Saturday, January 29, 2011

Squeaky Clean

Ever feel like there is still traces of makeup, sweat or just general build-up on your skin after cleansing? Me too.

Fed up with seeing a combination of the above three on my face washer after cleansing each evening, I decided to shake things up a little and integrate pre-cleansing into my regular regime... and now I wonder how I ever did without!

Cleansers generally fall into one of two categories; oil-free (such as gels and foaming cleansers) or cream/ milk based cleansers (often containing oils and hence the type that require a toner to rebalance afterwards). It's safe to say they are all designed to cleanse the skin of the pollution and buildup that accumulates during the day or toxins purged during the evening as we sleep. If they are required to also cut through layers of product & makeup, it can spell trouble, even for the double-cleanse fanatics amongst us. Enter the 'cleanse-prep': a product specifically designed to melt away the layers of makeup and buildup before you use your regular cleanser to actually clean your skin.

My top two picks (in no particular order):
1. 'Take the Day Off' Balm - Clinique
Comes in a generous-sized tub of what looks to be a solid balm which actually melts upon contact with your skin to become a silky, non-greasy oil capable of dissolving even the thickest makeups, including eye makeup! ($55)

Equally as effective, with a completely different texture, I also love this liquid-oil product. It's lightweight and emulsifies when hit with warm water, which means skin is left clean and non-oily when you rinse the product away. For those with problem-prone skin who are nervous about applying an oil to it, trust me, yours may just be the skin that loves this most! Oil dissolves oil, which will work to clear the skin of excess sebum and allow a deeper, more purifying cleanse.

Once you've tried it, I'm sure you'll agree there is something therapeutic about this little pre-cleansing ritual and even more so, with having a face that is so beautifully clean!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Home Grown

Australia Day 2011 dawns and brings with it bright sunshine and the promise of heat that requires icy summer cocktails! Today I am grateful for the laid-back lifestyle that typifies Australia (particularly evident on this public holiday where most will escape their offices country-wide and head to the coast for a lazy day of BBQ's and beaching), for the freedom that we enjoy and for the clever Australian beauty innovators that bring us the following delicious products...

1. Luxurious Rosehip Oil - KORA Organics
I must confess to having a bit of a girl-crush on the divine Miranda Kerr. The image of her angelic, dimpled face is flooding the Australian media at the moment following the birth of her first child with hubby Orlando Bloom, however it is her skincare line 'Kora' that has really got my attention. The Victoria's secret model/ beauty entrepreneur and author launched her own organic line of skincare last year & after trying the 'Luxurious Rose Hip Oil' ($34.95 20mL) I'm hooked.

The range was developed out of Miranda's 'organic living' ethos & emulates the message of her new book 'Treasure Yourself' (which I recently read and loved). It is one that is focused on self-care, nurturing one's self esteem and so, incites a beautiful feeling of positivity and wellbeing. I use this product before bed as a treatment serum and wake up with soft, glowy skin - delish!

2. Bloom Lip Balm
Most beauty fanatics will distinctly remember their first love affair with certain products - for me, one such product is Bloom Lip Balm. At 16 years old, I was working my first part time job after school and spending every cent I made on skincare and cosmetics. Bloom held massive appeal, with it's beautiful packaging and rainbow-array of colours; classic kid-in-a-candy store scenario.

One of my favourites remains to this day the Lip Balm ($9.95) in Lime. Formulated with natural oils & waxes, it is undoubtedly the most hydrating balm ever. Every time I wear it, memories of my sweet sixteenth come flooding back.

 3. Cucumber + Guava Firming Eye Balm - The Jojoba Company
I recently stumbled upon Australian brand The Jojoba Company mid-pharmacy shop (popped in for panadol and left with a bag full of product, I just can't help myself!). I picked up the Cucumber + Guava Firming Eye Balm ($46.95) as recent hay fever and late nights have being playing havoc & leaving me with not-so-pretty dark circles.  It was exactly the eye therapy I needed!

With the brand being Australian owned & produced (the farm is located in north-west NSW), carbon negative and natural, this range offers plenty to feel good about!

Just three of many Australian gems that I love. Wishing everyone a beautiful Australia Day.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beach Spa

Steal a blissful couple of hours this weekend & head to the beach for some precious back-to-nature rebalancing. If you're anything like me & find nothing more satisfying than clever multi-tasking (it's sick, I know), try out these DIY Beach Spa tips while you're there and leave not only radiant with beach-infused calm...but glowing on the outside too.

- Face ~ first up, apply a zinc-based sunscreen to your whole body (including face) to keep burning at bay. The zinc oxide found in many sunblocks is double duty; not only protective from UVA/UVB rays but also assists to heal any breakouts you may have. My favourite? True Solutions Total Age Protector (rrp $60) which is hydrating without being heavy, absorbs instantly into the skin and also contains Vitamin E for added antioxidant-punch.

- Hair ~ apply a rich hair treatment & braid hair into a thick plait before you leave for the day. The treatment will activate in the sun's heat and penetrate deeper for maximum results. Try Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask (rrp $44.50 for 250mL)

- Body ~ treat the skin on your body with a refining sand exfoliation. Provided your beach is one with soft, fine grains and not the Italian-style broken-seashell kind of sand, your skin will love you for this gentle exfoliation! Mix the sand with equal parts treatment oil (my favourite is coconut as it's scent IS summer in a bottle as far as I'm concerned) and gentle buff the skin on your arm, legs and torso in gentle circular motions. While not recommended for the delicate facial skin, this is an ideal way to soften your body. Just remember to reapply your sunscreen after as freshly exfoliated baby-like skin is prone to burning! Pure Fiji Coconut Bath & Body Oil (rrp $39.60 235mL)

- Soul ~ The way to true peace and happiness is simple: live in the moment. Turn off your iPod, put down your magazine and just breathe. Enjoy the Vitamin-D boosting benefits of sunshine on your skin and enjoy being temporarily disconnected from the rush and instead connected to yourself. The beauty benefits will radiate and penetrate much further than skin deep.