Month: September 2016

Following on from my previous post about Ballroom makeup, it’s time to continue with Part 2 of mine and Rachel Macintosh’s collaboration; the Ballroom Hairstyle! This can be an ever frustrating topic and I’m hoping to shed a little light on the subject and hopefully help you on your merry way so that it’s not something that you dread but actually something you begin to enjoy šŸ™‚ The main factors that contribute to a sleek and professional do are the products, the idea and the execution. All sounds easy peasy on paper but those of us that have attempted ballroom hair before know that this is a different story altogether in reality..

Let’s start with the tools as these are generally what you should (I hope) organise before you even try to start having a crack at that awesome hairstyle you saw on Pinterest the other day. Here’s a little list of the things I always make sure to have on hand:

  • Strong hold Hairspray (I love Schwarzkopf Silhouette.. the BEST!)
  • Hair Gel (optional)
  • Bristle brush or any other brush
  • Comb
  • Hair elastics
  • Hair nets/ bun nets
  • Hair pins (not bobby pins)
  • Hairdryer
  • Craft Glue (UHU is awesome if you can find it!)
  • Diamontes (optional)

I listed Hair Gel as optional as I’m not a massive fan of using it as it will make your hair look darker than it is. Great if you have black hair but if you are blonde or red like me then it will alter the colour of your hair and can sometimes make it appear quite dull. Also, I feel you can create the whole look by only using hairspray (which won’t change your hair colour) and can make it even more immoveable than if you were to use gel! The trick is in the hairdryer.. but we will get to that in a mo. Avoid bobby pins and try to buy hairpins that are ‘U’ shaped as these hold much better and can be hidden easier too. With the hair nets make sure to buy thin nets that have small holes so that your hair stays within the net and you have no escapees! Don’t go for big thick nets as these can sometimes look a little granny-esque and the whole reason for the net is to hold the hair together whilst still beingĀ invisible. Which brings me to my next point of making sure to buy nets that are closest to your hair colour, sounds obvious I know but you would be surprised!! Lastly, if you would like to take your hair to the next level then try stoning it! This may be a little tricky on your own so try to get some help if you can. Apply some craft glue directly to the hair and then start with the stones. A little trick I learnt when stoning is to get a pencil and place a bit of blue-tac on the end and then pick up the stones face side up. When washing the glue out, I’ve found that combing through hair lathered in conditioner works best. I simply shampoo and condition my hair as per normal and slide the bits of glue down the hair whilst the conditioner is still in šŸ™‚ ahhh the things we have to do huh!?

When creating your hairstyle it’s best to have a few visual aids of what you would like to create. I like to either have a couple of inspo pictures on my phone or even just an idea of something in my mind so that I can go in with a battle plan. This way I can also revert back to what I’m actually trying to do when I lose my way (often). When choosing your hairstyle, try to think about what will suit your face, body, dress and any other factors that might come into play on the dance floor. For me, I know that Steve and I have a little bit of a height difference so I always opt for piling my hair on top of my head to give me height and length. Also I feel the higher styles elongate my neckline which is great for Ballroom but might not necessarily be the right option for Latin. Beyond that, I often look to my dress design as I feel it always gives me clues on what is and isn’t going to work with the chosen image. If I have a headpiece I like to work around that or if there is something strong like line detail on the dress then I try to relay this theme into my hair. These are just some things to bear in mind when you are deciding as sometimes what you like may not be the most flattering for you or for your partnership.

hair inspo
Little bit of inspo!

Once you are ready to start letting your creative side loose, it’s best to start by sectioning the hair off into smaller sections. This way you can work step-by-step through the hairstyle and perfect each part along the way. I always try to leave some hair out at the front, closer to my face and have a section which becomes the ponytail/bun. I find it best to tackle the bun and ponytail first because doing this sets up the grounds for what everything else will work around. Once the bun is done then styling the smaller sections at the front of the hair is the easy part! Try to always do this bit with hair that has no product in it by smoothing the hair into the way you wish it to go first and then hitting it with the hairspray, hairdryer combo. This way the hair should turn into what I like to call Lego hair and coupled with a few pins, won’t be going ANYWHERE! No matter how fast your head flicks are šŸ˜‰

For a little more detail and a walk through of how I do Rachel’s hair into a basic, sleek low bun watch the video below!

I hope these few little tips have been helpful and the best advice I can give on this subject is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!! This is not something that you will be legendary at straight away (if you are then damn you! ha ha) and it’s something that you will have to do over and over again to learn the way your hair wants to go. I’ve been doing my own hair now for around 10 years and sometimes it still gets the better of me! But that doesn’t stop me from trying new things and playing around with different ideas! Oh and one last thing, always make sure your hair is relatively dirty as it will hold better and give your self plenty of time before hand to avoid the pre-comp stress. Happy Hair-styling šŸ™‚

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog in the box listed waaaaay below. If your on a mobile keep scrolling to the very end and you will find it šŸ™‚ Also go check out Rach’s YouTube channel by searching Rachel Macintosh for more Ballroom related content and many more funnies. Follow me on Instagram on @rachelle.plaass and follow Macca on @rachelmacintoshmua!

Dance makeup is a subject quite dear to my heart. Having competed for 20 years now I still remember waking up as a 6-year-old on competition mornings, my hair full of tissues (that’s how my mum used to curl it for me!) excited as ever for the fun to begin! The first step of the day was always my makeup and it was something I absolutely loved having done. It used to make me feel all grown up, plus it was mega relaxing. It’s something now that still to this day is an important part of my competition ritual. I am more than happy to have a professional do my hair for me prior to the comp but when it comes to my face, I’m a little protective. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I don’t think they will do a good enough job because I’m sure it would be amazing but it’s just because I know that I need that time to myself to calm my nerves and get my head in the zone.

When it comes to competition makeup, all the normal rules are out the window. Forget playing up the eyes and keeping the lip neutral, or simple eyes and a statement lip.. The look is to exaggerate EVERYTHING. This means bold eyes, fierce brows, statement lips AND false lashes (Hell, do a double lash if you fancy.. No one’s judging here!). Bigger is also obviously better but I can understand the struggle for you little-er people out there as I am only 160cm tall and I have quite small features myself. The key is to make your features look strong and clear. Remember, your audience could be looking at you from a balcony 3-4 floors higher than you.. What do you want them to see? For me its eyes, lips and brows as I think these are the most expressive features on the face šŸ™‚

There are a few things to bear in mind when buying competition makeup but an important one is longevity. Whilst you want the fullest coverage and the most pigmented products, you don’t necessarily want them dripping down your face when you decide to really start to go for it in that last Quickstep (or Jive for you latin go-ers out there!). This is why its important to use products that are more professionally based. Some brands that I like are Estee Lauder (I use Doublewear Foundation in medium coverage for comps, but you could even go for their full coverage too), MAC which is always great when it comes to eyeshadows, lipsticks and powder foundations (I love the studio fix powder) and Urban Decay (Naked palettes are awesome). If you are looking at going a bit more high-end then the Chanel Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palettes are perfect as they give you 4 shades that work beautifully together and always include one extremely light and dark shade. They are always well pigmented, have a buttery consistency and there are so many palettes to choose from that you really can’t go wrong when trying to play up your eye colour!

One last thing that I absolutely swear by on a comp day is some sort of fixative spray. This stuff is a game changer when it comes to locking your makeup to your face and gives you a bit of needed armoury when the sweat hits. No longer will you need to spend time between each round fixing your dribbley makeup and instead you could be fixing your dribbley dancing! Just joking, your dancing isn’t dribbley, its lovely šŸ™‚ At the moment I’m using Maybelline Super Stay Makeup locking setting spray which I bought in the UK and is working an absolute treat but I’ve also heard that MAC Fix Plus Spray is awesome.

My gorgeous friend Rachel Macintosh and I decided to pair together and make a couple of videos giving you guys a little run down on both comp makeup and hair! This week it’s the makeup and Rachel creates a super bold and bright pink and gold look on me šŸ™‚ Rachel used to dance herself, so girl understands the importance of how overdone everything needs to look out there. All products we used are listed in the video and she gives step by step instructions of whats she’s doing and HOW she’s doing it (the million dollar question!!) So if you’re interested in having a gander, then watch the video below šŸ™‚

So I hope you enjoyed this little collaboration post with my gal Rach. Stay tuned as next week we will be uploading another video with me doing a comp hairstyle using Rachel as my crash test dummy.. I mean model. Exciting stuff! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to both my bloggy blog and Rach’s YouTube channel Rachelmareemacintosh. Also you can follow me on instagram @rachelle.plaass and follow Macca on @rachelmacintoshmua šŸ™‚

Love, Rachelle xx

There are pros and cons to having false nails. The plus side being that if you are a naturally small nail bedded woman like myself, you can easily fake beautiful long and perfect nails but the downfall being that when they come off your natural nails are left resembling tissue paper. Not cute. I am one of those lasses that constantly depends on false nails to make my hands look mildly acceptable. My natural nails are teeny tiny (I actually remember once asking if Santa would give me new nails for Christmas! Ha ha, Santa why you no deliver!?) and now after having worn falsies for a good 5 years or so they’re completely ruined. When the lady opposite me tells me I need a new set is basically the only time I actually get a peek into what is going on with my natural nails and let me tell you, it’s frightening! This is usually when I decided enough is enough and I get them all removed completely.

Hidden Treasure
Hidden TREASURE!

I am in one of those “bare” phases at the moment. Not having any competitions for the last few weeks means I can get away with having not-so-appealing hands and my little nails are loving it! The one thing that really grinds my gears though is that no nail polish wants to stick to my little friends for over 24 hours. I paint them and then have a shower or do some wifely duties (the dishes guys, heads out of the gutter c’mon!) and they are left all chipped and sad. I know that it’s my fault because I am the one with the thinnest nails known to man because of what I’ve done to them, but the other day I found some hidden treasure!

I was at my fave spot The Grounds of Alexandria, full of Soy Latte + their amazing Vegan burger and decided to have a little look at some of their market stalls. There was many-a-cutesy things in there ranging from candles to jewellery, to bath salts and handmade cards but the one thing that stole my heart was these stick on nail polishes. The lady at the stall was kind enough to demo the product on my infantile nail and I was SOLD! I think I have seen this product kicking around for a little while now but I had always thought they were just stickers and had no idea they were made from actual nail polish. Little bit late on the band wagon here but better late than never I guess!

Let me give you a basic rundown of how these bad boys work:

  • First you peel the nail polish tab off the sticker from the stem outwards and apply to clean, dry nails
  • You then hold down the tab onto each finger nail and press down firmly to make sure it’s secured to the whole nail
  • Take the nail file (included) and gently file in a downward motion along the end of your nail line. Keep filing along the nail until its easy enough to peel the remainder of the tab away
  • Then boom baby! You have yourself a super quick and easy, perfectly nail polished finger!
  • Put the remainder of the tab back on the sticker you peeled it from and then repeat the same process on the rest of your nails
  • Once you have stuck on each nail, finish off with a layer of clear Top Coat

I was so shocked at how quick and easy the process was and loved how professional they looked in the end. I bought two packets for $24 and I didn’t use the whole packet in one go. I actually have plenty left over for maybe another 3-4 applications. The real kicker for me was to see how they would go as time passedĀ because the lady at the stall told me they should last around 10 days. I really thought they would just peel off in a day or so, similar to any other nail polish but boy they showed me! They lasted me 5 days which I thought was pretty good considering the ill state of my nails. When they did eventually peel off they came off super easy with the help of the little stick they provided and did not damage my nails at all. DOUBLE BOOM! Overall, I was super happy with the product and not at all disappointed.

The brand I used is called Personail, click here for their website for those of you chickadees interested out there! Or you can check out their instagram page on @itspersonail. Otherwise I think some other shops like Priceline in Australia or Boots and Superdrug in the UK stock very similar products.

Give them a try for yourself and let me know how your experience is!

Love, Rachelle xx

Following my last foodie based blog, I received lots of love and questions from some of you readers out there! So firstly, thanks so much for reading! and secondly, thank-you for the interest šŸ™‚ I decided that because of this IĀ might followĀ up with a little more info, providing what foodsĀ I DO eat (ha ha, yes I eat more than lettuce!), some vegan snacks I love, how to be vegan in certain sticky situations (going out to dinner, eating at work etc) and any more things I think of. Obviously I can’t cover all theseĀ ideas in one blog post as my hands will probably fall off and thisĀ post would lookĀ moreĀ like a thesis,Ā so today I thought I’d stick to some foods/mealsĀ that I eat in a day.

BREAKFAST:

Ahh brekkie, my favourite meal of the day. Growing up I actually never used to eat breakfast, which always turned out toĀ be the worst decision ever asĀ it would get to 10am and I would be absolutely STAAAARVING!Ā All I can say is thankfully I have seriously changed!!Ā I’ve already mentioned on numerousĀ occasions that I love a big ol fruit smoothieĀ to break my starvation but going through roughly 7-8 bananas a day (between Steve and I.. not just me alone guys!) means thatĀ there are times when stocks are low. So on the occasion when I wake up to minimal nanas IĀ will opt for somethingĀ different.Ā I always try to start by eatingĀ some fruit as it’s easily digested so that’s what you want in your belly first to avoid an upset tum! This is usually whatever I have kicking around the placeĀ like an apple, watermelon or some berries. I then tend to veer toward some toast. I love toast because there are so manyĀ different optionsĀ for toppings! DecisionsĀ canĀ sometimes be all too much in the morning when I’m feeling groggy though,Ā so I generally do a couple of slices with different toppings onĀ each. If I’mĀ really hungry and know I can’t eat for a while I will have 3 slices. I loveĀ Burgen’s Wholemeal and Seeds bread and also Helga’s Wholemeal grain,Ā both of which are vegan. Some ofĀ my fave toppings are peanut butter with chopped bananas or strawberries, Jam (my Omi’sĀ cherry jam is theĀ bomb.com!), Peanut ButterĀ + Jam or good ol Aussie Vegemite! If I feel like something more substantial and hot I go for baked beans on toast šŸ™‚

porridge
Porridge + Long Black

Another optionĀ I go for in colder months is porridge. This is more of an occasional thing as I do admit I feel rather stodge city after cooked oatsĀ but its something I stillĀ eatĀ every now and then because I’m a silly billy.Ā I cook 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of anĀ almond milkĀ and water mixture and some salt on the stovetop, bung a banana in a bowl and microwave on high for a couple of minutes and then mix the two together. I thenĀ either top with maple syrup or coconut sugar. Dreamy-ness. I triedĀ making overnight oats to take to the airport recentlyĀ and it was AMAZING! I just mixed together some water, almond milk, coffee and maple syrup to form just overĀ 1 cup of liquid, threw in some chopped datesĀ and mixed with 1/2 cup of oats. I then popped it in the fridge and left it to mellow over night and have now just realised I need to do this more often because it really was delish.

LUNCH:

I have a few go-to lunch options that I try to mix up as much as I can. A lot of the time I have to make my lunch in the morning and take itĀ as a packed lunch. Usually it’s either 1 and a 1/2 sandwiches or a wrap (Mission’s wraps are all vegan)Ā and a piece of fruit. Again, I always eat my fruit first šŸ™‚ If I’m making sandwiches I go for vegan mayo, 1/2 an avocado, grated carrot, cherryĀ tomatoes (minus those watery seeds!) and lettuce.Ā But if I’m doing a wrap I try to cram as many veggies as humanly possible inside that bad boy! I start with hummus and add avo, carrot, beetroot, celery, capsicum, spring onion, cucumber and on occasion some butter beans or cannellini beans.

If by chance I am home for lunch I will generally always make toast with Vegemite and avocado because I LOVE IT SO DAMN MUCH! I could live off it I swear.. Otherwise I will have corn thins with hummus and different veggie toppings like tomatoes, cucumber or beetroot topped with a little choppedĀ spring onion. I like to have a coffee with my lunch too, either a soy latte if I’m out or a long black at home.

I assume that with warmer months ahead I’m going to be making a lot more salads and so I’m sure that will become another go-to lunch option. Also as a side note, really amped for Mango season as I loooove mangoes! Ok.. digressing..

DINNER:

Ok this one is a little bit tricky as I like to mix up my dinner options but I do have a little schematic way of working out what’s for dins. Basically I think of my 5 main bases; pasta, gnocchi, rice, potatoes (normal or sweet) or noodles. Once I decide which base I have on hand/feel like then I work from there.

If I am exploring my Italian cooking and having pasta or gnocchi then I usually make some form of tomato sauce.Ā IĀ buy Barilla pasta as I know their products are vegan friendly.Ā My sauceĀ is usually made up of onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, passata and balsamic vinegar. If I’m feeling adventurous I add some red wine or coffee to pump up the flavour and if I want it more bulky I will add some veg and/or lentils.

Steve and I are obsessed with sushi riceĀ and we buy it from a little local Asian food store where we also pick up our soy sauce and nori paper. With the rice I tend to make a bit of a sushi bowl with mixed veg and nori paper. For the veg I tend to go for mushrooms, onion, capsicum and sometimes eggplant. If I feel like some protein I chuck in some tofu and once cooked pour on some soy sauce.

Potatoes are awesome because they also have so many possibilities! I used to feel neither here nor there when it came to potatoes but now they are something I often find myself craving. I like to make fries, wedges, mash or even bake them whole. When I make fries I use 2 large or 5 medium-sized sweet potatoes for both Steve and I and cook them in the oven. I then either top them with whatever I’m feeling (usually baked beans and shallots) and then whack on some vegan cheese and give them a second grill to make some melty yummy-ness or I leave them plain and dunk them in some sauce (either home-made or bought if I’m being lazy).

soba noodles
Mushroom + Tofu soba noodles

One thing I’ve been eating a lot lately is noodles. Getting home after 10pm with no dinner in my tummy = VERY HANGRY RACHELLE. So when I need something super quick and easy I go for my trusty ramen or soba noodles! I buyĀ the brand Hakubaku which is available at Woolworths or Coles.Ā These guys take two minutes to cook! I quickly whip up some tofu, mushrooms and shallots cooked in coconut oil, make a broth with some vegetable stock (low in sodium of course) and then lob it all together! It is fast becoming my favourite dinner. So warm, so hearty, SO GOOD. You can’t beat a tasty dinner cooked up in 10 minutes.

Before I finish rambling I just wanted to mention a brand that stocks vegan options for those of you that are interested in making the transition to plant-based but still love yo’ meat! Fry food group make amazing vegan chicken schnitzels, chicken nuggets, stir-fry strips and burger patties that all taste seriously legit! It actually shocked me when I first tried them as Steve was the one who wanted to get them and I wasn’t 100% keen or trying something mimicking meat. But these guys are all made from proteins that come from plants and legumes so they really aren’t bad at all. I don’t feel stodgy after eating them and they are as easy and throwing them in the oven and waiting 10-15 minutes! You can buy all of their products fromĀ Coles in the freezer section.Ā Definitely worth a look at!

Comment below if you would like me to share some recipes providing a greater depth of the amount of food I eat and what goes in my tummy! Any other vegans out there with some awesome vegan ideas? Hit me up!

 

 

 

Braids are IN! They have been popping upĀ all over my social media for a while now and they are a trend I quite enjoy. I like to rock a braid when my hair is on the dirtier side, when the weather is hot and sometimes – SHOCK HORROR! just because. Whilst learning the art of braiding is not what I would describe as ‘easy’, once mastered it’s a skill that you will have forever and it does come in very handy. Once you’ve practiced the basics 527 times then you should be well on the way to gaining a bit of a rhythm with your hands and soon you wont even have to think about what you are doing. Good old muscle memory! Bit like driving a manual car.. (I assume? Automatic gal over here).

I thought that today I would mention 3 different braided ideas, 2 that IĀ do a lot and 1 that seems to be exceedingly popular on the inter-web. I will try my very, very best to explain what my fingers and hands are doing through this process but I suggest you maybe also try to watch a couple of YouTube videos before hand just to scrub up on the basic idea of what’s going on. The only words of wisdom I can give are; be patient,Ā keep calmĀ and keep your braid tight! This is not something you will be able to do straight away and it is a skill that needs to be learnt but if you already know how to plait hair then you are halfway there! If not, then what were you doing all those years of primary school if you weren’t plaiting other girls’ hair? Actually learning?!!

THE FRENCH BRAID WITH TUCKED TAIL

This is my most loved braid of choice. I haven’t yet learnt how to dutch braid so all my braids at the mo are of the French variety šŸ™‚ I love this hairstyle because it’s a great option for getting dirty, unruly hair up and out of the way and has a lovely effect.

  1. Brush all of your hair back and away from your face
  2. TakeĀ a small section of hair from the front of your head (from your forehead to the crown) and separate from the rest of the hair
  3. Split this section into 3 smaller sections. If we are working from your left to your right, lets label each section A, B and C accordingly
  4. Take section C and pull it over B (so that it becomes the new middle section) and then take section A and pull it over C
  5. Now you have done a plait and set up your braid. This is where you will want to find a way of holding all 3 sections with one hand. For me, I start by holding with my left hand. I hold section C (left section)Ā between my thumb and index finger, I push down section A (middle section) with the middle part of my index finger and hold section B (right section) between my index and middle finger
  6. I then use my right hand, using the thumb as a type of parting tool to pull a section horizontally from my face toward my crown. I then take this parted section and place between my index finger and middle finger to join section B
  7. Once joined, pull section A (middle) with your right hand to the right place section B over A and hold down with your index finger of your right hand and take hold of section C with your thumb and index finger
  8. Repeat the process done in step 6 using your left hand and join with the thumb and index finger of the right hand (section C)
  9. Repeat step 7 doing the same thing done on the right side. Pull the middle section to the left (B), Pull section C across B and push down with the middle of the index finger and hold A between the index and middle finger. Continue with this process until you make your way down the whole head and get to the nape of the neck
  10. Plait the remaining length of the hair to form a tail and secure with an elastic band
  11. You can either leave as is from here, but I like to fold the tail up and under and tuck into the braid and secure with some pins
  12. To tidy up any loose bit of hair I comb them through toward the braid and then secure into the braid with some pins. I then just give the whole thing a good spray with some hairspray

THE HALF FRENCH BRAID

This one’s for those days when you want a bit more of a relaxed look and you would like to leave some of your hair out and free-flowing like the beautiful goddess that you are! I recently did this hairstyle for a floor show and straightened the hair that was left out and the look came together really well. Straightening the hair is a nice way of taking this look to the next level if you are going out and want to look chic. Rather than repeating myself I will just refer to some of the steps above mentioned in the full braid.

  1. Follow steps 1-9 of the full braid above but only braid half the head
  2. Once you have done to about your ears, stop braiding and plait the remaining length of hair
  3. Secure theĀ plait with an elastic band
  4. Pull a section of hair from the right and a section from the left across meeting at the elastic
  5. Secure these two sections with a small plastic elastic if possible and on the last loop of securing incorporate the plait too
  6. Finish with a bit of hairspray

THE PIGTAIL BRAIDS

This hairstyle is super popular on the net, thanks mostly to the Kardashians. It’s great if you are looking for an edgy yet girly look to your braids and can be used as a great base for a couple of different options that I mention below! Aahh,Ā pigtails takeĀ me back to my childhood šŸ™‚

  1. Part your hair down the centre of your head using a comb
  2. Secure one section loosely with a hair tie so that its out of the way
  3. Start braiding the first half of your hair once again using the technique mentioned in the full braid above. Taking hair from the part now rather than from the side like the full braid
  4. When you get closer to the ear make sure to pull tight on the sections of hair closest to the ear so that the braid isn’t loose and hanging straight down but follows the curve of your head
  5. Secure at the end of the braid with an elastic
  6. Proceed to do the same with the other half of hair and secure with an elastic

SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS:

  • to go for a bit of a Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games-esque hairstyle then grab both tails and pin across and around each other in a type of figure 8 along the nape of the neck
  • tuck the tails up into the braid the same as step 12 on the full braid

Hopefully with the warmer weatherĀ coming your will thank me for some of these up do ideas!Ā Also,Ā if you’re like me andĀ tend to opt for a braid when your hair’s dirty then maybe try to smooth on some form of leave in conditioner before hand. I like to use Davroe Ends Repair Leave-In Treatment. This brand is 100% Aussie made, plant-based and vegan friendly.. plus the product smells gorgeous too! I have really noticed a change in my ends and when purchased on Salonstyle.com is only $10. Using a leave in treatment is a double win really because its able to work its magic whilst your hair is up and out of the way and it makes the hair slightly tacky and bendable which makes life so much easier while braiding (ain’t nobody want to braid slippery, just washed hair!)

Check out some moreĀ awesome products for your hair over at Salon Style!

Love, Rachelle x

 

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Make-up is and kinda always has been an important part of my life. I know it’s not something we gals particularly need but it is something that I enjoy and brings me happiness everyday. That makes it pretty significant right?! So, I decided that maybe I would share my simplest version of my daily face paint sesh. I, along with most of youĀ make-up lovers,Ā go through phases with my make-up… Marilyn inspired if I’ve watched an old school movie, minimalist and dewy if I’m feeling al-a-natural, and sometimes I just have random creative days (some hits and some, serious misses).Ā That’s what I love so much about make-up though! You can explore your inner artsy Picasso side whilst also showing off your feelings or how you wish to be perceived. Whilst I am a bit of a floater, chopping and changingĀ all the timeĀ I do have a few things that I do which I hardly ever veer from;Ā porcelain coverage, brows, eyelashes,Ā blush and lipstick.Ā These are the Rachelle essentials!Ā Anything else and I probablyĀ had a little bit of extra time that morning.. or I ran late.

So lets get to it! This usually takes me roughly 15-20 minutes from start to finish šŸ™‚

  • I like to always start by priming my face. IĀ have had thatĀ NapoleanĀ Perdis slogan “not to prime, is a crime” stuck in my head ever since I first heard it and it kindly reminds me when I run out of primer that I am doing my face a disservice. Haven’t quite found the primer of my dreams yet though, soĀ if anyone has one they would recommend for normal skin then please share! Today I just used a simple one from Rimmel
  • IĀ thenĀ go on to apply my foundation. ThisĀ changes depending on aĀ few things; the weather, my tan (or lack thereof) and if I want to be completelyĀ flawless or more natural. Most of the time when I am working I preferĀ more medium coverage but for my relaxed days where I get a massage orĀ I haven’t got much work, just practice then I go for a cc cushion (I love the IOPE CC Cushion!). Today I’m goingĀ for a mixĀ of Estee Lauder Double wear in Ecru and Marc JacobsĀ Genius Gel in Ivory Light.Ā The reason I am mixing the twoĀ is because I am not light enough for the Ivory Light at the moment but theĀ DoubleĀ Wear is slightly too dark. Easy fixed, mix them together! Sounds like something Goldilocks should have thought of am I right? More porridge = happiness, anyway IĀ digress..Ā I apply the mixture to my face with a MAC foundation brush working from the centre ofĀ my face outwards and once I have smoothed it to my liking I tap in with my fingers.
  • I next go in with Becca under eye corrector to start brightening up those mighty dark circles. I apply with a small concealer brush in a small triangle under my eye and then go back in with my ring finger making sure it has all blended in nice and smoothly
  • Next up, concealer! Time to say goodbye to tired-ness and hello to some brighter more awake eyes! I’m still using my little testers from Sephora of the Bye, Bye under eye from It cosmetics and I can really feel a sole blog post being dedicated to this stuff coming up very soon. It is pure concealer heaven for those of us who want max coverage but dewy, creamy texture. I just go straight in with my ring finger and dot it on where I need it and then lightly press it under my eyes andĀ taking any excess onto my eyelids
  • To set my concealer I brush on a small amount of Laura Mercier loose powder with a small fluffy brush. Depending on whether I want to set my whole face I may grab a bigger fluffy brush and lightly tap the powder all over my t-zone šŸ™‚
  • Then I move onto my brows. Hoping that they are co-operating with me that day I comb them through with a small toothbrush I got whilst travelling and then fill them in with my angle brush. Once I’ve outlined and filled them in I go over with a little bit of the Brow this way brow gel from Rimmel. If you want to know a bit more about my brows then please click here
  • Brows done I then ponder whether I can be bothered with eyeshadow that day. If it’s truly just the basic essentials that I’m feeling (like today) then I skip eyeshadow and head straight for liner. Most days I do powder liner using a small angle brush and pick any dark coloured eyeshadow I have kicking around. Today I used my Naked 3 palette, opting for the colour Blackheart. I only do half a cat eye taking the brush from the centre of my eyelashes outward in a straight line and then fill in from the corner of my eye to that line to form a small triangle
  • Then I hit my lashes with a couple of coats of mascara. Today I used a mascara I bought in Japan as they have great products for lashes! This mascara is by the brand Dolly Wink and its fabbo. I do a double coat on both top and bottom lashes
  • I then take a white pencil, today I’m using one from MaxFactor and line my bottom water line. I do this most days and feel it gives my eyes a bigger more open look which I love because my eyes are on the smaller side šŸ™‚
  • I love pinky or peachy, powder puff type blushes and the brand Canmake (another Japanese brand sorry guys!) makes the most gorgeous colour palettes. I have a couple and generally switch between the two, one being very pink, the other quite peach. Today I’m going for pink and applying with the little brush they supply with the blush. If your interested in some Canmake products then please click here!
  • I generally always finish with my lips and never seem to be satisfied with just a plain old gloss. I ALWAYS rock lipstick.Ā Safe to say that it’s my fave make-up product. Most days I will go with something neutral, like a nude or a pink. Today I lined my lips in NYX Nude Pink, then applied NYX Naturel over the top and then finished with MAC Arrowhead to give a bit of paleness and dimension to the flat colour. Arrowhead has quickly become my favourite lipstick to apply on top of other lipsticks as I’m a sucker for a darker outline around a lip with a lighter centre and this nude colour is so opaque it just blends with any colour and gives a beautiful matte finish. Big fan!

Then to combine everything together I give my face a couple of spritzes of the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. It smells oh so fresfinishedh, sets my make-up in place and gives an immediate burst of radiance to my finished face. I bought the small tester of this product as I had heard great things and will definitely be going back for the big boy version as soon as this one runs out! Head on over to Sephora to buy this product.

So there you have it! My quick and easy daily makeup routine šŸ™‚ If you have any questions about the products or want some more information feel free to hit up my comments box below!

Love, Rachelle xx

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I decided to bang a little blog post together filled with some fun facts you may not know about me and some FAQ’s. These are questions I get asked all the time so I thought why not share them! I hope you enjoy and in the process get to know me a bit better too! Happy reading!

FUN FACTS:

nicknames: Rach, Rachie, Wachelle, Rachie-bop

favourite style of music: jazzzzzz

worst habit: plucking my hair, procrastinating

favourite foods: sushi, peanut butter, vegemite and avocado on toast

favourite drink: coffeeeee! Long Black or Soy Latte

natural hair colour: strawberry blonde

random facts: I’ve never broken a bone,Ā I don’t have any fillings

siblings: one younger brother

favourite TV series: Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, FRIENDS, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad

pet hates: flying, gettingĀ hangry, shit-talkers!

favourite fragrance: Insolence by Guerlian

cats orĀ dogs: dogs definitely!! Although I’m slightly allergic to both šŸ™

favourite song: Lay it down by The Rubens.. Ahh bliss

FAQ’s:

  1. Where are you originally from? I was raised in Mandurah, a small-ish town near Perth in Western Australia and moved to Sydney 8 years ago
  2. How old were you when you started dancing? I started Ballet lessons at the age of 3, then moved on to some Jazz around 4/5 then tried Ballroom at the age of 6. I’ve been dancing ever since!
  3. How did you meet Steve? Steve is also from Mandurah and we grew up in the same dance school and lived only 5 minutes down the road from one another!Ā We started dancing together in 2003 and by 2005 had realised there was more to us than justĀ good friends šŸ™‚
  4. What is your favourite part about Ballroom Dancing? The make-up and the dresses of course! ha ha I kid.. bit of a personal joke that one. I love how I get to push myself to new unexplored boundaries everyday and use it as a way of expressing my feelings and emotions. Also, whilst I hate flying I feel so lucky to be able to travel to different countries and take in new cultures at the same time as learning off the world’s best ballroom teachers.
  5. Do you ever feel unmotivated/uninspired? If so, what do you do to pull yourself together and get to dance practice? This one made me laugh, ALL THE TIME! I dance basically everyday, whether its teaching or my own practice it still takes its toll on the body and can become super draining. I’m no dance junkie, I’m more of an emotional dancer.. when I feel like dancing I will dance! Some days it is harder than others but the thing with Ballroom is that there is another person involved and we are a team so I have to take that persons wants into account as well as my own.Ā SometimesĀ Steve and I both don’t feel like dancing but we put onĀ the old dance shoes and hit the d-floor anyway, butĀ if it really isn’t working after 5 minutes we call it andĀ leave.Ā At times its better to go outside and have a coffee and refresh the brain rather than slogging away at something that you will eventually start to resent.Ā It’s no good being a burnt-out resentful dancer!! This is why we try to take every Sunday off, no teaching, no dancing! For those times when I know I should be dancing but am struggling with motivation I try to look toward the next major competition or floor show and think of how I want my performance to be.. that usually kicks my butt into gear šŸ™‚
  6. Who is your biggest inspiration? This may sound super corny but I have to say Steve. He is the backbone of our dance partnership and pushes and motivates me everyday. He has so much belief in not only me but our partnership that its contagious! Without him there would have been so many times where I might have walked away from the dance scene but he has helped me realise why I chose this life and why, through all the hard times, I need to keep going!
  7. What would be your dream job? I have to say I am pretty lucky to be able to do what I love and not be tied down to a 9-5 job but if I was involved in a totally different career I would love to work for some sort of Women’s magazine
  8. What’s your dream holiday?Ā Hmm my dream holiday would involve travelling to any place whereĀ its hot and I don’t have 20 suitcases filled with competition stuff.Ā Somewhere I’ve always wanted to go is the Bora Bora. Those villas + beautiful blue water + sunshine = dream come true. Of all the places and times I’ve travelled can you believe I haven’t been somewhere warm for a relaxing vacation! Craziness I know.
  9. What are 3 key beauty products in your handbag? Lipstick (a lot of them), L’occitane hand moisturiser, Vaseline (for when my lips are dry!)
  10. What are some of your favourite blogs? Oooh, I love Cupcakes and Cashmere and have been following that blog for many years now, more recently I’ve been loving Pink Peonies, and an all time favourite would have to be Zotheysay by Zoe Foster Blake (Funny comedian man Hamish Blake’s wife for those of you playing out there)

 

So I hope this answered a few lurking questions you may have had! But if you have moooore questions, then feel free to pop them into the comments below šŸ™‚

Love, Rachelle xx

 

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A good set of brows in my opinion, can really do wonders for the face. I like to think of them as the cherry on top of my daily makeup regime. In saying this though, I wasn’t always in this frame of mind. It actually took me roughly 20 years to even realise that my brows were an integral feature of my face. I went through those first 20 years completely oblivious and eyebrow-less (because I’m quite fair), which looking back at old photos now is pretty darn hilarious. It wasn’t until I learnt a bit more about competitive dance make-up and make-up in general that I started putting a little more care into my little friends. When I say putting a ‘little’ care into them that might be a slight understatement. At first,Ā I went to TOWN on those bad boys. I got my brow pencil, sharpened it and didn’t know when or where to stop (photos of this stage, also hilarious). My brows back then are what some may say “large and in charge” andĀ in short, I looked like I had been attacked by Mr. Squiggle.Ā I had never plucked, waxed or given any time into grooming them before and this definitely showed when I decided to colour them in.Ā It wasn’t until one trip to the UK in 2011 that I decided to bite the bullet and try threading.

I remember my friend had just gotten her brows threaded the day before I did and once I had seen how amazing hers looked I was SOLD! Tentative, but sold. I sat down at the brow stall and told the lady that I had never done anything to my brows before so I was nervous, trying to hint that I was a total rookie when it came to brow pain. It hurt a little bit and some tears were shed but not becauseĀ I am a total wuss but just because that is a natural response when it comes to threading. I know this now after 5 years of crying my way through the ordeal. Wow, I am not selling this at all! Believe me the pain is not that bad and its very quick and efficient šŸ™‚ Once she was done, she gave me the mirror and I was so shocked at how it had completely changed my face! My eyes looked more open and my face had some structure! I also remember the first time I did my make-up afterwards, marveling at the size of my eyelids! Hair free eyelids!!Ā As an added bonus, IĀ also started to receive compliments on my brows, which was something I was not really used to.. this threading stuff was a winner!

It was also around this time that I then started getting my brows tinted as well. If I didn’t get them professionally tinted then I would do a good old DIY job at home with some brow dye from Priceline. This was fine when I was blonde as I would get my brows coloured medium/dark brown to match my regrowth. This all changed though when I decided to go red. No longer did my brown brows look right with copper-y auburn hair. It made my hair look super fake and my brows stood out in a way that was not very Cara Delevigne-esque, After a little bit of playing around with different products and colours I finally found a concoction that I now use daily. Coincidentally, I already had a red eyeshadow in my makeup bag (Cranberry by MAC) which I mix with a little bit of brown eyeshadow and apply with an angle brush. Obviously my hair colour is quite uniqueĀ and it was a little harder to find the right colour so that’s why I’m a big fan of mixing a couple of colours to come up with the perfect match. I also find using eyeshadows great because my hair colour is quite strong when its just been dyedĀ and naturally fades so I can ramp up the colour and lighten it as I please from day to day.

Another product I use pretty much daily and have been for the last year or so is some form of eyebrow gel. I love Benefit’s gimme brow, but I’ve also used other products too that work just as well. At the moment I’m using Rimmel Brow this way Eyebrow gel and it’s a real treat for the eye..brows. This stuff setsĀ and gives definition to theĀ individual hairs in your brows, whichĀ is great if youĀ are fair like me. Also, on thoseĀ days that I just cant be bothered doing a full on eyebrow,Ā I simply pop some of this stuff on and away I go! It’s a very natural look that takes less than 30 seconds to apply.

post thread
Post-threading onĀ Snapchat! Follow me @rachellemp

So, if you haven’t tried threading before then I highly recommend it! There are brow stalls popping up everywhere these days, I see at least one at every Westfield I go to. It’sĀ quickĀ (only takes aboutĀ 5 minutes), relatively cheap (around $20), and lasts for a good while (I only tend toĀ get mine done every couple of months or so). All of the ladies that I have had areĀ professional and don’t really need any advice on what you would like done as it seems they generally try to go with your face structure and work from there. I have sometimes asked if they canĀ give me a high arch from which their response is “I will do my best”, haha meaning.. yourĀ face really isn’t helping me with that one. You simply sit down, pull your eyelids and foreheadĀ apart and they get to business!

One word of warning though, try to go thereĀ sans make-up around the brow area. Or if you are wearing make-up ask the lady if she will kindly remove it for you before she starts. The reason being that it’sĀ easy for dirtĀ and excess make-up to get clogged in the open pores which can then result in an unwanted breakout. I speak from experience here, I once got my brows done with a full face of make-up on andĀ didn’t get it removed.Ā I thought nothing of it andĀ headed home and cleansed and toned as usual but the damage was already done. I woke the next morning to a rather large colony of pimples framing my new fabulous brows (62 to be precise, yes I counted). This is not ideal when you want to show off said fab brows but then feel like hiding them under a heavy fringe forĀ a week until the pimples have racked off! So take heed ladies, cleanse and tone before and after! I have also read that witch hazel is great to apply afterwards to calm down sensitivityĀ andĀ close the poresĀ and that anything too oily/creamy should be avoided for a couple of days.

Got any brow advice? Products you love? Hit up the comments below and share šŸ™‚

Looking at planning a holiday? You lucky thing, you! Not planning on spending a small fortune? I hear ya!

My partner and I have been travelling to the UK three times a year for close to 10 years now. We go there so often becauseĀ the 3 major championships for the calendar year are held there so it’s an absolute must for a serious ballroom dancer.Ā Throw in another dozen flights around Asia and Australia and not only are we racking up the points but it also racks up the $$$. This is why I have a few go-to things that really help alleviate some of the stress that can come with all this travel. I thought I’d share some of these tips with as maybe they will help you too!

The first thing I rely on pretty much every time I’m travelling abroad is airbnb.com. This website has been a game-changer for me when it comes to booking accommodation. Gone are the days where I have to message every Tom, Dick and Harry that I know, seeing if they know a friend with enough space to put up 2 people forĀ a few weeks. Now its as simple as heading over to the website a couple of months before I travel and I have an abundance of options at my fingertips! Even better is that not only do I have a bed to sleep in, butĀ I also gain a kitchen to cook in! Double win šŸ™‚ This saves soooo much cash that is usually spent buying food out. If you haven’t had a look at the website before then click here and it will take you there. It’s really simple to book and the filter is also helpful as it takes into consideration what type of dwelling you are after (share house, whole house, granny flat, BuckinghamĀ PalaceĀ etc). We have stayed at many people’s homes through our travels and the experiences have always been welcoming and easy. Oh and did I mention the options are usually much cheaper than staying at a hotel? Using a mobile device? They have an app for that too!

farmers market
I love fresh produce!

This leads me onto my next tip, which is to try to shop at local farmer’s markets! If you are lucky enough to have a kitchenĀ whilst you are away and want to save some coin then cook some of your own meals man! I’m not a massive ‘eating out’ fan anyway unless it’s for a special occasion or to meet up with friends, otherwise I much prefer to whip up my own food. It can sometimes be tricky with food requirementsĀ (see vegan) and eating out for every meal can easily suck the life out of your holiday savings account. Sometimes, if the conversion rate is a bit dodgy it can be just as expensive shoppingĀ for food at local stores. This is whyĀ I always try to seek out a local market, they offerĀ so much fresh produce and itĀ is usuallyĀ atĀ a fraction of the price. I once bought 10 avocados for the equivalent of $2AUD! No joke the guy at the stall said to me “Fill the bag love”, so I did! Generally I try to buy all my fruit and veg at the markets and anything else I need eg. bread, rice, pasta etc, from the local store.

Another thing that I find really helps when travelling is to buy a local sim card. We all rely so heavily on our little devices these days and no one wants to go without their phone cold turkey! So rather than setting up some sort of plan with your carrier at home, I would recommend buying a sim card when you arrive.Ā They are super cheap and you simply plonk it in your (unlocked, hopefully) phone and away you go! This way you can have easy access to your social media, messaging, emails etc. and you will also have GPS for those times you get mega lost. I did go through years of sneaking into any StarbucksĀ I could find and taking fullĀ advantageĀ of the free wi-fi, but now Steve and I tend to book a hire car while we are away so GPS is a must! It can get pretty heated in the car if you are travelling blind!!Ā As a quick side note, try to book your car through an independently owned car hire service as it is usually a lot cheaper. If you’re going to the UK, Kendall Car Hire is awesome. I tend to keep my Australian sim card safe and sound in between my phone and phone case and switch it out whilst on the plane.

sightseeing
Out and About

And lastly, one idea I just recently had and am going to put to the test on my next trip in September/October is to take a blender. This may sound absolutely ludicrous but sometimes when there is absolutely no food about I can simply buy a buttload of fruit and make a filling smoothie! I’m also thinking it will be great for those nights when you have been out all day and come home late and want something quick. Also, my blender is pretty small so packing it shouldn’t be too muchĀ of a painĀ and besidesĀ I just can’t bear the thought of not having my brekkie smoothie every morning šŸ™‚ So, I will definitely let youĀ know if that turns out to be a fail.. but I have a feeling its going to be the best idea ever!

What are some of your tips for travelling on a budget? Comment below..