Long time no speak I know… but believe me, it wasn’t out of choice! Unfortunately about a month ago my poor little blog got infected with some nasty malware bug 🙁 Of course it had to bloody happen whilst I was away in the UK and of course it had to be the first time that I had travelled anywhere WITHOUT my laptop. It has taken a bit of time since I’ve gotten back for it to get fully cleared up but luckily all my silly posts are safe and we are back up and running!
So apologies to anyone who was redirected to a site claiming they had won a million iPhones or a trip to Bali because sadly like most things on the net these days, it was a scam. One good thing that this experience has taught me is that no matter how small you think your website is, security is paramount! I’ve now got my very own watchers on the Pink Suede Wall (terrrrrrible GoT pun there, sorry) and hopefully this doesn’t happen again.
A few weeks ago whilst having a YouTube binge I found myself watching Makeup tutorials. Not an uncommon occurrence for me (hehe) but this time I was watching YouTuber’s that use only Vegan and cruelty free cosmetics. Somehow I just randomly got there and was like hey.. this stuff looks pretty darn good! A brand in particular that caught my eye was 100% Pure. Partly because I had never heard of it before but mostly because considering the products are 100% natural and dyed using fruit and vegetables, they looked so normal. Every time I use the concealer I can be heard muttering to myself, “How on earth is this pigmented from fruit!?” If your brain is currently asking you that same question then you can read a bit more about the brand here. They explain it waaaay better than I ever could and there are even little diagrams and pictures too, just for your viewing pleasure folks 😉 The website also goes into more detail about the nasty things that are usually included in makeup like coal-tar and lead (yes, I know wtf!) and they explain how the processes they use are different to most synthetic makeups. Very interesting for makeup nerds like myself!! I ended up buying a foundation, a concealer and a blush as they were what I needed and chucked in a lippie as well because treat yo’self. Here are some of my thoughts 🙂
Fruit Pigmented Cream Foundation in the shade Creme
This guy really surprised me. It comes in the cutest packaging, which is made from post consumer recycled plastic, glass, soda cans and paper to resemble a little tin reminiscent of makeup in the old days. When I first opened the tin to have a peek at the product I thought for sure that the colour was going to be too orange-y on my pale skin but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I applied it with my trusty favourite, a damp beauty blender and it went on so creamily (is that a word?) and immediately melted into my skin. The colour was actually the perfect shade for me but I think in the wintery months when I’m a touch paler then I will have to go to down to ‘White Peach’. This product is a bit more on the dewy side of things so if you have oily skin then you might want to look at grabbing a pressed powder or something to go on top of it but for my normal/dry skin this stuff has the perfect amount of dew. It has great lasting power too, sticking it out for the whole day and even through hours of dance training it didn’t really budge. It just leaves you with a luminous, very natural, skin-like finish which is definitely what I’m looking for these days. To read a bit more about the formula and the all natural ingredients list click here.
Something that bummed me out a bit though was that after only a week of usage I had hit the bottom of the pan. For me, if I’m spending $50 on a foundo, I’d hope that it would last a little longer than a few weeks y’know!? So I had a little back track and decided to rehash my method of applying so as to make the formula last a little longer and I think I may have found the best method for those of you interested in trying the product. Don’t just stick your beauty blender straight into the pan, instead warm up the product with your finger and dab small amounts around your face and THEN go in with a damp beauty blender or brush to blend. The formula is really buildable too, so for areas that need more coverage you can easily apply a second layer without it drying or going cakey.
Fruit Pigmented Long Lasting Concealer in the shade Creme
This concealer is actually the bomb.com! I’m pretty picky with my concealers as I find most of the time they can be really drying and thick which only brings out the wrinkles around the eyes more. Having paler skin, I suffer from dark circles under my eyes so a good concealer is my best friend. Even on days when I don’t wear any makeup I still pop on a little bit of concealer under the eyes and on any little spots I may have. In the past I’ve quite liked ‘it cosmetics – bye bye under eye’ to conceal under my eyes but that stuff is pretty heavy-duty and can also be quite drying especially once set with powder. The 100% Pure Concealer it is really pigmented and really creamy. Two things I believe most of us are looking for in a concealer!! It applies easily with my ring finger and blends so well into the foundation too. I like to set my concealer with a powder as otherwise it tends to crease around there (not pretty) and on those days when I’ve gone a little too hardcore on the powder I can just apply a little more of the concealer over the top and it surprisingly melts down perfectly. It is definitely long-lasting as it says, but if I do find I need a touch up, the compact is small enough to pop into my handbag and even includes a small mirror. Check out more about it on the 100% Pure website here.
Fruit Pigmented Chiffon Blush
The blush comes in the same packaging as the Foundation tin but is instead in a hot pink shade. This small detail of difference in tin colour definitely helps for easy, on-the-go grabbing when you are doing your makeup in the morning! Don’t want to be dabbing my booty blender into my blush tin now do I 😉 I love pinky cheeks so this colour was an obvious choice but boooyyyy do you have to go easy with this stuff. A word of warning from me (A.K.A Clown Face McGee after my first try) a little goes a long way with the fruit blush! I’m not saying this is a bad thing as I think the more pigmented the longer the product will last you but again, just saying, pump the brakes, take it slow. It blends out well and isn’t chalky or too powdery and leaves a natural rosy finish which I’d say is suitable for all skin shades 🙂 No negatives on this baby, shop it here.
100% Pure Cocoa Butter Semi-Matte Lipstick – Currant
I went with Currant as the girl I was watching on YouTube was wearing this colour and I thought it looked absolutely beautiful. I’m a pretty big fan of wearing minimal eye makeup with a bright lip most days as I find that its a nice way to make myself feel put together without full on over doing it. First impression of this lipstick was that it glides on really well and that colour pay off is intense! Dat fruit though!! It did last for a good few hours but after eating my lunch a lot of it was gonesies. I didn’t think much of it and went to apply a second layer. That’s when I noticed that my lips had gotten pretty dry… my lips can often get dry but I don’t usually notice them to be THAT bad. It didn’t really like being applied on top of itself and it also didn’t enjoy my dry lips either; going darker on those parts leaving my lips looking patchy and not lush. I’ve used the lippy since and I’ve tried to make sure I apply some sort of lip balm over the top and its been much better. Also on second application I make sure that my lips are clean and I start from scratch. 100% Pure has sooo many different lipsticks and glosses on their site so I definitely want to try some of the other formulas before jumping to any conclusions 🙂 You can see more about the one I purchased by clicking hither.
The difficult thing with buying makeup online is knowing what shade is going to be the right one. It’s always risky business especially when you are choosing foundations so I would definitely recommend doing a bit of research before hand so you can suss out what colours other people with similar tones to you would wear and then go from there. I also like to look up images of swatches that kind people out there have done and try to make a decision from all of my compiled info. Sometimes the website itself will tell you what undertones each shade is best for which also helps too 🙂 Google is your best friend in this scenario people!
So that’s that! I try my best to use Vegan, cruelty free products where I can because I know that not only is it the best for me but it’s also great for the environment too 🙂 What are some other products that you guys use that might be Vegan and cruelty free? Hit me up in the comments box below!
So I know that I’ve been beyond slack in terms of blogging lately (uhhm.. 3 months!) but sometimes life just gets that little bit too hectic and the fun stuff (this bad boy) has to get pushed to the wayside. But! I’m back! Back from a month-long stint in the UK where I ventured to Italy, China and Bali, and back to my beloved keyboard 🙂 As its been a fair whack of time, I decided to bridge the gap with picking out my favourite 5 moments over the festive season (excluding Christmas and New Years obviously!). You probably wouldn’t call this a particularly informative blog post but what it lacks in information and opinion it makes up for in sunny, happy pictures 🙂 Enjoy!
Watching Misty Copeland live in The Sleeping Beauty
This night was a definite favourite, I’m a bit of a Misty Copeland fan and to be lucky enough to watch her live was a dreeaaaam! Her poise, strength and finesse was amazing. If any of you ever get the opportunity to go watch this girl then make. it. happen! It’s not very often that you get to watch a Prima Ballerina. She stole the show and my heart <3
My Cousin got married!
My youngest cousin Shannon from Launceston, Tasmania got married to the beautiful Loretta on December 2nd, 2017. So happy for them and so glad I was there to witness it! Unfortunately I don’t have many piccies from this night so these will just have to do..
Became Australian Professional Ballroom Champions for the 2nd Year!
Steve and I celebrated 12 years together in Bali
It’s not very often that Steve and I get to fly somewhere and have it not be for a competition so on the way home from the UK we stopped over in Bali for a few nights to relax and celebrate our anniversary. We stayed in Seminyak at the Villa Seminyak Estate and Spa and got a villa with our own private pool. It was such a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life and one I think we both needed! The service at our hotel was beyond amazing but my favourite part would have to be the Spa. That Spa was just the cherry on an already delicious Bali cake. Anyone in the Seminyak area, be sure to hit up the Seminyak Estate Spa (it’s Asia’s number 1 Luxury Boutique Spa) because you will not regret it!
I lobbed my hair off!
Yeah.. I always seem to do this. I make a pact with myself that I am going to grow my hair SUPER long. Like Rapunzel long. Then when it actually gets there I am that jack of it that I resent it and want to cut it all off. This has probably happened roughly 3 times in my lifetime and every time I do it, I’m bloody glad. Having long hair may seem like all that and a bag of potato chips but trust me doing it for comps, washing it everyday after swimming in Bali, or just dealing with the intense heat it creates is not fun. So if you’re considering the lob, bob or pixie and are feeling a little cautious, remember this.. It’s hair, it grows back! New Year, new hair I say 😉
I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a review on Olaplex for a while now. Pretty much ever since the day I got my little mitts on a bottle of the famous stuff. Having friends who are hairdressers, I’d seen/heard the product’s name been thrown around with the highest of praise so naturally I was keen to give it a go myself to see if it could work its magic on my ol’ mane. One of my friends from dancing, an avid believer in the product, warned me that you do need to give it some time before you start to notice results but that the wait is totes worth it. Well I waited (’til I finished the whole bottle) and finally.. here are my thoughts. Please note that I am in no way, shape or form a hairdresser or hair guru of any kind, just a mere mortal with hair, sharing her experience with a product 🙂
I guess I’d better start with what Olaplex actually is for all those people out there who don’t know. For those of you that don’t care though, I’d suggest you just jump this paragraph and head to the less informative drivel below 🙂 So, this is what olaplex.com has to say about itself; “Olaplex is the original, unique and patented chemistry that multiplies bonds and cross-links broken bonds. Olaplex did not create a product category – Olaplex is the product category.” *DROPS MIC* Boom! What a bloody statement. It IS the product category fellas. So basically, hairdressers are obsessed with this stuff because it allows them to become total #Superhairoes, (see what I did there 😉 don’t deny it, you’re going to use that term now) giving them the power to colour or lighten hair at any level without the risk of breakage. Great for hairdressers I initially thought, but I didn’t realise that they actually sell it as a 3 step process and that the only bottle I (a non-hairdresser) should really be interested in is No.3 the “Hair Perfector” which can be used at home as a stand-alone treatment. No.3 acts as a sort of magical elixir for your hair, repairing it from within. This got me excited because my hair goes through the absolute ringer enduring things like gel, extreme hold hairspray and rhinestone glue on a monthly basis and is often in need of some serious TLC. Olaplex to the rescue!
Ok, so onto my experience. I recently just finished my bottle and I have to say I was a little bit underwhelmed with the product. “WHAT!?” I hear you say, but yes it’s true I was a little ‘meh’ about it UNTIL… I used it for the very last time. I’m not pulling your leg here, I legitimately was not going to write a blog post about Olaplex because I don’t like writing about things that I don’t believe in but upon my last try of this product, I was changed. Things were a little different on this last try though, I had just gotten back from a month in the UK and after doing a few competitions (dance hair included obviously) and washing my hair in UK water, my hair was looking sub-par. That’s a pretty big understatement guys, my hair was actually a big, frazzly, broken-ended mess. So I thought I’d use the last of my Olaplex and rather than leave it on for the minimum time of 10 minutes I decided to leave it for about 40 minutes. I then followed that by doing what I would always do and that’s wash my hair twice with red shampoo and conditioning as normal.
I’m not sure if it was due to leaving the Olaplex on my hair for much longer than I had before or if it took my hair being in such a dilapidated state for me to notice, but I’m saying it now – this product really is worth all that hype! I noticed a difference in the feeling of my hair straight after I rinsed the Olaplex out before shampooing it. The texture of the strands felt stronger, sturdier, more protein-ier.. really great descriptions here I know. But seriously, it felt like my hair was strong enough for me to use as rope to abseil my way down a cliff face. After I had roughly blow-dried it I could see that it looked so much shinier and that the colour was seriously vibrant. Granted I did use my De Lorenzo colour shampoo which never disappoints, but the colour had not looked this deep or rich for a while. It was noticeable enough for my boyfriend to comment so yeah, enough said! All of my split ends had been repaired (see photo) and trust me there were a lot beforehand as I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year and a half.. I know, I know, shame on me! The results were all there and I immediately wished that I could go back in time and leave it on for longer on all those previous occasions. Alas, I can’t.. but the good news is YOU CAN!
So, the moral of my story with Olaplex is, the longer it is left on – the better the results. I’d say for pretty damaged hair you could leave it on for anywhere between 30-45 minutes like I did and you will notice a difference immediately. I’m not sure if the minimum time of 10 minutes really allows the product to do itself complete justice but I’m sure that even in that short time it does do something! Either way, it’s not a sham, it does work and your lengths will thank you for it. If your interested in giving it a go for yourself, my friends over at Salonstyle.com are selling the 100ml No.3 Hair Perfector Bottle at AU$44.95. Go check it out here!
Have you tried Olaplex before? How’d you find it? Hit me up in the box below and leave some of your thoughts!
Washing your ballroom or latin dress often feels like risky business but this feeling can be amplified if your dress is covered in feathers. Many questions arise when the dreaded feather is placed upon a dress.. Do I wet the feathers? How can I avoid them? If they do get wet is that it? Is the dress dead!? Well never fear as I’ve created this blog post to help answer some of those very questions and also to help shed a little light on getting your dress back to squeaky clean. I’m currently wearing a feathered dress and have worn a few other feathered dresses in the past too. Some of my previous dresses had the whole ballroom skirt covered in ostrich feathers. Expensive and fragile! Back then I learnt that if you wet the feathers the dye in them RUNS. I also learnt that if you have two different tones of feathers on one skirt (ie. light to dark) and you dunk them all in a bath, the darker dyed feathers will most definitely run colour into the water/lighter feathers hence leaving you with one medium-ish colour all over. #LIVEANDLEARN. So nowadays I go by the motto of ‘keep the feathers dry’. It’s easier said than done I know, but with these 5 simple steps hopefully you should be able to get the job done 🙂
Before I start I just want to say that if at any stage you happen to get any feathers wet then that’s it. The dress is good for the bin. HA! Joking! Seriously don’t stress. Think of a little birdie having a bath and remember it will dry back to it’s fluffy self so all is good! I just don’t recommend fully drenching the feathers ie. stuffing them in a bath and letting them swoosh around in there. That could be asking for trouble! But alas, if any do get wet, wait until Step 4 and just hit them with a hair dryer and they will floof back to normal in no time.
If you have any feathers on the sleeves or floats like I do, try and waterproof them. I like to grab a plastic bag and pop both floats in there and either tie the bag in a knot or secure with an elastic band just so no water can accidentally splash in. You can do the same for any other feathered parts on your dress if you like but if you are dealing with a large, multi boa-ed skirt like I am then I wouldn’t really bother as it won’t all fit into one bag. I just choose to leave the bottom end of the skirt hanging off the basin (see photos below).
Wash the torso, sleeves, leotard and as much of the skirt as possible as normal in a tub or sink. If you want to see my previous post on how to wash a ballroom dress then click here to get a bit more of a detailed version. I mix luke warm water with some normal washing liquid and I spray Vanish Oxi-Action (pink bottle) directly onto the dress on areas like the under arms and the leotard and I attack any tough stains with the Vanish soap bar making sure to really work it up to a lather using my hands and rubbing the material together old school washing style! These two products are my go-to’s for washing ballroom dresses and I would not even attempt to wash a dress (properly!) without them. In Australia you can get them from any Woolworths or Coles and I imagine they are quite easy to find in any country 🙂
Drain away the dirty water and refill the sink/tub with only cold water and give the washed areas a good rinse. Not only does this help to get rid of any excess product still left on the dress it really helps to re-harden any glue that may have softened in the warm water. After rinsing, drain that water away and squeeze out any excess water in the dress.
Now, normally I would say to chuck the dress in the washing machine for a good old spin cycle but spin+feathers=drama. We don’t want no drama. So instead grab a towel and give the dress a bit of a towel dry before wrapping it up in the towel and transferring it to somewhere out of the way. Lay the dress out flat on top of the towel. For the sake of the photos I had the dress and towels on carpet but I did move it afterwards to a tiled area so that my carpet wouldn’t get wet hehe. Let it stay there ’til it dries enough to be hung up. DO NOT hang the dress straight away as the weight of the dress when wet will be too much and will stretch the material leaving you with a saggy, ill-fitting dress… Not hot.
Once the dress is dry, check for water marks. A watermark is when the water has run down the material and left a puddle like mark once dry. Generally with this satin material I have on my dress it is prone to water-marking. It’s a pain in the butt dealing with water marks I tell ya! But I think I’ve figured out the answer! Don’t try and spot clean/dry the water marked areas as this will just create more of the same. Trust me, I’ve tried. Instead you will have to re-wet the entire area that is marked. For me its the whole skirt. I did this by filling a squirty bottle with a little bit of vanish spray and warm water and completely soaked the whole skirt. I then took a towel and slightly dried it off before hitting it with the hair dryer and drying it completely. This will take away ALL the marks and should leave the material looking clean and even as if it were brand new 🙂
And there you go ladies! And gents if you’re watching 😉 Hopefully your outfit looks (and smells!) brand spanking new again. Its a love/hate relationship I have with washing my dress. I hate doing it because it can sometimes be a mission but I always love the feeling of putting on a fresh, clean dress at the start of a competition. I wouldn’t recommend washing your dress too often as the material and stonework should be treated with care and to wash it over and over could be damaging. Instead, to keep your dress going in between washes, I really recommend buying some Febreze Fabric spray. It kills nasty odours and germs and leaves your dress smelling like flowers. If you have any more questions or would like to see a post on something in particular please feel free to hit me up in the comments below! I’m always up for new ideas!
I have a little bit of an obsession when it comes to Asian beauty products. It’s never going to end well for my wallet when the packaging is pink, fluffy and all-round cute AF but when the products inside back it up well then that’s ok with me 🙂 This seems to be the case with a lot of the Asian products I have tried over the years as I have seldom come away with a purchase I am disappointed in. I get to travel to different parts of Asia throughout the year for various dance competitions and in the last month or so I’ve visited Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Booooyyyyy did I have some fun and boy did I snag some goodies! Most of which have become major parts of my daily makeup routine so I thought it only right to share them on ze blog today 🙂
Earlier on in the year I posted a beauty haul from my trip to Hong Kong sharing some goodies I had gotten, some of which were from the world’s cutest beauty store called Etude House. It’s a South Korean brand hosting some very pretty beauty treats and is actually pretty well priced too! So, of course, I had to hit that bad boy up again in my recent trip to Honkers because we don’t have it here in Oz and YOLO. I do tend to get a little excited while I’m in there and this time was no exception. Here are some of the things I got:
Any Cushion All Day Perfect (Cushion Foundation):
Before I get started.. be warned that the names of these products, whilst hilarious, don’t do a lot in terms of letting you know what I’m actually talking about so I decided to put my own ‘translation’ in brackets. You’re welcome girl 😉 I had tried this foundation a few years ago on my first trip to HK when they gave me a few little samples at the shop. It wasn’t in the cushion form obviously but I still fell in love with the product and so this time I wanted to get me the real deal. It is such a great foundation you guys.. I purchased the colour “Cream Petal” which matches my pale skin really well but also seems to hold up when my skin is a bit tanned too. It contains 50+ SPF and is said to give “long-lasting perfect, elastic makeup”. I can vouch for the long-lasting! It’s pretty full coverage but somehow it does still manage to look natural and dewy? Almost like I naturally have the world’s most perfect skin without even trying haha! It comes with a little flat puff that you literally dab into the foundation cushion and then dab on your face. Its like makeup bingo! Except quicker, it literally takes me about 2 minutes to do my face. I can even sometimes get away with wearing no concealer when I wear this foundation because it works a treat when it comes to covering blemishes and dark circles. The only downside I would say is that the foundation itself doesn’t last very long (the package is (0.49oz). I have a pretty small face so I don’t think I’m using tonnes of the stuff but it does disappear quickly, mine is on its last legs already after roughly 5 weeks and I haven’t even been using it every day. Shame 🙁
Fix + Fix Fixing Powder (Translucent Powder):
Well, I think this guy’s job is to fix.. what do ya reckon!? Fix Fix Fixing Fixative Fix Powder. Haha jokes aside, this stuff fixes good. Real good. Having super pale skin I have been trying to find a translucent powder that doesn’t alter the colour of my concealer/ foundation and so far.. no dice. I have my Laura Mercier powder which I love to use for competitions but using it as a daily powder when I have no tan on = my under eyes being a totes different colour to my face. #notgoals. But no more needing to weep because fix + fix Fixing Powder to the rescue! It leaves no residue on top of my skin, doesn’t alter the colour of the concealer underneath it and it is so finely milled that it doesn’t leave your wrinkles all cakey and dry looking. My under eyes are pretty prone to dryness so I have to go really sparingly with powder under there (no baking for me!) and this stuff just seems to work an absolute treat. It also comes with a poof which I don’t mind using if I need to powder larger parts of my face but for under my eyes I just sweep some across with a small brush 🙂
Lovely Cookie Blusher (Blush):
If there’s one makeup product that I have only ever purchased in Asia then its got to be blush. One of my all time favourites is a Japanese brand called Canmake because they have the softest, most beautiful, cotton candy colours that just look so good on pale skin and better yet they are OH SO AFFORDABLE! I have found a shop in Oz that sells that blush but I was touching pan by the time I’d gotten to Asia so I was planning on getting a freshie. That was until I came across the Lovely Cookie Blush. the packaging was bloody ADORABLE for starters and they had that perfect shade of pink I was looking for, “Strawberry Shortcake”. YUM. It is yummy on my skin too, it goes on smooth leaving a matte-finish pink shade that has you looking rosy and soft. Plus it was only around $10 AUD so you can’t go wrong! Look at all Etude House has to offer here.
Next up are a few little things I picked up in Taiwan. Taiwan actually caught me off guard because I wasn’t really expecting to do any shopping there but one morning when Steve and I had nothing to do we decided to go for a little venture to the closest shopping district. We got there around 10am and nothing was open. Not even coffee shops… It was already around 35 degrees celsius and after our half an hour walk we were hanging for some air conditioning. Queue random looking dollar store! Well it turned out that this was probably the best dollar store I’d ever been to! They had EVERYTHING in there. Literally anything you could think of was inside this 4 storey shop ranging from make-up to garden tools to food to electronics. It was crazy town up in there and it was all uber cheap. I’m talking decent quality socks for 75cAUD cheap. I got a little amped and bought a few things. I got some mascara for $7AUD, 3 pairs of socks, a packet of 20 pairs of good eyelashes for $12AUD, a shower cap for $3AUD and a few other goodies. But the one thing I wanted to mention today has been something that I have seen kicking about in Sephora and other shops that I have looked at and thought to myself who on earth would buy those? Why would you need something so ridiculous? Well.. it turns out I am now a hypocrite and I love them. Much like my selfie stick!
Mini Beauty Blenders:
If you haven’t seen these before they are those little tear drops that are a quarter of the size of the actual beauty blender. They sell at Sephora for $30AUD for 2 but I picked them up at this little dollar joint for $4AUD for 4!! A buck each. Honestly, I think the whole reason as to why I bought them was because I was so surprised at how cheap they were and I thought what the heck I’ll give them a go! Turns out they are actually pretty darn helpful! They get into all the little places that my normal beauty blender struggles to reach properly and they are just that little bit firmer so they really pat the product into the skin well. I use it everyday for my concealer under my eyes, for blending around my nose and eyebrows and for smoothing products on my eyelids. I don’t think I would pay $15 for 1 though now that I know that somewhere is actually selling them for a dollar but I have seen online that Real Techniques sell 4 for about $9AUD which for me seems more reasonable. Just google mini beauty blender if you are keen at shopping around for some or if all else fails head on over to Sephora 😉
Asian beauty products may not be for everyone but believe me if you are fair-skinned, they ARE for you! They do also tailor to warmer skin tones aswell so don’t just think that it’s all for us pale folk! So give it a go, you’ll never know til you try 😉 Until next time ladies…
Howdy friends! So, I’ve just recently gotten home from a two-week stint in Asia competing, practicing and teaching and once again I’m trying to recalibrate my ‘home groove’. I don’t know about you guys but I definitely find that it takes me a few days to truly settle in to wherever I am and whatever I’m doing and let me tell you, living as an ever-travelling, competing ballroom dancer, that can make life pretty tough at times! Luckily though, no matter where in the world I am, I can always rely on certain things to help a sister out and today I thought I’d share those things with you 🙂
This is only a relatively new thing in my life and was really brought to my attention while I was aboard the NCL Epic Cruise ship. The constant reminder of “washy, washy – happy, happy” songs and hand sanitising stations made me become a total germaphobe! I had never really thought about germs so much up until that point and then all of a sudden I was questioning EVERYTHING! Especially the poor old breakfast buffet. In my defence though I was also hearing some pretty horrific buffet stories from friends aboard the ship too which obviously didn’t help either! Nevertheless, it changed me and after washy, washy-ing 200 times a day (I kid, I kid… or do I?) for a whole week, hand sanitiser is now a part of my life. Thinking about it now though it kind of makes sense considering my constant state of travel and the fact that my job entails me holding people’s hands! What’s even better about this new obsession is that you can buy the sanitisers in such cutie patootie packaging!! I’m such a child when it comes to things like this; give me something pink and cute and I’m bloody sold so for me it’s a double win! I found these Gudetama hand sanitisers in Hong Kong and they are so dang cute with their little detachable loop bands making it easy for you to bang it on your bag and they smell like peachy goodness. The little pink guy on my backpack was a gift from a student so I’m not sure where it’s from 🙁 but still.. BEST STUDENT EVER AWARD!
Travel sickness tablets:
Yep, I’m one of those people. One of the one’s quietly winding down the window in the back of a car on a -2 degree day, one of the one’s getting all woozy when the plane is doing a million circles before landing into Heathrow, one of the one’s who should have travel sickness tablets on them at all times. You never know when that sickness is going to strike so I have learnt that it’s better to be prepared than to suffer in sick silence. I’m talking the proper stuff by the way, none of this ginger tablet crap that does absolutely nothing. A brand I often buy is Kwells and honestly I’ve been taking them for so long that the mere thought of them makes me want to gag, but boy do they work! One trip I was feeling confident and I decided to see if all my travel hours had paid off and given me some sort of immunity to travel sickness so I bought some of these pressure band things. Big mistake that was.. half way through the flight turbulence struck and the old pressure bands weren’t doing much other than putting large indentations in between my wrist bones. So, never again! I always travel with them and they come in so handy, especially considering they are quite small so if you have to (wouldn’t recommend it though) you can swallow them (don’t do it) without water (just don’t!).
Travel sized perfume:
As I’ve mentioned before here, I’m slightly obsessed with perfume. So it’s kind of no brainer that this would be on my list but when I’m travelling I find it much easier to opt for something more suited to my handbag size so I have access to it whenever I need a refresh. Smelling good is always appreciated and in my field of dance where it’s literally body on body, I think its super important (*cough, cough* men take note!) that you have the respect to not smell like an old wash cloth 🙂 I have a few different options I love to keep in my bag at different times. One being this small Elizabeth and James roll on that I bought at Sephora, it wasn’t too expensive, smells beautiful and is small enough that you can pop a bit of fragrance on in a hurry and chuck it back in your bag without it weighing your bag down or taking up too much space. Another option I like is to use the little tester perfumes you sometimes receive when buying or trying a new perfume. I always make sure to put them in a small pocket in my bag though so they can’t roll around and leak perfume everywhere! Finally, something I’m using at the moment which I also received as a welcome home gift from a student (I know, my students rock!) is this travel sized Chanel No.5 bottle which came with two refills! I think its perfect for the hand bag because it is small and sleek and the wind up, wind down feature means you don’t have to worry about lids falling off and leakage. Also, the two refills give me a little confidence to wear No5 everyday.. yes please!!
My face and skin undergoes constant change depending on my surroundings. I know how I’m feeling or how my body’s doing just from looking at my face. Dark circles, puffy eyes, dry lips, pimples – I get the works and sometimes if I really don’t take care of myself I get them all at once. HOT. I still haven’t found the cure for puffiness under the eyes (if anyone out there knows of any product they can recommend I’m all for it!) but I do know that there is something about Asia that makes it really bad. I don’t think its the food as I tried for a few days to eat super clean; veg, fruit, green juice, nuts and rice and I still woke up with severely puffy eyes and soreness. I think it may have something to do with the aircon in the hotel rooms but I’m not sure. All I know is that its the bane of my existence while Im there. Anyway I digress! Luckily, I can throw my skin a bone via the help of different face masks. I’ve tried all sorts of face masks in the past but one that I’m loving at the moment and that I found really helps to ‘wake’ my face up is the GlamGlow YouthMud mask. I bought this on my cruise as I’d heard so much about Glam Glow and decided to give it a go #poet. Now bearing in mind I have sensitive skin, the first time I tried this bad boy, I had to wash it off within 20 seconds. It was burning like hell! But after doing a bit of research online I read that it may cause a tingling feeling so I drank some cement and gave it another go. Burny Burn Town once again! But this time I persisted and it did pass and it was even followed with a pleasant cooling sensation which was highly appreciated in my case. it goes on as a thick ‘mud’ and after about 5 minutes dries to being rock hard giving you what I can only describe as all over botox face. You can leave it on for up to 15 minutes and when you rinse it off your skin will feel baby bum smooth. I feel like it really de-puffs my face as well and leaving my skin in the perfect pre-makeup state. I simply follow with my usual moisturiser and then I can apply my makeup straight away with out the fear of it slipping and sliding all over the joint. Definitely recommend it to anyone who, like me, wakes up looking like they were involved in a mild car accident overnight.
So there are some of my secrets, what are yours!? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Pretty over-dramatic title up there I know, I mean talk about #firstworldproblems, “Oh no, I can’t live without this specific Shampoo or my life will literally end!” But c’mon we’ve all been there right!? You’ve finally found that amazing product that takes all of the stress of searching through the aisles (or pages if you’re a bit of an online shopper!) away and then POOF! Its been discontinued. Truly devastating. Its like recently my hairdresser has decided to move forward with his studies and has therefore decided to stop hairdressing which is obviously so great for him but when I was on the receiving end of the news I was gutted! I felt like it was the end of the world or he had died or something (again, slightly over-dramatic maybe?). But anyway, I’ve gotten over it now and I’m working on ways to move forward *enter gentle sobbing*. So today I wanted to talk about my good old shampoo and conditioner. Two very important products in my life and if you love your hair, they should be important in yours too! I did a post similar to this last year but I wanted to give an updated version because a) they discontinued my shampoo (I know!) b) I’ve tried some other mediocre products which made me love mine more and c) I really need to harp on a bit more about how banging my conditioner is.
About a month ago I was informed that De Lorenzo had decided to can my colour (Claret) in their shampoo range. After continuously shouting “WHY, WHY, WHYYY DE LORENZO!” and other profanities such as “IT WAS JUST THE PERFECT COLOUR, WAAAHH”, I pulled myself together and decided to try something new. After doing my usual read a million reviews online, I narrowed it down to a red shampoo by Davines. People were saying it was awesome and I thought man this stuff is gonna be good surely! Well, turns out most of those people probably haven’t tried De Lorenzo’s products or they were looking for something a little different to me. Maybe the shampoo would be really great if you wanted to add some soft red tones to your already light, blonde hair but for me having already red hair, it wasn’t very noticeable. Usually I would get out of the shower and be like BAM! New colour! To the point that sometimes people ask me if I’ve just gotten my hair done (yes, it’s that good). But after trialling this stuff for a few weeks my hair was starting to look a little dull and with my colour only being a demi-permanent it wasn’t helping it fade gracefully y’know. What a bummer.
So a few days before I went on a month away trip I decided to head to some shops in search of my old faithful De Lorenzo to see if I could scramble up any last bottles of Claret. Upon my looking I saw they had a few other red shampoo’s available in their range (Claret was well and truly gone) and I went with a bottle of ‘Fire Red’. Fire Red is said to enhance vibrant red-orange tones in coloured or natural hair. Could be a win or could be a total fail, but luckily for me it turned out to be a win! The colour was so similar to Claret it me wonder if that’s why they discontinued it in the first place. So whatever your hair colour, or whether your hair is coloured or not, definitely go and check out the De Lorenzo range to see if they have any shampoos or conditioners which might help you enhance your tresses. Be careful as to not make it become your only shampoo though as it can be a bit drying and that’s not what you want! I usually go with using it every second wash and that works a treat for me. The best thing is that the shampoo is made from all natural plant products and it’s made right here in Oz! I love a good Vegan product that can stand up to others and the pigment in this shampoo is so potent that it literally colours my hands and nails when I’m applying it! But fear not worry warts! It all washes off by the time I get out of the shower so don’t think you have to go all crazy wearing surgeon gloves in the shower to save your manicure 😉 Head on over to http://www.salonstyle.com.au to shop the range or click here to check out my home boy, Fire Red.
While I was away on my recent dance trip/holiday (which you can read about here!) I ran out of conditioner. Now again I know it sounds like nothing and I thought the same, I was like that’s fine I’ll just grab something else and my hair will remain in its awesome state. BA BOWWWW. I headed to Boots and hit the conditioner section; popular brand – check, slightly expensive – check, pretty packaging – check, picked a winner, no problems. Ah, where to start.. I had to use half the dang bottle to coat my long, thick hair (I usually only use about a 50c piece worth), I had to leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes (hate that, especially in a shower in Blackpool which is more like a scolding hot drizzle from a teapot than a shower AND when I usually only have to wait 30 seconds to a minute) and I got no bloody pay off after waiting all that time! After using it for a couple of weeks my hair was becoming pretty dry and after all the torment I was giving it from being styled into lavish dance do’s (lavish, dahling) this stuff wasn’t helping to restore it back to its usually happy, bouncy self. Once I got back to my house and a bottle of my conditioner – Pureology Hydrate Condition, I was home. My hair was back! Having that time without it made me realise how great it makes my hair feel and look and made me love it even more *insert heart eyes emoji. It may sound so ridiculous that a conditioner can bring so much joy but I’ve tried SO MANY conditioners over the years from Pantene to high end salon brands and this stuff just takes the cake. This conditioner is also 100% Vegan created with the best and purest products specifically for colour specialists and their clients. So if you have coloured hair, this stuff is for you! You just bang it on, wait 30 seconds and rinse off to feel the magic it has worked; it brings hydration, strength and shine all back to your hair without using any nasties. Did I mention it’s inexpensive too so just quietly.. TRY IT!! You can only buy this brand in specific salons but to make things easier click this link to purchase it online and get it delivered to your door!
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A week ago today I got back from my first ever REAL holiday. I know, I know, I travel the world for a living I hear you say but this trip was an actual full-blown week of doing nothing, on a ship with absolutely no dancing involved – A PROPER HOLIDAY! As you may have noticed I’ve been MIA for about a month or so and what can I say other than I’m sorry!? May is always the busiest time of the year for me as it’s the build up to the biggest comp on the Dancesport calendar held in Blackpool so I always spend that month in the UK training and getting my head in the zone which = not much space for my blog. But, with time away brings much excitement for newer, shinier blog posts full of inspiration and enthusiasm! Today I wanted to revel in some of the highlights of my trip cruising around the Mediterranean sea. Not only to give you a little look into some pretty places around Europe (just incase you’re planning a trip in the near or distant future!) but also because it’s cold and wintery back here in Oz and looking at these photos takes me back to the warm, early Summer sun. Aaaah, dreamy 🙂 Quick warning, this post is going to be very picture orientated so if that doesn’t float your boat (haha, cheeky boat puns and all now!) look away now..
This was my first cruise so to be honest I was a total noob at pretty much everything. I was lucky enough to have my best friend working on board though so he quickly helped met get accustomed to the boat lingo. “Washy washy, happy happy” = “wash your hands with this sanitiser”, “Gangways” = the ramps you use to get on and off the ship, “tenders” = the boats that take you ashore when it’s to shallow to port and “All aboard” = “get your ass on the ship by this time at the latest!” were some of my faves. Also, having the first day as a ‘Sea Day’ (“you’re gonna spend the whole day on that ship!”), really helped me get my bearings (yep, more boats puns) and locate the most important parts of the ship, by which of course I mean the Mandara Spa. On Sea Day I had a relaxing Hot Stone Massage complete with slight rockings from the ship to reeeeally put you to sleep, spent too much time in the sauna, ate boat food and enjoyed the night’s entertainment. The entertainment was made even better due to the fact that aforementioned Mr, Bestfriend was in the two main shows; Burn the Floor and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The next week was sure to be a banger!
The first stop, Naples, is where Pizza was invented so naturally Steve and I only had one thing on the agenda for that port. You guessed it… Ride a llama! Ha! Eat pizza obviously. I thought being a Vegan and asking for a pizza with no mozzarella on it in the home of where pizza originated would go down like the following, *insert Italian accent* “What!? No mozzarella on your pizza? Are you crazy? This will not be pizza without the cheese! Get out of my shop!” but actually I was pleasantly surprised! I didn’t even get a reaction out of the waiter and he happily took my order 🙂 The pizza definitely lived up to it expectations and it WAS the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. Quick tip if you’re ever going to Italy, go to Naples and eat the pizza. Eat ALL the pizza because it’s bloody amazing. Wandering the streets I was drawn to how beautiful the city was in an old and historical way. There are lots of cute little shops and if you feel like being really tourist-y you can head to Pompeii and see the ruins and Mt. Vesuvius. I was feeling lazy that day after my extremely “busy” Sea Day so I chose to look at Ol’ Vesuvius from the window of the ship’s buffet restaurant ‘The Garden” instead. #YOLO.
Heading into Civitavecchia I wondered what the hell is so special about this place? But then I realised (or was told by Tourguide Bestfriend) that this joint is our gateway to Rome. Feeling more adventurous that day we decided to take a day trip without the overpriced help of Ship Excursions into Rome to see the sights and take selfies with them. Now, I knew that Rome had some amazing ruins to see but I did not realise that the whole place is basically scattered with them! You just casually get off the train and then BAM! Beautiful picturesque ruins to your left, dilapidated Castle to your right! My mind was well and truly blown, everywhere you looked there was something interesting to see! It was so different to home and I just couldn’t believe that some people were lucky enough to grow up with that much history surrounding them. So. Dang. Cool. We saw the Colosseum, the Trevi fountain and the Pantheon, ate some delicious sorbet, drank italian espresso’s and generally did as much as we could in a 5 hour window. It really was apparent that you need a good couple of days or more to explore Rome but I felt very lucky to be able to get any time there at all, it was gorgeous!
Another breathtakingingly beautiful place we ported at was Cannes in the French Riviera. Golly gosh this place looked like it was out of a postcard it was so pretty. It was the perfect photo taking destination hence why the majority of my photos from that week were taken on that day! There was so much to see here ranging from the expensive brand shops on the waterfront to the cute little market stalls a couple of streets back all the way to the mountain-esque views. I fell in love with the winding little streets piled high with town houses and cafes and I’m pretty sure I said to Steve about 732 times, “Can we live here now?”. On the day that we were there the temperature was a perfect 25 degrees which just added to the relaxed, romantic vibe the whole place had. Speaking of romantic, on our wanderings we came across a guy playing a violin by a castle on the top of a mountain.. I mean C’MON! It doesn’t get much better than that does it. It was definitely my favourite of all the ports we visited as I’m sure it was for many of the other cruisers and I’m looking forward to the day that I Cannes go back again! Yes, I went crazy with the can/Cannes puns on my Instagram.. apologies to my followers 🙂
Those were my main standouts from the week! But what about you? Ever been to Europe? Any places you would recommend? Hit me up in the comments below 🙂
Today is my 1 year Vegan-niversary 🙂 Cheers to you, tummy! How time flies!! I have to admit it hasn’t all been sunshine, rainbows and butterflies (especially in the beginning!) but it has definitely been my calling in terms of mental and physical health and clarity. So to celebrate I decided to write a little blog post on some of the memorable moments that have happened over the past year including everything from the good, the bad and the ugly! So why not start with the ugly, shall we!?
The first week of hell…
When I first started this lifestyle I decided to write a bit of a food journal and boy am I glad I did this looking back at it now! The diary entries are priceless and it’s pretty clear to see that I was feeling like death in those initial few days. The general consensus of each day being – I HAVE A HEADACHE, MY STOMACH HATES ME, KILL ME. Really my body was just going through a detox from a lifetime of eating crap but even knowing this didn’t make it any easier! Here’s a look at my struggle through Day 3..
Thursday 28th April 2016 – Day 3 Vegan
Woke up with a headache AGAIN.
Made a smoothie for brekkie at 10am
Have had chronic upset stomach all morning.
Midday- STILL HAVE HEADACHE. Time to drink a gallon of water to see if that helps.
Tried to eat some fruit (peach, apple + banana) and a cucumber around 2pm but still have headache.
Had a coffee at 4pm.. still have headache.
Made an early dinner of baked sweet potato wedges with homemade tomato soup – headache finally gone! YAY.
Bloated as all hell today, hoping to wake up to a non-bloated, flat tummy tomorrow morning.
HA HA even reading it back again, it still makes me laugh. I can’t actually remember how horrid I felt but from the sound of this bad boy I was not too chipper. These feelings definitely started to clear after day 6 or 7 and I remember how amazing I started to feel once that initial phase was over! No more bloated-ness, no more brain fog and no more HEADACHE. Maybe this was going to be something I really enjoy!?
Revealing the new Vegan diet…
It sounds pretty strange but I was actually really nervous about telling people of my new vegan ways haha. I knew that people would ask questions (they did, and still do!) and I wanted to be able to answer them truthfully and knowledgeably without sounding too preachy or making anyone question their own food choices. Truth is, I still find it tricky sometimes because there is always the odd wangchong out there that gets off on making me feel like I’m missing out or telling me that I am totally batshit crazy but I’ve just come to be able to blow it off now and realise that maybe they have their own insecurities that has nothing to do with my choices. Food is a pretty crazy topic!! My close family has been so supportive (always worrying more about what I can eat before themselves!) and so many of my friends have actually been open enough to suggest going to Vegan restaurants and giving it a go too! So for that I am extremely grateful and feel so lucky to have such supportive, understanding and non-judgemental people in my life 🙂 You too Seewah 😉
Making new discoveries.
The other day I was discussing why I transitioned to Vegan-ism with someone and it really made me realise how many doors it opened for me. Whilst most people would feel like they were giving a lot up (this person I was talking to included), I was never a great lover of meat anyway (I only really ate chicken and fish) and dairy upset my stomach so for me I felt like it wasn’t that hard to just go into it all guns blazing. Little did I know it would then lead me to try SO MANY other new and exciting things ranging from skincare, haircare, beauty products to things like Veganaise and Vegan Cheese! I used to turn my nose up at Tofu, now I crave it! Beans? no thanks.. nowadays they are a staple! It’s forced me to try new recipes and think of different ways of creating meals which has been so much fun 🙂 A few weeks ago Steve and I made Vegan Lasagne and it was AMAZiNG… I never thought something like that would be possible to eat when first starting out on this diet but these days it seems anything is possible! Vegan chicken schnitzels anyone?
So for now I’m going to keep on keeping on with this whole Vegan thing. Steve has become a bit more of a flexi-Vegan, eating Vegan at home but doesn’t mind going for something Vegetarian or Pescatarian when we go out which is totally cool too. I think that people should just do whatever makes them feel best and hey, if you are craving fish.. then maybe your body needs some dang fish! My body however hasn’t craved anything over the past year so that’s why I’ve found it so easy to stick to what I’m doing, not even straying once! I’ve had a few mishaps though which have obviously been when eating out; I’ve been given a focaccia full of cheese one time even after telling the lady I wanted no cheese or dairy in it because I was Vegan.. man I was HANGRY that day (my family can vouch for that!), generally my Asian students have a tough time understanding what Veganism is and always seem to be trying to force feed me Cheesecake and giving me rice balls that contain “no meat” only to bite into it and find a whole heap of red meat and egg inside.. hah! Oh the joys, but luckily I have done a pretty good job at avoiding these obstacles and sticking to my guns 🙂 I haven’t had to give up the things I love in life; coffee, ice-cream (sorbet), pizza and bread and using these new vegan products have improved my skin and hair dramatically so no complaints here!
I think I’ve saved a lot of little animal friends this past year too and as Steve said to me this morning, “Your stomach must be so green it’s growing trees in there.” He he.. #yeahboiii.