In love with my cleanser

 

I have one word for you – Aesop.  Aesop is my holy grail of all things skincare. From cleansers and toners, through to body balms and scalp treatments, I’ve fallen head-over-heels. I stumbled upon Aesop when they were my ‘neighbours’ during my time as Counter Manager for some LVMH  (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey) brands. It was something like my third week into the job and I was all “very-loyal” (as you do!) and was trying and wearing only LVMH products in order to really get in touch with them…and then, Iwen came along. This bright, bubbly, enthusiastic, ball of fire who was Counter Manager at Aesop in Myer, Brisbane City. Iwen was a god-send to work next to and we quickly became buddies. I noticed from afar that whe was never pushy and always honest with her clients. She had crowds of people every day waiting just to see her. I knew she had to be good, good enough for some to wait around most of their precious lunch break just to get some time with her. One day she subtly asked me what products I was using – my first thought was **danger**danger** because I adored them from afar and knew that I could easily become hooked. I had also been through just about every other department store brand over the years – like the majority I’m sure – and was convinced that my skin was just ‘problem skin’ and I was reduced to swapping  brands every 6 months to get the best out of everything. She very gently offered me a few samples to try – Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste and Parsley Seed Serum.  That night, I tried all three… and that’s when I fell in love with my cleanser. Now, to be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy the fragrance of the cleanser and exfoliant paste – it was rather overpowering. But I did LOVE the feeling on my skin however, so refreshing and (as stupid as it sounds) really clean! I was tired of using a cleanser that either sucked out too much moisture with is Sodium Lareth/Lauryl Sulphate varieties or it was left feeling greasy. yukkk…nothing like Aesop!

Sample-land ... perhaps I shop there toooo much?!

 

Awww a 'Family Portrait'... just some of what I have in the sudio (did someone say, addict?!)

 I started a new paragraph here because O-M-G.. Parsley Seed Serum is the ‘ish! It has a slightly thicker consistency for a serum and takes a minute to absorb… but yowzer! One thing I know about ageing is that if the skin is hydrated (or even oily for that matter) it will have less wrinkles and fine lines. This is super-dooper-trooper hydrating and packs an anti-oxidant punch – also muy importante for beautiful skin. The other thing I love about it is that I can take it right up underneath the eye area and its still gentle enough. One thing I dont have in my skincare regime is an eye treatment. I am, of course, drooling over the Aesop one which is outside the budget right now soooo my Parsely Seed Serum can do the trick for the moment. When I am thirty (not too far from now) I will look into an eye cream/serum because it will be time for my skin to ‘change’ again and I will need it! It is true that your skin changes every decade so make sure you read about issues that could be affecting you in your age group and address them promptly.

The other products I use daily in order are:

My "Three Kings!"

  • Fabulous Face Cleanser– I changed from the Purifying one purely because I didn’t enjoy the scent and for that reason alone. Fabulous Face Cleanser is a gel-like low foaming cleanser that is heavenly! Clean skin in an instant with a fantastic fresh finish (and a lovely soft clean smell!). My skin is always well prepped ready to face the day or the night!
  • B & Tea Toner – This is a non-alcoholic toner which does wonder to regulate and ph-balance the skin – gorgeous!
  • Parsley Seed Serum – I think y’all got me on this one (if not, go back and read above!!) =) 

One other divine product is the B Triple C. It is one of the more ex-y items but so very worth it! It soothes and balances the skin and almost all problems are rectified with the addition of this little baby, full of vitamins. You can mix it with a serum to mill it down a little as the consistency is like honey…mmm. I can’t live without it now – especially in the Queensland humidity! I probably use it once a week or every 10 days so it lasts for months on end. I do (depending on how fussy my skin is) use the Oil Free Hydrating Serum from time to time, which is great for a mattifying effect whilst still gaining optimum hydration. Also, if a blemish attacks me in the middle of the night, I use Control which is their ‘BAM – and the blemish is gone’ equivilent. If it is a blind blemish, whack it with some Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque as a spot treatment – amazing!

Check out the cute little quotes on their canvas bags, different on each size!

So Aesop really came through with the goods. I now use only Aesop skincare products and have converted a few (hundred! lol) people to use or at least try the brand. They are so worthy! Truly every staff member I have encountered at Aesop, in both Melbourne and Brisbane stores, has really known their stuff. They don’t beat around the bush – and best of all, they have basins at each location so you can try any item you desire directly on the skin and see the instant results. Since we only get one ‘skin’, we need to be looking after it people! I’m not proclaiming it will work for everyone, but you should definitely all give it a try. I only use Aesop products in the studio because they have something to suit everyone and they leave you feeling so amazing every time. I won’t put anything on my clients that I myself do not adore! Because their products are derived from botanicals, they are nice and gentle on the skin yet do the job they intend to. Some are a little more active on the skin than others which can cause breakouts – I find that I can use everything except the Parsely Seed Cleansing Oil – we just simply can’t be friends! So please make sure you speak to and get a sample of a few things before you buy, it really is the beauty of this brand. After all this, my skin usually plays nice and I rarely have an issue and if I do, I know how to control it. Thanks Aesop for making the scary world of skincare so much more enjoyable!!

And that’s the story of how I fell in love with my cleanser…!

Stay Beautiful,

D xo

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Let’s get naked…

I made a little promise (which I had second, third and fourth thoughts about) to do a little undressing…of my face, that is. For those of you who are new to me or haven’t seen me in a while, I wear makeup.  And not the kind that you spend 45 mins doing so that it looks barely there – I quite like my face to look  ‘made-up’.  Now I am not talking Cirque Du Soleil style, I just like to look well groomed and have my hair and makeup done, pretty much at all times. So, in my previous post I talked about going “free” and “naked” and posting it up for all the world to see…what was I thinking – help! Even though it scares me to think about what I am going to do, I will stay true to my word (please promise to be kind!!). Over the last few years in a full-time retail cosmetics environment, I have heard the “oh god – please don’t look at my bare face!” or “I look hideous without makeup!” lines more than I care to count. I am sure that most other artists will agree that we like to look beyond the blank naked canvas that is the face or body. We see it as exactly that – a canvas waiting to be brought to life. I am a huge believer that makeup is supposed to ENHANCE true beauty. Artists work with the features you have, we are not magicians or plastic surgeons, so if you love your look when we’re done… guess what? It’s you under there!! Sure I can make your cheekbones more prominent or make you look slimmer by contouring and shaping them. I can smooth your pores, mattify your skin, fill fine lines and give you a glow like you have slept all week! There are so many things that makeup can do to or for you, but it is all about enhancing the existing. Now, I have always thought like I look a lot like a boy without my ‘face’ on. I could pick all day and night on how my brows are barely there or how my freckles are way too obvious. But I would just find that I am amongst the majority of people who wear makeup that don’t like the look of their face without anything on it. The truth is – good product and good technique can change how you look as much as you want it to. And I am about to prove just how much I change mine every day!!

PHASE 1 – The Naked Face

 Left         Right

I always have the same skin care routine which follows Aesop Fabulous Face Cleanser, Aesop B & Tea Toner, Aesop Parsley Seed Hydrating Serum/Oil Free Hydrating Serum (and occasionally, Aesop B Triple C Balancing Gel with Aesop Control for blemishes or fussy skin). I then prepped my skin with primer – I recently found a FAN-BLINKING-TASTIC primer from Latona’s known as Pore Perfecting Primer – LOVE! I have large pores so this is a God-send for me. I also alternate between Illamasqua Gleam Cream and MAC Matte for either a dewy or matte finish.

PHASE 2 – Completion … this is what I would love to call the “Real Me”!

           Left

            Right

The items I used for this makeup include:

Eyes – MAC Paintpot in Painterly, Illamasqua Tango shadow, Illamasqua Wolf shadow, MAC Ricepaper shadow as highlighter, Illamasqua Precision Ink liquid liner (top lash line), MAC eye pencil Smoulder (waterline), MAC Carbon shadow liner (lower lashline), Benefit BadGal mascara, Illamasqua Gaze brow cake

Base – Once prepped….MAC StudioFix Fluid NC25, Illamasqua CC200 concealer, Illamasqua PF200 powder foundation, Illamasqua Lover powder blush, Illamasqua Disobey powder blush as contour, MAC Ricepaper shadow as highlighter

Lips – Makeup Store Lipgloss in Princess

There are two ends of the makeup scale for me – at one end you have DRAMA and at the other, GLAMOUR. I like to see myself more towards the glamour end but, there is a fine art to achieving the difference (and I have definitely been known to do a little drama!). It doesn’t matter which end you go for, just know how to do it and do it well. I would love to educate you through the blog about how to get the same results I do, right in your own home. That means free parking, access all hours and you don’t even have to put on your prettiest party dress! If you have any requests on things you would like to see, send them on through. So far I will be doing a little ‘Groom My Guy’ section, another on advice for men on what goodies they can get us ladies for gifts and some videos – all of which have been requested.

Hope you enjoyed seeing me in the nude and can now appreciate that I don’t wake up like that every morning …but a girl can dream, right?!

Stay beautiful,

d xo

Hello… is it me you’re looking for?!

So, let’s lay it out…after many months of admiring such local beauty bloggers as Annica (Haute&Stylish), Yolanda (ShoppingIntervention), Cendana (Blushfully) and Sarah (Hip&Haute), I’ve decided to crash the party. After ten years of having makeup as the centre of my universe, it’s time. Time to branch out from artist to insight….and just on the quiet, I’M SO EXCITED! I only hope that I can live up to the ‘beauty blogger’ title and carry the flag up high.

There are a few things I want to set straight before we get any further – just so you know what you are in for if you choose to follow ‘moi’. People often comment that I have ‘good features to work with’ or that my ‘skin is amazing’ – let us be clear, it is all an illusion people!! Good makeup and technique can transform you from the plain into the plush and I intend to prove it with some before and after photos (which may or may not evolve into video). Yes, that’s right… I will be seen WITHOUT makeup!! Are you falling off your chair?! If not, then you obviously do not know me! I seriously put on makeup to take the dog for a walk, buy milk and have even been known to put on a face to answer a video/skype call. THIS IS SERIOUS PEOPLE! My makeup is more than a mere glamour tool, it is my security blanket, my second skin and my queen! Well, maybe that’s taking it too far but I just wanted you to realise that this is a huge deal for me to be seen with a ‘naked’ face. In saying that, I do take very good care of my skin which aids in the overall appearance of that full coverage slathered on my face. Ok, so by now you are probably going “yeah hmm, maybe I don’t want to follow this basket case”… but, I promise to keep it entertaining. As an artist, I hope to give you some tips, tricks and ideas into using and applying makeup, hair and beauty products. I make no apologies for what I think of an item (or a brand for that matter) so expect honesty from me all the way. If you are still reading this, then welcome to my world….!!

I’ll be posting up the before and after shots over the next few days… if you have any requests for looks or something you want to see on my face (I’ll do pretty much anything so, suggest away!), I would love to hear from you.

Please be patient with me as I work my way through the wonderful world of blogging.. there is still so much I have to learn! 

Looking forward to shaking things up a little around here…

Stay beautiful,

d xo