Male Grooming or ‘Pig Maintenance’ (as dubbed by Queen Zoë Foster-Blake)

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A few months ago, I was messaged by a friend who wanted to know what to go was with male skincare and grooming. Male and female skin requires the exact same ingredients and attention to have it looking healthy and clean, and only occasionally do men need to add watching a boxing match or driving a monster truck to their regime – once or twice a month should be enough.

there are only a few lucky people that get by with splashing their face with water every morning and night and I’m almost sure there must be some form of wizardry involved in this. For the rest of us mortals, sticking to a good routine with quality products with ingredients that work for your age, skincare concern and skin type will have your skin looking its best. Here’s a quick skincare cheat sheet:

Skin For Teenagers:

Ah yes, hormones. Unfortunately, this is a time in your life that can be a bit of a battle in terms of skincare. The thing with hormonal breakouts is, you can’t really stop them. Much like a bad haircut, there’s not really much you can do until you grow out of it. You can, however, take steps to reduce the severity and long term impact of your breakouts.

Oily/Acne Prone- Cleanse with a cleanser that contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Salicylic Acid is a BHA which is one of the only things that are able to penetrate into the pore and clean it out. Follow with a toner or astringent to make sure that all the cleanser has been removed from your face and pores are clean. Finish with a light moisturiser that contains no SPF (this can block pores overnight and you’re much better-adding one over the top)

Normal- Dry – Cleanse with a cream cleanser that will keep your face clean and balanced. 1-3 times a week it is also a good idea to use an exfoliant of some kind to ensure you aren’t getting a build up of dead skin (swimming in salt water is another way to exfoliate). Use a moisturiser over top to make sure your skin is protected from environmental aggressors – especially if you have been to the beach and add sunscreen if you are going to be exposed to UVA/UVB rays.

Sometimes even if you don’t struggle with all over acne, there is still a chance you can get the odd breakout -still, probably due to hormones- they suck. If you are finding this is happening, but only occasionally and only in certain areas, a topical cream or gel that contains salicylic will be enough to help.

Skin For Adults

Even though there might not be any issues that you specifically want to target (like acne) it is still important to keep good skincare in mind as you start to lose natural collagen and elastin year by year. (depressing isn’t it) and if you want to have any hope of looking as good as George Clooney, pay close attention to these two simple daily things you can do to keep your skin looking its best.

Step 1. A good cleanser. A lot of jobs involve getting dirty and all that muck on your face can wreck havoc on your skin. Even if you keep your hands a little neater on the day to day, you are still exposed to environmental pollutants, your skins natural oils and general griminess. At the end of the day, a gentle wash with a non-soap based cleanser will make sure that your skin remains clean.

Step 2. Find a moisturiser that is simple and effective. If you find yourself getting slightly shinier throughout the day, opt for an oil-free or a gel moisturiser. If you find that your skin feels tight and dry, find something richer and thicker in consistency.

Other Tips:

Don’t be too afraid to use lip balm, better that than cracked smackers.

Maintain your hairstyle. Whether it’s shoulder length hair or it’s so precisely gelled that you look like your ready to ask a catholic priest permission to wed your fiancé, nothing looks better than a guy who knows what kind of style he likes and knows how to do it.

Brush your teeth regularly, pretty self-explanatory.

If you feel like you need to, get your brows shaped. As someone who has worked with male models I know for a fact that the man on the front of that vogue covers your girlfriend has on her bedside table participates in brow maintenance. I also know that there is potential he asked to have gold shimmer sprayed on him pre-shoot (I know this because I’ve also had the job of standing in a bathroom with a half naked 6’4 man, spraying him with the same suga baby shimmer spray my older sister use to use before parties.. )

There are also lots of brands designed specifically for men to be easy, simple and no-fuss in general. Worth a look in your local Mecca Cosmetica at a brand called Malin and Goetz if you’re interested!

EcoTan- Organic Self Tan by Sonia Driver

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Most of us have had a few self tanning experiences, some good, some bad and some uglier than your neighbours twenty year old siamese cat Tinky (sorry but… c’mon). Do you ever start to question what chemicals are actually in this thing that you’re marinating yourself in? I experienced this epiphany a few weeks ago and was immediately on the hunt for something that was more organic but still provided me with a deep bronzy glow.

I had heard about EcoTan from my good pal The Gracie Files and decided that it was something I needed to try.

  • Certified Organic
  • Cruelty Free
  • Vegan Tanning and Body Products
  • Accredited Toxic Free by Safe Cosmetics Australia

(All boxes I want ticked on something I’m putting on my skin-which is of course, the bodies largest organ- have to look after that!)

The first product I tried from the line was the Cacao Firming Moose 1 Hour Self Tan. I was immediately impressed that there was a colour guide on the back of the bottle which allowed me to adjust the level of ‘bronze goddess-ness’ that I wanted to reach. I decided to keep the tan on for three hours to reach the colour I wanted, but you can leave it on for as little time as 1 hour if you just want a hint of colour (which would be ideal for winter!) Winner of a Nature and Health beauty award for 2017 this tan lasted all week and faded away without ANY patchiness and didn’t have a faux coconut smell that lingered for the first few days.  As if this wasn’t enough, it also works to reduce the appearance of cellulite and smooth out the skin. I’ll take 20 more thanks, and maybe another 10 for good measure.

I also gave the Face Tanning Water a go. There is nothing better than having a bit of colour to the skin, making you look more awake and healthy while also saving a bit of time in the makeup department (more specifically foundation front) in the morning. I used this on a cotton pad at night time after I cleansed my skin and by morning I looked like I had a post holiday glow and a full nights sleep (which I can assure you I didn’t…thanks to the Australian Summer and university exam insomnia). The face tanning water contains anti-aging ingredients as well as acne fighting ingredients that make it A. O.K to bypass other skincare at nighttime when using this.

The final gem that I picked up was the Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub. Man, does this scrub buff. Before you jump in the shower start to put the product on your skin and gently buff. Then, rinse off and continue your post exfoliation routine- this is the perfect time to shave your legs, dolphins will envy your silky smooth skin! I recommend using this 24 hours before you apply the fake tanner. This allows time for the coconut oil in the product to sink into your skin and for any hair follicles and pores to close over so you aren’t left with black dots on the skin.

Next time you spot it, grab it, give it a go and give you skin a break from those harsh chemicals. Enjoy your passport to a natural, organic b.e.a.utiful tan!

The Art of the Bounce Back

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“I’m only going to have a few drinks, it’s probably going to be a quiet night actually.” – The famous last words we’ve all spoken at least once. It’s not until the alarm goes off at 6.30am and you wake to realise you’ve made some slight (pretty big) errors in judgement after the fourth vodka sunrise the night before. Good thing that unlike some other mistakes we’ve made in our past, with a little concealer, highlighter, a quick pep talk with yourself in the mirror and a recommended dose of Neruofen. It’s nothing we can’t postpone for at least a couple of hours.

The key to hangover makeup is keeping it as simple but effective as possible. It’s time to pull out and make use of all your multipurpose items. Primers that illuminate, lip glosses that moisturise you get the idea. It’s all about making your life easier (and the need to look down as little as possible..)

Step 1:

After washing or splashing your face with water, it’s time to moisturise and prime. My go to illumination primer is the Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Primer. It does the job of a primer and a good nights sleep by illuminating the face and making sure any foundation you put on- will stay put- no matter what way the world seems to keep moving. Apply a foundation that will keep your skin looking full of life over top. I recommend Nars Sheer Glow, as it will give you this effect, as well as having enough coverage in itself to not necessarily need a heavy duty concealing job over top.

Step 2:

Brighten those peepers. Even though you might feel like your being summoned to the gates of hell by satan himself, with a touch of inner corner highlight and a dot on the centre of the lid (My recommendation is Stila Kitten eyeshadow) you’ll look like you stopped after the second glass of champagne, just as you first intended.

Step 3:

Bring life back into your cheeks. Nothing screams, I let one too many G’n’T’s overtake my consciousness last night like dull cheeks. A brightly coloured blush and some bronzer will give you some healthy colour back.

Step 4:

A bright lip. Yes, this is fairly daring for anyone with the Sunday morning shakes but bare with me. If you have a brightly coloured lip you will 1: look as though you’ve had time to get ready in the morning and 2: It will brighten your eyes and distract from any regret glistening within them.

Good luck winter soldier, my thoughts and condolences are with you but a couple of hash browns and a big bottle of water and you’ll make it through the day!

Like Sand Through the Hourglass, These are the best bits of the brand! A Collaboration with The Gracie Files!

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December means a lot of christmas parties, and a lot of family get togethers. This is a time when any success you’ve had during the year is dulled by a few classic phrases like, “Oh how are you? You look tired, you poor thing”. While you might be thinking, ah, yes Christine, I’m very tired actually, good to see the expensive concealer I packed on is doing the trick…twit. No doubt you’ll smile politely and say something along “yes busy time of the year isn’t it!” If you’ve been finding yourself in this situation -don’t worry, we’ve all been there. I have a few items to share with you that will knock Christine’s socks right off.

You know me, I love to talk about getting the glow, which is why its so damn surprising I haven’t been singing the praises of Hourglass since I discovered it. It is without a doubt one of the greatest fix all and technologically advanced  brands I have ever come across Yes Hourglass, slaaaay Hourglass.My good pal, Gracie from The Gracie Files and I have decided to do a sneaky little collaboration and share our top Hourglass picks. So Ladies and Gents, grab yourself a pen because your christmas list is about to get a little longer.

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Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

Holy-Moly. I cannot repeat CANNOT remember how I lived without this primer. Mineral based, low dimethicone (skin clogging silicone found in a lot of makeup and skincare products), oil controlling and the ability to make your makeup waterproof and transfer resistant.. This was a primer made in Australian Summer Heaven. On top of this, it also makes your skin feel amazingly soft and your foundation application seamless. It works for all skin types and is one of the brands best sellers (rightly so!) The perfect makeup base for anyone who is going to be photographed with flash photography, brides that might shed a tear and grooms that might shed a tear for that matter… in all honestly, anyone that wants to keep there makeup looking better for longer. This is your new best friend.

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Ambient Lighting Blush (Mood Exposure-plum) (Incandescent Electra- pink)

I can’t say that before I discovered these blushes that I was much of a blush wearer. Now, I couldn’t say I’d feel fully tizzy without it! Incandescent Electra was my first purchase out of the two and I can honestly say it came straight down to the instant wow factor the colour gave me. Mood Exposure was my next purchase simply because it is the perfect neutral coloured blush. I was struggling to wear my Incandescent Electra pink with any red because of the colour clash it created on my face, so Mood Exposures natural and neutral plum tones came to my rescue. I wish I could have captured it slightly better on camera, but the subtle shimmer will give anyone glow envy (especially Christine)

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No.2 Lipstick

A moisturising nude that doesn’t wash you out. Thank God. This satin finish lipstick is the perfect accompaniment to any glittery, sparkly, festive eye makeup look that you want and will wear away nicely as you secretly drink your way through a bottle or two of champagne. 😉

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Dim Lighting Powder.

This. This is how brides glow. This is how celebrities walk around with Instagram filter perfected skin. Containing the Hourglass photo-luminescent technology that reflects the same green and yellow pigment that younger skins have. This  mini version is the ‘Dim’ Lighting Powder but you can also chose from a range of other types of lighting that will create a perfect ambience wherever you go.

Well there you have it, my top picks for Hourglass, now before you put away your christmas list head over to www.thegraciefiles.com for further inspiration!!

Top 4 Fragrance’s

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If there is a compliment greater than, wow you smell amazing you’ve got to let me know because as far as I’m concerned, that’s one of the most heart fluttering things someone could say. Fragrance is something you can use to define yourself and have people remember you by. I know my mum smells like J’adore by Dior, my sister smells like Black Opium by YSL and after a long day, my stepdad smells like Corona.

Personally, I am very picky with fragrances, can’t be too spicy, too woody, too girly or too this smells like something you clean a toilet with… *cough* Chanel Number 5 *cough*.

Here are my top 4 fragrance items that have passed the test of my extremely fussy taste!

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Alien- Thierry Mugler

This is my absolute favourite. It is unlike anything else I have ever smelt before and believe it or not, it took me about four years to purchase it! (I have however only had one day since then that I haven’t worn it..) This EDP has notes of Sambac jasmine, Cashmeran wood, amber gris that combine to create a scent that leaves you wanting more. Next time you stroll past David Jones, try it out for yourself. If you can wait as long as four years to purchase it like I did, I’ll give you a prize.

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Mojave Ghost – By Redo

Luxury brand By Redo is renowned for its unique, minimalistic and evoking fragrances. By Redo- which roughly translates to English as by reminiscing, was started by an artist who designed and drew inspiration for his fragrances by different memories or ideas. Mojave Ghost is designed for a flower that grows in the Mojave Desert. It is floral and woody at the same time, giving it a feminine feel with a strong edge. It also has a matching hair fragrance that amplifies the scent!

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Oh Lola! – Marc Jacobs

Oh Lola! Launched in 2011 and is described as lively, playful, irresistible, stylish and cheerful. It is quite a sweet fragrance that has fruity and floral with a hint of an aquatic scent. It’s an amazing scent for summer if you like smellin’ a lil bit sweet!

 

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Another one of Marc Jacobs floral fragrances, Daisy is fresher than Oh Lola! and slightly less fruity. It dances on the edge of being classic but still modern and definitely doesn’t over power. Again, another amazing summer scent that looks beautiful sitting up on a vanity!

Hopefully, you have some new fragrances on your ‘to smell’ list for Christmas! By this time of year, you may even be able to grab some the perfumes in gift sets that come with some extra bits and bobs. You may also be able to put it on your Christmas wish list.. thanks, Santa 😉

 

Summer Skin Staples

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I’ve got a quiz, what do Jen Hawkins, Lara Bingle, Blake Lively and Jacinta Campbell all have in common? Ridiculous pieces of eye candy for boyfriends/husbands?.. Yes. But what they also have is friggin’ amazing skin. Now I hear what you are saying. They probably invest thousands of dollars into their skincare routines, and with the rate of smashed avocado these days, it’s a bit unreasonable to think that mean 20-ish year olds can keep up with that. So I’ve narrowed down to two must have products to try and attempt to replicate the goddess’ glow this summer.

Summer is a pretty sensitive time for skin. With the heat and exposure to UVA & UVB rays intensifying sun damage, blemishes, redness (basically everything that makes you wake up in the morning and think, ‘oh ffs’) it’s important to make sure we are using the best, most useful and beautiful products for the base.

It’s also the time you are likely to be forced to smile uncomfortably in numerous family photos over the festive season. Red is a great colour for tinsel, tree ornaments and reindeer nooses but, take it from me, you’ll end up looking like quite the wally if you’re blending into the red blouse your mum has worn almost every Christmas day for the past 5 years. There’s also a high chance if it’s a bad photo of you, it will be on your Nana’s wall before you can say, damn I should have listened to that blog I read and wore sunscreen. Sorry, Murphy’s law.

 

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Basically, if you want your skin to behave… wear sunscreen! Think of it like your knight in shining armour and protector from environmental aggressors. I know that layering sunscreen overtop of moisturisers etc in summer can feel uncomfortable and thick- pretty much the opposite of what you want your skin to feel like during the summer months, but if you are using a product such as Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face that contains not only sunscreen but other skin perfecting vitamins, try skipping the moisturiser in the morning. I know that sounds like a cardinal sin, but if you make sure your nightly skin care routine gives your skin enough moisture and your skin isn’t too dry to begin with, it will be a-okay!

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GLOW BABY GLOW! Can it be summer without a highlighter? I was um-ming and aaah-ing about this product for a very long time. Believe it or not, I’ve never been much of a highlighter gal. I always got the glow I believed I was looking for from setting sprays and general dewiness caused by wearing makeup for a few hours. Good lord how I was wrong. Highlighters give such an amazing fresh feel to any makeup look and I’m annoyed I didn’t jump on the band wagon sooner. This Candlelight Glow highlighter in particular from Too Faced is amazing because it gives such a natural, ‘lit from within’ glow. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a dramatic highlight too, and products like champagne pop make me swoon, but if you are looking for a more subtle glow, give this pan of magic a swatch next time you walk past a Too Faced stand.

I can almost guarantee I’ll use these products all summer long and I will endeavour to report back on their travels. What good investments (I tell myself as I eat toast for the rest of the week because dang, makeup is expensive).

A-Frekin’ Obsessed with African Botanics.

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Before I start blabbing about the amazing-ness that is African Botanics. If you live in NZ and have access to YOU magazine, get your hands on one and have a looksie! I wrote up some beauty tips and tricks perfect for wedding and race season! I’d love to hear your feedback and would be happy to answer anymore questions you have!

ANYWAY- Onto more pressing issues. African Botanics and Marula Oil. The new frontier in skincare. This magical ingredient promises to help a many number of skin concerns in a natural and word on the street is, its the new Argan Oil.

Marula Oil is sourced from the Kernels of the Marula tree found in Africa. In Australia, we are lucky enough to have African Botanics delivering this wonder ingredient to us via Mecca Cosmetica stores that have a Trove section and online!

Here are two of my personal favourite products from the brand:

Kalahari Desert Detox Bath Salts.

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Ill start off by saying, these bath salts ain’t cheap. I was very skeptical about spending $112 on something to put in the bath, but after just one use I can confidently say that  I will 112% be repurchasing them.

According to African Botanics, the Bath Salts;

  • Tone the skin
  • Reduce Cellulite
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Creates smoother and firmer skin
  • Hydrates, conditions, re-mineralizes the skin
  • Creates a sense of wellbeing, clarity and calm
  • Relieves stiff joints and muscle tension

After one use I haven’t noticed much difference in my skin (I didn’t expect to) but I can say my skin was super soft and I don’t think I have ever been more relaxed in my entire life. I can be fairly skeptical about aromatherapy but I can say with complete confidence that even if you are assignment writing, in exam block, had a bad day at work or waiting for a text from that boy, you will leave the bath more zen than a vegan living in Byron busking on the weekends. So go ahead, light some candles, pour yourself a red and leave your worries behind.

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The other standout for me is the Marula Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish. This exfoliating wash combines enzymatic and gentle physical exfoliation making is an effortless addition to your skincare routine. Containing blends of sundries aromatic buchu plant, crushed baobab fruit, healing micro-algae and super fine granules of ancient volcanic minerals it’s an absolute winner. Few things can make your skin look as good as proper exfoliation.  Enzymatic exfoliation uses bio-active ingredients (mostly found in fruits) to eat away at the glue that holds dead skin cells together and physical exfoliation scrubs them away, what a dream team!

Next on the purchase list for me is the Neroli Infused Marula Oil. That combination is enough to make me have dreams of beautiful skin for weeks *swoon*.

Jump online and do some research, I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as I am! If you are loving the idea of Marula oil, also check out Drunk Elephant Skin Care (its called that because elephants actually get drunk off Marula Oil, cheeky devils) that has just launched in Mecca Maxima!