There is a lot of talk all over social media about the way that we look. Some of it how to better ourselves, some of it all about self acceptance and love, revealing our "flaws" at every opportunity.
I've certainly been both over these past few months where I've greatly altered the way that I live my own life, but I wonder if we are somehow missing the point. Does it really matter what anyone else thinks? When quite often us as women, are our own worst enemies.
Below you can see how hard I have worked, and when I posted this I did hope to inspire others and I was proud of how far I had come. Truth is the second image is taken at a flattering angle, in swimwear that I couldn't wear in real life. It's not real.
This is real life.
My husband took this photo (below) of my daughter and I last summer, and I've always hated it. It shows a special moment as we walk out into the crystal clear waters of Rakino Island. It's a memory I want to keep forever, yet I've hidden it away because of what? Society thinking I'm too big to be in a swimsuit? Not really. To be honest there are very little fucks I give about societal norms and it's levels of acceptance, so then why? Why do I hide this image like a deep dark secret?
When I sat and truly thought about why, I had to be honest.
I am my worst critic. I am the one who cannot live up to my own expectations.
I didn't have positive role models growing up, my mother always complained about how "fat" she was. By the time I was 15 I was bulimic. I was always called the "chubby" one by boys as a teen. I was a size 12 and I had boobs, and grew up in the 90's when Heroin Chic was everything.
I let society shape me, my inner most thoughts of how my value was counted by the way that I looked.
As I grew older and more self assured those thoughts stayed with me, so even though I may no longer care what society thinks of me, the damage is done. Now it's all about learning how to change my mindset so I can set a proper example to my girls as they grow.
So I guess to answer my own question, it's both. We are all at fault, and it's up to us to take responsibility in changing that.
Are you also your own worst enemy?
I have to preface this blog post by saying, well admitting... reluctantly.... that I am essentially a fake tanning novice. I have had a couple of average spray tans back in the day, and I've used the kinds that are like moisturiser that build up as you go, which are fool proof really.
So I admit, I have never had the guts to use a proper tanner. I am pretty pale, and I've kind of just accepted that, until now.
Introducing Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Mist. Enriched with Aloe Vera, Pro Vitamin B5, paraben free, NZ made & cruelty free - this has my name written all over it.
I have the Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Kit (RRP $55) that comes with a 120ml bottle of Tanning Mist (6-8 uses) and a flawless Blending Glove made from velvet - enabling a simple, streak free application.
I made sure to shave and exfoliate my legs the night prior to tanning. You need a very small amount of product, and it builds up and blends beautifully.
Best thing about it is that it is dry to the touch in just 10 seconds and fully develops in 4 hours. No stains on my white sheets! YAY!
Before & After (4 hour development time) using Little Honey Flawless Bronzing Mist
I will definitely continue using this kit and look forward to holding on to my summer tan a bit longer than usual. Feeling like a little bit of a tanned goddess, just quietly.
Little Honey is available at Life & Unichem Pharmacies, Smith & Caughey Department Stores & online here www.littlehoney.co.nz
INIKA is 100% natural, Australian owned & vegan.
INIKA launched their new look and collection for Autumn '17 recently, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the event. The new look and launch of their products comes as they celebrate the brands 10 year anniversary. It is sold in over 30 countries, and has won 35 international awards for excellence & innovation.
Certified Organic BB Cream RRP $69
This 3 in 1 beauty balm acts as a primer, moisturiser & foundation. Available in 6 shades Porcelain (the palest I've ever seen in any brand) through to tan. Pictured is the shade "Cream"
Baked Mineral Fundation RRP $74
INIKA's best selling foundation comes in 8 shades. It is super convenient for women on the go, a quick dusting of this is all you need as it builds from a sheer to full coverage. Hypoallergenic & Dermatologist tested.
Baked Mineral Bronzer RRP $74
Named "Sunkissed" this pressed bronzer is lightweight, easily bendable and long wearing. I use it to warm up the skin tone and create dimension to the face after foundation application. Contains zero talc or additives.
Baked Mineral Illuminisor RRP $74
Used on the high points of the face this highlighter is subtle enough to be worn daily, and gives a youthful glow to the skin. I have been wearing this on it's own for a quick pick me up before the school run.
Mineral Mattifying Powder RRP $44
Absorbs excess oil without adding extra coverage, this finely milled powder is perfect for setting the BB Cream.
Mineral Blusher Puff Pot RRP $49
Comes in two shades "Pink Petal" & "Rosy Glow" this blush sits beautifully on the skin and blends like a dream.
Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream RRP $44
This may be my fav from the range. This illuminating cream can be used on cheekbones, brow bones and eyelids to illuminate the skin while reflecting away from imperfections.
Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow Duo RRP $69
Available in 7 duo combinations. "Black Sand" (pictured below) is a combo of a pigmented matte black & iridescent champagne pink. Super blendable and long lasting.
Certified Organic Lip Glaze RRP $39
Containing organic Carnuba Wax & Vanilla Oil, these hydrating yet long lasting glosses are a must have. They come in 4 shades, Mocha (pictured below) Lychee, Watermelon & Berry.
Certified Organic Vegan Lipstick RRP $44
Award winning lippies, containing avocado and Jojoba seed oils for hydration and rich colour payoff. Pictured below is the shade Pink Poppy, one of 12 available shades
Certified Organic Vegan Lip Tint RRP $34
This product promises soft, nourished lips and it delivers. Contains Shea Butter & Vitamin E and comes in 5 shades.. This one (Rose) lives in my handbag.
Certified Organic Eye & Lip Pencils RRP $34
Eye pencils come in 9 shades. Pictured is Black Caviar & Dusty Rose (lip pencils are available in 6 shades). These are soft, totally blendable and best of all no nasties around the eyes and lips.
Overall I was so impressed with this brand and definitely intend to stock up on more products for my kit, as clients are requesting more and more to only use cruelty free/vegan & organic products on their faces.
You can purchase INIKA at selected salons & Health Stores and also online https://www.inikaorganic.com/nz/www.inikaorganic.com/nz/
Wearing INIKA Organic products
Everyone knows I love the Karen Murrell lippies due to their staying power, the extensive range of beautiful colours, the fact they smell like cinnamon & mostly because of their all natural ingredients. How stoked was I to learn that they are launching a line of lip pencils, each perfectly paired with the iconic lipsticks.
These lip pencils are smooth, easy to apply and contain some pretty epic natural ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, candellila & antioxidant vitamin E. The sleek packaging gets even better, each dual ended pencil includes a lip brush to keep your pout looking perfect.
Karen Murrell lip pencils launch March 1st www.karenmurrell.com
This beautifully packaged, sleek & elegant collection landed on my makeup desk this week and I couldn't wait to get it on my face.
From M.A.C - "Caitlyn Jenner has fearlessly shared her transition with the world, and her new M·A·C collection continues that mission, proudly championing All Ages, All Races and All Sexes. Elegant, classic shades for lips, eyes and cheeks are beautifully suited for those who embrace life, in whatever form they choose."
The collection includes Whirl lip liner, a long time fav for makeup artists and celebs alike, a perfectly matched Lipglass in Beautifully Bare, Mineralise skin finish natural in Compassion and a very wearable, sheer but deep red - aptly named Authentic Red.
I love this collection. I think Caitlyn Jenner appeals to me because I see beauty in so many forms, especially in those who portray authenticity, those who are unapologetic and most of all those who are brave - despite predjudice & judgement for being different.
The collection launches January 16th on counter across NZ.
Before & after - using The Convertible Brow, Clear Brow Gel & Highlighter Pencil
New to NZ, The Brow Gal products offer unique and practical brow products developed by LA based brow expert and makeup artist Tonya Crooks.
Brand new to the market is a multi use product called The Convertible Brow, which can be used dry as a powder for a more natural but sculpted look - or wet like a pomade for a defined, structured finish.
Each compact comes with three colour shades that compliment an array of skin tones & hair colours. They are highly pigmented, easily blended and give definition without a heavy application.
Highlighter Pencil & Convertible Brow swatches
I was also sent the Clear Brow Gel, precision Angled Brush & Highlighter Pencil and am head over heels for each one! My brow routine has stepped up its game!!
I use the gel to set the hairs in place, always brushing upwards to achieve a fuller look. The highlighter pencil has one matte & one shimmery shade and is the perfect tool for sculpting and perfecting the brow. The brush is a must have item, double ended with a super fine angled brush and spoulie for combing out any excess product - perfect partner in crime for the Convertible Brow!
Verdict? Instant holy grail items that have conveniently made their way into my personal makeup kit for every day use.
You can find out more here https://thebrowgal.com
I received some goodies in the post this week from Mellow Cosmetics, a NZ based brand who are vegan and cruelty free.
I've been a long time fan of their lip products and they have now launched a new range of Brow Powder Duo's, Brow Gel's and Pomades in four fabulous shades. The staying power of these Pomades was what impressed me the most, will definitely be using these on my clients!
I was also sent the "Treasure Chest" eyeshadow palette, which contains 6 gorgeous shimmering shades and four perfect warm and cool tone mattes.
See below for swatches of these fab new additions to the Mellow family.
The brow powders and pomades come in correlating shades - Taupe, Caramel, Mocha & Chocolate - offering both warm and cool tones to suit everyone. They have great colour payoff, are easy to apply and like I mentioned above, super long lasting.
Yesterday I attended one of the first introductions into the M.A.C Technique App here in NZ. I'm sure you have heard of M.A.C Technique classes, I remember being a part of them back when I worked in store in 2008/2009. It's a hands on class, tailored to suit - and best of all redeemable on product so you can take away your fav products after you've mastered how to apply them.
The app itself is an interactive addition to these classes. Not only are you able to browse and book available nearby classes through the app, but once in the workshop you can photograph each step, make a list of each product used and essentially store all your must have items for the shopping session afterwards. This is all then stored in the app, so you can refer to it once you get home. Essentially it's your "own personal take home makeup artist" as stated by KieKie Stanners, the NZ M.A.C National Artist.
Once you have booked in for your M.A.C Technique you are able to access all the information including face charts specific to your class. These gorgeous Technique makeup bags are also exclusive to the event. You cannot buy these instore!
M.A.C Technique classes are available in two formats, either seminar or workshop & are $120 fully redeemable on product.
Download the app here:
Today's before and after. No editing, just true, honest me. I'm a mum of two, I don't sleep, I work way too much, I worry even more. I'm currently in week three of a huge detox and my health has been better. And it shows on my face, my skin is breaking out. But, I care very little about that.
I haven't always been so self accepting, and I must admit I used to hide behind makeup when I was younger. I've always beaten myself up about my weight. I was bulimic as a teen. I've said ugly, horrible things to myself. But, since having my daughters I have changed a lot. Their utter acceptance of who they are as human beings is so incredibly inspiring. It's them who have taught me about self love. It's their unconditional love for me that has made me realise that I do have value, and to them I am perfect. More importantly, I came to the realisation that the way I treat myself is an example to them.
Since having my babies, I have become so passionate about self love and dissolving illusions about makeup and why women wear it. We are constantly bombarded with unrealistic and unattainable expectations of how we are supposed to look by celebrities and advertising. Yes I edit my Instagram feed, just like a glossy magazine edits their already perfect models. I do this because it's my art, it's not because I'm ashamed of who I am.
When it comes to makeup I'm all about empowering women and teaching them how taking that time for themselves is ok. It's totally fine to wear none too, I rarely wear makeup unless I'm working. I'm bare faced at school drop offs, and to be honest most of the other mums are too. It's so incredibly important to be proud of who you are and what our "imperfections" represent. I have severe dark circles because I haven't slept for 5 years, and I'm gonna wear that shit like a badge of honour - and so should you.
I think this post is less about makeup, and a lot about self acceptance. I want to break down barriers and have transparency when it comes to realistic expectations of how women are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves. Have you been kind to yourself today?
I have been hearing a lot about the brand Arbonne, which recently made it's debut into the New Zealand market. I get sent a lot to review, and I don't mention everything I receive. However, I wanted to take the time to test this particular range out because of it's claim to contain naturally derived ingredients.
Arbonne contains zero petrochemicals, no mineral oil, petroleum & SD alcohol. It also excludes known irritants like acetone, lanolin, collagen, dyes, perfumes and human/animal by products. The range is botanically based, not tested on animals, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.
I was sent two of their top sellers, being the Makeup Primer & It's a Long Story Mascara. I was also sent the Prime & Proper Eye Primer, It's all in the Eyes Eyeshadow Duo in Amber & Forest and Smoothed over Lipstick in Iris (see swatches below).
First impression is the beautiful fragrance these products have. I love products that smell good, but don't want to put artificial perfumes on my skin on a daily basis. The botanicals in this line make it all smell amazing! The packaging itself is luxurious and well made - sleek, black and simple.
The shadows are a buttery, velvet texture with fantastic colour payoff. The lipstick is hydrating and creamy and it lasted a good few hours without need of a touch up despite this. I tested the face and eye primer over the course of a work day and had zero creasing in the areas I applied. The mascara would suit those that are after a lengthening effect. This will not clump your lashes! Best of all I had no reaction to these products, which is a common occurrence for me having eczema and allergies.
Arbonne's premium skin care and makeup products are formulated in Switzerland at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development, and are made in the U.S.A. For more information contact Roslyn Ryan who kindly sent me these products to try.
NZ based hair and makeup artist, Mum, wife, beauty blogger, & advocate for self acceptance & empowering women.