About Aych

A Sydney-sider who wastes too much time in beauty and skincare aisles.

Sunny Days Ahead

Hello, dear reader!

Summer is around the corner, and with that comes the damaging rays of Sydney’s sunshine. Cancer Council Australia published a survey today revealing that 2.7 million Aussies are getting sunburnt on a week – don’t be a statistic! Protect your skin and your health.

This post is coming to you from sunny Bali, where I’m getting a head start on summer. I am crazy about sun protection, and want you to be too. Excessive sun exposure and a lack of sun protection is the number one way of ageing your skin, and undoing all the good skincare routines you have.

There is a lot of talk of chemical and physical sunscreens in beauty media – I personally like a combination of the two, and think there is no such thing as too much sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens essentially soak up the sun’s rays, like a protective sponge. Physical sunscreens protect your skin by creating a physical layer between the sun and your skin.

Physical sunscreen is recommended for those with sensitive skin and for children; chemical sunscreens are ideal to mix with makeup. Physical sunscreens are a lot thicker and sit on top of the skin, whereas a chemical sunscreen mixes and blends into the skin a lot more easily.

As always, here are my recommendations… complete with a Bali backdrop.

Neutrogena Beach Defence

This stuff comes in a spray bottle, and comes out really thin and easy to apply. Recommended for difficult to reach spots on your body, as you can angle the spray directly onto those areas. I’ve been using this sunscreen religiously for years and have never been burnt whilst wearing it. It is absorbed easily by the skin and has an inoffensive scent. It does leave a bit of residue, so I recommend it for casual wear, or let it dry properly and then get dressed.

RRP: $16.99

As you can see, the product is extremely minimalist.

Invisible Zinc

This stuff is when I want to be really serious about my sun protection. It’s thick, takes ages to rub in and leaves a nice, white layer where you apply it. If you are going to be shamelessly in the sun all day, this is the stuff for you – you won’t get the ultimate Instagram shot wearing this stuff, but you will save your skin.

RRP: $21.95

This product is thick and serious.

Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster

This is a new addition to my skincare, and is ideal for incidental sun exposure (e.g. walking to a cafe). It is a chemical sunscreen, so is easily absorbed by the skin and is nice to mix in with your usual moisturiser. It’s not enough on it’s own as skincare, so should be mixed with whatever you are already applying as your base layer. SPF 50 – very serious sun protection yet less effortful than the Invisible Zinc.

RRP: $72.50 (can easily be found cheaper online/ in salons)

Texture is thin and easily applied – like a normal moisturiser.

So those are my top 3 sunscreen recommendations for this summer. Don’t look prematurely old – slip, slop, slap and wear a hat.

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use.

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Skin skin skin

I’ll try not to keep going on about my posting frequency… but thanks to all the ladies who have commented in the past couple of weeks about my blog. One of my main motivations for blogging is from the conversations I have – I figure if one person is asking, at least ten other people are interested – so may as well write about it! So hello to all my readers, old and new…

It’s currently winter in Australia, so moisture is much-needed. Windy days, combined with cool mornings means we have to work a bit harder for our skin. I know a lot of people try to improve their skincare at this time too, so I’ve had a few people asking me about what they should be including and what order.

Five components, all take next to no time and give great results. The word “dry” in French is “sec” and it’s going to be important in your routine.

Cleanse – Tone – Sec

Cleanse
Avoid anything soap-like, anything that foams or anything that doesn’t really move your makeup. A good cleanser should get the majority of your makeup off; all of it if you are wearing a minimal amount. If you have party makeup on, use a proper eye makeup remover and do a double cleanse.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Precleanse Oil
Starter pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleansing

Tone
This is where I save money and just buy something that won’t irritate my skin. I’ll be honest and admit I’m not totally convinced as to the necessity of this step, so I include it, but at the lowest cost possible. Generally, this step for me just helps calm any redness and tighten up my pores.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner
Starter pick: La Roche Posay Physiological Soothing Lotion

Now we move into Sec territory – Serum, Eye Cream and Cream (Moisturiser). Follow this order and kiss dryness goodbye.

Serum
I love a serum and think they are worth spending a bit more on – so save your dollars on a toner and invest in a decent serum. The difference between drugstore and department store serums are significant, so I apologise in advance for the high price point in the items I’ve included in my picks below. Use enough to cover your face, and try to use a patting motion, rather than massaging it into your skin.

Luxe pick: SK II Facial Treatment Essence
Starter pick: Clarins Face Treatment Oil

Eye cream
Eyes show one’s age, so a seperate eye cream can reduce your thoughts on cosmetic procedures. Apply gently with your ring finger, both below your eye and on your eyelid. Eye cream packaging is always tiny, but it will stretch a long way.

Luxe pick: Clarins Eye Contour Gel
Starter pick: Clinique all about eyes

Cream (Moisturiser)
Get the best that you can afford – and never, ever skip this step. Whether you wear a lot of makeup, or none at all, moisturiser is a must. You may want one with SPF, you may want to apply your SPF separately – do some research to see what suits you and your needs.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
Starter pick: QV Moisturising Day Cream

Initially it will just feel great, but when you put in some serious time, you’ll see some results in your skin. Best case scenario, do this once a day, preferably at night. Worst case scenario, spend some time once or twice a week following all of these steps. Spend some time trialling some products – don’t be afraid to ask for samples. You’re often looking at an item that is >$50 – you should at least be able to make sure it doesn’t give you a reaction prior to your investment. Good luck with your winter skincare!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use...

Travel Ready: Skin 

Regular readers will be overwhelmed by my increase in post frequency – how many posts do I have to do to officially state that I’m making a comeback?!

Anyways, jokes aside, I’m excited to post more than once in 6 months! 2017 is turning out to be a year of travel for me, so another travel post seems fitting. Prior to my last post, I was prepping for Nepal, and now I have another country in sight – #blessed. Unfortunately, overseas travel results in dehydrated skin and break outs for me, so I’ve learned over time to shamelessly take a range of skincare abroad with me.

Moisture

Flying dries out skin big time, so commit to something that will give you serious rehydration. Drinking water is obviously key, but you can further aid that with a serum. The Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum is great for this – if you are a regular Clarins user, you may be able to get a sample of this for a trip, or get a mini-version in a gift pack. I don’t necessarily use this all year round, but it is great for when you are travelling. I apply this day and night soon after a flight.

Sun Protection

Invisible ZincI admit, I don’t wear sun protection on my face all year round, but on days where I will be outside a lot and during summer, I try to use a face cream with SPF. When I’m on holidays, I’m out and about a lot more than usual, so need some serious protection. QV Moisturising Face cream is SPF 30+, and is light enough to wear after a hydrating serum, and under makeup. If I am going to be in serious sun, I use Invisible Zinc (SPF 50+) and avoid applying any face makeup. QV is great for something less intense –  it’s non-irritating, and you won’t need any additional moisturiser on top.

Break Outs

Unfortunately, my skin breaks out quickly and easily. For this reason, I really can’t afford to leave my overnight spot treatment at home.
I’ve recently converted to the Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster (prior to this I was using the Overnight Clearing Gel). This stuff is great if you can feel something coming, or if something does pop up and you need it to be gone asap. It’s small, and can fit into your clear carry-on liquids bag.

The Final Layer 

Anybody who is yet to use the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (BFB) is missing out, big time! This is a cult product and has never needed a sponsored ad in it’s lifetime. Think of this as a moisturiser, a clear BB cream and an instant face lift. I use this on top of a moisturiser; I think of it as almost like a protective film – perfect when the air quality is compromised, and you have pores to think about. It tightens and brightens, and gives you a youthful glow – great if you are trying to avoid wearing too much makeup while on holiday. This stuff needs to be carefully applied – avoid rubbing it in as much as a moisturiser; it really does sit on the skin.

Pamper 

Now, am I even me, if I don’t suggest a mini-pamper? You’re away from home, away from the usual demands of life, so treat your skin with some TLC. A sheet mask takes up minimal space, and can help your skin when it’s been ravaged by a pressurised air cabin as well as changes in food, water and air quality. Pack one per 7 days that you are away (i.e. if you are away 2 weeks, pack 2), and no doubt, you will find some time to use this – you can thank me then for the suggestion. Sheet masks take up a lot less space than a tub face mask, and I personally find them more intense than a liquid/clay mask.

Skincare while travelling seems so indulgent, but it’s easy to do, and the pay off is worth it. Travel size bottles/jars make it light and small enough to fit into your on-board luggage, so there is really no excuse. Don’t return home looking like you were living in a hut without running water (unless of course, that is exactly where you were living)!

And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use. 

Travel Ready: Colour

Yes, believe it or not… I’m back. This blog is officially not dead… it will die when I get over makeup and beauty… which will be when I’m dead.

I hope you’re all well and are still loving all things skin and beauty. Thanks for all of those people in my life who have kept encouraging me to blog, despite my extended period of silence. Quite simply – life is busy – but you all understand that.

2017 is turning out to be a year of travel for me (I’m browsing some cheap flights whilst writing this), and although I’m not a champion packer (I am that person who holds their breath as they place their bags on the scale), I do have some seasoned tips for those who may not travel much, or have travelled prior to discovering their beauty passion.

When I travel, I want colour and variety with my makeup – and minimal packaging. I keep all of my makeup in a case while away, so the more items I need to get out, the longer my daily face takes. I’m not going to go into detail regarding my foundation and brushes, as I am not really a minimalist in that area – I still need my foundation to perfectly match my skin whether I’m at home or in Hawaii. I also like having some brush variety, so tend to have one each of the main brushes I use (e.g. buffer eye brush, foundation brush, face powder brush, etc).

If you are looking for some ideas on how to condense your travel makeup, read on for some products and theories that will help you achieve this.

COLOUR: Face

The Becca Afterglow palette was gifted to me last year and has proven itself to be a handy little travel tool. This comes with three highlighters and two blushes – though the pinky highlighter (second from the left in the image) definitely doubles as a light day-time blush. One little light-weight palette that gives you a great variety of looks. I’m not into true travel palettes, and this doesn’t claim to be one – which is what makes it so good.

becca_afterglowpalette001

COLOUR: Eyes

I admit that I love a classic brown smokey eye. I remember getting my first brown Innoxa eyeshadow from the bargain bin at Priceline and rubbing it all over my eyes everyday before school – and I’ve never looked back.

The Tarte In Bloom palette gives you enough choices so that you can do an everyday look, or add some darker shades for a more dramatic evening eye. If you won’t feel satisfied with this kind of palette, pack an alternative palette, or add some single eyeshadows – your options and satisfaction will quickly increase. The size of Tarte In Bloom also makes this travel-ready – I personally think only Amrezy can justify travelling with multiple Morphe palettes.

My other tip is to take some basics – if you don’t normally wear liquid eyeliner on a regular basis, what are the chances that you will bust it out in Disneyland? Take a black and a brown eyeliner (again, I know brown isn’t for everybody) or take a pencil and a liquid. Leave the green eyeliner for a party at home.

tarte in bloom.jpg

Colour: Lips

As tempting as it is… you really don’t need a huge variety for a few days away from home. If you don’t usually wear orange on your lips, you probably won’t need it in Singapore.

Personally, my safe travel bet is to take an everyday shade, a nude and a bright lip colour. Those with very sharp eyes (or those who are familiar with my makeup bag) may be able to spot the plastic wrapping on my NYX lip creme – it has travelled with me a handful of times and never gets used – but is there just in case I feel like it. With these colours and combinations,  I only need two lip pencils for three to four different looks, and all of these products take up minimal space.

So, there it is – my comeback post. Travelling is so much fun, and you will have pictures for a lifetime – so whack on a little lippie so you can get a decent profile picture, which shows off how well travelled you are, whilst also ensuring you look #flawless 😉

If you have any beauty travel tips, please leave a comment below!

And remember… if irritation occurs, discontinue use. 

Brows maketh the face

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When I look back on my high school years, I think of all those hairs I tweezed out of my eyebrows that I’ll never see again. In my adolescent years (and very likely in your adolescent years, unless you are around 20) THIN & SHARP are the words that come to mind when we imagine the perfect brow. How far we have come in the past decade – over tweezing is out, patches be gone and the perfect brow is thick and neat. If I walk around my local shopping centre, I don’t think I see anybody under the age of 25 with thin brows. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing – like any trend, some people just take it TOO FAR.

Anastasia Beverly Hills can be credited with some of the biggest improvements in the brow game with her pencils and powders. If you want to improve your brow look, read on…

(Disclaimer: I haven’t talked about concealer or eyebrow brushes – consider this a beginners guide to eyebrows)

Pencil

perfect-brow-pencil

If you are new to getting your eyebrows on fleek, or want something low-fuss, this stuff is THE SH*T. Easy and quick to use, huge range of colours and completely natural finish. You can buy it direct from the Anastasia Beverly Hills site, or from Sephora Aus.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil
RRP: $26.00 (USD) / $42.00
Stockists: Anastasia Beverly Hills / Sephora 

Powder

smashbox-powder

Anybody who watches Cammy on Snapchat [she’s an eyebrow queen from LA / find her @blossombeautylo] knows that the secret to a completely natural brow is the ombre finish at the start of the brow. For a long time I only used powder, but I find the ABH pencil is quicker and more precise than this powder. If you have unruly brows, the wax in this set is useful. Unfortunately, I think this powder is either on it’s way out or just isn’t worthy of being in Australia. Keep your eyes peeled if you’re overseas.

Smashbox Brow Tech
RRP: $26.00 (USD)
Stockists: www.sephora.com

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It is completely annoying to read recommendations of products not available in Australia, so I’ll include a product that you most definitely can find locally. Benefit has really upped their brow range this year and although I’m satisfied with my current tools, I think they are worth checking out if you are keen to find a decent product at your local department store. Powder and wax combo that has 6 shades.

Benefit Brow Zings
RRP: $55.00
Stockist: Myer 

Gel

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If you were not naturally blessed with a lot of hair in your brow, but have a decent shape and want to thicken up your look, use a gel to add some fake hair. This will help even up any patches or thinness and will blend in effortlessly. If you fear any of these other products or think drawing it on is too much, this is the stuff for you.

Benefit 3D Browtones
RRP: $42.00
Stockist: Myer 

Cream

pomade

I admit this stuff is the scariest of the lot – the almighty pomade. It’s not a product I personally want to use, but the severe nature of the pomade just doesn’t suit me and nor do I have the patience for it. Keep in mind, I am olive skinned and have naturally dark brows (no $$$ spent on eyebrow tints for me), so I’ve found the pomade finish is just a bit too much for me. If you have some serious bald patches or are seriously faking it when it comes to your brows (i.e. you don’t have much hair there), this stuff is for you. You will need a stiff angled brush for this as well as a spare 10 or so minutes.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
RRP: $18.00 (USD) / $32.00
Stockists: Anastasia Beverly Hills / Sephora 

Waxing, Tweezing and in between

My final warning to you is about what to do to care for your brows. You can have all the pomades and powders that Anastasia can think of, but they are useless to you if the base is hopeless. Only tweeze stray hairs, don’t even think about touching those long hairs your face has been growing for God knows how long! Find a decent brow technician, and find what suits you – tweezing, waxing or threading. Whatever you do, DO NOT go to a walk-in salon that does not specialise in brows – you will be butchered, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll never see those hairs return. You may be slaying in all other aspects, but rubbish brows will be your downfall. Go to someone who will see you as an ongoing client – save your walk-in waxing for arms and legs.

Remember, BROWS MAKETH YOUR FACE.

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Liquid Love

Does anybody wear regular lipstick anymore? I guess some people do, but beauty lovers are all about the liquid lipstick at the moment. So, what do I recommend, rate and hate? Read on!

 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

ABH liquid lipstick.jpg

This stuff is amazing if you want seriously long wear. Unfortunately, it does feather and flake, but this can be minimised by applying some sort of balm as required. Huge range of colours, plus you’ll look really #onfleek for owning this.
Available: Online from Anastasia Beverly Hills website (shipping is pricey so convince some friends they need this in their lives also)
rrp: $USD20.00

NYX Soft Matte Lipcream

nyx lip butter.jpg

This stuff is the shiz in terms of feathering and flaking – very minimal. However, it doesn’t have the longevity of the others. Great range of colours, smells good and feels nice on the lips.
Available: Target and I believe Priceline is now stocking it also? Please confirm in comments. 
rrp: $12.95

tarteist™ creamy matte lip paint

tarte liquid lip paint

Arghhhhhhh, I love this stuff! Feels powdery soft when it goes on, and wears well. This is definitely the least offensive application of all the ones I’ve included – total pleasure to wear. Range of colours is growing, so keep your eyes peeled.
Available: Sephora 
rrp: $29.00 

Too Faced Melted Long Wear Lipstick

too faced melted

This stuff is good, but without taking into account postage and handling costs of the ABH liquid lipstick, this one is the most expensive of the range. It has a sponge applicator (not a sponge wand applicator for those interested in details), which I personally found easier for a quick application. Good range of colours, but nothing I have died over yet.
Available: Mecca Cosmetica/Maxima
rrp: $31.00

So, that’s a wrap on liquid lipsticks at the moment. I think this product area will continue to grow until the next new thing comes out… Lip tattoos, maybe?

And remember, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Winter Face

Leaves falling, scarves and coats on, snow coming down. Oh hold on, we are in Australia. Very minimal snow falling, and instead sunny days, cold nights and inconsistent weather conditions is probably a more accurate summary! With winter comes the dreaded ‘Winter Face’ – skin that needs some serious TLC. Fear not, for your beloved blogger will tell you some great stuff to slap on this winter!

FACE : DERMALOGICA SKIN SMOOTHING CREAM

skin smoothing cream

This stuff will save your skin over winter. All of Dermalogica’s moisturisers are great, but personally, this one gives me the right balance between moisture and oil control. It is gentle on the skin, smells good, and has great packaging (I hate any moisturiser that involves dipping one’s finger). Don’t let the price scare you – it’s worth the $$$.
rrp: $79.00 (look online, you’ll find it cheaper)

MASK : LUSH OATIFIX

oatifix-360x360

Your dry skin will love you for this mask. It’s made with mashed bananas, ground almonds and loads of oats (so it smells delicious). The oats will calm down any irritated or flaky skin while soothing any redness. Not great if you have oily or combination skin (luckily Lush has a huge range of masks to select from).
rrp: $13.95 

SERUM : CLARINS HYDRAQUENCH INTENSIVE SERUM

clarins hydraquench

It may seem small, but it is mighty. This serum is light and not oily like many serums can be. This is my go-to product after flying as it adds back moisture to dehydrated skin really quickly. If you do go to a Clarins counter, try to get a sample size of this. It is often included in Gift-with-purchase specials, so keep your eyes peeled. That will make the price much easier to swallow.
rrp: $72.00 

HANDS : THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR

hemp hand protector

Don’t those stickers on the image convince you? This hand cream is the shiz for dry skin. I think one of the driest areas I get in winter is on my hands, so this stuff is a saviour. The packaging could be better (I like to apply hand cream in the car, so the lid is annoying), but the stuff truly does the job.
rrp: $19.95 for 100mL

LIPS : BITE BEAUTY AGAVE MASK

bite beauty agave lip mask.jpg

This lip mask seems a bit ridiculous – like seriously, a mask for the lips? Bite Beauty are known for their amazing lip products and this lip mask is no less than anything else they have produced. It can be near impossible to get your hands on it (Sephora stocks it) and it is expensive – so it you are feeling like a splurge or need serious lip care, this is it.
rrp: $38.00 

Alternatively, I think there is nothing wrong with good ol’ Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment. Cheap as chips (rrp ~$5.00), readily available and has it’s own little cult status, if you are that way inclined (I know I am!). lucas-paw-paw-ointment-25g-tube.jpg

And remember, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Until next time – enjoy the blasting wind and winter fashion!

Your at-home nail saviour

I feel like a bit of a Jerry Seinfeld when I say this… but have you ever noticed how crazy nails have gotten? I know I have mentioned this before, but it doesn’t appear to be a trend set aside for beauty guru’s such as Dress Your Face and it doesn’t appear to be dying? My breaking point was watching the server at a local cafe attempt to type in my order on a touch screen and then watch her prepare my coffee – I do not want that bacteria hell hole near something I am about to consume, kthx.

crazy nails

I think these nails continue to gain followers simply because you can’t escape them – walk into any nail salon and it is assumed you are there for acrylic claws with Shellac. In fact, I went into a nail salon for a polish on my natural nails and took a polish colour with me and they looked at me like I had walked in and asked them to paint my body in the polish. So, the only way to escape them is either by being very firm about what you want or by having an understanding nail artist (as I know some of my friends do have). Otherwise, you’re on your own – which is JUST FINE. It involves a tiny bit of investment and planning initially – but once you’re set, you’ll be loving life.

So, let me help you work out your at-home nail salon.

Cuticle Softener

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This makes a huge difference and I have no doubt this is much higher quality product than anything used in a walk-in nail salon. This stuff really makes you feel like you are in a salon and will make the cuticle push-back/removal process much easier.
$15.99 Priceline

Cuticle trimmer

cuticle trimmers .png
They seem like a pricey investment, but they really are worth the investment to amp up your at-home salon.
$30.59 at Priceline

Cuticle stick

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Cheap as chips and you can find these anywhere – supermarket, $2 store, pharmacy, etc.
$2.99 Priceline

File

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It’s up to you whether you want to invest in a metal file or a nail board like this one. I like to use either, but like the idea of this kind of nail board which can be disposed of eventually. Again, cheap as chips.
Sally Hansen $2.95 at Priceline

Nail Oil

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This stuff may seem unnecessary, but remember, we are creating a salon experience here! In fact, by adding this to your regime, you are creating a better experience! This oil will last you forever – I have the same bottle from over 5 years ago! You should see an improvement in nail health by applying this to your nails after filing.
$15.99 Priceline

Quick drying nail polish

good to go.png

Regular readers know I love all things Essie and this stuff is the shiz. Essie ‘Good to Go’ quick drying top coat will make you very happy. If you’re anything like me, the time you get to do your nails is close to bedtime which means you are at high risk of a fabric imprint! This stuff dries so quickly, so you can go to sleep and apply it in the morning or better yet, apply it about 10 mins before bedtime and sleep easy.
$17.95 Priceline

So, as you can see, you can create a salon at home with affordable items from Priceline. The beautiful thing about Priceline is that it will all go on sale at some point – so you can slowly add to your collection as items are marked down. You can resist the salon experience and have gorgeous nails – think of all the money and time saved!

And if irritation occurs… discontinue use. 

7 ways to a Sunday Treat Yo’Self

Regular readers will know I’m all about the Sunday pamper and regular Facebook stalkers will know I’m a big fan of lists… so why not combine my love of both?

1. Have a bath

The perfect day for a long bath! Treat yo’self to a Lush bath bomb during the week, and chuck it in – you can thank me for this suggestion later.

2. Do a face mask

Go for an exfoliating mask, like The Sanctuary Warming Microbrasian Polish, or hydrate with the GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydration Mask. If it’s really overdue, go crazy and do an at-home facial. After a bath or shower, use an exfoliating scrub (Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is my choice for at-home facial standard) then put on a hydrating mask (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque if you want a mask to sleep in; GlamGlow for a wash-off option).

3. Wash your brushes

Even though this is work, it truly is a treat yo’self. You will love yourself the next time you pick those brushes up and apply your makeup. If you aren’t sure how to clean your brushes, read here. I know the gold standard is to wash brushes after every use, but who honestly has time for that? Every Sunday is pretty good for casual makeup users, in my opinion.

4. Drink some tea

I know tea isn’t for everyone, but T2’s Gorgeous Geisha truly is – it is the perfect combination of calming and flavour – if you don’t like the bitterness of regular green tea or alternatively, love green tea – give this a go! I will usually brew a small pot to drink while I have a bath – makes me feel like I’m at a spa.

5. Sleep early

Those that know me will know that this is a “do as I say, not as I do” point. I’m hopeless with sleeping early on a Sunday, but when I do, I love myself for it. No better way to start the work week than feeling well rested.

6. Paint your nails

Life is too short to have plain nails – I am really anti acrylic nails and basically hate going to nail salons, which means an at-home manicure is the only way. If you are trying to save some money or just want to try out some of your polish collection, set aside some time for nail care. If you find yourself consistently doing this, invest in salon pieces – cuticle cutter, cuticle oil, nail files etc.

7. Look after yourself

I know these aren’t all beauty related but forgive me for suggesting life is more than just beauty! If you are anything like me, the week is totally hectic and jam-packed. Social commitments, work and fitness basically take up the entirety of the week – so take an hour out of the week to do something that may feel like it could be better spent doing something else. You will love yourself for it. Even if it means reading a book for an hour, listening to a podcast, watching something you usually don’t have time for, talking to a loved one on Skype – you will seriously set yourself up for a great week. And it’s not totally unrelated to beauty – whatever you feel on the inside exudes on the outside.

pamper night

Happy Sunday!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Lock It In: Spray

The final step: tshhhhhh. That’s the sound of the spray, in case you were confused. My personal preferred use of sprays is for long days where I want my makeup to stay on point or when I have serious party makeup. This does not stretch to work days or short events – there is something about these sprays that make me feel too sealed in and therefore prone to breakouts. I don’t actually break out when wearing them, but mentally they feel a bit weird to wear on a daily basis.

STAGE 3: SPRAY

Urban Decay

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Ok, this stuff is the bomb. This was my first foray into setting sprays and what a good bloody foray that turned out to be. Urban Decay has three types: All Nighter, De-Slick Oil Control and Chill ($49/Mecca). I’m an All Nighter gal – I figure if you control oil with primer and powder, the spray step is really all about just making sure none of it moves.

Model in a Bottle

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Yup, the name is dumb/humorous but this is one of the original HG’s of setting sprays. It used to come in a really tacky looking perfume style bottle, but I see now they are trying to look more professional. They have two sprays (Original & Sensitive Skin) as well as an eyebrow sealer and lipstick sealer – haven’t used eyebrow or lips version, so can’t vouch for those. It’s an American product which can be found on Makeup and Glow ($35).

Makeup Forever

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Argh, I love this stuff even more than the Urban Decay spray. The Urban Decay just feels a bit too wet, whereas this stuff feels a bit lighter. It really does lock everything in and for me is party use only ($17 30mL/Sephora & $39 125mL/Sephora). I have had the travel version for 18 months, and although I don’t use it a lot, it has stretched further than I expected.

MAC has their classic and well-known Prep + Prime Fix + which a lot of people use as a setting spray. From what I understand, it is actually not a setting spray, but rather a spray to use prior to makeup application. I won’t lie, I’ve spritzed it at the end of my makeup at times, but more to give myself a glow, rather than to set my makeup. Use this to wet brushes and change looks when you need to add liquid, but don’t trick yourself into using this as a setting spray – you will be disappointed.

So, that ends my “Lock It In” series. Hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful – if you are about to hit the wedding guest circuit, you are set!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use…