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Friday, 29 July 2016

Makeup Must Have List for 2016 - bronzer for fair skin, bold lips, pastel nails


There's a zillion makeup brands and products out there - I should know! I find myself in seventh heaven any time I am near a Sephora or a Mecca Maxima. So many colours! The packaging! Oh, the sparkle!

But.
There's what is absolutely worth the spend and the space in your makeup cabinet, and there's the novelty factor. Herewith, the products absolutely worth your hard-earned dollars and my solid gold assurance that I use them, I love them and I totally recommend them.

Bold Liquid Lipstick that Lasts: Estee Lauder Pure Envy Liquid Lipsticks in Savage Garden and True Liar. Savage Garden is a deep, midnight purple that can be a subtle stain if you apply one coat, or a dark, violet gloss if you apply 3. True Liar is a fuschia-pink that applies dark and lasts and lasts and lasts. Much more daytime friendly if you’re not going for an A+ in Bold at the office!

Foundation That Does Double Duty: Bobbi Brown Skin Perfecting Fluid is the ultimate! Sure, it's not cheap, but consider Cost Per Wear. Every damned day if you want to convince people you are from an alien planet where everyone has glowing, flawless skin. I also love Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation - again, not a bargain basement product but you get what you pay for - A Grade Skin.

bobbi brown estee lauder evelyn iona
Concealer You'd Take To A Desert Island: Organic, perfecting Evelyn Iona concealer. God forbid I use up my current stash. I am obsessed. Whatever any makeup artist says, I apply BEFORE foundation. Then touch-ups later in the day as required. #GreenBeauty y'all.
Matte Bronzer for Fair Skin: Bobbi Brown Golden Light Bronzer. Because nobody likes to have a smear of orange or glitter across their face, combat style. Your bronzer is meant to give you a healthy glow, not look like you’ve been shoving your face into a bag of Twisties. Hard to find the perfect blush for fair skin, that does subtle but complexion-boosting, but I have. Bobbi.

Nude Lip Pencil: Bobbi Brown Art Stick is a lip defining pencil that works just as you'd use a lip liner, except that it glides and has a softness to it that means no dry lips, no sharp lines and no vanishing within an hour or at the first sign of lunch. I use the nude shades alone for definition or as a base for stronger colours. My favourite shade is Bare.


Overnight Serum That Makes You Glow: I can't pick just one here. I alternate between two and both are fantastic. I work out daily and wear makeup daily and these are the maintenance tricks required to rejuvenate and fully refresh my skin. It's like a 3 hour facial in an overnight serum! Both Mesoestetic Collagen 360 (Available at RY) and Alpha H Liquid Gold (via Sephora) are Must Haves.

Pastel Nails That Aren’t Sickly Sweet: OPI (available at RY) does 5-free nail colours that have a cult-like following for a reason. Beyond the snappy, laugh-out-loud names, their formula and colours are pure salon quality and the packaging is simple, chic and collectable. That’s my excuse for housing a zillion more than I need, though! What you must Add To Cart is the gelato hued gorgeousness of Gelato On My Mind (pale mint green), Mod About You (pastel pink), Your Such A Budapest (pale lilac purple).

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bring Sally Up Challenge

Core Integrity With Cat Bring Sally Up
I discovered this on YouTube, the place of many fitness discoveries!

What is the Bring Sally Up Challenge?

Press play. Get up, get down and keep it going for the Whole. Track.

Some are going to squat, some will do push ups, some will lunge (good lord...) and WE are going to plie in second for...the...
Whole.
Track.

Here is Suzanne Bowen doing it. I recommend practicing because we'll be doing this in Ballet Sculpt for the next week. See you there.

Is there a particular reason I need to post this? No. Just a whole lot of extremely attractive Euro guys doing push ups for the Bring Sally Up Challenge. Consider it motivation!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Beauty Body and Scents - the EOFY Special

That's right! End of Financial Year - when accountants finally dress up in glitter and sequins and do backflips while they calculate your tax return.

Ahem.

But really, after you've gone through the trauma that is doing your tax, the real joy is working out how to spend that amazing wonderful bonus money that is your tax return. I suggest you throw some of those magic notes at beauty and body products that are going to make you look, feel and smell AH-MAZE-ING. You don't even have to leave your keyboard. See, I'm just like an accountant! Efficient.

My big dilemma is that I've decided to invest in a cult beauty item - because that is how my tax return is best partially spent. In smart investments. I can't decide WHICH of the NARS' The Multiple shades is for me. I do love pearly, cosmic Copacabana, but then there's the CULT factor of Orgasm. Do you have one? Do you recommend it? Alternatively, lipstick in Dominique is purple based and we know how I feel about purple...

For decadent, luscious packaging and scents, MOR is a classic. My sister was obsessed with Marshmallow (as are many judging by the endless ways you can have it: perfume, lip balm, lotion, wash...). I'm all about the garden-fresh scents of Blood Orange, Basil and Sencha Verbena Hand & Body Wash. The Blood Orange Perfume Oil comes in a roller ball that is perfectly sized for your top drawer at work or your gym bag (for $19.95 it's got your accountant smiling too!). I've had to do a serious bathroom cleaning session to make it look nearly chic enough to house the Basil Grape Hand & Body Lotion. A blessing. Each is under $20! Beauty on a budget. You're welcome!
Speaking of smelling heavenly and fresh, I am quite lazy so being able to spray my moisturiser on is totally ideal. And really, any excuse to go for a shop on Nourished Life! I just stocked up on ACURE marula and argan body oil spray in Citrus Ginger scent. So zesty.
As your accountant will tell you, it is smart to invest in cost-per-use or major investments every now and again. Considering I use this mask every second day and it leaves my skin super smooth and looking NOT like I just did two barre classes, I feel it meets the criteria. DNA Restoring Mask may not alter your actual DNA but it will make you glow. 
Now here is my dilemma. I can only choose one item on sale at Fresh Fragrances. Do I go with NARS The Multiple in some shade OR do I go with lipstick in Dominique? There's glow versus purple. OH THE DILEMMAS!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Denise Payne Teaches Yoga at Kerobokan

I had the great fortune to meet Denise when I went on holiday to Ubud, Bali a few years ago. A weekly pass to The Yoga Barn ensured I was a regular Power Yoga participant and her teaching, her delivery, her appreciation and compassion and knowledge of yoga beyond physical asanas to the real essence of what it is to live yoga emanates from her in class and outside it.
As well as taking Yoga Teacher Training in Indonesia and internationally, Denise also teaches at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali as well as volunteering her time to inmates at the infamous Kerobokan Prison.

Yes, the same one that Australians Schapelle, Myuran and Andrew were imprisoned for drugs charges. Denise met both Myuran and Andrew, though it was Myuran who took to yoga with greater interest and effort.

Here's my interview with her and if nothing else, perhaps it will make you re-think how you pigeon hole people - any and all people. It might even make you consider how you could donate your time and skills in a way that uplifts people who need it. And don't we all?

Cat: When did you first begin teaching yoga at Kerobokan? 

I first started teaching at Kerobokan prison in 2011

How did you find out about the opportunity or did you approach them?

I was contacted by Myuran Sukamaran, who had gotten my information from a woman involved with the silver program, Joanna Witt.

We communicated for about 2 weeks about starting the program and going through the proper channels.

How did the authorities respond and has that changed over time?

I felt very fortunate, as Myu had initiated so many programs by the time I showed up, the class was very well received. The guards were always friendly and some of the participated in class at times.

It changed over the years for various reasons. There was a riot a few years ago that set the program back for a couple of months. Or a new head of security would need time to adjust and then the class would be on hold. Once Myu and Andrew were moved in February of last year, there was also some upheaval, but the classes continued, as well as after the execution. I’ve always done my best to keep the consistency of the program for the other inmates.

Many Australians are familiar with the prison because of Myuran and Andrew. Did you meet them and what can you tell me about them as you knew them?

Myu and I had a wonderful relationship. He loved the yoga and always participated in classes. During the last few months before being moved, however, it was very hectic at Kerobokan. He had a lot of family visiting and had numerous meetings with his lawyers. The classes were on hold for a while and I would do private sessions with him.

I was able to get to know Andrew a little bit over the years, too.

Who else have you met at the prison and has their responsiveness or commitment surprised you?

The people that participate in the yoga program are there every week and always amaze me with their smiles and hugs and dedication.

Do you introduce spiritual aspects of yoga or is it purely the physical asana practice?

It’s hard to have one without the other, really. I have a tendency to wrap it all up in one package anyway. There is so much mediation and spirituality opportunities in each asana, it makes it easy. :-)

How often do you teach there?

We have classes twice a week now, and I’m so lucky to have another teacher that has taken this to heart. I could use two more teachers with her dedication to giving back!

What are the conditions like for inmates and has this changed over time?

I’m going to pass on this one.

What have been the major learnings for you from working with the prisoners?

Going to the jail is quite often the highlight of my week. It’s kind of funny because most people might think that the prisoners are the ones that get something out if it, and they do, no doubt, but the truth is it’s me that gets a does of medicine when I see everyone's smiling faces, rocking up with their mats and ready to work. It can be quite depressing to say the least about being in jail, yet the hearts still shine. So, what I've learned mostly for the classes and the group is to let my heart shine in the worst of times.

What I learned from Myuran is how to surrender completely.

What do you think most people misunderstand about those in Kerobokan?

I don’t really know how to answer this question, Cat. I’ve never thought about it.

Do you conduct the class in Indonesian or English and what nationalities are your students?

I teach in English, and the yogis are from all over the world, including Indonesia. Most of the foreigners speak English, and the locals follow along. Our classes are very giggly.

Is there a favourite pose? Do you work on handstands?

Yes of course! Loads of handstands and other inversions. I’m lucky to have 90 minutes for class so we have plenty of time for everything, including a nice long savasana.

What do the Kerobokan students struggle with most?

I’d imagine the same things we all struggle with. Do we feel loved unconditionally? Do we feel like we are good enough? Do we feel like we do enough?

Further information on Denise and her YTT courses are on her website, Denise Payne Yoga

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Classic Brand, Modern Skincare and Beauty on a Budget

I grew up with a nan totally dedicated to makeup and grooming (weekly cut and "set" with rollers and enough hairspray to freeze the whole of Seaford). She had a drawer full of Estee Lauder and Revlon lipsticks in various shades of pink and coral.
My mum would insist she's not fussed about makeup but a dressing table loaded with 20 shades of beige lipstick and every possible eyeshadow palette combination known to human kind would attest otherwise! 
So a love for makeup was in the genes. Skincare is the natural partner to makeup though. While I began using concealer and foundation to disguise pimples and redness as a teenager, it was only in my early 20s that I realised makeup is much more joyful as a form of expression and to highlight and emphasise great skin, bright eyes, and an angular face. 

With the advice of a very strict dermatologist (who insisted on Roaccutane to cure my teenage acne and she was right), I became used to washing, moisturising and duly applying Vaseline to avoid my lips cracking clear off my face.
I also learnt that "non comedogenic" means no blackheads and pore-clogging. This is good. I chose cleansers and moisturisers with the simplest of ingredients - no fancy scents and waxes or minerals. So it is with glee that I embrace the most budget friendly of skincare. Super glam and expensive products are a luxury and sometimes, entirely worth the expenditure for the amount of science and surveys they conduct. But nothing says "I WORK" like longetivity. So, forthwith, two brands that have been around for a looooong time and have been introduced by grandmothers to mothers to daughters and so on, and will be for decades to come.

Best of all, you don't need to hunt them out online or call a salon in advance to check on stock. They are two aisles down from the vegetables and laundry powder. For the price of a few coffees, you can have a daily skin ritual sorted for weeks or months.
Nivea and Vaseline have both had a modern makeover as far as packaging and digital presence, but their formulas have remained reassuringly simple and dependable. 
I swear by Vaseline petroleum jelly as a lip protector. It has so many uses though! A tattoo artist recommended using it to protect colour and clarity of my work for the two weeks after having work done. It can be blended with blush, eyeshadow, lip pigments to turn matte shades into gloss or to blend colours. It's a makeup artist staple! If you're dyeing your hair, it makes an excellent scalp protector. It's a couple of dollars. Go on.
As for Nivea - the packaging has had a major overhaul and the product range has expanded over the past few decades. My mother and sister are fanatical about the Q10 range. I like it, but my personal preference is the Pure & Natural range and also the Daily Essentials. I like that they're titled exactly as what they are. From scrubs to foams, milks to serums to sprays, pick what your preference is. Considering that they're a fraction of the cost of most skincare these days, you can afford to experiment!

Nivea originated in 1882 in Germany - not many brands can claim such a long life and many are too quick to jump onto novelty at the expense of sticking to the basics and doing them well. That said, the packaging design, product innovations and partnerships with celebrities and ambassadors who are relevant and iconic means Nivea has hardly been quiet on the marketing and modernity front. It was a total pleasure to indulge in a major Nivea haul this week. Here's what's taken pride of place in my bathroom cabinet and handbag:

Pure & Natural Soothing Day Cream: Formulated for dry and sensitive skin, this is ideal for those who are prone to spots and yet don't have an oily complexion. It's gentle and has a really subtle, calming scent. Must be the chamomile! 95% natural ingredients. No parabens and minerals.
In Shower Rich Body Lotion: Lazy girls rejoice! No need to shower AND moisturise. This is truly efficient. After washing as usual, apply this almond oil enriched lotion, quickly rinse and towel dry. Designed for very dry skin. Excellent remedy for winter scaliness.
Invisible Anti-Perspirant: For those of us who don't wish to raise our arms and display powdery marks all over our chic black gym gear. Or work wear - apparently there are people who don't wear sports gear all day too.
Soothing Cleaning Mousse: Again, dry and sensitive skin is catered for with a gentle formula designed not to leave you with alligator skin and redness. Ideal for multiple daily uses and should be followed with moisturiser.

Lip balm in Soft Rose and Vitamin Shake: Double duty lip balm! Gives a gentle rosy tint that says, I've just been skipping through the snowy alps after a facial and the Vitamin Shake because it sounds like a delicious smoothie but you can carry it around in your pocket or handbag day and night. No more crackly kissers for us.


If you're in Australia and you want to be the first to try new products, enter giveaways and receive free samples, you can sign up to be a MyNivea member free.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Can I Workout After A Piercing?

Good question.

Short answer is: yes.

There are mitigating factors though, of course! If you are in pain or your workout of choice is crossfit or some form of boxing or martial arts that is going to make impact a necessity, consider a DIFFERENT workout while you're in the healing stages. Depending on the area you've had pierced, this can be 6 weeks to 6 months.

This week, I had the same piercing done as fashion icon and serious workout warriors, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, Janet Jackson and Bella Hadid. 

It is requiring some modification as far as NOT lying on my chest (goodbye to Child's Pose for a few weeks) but I'm still working out daily. I asked the fabulous and entirely professional and experienced Sammah Chehade (Hairhouse Warehouse, Northland) to give me the rundown on piercing after care for those who plan to workout.

1. The usual healing time on nipple piercings range roughly anywhere between 6 weeks-6 months, sometimes a little longer depending on how well they're being taken care of it and how fast your own body likes to heal itself.
2. Touching your fresh piercing, bumping/knocking it, playing with the jewellery and not cleaning it regularly can cause an infection and/or really irritate the pierced area making the piercing uncomfortable and quite sore, it will also extend the healing period. Your aim is to totally leave your piercing alone and make sure you're cleaning it when its needed!

3. It is best to avoid chlorine water and sauna's for at least the first 2-4 weeks whilst your piercing is healing, as these can irritate or cause an infection for most people. If you can not avoid it, it is recommended to have a shower straight after, rinsing the piercing out really well and then giving it a clean with your aftercare solution.

4. In terms of clothing, its best to avoid net/wool tops while healing as these can get caught and pull on your jewellery, also always wear a clean top/bra while it is healing to avoid any cross-contamination. For ladies I would recommend to wear a full cupped padded bra, any low cut bra's can knock your piercing as you move around and the padding will protect your piercing if you accidentally knock/bump it as the impact wont be as hard against the pierced area. If at any time your piercing starts to bleed again, make sure you cover it with a dressing, not leaving it exposed to bacteria to avoid infection. 

5. Working out and sweating is fine! Just be careful not to knock it around as you're working out and avoid any workout that involves pressure/leaning against your chest till it heals. For ladies while working out, wear a firm padded sports bra to avoid as much movement as possible for the piercing so you don't irritate it. After a workout, have a shower and rinse out your piercing from any sweat/dirt and give it a clean with your aftercare solution πŸ˜Š
6. The only position not recommended for your fresh nipple piercing is laying on your chest, as this can apply pressure and irritate your piercing, leaving it uncomfortable and sore! Everything else is fine although if you feel like you're going to be in a position that's going to be leaning/pressing on your piercing, avoid it!

7. You will only feel pain if you're not taking care of your piercing or touching it in any way till it is healed. You will know your piercing is fully healed when you are able to touch it, lay on it, do weights etc and it doesn't hurt! In terms of sensitivity is varies. In my piercing career, I have noticed with most males it tends to stay sensitive (in a good way!) after it is pierced and healed, With women its different, a small amount of women become more sensitive and others don't feel a difference at all once it's healed!

8. A line to I like to tell my customers or anyone thinking of getting their nipple pierced is: never let the fear of pain stop you from getting what you want! at the end of the day the piercing pain is for a second for something that could last you a lifetime! You will be proud of yourself for putting aside your fear and actually getting something you really want! but hey, what's beauty without pain πŸ˜‰

Thursday, 23 June 2016

New Nude Makeup, Toxic Free Nails, British Beauty Lands in Oz...

So much exciting beauty and makeup business, my lovelies!

I'm going to kick off with the basics. The base, even. I adore Queen of Strobing Bobbi Brown for having every conceivable shade of "nude" when it comes to foundation, lipstick, eyes, blusher and concealer. Because not everyone in the world has one skin tone to cater to - and so many makeup houses are behind the 8-ball on this. For my own skin, I go with the Light/Medium foundation but there are so many shades. If you're unable to get into a store and be matched professionally, order online and do your research on the ACTUAL Bobbi Brown website
I'm a total addict when it comes to the Cushion Foundation. It metes out just enough to cover your face and you can tote it around with you for touch-ups (or post-gym showers). It's SPF 30. For an extra dose of glam, the Nude Illuminating Powder comes in at least 6 shades. I choose Nude. There's nothing glittery about it - super, super subtle.
You do need to buy the compact and the refill, but from there, the refills are easily affordable and you'll re-use and re-use.
And re-use.


As a yogi and a barre instructor, I spend a fair bit of time barefoot and looking at both toes and fingernails. Chances are, whether you're barefoot much or not, you're texting and tapping things almost non-stop so fingernail glamour is a non negotiable. Until recently, nailpolish was a toxic cocktail of formaldehyde (yup, preserving-dead-bodies stuff), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor (which can trigger allergies and disturb the hormonal balance) and parabens.

 Thankfully, most brands have recognised that these nasties aren't necessary and are proudly labelled 5-Free.
My latest discovery is Mavala - and since I'm prone to change my nail colour after mere days of wear, I've gone with the mini colours so that I don't feel bad about neglecting full bottles of nail polish for months and years!

My picks of the gorgeous mini range are Bamako, a deep sea-green that brings to mind the Emerald City from Wizard of Oz. I have topped this will Emerald Gold for shimmery bling effect.
My purple picks are Jelly Grape - a pinky purple that looks much bolder in the bottle and is truly flattering on pale and olive skin tones, and Touch of Provence - a true pale lilac.
Mavala also does skin and makeup. There's a new collection that matches a mini nailpolish with an identical lipstick. YES. My pick is Tallinn from the Symphonic Collection.

W7 - straight outta West London, innit? And it's Well Fit.
Ok, enough. I'm not Tom Hardy nor Scary Spice so I cannot continue with the British Slang, guv. I get excited when foreign fabulous brands arrive, like the ancient spice merchants, bringing colours, fragrances, shapes, designs and general exotica to our shelves. The best bit is this is totally accessible, totally affordable makeup that covers all the basics perfectly. Highlighter, eyeshadow kits, concealer, foundation powder, and a mini face blender... zig-a-zig-ahhhh!
Find it at My Chemist, Chemist Warehouse or go follow on Facebook.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

June Gym Bag From Skincare To Sweatpants


June is miserably cold here in Melbourne. But even if it isn't shiver-to-your-bones icy where you are, these are excellent items to have in your gym bag, on your home shelf, or even stashed in the car for emergency use. Because if you break down, that's the perfect time to work your biceps as you wait for the repair guy (or girl).

Featured above.

Onzie capri

Made by LA yoga people to move, flex, moisture-wick and maximise your workout whether that's yoga, pilates, barre or weights. This heathered orange shade is the bright antidote to this dreary weather. It's summer in a pant! Get 'em here.

Cotton On handweights

Only 2kg you say? If you do some YouTube and Google time you will discover light handweights can be deadly difficult and totally effective. These are so chic in black and rose gold. Karl definitely would. At Cotton On.

Alpha H Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant

Alpha H does Serious Skincare. This is not your supermarket shelf standard. Anyone I know who has used it RAVES about it, me included. This is not a product I use every day or night as it's quite intense but I always wake up brighter and dewier when I do. At Alpha H.

Mellow Liquid Lip Paint

Sure, you COULD go lip colour free but it's a short life and there's a whole lot of colour in the world. So, with that in mind, don't choose to use lipstick that's going to end up on your chin after you've been sweating it out in BodyPump, barre or Bikram. Liquid lipstick that is super affordable? Yes please. Mellow Liquid Lip Paint right here.

Indermica Eye Treatment Night/Day

This is just so self-explanatory. But the reason I choose this product over the zillion eye products there are out there is because I usually wake up with sore or gluey eyes because even though it promises not to get in my eyes, somehow I react! NOT with this. And the bottle is ingenious. It's an all-in-one with two pumps so you can easily mete out day and night quantity as you need. Get it here.

Last but not least, a moisturiser that doesn't cause a breakout. Hallelujah! BetaMoisturise is a must. I'm not a teenager but get a super rich  moisturiser on my face and bam, spot time. This is tried, tested and terrific. Right here at Medik8 Australia. Oil free and mattifying.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

My Favourite Plant Based Food Sites

Disclaimer! I do eat fish and I occasionally eat meat too. I am not a vegan but I do advocate a diet high in plant foods for your insides AND your outsides.

Recent studies have proven the benefits of plentiful fibre in your diet for good health and longetivity. It's essential for bowel health, digestion, immunity and appetite regulation. Try to get a rainbow of colours in too.

While I hate all the "detox" and "clean eating" business - I believe that we need to consider our own taste predilections, favourite flavours and also our health and nutritional needs for age, any health conditions, and level of activity.

That said, listen to your body. You don't need to eat a purely vegan, purely plant-based diet to get all the benefits and nutrients of a veggie rich life! Here's some inspiration for snacks, side dishes, main meals and more.

Sushi Bowl

I adore this site. Beautiful to look at, easy-to-prepare dishes and simple instructions and layout.
Get the recipe on About That Food.

Cauliflower Satay Skewers

Oh my god! Marinaded, roasted cauliflower. You will be craving this non-stop once you try it.
Get the recipe on About That Food.

Broccomole

Christina makes gorgeous, organic plant-based recipes and blogs on lifestyle. This is SO simple - avocado,broccoli, lemon and garlic.
Get the recipe on Love-Fed.

Raw Vegan Tacos

What to dollop your broccomole on? Raw vegan tacos of course. Yum!
Get the recipe on My Body Zen.

Raw Rainbow Salad

Yay for an Australian site. Great recipes and gorgeous photos.
Get the recipe on Raw Not War.

Raw Vegan Pizza With Red Pepper Flax Crust

Because Pizza.
Get the recipe at One Green Planet.

Asparagus and Arugula Pizza

Yep. Love it. So light and yet soooo flavoursome. The Arugula pesto is vegan.
Get the recipe at Gourmandelle.

Shout out to Instagram Inspiration for Raw and Plant Based Inspiration:

@Raw_Vibrations
@BrusselsVegan
@VeganRawrior

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