Big call in the old title there. All-time favourite. This product must really be something you are probably thinking.. and let me tell you oh yes it is! As you know if you’ve read my blogs I really am one for changing it up with my beauty game but when a product is this good, it stays. I’ve been using the Eve Lom cleanser for the best part of 6 years now and it is still something I love so damn much! So I decided after purchasing a new tub of the stuff the other day whilst here in the UK, what better time than now to share that love 🙂

If you haven’t heard of Eve Lom before then let me share a little bit about it for you. It’s a UK-based brand but is stocked in a couple of places in Oz now, the main place I know of is in Mecca stores (you know like Cosmetica, Maxima and any other -a’s I can’t think of). The cleanser was the first product that Eve Lom ever launched and to this day is still the best seller. Vogue even proclaimed it as “probably the best cleanser in the world” with “probably” meaning definitely I’m sure. I haven’t seen anything else on the market that comes close to it in the way that it’s a cleanser, toner and moisturiser all-in-one. I’ve tried a few other balmy type cleansers with a similar style to this one but most of them leave an oily residue on my face and some have even caused breakouts.. not what you want. It is slightly pricey though, with the 100ml retailing for around A$105 and the 200ml for A$163. But when you take in to account the amount you are using (a thumb size) and the fact that it’s your cleanser, toner and moisturiser in one it really isn’t that bad (in my opinion!). The 200ml tub usually lasts me around 6 months and that’s when I used to use it every night.. more about that later.

eve lom cleanserDescribing the product is a bit of a tricky one. Picture vaseline but thicker with a very fine grit through it. Very descriptive I know but I guess you just have to experience it to understand. It contains 4 signature plant oils that give it its distinct fragrance which is slightly medicinal, but I love it (my mum hated it though.. you win some, you lose some!). It removes all traces of make-up (even waterproof mascara!!), cleanses and exfoliates, decongests the face through the massage ritual suggested and regulates your natural oil balance. All good things in my books when it comes to my skin!

Another great thing about the product is how quick and easy it is. I simply scoop out a small glob of it, rub between my fingers to warm it up slightly and then massage directly onto my made-up face. Don’t worry about taking your make-up off before hand as this product is meant to do that for you! All-in-one remember!? Once I’ve really un-settled all that make up, I take the muslin cloth (provided) and soak in some warm water, wring out the excess water, press onto my face for roughly 5 seconds and gently swipe away the day! I repeat this process 3 times and then do one more after running the muslin cloth under cold water to close up all my pores. This is amazing for those nights when I come home after a day in the studio and just want to get my face off quickly so that I can watch a couple of episodes of Suits (p.s Harvey Specter… marry me?) and eat my dinner. Other times, when I do have a bit of motivation left in me I quite enjoy the process of taking my makeup off, cleansing, toning and moisturising separately so I like to mix it up using the cleanser maybe 2-3 times a week.

For those days that you have a little more time on your hands, Eve Lom suggest a 7 step facial massage technique that should be paired with the cleanser. They recommend it to be done once or twice a week as it is great for reducing any puffiness and really giving the skin a deep cleanse. I am a little bit forgetful and don’t remember to do this that often but I do sometimes like to do it whilst sat in front of the TV as I find it’s super relaxing. For those of you interested I’ll post a little YouTube video of one of my favourite beauty YouTubers Lisa Eldridge and you can follow along with her as she demonstrates some of her facial massage techniques. She recommends a few different products that can be used for this tutorial but I like to do it with Eve Lom of course!

Obviously I can’t say that this product will work for you but all I can say is that it works a treat for my normal/dry/slightly sensitive skin! If you are interested maybe try some of their sample sizes and give it a go, because who knows it could become your fave too! What are some cleansers or balms that you have loved or loathed? Leave me some comments below 🙂

Love, Rachelle xx

This Sunday Funday post is a travel-ly based one as I’m currently in the UK! It’s Autumn here so I am uber jealous of all the warm weather I’m starting to see back in Oz, but alas I guess it gives me something to look forward to when I go home in a couple of weeks. It’s not often that Steve and I get a Sunday (or any day for that matter) off while we are in London so we thought rather than bimbling around the city like idiots we would make the most of the opportunity and go do something touristy. Stonehenge it was!

Whilst the thought of going to see one of the 7 wonders of the world did sound interesting to me, it wasn’t something I thought I would reeeeeally enjoy. But, I was wrong! I had a ripper of a day and I would highly recommend the trip to anyone to go and see it. I did envision a completely different set-up before getting there though and was surprised to see a huge car park and visitor centre and.. no stones. I literally thought we would drive right up to it, check out the rocks, say hey! that’s cool and then drive off for some lunch. This is not how it goes down people. There are ALOT of other folk that plan on seeing it too (they get over 1 million people a year) so expect queues and hustle and bustle. If you are planning on doing it, clear the day… or at least clear half the day!flower

For us, it was only a 1 and a half hour drive out of the city before we were there soaking up the vast, green landscape and fresh country air. We have a little hire car so we were lucky enough to drive but I did notice a bunch of buses there so if you don’t have a car, google the bus tour option! Tickets cost £16.50 which includes entry to a small exhibition located right next to the ticket desk. Here you can learn a little bit about who, what and why the stones are there and look at some old bones and relics of that era before you go off to see the stones and their surroundings.

With shitty English coffee in hand (they try, they really do, bless ’em) we ventured into the exhibition. This turned out to be a great decision as for the first time ever I learnt a little bit about Stonehenge! I learnt who made it, why they think it was created and yadda, yadda which gave me a better appreciation for the thing when I did actually get to see it in the flesh (or stone). If I hadn’t of gone into the exhibition I would have had no clue WTF I was looking at (Don’t judge me, judge my school! They never taught me anything about it!!). We then went and looked outside at some little huts they had recreated to mimic the ones the people who created Stonehenge, used to live in. Boy they must have been little fella’s because I fit in there perfectly and I’m only 160cm! Super spacious inside and the bed made out of sticks looked enviably comfortable.. But really, all jokes aside it was very interesting to see how the rich really lived in the 1900’s. Ha Ha ok, you got me again. It was interesting.

Something old mate at the ticket desk forgot to mention was that it’s a rather epic trek to get to the henge. The henge? The stones? The stones. The options are; waiting in a massively long queue to catch a bus or walking. So, because the weather was so dang good Steve and I decided to go head first into the unknown and walk there. Turns out its only about a 20-30 minute walk and the bonus of walking is that along the way you can check out some cool mounds/man-made hills that they created because………. aaaah I can’t remember. It was all speculation anyway whatever it was! Once we finally made it to Stonehenge I was bloody excited, the walk really ramps up the anticipation and crikey does she deliver! It was so ominous but beautiful and the way they have set up a little path to walk around it really allows you to soak it in from every angle. You aren’t allowed to go right up to the structure because… again, I can’t remember. I think it has something to do with the ground being unstable but don’t quote me on that. We took too many selfies (The Stonehenge really knows how to work a camera!), laid in the grass for a bit and then decided to head home. Perfect Sunday Funday 🙂

Here are a few piccies that I took with the help of my trusty selfie stick. Yes, I used to be a person who would take the piss out of people with selfie sticks and now I am a proud owner of one. They really are a genius creation, both me and Stonehenge were definitely grateful for it 🙂

Hope you enjoy xx

 

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 🙂 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 being 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 🙂 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 😉

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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 passed 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 🙂 I decided that because of this I might follow up with a little more info, providing what foods 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 these ideas in one blog post as my hands will probably fall off and this post would look more like a thesis, so today I thought I’d stick to some foods/meals 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 to be the worst decision ever as it would get to 10am and I would be absolutely STAAAARVING! All I can say is thankfully I have seriously changed!! I’ve already mentioned on numerous occasions that I love a big ol fruit smoothie to break my starvation but going through roughly 7-8 bananas a day (between Steve and I.. not just me alone guys!) means that there are times when stocks are low. So on the occasion when I wake up to minimal nanas I will opt for something different. I always try to start by eating 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 place like an apple, watermelon or some berries. I then tend to veer toward some toast. I love toast because there are so many different options for toppings! Decisions can sometimes be all too much in the morning when I’m feeling groggy though, so I generally do a couple of slices with different toppings on each. If I’m really hungry and know I can’t eat for a while I will have 3 slices. I love Burgen’s Wholemeal and Seeds bread and also Helga’s Wholemeal grain, both of which are vegan. Some of my fave toppings are peanut butter with chopped bananas or strawberries, Jam (my Omi’s cherry jam is the bomb.com!), Peanut Butter + Jam or good ol Aussie Vegemite! If I feel like something more substantial and hot I go for baked beans on toast 🙂

porridge
Porridge + Long Black

Another option 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 oats but its something I still eat every now and then because I’m a silly billy. I cook 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of an almond milk 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 then either top with maple syrup or coconut sugar. Dreamy-ness. I tried making overnight oats to take to the airport recently and it was AMAZING! I just mixed together some water, almond milk, coffee and maple syrup to form just over 1 cup of liquid, threw in some chopped dates 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 it as a packed lunch. Usually it’s either 1 and a 1/2 sandwiches or a wrap (Mission’s wraps are all vegan) and a piece of fruit. Again, I always eat my fruit first 🙂 If I’m making sandwiches I go for vegan mayo, 1/2 an avocado, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes (minus those watery seeds!) and lettuce. 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 chopped 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. I buy Barilla pasta as I know their products are vegan friendly. My sauce 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 rice 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 buy the brand Hakubaku which is available at Woolworths or Coles. 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 from Coles in the freezer section. 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 up 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 I 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, keep calm 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 🙂 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. Take 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) 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 the 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, pigtails take me back to my childhood 🙂

  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 weather coming your will thank me for some of these up do ideas! Also, if you’re like me and 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 more 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 you make-up lovers, 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). 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 changing all the time I do have a few things that I do which I hardly ever veer from; porcelain coverage, brows, eyelashes, blush and lipstick. These are the Rachelle essentials! Anything else and I probably 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 🙂

  • I like to always start by priming my face. I have had that Napolean 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, so if anyone has one they would recommend for normal skin then please share! Today I just used a simple one from Rimmel
  • I then go on to apply my foundation. This changes depending on a few things; the weather, my tan (or lack thereof) and if I want to be completely flawless or more natural. Most of the time when I am working I prefer more medium coverage but for my relaxed days where I get a massage or I haven’t got much work, just practice then I go for a cc cushion (I love the IOPE CC Cushion!). Today I’m going for a mix of Estee Lauder Double wear in Ecru and Marc Jacobs Genius Gel in Ivory Light. The reason I am mixing the two is because I am not light enough for the Ivory Light at the moment but the Double 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 I digress.. I apply the mixture to my face with a MAC foundation brush working from the centre of 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 and 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 🙂
  • 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 🙂
  • 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. 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 🙂 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, 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, getting hangry, shit-talkers!

favourite fragrance: Insolence by Guerlian

cats or dogs: dogs definitely!! Although I’m slightly allergic to both 🙁

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! We started dancing together in 2003 and by 2005 had realised there was more to us than just good friends 🙂
  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. Sometimes Steve and I both don’t feel like dancing but we put on the old dance shoes and hit the d-floor anyway, but if it really isn’t working after 5 minutes we call it and leave. 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. 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 🙂
  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? Hmm my dream holiday would involve travelling to any place where its hot and I don’t have 20 suitcases filled with competition stuff. 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 🙂

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, 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” and in short, I looked like I had been attacked by Mr. Squiggle. I had never plucked, waxed or given any time into grooming them before and this definitely showed when I decided to colour them in. 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 because 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 🙂 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!! As an added bonus, I 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 unique 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 dyed 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 sets and gives definition to the individual hairs in your brows, which is great if you are fair like me. Also, on those days that I just cant be bothered doing a full on eyebrow, 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 on 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’s quick (only takes about 5 minutes), relatively cheap (around $20), and lasts for a good while (I only tend to get mine done every couple of months or so). All of the ladies that I have had are 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 can give me a high arch from which their response is “I will do my best”, haha meaning.. your face really isn’t helping me with that one. You simply sit down, pull your eyelids and forehead apart and they get to business!

One word of warning though, try to go there 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’s easy for dirt 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 and didn’t get it removed. I thought nothing of it and 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 for 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 sensitivity and close the pores 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 🙂