Archive for February, 2011

Tried & Tested: Infrared Sauna

This was originally posted as a Guest Blog on primped.com.au

You know those things that have been on your to-do list for ages; years even, but you just never getting around to doing them? For me, that was trying an Infrared Sauna.

Infrared Sauna

While they have been around for years, Infrared Saunas have gained increased popularity since the marketing mega-word ‘detox’ found its way into popular lexicon.

The promoted benefits are amazing and plentiful, with reduced cellulite, detoxification, improved skin, renewed energy, reduced bloating, stress relief, calorie burning (up to 500 in one session!) and a boost to the immune system listed among them.

You’re sold right? After just one session, so was I. After half an hour in the small (room enough for two people) wooden chamber, I left with glowing skin and felt light, a little tired but also refreshed. Kind of like after a Bikram Yoga session, only without the physical exertion and possible embarrassment after a series of unflattering poses.

When you think of saunas, heavy, claustrophobic steam and hairy old men usually come to mind, but the infrared sauna is completely different (BYO hairy old man; optional) in lots of ways.

One of the unique things about the infrared sauna is that unlike a traditional sauna, which uses the environmental surroundings to heat the body (in the form of steam), infrared saunas use infrared waves to directly penetrate up to 5 centimetres into the body, essentially heating it from the inside out. In the place of wet ‘steam heat’ is a drier, 40-degree beach day kind of heat. You can even take a book or magazine in with you; no steam means that the ink isn’t going to run off the wilting page.

Sounds great, right?

If you’re keen to try one, here are a few tips to remember:

-You’re going to be sweating buckets, so prepare your body in advance by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to your sauna. Try adding lemon juice to your water for an alkalising effect and more effective hydration. It will also help with the detoxification benefits of the sauna.

– Bring a couple of extra towels. As mentioned before, you’re going to sweat – a lot.

– Don’t load up on the lotions, tanners and the myriad of other beauty products we ladies like to ply on daily; clean skin before your sauna will leave your pores unblocked and ready to sweat!

-To increase the benefits of the sauna, use a dry body brush to remove dead skin cells and increase circulation – remember to always brush towards your heart. Have a quick rinse to wash away any exfoliated cells before you begin.

One of the unexpected benefits of my time in the infrared sauna was the forced downtime away from the demands of technology. Without calls, texts and emails, it was just a book and my thoughts; something I hadn’t experienced in a quite a while.  So refreshing, and just what I needed.

This is what health and wellbeing is all about; doing things to better your well being, both mentally and physically, and Infrared saunas tick both boxes for me.

Note: I tried the Infrared Sauna at a local Naturopath clinic in Mornington, VIC – Holly Hill Health and Body Clinic. A few readers of the original post on Primped asked about where they can find an infrared sauna, which is a great question! I have generally always seen them at naturopathy and health clinics, so a good place to look might be the Natural Therapy Pages directory. If I think of any other search tools I will update the post!

Interview With A Beauty Ed: Eleanor Pendleton

You’ve seen her beauty pages in FAMOUS Magazine, and loved the raw freshness of her achingly-cool beauty blog, Gritty Pretty and you’re soon to read her work in the beauty pages of InStyle Magazine; the latest notch in Eleanor Pendleton’s beauty writing belt.

Eleanor; a girl whose amazing career trajectory (and style, check this out) at a young age is so inspiring I just had to corner her in the hallway and pester her with questions. Ha, I used email, but hopefully by following her advice I will be walking those corridors one day!

Wisdom and killer beauty tips? What a Friday!

 

 

Congratulations on your new position at InStyle! What are you most excited
 about for the next chapter of your career?

Why, thank you so much! I am exceptionally excited about working on an international title that is published in 17 other countries. Although, I have worked on Cosmopolitan Bride, Cosmopolitan Hair & Beauty and Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazines – this will be my first experience working on a women’s lifestyle monthly title so I am busting with excitement. Working with InStyle’s Beauty Director, Victoria Meppem, is going to be a life-changing experience and it’s truly going to allow me to grow into an even better editor.

You have an amazing job. If you can *possibly* narrow it down, what’s the best thing about it? And if any, the worst?

The best thing about being a Beauty Editor is trying beauty products months before they have even hit the stores. Painting my nails in front of my computer is a regular occurrence – all in the name of product research! The most rewarding thing about my role is putting my heart and soul into perfecting an article, interviewing subjects, sourcing products and bringing the best information to the reader – then seeing it printed on the news stands. I still pinch myself whenever I see someone reading my beauty pages standing in the grocery line at Coles. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that feeling.

Who did you look up to when you were trying to break into the industry?
Zoë Foster. Whilst studying journalism, Zoë was the Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan magazine. I was lucky enough to score an internship with her for six months and it’s to Zoë that I owe a lot of credit to. If she hadn’t taken me under her wing and showed me the endless creative possibilities of beauty writing, then I more than likely would have ended up in features writing.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?

There are many challenges when it comes to publishing. More recently, I was required to compile a 16-page beauty booklet in less than one week complete with product stills, copy and interviews. Oh, and that’s on top of my regular 8 beauty pages at FAMOUS. Yes, you could say it was one hell of a stressful week followed by one hell of a glass of wine.

Any advice for conquering the drama that can sometimes appear in a highly competitive industry such as yours?

Be conscious of how you approach media. First impressions are everything – and you need to be aware of how you approach the media, how you present yourself, grammatically proofing your emails to editors and generally being enthusiastic. If it’s magazines you want to work in, then make your dream a reality. Just remember there are a thousand girls behind you wanting the same thing, so it’s important to make yourself stand out in a positive light and be prepared to complete menial admin tasks wearing a smile to start off with.

You had huge success with your online beauty blog Gritty Pretty, how did you like the difference between online and print?

Thank you! I still can’t believe how quickly people took to Gritty Pretty – it just blows my mind that it’s read right across the world! The biggest difference I found between my beauty blog and my beauty pages is the freedom. With my blog, the possibilities are endless. I could discuss anything with anyone in the house style I wanted. I saw a real gap in the online market for an edgy beauty blog. I dislike glossy pink, bubblegum shades and cartoon character headers so for me, Gritty Pretty was basically designing a blog that I wanted to read.

Any lessons learned you would like to share with other bloggers?

As a professional, blog or not, it’s important for me to bring honest and authentic information to my readers. My biggest piece of advice to fellow beauty bloggers is to proof read, proof read and just when you think you’ve done enough, proof read again. Being a writer, nothing makes my skin crawl more than a blog ridden with typing errors. *Shudders.*

In your opinion, what’s more important for ‘making it’ in the magazine industry; experience or qualifications?

Definitely experience. After finishing high school, I was accepted into two universities. Instead, I deferred both and opted to enrol at Sydney’s Macleay College to study a Diploma in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in media in just two years. The course was accelerated and I wanted to choose the fast-tracked option so I could get straight into the work force. Consequently, after one year of beauty interning at Cosmopolitan, I graduated with my Diploma in Journalism. I had enrolled in my final year and was taken by surprise when I was offered the role as Beauty Writer at Cosmopolitan Brand Extension magazines. Almost four years later, and I’m literally about to start my first day at InStyle magazine as Beauty Editor.

What advice can you give for for girls who live outside of mag-central Sydney (such as myself!) who can’t intern on a regular basis?
I didn’t live in Sydney when I started out. I lived an hour and a half away but didn’t let distance stop me from getting one step closer to my dream. I had no contacts in the industry. I knew no one. But that didn’t stop me. I harassed every single Editorial Coordinator at my favourite magazine and begged for work experience. When I was 18, I was fortunate enough to receive one week of work experience at Cosmopolitan, I commuted every day and well, the rest is history. If you’re serious about a career in magazines and you’re persistent, distance and where you live should not prevent you from getting your foot in the door.

I once ran a competition with the question “What was your first beauty memory?” What would your entry have said?

I would’ve said ‘Damn. It wasn’t pretty – put it that way.’ My first beauty memory was rifling through my mother’s make-up door at about 6-years-old and sampling just about every Elizabeth Arden, Estee lauder and Avon product she owned on my face and arms. I looked like a clown but that moment sparked a life-long obsession that’s now become my career.

After a few years behind the Beauty Ed desk, you must be bursting withbeauty tips. What are a few that have stuck with you?

1. Primer, primer, primer. The rules of priming don’t just apply to your foundation base – it applies to your nails, hair and skin. By priming, you ensure your make-up, polish and hair products last all day long.
2. Use sticky tape when applying liquid liner. It sounds crazy but by applying a small piece of sticky tape to the outer corner of your eyes in line with the edge of your eye and your eye brow, you can create the perfect cat eye flicks without the mess. Simply peel off and you’ll have minxy eyes in seconds!

What’s your best beauty skill?

Even as a Beauty Editor, I make mistakes but I’d have to say my best beauty skills are creating ghd curls and applying liquid liner. Both require years of practise and I can proudly say I’ve nailed them.

 

One hell of a woman, right? So inspiring!

Congratulations Eleanor, I and I’m sure many other fans can’t wait to flick straight to the beauty section of InStyle in the coming months!

I’m Moving!

Yes! I am!

Therefore please excuse the lack of action on the blog front… Moving house should equal automatic days off work, right? Wrong, unfortunately.

Just thought I would give you all a heads up – it should only be a few days though and I’ll be back with many exciting new things, including an interview with one of Australia’s favourite Beauty Ed’s!

Source: utswriters.wordpress.com

I Do Adore: Bon Remede

This article was originally published in Onya Magazine:

Summer is generally the season for parties and house guests, both which generally require an unnatural level of House Cleanliness and Presentation. You can look over your shoulder with a nonchalant, “Who, me?” but I know the truth. We’re all guilty of a little vain house sprucing before the in-laws or best-couple-friends come to stay. Fresh flowers confidently take place on the side table like it’s a weekly occurrence, tea light candles find themselves next to Swedish designed soap holders and you’ve run the ‘good cutlery’ through the dishwasher after discovering an odd series of splotches that look strangely like baked on potato gratin.

Whether you’re a seasoned expert or basic beginner of the quick pre-guest spruce up, Bon Remede make it easy for you with their affordable, luxe-look range of moisturisers that would make even the hippest boutique hotel ache with jealousy.

This organic range is housed in the most amazing, heavy brown glass jars and labeled with simple yet stylish labels which give an olde world pharmaceutical feel to an overall impressively sophisticated finish. Containing natural lime and orange oils, the Body Lotion ($39.95) has a light citrus scent and is absorbed in an instant. The Face Cream ($49.95) is ultra-hydrating, with an impressive list of organic ingredients and a soft lavender and geranium aroma. The Hand, Nail and Elbow Cream ($29.95) is honestly the only product that has been able to soften my crocodile elbows, drier than the Sturt. Yep, Chronically Dry Elbows, more commonly known as CDE to sufferers. Yes, it’s a real condition; didn’t you see it on Oprah? I am so thrilled to say that this wonder product kept my elbows baby soft nearing on a week. A week!
This is a range of products that won’t be leaving the pointy end of my favourites list for a very long time. Organic, Australian owned and made, affordable luxe, aromatherapy benefits, style, effectiveness and chic good looks – it ticks all the boxes on my guest-bathroom-worthy list. And maybe even your Mother In Law’s…

Competition: Aromatherapy for Valentine’s Day!

This is going to be a quick post for a seriously quick competition!

If you haven’t seen the Hallmark explosion that’s hit local newsagents or you’ve been oblivious to the increased presence of Lindt balls in the aisles of Coles then wake up – it’s Valentine’s Day! (Well, this Monday coming.)

So to celebrate the holiday of romance and sensuality, Sunspirit Aromatherapy are giving away aromatheraphy essential oil prize packs, oil burner included! (Number of prize packs to be confirmed… but there’s more than one!)

Sunspirit have two different ‘flavours’ to give away – sure to set the mood of lurvee in your life.

Sunspirit Scentual Massage Oil is a blend of essential oils that are designed to melt away stress and tension. Containing a relaxing mix of Sweet almond oil, Bergamot, Geranium, Ylang ylang, Rose and Sandalwood.

Sunspirit Heaven Blend containing an uplifting mix of Bergamot, Grapefruit, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rosemary and Rosewood. All these are created to help you get into a sensual mood.

So that I can help get you your prize in time for Valentine’s Day (if Aus Post plays nice…) the competition will end Thursday the 10th February at 3.00pm – so get in quick!

To enter, email me an answer to the question “What would your perfect Valentine’s Day involve?” to: hollyjcurtis@gmail.com

Don’t forget to include your postal address so that I know where to send your scent-sational new oils!

To learn more about Sunspirit, the benefits of their range of aromatherapy products, contact Sunspirit on 1300 654 336 to find your nearest stockiest or look out for the NEW Sunspirit website www.sunspirit.com.au – coming soon.

Review: Inika Mineral Liquid Foundation

$59.95 for 30mL

 

Inika’s Liquid Mineral Foundation was the first thing I have tried from their range, and I have been loving it!

– Creamy and hydrating, it contains rosehip oil and green tea extracts (yeah antioxidants!)

– Certified Organic

– My easily congested skin has not broken out (any more than my usual ‘one on the go’) from using this.

– Super easily blended, I just slap this on and rub and viola! An airbrushed, radiant base stares back at me!

– The plastic tube with pump applicator means no more smashed bottles – although sometimes air does get in and I need to squeeze the tube while pumping to get it flowing out again.

– A heads up for any girls out there who don’t enjoy scented products; this one does have a pretty strong smell… kind of like incense? It doesn’t bother me, but I know there are some of you who are sensitive to scents!

 

Have you tried any Inika products?

What did you think?

Are there any others that I should definitely try?

RY.com.au & Parlux – Order & Hair Success!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I ordered a Parlux hairdryer from RY.com.au during their offer of donating $5 from every order to the QLD Floods? No? You can quickly catch up here, if you wish – but hurry back, I’m going to be raving about it for a few minutes!

RY.com.au is an Australian owned online beauty emporium, with amazing deals on top brands – for everything you could imagine! Skincare, make up, and electrical whiz-bangers like my gorgeous new Parlux hairdryer.

Oh, I adore her. Her compact sleekness, her unexpected power – there is some serious grunt under this hood. I hope that made me sound like I know about engines and motors and what the ‘3800’ could possibly mean, because I have no idea. All I know is that my notoriously thick, laborious to dry mane now drys in less than half the time it used to take me, and you don’t know how happy that makes me!

What was also pleasing was RY.com.au – will you believe me if I say that I have never online shopped for anything to do with beauty before? Hope so, because it’s true. Seriously! I’ve done clothes, lingerie, shoes even, but never beauty! RY.com.au have changed my thoughts on that. It was so simple and easy to order with plenty of cheap delivery options, I was kept in the loop about when my item had been processed and dispatched, and when it promptly arrived, there was three free samples included! One of them was a finishing spray, perfect for when I’m done whipping my hair back and forth. Ha! Gotcha! Willow Smith now on repeat in your head!

I was seriously impressed with RY’s easy ordering system and customer service – not to mention their contribution to the QLD Floods, and would definitely order from them again.


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