All Posts By:

Emily

  • InBeauty

    My lookfantastic AU Experience

    You might not be aware that SkincareStore Australia recently rebranded to lookfantastic, Europe’s number one online premium beauty retailer, giving us Aussie’s access to more than 250 international and local brands. We’re talking brands such as Dermalogica, The Ordinary, Christophe Robin, amika, Alpha H and many many more, but just recently Clinique has joined the crew as a new brand available for purchase!

    I was recently given the opportunity to experience the lookfantastic service and their sparkly new website, and now I get to share my experience with you all! For transparency, I was provided a voucher to purchase some goodies but I also picked up a few extra things that weren’t covered.

    After a long debate with myself, I ended up ordering the following:

    I cannot rave enough about the service provided by lookfantastic. Once the order was confirmed via email, it arrived just a week after it was placed which is normal for delivery to Tassie – it’s a little slower down this way. Also kudos to LF for not including any unnecessary packaging within the box, gotta help out the environment where we can!

    Regarding the products, if only you could smell the amika signature vanilla, citrus and clover fragrance – it’s a spa in my shower every day. These two will be a definite repurchase, as well the Kora Noni Glow sachets. This potent, nutrient-dense blend of superfoods in powder form is non-GMO, gluten & dairy-free, vegan and cruelty-free, boosting the skin’s health and wellness from the inside out. I think it also tastes a bit chocolate-y which I’m not complaining about! The Clinique highlighter has the prettiest sheen with a sheer pink undertone, and has been working perfectly as an alternative to a powder highlight.

    lookfantastic offers free tracked delivery to Australia on orders over $50, and always have a coupon or two available for a sneaky GWP. The site is also offering a free makeup bag when you spend $120 with the code LFAUS – so run, don’t walk!

    Have you tried our Aussie version of lookfantastic, and what was your experience like?

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  • InLifestyle

    All About That (Blue) Light…

    While I aim to practice what I preach – limiting social media usage anyone? – I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to giving into my vices. Once of my worst vices is sitting on my laptop or phone throughout the night, with not only my sleep disrupted. Blue light is fast becoming a phrase on my radar, as not only is it naturally produced by the sun, it’s also dispensed by fluorescent light bulbs and emitted by LED’s present in digital devices, i.e my laptop and iPhone.

    Similar in appearance to ultraviolet light and visible on the light spectrum, blue light comprises of wavelengths that range from 400nm to 500nm. While all artificial light, including LEDs, fluorescent bulbs and incandescent bulbs, can interrupt normal sleep patterns, when artificial blue light is received by the retina during times usually associated with rest, the body’s natural circadian rhythm becomes confused and unable to distinguish between night and day. In conducted trials, the study found that exposure to blue light supressed melatonin production by almost 85% and instead boosted alpha brainwaves associated with alertness and concentration. Not only this, but prolonged exposure to blue light can also have an adverse affect on our eye health, while causing neck and back pain and headaches. On a skin level, long-term exposure to concentrated blue light energy can cause skin damage, including colour changes, inflammation, and weakening of the skin’s surface.

    Now I like to sleep as much as the next person but mention potential skin damage, you’ve got me in. Dr Murad, the influential dermatologist behind his eponymous skincare brand, explains that, “spending four eight-hour workdays in front of a computer exposes you to the same amount of energy as 20 minutes in the mid-day sun. To put this in perspective, “seven minutes of sun exposure at 1pm is powerful enough to induce immediate tanning”. Therefore consider this your official reminder to apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ and above each and every day, with many brands beginning to release powerful skincare products that protect skin against environmental factors including UV rays, blue light and pollution.

    But back to eye health; I recently became aware of a new kid on the block, in an Australian eyewear brand EXYRA, who offer a range of prescription and non-prescription styles glasses with an advanced blue light filter. Unlike their competitors which use a lens coating to reflect harmful blue light, EXYRA’s innovative lens technology is made using a photochromic dye that absorbs and blocks blue light from entering the retina (watch video here). Maintaining true colour perception, EXYRA’s scratch-resistant lenses offer UV A/B protection while also reducing glare. Hypoallergenic and made from renewable materials that do not harm the environment, these styles provide an enhanced reading experience day or night.

    Assembled in Brisbane and available globally in prescription (single vision lenses only) and non-prescription styles, EXRYA glasses retail from $98 and can be purchased online, with the security of a money back guarantee available. I have been lucky enough to try the clear Allirea style over the last week, which is made from a beautiful clear crystal that’s bang on trend right now. I chose the non-prescription styles as I generally wear contacts day to day, and even though I was a little hesitant about wearing glasses over my contacts – my sight has not hindered whatsoever whilst working on my desktop, laptop or iPhone. They’re comfortable to wear, almost a little on the big side because they haven’t been fitted to my face like at an optometrist, and I’ve had many a compliment on my cool new glasses!

    The folks at EXRYA were kind enough to provide my audience with a discount code, which will entitle you to 15% off storewide when you spend $70 or more at EXYRA with the code ‘WhyHelloBeauty’. If you’re concerned about potentially harmful blue light, give these stylish frames a peep – you’ll love them!

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  • InBeauty

    Links I Love

    It’s time for another edition of Links I Love, which I’ve come to realise gives my endless scroll through the interwebs a purpose – it’s for my blog, right? Grab a glass of preference, and take a read!

    Teresa X TOMBOY

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  • InBeauty

    A Guide to Exfoliation for Smoother, Brighter & Glowier Skin

    *Originally published at The Sheet Mask Shop by Jess

    “I’ve been noticing an increasing interest in exfoliating acids lately, and a lot of lovely ladies asking for advice about them and exfoliation in general. As someone who loves exfoliation and how it makes my skin feel, I certainly understand the excitement! I also, however, have skin that can easily become over-exfoliated. I am also very aware that exfoliation products can be confusing – there are many different types to choose from, and some may suit certain skin types better than others. So today I thought I’d help try to explain some of the ins and outs of exfoliation for you, with some specific recommendations included for different needs and skin types. If you’d like a more detailed post on any of the specifics, or simply want to ask a question or 5 – please don’t hesitate to say hi via my blog or Instagram“.

    Why is exfoliation great? I love exfoliation for the same reason I love sheet masking – it has an immediate effect! Exfoliators help remove the dead skin cells (and debris) that build up on the skin’s surface, and removing dead skin cells has a lot of benefits for all skin types. A build-up of dead skin cells can make the skin’s texture rough, dry and uneven. Dead skin cells that build up in pores can clog them, making pores appear larger and causing breakouts and bumps that can become acne. Dead skin cells also tend to dull the skin and can make fine lines and wrinkles more obvious.

    Using the right exfoliators to remove these dead skin cells reveals younger skin cells and assists the skin to look and feel smoother, softer and glowier. It can keep pores clear, reduce acne discolouration and uneven skin tone, and even help fade sun spots and pigmentation. Exfoliation also helps your other products (sheet masks, serums, essences and creams) work better as those dead skin cells can act as a barrier reducing the ability of your skin care from penetrating your skin, so removing them helps your other products get to work in your skin more easily.

    What are the different types of exfoliation? There are a few different types of exfoliants used in skin care, with the most common being acids, enzymes and manual exfoliators (i.e. scrubs/granules). Let’s break them down:

    ACIDS

    There are a few different types of acids generally used to aid exfoliation, in AHAs, BHAs and (the newer) PHAs. All of them work by lowering the skin’s pH and dissolving the bonds, or “glue”, that holds the cells of dead skin together – making them easier to remove or shed naturally more quickly. These acids can be used in different types of skin care products – including cleansers, toners, essences, serums and creams (and some sheet masks!). I like to use acids as early in my skin care routine as possible, when the skin’s pH is lower, as it helps them work more effectively. I also tend to prefer acids in cleansers, toners, peeling masks and essences that can be used during, or immediately after cleansing. But what acid is right for you?

    • AHAs are alpha hydroxy acids and include lactic, glycolic and malic acids. These acids are water soluble and great for breaking down dry, dull, surface dead skin cells. They are particularly good for helping reduce pigmentation, rough skin and uneven skin tone.
    • BHAs are beta hydroxy acids, and include salicylic acid and betaine salicylate. These acids are oil-based and can penetrate into pores to break down dead cells that clog them – leading to blackheads and acne, and larger-looking pores. These are particularly good for oily, acne-prone and congested skin types.
    • PHAs are poly hydroxy acids (a new forms of alpha hydroxy acids with a larger molecular size), and they include lactobionic acid and gluconolactone. Because PHAs are larger molecules than the traditional AHAs, they can’t penetrate into the skin very far and work towards the skin’s surface, whilst also being natural humectants that draw water to the skin, increasing its hydration. They are a great alternative to AHAs for sensitive skin types and many people can use them more often.

    When might acids not be right for you? Because acids chemically dissolve cell bonds, and penetrate the skin to varying degrees, you can easily overdo their use. It is important that you start slow, and pay attention to your skin to determine how often you can use these products. If you are pregnant, you may be advised not to use BHAs (or retinol) during your pregnancy but most importantly, acids (and retinoid products) can make your skin more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage. While you really should use a sunscreen every day anyway, it is really imperative that you actially make it a daily part of your routine when using acids. If you can’t trust yourself to do this, it may be better to start with one of the other exfoliants below. Personally, I don’t like using acids for body exfoliation – because while I wear sunscreen on my face religiously, I am less trustworthy with other parts of my body!

    ENZYMES

    Enzyme exfoliators work slightly differently to acids. These products break down the proteins in dead skin cells to help them shed more easily. Enzyme exfoliators are generally fruit derived, especially from pineapple and pawpaw. They are good for more sensitive skin types, and very unlikely to irritate, as they work only on the skin’s surface. They are usually water-activated (eg. an enzyme wash), and can help all skin types, being a great option for those whose skin cannot tolerate acids (or can’t be trusted to wear sunscreen every day).

    MANUAL EXFOLIATORS

    While acids and enzymes break down the structure of dead skin cells, manual exfoliators actually work to lift off and remove them. A scrub with a face cloth or brush (eg. a Clarisonic Mia or Foreo Luna) can act as a manual exfoliation. But personally I love well formulated, very gentle scrubs for manual exfoliation, to ensure I am actually removing the skin cells that are being broken down by my acid or enzyme exfoliants. It is also by far my preferred body exfoliation method. The important thing to remember with scrubs is very gentle pressure only. You don’t want to overly tug or rub at your skin. Very fine particle peeling masks can be excellent for sensitive skin, or those already using acids. Scrubs are also a great option for younger skin, sensitive skin or those that cannot tolerate acids, or regularly apply sunscreen.

    How often should you exfoliate? All skin is different. Gentle acid toners may be able to be used daily, or every second day. However, peeling masks, scrubs and stronger acids are ideal to be used once or twice a per week within your established skincare routine. My advice is to start slow and see what your skin likes best. Most of all, if you can, exfoliate early in your skin care routine to ensure that the product can work as effectively as possible – and help prepare your skin for your treatment skin care products so they absorb as effectively as possible. I personally love to time my exfoliation days with treatment sheet mask nights!

    K Beauty, K Beautiful: The Sheet Mask Shop was born of our desire to introduce Australians to the fabulous, great-value skincare products and effective self-care routines we ‘discovered’ during our travels to Korea and Japan. Our whole philosophy is to make it as easy as possible for Australians to try the very best of these products and help guide you as you explore the wealth of wonderful options to find what is best for your skin.

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  • InBeauty

    The 2019 Home Grown Beauty Edit

    With Australia Day quickly approaching on the calendar, I wanted to highlight a handful of incredible home grown brands that you need to know about in 2019. Here’s my edit, and remember that Adore Beauty currently have a 10% off skincare sale, for any sneaky belated Christmas presents from you to you…

     

    Biologi Hydration Body Serum

    Lux Aestiva Gypsy Oil

    Simplicite Skin Antioxidant Plant Serum

    Skinvitals Glow 2–Step Brightening Cloth Mask Treatment

    Dermatonics Beauty Elixir

    Frank Body Shimmer Scrub

    Lanolips Banana Balm Lip Sheen

    Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Cleanser

    Natio Nail Colour

    Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment

    Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask 

    Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50+

    Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub

     

    Here’s to Aussie brands kickin’ it worldwide!

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    The Power of Botanical Skincare

    After my recent Skinstitut facial treatment at Laser Clinics Australia (LCA) I wanted to learn more about the products my therapist used that day that left me and my skin literally glowing. LCA exclusively use and stock instore the Skinstitut skincare product range, which is Australia’s most cost-effective, cosmedical range designed to correct skin and return the skin to optimum skin health. This is achieved by using cosmedical ingredients – the newest and the most effective category of skin products that can be purchased without prescription – that not only aid in skin correction, but also will assist with healthy maintenance of the skin and prevention of premature ageing and sun damage. I was recently put in contact with Skinstitut Expert, Zoe Devine, to learn about the power of botanical skincare in the Skinstitut range.

    Hi Zoe, what are the benefits of botanically derived ingredients? A major benefit of harnessing the power of nature using botanically derived ingredient means we can generate greater nutrient diversity and stability. Using a botanically sourced ingredient allows us to obtain not only a single vitamin or mineral for the skin but in fact a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and organic compounds that work in synergy with one another for improved efficacy. Plants contain compounds known as phytonutrients; there are over 4000 phytonutrients found in nature, each working in different ways. Some of the best known phytonutrients are the carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, indoles, lignans and isoflavones.

    Why is it important to use botanically derived ingredients within skincare products? Nature provides us with some potent sources of nutrients that can benefit the skin. Where possible we try to utilise these botanically derived ingredients due to their rich nutrient profile. This helps us to create a more multi-faceted and dynamic skincare product. We’re always continuing to strive to maintain and improve our ethical stance. Skinstitut are proud to be a vegan skincare range that does not test on animals.

    How does Skintitut, as a cosmedical brand, harness botanical elements within its products? Being a cosmedical skincare brand has many advantages; not only do we ensure that all ingredients are used within their therapeutic threshold to guarantee a change within the skin but some of our favourite attributes (and often less talked about) are our ethical and botanical elements. We’re happy to boast about our results-orientated skin care solutions that utilise innovative and powerful ingredients; both cosmedical and botanical. When formulating, we always consider how we can deliver a wide array of naturally occurring nutrients for the skin is the most condensed fashion. We seek out the most appropriate and multifunctional ingredients that are sourced globally for their phytonutrient profile. Many of these ingredients are derived from nature and exert a multitude of actions for the skin.

    Which key botanical ingredients can be found in Skinstitut products and what do they do for the skin? Skinstitut use a myriad of botanical ingredients, a couple of our favourites include:

    • Goji Berry Extract – a super food in its own right this humble berry offers a rich array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is used in skincare products for its effective anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm redness and strengthen capillaries (you can find goji in Gentle Cleanser and L-Lactic Cleanser).
    • Green tea – we are all drinking it but why are we now putting it on our skin? These delicate leaves have powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to skincare, green tea has the ability to protect skin cells from free radical damage that would ultimately lead to cell damage and premature ageing. Green tea is within Gentle Cleanser, Multi-Active Mist and Moisture Defence Ultra Dry.
    • Papaya extract (papain enzymes) – these enzymes are proteolytic, meaning they digest protein (aka dead skin cells). Papain is gentle enough to digest old, dead skin cells, without dissolving or digesting new, healthy skin cells, thereby protecting the skin. This improves the texture and tone and delivers ultra-gentle exfoliation for even the most sensitive skin. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties also make this form of ingredient extremely useful for acne prone skin. Papain enzymes can be found in Enzymatic Micro Peel and Moisture Defence Oily Skin.
    • Kakadu plum – an Australian native fruit known as a superfood; acting as one of the richest sources of vitamin C plus delivering powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. This helps to offset the damaging effect from daily exposure and pollution offering anti-ageing and complexion strengthening properties. You can find kakadu plum in Moisture Defence Normal Skin and Repair Balm. Some of our other cherished botanical ingredients include aloe vera, avocado oil, olive leaf, rosehip and pomegranate oil. Some of our other cherished botanical ingredients include aloe vera, avocado oil, olive leaf, rosehip and pomegranate oil.

    For more information on Laser Clinics Australia or the Skinstitut product range, visit the LCA website and take a peek at official stockist Adore Beauty who are currently having a 10% skincare sale!

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InHair

    Advice From The Team Behind Jesinta Franklin’s Hair

    With a new year comes fresh new trends, and of course stunning new haircuts. Jesinta Franklin is a perfect example of this, as she recently debuted a new style that is beyond words. Mark my words, this cut will be HUGE this year. And the talented hands behind this look is no other than the über-cool team at KODA Cutters in Bondi Beach NSW, whose Creative Director I was lucky enough to speak with recently. An editorial stylist for over a decade, Diane Gorgievski is behind some of Australia’s most influential editorial shoots and her vast list of clients include Vogue, Russh, Harpers Bazaar and Elle. Diane regularly works with local celebrity clientele including Rose Byrne, Sarah Murdoch, Jodhi Meares and of course Jesinta, to name but a few.

    Diane, thanks for speaking with me. Let me ask, what’s your prediction for hair trends in 2019? “Hair is going edgy – people are coming away from that ‘balayage and tonged look’ and going for something more direct. We are seeing a lot of women going for the scalp bleach / full tint with roots shadow and the riskay cut. Love a pixie or even a bob!”

    What’s your favourite cut or colour at the moment?Love the lived in colour Jesinta Franklin had done this month by our Colour Director Adam Hopkins. So cool and understated.”

    Who is your ultimate celebrity muse?THE MOSS BOSS – she is just everything still to me.”

    Any haircare brand you live and die by?Oribe.”

    What’s one thing we can all do for better hair health?Look after coloured hair – so many women just don’t. If your going to spend on the colour then you need to take home all the stuff that going to keep it in good condition – and just like your skin, be sun smart!”

    If you’re close by in Bondi, stop by their stunning space but if you’re like me and a little too far away, enjoy this sneak peek in the KODA Cutters picture-perfect salon.

     

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  • InBeauty

    Protect your Eyes This Summer

    In the spirit of the warmer weather finally reaching us here in Tasmania, I’ve partnered up with Quay Australia to share some timely advice to protect your precious peepers in the summer time.

    • First things first, applying an eye cream day and night is essential but because you already know that, consider mixing it up between morning and evening, as personally I like a brightening eye cream in the morning (Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème) and a richer cream in the Ella Baché Eternal Restructuring Eye Cream for the evening. I apply this after serum but before night cream and oil, as I find it ‘locks’ in better.
    • Wear a hat whenever you’re outside, and use it to add to your outfit as opposed to just wearing a hat. ASOS have a great selection of hats, and my personal favourite is the Felt Boater Hat in Light Camel.
    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and keep eye drops on hand if you find your eyes are feeling tight and dry, especially if you wear contact lenses. I recommend popping Systane Gel Lubricating Drops in your handbag for these moments.
    • A fabulous pair of sunglasses are also a non-negotiable, but with so many styles available at Quay Australia – you’ll want more than one pair! The bigger the shades, the more protection the delicate skin around the eyes receive and can also hide tired eyes on a rusty Sunday morning even better. For days at the beach, Quay have a huge range of mirrored sunglasses, like HIGH KEY which was designed in collaboration with Desi Perkins. Local babe Elle Ferguson has also created a collection, so have a peek at her range here and while you’re at, use my 20% discount code ‘EMILY20’ for a little treat!
    • And lastly, if you’re stuck at work and not out enjoying the sunshine like the lucky buggers, follow this link to ease tired weary eyes from excessive computer use – you’ll thank me later!

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    Am I a Beauty Vlogger Yet?

    It’s been a minute or two since I’ve put pen to paper (so to say) and written about what’s new at Why Hello Beauty HQ, and when I do jot my thoughts down I tend to write in the voice of a beauty vlogger sharing a video about about a new range of makeup,  say Allana Davison (@allanaramaa) or Alix (icovetthee), so in the spirits of this as they would say – “let’s just get into it!”

    While it’s been slightly frantic with everything that comes with this time of year, I’ve actually spent a lot of my down time sampling new products, but mostly I’ve been nailing the at-home gel manicure and I’ve gotta say – I’m really getting good now! Opallac is the gel polish of choice after a handful of new shades arrived including the lovely High Tea, which is beautifully milky pink shade that feels very right for Spring / Summer 2019. I must admit that I’m still working on my cuticles and applying my CND Solar Oil each and every night…

    I’ve had a few empties in the last few weeks, including Amperna’s Pro+ Vitamin C Hyaluronic Serum + Ultra Gentle Soothing CleanserGoldwell’s Just Smooth duo and my MOR Pomegranate Sugar Crystal Body Scrub which just quietly, also doubles as a yummy hand and foot scrub. I’ve rediscovered a few gems lately, namely the good ol’ beautyblender and my Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Contour Wand (THE best natural yet buildable contour ever) and have also found myself completely avoiding powder highlighter, it’s been looking cakey and just ‘obvious’ on my skin for some reason, so I’ve been opting for my creamy Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlighter in Champagne and it’s perfect.

    During December, I was excitingly counting down the days til Christmas with Clarin’s 12 Days of Clarins Advent Calendar and I was so bloody impressed with the contents. Between the full size products and super cute mini’s, it was such a treat and completely affordable considering what was packaged up inside. Ooo that reminds me, I have almost finished my IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 and as it’s always out of stock in Sephora, I’m wondering if it’s time to try something different now? Let me know if you have any great recs! Maybe the Dior Face and Body Foundation that I’ve seen all over the ‘gram?

    Make like a beauty vlogger and share with me in the comments what you’re currently using, I’m always up to chat about beau-tay!

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    All That Parisian Beauty….

    I recently re-read for the third time Katrina Lawrence’s dreamy book Paris Dreaming and now I’m back to spending my evenings scrolling through all the #parisianinspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, dreaming that I’m Jeanne Damas standing on a balcony filled with fresh flowers overlooking the Eiffel Tower, and maybe even a glass of rosé in one hand with the other reapplying my own brand of lipstick like a supermodel, laughing with friends aplenty. Regular Tuesday nights of course …

    But getting back to reality, I am on a mission to make like a Parisian beauty junkie and stock my beauty cabinet with more luxuriously cult French beauty brands, including those of Bioderma, Caudalie, Christophe Robin and Embryolisse. I’ve previously written about my love for Christophe Robin and especially his Volumising range with rose extracts, which looked perfectly at home in our bathroom and are completely #packaginggoals. I also love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, which I first tried in New York – so as well as hydrating the skin just so, it now also reminds me of NY with each spritz.

    Paris is always a good idea – Audrey Hepburn

    I actually purchased the Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre whilst I was in Japan last month, so that’s one off my list straight away. This cream has so much slip and glides over the skin so easily, and I’m told can do doubleduty as a neck cream, makeup remover and/or a makeup primer! As well as locals Sephora and Adore Beauty stocking French beauty brands, I’ve also discovered a dedicated French beauty website, in the French Beauty Co., which I’ve now added to my Favourites list for future reference. My apologies to my husband for our credit card statement in advance…

    While I try to rein in my spending, I like to keep an eye on Emma Hoareau, of Lolita Says So, who is another #frenchbeauty icon who always has her finger on the beauty pulse. Violette Fr is another beauty making waves in the makeup industry, and has recently collaborated with Estee Lauder creating an iconic collection in Poppy Sauvage. 

    I’d love to know, what’s your favourite Parisian beauty tip or trick?  

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    Links I Love

    Grab a coffee and take five to scroll through this short list of great reads, for all the inspiration you’ll need today. But if you only read one, make sure it’s either Gelcream’s article with Vogue UK or our own Australian powerhouse Gritty Pretty‘s Summer 2019 online magazine, it’s a cracker!

    Zoe Foster Blake _ Grittt Pretty Summer 2019 Magazine

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  • InBeauty, Skin

    Review | Twelve’s Sheet Mask Monthly Subscription Box

    A handful of sheet masks delivered right to your door sounds blissful doesn’t it? I find I never have enough masks stashed away and always find myself running low – especially when I’m about to pour a glass of wine and slip into the bath! Enter Twelve, the monthly Australian sheet mask subscription box service. With two different plans available at present, with either four or eight hand-picked premium Korean sheet masks included, this service begins at $14.99 per month. Twelve also pop into each box a brief guide on each of the masks included for you to get masking straight away and to help you understand exactly when and how to use your sheet masks to achieve their best results.

    ‘Sheet masks should be included as an addition to your beauty routine and treated as a boost to help you target your skin problems. Imagine that you are baking a delicious cake, sheet masks would be the yummy icing that you spread on top to make your cake perfect!’

    Included within the November box with a total dollar value of $39.50, was:

    1. Adaline Keep Cool and Drink Ocean
    2. Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack
    3. Mizon Enjoy Vital Up Time – Hydration
    4. Noh:j Deep Cleansing Bubble Mask
    5. Annie’s way Lavender & Chamomile Soothing Mask
    6. Lululun Weekly Face Mask Homeo Age
    7. JayJun Baby Pure Shining Mask
    8. Skin’s Boni Yogurt Bonimini Mud Pack

    This box is full of cute and colourful sheet masks that are very different to what you would generally find in Australian stores. My pick of the bunch was Skin’s Boni Yogurt Bonimini Mud Pack, and half the fun was opening the packaging – so cute! I applied these masks while I was in bath, before work on a Friday (my skin rejoiced!) and nearly every night since the box arrived while I was working in the office or simply just watching tv. With Twelve including both the shipping and the physical masks within the total price of $27.99 for the 8 piece box, it’s completely affordable for yourself and maybe even your best friend!

    Just an FYI – Twelve recommends that when storing sheet masks to ensure they’re kept at/in a cool place (less than 30 degrees) and out of direct sunlight but for something a little extra special, try popping the mask into the fridge for an hour or so prior to use for a sublime cooling touch.

    If you’re interested in trying out this subscription, make sure you enter your email address on the Twelve website pop-up and you’ll receive $5 off your first order, with a minimum $20 spend!

    *This subscription box was gifted for the purpose of review, but all thoughts, words and opinion are of my own.

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    What You Need to Know about Skin Health

    Probiotic skincare, well this is new. I know all about taking a supplement including a pro or prebiotic orally, but using a skincare with a similar concept, this was new and exciting territory. As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, I suffer from rosacea on my cheeks, chin and nose and have done since I can remember. What I don’t mention as much, is I also have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, which is similar to rosacea in the idea it’s a bumpy red rash but even though I’ve tried fantastic skincare over the years, I’ve never used anything that has actively assisted in either of these issues. The redness on my cheeks especially is visible 24/7 and a personal insecurity of mine, and when I noticed after the first cleanse with a new product that landed on my desk that my redness was dramatically reduced, I was in shock. This never happens, and even the burning sensation from the redness had also subsided – the heat was gone.

    Each time I used either a product from the AMPERNA® range the same thing occurred, in less redness and also a less visible texture to my cheeks and chin areas. It occurred to me the other day while I was applying the cleanser to my skin that maybe the reason this product was working for me was due to the fact AMPERNA® is actually an active probiotic skincare range, and then I realised it was high time I learnt what this actually meant. I now want to share this with you.

    Put simply, probiotics in skincare act as a protective layer on the skin, boosting healthy looking skin by fighting bad bacteria with ‘good bacteria’. Skincare products with probiotics can help to:

    • Calm and soothe inflamed, irritated skin
    • Improve your skin’s appearance by reducing redness and locking in moisture
    • Reduce the signs of ageing
    • Help to reduce the symptoms and appearance of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions

    AMPERNA® is an Australian skincare brand committed to creating simple, active products specifically formulated for sensitive skin. This means the range is non-comedogenic, contains no sulfates, parabens, aluminium, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours or bleaches, and their unique probiotic complex is shelf stable for up to 12 months. The brand was created after Kiri Yanchenko, founder & holistic skin health advocate, found herself struggling with acne for the first time in her adult life. So began Kiri’s search for a solution that worked. She sought an ultra gentle skincare range that contained key active ingredients; however, the brand she was seeking didn’t exist. So she created it, driven by a deep understanding of what women really need from their skincare range, based on a holistic approach.

    Inspired by the AMPERNA® philosophy and the results I was seeing first hand on my skin, I reached out to Kiri to share my experience but in turn, realised this was something I needed to share with everyone. I wanted to share the importance of quality skincare of course, but also stress why we should be focused on skin health first and foremost. I asked Kiri to explain why skin health is so important and she said,Skin health is so important to your overall wellbeing. When my skin is happy, healthy and pimple & rash free (as I am sensitive to many things) I am much more confident and able to face the day; so we are in business to help people feel comfortable. I feel much more comfortable now than when I did when I suffered from pustular acne and perioral dermatitis. Using the wrong products with nasties in them, too many products and inferior formulations without good ingredients can really make matters worse. You can actually be doing your skin more harm than good and can also make yourself sensitized. People can be sensitive to certain things, like me; I am allergic to latex, fluoride, shea butter and plane trees for example. They can also become sensitized. Sensitized skin is a skin condition brought on by certain environmental, biological and physiological stressors; including excessive sun exposure, dry cold weather, alcohol and cigarette smoking, diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, a hormonal imbalance or thinning of the skin’s lipid layer due to normal aging, and the ongoing use of aggressive skin care products.”

    AMPERNA’s LIGHTWEIGHT SOOTHING+ EMULSION has been awarded Best Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin in the Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2018

    She also explains the much-discussed ‘holistic approach to skincare’ is based on treating your whole body well – including your mind. “Our skin is our bodies largest organ and it is often the first thing to show when we are not quite right/when our bodies aren’t at their best. It keeps our body temperature regulated, helps to prevent dehydration and infections and protects us from the elements. It’s so important to our wellbeing, yet sometimes we forget to give it the respect it deserves. Our skin is deeply connected to the rest of our body. So, it makes sense that it will be affected by what’s happening throughout our bodies, not just on the surface”, says Kiri. Some of the ways that you can take a holistic approach to your skincare (and overall wellbeing) include regular exercise, practicing mindfulness, keeping up your h20 levels, as well as ensuring a good diet, combined with the right regime of skincare products with the right ingredients.

    I asked Kiri, with skin health a priority, can you advise which foods we should be consuming and those we should avoid? Do you also suggest individuals take an oral supplements, in conjunction with their skincare? For diet; I found lots of water and green tea helped my skin (and still does) as well as really limiting the bad fats and sugars. I still use an anti-inflammatory diet to this day and I don’t drink coffee. Sure, I fall off the wagon to celebrate a business milestone with a gin and tonic but even that is a smart clean spirit choice. I find trying to make smart choices every day and turning it into a lifestyle is what helps me stay focused diet wise. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods like green leafy vegies including bok choy, celery and brocolli, fruits including blueberries and pineapple, salmon, bone broth, walnuts, coconut oil, chair seed, flaxseeds, tumeric and ginger. There is also a long list of things to avoid which include alcohol, saturated and trans fatty acids. Simple, refined sugars and carbohydrates are more inflammation-causing culprits. Limiting refined grains is an important factor in an anti-inflammatory diet as well. Whole grains should replace the refined carbohydrates, as truly whole grains are important sources of nutrition. If you’re interested in embracing this lifestyle, I would really recommend examining your diet and employing a lifestyle diet change to include good skin foods, and then maybe going to see a specialist and looking at the things your body lacks.”

    Here’s to better skin days, and embracing a lifestyle that supports you inside and out!

     

     

     

     

     

    * This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist. *

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    The Benefits of Vegan Beauty

    With World Vegan Day coming up on the 1st November 2018, I wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of vegan beauty products as this is certainly a hot topic right now within the #beautycommunity. I was lucky enough to speak with the founder Lux Aestiva in Katie Blyth, who is wealth of knowledge in this very subject.

    Lux Aestiva creates 100% vegan, natural and highly effective artisan skin and hair care products from original formulations that are bursting with omega fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Lux Aestiva’s botanical, hand made, small batch products are created using only the finest, ethically sourced raw ingredients which means there will never be any nasties in any Lux Aestiva products.

    What does the term vegan beauty actually refer to, is it simply that no animals were harmed in the making of this product? Yes, vegan beauty is definitely about not harming animals, but it’s also about not using any animal derived ingredients. So that’s avoiding animal products all together, including things like honey (which sometimes people forget comes from an animal)! I think today vegan beauty encapsulates a whole lot more than only being about the animals, it’s also about sustainability and being kinder to ourselves and the environment.

    Which vegan ingredients are the most effective for skin and haircare? A great one is nature’s own ‘Botox plant’ – the Hibiscus Flower, which combats ageing by limiting the activity of elastase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the elastin that keeps our skin firm and healthy. It’s also a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which which is effective for it’s ability to not only unclog pores and treat oily skin, but the malic acid and citric acid found in AHAs, gently exfoliate and brighten the skin. Lux Aestiva’s Wild At Heart Scrub contains the Hibiscus Flower, along with a host of other beneficial vegan ingredients. There’s also Prickly Pear Oil, the hero ingredient in our luxe oil of the same name, which comes from the plant of a cactus and is used for its hydrating and anti-ageing products. Then there’s a host of other great oils, such as Grape Seed Oil in our Wildflower Oil, which is packed full of antioxidants and linoleic acid, which helps reduce clogged pores. Or Hazelnut Oil which naturally helps to reduce oil production and strengthens skins elasticity. Or Marigold Flower, known for its antibacterial and immunostimulant properties, which also helps stimulate the production of collagen. The list is seemingly endless and when combined together, some of these ingredients are incredibly powerful!

    Which ingredients should we be especially mindful of to avoid when selecting skincare or haircare? Well for starters, always avoid skincare that has been tested on animals (that’s rule number one)! Then look out for ingredients that contain animal derivatives, such as animal fats like Squalene which is derived from shark liver. Or ‘Tallow’ which is an animal fat used to make soaps. Then there’s emu oil, mink oil and musk oil, all animal fats typically used in beauty. Then there’s bee products such as waxes and honey, and hyaluronic acid which can be derived from rooster combs (the red crown that mounts the head of a rooster). However, not all hyaluronic acid is animal-derived and safer versions can be manufactured via biofermentation. Keratin is another ingredient that is often found in a lot of haircare products, and mostly derived from the hooves, quills, and hair of animals (eek). If you’re in doubt, be sure to do your research and google the ingredients!

    Can becoming a vegan, or using solely vegan products, positively impact the community and/or the environment? Yes, I believe so. Whilst a vegan lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, it is important to try and do your bit wherever possible. If the idea of going completely vegan is just not possible, try to just cut back when you can. If it’s just choosing some days of the week to go animal product free or making the switch to vegan beauty, you are at least contributing in some way. The cosmetics and skincare industries have a dramatic impact on our environment, particularly affecting the hormone systems of animals who are agitated by personal care products that rinse down our drains and into our natural waterways. Then of course there’s the impact of the cosmetic and beauty industry’s heavy use of plastics in their packaging, which can of course affect our wildlife in numerous ways. So try to choose natural, vegan and sustainable brands whenever you can.

    If people are interested in learning more about vegan beauty, where should they begin? Start by familiarizing yourself with the vegan beauty brands that are available and try to make a switch (even if only slowly)! The term ‘vegan’ sometimes gets a bad rap but there are so many incredible vegan brands out there that often have great websites full of information for anyone looking to learn more. Also try to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that are definitely not vegan, and avoid them wherever possible!

    Are you a vegan, or is this something you’ve been considering? I’d love to know, so share your thoughts below!

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  • InBeauty

    My Laser Clinics Australia Experience

    Every year around October / November I find my skin seems to play up, and acts a little out of sorts. I usually put it down to the weather, you know coming out of the freezing Tasmanian winter to warmer days or even hayfever season, but when Laser Clinics Australia reached out to invite me to experience a treatment in store in September, I jumped at the opportunity. The newest Laser Clinic has just opened in Launceston, which is just an hour or so away from me in northern Tasmania, so it was perfect timing and was something to look forward to during this awkward skin-time-of-year.

    Last Friday, I met with my therapist Bec when I arrived at the clinic, and got to have a little peek around while I filled out the obligatory paperwork. The space in Launceston has such a great location, with big windows filling the clinic with natural light, and was certainly very aesthetically pleasing. Bec and I went into a treatment room and discussed my skin and everything contributing to it at length. Bec had a fantastic knowledge of skin, as well as the Skinstitut skincare range which is used throughout the clinic. Although I had previously organised for the Enzymatic Skin Peel, a gentle micro-exfoliating treatment that’s designed to soothe, hydrate and micro-exfoliate dry, flaking and sensitive skin (perfect for my rosacea-prone skin), Bec confirmed in person that this was the best way forward for visible results.

    The Enzymatic Skin Peel Treatment

    • Bec gave my skin an initial cleanse with the Skinsitutut Gentle Cleanser, and used the Glycolic Cleanser as the second cleanse, both rinsed with cool water.
    • My skin was dried with a tissue, and the Peel Accelator was applied and rubbed into the skin with a piece of gauze.
    • Bec applied Repair Balm over sensitive areas of my face; including eyebrows, lips and around the eyes, prior to the application of the Enzymatic Micro Peel.
    • This was then rinsed off, and my skin was cleansed of all products with the Gentle Cleanser to remove everything, before being popped under the in-salon yellow LED light for 13 minutes.
    • Treatment concluded with a spritz of the Multi-Active Mist, and the application of Rejuvenate 15, Laser Aid and Age Defence SPF 50+.

    I found the treatment completely comfortable and never felt anything above a slight tingle, although my skin was left a little extra and sensitive for a few days. It’s now 6 days post treatment and the minimal peeling I experienced has vanished and I can now see my skins texture has improved, and the redness associated with my rosacea has been reduced significantly. The products I’ve used post treatment feel like they’ve been absorbed quicker than before, and my makeup is gliding on and wearing much better.

    Key ingredients within the Enzymatic Micro Peel include niacinamide for strengthening skin and reducing sensitivity, hydrating hylauronic acid and chamomile, for soothing and calming reactive skin. Speaking of reactive skin, Bec was kind enough to provide some extra information on reducing redness and the symptoms of rosacea for me to use as a reference in the future.

    This was the first time I’d experienced being placed under a LED light, and it was such a relaxing 13 minutes spent. The light has such a calming effect, and almost made me fall asleep but I’ve since read the light also helps aid healing of the skin post professional treatments, and increasing skin hydration and overall health of the skin. Although this was the first time, I suspect it won’t be the last ….

    Laser Clinics Australia offer all customers, new or existing, a free consultation to discuss their skin journey, so pop over to this link if you’re interested, and make sure you squeeze in a little extra LED light time for a cosy cat nap!

     

     

     

     

     

    *While the skin treatment was kindly gifted for review, the thoughts and opinions remains are that of mine. 

    This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    Luxurious Beauty

    Growing up, I always felt drawn to the world of beauty and especially loved going to department stores to see all the different brands and products available, while watching the glamorous ladies in white coats working the counters. As I got older, I found myself gravitating to smaller gift shops on lunch breaks to sneak around the beauty corner and play with all the testers of cult products, from brands including Crabtree & Evelyn. If I had a dollar for every time I tested hand creams in these shops, I’d probably be very close to being a millionaire but alas I’m not, but I have carried that love of hand cream through to adulthood.

    While Crabtree & Evelyn still have that classically simple packaging that remains quite similar to how I remember it, the brand have since released many new products to totally transform your mind, body and spirit, by pairing beautiful scents with effective products that I want to share with you all.

    Rosewater & Pink Peppercorn is such a gorgeous range, and my personal favourite – and I have to say, it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s bang on trend with its #millennialpink packaging. With products including Hydrating Body Gel, Hydrating Soap and Hydrating Hand Therapy, the delicate scent is intoxicating and the unique formulas leave skin feeling super soft and dewy, without the tackiness or greasiness other products may leave behind.

    For something a little different, the Lavender & Espresso range combines the relaxing qualities of lavender with the glorious scent of coffee beans, and by now we are all well aware of the benefits of coffee when applied to the skin, but if you’re not – coffee beans are loaded with antioxidants and magnesium, and work hard to smooth the appearance of dark spots, blemishes and scars, especially when used over periods of time. Try the Lavender & Espresso Calming Hand Wash and Lavender & Espresso Calming Body Wash to add a little luxury to the small things in life.

    With many more products available – think exfoliators, haircare, candles and fragrances, and even tea – your home can smell as good as you do!

     

     

     

    *This post is sponsored, but all words and opinions remain 100% of Emily Crawford, and Why Hello Beauty.

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

     

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  • InBeauty

    Frank Body Anti’s | Review

    New frank body products make me happy, especially when the juice inside is as good as the aesthically pleasing packaging. The self-proclaimed no-bullshit Anti’s are here, and we’re talking three new products, in a Cleansing Oil, Face Mist and Face Mask; which much like Frank itself, are clean, effective and oh-so fun.

    Priced between $14.95 and $23.95, this range is completely affordable and if you sign up to be a frankfurt (a newsletter subscriber) you’ll receive 10% off your first order. Interested? Let’s run through the products!

    Anti-Makeup Cleansing Oil

    A natural oil cleanser that removes makeup with a swift swipe or two, and is easily rinsed with water – no cloth required! A typical oil when first applied but once massaged, morphes into a milky liquid, and thanks to the combination of grapeseed oil, coffee seed oil, BHA acid and Vitamin E, my skin is is left completely makeup-free and crystal clean with no additional laundry to boot!

    Anti-Angry Face Mist

    I am absolutely obsessed with the 3PM pep-up face spritz and this little guy freshens me up perfectly, and my makeup. It cools skin down without leaving it parched, and thanks to rose water and aloe, hydration levels are given a boost too. A summer staple, especially for the office desk.

    The lush blend of charcoal, chamomile, honey and lavender removes dirt and detoxifies the skin, while the addition of evening primrose oil maintains hydration and ensures my skin doesn’t become irritated or aggravated. Within 15 minutes and once removed, my skin is left fresher and brighter and ready for ‘beauty’ sleep on my silky soft pillowcase….

    frank is one of my favourite ranges, and voices, in Australian beauty and with a range of hero products – the OG coffee scrub anyone – now available at Mecca, this is a brand that I have no doubt will remain in the forefront and continue to surprise and excite the beauty community in years to come.

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty

    What We’re Using On Our Brows

    Brows are definitely a hot topic right now and are something I think about often throughout the day, as I’m all about creating and maintaining a perfect brow shape. In the past, I’ve spoken with Gabby Sullivan of Brow Hub about brow rehab, Instagram brow guru Charleen Martinez and even the founder of Hello Brows (an oil formulated for encouraging the growth of healthier, fuller-looking brows) but let’s chat about brows in October 2018.

    With the effect of Glossier and its minimalist mantra spoken worldwide; brows are now fuller, less manicured and simply more natural than they have been previously and I for one, am totally here for it. Let’s speak to some pros about what they are currently using:

    @beautybytifini says “I use Kelley Baker brow products and have been obsessing over her tinted brow gel and I feel like that’s where brow trends have started to head. I’m still highlighting underneath the brow but tinted brow gels add volume and create that “fluffy” brow rather than something overly manicured. It’s also great for microbladed brows which a lot of people have – adds the perfect touch if they are starting to fade or want to darken the actual brow hair! Additionally, I’ve been trying to let the tops of the brow hairs grow in naturally to give that fluffy effect and keeping the bottom line cleaned up … but still ensuring my clients do not tweeze between appointments if they want the best for their brows!

    Charleen Martinez: “When it comes to maintaining brows, as a brow artist/ esthetician I recommend an appointment every 4 weeks as a maintenance regiment to ensure that the shape is always well groomed and maintained.”

    @iambethallen: “Castor oil is fantastic for promoting hair growth. It conditions the follicles as well as the existing hair. You can get it from any local drugstore and for best results, use it twice daily by applying a small amount over your whole brow area, focusing on your natural eyebrow bone. Do this for 2 minutes then wash it off completely. I am a HD Brow Stylist in the UK and we actually sell a lash and brow booster which again promotes hair growth and I’ve seen some amazing regrowth from using this product. There are lots of different products on the market for filling in sparse brows and it definitely depends on what you’re comfortable using. I personally prefer to use a pencil but I know a lot of people use pomades and powders. I think a pencil is the most natural as you can create hair strokes with it. My favourite is the Pro Pencil, which you sharpen using a crafting blade and use that to create thin hair-like strokes.”

    What’s your biggest tip for great brows, share below in the comments!

    *featured image via Coveteur

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  • InNails

    How To: DIY Gel Manicure

    I’m addicted to the feeling of freshly manicured nails, but let’s face it – my budget doesn’t always allow for it. So when Opallac reached out with a request to collab, I thought this was the perfect chance to nail the DIY gel manicure once and for all. Here a picture of how they turned out – good, right? Here’s how I did it!

    The Opallac Gel Polish Kit comes with literally everything you need – tools, polish and even the LED lamp – and the only extra thing I had on hand was paper towel to dry my hands before and after washing, plus it gives a great sturdy foundation to paint nails on.

    PREP: I started by filing my nails with the file included in the kit (black side), and then buffing the nail surface with the black side of the emery board. I then washed my hands with soap and water and dried with the paper towel. Now you’re ready to start the fun part!

    DURING: I begun by applying one thin coat of the Gel Base Coat and curing for 90 secs under the LED lamp. I then applied two coats of the Seductress Opallac Gel Colour, with the first coat thinner than the second. Each layer is again cured for 90 secs, with the Gel Top Coat then applied and cured. In this instance, I cured for a little longer than advised just to make sure it was completely dry. Gel polishes always leave a tacky reside on the nails, so Opallac have included a Shine & Soak liquid to wipe over each nail for a flawless finish. And voila – it’s as easy as that and can take as little as 20 minutes once you’ve nailed the process. *Opallac also advise to wash hands with soap after using the Shine & Soak.

    REMOVAL: Unlike many kits, Opallac have also included 30 finger pads, that when soaked in the Shine & Soak solution, can be applied to the nails to lift the gel from the nail for easy removal. For better results, use the nail file to gently file the polish down to begin to break it down.

    The more you practice this gel manicure ritual, the better you get and learning how the brush actually strokes the nail (as each brand and brush are different) allows you to apply the product precisely and swiftly, avoiding ‘colouring outside the lines’.

    If you mess up your application and get product on the surrounding skin, just use your other hands thumbnail to clean up as the product remains wet until cured under the light. I also use the nail file to clean up the nails once cured, as sometimes I’ve got random little bits sticking to the ends of the polish and this works a treat.

    Opallac Gel Polish Kit  They’ve made it completely fool-proof and provide you with all you need, and as you can see, my nails look fantastic!

    Do you DIY your manicure, or are you pro-only? Tell me in the comments!

     

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  • InNails

    Expert Advice for Your Healthiest Nails Yet

    While I was a life-long nail biter until about the age of about 20 years of age, I was somehow able to cut the habit cold turkey and have enjoyed the time experiencing the most luxurious experience of manicures and freshly painted nails. But recently I’ve found myself nibbling on my cuticles (maybe due to stress or anxiety) so I’ve been forcing myself to – firstly stop – but also apply a cuticle oil all around each nail and surrounding skin morning and night, which has greatly improved the condition and appearance of my my nails and hands. Inspired by this small step yet vast improvement to my nails, I have since reached out to Anna Lajourdie, a nail technician based in Ontario, to speak more about all things nail and nail care. If you’re obsessed with your weekly manicure, you’ll love this!

    Anna Lajourdie is a world-renowned nail technician, consultant, international educator and competition winner. A 22-year veteran of the nail industry, Anna has been featured and published in an array of magazines (Beauty Cosmedica, Nailpro, Scratch, and Nails Magazine—to name a few). In addition to working in her private manicure/pedicure studio located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada Anna actively works with various products manufactures, distributors and other industry leaders to raise industry standards.

    Please give Anna a follow at https://www.instagram.com/polished.ca/, her work is exceptional and is a reminder to me to always consider the hygiene of the salons I visit, and the health of your nails at all times. New or properly sanitised tools and equipment, fresh towels for every client and a spotless environment, before being treated with a superior treatment should be non-negotiable in nail salons, and I personally find that visiting mass nail chains – it’s simply not. We must expect better, and treat ourselves with the best of the best. Ok, let’s get into it!

    Hi Anna, and thank you for speaking with Why Hello Beauty. I’d love to know, first and foremost as it’s seen ALL over Instagram right now – is trimming or cutting the cuticle a do or huge don’t?

    This has been a super hot topic in the industry for a while now. Here is the funny thing. Most of people have the c word very confused. Turns out, that there is 2 “skins” around the nail. What an average person thinks of a cuticle, is, in fact- Proximal Nail Fold. And that ladies and gentlemen is… living skin. Cuticle is the thin film of skin cells that peaks from underneath of Proximal Nail Fold. That is dead (skin). Proximal Nail Fold can be gently nudged back, exposing the cuticle. Cuticle then can be and should be removed before of application of any nail polish/gel polish/enhancements or just to make the nail look neat. But what if the Proximal Nail Fold is ugly and thick and cracked? Well, if the PNF was cut, it does grow back thicker because the living skin is trying to protect the vulnerable area around the nail. When the skin is left alone and protected and cared for, it starts to grow in a more normal manner. When the PNF is pushed back gently (like after a shower, when the skin is softened) once or twice a week, and it’s protected with oil, the skin regains the flexibility and it starts to grow in a more appealing manner. Trust me on that. I had many clients with damaged skin around the nails. With gentle care, I’ve seen great improvement. Without any cutting.

    And speaking of nail care, what benefits will we use from regular cuticle oil application? 

    So many!! Oil sounds so simple and too good to be true but…. it’s true! Oil makes a huge difference! It mostly protects the skin from irritants and water loss (and excessive water absorption- too much water is not good either!). It plasticizes the nail plate and the product if you are wearing it (polish or gel polish). My fav oil at the moment is Dadi Oil by Famous Names. Look for something with a mixture of oils like avocado oil, almost oil, olive oil, rice bran oil as first ingredients. Even castor oil is a good addition to an oil in the winter (it’s heavier so it can feel little sticky though) it’s great for skin protection. I suggest using it minimum 2-3 times a day. More if your skin is dry.

    View this post on Instagram

    🔥Hot topic right now🔥. Should we cut/remove cuticle? Well, the problem is that majority of people are super confused what cuticle actually is. Cuticle is the dead, flaky, impacted skin that is stuck to the nail. 💡 The part what often gets cut is NOT cuticle but rather living skin (technical/“nail nerd” term: Proximal Nail Fold). The living skin should not be cut because it will grow back thicker and calloused. And that is not pretty. ✅DEAD SKIN— CUTICLE—- REMOVE ❌LIVING SKIN— PROXIMAL NAIL FOLD- DO NOT CUT Instead, after a shower push the skin gently with a towel and use a good quality nail treatment oil to protect it and soften it. Swipe⬅️➡️ to see this clients progress Ps. Don’t file the heck out of the living skin either. It’s as bad as cutting. It will get thicker and calloused! ****PLEASE SHARE************ #NonInvasiveManicures #oakville #downtownoakville @doug_schoon @nailsmagazine @ibxnails @nail.kandy

    A post shared by Anna Renata (@polished.ca) on

    I also have to ask, when painting our nails at home, do we really need a base coat AND a top coat?

    Yes, for sure! Go with what the manufacturer tells you. Some polishes now do not need a base coat so it can be skipped. The base in that case is built into the color coat. The results are actually impressive when it comes to lasting power. I do find that some darker colors and bright reds stain the nails if no base is used so I still add the base to protect the nails from staining in that case.

    Top coat is needed for shine. 100%. I haven’t found polish (or gel polish for that matter) that dries as shiny as top coat. My all time favourite quick dry top coat for pedicures is not Seche Vite… it’s Dior Abricot Top Coat. It does not shrink, doesn’t thicken up until about 70% used up. I use it on all my client’s pedicures. And yes, I buy it at full price at $30 a bottle. To use in my salon. It’s that good.

    For hands I like to stick with full systems. My favourite, longest lasting brands are OPI Infinite Shine (LOVE the ProStay base and top) and Essie Couture and of course Vinylux by CND. I don’t use Vinylux for pedicures often because after 4 weeks it’s very difficult to remove. I love the brushes on Essie Couture and the new Vinylux.

    Do you have a preference to a specific nail brand or range?

    Overall, I love working with CND, I respect for what they do for the industry and how the company markets their products. They never utilize any shady fear tactics that are so popular in the cosmetic world. Also Dior for their nail polish range. Great shades. Excellent formula. The quickest drying top coat (that doesn’t shrink).

    Gel polish, acrylics or SNS – what’s your expert opinion on these treatments Anna?

    They are all as good as the nail tech who uses them. They are all “healthy” when used as directed and bought from reputable companies. I don’t buy into fear marketing at all. One thing to remember: Enhancements are for the look. They look pretty. They should not be used to “make the nails stronger”. If people choose the enhancements mainly for the strength they usually ending up damaging their nails. If the product doesn’t break, the surface of the nail suffers. They also have to be maintained every 2-3 weeks. I don’t recommend enhancements to people who are not into caring for their nails and not willing to maintain their nails.

    What design trends or colour selections are your clients drawn to at the moment? 

    This is the first year in my 20+ year career that I did tremendous amount of light pink manicures. Everyone was and still is crazy about it. Like CND Winter Glow. Or OPI Infinite Shine “Pretty Pink Perseveres” and “Beyond The Pale Pink”. The New CND Shellac Luxe “Aurora” is one of the best looking pinks too! Also nudes and other softer pinks….. but my clientele is the “natural type” which is totally up my alley…. I’m all into minimalistic nail style. The “clean look” is also very requested. Very chic.

    Are there any nail art designs or styles that you are completely over, and can’t wait to see it gone forever? 

    French. I’m over it. And Russian Manicures (it’s when they use electric file to file the dry skin away). Dangerous and the puffy, swollen skin looks bad.

    What nail care products could you not live without, and recommend to everyone?

    Dadi Oil. Also Dior Abricot Top Coat. And I tried them all.

    And finally, what is the one thing we can all do for healthier, more polished nails and hands? 

    Gloves. They protect our hands from irritants (like dishwashing detergent) and water. I always wear the thin, nitrile disposable gloves when doing dishes. Wearing gloves in the winter to protect skin from cold is a must. Also if you are wearing gel polish or any type of enhancement it will benefit from that protection too! Also barrier cream! And sunscreen. Sorry, that was 3.

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