Month: March 2017

There are a few grooming pre-requisites that any female ballroom dancer should be aware of before heading into a dance competition. Some things are obvious (no crinkly floats or skirts!) whilst others may not be so obvious. I travel to major competitions all over the world and nowadays I see its pretty common to get hair and makeup done by a professional but what about the other important factors that go into creating the finished product? Ballroom dancing is a highly visual and highly perceptive sport/art so if you want to do well not only do you have to learn how to dance but you have to make dang sure that you look the best on that floor too! The learning stuff I can leave to your teachers as it’s not so easy to give a dance lesson through a blog (I could try? Joking..) but I thought maybe I’d help a sister or two out by sharing a few things I find important on a competition day. The best thing about most of these factors are that we can ourselves control them and therefore put forward our best ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Dress + Shoes:

When going into a competition I think these two items are probably most important (thanks Captain Obvious you say!) but I don’t mean just ‘having’ these things but actually the quality, the fit and the look of them. Obviously the style and cut of the dress is your own personal choice but some things to make sure of are that the fit of the dress is right, the colour is appealing and that the stonework is professional. Find yourself a dressmaker you can trust! Also make sure that once you have your dress that it is always clean on comp days, fake tan and makeup all over your beautiful dress is not a good look.

Shoes are an important one for me but maybe that’s just because I’m a bit of a perfectionist! I feel that the shoes should make the feet look elegant and beautiful because they are where a lot of judges’ eyes will most likely be at some point. Therefore, dirty old shoes are a not a go-er. Just imagine if you were going to a ball… would you wear a clapped out pair of dirty, worn out shoes to go with your amazing new ball gown? No? Well its the same thing on the dance floor! If you can, try to have 2 pairs of dance shoes; one for practice and one for competitions. Also, if you dye your shoes to match your dress then that’s taking professionalism to the next level my friend! Hands up who wants a DIY tutorial on dyeing dance shoes? Let me know in the comments box below!

Last quick thing to mention on this topic is smell. I go to too many comps where my gag reflex is triggered. Tan makes us not smell pleasant and coupled with intense working out, tight-fitting dress materials and closed in shoes with no socks it really isn’t a flower party. Invest in some Febreeze, wear deodorant and smother yourself in lovely perfumes. We want to knock the judges off their feet when we dance past them because our dancing is THAT amazing, not because we smell like an old spice pantry.

2. Fake Tan

Fake tan is pretty much a must for any ballroom dancer. It’s horrible and leaves us looking like Oompaย Loompas in public for many days after the comp but unfortunately there is no getting around it. In my 20 years of dancing I’ve only ever seen one (Yes, ONE!) girl not wear fake tan to an event. That chick was ballsy and had the most beautiful porcelain white skin and was going for what looked to be a 1920’s type vibe. So it was for an effect to help with her statement but even that didn’t last for long.. 2 or 3 comps maybe? Then she was back with the rest of us, tanning up a storm. I have a blog post on tanning which you can find here but mainly for grooming sakes make sure your tan is even, not too orange or green in colour and don’t wear too much! Over tanning is probably worse than not wearing any tan to be honest. I’m very fair naturally so I never have the problem of being over tanned but I do feel that ballroom gals can get away with being a lot less brown than the latin ladies. I only ever really wear one or two coats of tan these days (my latin days are OVER!) plus I feel that having darker hair can let you get away with wearing less tan too. A tip I like to do if I do have a fair bit of tan on is to still keep my face a shade or two lighter but apply a deeper colour around the perimeter of my face so that my face still has light to it. If you match your whole face to the colour of your skin not only will you look like a carrot but you will lose your features too! Getting patchy tan after doing too many comps in a row? Buy yourself some exfoliating gloves, scrub it all off and start again girl.

3. Nails

SNS nails ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah nails, it pains me to say this but ev-e-ry thing counts on that dance floor and sometimes it comes down to the most tiniest of details, especially at the highest level. It may sound super pedantic to say that even our nails need to look groomed but hey, that’s dancing for ya! I really don’t like wearing acrylics, I have done for soooo many years because my natural nails are short, weak and don’t grow so acrylics helped my hands look more lengthened and elegant. But that stuff is really bad for your natural nails. Nowadays I’m trying out SNS which is basically a dipping powder containing 5 different kinds of Vitamins and Calcium which help to create healthier nails underneath. It has no odour, uses no primer and requires no UV light to set. Unlike acrylic and gel it prevents damage to your real nails but feels just as strong and durable. Also unlike shellac, you are still able to have the help of tips initially to get you started with some length until eventually your real nails grow long enough on their own. If you are lucky enough to have long natural nails just make sure they looked manicured and maybe slap a bit of colour on them too!

4. Hair + Makeup

This one is a little bit of an ambiguous topic but there are a few ‘guidelines’ I guess that can be followed. Hair should be sleekย using gel or hairspray to get a smooooth and shiny finish. Big, boofy and loose wedding type hairstyles don’t really hit the mark. The hair should be so tight that when you move your head the hair does not move, any wobbly bits need to be sorted out and there should be absolutely no flyaways! I did a low bun tutorial with my gal Rachel Macintosh a while back linked here where you can kind of get a vibe for just how sleek I mean when I say sleek. I mean like LEGO. Like rock hard. Get it? The ponytail part of the hairstyle should be pulled so tight that you feel like it’s giving you a facelift and any decorative parts and the bun should be pinned in a way that you cannot see the pins. Headpieces can be cool, just make sure they tie into your dress otherwise it can tend to look like a bit of a random after thought.

Makeup should be clear, should bring out your features and should complement your overall look. I like to look at my dress and start to conceptualise a vibe I want to portray and allow the make up to reflect that. For example recently, I’ve been wearing quite a simple, black, timeless and bold looking dress so have tried to also keep my makeup along those lines. I’ve made an emphasis on a porcelain, full coverage base, kept with neutral browns and whites on the eyes paired with some black to give it a bit more edge and a retro 50’s glam red lip to finish. I do often rock this look but that’s what I feel most comfortable in and you do have to also feel your best on that floor too! If I was wearing silver or something more blingy then maybe I would add some glitter and some highlighter etc. So remember, it’s so important to have a clear image of how you want to look because if you aren’t clear enough to portray it, the audience/judges won’t be able to read it.

I hope some of these things helped, I am forever learning new things along the way and that’s whats so great about dancing! It’s always evolving and changing ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows, maybe one day none of these thing will be important! We might all be dancing around in jeans, with no fake tan and our hair out flying everywhere.. you never know!

Love, Rachelle xx





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Howdy from Hong Kong! Gosh I love Honkers. It’s such a bustling, crazy little place where the streets are always filled with people, everything is open til later than late and there are TOO MANY beauty shops. Imagine 5 different versions of Priceline (Australia) or Boots (UK) and then put a dozen of them within a 5 km radius of one another and that’s Hong Kong. Then rather than imagining those shops to be all set out in a spacious and clear manner, change that to everything being piled ontop of one another and filled with brands and products you’ve never heard of. It’s a girls paradise! Whenever I come to HK I always make sure to stock up on all the different beauty buys that I know I cant get elsewhere. It’s also a place where I find myself trying so many different and new things and being a fair-skinned lass, the products seem to be made for me! So, because I only really had yesterday free in the whole week that I’m here I tried to cram the bulk of my beauty hunting into one day and I still managed to come away with some bargains! Let’s have a little looksie shall we?

First up, face masks. I haven’t really gone into too much detail on my blog as to how obsessed I am with sheet masks. But I guess cat’s out of the bag now!! After travelling to different parts of Asia for the past 7 years, I quickly noticed how beautiful and young Asian skin looks. This can’t all be because of great genes can it!? One thing I have learnt is that Asian women put a lot of time, effort and care into maintaining the youthfulness of their skin and a big part of their regime is face masks. This is pretty obvious from the minute you step into any beauty store as the places are usually decked out with massive skin care sections featuring hundreds of different sheet masks all claiming to do various things. Snail goo masks, bird’s nest masks, bee pollen masks, horse oil masks.. there are definitely some strange ones but there are also a fair few that are much less daunting. I’ve tried so many different ones and I am honestly yet to find one that I feel hasn’t left my skin feeling better than before I put it on. I guess you just have to be clear in what you feel your skin needs and then try to either ask one of the staff to help you or try to find parts on the box that are actually written in english and then find something that offers what you need. I always tend to sway toward the same things which include brightening, tightening, moisturising and collagen masks. This time the shop I was in was offering a bit of a deal on some boxes and so I got the 24K Gold Hydra Ampoule Mask by Fresh Nation. There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding ‘gold’ masks and this one contains an extra separate section containing ‘ampoule’ which is basically a concentrated, stronger version of the product that you apply first before the sheet mask. This mask is good for moisturising and hydrating the skin whilst improving elasticity and vitality. Sounds good to me, cant wait to try it!

There is the cutest shop ever located right in Causeway Bay called Etude House which is Korean based and stocks oh so many cutesy beauty bits. I don’t often buy many things from here because the first time I found it, I went totally overboard due to the cute-ness and was left slightly underwhelmed on the quality of the tester samples they gave me, but it is always fun to see what new things they have on offer. They also have billions of face masks so I picked up a collagen one (always a winner!) and a Cherry Jelly lips patch because YOLO. The lips patch contains collagen, sodium hyaluronate and cherry extract which will help the lips feel moisturised, revitalised and plump which sounded great for my post flying, dehydrated non-plump lips. I also got a little charcoal chin patch because I’ve had a bit of a chin breakout ๐Ÿ™

Over at Sasa (the joint that seems to be the major player in beauty here) I found a replica of the Silisponge. If you haven’t heard of the Silisponge don’t be too alarmed as it’s a relatively new product which was produced in Korea to rival the good old beauty blender. Its made out of silicone and is meant to be a lot more hygienic than a normal sponge and it doesn’t soak up all of your precious product. I first saw it online and didn’t even bother trying to order one because it was completely sold out. It hasn’t taken long for other companies to steal the idea and make their own! I gave it a go this morning and whilst I did feel like I was slapping my face with a silicone chicken fillet (for your bra), it did give a nice finish and I barely used any product. Plus the sponge washed off clean as a whistle afterwards so no more nasty germs! What I found most hilarious about this buy though was compared to the usual AUD$30 Sephora like to charge for the Beauty Blender (I don’t get it?) I paid AUD$5 for this little guy. I’m pretty sure I won’t have to be replacing it every 3 months either!!

I got a few random bits from a shop called Mannings Plus which reminded me of a pharmacy or chemist in Australia but still contained sooooo many exciting things! I bought a charcoal toothbrush because mine had unfortunately been ruined by my red shampoo some 36,000 feet up in the air. There is always something that has to leak/explode isn’t there! Also, Id never seen charcoal toothbrushes before? Apparently the charcoal is meant to remove stains from teeth, be naturally antibacterial and balance the pH level of the mouth which reduces cavity forming bacteria. I’d heard of charcoal toothpaste but these bad boys are next level! I also got some Revlon airbrush effect foundation, pretty boring I know as it’s not in cushion form and isn’t some new age asian bb cream but this stuff is great for competitions and I have completely run out of comp makeup ๐Ÿ™‚ Also it was AUD$7 cheaper than what I pay in Australia.. BARGAIN!

Speaking of bargains, there’s one last thing Id like to mention. About a month ago I did a little online shopping and purchased some Crest 3D Whitening Strips from America. This product isn’t sold in Australia but I had heard from a couple of friends who had been to America and bought it say that the strips are AMAZING and their teeth spoke the truth! All up it cost me AUD$90 for the Professional Effects pack (not the bargain I’m speaking about btw) and it took roughly 2 weeks for the delivery. It contains 20 treatments and I’ve been sharing it with my boyfriend and we have had some pretty positive results! Anyway, I found the same product in Mannings for the price of AUD $30. 1/3 of the price. I know. CRAZY. So I guess I know where I’ll be purchasing this stuff from in the future huh! But seriously I would still buy these things even if I had to pay the $90 because my teeth have literally lightened a few shades already. I have taken progress pics but I feel like they would seriously ruin the prettiness of my blog, so use your imagination guys ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well that’s it! Has anyone else been to Asia and are there any items/products that you would recommend getting? I know the mascara here is off the chain and they have amazing falsies too ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know in the comments below.

Love, Rachelle xx



Let’s address the ginormous elephant in the room here before we get started shall we? I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks… apologies for that. Life is a rollercoaster ride and sometimes you’ve just got to hang on tight, close your eyes and feel your way through those ups and downs. For me these past couple have weeks have been just that, up and down. But mostly down. In positive news, my partner and I got a new car (after driving around in a 2000 Toyota Echo for 8 years, basically ANYTHING is an upgrade!), I’ve gotten to catch up with some friends and family (yes, this is a luxury for me!) and I’ve been trialling a few products to post about. But the bad news has kind of been what’s been consuming most of my time and energy the past week and a half and that has been the passing of my Opi (it’s how you say ‘grandfather’ in German, and yes I’m half German). It’s never easy losing someone you love and my Opi was so special to me which has made it even harder. Those happy memories of him will last forever though and the thought of that has definitely helped, but it for sure has been difficult to get on here and pretend that nothing has happened so I decided to take a little bit of time ๐Ÿ™‚ Alas I feel that time has passed now and I didn’t come on here to be a negative Nancy so I shall speak sadly no longer and I’ll jam on through to some of those products I’ve been wanting to post about!

Today it’s hair masks but make sure to stay tuned for the next episode! I’ve been trialling a couple over the last 3 weeks and one has definitely been a stand out. I love the luxurious-ness of hair masks and I especially love the way they leave my hair feeling silky and sleek like I’ve just walked out of the salon. Each of the masks I’ve been testing have different “priorities” shall we say but the general gist of any hair mask I feel is to replenish damaged hair, giving it back its strength, smoothness and shine. So if you’re interested in splashing out and giving your hair a good masking then read on sister!

Evo: Mane Attention Protein Mask

Suitable for: coloured hair, damaged hair, people with hair, people with split-ends, hair.

First impressions:ย Nice simple packaging, easy to use and LOVE that I only need to leave on for 3-5 minutes. Smells fruity, floraly, pretty-y and is transparent in colour (does that even make sense?) Probably better to say the product has no colour? ย Ahh forget it. It doesn’t have much of a ‘mask’ type feeling to it and could actually pass as being a conditioner. Due to lack of richness/thickness it doesn’t go very far on my super thick hair and I have to use a gallon.

After drying:ย Well considering it claims to be the “psychiatrist for split ends” and states it provides “boosts for the shoots” (ahem, whatever that means!) I feel it kiiiiiiiiind of lives up to its name. My hair did feel different in a slightly courser, stronger way and there did appear to be less split ends. I guess if you are looking for that silky, slippery post-mask hair feeling then this isn’t really the guy for you. This bloke is more about fixing past damage and protecting the hair from future inflictions. The concept is that the more you use it the stronger the hair becomes and after a couple of washes I was all out of product and I couldn’t really tell if my hair was that much stronger. I would have loved to have tried this product 2 years ago when my hair actually wasย totally stuffed from bleaching it platinum so that I could really put it to the test because at the moment my hair feels in pretty good nick so I’m not sure if that’s why I didn’t feel much change? Not my favourite hair mask but definitely not something that I would say is totally hopeless.. give the little sampler a go and see if it helps you ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find it over hereย at Salon Style.

Davine’s MINU/hair mask

Suitable for: coloured hair, non-coloured hair, transparent hair? women, hair, everyone.

First impressions:ย Cute little tub for ease of getting out the product. Oops, maybe a little tooooo much product. The blue goo smells like citrus which reminds me of how much I hate citrus. The citrus does become bearable for all non-citrus lovers. It definitely has that rich, thick, mask type consistency but you have to leave it on for 10-15 minutes #youwinsomeyoulosesome. I combed it through the ends, shaved, brushed my teeth, exfoliated my face and knitted 10 sweaters before finally washing it out and… my hair felt like it belonged in a Disney movie.ย Totally worth the time.

After Drying:ย The Disney hair feeling didn’t go away and on top of that my hair was uber shiny. My hair seemed to dry really easily and was so silky and smooth that it just went where my hair dryer blew it. No need for extra styling because it looked like I had already done that just from rough drying it with my old scabby hairdryer! It definitely replenished my hair like it said it would and the satin finish lasted a good 4 days of beating ranging from tears to hairspray. Looking forward to using it again and getting my Ariel hair back #underthesea. To find prices and sizes check it out hereย at SalonStyle.

Follow me on Snapchat ๐Ÿ™‚ rachellemp. Taken the other day post protein mask!

I do have a few more reviews on other beauty products to come so don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE if you enjoy my nattering!

Love, Rachelle xx

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