the prospect of using some of my favourite bath products might bring me around today.

Olivina Fig Bubble Bath smells absolutely, luxuriously amazing. And the bottle looks fabulous on any bathroom shelf. $49.95 from Saison.

Philosophy shower gel and bubble bath smells delicious and is my daughter's favourite - the indulgent, long lasting fragrance fills the bathroom with delectable strawberry fragrance. $38.00 from Mecca Cosmetica. 

Shu Uemera Pleasure of Japanese Bath. From the bathing capital of the world, this divine smelling bath oil will turn the water white, so don't be alarmed! The oils won't make your skin greasy and the lovely fragrance clings to the skin all day. Sakura, or Cherry Blossom is my favourite fragrance and after hunting them down high and low buy over the internet I finally found them for sale at David Jones, Bondi for about $40.00.

Cowshed - Horny Cow Seductive Bath & Shower Gel. Yes, you read it correctly, this saucy bath and shower gel has a floral, spicy blend that will get you in the mood. Or, if you just want something that smells fabulous and is especially warming during those wintry months, then try this. The combination of patchouli, cinnamon and rose absolute is like a big warm hug and a hot cup of cocoa.

Do you have a favourite bubble bath or shower gel?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love the fresh fragrances from your garden?

Every time I walk up my front stairs to my house, I take a deep breath and savour the beautiful smells of jasmin, mint and gardenia all jumbled together in a mother nature cocktail for the senses. During summer I'll just leave the front door ajar so the lovely smells waft in and fill my home with fragrance, but if I am looking for a scent to really permeate through the house I turn towards candles.

Vine tomato...
 Wild mint...
Rosemary and eucalyptus...
Lemon tree...
Apple blossom...

These are just some of the extraordinary fragrances of True Grace candles, with whom, just quietly, I possess a burning desire...burning, ha!

True Grace are handmade in Wiltshire, England and use a special formulation of clean burning 100% Natural wax, derived from Rapeseed Wax, Beeswax and a secret ingredient. So if you have a sensitive nose then these are the candles for you.

The candles in the tins are part of the Walled Garden range and are designed so that you can use the tin afterwards - pops some herbs inside and watch 'em grow.

True Grace is available to order online from

Do you have a favourite candle fragrance?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My skincare secret (shared by millions)

Everyone knows that SKII skincare is amazing, Cate Blanchett says so, and the key to it's success is an ingredient called Pitera.

Pitera who?

Pitera is the name for a by-product of yeast fermentation and its skin smoothing properties were discovered when visiting a Japanese sake brewery - although the faces of the women working there became wrinkled with age, their hands remained soft and smooth - from being in constant contact with the sake fermentation.

Pitera contains a natural collection of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids that help restore the skin's natural rhythm by stimulating its renewal process.

Okay, so what does that really mean for my skin? Well, having used it for six months I can can say that skin breakouts have reduced - production of sebum is more balanced - and I've noticed this particularly in my T-Zone.  My skin is more radiant and my complexion is more even - although the freckles won't budge.

SKII Facial Treatment Essence

My skin is already quite dry so the Facial Treatment Essence wasn't quite right for my skin - too much of a good thing? I do still use it from time to time, but only when my skin feels a bit oily.

SKII Cellumination

Alternatively, the SKII Cellumination range was perfect for me and I apply it every evening. The Cellumination range contains another special cocktail known as the Aura Bright Complex - Centella asiatica extract, Nicotinamide W and the concentrated Pitera, to refine the skin texture and even out discolouration.

Nicotinamide helps reduce acne which explains my less frequent breakouts whilst Centella asiatic is healing and rejuvenating.

The ONLY drawback to SKII is the serious dent it will make in your wallet! Although,  used once a day, the regular size jars will last you around 6 months.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Want to buy salon quality hair care at the supermarket?

Erm...yes...and now you can with Pantene and Wella combining forces to redefine the art of haircare with their new Clinicare range! More powerful than a bowl of All Bran topped with prunes, Clinicare repairs and revitalises to restore shine, smoothness and moisture levels.

During a recent trip to my hairdresser du jour, Barney Martin my hair was given a Clinicare treatment boost, and an absolutely thrilling head massage I might add. Here is a picture of afters...

Hair is smooth and behaving itself with some lovely bouncy curls.

Here is my hair before...

Ahh.. the lady mullet. The eighties - a decade that has given us so much.

Not to mention the damage that all that colouring, backcombing and frizzing is doing to mullet-lady. Here's what the experts say about Clinicare: Tony Pearce, Pantene Specialist Trichologist says “Like skin, the health and quality of hair changes over time. This may be due to a combination of life’s everyday stresses as well as our body’s individual ageing process. Just like your skin, you need to use products which address the needs of ageing hair – with the Nano Technology in Pantene Clinicare you can do just this.”

So if you want hair that doesn't look as old as the eighties, try out this new range today.

Pantene Clinicare Micro-Repair Revitalising Shampoo: $14.95 / 250ml
Pantene Clinicare Micro-Repair Revitalising Conditioner: $14.99 / 250ml
Pantene Clinicare Micro-Repair Revitalising Rinse Off Treatment: $19.95 / 5 x 15mL

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top two creams for soft smooth hands

Did you know that the regular use of hand cream can attenuate skin dryness and roughness caused by frequent hand washing? See, there's a study - a bunch of people washed their hands four times a day then applied hand cream afterwards - an appealing thought for the OCD inclined.

So having several hand creams in my bathroom, one on my bedside table, one in the car, and one in my desk is purely justified, right? Besides, after watching Black Swan I am firmly committed to avoiding a disturbing moment with a wayward cuticle. 

Here are my two current favourite hand creams:

Olivina hand cream
$19.95 from Saison

Shea butter, olive and grapeseed oils with a long lasting zesty orange peel fragrance - this hand cream is delicious.

Antipodes Deliverence Kowhai Flower Hand Cream. 
Available from David Jones / Myer or visit:

The little Kowhai tree, native to New Zealand has natural healing properties making it a fantastic component in hand cream.

All to do now is splash on a layer of Essie Sew Psyched - a soft sage-pewter and the autumn must-have colour.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vogue: probably the best cleanser in the world. Here's why.

If you haven't heard about Eve Lom cleanser, you have either zero interest in beauty products - in which case why are you reading this? - or you have been living in an underground bunker with Brendan Fraser for the past 25 years learning French.

But let's forget French because this little baby was cooked in England.

What makes it good?
Eve Lom cleanser rages against the bacteria machine with four super-powered oils - chamomile, clove, eucalyptus and hops. Chamomile is very calming and fantastic for inflamed skin - that would be me.  The eucalyptus and clove oils are natural antiseptics and give the cleanser it's distinct aroma. Hops extract - yes the same hops used in beer making - is antimicrobial and works as a natural preservative.

As a result, this cleanser is particularly good for skin prone to breakouts and ever since I started using this cleanser 8 months ago I have seen a significant improvement in my skin - no more breakouts!

Just quietly
The method of application outlined in the intructions is a little time consuming - rubbing the cleanser all over your face for ages and ages and then holding the warm wet muslin cloth to your face for 5 seconds.  If your the Queen of Shortcuts, like me, you'll be pleased to know that I've had just as much success by fast tracking the exfoliation step and then skipping direct to the muslin stage - bad girl.

Other excellent facts: will get rid of all your makeup - thanks to mineral oil and cocoa seed butter, and can be used just once a day, nightly which will make it last longer - money doesn't grow on trees! One tub will last me around 4 months.

Where to buy Eve Lom
$115 from Mecca Cosmetica

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Balayage: when you want colour but are too lazy to maintain it.

S'been a while hasn't it little blog-child. Have you moved on and shacked up with some other, more frequent blogger? I have to admit, I half expected my login denied and the words 'traitor' scrawled across the page in bright red lipstick. But, no, you want to know what I have been up to all this time, don't you? Well....the stories I can life is a hotbed of scandal.

Not biting?

Oh ok, I'll tell you about my Barney Martin Balayage and mother-daughter model moment with SHOP Girl Magazine.

There are two things that I enjoy about a visit to the hairdresser - great customer service and a hair dresser that listens to your odd little hair angst issues. Barney Martin hairdressing in Surry Hills has both of these and I was thrilled to recently receive the summer hair must-have - balayage.

Balayage is made for me - it's the lazy girls answer to highlights - lovely sun-bleached looking hair that requires zero maintenance.

Here is the day after pictures, which happily coincided with a photo shoot for SHOP Girl magazine, rah rah. I dressed my daughter, she dressed me. We braided our hair and ate chocolate brownies....No really. The  girls at STYD have found the best chocolate brownie is Sydney and they're also so loooovely words just can't describe.

Apart from my devastatingly cute little daughter, what's your thoughts on the balayage? Looks natural? During my last visit to Barney Martin's, my hairdresser, Carl has since become quite the balayage expert and we talked about a more extreme balayage scheduled for my next visit - watch out.