August 14, 2012

The Perfect Manicure: Bio Sculpture Nails

What: The Perfect Manicure

Why: Think about how often you use your hands through the day, think about buying your morning coffee, shaking hands with your new co worker, typing away on your uni assignments or work projects, rinsing dishes and dipping your travel ten into the meter when using public transport.
Hands are one of the first things people notice about you and well manicured hands speak volumes about a person, just think of how awful it looks to see a chewed up or dirty set of nails on a person, even how bad chipped nail polish can look and you will realise just how much clean, neat nails make a difference.

What to look for: 

Hygiene: Your nail technician should be clean, first and foremost. If you think an un-manicured set of nails looks bad, wait until you see what an infected nail looks like!  So make sure the work area is prepped and clean, make sure they use clean tools and always wash your hands before you start your manicure.

Gel Nails: These days you shouldn’t have to resort to tacky acrylic nails which will just ruin your natural nail, with all the gel polishes that are around there is no excuse to have your nail filed and drilled down only to have acrylics glued to your nail which will take you natural nail months to recover from and let’s be honest... acrylics kind of scream stripper.
With all the gel nail options these days I think the humble manicure will soon become extinct, why spend $25 on a manicure that will last two days when you can have a perfect look for up to a month with gel nails.

I prefer Bio Sculpture Gel, it’s a gel that gives you the brilliant shine and strength of a gel nail without that thick fake look, it’s safe and will last the 2-3 weeks you’re used to but your nail will become stronger and grow faster underneath! 
Bio Sculpture isn’t tested on animals and is safe to apply and remove.
If you get bored easily you can paint over the top of the gel nail with any polish and remove it with acetone free nail polish when you want to go back to your gel nail colour.
The nails soak off quickly, come in a huge range of colours (including clear and classic French) and in my opinion, they are the best gel nails I have tried.

I see Kaori at John Azzi Salon in Sydney CBD. She is a qualified Bio Sculpture Therapist, she’s friendly, fast, hygienic and I’m never disappointed with the finished product, I love a classic French but with the amount of colours she has available, I’m always trying something new and fun.

Who: Kaori West
Where:  John Azzi Salon Level 11, 61-63 Market Street Sydney
Contact: 0401 465 770

June 28, 2012

Survival Guide : Breaking Up

As someone who has recently ended a long term relationship (ten years) and survived without shaving my head or threatening people with an umbrella, I feel like a bit of an expert on the matter and wanted to share my tips on how to survive a break up with your dignity and sanity.

Whether you were together for ten years or ten days you need to respect the relationship, regardless of how he is behaving and even if you ended it. Take the appropriate time to think about what just happened and process it. If you were together ten days, then about an hour should do it... don’t put too much effort into that, call a girlfriend for a “WTF” chat and move on because I can assure you he’s not putting any thought into it, so why waste your time?
If you were together for a decent amount of time, then more healing is in order. As much as it sucks and you won’t want to admit it, a few nights of bawling your eyes out are probably in order (and necessary to avoid crying two weeks later at inappropriate moments). Organise some annual leave, if you don’t have a sympathetic boss or wish to keep the reason private, take a sick day, you’re more than entitled to a personal day here or there and it’s better you cry now than during a presentation at work.

Get Angry
You are going to be mad, it doesn’t matter who ended it, there is no such thing as an entirely mutual break up. When it comes time to officially end it (collecting your things, navigating the minefield of dividing up your friends) there is going to be some drama. Co-workers, family and friends can say things that are inappropriate, ask too many questions and make judgements so be prepared for it, remain calm when the situation rears its ugly head and take your anger out elsewhere.

Join the Gym
There has never been a better time to take up boxing, pop your head into the weight room and make that cross trainer try and keep up with you. Channel that anger into looking even better then you did before. Exercise releases endorphins and you’ll feel stronger and look better. Just quit before you start to get Madonna arms.

Even if your man wasn’t one of those “over protective guys” who didn’t like you going out with your girlfriends (we all have one friend who has THAT boyfriend) you probably always subconsciously thought about him when you were on a night out. So you need to indulge and be selfish, prepare your friends for how drunk you may get, spend every last cent without worrying about your half of the electricity bill and look that hot bartender in the eye when he makes you a killer cocktail. Keep a pair of flexi flats in your bag to avoid the barefoot walk of shame to hail a taxi and fall into bed with head swirling dreams of your fabulous new single life.
If you aren’t a drinker then junk food should take the place of alcohol, just for one night. Order that pizza and relish the fact that you don’t have to share a slice and load it up with all the toppings you had to forgo in the past because he hated them, eat the ice cream out of the tub and finish it off with tim tams, every last one of them.
If food and booze isn’t your thing, indulge in a new passion – take up a new hobby, enrol in a night class, buy an instrument, rent that DVD box set or start a blog! Try something you have always wanted to do and feel free to become completely obsessed with it.

The Playlists
Music is a huge part of my life. It makes bus rides, working out and baths better. I firmly believe there are few things that a kick ass playlist can’t fix.
You’re going to need three play lists to get you through this, here are my suggestions

Revenge Playlist (Optional extras: Red lipstick and your highest heels)
  • Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
  • Single Ladies – Beyonce
  • You Give Love A Bad Name –Bon Jovi
  • Dead – My Chemical Romance
  • Get Over It – Ok Go
  • So What - Pink
Feeling Sorry for Yourself Playlist (Optional extras: Wine, more wine and Bridget Jones style pyjamas)
  • Someone Like You -  Adele
  • I Won’t Let You Go – James Morrison
  • All By Myself – Celine Dion
  • Nothing Compares To You  - Senead O’Connor
  • Long Way To Be Happy – Pink
  • Don’t Speak – No Doubt
  • With Or Without You – U2
Happy Playlist (Optional extras : Your best and silliest girlfriends on a road trip)
  • We are Young – Fun.
  • ABC – Jackson 5
  • Thinking ‘Bout Something - Hanson
  • Starships – Nicki Minaj
  • Fascination – Alpabeat
  • Vitriol - Bluejuice
  • Parlez Vous Francais? – Art Vs Science
  • We Run This – Missy Elliott
  • Jitterbug – Wham (Orange Mocha Frappuccinos optional)
The Rebound
This is non negotiable, especially if you have just gotten out of a long term relationship. As clich├ęd as it sounds the best way to get over somebody is to get under... well you don’t need to get under anybody if you don’t want to, even just a few fun dates and laughs with a new guy will make things better, trust me.
I didn’t even like my rebound (and have forgottten his name) but it was empowering to be fussed over and realise I still knew how to flirt and date, and it helps to get that first awkward kiss out of the way with somebody you’re not really fussed with so you don’t embarrass yourself when you do find that new guy that you actually want to kiss (This works, on my first “first date” in ten years my rebound leaned in to kiss me and I involuntarily said “Noooo” and almost fell backwards trying to avoid being kissed, thank goodness this didn’t happen with somebody I actually liked.)
A rebound is a fantastic way to realise there are other men out there and a fabulous reason to get out of your ugg boots and dress up. And you might actually like you’re rebound.

All The Single Ladies
Now is the time to buy that dress you’ve been eyeing off for weeks, the heels that are oh so sexy and way too impractical to stand in for more than 20 minutes and invest in some gorgeous lingerie, book yourself in to that exclusive day spa, spend an afternoon with your hairdresser, get an mani/pedi and a Brazilian. Flirt with that cute barista, spend four hours on the phone with your girlfriend, fly to Melbourne JUST to shop or let your gay BFF drag you to Oxford Street so see how the experts do single. 
Embrace your new found singleness! Enjoy every second of it. You will have a bounce in your step, look and feel amazing and the best part is you are doing this all for yourself. It’s all about YOU now. Embrace being able to be completely selfish.

June 7, 2012

Holy Grail of Hair Supplements

When I was a little girl I could have been cast as the ring leader in Children of the Corn, I had Casper the friendly ghost pale skin, dark blue eyes and a head of thick platinum blonde hair that resulted in tears every morning while my mother tried to brush it, hair dressers would oohhh and ahhh over me while my mother insisted on having it cut shoulder length to avoid our morning ritual.

I'm second from the left :p

Of course when you're 14 the grass is always greener when the popular girls in Year 12 are all brunettes, so I spent my lunch money on a packet of hair dye and become a brunette, as the years went on I was also a red head, as dark as I could get (which looks fetching on a person pale enough to be an albino) and back to blonde with oh so fetching black streaks (my Pepe Le Pew faze) by the time I realized being a blonde was something a lot of people pay a lot of money to achieve, it was too late, my platinum locks were now a mousy blonde (or dirty blonde as my hairdresser so lovingly calls it) and my hair had finally given in to years of being tortured and had decided to jump ship, committing suicide every time I showered or blow-dried, I watched strand after strand decide it would rather go down the drain then stay on my head where it belonged.

After speaking with my doctor who ever so nicely told me that I was being vain and there was no medical reason for my hair falling out, I put a ban on blow dries and packed my GHD away, I cancelled all my appointments with my hairdresser and spent a really uncomfortable year and half growing out my hair colour and avoiding photo opportunities, still my hair continued to fall out, so I returned to the chemist, the birthplace of where all my hair troubles began and I started trying all the hair supplements I could find, if it had “hair” on the packet, I tried it.
Unfortunately with all my effort I still saw no results, my hair still kept falling out and I was starting to panic, I felt like I had tried everything I could find in Australia with no improvement so I went online in search for a miracle and I found one.

Kerastatse Age Premium Hair Revitalising Daily Nutritional Supplement.

I’m not sure what’s in the stuff or why it works but I can honestly say I was in shock when after about  a month of taking the supplement, I saw no hair at the bottom of my shower, I actually kept combing my hair in disbelief trying to find a strand or two that had decided to leave me and I couldn’t.
I noticed less hair was on the bottom of my bathroom floor day after day until one day, there was none! Not one hair I even considered returning my dyson as now I wasn’t shedding hair like a Persian cat in summer, did I really need an $800 vacuum cleaner?

What amused me the most was when I read the packet to find out what was in this miracle cure, I realised I was supposed to be taking 2 tablets a day and I had only been taking 1 and it still worked!
My only complaint is that I can’t find it sold anywhere in Australia and have to rely on buying it from Hair HQ which means waiting for their notoriously slow shipping (almost 2 months!) and of course it’s almost like clockwork how quickly my hair starts to fall out again when I run out of the miracle capsules.
So if you’re experiencing hair loss and you’re at a loss trying to figure out why, try these capsules and see what you think.
Bulking Agents (Calcium Phosphates, Cellulose, Crosslinked Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Magnesium Salts of Fatty Acids,) Green Tea Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Taurine, Zinc Gluconate, Glazing Agent (Hydroxypropyl Starch, Potassium Aluminium Silicate, Glycerol, Stearic Acid, Talc, Polysorbate 80,) Anticaking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Colours (E171, E129, E132), Fish Oil, Blackcurrent Seed Oil, Fish Gelatin, Glazing Agents (Glycerol, Potassium Aluminium Silicate,) Thickening Agent (Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids,) Vitamin C, Water, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin,) Tomato Extract, Vitamin E, Colorants (E171, E129, E133.)

April 26, 2012

Suit Up!

Compared to women, men don't have a lot of style rules to bog them down, for most three simple rules will get them through day to day life - shave regularly, get a hair cut regularly and own a suit.
Some men have the obligatory black suit which covers all the basics, job interviews, weddings, funerals and the races, and some men live in suits. Just like some women will hike up Pitt Street in six inch heels regardless of the agony and total impracticality, some men will wear a full suit in forty degree weather, why? because we know we look good and they know they look good.
Any guy instantly looks better in a suit, regardless of his average looks, personality or low budget, in a suit any man is given an extra ten bonus points. It's basic man style maths.

Man + Suit = Hot
Douchebag + Suit = Slightly less of a douchebag
My conclusion? A suit is to a man what heels are to women.
Everyone should own at least one decent black combo and some of us own more colours, styles and combos then we will ever possibly wear..

If you meet a man and he doesn't own at least one suit, delete him immediately! I've seen toddlers in suits, dogs in suits! and you can pick up a basic suit for around $120 these days! In my book it's a red flag if a grown man doesn't have one stashed in the back of his closet.

Suit Up!
I'm so passionate about the suit rule that I have dedicated a Pinterest board to celebrate men of style, hotness and just plain common sense.
Men In Suits on Tumblr