Thursday, 13 March 2014

Planting the seeds of Green Beauty

Hello! Yes I'm still here! Technically WE'RE still here. I spoke to Mel today so I know she's around.
I know time has elapsed and you're thinking, well.... This is pretty adventure-less. But to be honest I've been embarking on my next adventure (and watching Oscar nominated movies).

So my last post was about resolutions and I shared mine with you. I was pretty overwhelmed with where to start to be honest and just didn't know where to begin. So I did what I do best. I read. 
I started with Not just a pretty face by Stacey Malkan.



It's an interesting expose into the US beauty industry and the role the FDA plays. Considering most cosmetic companies have companies I the US, I figured it's a good place to start. It also looks at all the environmental and health groups that fight for cosmetic companies to look at their ingredients and do what's best for the consumers.

After that I moved onto No more dirty looks by Siobhan O'Conner and Alexandra Spunt.



Can I just say I love this book, it has a very informative approach and looks at cleaner beauty from the approach I'm taking, that is that I know I won't be able to stop using everything bad, but I will be cleaner where I can. 
From there I've found products and blogs to help me keep learning, but they are other posts in themselves. 

I know that it may seem like I'm buying into the whole thing, kit and kaboodle, but I did take these books with a grain of salt. The thing is a lot of what they say does make sense to me, there are so many ingredients that we don't know what they are, just look at the chemical name and take them at face value, because we do trust that these companies to do what's best for us. 

We also know there are awful ingredients out there, that are still being used, how many of us have picked up products that are phalate free? paraben free? sulfate free? I know I did, what I didn't know though, what just how many ways they can name these products, just how many other brands may use these products. I know I was shocked when I looked at the body wash in my shower, and found the second ingredient to be Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Lets just say from the way the brand is marketed, it's the last thing I thought I would find in there. 

So this is the start of my journey. I've been researching, reading, cleaning and adding new cleaner and greener products to my shelf. I'll be honest, I'm scared to tackle my kit, that will be a big job and a big investment to green it up. 

I'll be back to share with you some product reviews and some blogs I read, but until then if you're interested and have an iphone I'd also recommend the app Think Dirty (http://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/) it's a new app that will rate your products in your bathroom. It's a helpful little app that saves you the job of reading the ingredients of every. single. item. The database is still quite small, comparative to the products on the market but it certainly has a good range and by scanning and submitting items that are missing you help the app grow. I've managed to take my bathroom shelf from an 8 (yikes!) down to a more acceptable 4

So, what are your thoughts on non-toxic beauty? What are you interested in learning more about? Where's Mel? What was your favourite Oscar movie?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Resolutions...

Happy New Year!
Man I have just been a neglectful parent with this blog haven't I? 
Did everyone have a good Christmas? 
My man person and I went back to Aus and Mel and I had a catch up that involved far too much wine (and yet not enough) 

It was 2 weeks of decadence and catch ups and of course talk had inevitably turned to resolutions. 
I know, I know, you don't need a new year to make a change but it always happens at New Years. 
Anyway, I suck at resolutions, like completely suck at them. When I was younger my resolution would be to ‘have a great year’ which, really, is a pretty lame and pathetic excuse for a resolution in my opinon.

But this year I think I have one, although it’s not really a resolution, as much as a commitment to something that has steadily become something that has had more focus in my life.
So my resolution or commitment for the year is to follow more conscious living. Not really clean or green living because that’s not really what it is, although there are some aspects of it thrown in.

Let me explain my version of conscious living. I’m not going super hardcore or anything, refusing to use anything unless its organic, unfiltered cold pressed argan oil or something, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that I’m a makeup and nail artist, I currently have purple hair, and I need to be realistic. Some of my favorite products aren't going to fit this bill. This is about me educating myself and making informed choices along the way. 

This decision has been born of many things, I've already tried to make the switch with certain items, wanting to cut down on some of the unknowns. I use a lot of beauty products and I personally just wanted to minimise some of the harmful things I'm putting on. Formaldehyde is a huge one at the moment - it's found in nail polish, which is why I made the choice to use 5 free brands, like NCLA and RGB where I can, I'll be honest, sometimes for shoots I'll get other brands so I have the perfect colour or finish. Like I said, I know I won't be perfect at it.  But there's been some talk that Fomaldehyde can also be found in certain mascara!! 

I also have been trying to avoid products that do animal testing, PETA is a great source for companies that don't do animal testing,  and, by proxy, I have tried to use more vegan products where I can, as well as try to buy products that give back.

For example there is an awesome company called Sevenly (https://www.sevenly.org/) that I've bought some shirts from. They donate a portion of the cost to the charity the shirts are designed for and help change peoples lives. They have now expanded to accessories and prints. Another company I love, and I know Mel does too, is the Giving Keys (http://www.thegivingkeys.com/) they employee homeless people in LA, giving them a job and a chance to get off the streets and try get back on their feet, whilst making a product that is designed to Pay it forward. How cool is that?
So I guess, my resolution is to do what I can to help make the world a better place. By my conscious decisions and by spreading the word. 

I also have your standard resolutions - to shoot more, to be more creative and to save for holiday but I just wanted to share this one with you, because you'll probably get some updates on fun new products I discover. :D
Do you have any resolutions?
Do you have any natural brands that you love?
Do you have some conscious decisions you think I need to do?


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Shameless Beauty Month

Have you heard of Shameless Gaming Month? It's during July and essentially its a month where gamers focus on finishing half played games, or games they haven't even started yet. Yes it's a thing, and yes it makes sense. My man person often is gifted games he really wants to play, or buys games on sale and then all of the sudden, the 'it' game is released and all other games are forgotten.

I think it's brilliant, and I actually need to finish a few games.. but that's besides the point.

The recent move overseas highlighted just how many beauty products I have. It is a lot. I can't help it, maybe it's a Makeup Artist thing or maybe it's a curiosity thing, but I'm always picking up new products, or I get them as gifts (which I love! My wishlist for Christmas is almost always beauty stuff hahahah)

Now most people that know me will know that when it comes to beauty routines, I'm pretty lazy; but I have decided that this month I won't be, this month is my shameless beauty month. A month to work through my stockpile of beauty products.

And I thought while I'm at it, why not give you guys my opinion? 

First up is the Riffi Mitt, it's an exfoliating glove, but it's also excellent for dry body brushing. Dry body brushing is great to promote circulation as well as helping to detoxify the body. I've tried brushing with the brushes before, but I always found it awkward. For me, personally the Riffi mitt is brilliant, it's easy to use and my skin is already heaps smoother (no crocodile legs for me this winter!)


Next up is L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil, I literally just finished this and I'm a little bit devastated. I might love this a little bit. I'm still not sure where I stand on the Body Oil vs Body Moisturiser vs Body Cream/Butter debate. Truth is I've used them all and I don't really have any preference. The Supple Skin Oil is supposed to firm as well as moisturise your skin. One of the things I loved about this was the smell, which was reminiscent of marzipan, which is odd because I am not a marzipan fan, but my gosh was my skin soft. I will certainly be getting more of this.

Last up is Philosophy the Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel. This is a gentle chemical peel used once a week to help brighten and tighten skin and help even out the skin tone. I've only used this once so far and haven't seen any major results, but there was some tingling, something to keep in mind if you have more sensitive skin. Another thing, if you're using a peel or products with AHAs, be sure to wear sunscreen or a product with SPF afterwards, as your skin can be more sensitive to sun and UV rays, although we all know we really should be using them everyday anyway right?


My favourite product for this? Tinted Moisturiser. I love the NARS Radiant Skin :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Camperdown Cruise


Well it's been a few weeks now since I was part of the Miss Camperdown Cruise pin up competition, which is a feature of the amazing Camperdown Cruise weekender (if you haven't been you should definitely check it out www.camperdowncruise.com.au).

If you have read mine and Jus' bucket list blogs you'll know that being a part of this competition was on my list of things to do in my lifetime, and how nervous I was about participating. Well I'm so very pleased to say it was an incredibly amazing experience!

The lead up wasn't as nerve wracking as I thought it would be, maybe because I was having so much fun planning my outfits and routines, playing wth make up and hair, and generally having a lot of fun getting creative! (Mental note, must do more creative things in the future.)

It wasn't until I was frantically packing my car the day before that the panic and anxiety set in, what if I forgot something? Have I really thought this through? What if everyone thinks my routines are ridiculous? What if they don't like me? What if I'm not really pin up material and people think I don't belong there? ( I won't go on, as it only got more ridiculous from there haha.)

I honestly could not have been more wrong. My wonderful friend Claire had organised a house for us to stay in with many of the other people involved in the competition and all of these amazing women could not have been anymore lovely, warm, caring and supportive of myself and everyone else around them.

On the day itself it was the same. The organisers, the judges, the participants, everyone was so lovely and welcoming that it really helped to ease my anxiety and feel much more relaxed about getting out on stage. With that said though, it was still extremely challenging, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment once I was done! It wasn't about winning or losing for me at all, the winning was just getting out there, not letting anxiety win, and showing it who's boss!

Nervously waiting to head out on stage as Lorelai Rose the mechanic.

Lorelai Rose, the icecream vendor.

Lorelai Rose ready to be picked up for the Prom.

Obviously these are a few selfies I took on the day, for the amazing photos of not only myself but the amazing winner, runner up and other competitors (who were all equally stunning and wonderful in my book!) check out the official photos by Robin Sharrock at the Miss Camperdown Facebook page.

I think the best part of it all for me though, was the amount of love and support I received from my family and friends. Even ones that don't quite understand why I love pin up so much, or why competing was such a big deal for me all went out of their way to make sure I felt loved and supported. It was so wonderfully overwhelming I can't even begin to say how much I appreciate them and how lucky I feel to have such amazing people in my life.

One of those incredible people in my life, the gorgeous Nat who willingly dressed up as a guy for me to be my prom date on stage! (Nat, you're an absolute legend).

All in all it was such a wonderful weekend, and although my anxiety will probably never completely go away, doing things like entering Miss Camperdown make me feel that every day I'm getting a little better at being able to manage it, and that I don't have to let it stop me from doing amazing things and being the person I aspire to be.





Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I should have been a mermaid

So on the weekend the boy and I went to check out Halloween-Fest at Ocean Park, because, as we all know, Halloween is awesome.

Let me tell you, if you in HK in October, check it out and splurge for the premium tickets, skipping the massive queues for rides is worth it.

As much as I love rollercoasters (Hair Raiser is new and super fun) I absolutely loved the Aquarium! I've always loved Aquariums, maybe it's the fact I'm a water baby, briefly entertained the idea of becoming a marine biologist or maybe I just should have been a mermaid.

Anyway I just thought I'd share some photos

Spotted Eagle Ray

School fish (that flash of orange was actually a Jack'o Lantern with food in it)
Hammer head shark swimming overhead
Manta Ray swimming overhead
Spider Crabs

Probably some of my favorite things at the aquarium are the Jellyfish, as evil as they are (seriously have you been stung? It hurts!) I have no idea what is what just pictures :D

Anyone know any more awesome Aquariums?


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Holidays

Christmas eh?

I do love Christmas, anyone that knows me would know that. I go all out. I mean. All. Out.


I Christmas shop in July, much to the dismay and mockery of many. I can't help it. Christmas shopping and present giving is one of my all time favourite activities.

Christmas displays in HK.

But I feel like we're getting ahead of ourselves. There are still so many holidays between now and Christmas. There are so many holidays in the year!


To those of you who hate Americana, or comment about the Americanization of society, you're going to have a bad time. Mel and I love Americana, just a warning.


Being a child of the world, I adopt many holidays, heck I'd celebrate them all if I could. But the American holidays are some of my favourites.


I was fortunate enough to grow up with Halloween and have always had a love for it. I mean when you're a kid you dress up and get candy for it! Now I know, a lot of people say candy from strangers, but when I was a kid, we knew our neighbours, and would go trick or treating with an adult to our neighbours houses and friends houses, and I'd have a freaking ball.



When I moved to Australia, it was Halloween-less, and I have to say, over the years, I've loved seeing how many people embrace it. It's a fun holiday, it's a chance to meet your neighbours and spend time with your kids, it's a chance to dress up and have a party, it's a chance to carve a pumpkin, have a fun decorating theme!

The mini Boo pumpkin I carved last Halloween

Thanksgiving is a holiday I only celebrated once or twice with my mum. Fortunately I have a few friends in Australia who encouraged me to embrace Thanksgiving, I think it was mainly so I would cook, but that's part of what it was about for me anyway. There is nothing quite like a turkey, some wine and some football with friends that makes a great holiday!


Chinese New Year is up there as well, I mean, as a kid, a holiday where you get money for, well being a kid, is pretty cool. Plus all the festivity of family, firecrackers, lion dancers and fireworks, how can you not love it?


Another favourite of mine has got to be Australia Day, over the years a tradition developed where we would go to a friends house in the country, have a BBQ (BBQ dim sims, if you haven't tried it, you're missing out) listen to the Hottest 100 and dip our feet in the kiddie pool.


I guess for me, with the exception of Halloween, the best thing about holidays is getting friends and family together and spending time with them. I know, I know, I sound like a Hallmark card, which is so unlike me.

A blurry 4th July Menu


I guess that's the thing with holidays, it's partially the festivity and what it represents but it's also who you spend it with. I will always celebrate the 4th of July because Mel and I have Americana. Although Mel and I actually have our own Holiday, but that's an entirely different post.

So what are some of your favorite holidays?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells....

For those of you out there who when January rolls around think 'Are you serious? Hot cross buns in the supermarket ALREADY?'

YOU ARE GOING TO HATE THIS POST. 

(but honestly when are hot cross buns ever a bad thing?)

By the title you've probably already realised that for me, Christmas season has begun. Not only that, but I actually started with the Christmas planning and shopping quite some time ago now (I wont admit how long ago).


My Christmas wrapping theme last year!


Christmas is just one of those holidays I love, with the lead up to it being possibly even more exciting! 


I love everything about it, buying people presents, having advent calenders, decorating trees, cheesy Christmas carols, community Christmas Fairs and wearing ridiculous Christmas themed outfits for the whole month of December. It's a pretty awesome time of year. (And once Christmas gets a little closer, I'll share some of my Christmas ridiculousness with you all!)


Combining my love of decorating and baking at Christmas!




Spending some time with part of my lovely fam (One of my favourite parts!)

Jus is also just as much, if not more crazy about Christmas (or Chrimbob, I'll let her explain that one) as I am, and it's one of the best things about our friendship, that's she shares my crazy at Christmas.

And as much fun as the shopping, decorating, baking and general silliness of the season is, I also love that it's a time of year when people focus on spending time with the people they love, on doing kind things for one another and generally spreading cheer.


I'll never forget last year as I was on my way to work, the Salvation Army was at the train station, dressed in their Christmas gear playing carols and fund raising, when a homeless man went up to them and donated money, then turned around to encourage everyone at the station to do the same.


It was so lovely to see how someone who already had so little, still wanted to give to other people in need, and it's something that has stuck with me ever since.


So that's a little about why I love Christmas and the holiday season in general, but what do you guys think? Do you love Christmas as much as we do? (Can't wait to see Jus' post on this! haha) Do you have any weird or wonderful Christmas stories? Have you already started preparing for the holiday season too? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!


Till next time

Xx