Beauty trends that seemed crazy at first

Beauty trends that seemed crazy at first

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

It seems like every week there’s a new beauty trend plastered all over our social media feeds. Celebrities usually start them, but to us they seem kind of ridiculous. We don’t see them catching on, so we dismiss them and move on with our lives. But then suddenly everyone we know – our friends, sisters, colleagues and even some parents have splurged on clown contouring make-up, had lip fillers, got eyelash extensions and threaded their eyebrows. We’re surprised at first, but then more and more people join in. Eventually, it seems just as normal as brushing our hair every morning. We give in to our initial reservations, and laugh at ourselves for again underestimating the power of beauty trends.

Here are some trends that seemed crazy at first, but now we’re super into them.

Face contouring

Smearing make-up all over our face so much that we resemble clowns – who knew this trend would take the world by storm? Many beauty bloggers initially received slack for their state of the art contouring techniques. The way they placed the make-up before blending it made the process look so simple, yet still so far-fetched. Fast forward a few months, and suddenly we were pressed to find someone who didn’t know what contouring was. While it seemed difficult at first, many of us are now just as well-equipped as the professionals. The results are amazing, our skin is flawless and it doesn’t even take that long. This is one trend we definitely don’t think will go stale.

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Eyebrow microblading

Eyebrows never used to be this important, but thanks to Cara Delevingne, they’re now arguably one of our most regarded features. Women once had their eyebrows waxed to oblivion and those with super thick brows were teased relentlessly. Now, the tables have turned and these women are the centre of everyone’s envy. If we don’t have the eyebrows we always dreamed of, it’s not a problem – we can just get our eyebrows tattooed. Yes, it’s painful and it’s a bit of a weird concept to wrap our heads around – tiny needles literally tattoo eyebrow strokes on the face. But it lasts a long time, and it looks so damn good.

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Lip fillers

Plump lips have been desirable since the beginning of time. Angelina Jolie was one of the first celebrities to invoke ‘lip envy’ due to her big, natural pout. However, in recent years huge lips have become even more popular. Last year, Kylie Jenner created a lot of controversy when she decided to plump her lips with fillers. The Kylie Jenner Challenge was subsequently born, as many young women decided they wanted to look the same. In the past, we would have thought someone was crazy for wanting fat injected into their lips, but now we wouldn’t even bat an eyelid!

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Eyelash extensions

Gone are the days of just applying some quick mascara before leaving the house – now it’s all about faking it ’til you make it. The idea of having someone insert lashes one by one into your eyelid was once daunting, but now it’s a trend we can’t get enough of. They last for months and are relatively low maintenance, so what have we got to lose? Although the process can be uncomfortable and a bit pricey, it saves precious ‘getting ready time’ every morning. We can’t think of anything better than being able to sleep in instead of administering endless amounts of mascara.

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Hair chalking

Hair dying has been around for hundreds of years, so that’s nothing new. But we never thought hair chalking would be a thing, and we were understandably a bit wary at first. Smearing chalk in our hair and then using a flat iron to set it seemed a bit unusual, but hey – we’re willing to try anything once. Another thing we love about hair chalking is that it’s not even permanent, so if things don’t go according to plan, we can just wash it out and start over. It’s quick, easy and inexpensive – something that many trends are not.

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How to stay healthy while travelling

How to stay healthy while travelling

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We’ve saved the money, packed our bags and planned ourselves an awesome trip. Everything has finally fallen into place and things are looking great. However, great times often lead to some not so great results; think discovering that our once beloved skinny jeans no longer fit, or that we’ve reached a number on the scales we’ve only ever seen on calculators. That giant Italian pizza and Nutella crepe seemed like a good idea at the time, but now we think it’s worse than any of the decisions we ever made in high school. To make sure it doesn’t happen again, here are the best ways to stay healthy while travelling:

Drink plenty of water

Yes, we sound like our mums, but water is actually one of the best things for us. It keeps us hydrated, energised and best of all; it has no calories. It’s extremely important to stay hydrated while travelling because we do so much walking, exploring and general touristy things that drain us of our natural supplements. Water can also replace snacks when we’re feeling hungry, as a lot of the time we’re not actually hungry; we’re just thirsty and our bodies confuse the two feelings. Replacing fattening snacks is a great thing because it stops us from gaining excess weight and adopting pimply skin. What more could we want?

Exercise

Exercising to keep healthy isn’t rocket science, but it’s surprising how many people are hesitant about exercising while overseas. We make countless excuses, such as ‘we don’t know where the local gyms are,’ ‘we have no idea who will be at the gym,’ and ‘we don’t know what the instructor will be like.’ But even if we don’t go to an actual gym, there are many other ways to get some much needed exercise under our belts. Why not set an hour of exercise aside every day or two to ensure it gets done? We can go for a run on the streets, jog along the beach or even go for a nice power walk around the local area. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout; it just needs to get done and we need to understand thatWhether we send ourselves a calendar notification, leave ourselves a note or get someone to remind us – just effing do it.

Commit to at least one healthy meal a day

Yes, this is hard. We know one of the best things about being in a foreign city or country is the yummy food we can’t find back home. But don’t worry; the good thing about this one is that we can still stuff our faces with awesome food twice a day (instead of three times). Similar to setting aside time to exercise, we should afford the same courtesy to food. Whether the chosen meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner – we just need to make it happen. We can even mix it up every few days by changing a healthy breakfast to a healthy lunch, or even a healthy dinner. There are nutritious restaurants all over the world, and contrary to popular belief, googling does more than tell us the best places to find chocolate, alcohol and milkshakes. If that doesn’t suit, we can head to the grocery store and bag some great ingredients that showcase those superb cooking skills.

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Keep healthy snacks handy

Let’s face it; snacks is where it goes wrong. Those devilish little things don’t look fattening at all. In fact, they’re so small and insignificant that we find it hard to believe they contribute to weight gain. But the thing is, they add up. They add up a lot. Quickly devouring a Mars Bar before hitting the shops and then thinking, ‘hey, why don’t I get a quick ice cream while I’m here?’ and then ‘one more Mars Bar won’t hurt’ is what gets us good. They slowly but surely cause pimples and then suddenly, our stomachs resemble our dads’ Christmas beer bellies. While this can be very concerning, there are ways to prevent it. We should carry healthy snacks that are low in calories at all times. According to experts, some of these snacks include bananas, almonds, strawberries, muesli bars, nuts, crackers and other foods high in protein. We should eat them whenever we feel hungry and refrain from indulging on those fattening, sugary foods.

Stick to routines

Holidays are exciting, and it’s extremely hard to maintain our everyday routines. We know that. Most of the time we just want to jump out of bed and head straight to the beach or something as equally exciting. However, before doing so we need to make sure we’ve washed our faces and applied our usual toners and moisturisers. It might not seem that important, but our bodies are thrown out of proportion when change occurs. As weird as it sounds, our bodies know when we’re messing with their routines and they’re not happy about it. Cue the intense breakouts, frizzy hair and weird shape changes. It’s a good idea to shower just as much as we usually would, exercise the same (if not more) and maintain our health eating habits.

Best ways to beat the Sunday blues

Best ways to beat the Sunday blues

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We’ve spent our entire week slaving away at work/university with only one thing on our minds: the weekend. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there – every week in fact. We’re ecstatic when Friday finally rolls around, and Saturday’s even better because we have the whole day and night to kick back, party and do whatever else we please. But then Sunday rears its big ugly head and laughs in our faces. Whether we’re suffering from massive hangovers or just dreading the impending doom Monday brings every damn time, Sundays suck. But never fear – there are things we can do to beat those dreadful Sunday blues.

Get all your work done on Friday afternoon

We for one cannot wait to get out of the office on a Friday. However, it’s important to remind ourselves that if we don’t get all of our work done before the weekend, there will be double the workload come Monday morning. Our trick is to start organising all of our work on Friday morning, and then we can dedicate our entire day to making sure everything gets done. If necessary, we even stay back after home time to ensure everything’s in order. Honestly, we’d much rather get home a tiny bit later than spend our Mondays playing catchup and feeling like absolute crap.

Organise Monday’s gear when you get home on Friday

If we manage to get everything in order before Monday morning, we’ll have more time to spend doing whatever the hell we want on Sunday night. There’s nothing worse than feeling hard done by on a Sunday while tearfully ironing work clothes and packing bags. Frankly, it’s a huge fat reminder that soon we’ll be slaving away for five days straight. It’s much better to get the organising over and done with on a Friday when we’re feeling fresh, fabulous and thirsty for the weekend.

Spend time with friends and family

Sure, we might have already spent the weekend with our friends and family, but they’re pretty good company. Even if we just catch a movie, go out for dinner or gossip about the latest episode of The Bachelor – our minds will be focused on things other than our upcoming commitments. By the time Monday arrives, we won’t even have time to think about how bad it’ll be. It will just arrive and things will probably go a lot smoother than anything our minds have concocted to scare us.

Write everything down

No, this isn’t only for primary school kids. Writing can actually be a very therapeutic way to get all of our thoughts and feelings down while keeping us away from that mental institution. Whether we’re bitching about the colleague who keeps stealing our sandwiches, the one who types too loudly or the boss who keeps passing us up for a promotion – get it all down. Trust us, it will make you feel so much better. Just be sure to keep the diary at home and don’t let it anywhere near the workplace!

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Stop overthinking and relax

Let’s be honest, Sunday nights are probably worse than Monday mornings. We’ll never understand this because it means we use more negative energy worrying about something that’s not even as terrible as the act of worrying. It’s a weird concept to wrap our heads around, but according to experts we overthink way too much. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say our minds’ main goal was to cause as much unnecessary anxiety as possible. But hey, we can train ourselves to chill out, relax and enjoy the remainder of our weekends. Some things we can do include light exercises, such as yoga. Yoga relaxes not only the mind, but also our muscles. What better way is there to rein in the business week than feeling absolutely fabulous?

What I learnt from other people’s weddings

What I learnt from other people’s weddings

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

I’m currently at the age where some of my friends are starting to settle down and get hitched (scary, I know). And while I’ve had a blast at most of their weddings, I also understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into planning one’s big day. Sometimes, it’s very dramatic. Mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, best friends, cousins, crazy aunts, you name it… they all get involved. And often families are torn apart, friendships are ruined and possessions are smashed. Here are some things I’ve discovered by living vicariously through my friends.

Don’t invite every single person you know

I know this one sucks because I hate offending people. However, weddings are freaking expensive (in case you didn’t already know). It often costs the bride and groom and/or their parents at least $100 per person. That’s why it’s important to ask: have I seen this person in the last year or two? How close are we really? Do I usually associate with them outside of work? I once knew someone who called a bride and asked her why she wasn’t invited to the wedding. WHY? What did she expect the answer to be? I hate your guts? After hearing this, I experienced so much second hand embarrassment that I had to stop what I was doing just to calm the hell down.

Be nice to your maid of honour and bridesmaids

This is important. A few years ago my friend was a bridesmaid to her close friend, and now they don’t even speak. The bridesmaids were even asked to fork out an unbelievable amount of money on absolutely ridiculous things, including the bride’s wedding dress because bridezilla kicked up a stink about not being able to afford it herself. Not to mention my friend also organised and paid for a hen’s night that the bride decided to skip due to “unforeseen circumstances.” I know being a bride can be stressful, but it’s no excuse to turn into a complete monster, people.

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Realise your budget might change

A sensible person will always have a wedding budget (unless they’re super rich). But the thing is, when you go wedding shopping you’ll probably find things you absolutely love that you didn’t account for when wedding planning. That’s completely normal, but just don’t go overboard. I for one am a very impulsive buyer who has absolutely no self control, but I’m getting better. I’ve heard so many tales of brides and grooms destroying their budgets, and as you can imagine it’s a very stressful thing. One good idea is to add a certain percentage you’re willing to go over, and stick to that.

Invest in a quality photographer

I know memories and ‘being in the moment’ are the most important things in life. But one day you’ll regret not having enough photos to cherish, or to show your kids and grandkids. Hiring a quality photographer and going out of your way to make that investment is super important. Do your research and ask your friends for recommendations. When my cousin got married, her friend’s little sister volunteered for the job, and let’s just say things didn’t go too well. Just ask the blurry, crooked and questionable looking portrait of her and hubby hanging on the lounge room wall.

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You need to remember that your wedding day, while stressful, is also supposed to be amazing. Cherish the moments, stress less and don’t forget the day is about you, your partner and your commitment to one another.

How to survive a long haul flight

How to survive a long haul flight

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We all love travelling, but the idea of being trapped in a metal can for hours on end can deter even the most frequent flyers. For us Australians it’s especially difficult, as we live so far away from most of the world. But if we want to visit somewhere exciting like Europe, we have to suck up our pride and make the most of a not-so-great situation. Here are some of the best ways to do just that:

1. Wear comfortable clothing

This goes without saying, but comfortable clothes are a godsend when it comes to long flights. You will be sitting down for several hours, and perhaps even transiting through various airports, so dress comfortably. Trudging around with heavy luggage is already bad enough, but it’s even worse when you’re wearing heels and jeans that cut off your circulation. Opt for something loose, light and layer up. Planes usually range from freezing cold to scorching hot, so bring a jacket and wear something lighter underneath.

2. Bring a neck pillow, earplugs and an eye mask

Neck pillows are an absolute must for long flights. Most airlines provide you with these, but they’re not always the best quality. Invest in a proper neck pillow, which you can easily buy from your local airport. It will help you sleep, support your head and make your journey a thousand times better. Make sure you also bring earplugs and an eye mask if you want that quality shut eye. Again, some airlines will give you these, so it’s a good idea to check beforehand.

3. Don’t go overboard with food and drinks

We know free food and drinks is never a bad thing, but there’s no need to over do it. There’s nothing worse than getting indigestion when you’re thousands of feet in the air. It’s already uncomfortable enough – don’t make it worse! The same goes for alcohol. While it’s fine to have a sneaky wine or two, don’t drink too much. It can act as a stimulant and keep you up for hours.

4. Drink plenty of water

There’s a lack of humidity in air cabins, which makes flying incredibly dehydrating. Experts usually recommend quadrupling your water intake on flights to avoid dehydration. Keep this up the entire flight, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to ask for more water. Experts also advise drinking other liquids, such as gatorade because they’re full of energy, and maintaining balance is very important.

5. Bring your own entertainment

Most long-haul flights have in-flight entertainment, but you should check this just in case. Either way, pack a few things to keep yourself entertained. Load your phone up with some music, bring a good old fashioned book, download some movies on your iPad, or even take this opportunity to tackle that work you’ve been putting off!

6. Pack light, but be prepared

We know this is going to be hard for you fashion-savvy gals, but don’t pack too much stuff. Carrying heavy luggage around for hours on end can be exhausting, and it’s guaranteed to put you in a bad mood. Having said that, make sure you pack the essentials. Remember to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, baby wipes and deodorant. They sound like simple things but can be easily forgotten and you’ll definitely regret it if you don’t. However, make sure you don’t pack anything over 100ml, and that you don’t bring aerosol deodorant. Airport security is very strict with these rules, and they’ll probably be confiscated.

7. Sit back, relax and enjoy

Finally, just enjoy your flight. We know it’s long and tiring, but it’s not every day we get to sit down for hours and do absolutely nothing but eat and watch TV. Enjoy it while it lasts because it will be over before you know it!

How to exercise according to your mood

How to exercise according to your mood

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We all go through rough patches from time to time – some of us more so than others. And although we deal with our emotions in different ways, there’s one thing we can do to make sure we don’t push ourselves over the edge. It’s not a new concept but that thing is exercise.

Sometimes we’d rather do anything (think major surgery) before resorting to exercise, but studies have found that different kinds of exercises have the ability to shape, affect and direct our moods. For example, there are certain sports we should avoid like the plague when we’re angry, and vice versa. Here are some of our strongest moods and what we should do when we’re experiencing them.

Angry

Obviously, feeling angry isn’t the best thing in the world. Our blood is rushing to our head, we can’t think straight and all we can see is red. The only thing we want is to punch someone in the face and then down a bottle of wine. However, there are better and more healthy alternatives to this. Why not head to the nearest gym and go to town with the punching bags? Better yet – take your anger out on some of the poor souls in the ‘boxercise’ classes. After all, they signed up for it! Many anger management classes even employ boxing as a means to help eliminate anger, so we know it’s legit. Go for it.

Happy

The aim here is to maintain our happiness levels. This can be difficult because our moods change so quickly, especially when our lives are as hectic are they are. We need to find something not too intense – yet something that’s full of endorphins to achieve that natural high. One sport that fits this criteria is running – and no, running’s not going to kill us. We just need to choose an intensity we can adhere to without scarring ourselves for life. One great place for light jogging is along the beach – where the ocean will provide an excellent scenic backdrop. If we’re feeling really adventurous, we can even go for a dip afterwards!

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Sad

The last thing we want to do when we’re sad is hit the gym or perform something equally as excruciating. However, exercise gives us endorphins and endorphins make us happy. Yes, we know chocolate does that too, but it’s not as effective and chocolate makes us fat. So, balance it out and do something that makes you happy. Dancing is great for sadness because our bodies respond positively to movement. Research has found that we’re programmed to ‘jump for joy’ when we’re happy and ‘slump’ when we’re sad, so trick your body into thinking you’re happy by dancing up a storm. It really works – our brains react to messages and signals from the brain – it’s science.

Stressed

One word: yoga. The goal here is to zen your stress levels and chill the hell out. We know that taking time to do this can be annoying, especially when we’ve got a million other things to do, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Experts believe there are psychological benefits to yoga, as it has the ability to help us ‘return to meaningful activity’ and provide a sense of accomplishment. “Exercise may be a way of biologically toughening up the brain so stress has less of a central impact,” said Michael Otto, a professor of psychology at Boston University. “Exercise has such broad effects that my guess is that there are going to be multiple mechanisms at multiple levels.”

Fast track your morning routine

Fast track your morning routine

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

Some mornings we jump out of bed, drink kale smoothies, and strut out the door feeling and looking like a million dollars. Other days we sleep through our alarms, skip breakfast, and spill toothpaste all over our shirts. There’s usually no in between.

Lately it seems the latter is happening more often than the former. It could be something to do with the new year, but we’re all feeling the tiredness more than usual. We all lead busy lives, and, frankly, our scattered morning routines aren’t doing us any favours. Luckily, we have some ‘fail safe’ methods to ensure we get out the door on time and in one piece.

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Make use of the night before

Anything that can be done the night before should be embraced with open arms. Showering at night will save us from having to shower in the morning, and we’ll still be clean when we wake up. We can also prep our skin the night before by exfoliating or using a face mask. That way, in the morning, all we’ll have to do is splash on some water or even a light cleanser. If our face is washed properly at night, there’s no need for extreme cleansers or scrubs come morning time. Some other methods include packing lunches, preparing handbags and deciding what clothes we’ll be wearing the next day.

Use multi-tasking products

Let’s be honest, makeup can be incredibly frustrating. Not only is it tedious, but it’s also super time consuming. Yet sometimes we still want to look fabulous, so we soldier on and do what we have to do. Fortunately, that’s where multi-tasking products come in. These are awesome, as they combine a number of different cosmetics that get the job done in half the time. Some products, such as lipsticks, also double as makeup for your cheeks, eyes and lips. To make it even more convenient for the fashion-savvy gal, they even change colour depending on where they’re applied. Other all-in-one products include BB creams that combine both sunscreen and tinted moisturiser. BB creams boast great coverage, and they basically eliminate the need for other foundation and powders. There are so many multi-tasking products on the market – finding them just requires a little bit of research.

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Embrace the low-key beauty routine

We know it’s nice to look our best, but realistically it’s not always possible. With that being said, there are a few low-key beauty routine won’t leave us looking like trolls. Just because there’s not enough time to achieve those on fleek brows and savage eyeliner wings doesn’t mean we can’t still look hot. Leave the contouring kit for important days and embrace the quick concealer and mascara routine. We don’t need to spend copious amounts of time straightening and curling our hair – just run a brush through it and throw it up into a ponytail, messy bun or even leave it out. And don’t even think about washing it – there’s no time for that. If necessary, use dry shampoo to give it a quick refreshing spray. Don’t worry, it’ll still look shiny and clean throughout the day. Just wash it when the opportunity presents itself.

Have a quick and easy breakfast

We all skip breakfast from time to time – mainly to spend more time mastering our beauty sleep. Yet eliminating breakfast on a regular basis can be harmful to our health. Studies have shown that not only is it unhealthy, but it has the ability to make us gain weight. This is probably because we get super hangry later on, and devour anything and everything we can get our greedy little hands on. To break this habit, prepare something quick and easy the night before, or even eat some simple yet nutritious cereal. Better yet, grab some fruit and yoghurt en route to eat during the commute. If you’re heading somewhere that allows food (like a food friendly office), just eat it there. Be creative and resourceful – there are so many ways to keep both you and your stomach happy.

Practice makes perfect

We know mornings usually suck, but cutting our routines in half isn’t that hard. One easy way to master all of these things is to time ourselves each day to figure out how long it takes to get everything done. Once we have an idea of how long we spend on certain things, we can re-evaluate our methods, and work on improving them. Practice everything, and soon the mornings will be our beautiful little oyster.