Bare Face and Red Lipstick: True Match or Unfortunate Pairing?

Anyone else a little bemused by all the beauty gurus, rockstar spawn and impossibly cool Frenchies going on and on about the power of red lips on an otherwise bare face?

I mean, I get it. It’s edgy, modern and classic all at the same time. It’s fashion, without being high maintenance. It’s elegant, but downtown cool.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But does anyone else just think they personally look a hell of a lot better with mascara defining their eyes and foundation smoothing the skin?!

vanessa-paradis-bare-face-red-lipstick-gorgeous
Vanessa Paradis: epitome of French cool

Pictures like that ^^ inspired (challenged?) me to try the bare face/red lipstick combo- and it almost seemed to work!

It seemed to brighten my skin tone- my sister actually asked if I was wearing foundation- and it didn’t look as bizarre as I imagined.

Still, unless you’re one of those French ladies who can pull off anything, I think this works best when “bare face” is intended a bit euphemistically- a bit of mascara and top liner, maybe a subtle base. Hair windswept, or pinned up. Maybe a defined brow for 50s movie star glamour.

kate-moss-red-lipstick-bare-face-beauty-gorgeous
Kate Moss looking amazing in her red lipstick and bare(ish!) face.

How do you wear your red lipstick? Have you tried the whole bare face and red lipstick thing?

the best and worst beauty trends of 2012

To celebrate the new year and the fact we all survived December 21st, we thought it fitting to take a retrospective look at the beauty trends of 2012: the good, the bad and the downright apocalyptic. It was an interesting year for beauty. Most trends teetered precariously on the line between stylish and schlocky, and some went so far as to subvert our ideas of what is beautiful or cool. If you told us last year that we’d be rocking pink hair and cheesy nail art – un-ironically- we might have laughed in your face. Looking back, we can’t imagine the year without it.

Beauty-how-to-dramatic-eyes-geoffrey-mac-fall-winter-2012-makeup-cosmetics-blog-eyeliner-cleopatra

Wild-eyed and wicked
 While winged cats eyes are a runway perennial, they were painted on with reckless abandon this year- think Cleopatra on crack. Case in point: the drawn-out graphic lines at Altuzzara or Warhol-esque turquoise smudges at Geoffrey Mac.  Although it was definitely an unusual beauty look, this one gets points for its avant-garde daring- and like many of the trends of 2012, worked in spite of its strangeness.

Crazy cool nail art: @wahnails

Nailed it
This might’ve been the most influential beauty trend of 2012, with celebrities, bloggers and real girls alike daubing their digits with miniature masterpieces. No longer considered tacky or childlike, nail art exploded into the realms of cool. Just look at Rihanna- who embraced the trend with zeal, decorating her fingers with everything from a glittery leopard print French manicure to yellow emoticons- or Alexa Chung, who sported a leather-look mani the other week.

 

cara-delevigne-beauty-pink-hair-purple-pastel-pretty-fashionSpun Sugar Hair
Although cotton candy hued hair sounds wrong, it ended up being oh-so-right this year. Fashion’s love affair with girly pastel, courtesy largely of Meadham Kirchhoff, saw the fash pack making like My Little Ponies and dipping their hair in shades of lilac, pale pink and baby. Instead of looking gaudy, it seemed whimsical, fairy-like and cutting edge all at the same time. However, a note of caution: when this trend was pushed via garish brights and competing colors the result was less fairy, more scary.

 

miley cyrus- ombre-balayage-beauty-cosmetics-makeup-blog

Ombré Overload
What started off as a subtle and innovative way to lend depth and light (not to mention giving us a break from salon visits), the balayage/ombré look was pushed to the limits this year. As people started displaying dramatically different colors on their roots to their lengths, without any blending or graduation, the cool ombré look became glorified regrowth- which is never a good look!

 

altuzarra-spring-2012-runway-eyebrow-beauty-makeup-blogFrankenstein Brows
While thick brows a la Cara Delavigne or Bambi Northwood-Blyth will always look strong and beautiful, some of the runways pushed this look to the extreme this year.  The thick straight black lines painted on the faces of models at Altuzarra and Sid Neigum made them look like unusually beautiful nesting places for caterpillars.

 

alberta-ferretti-fashion-makeup-beauty-slicked-hair-fashionGrease was the word- theoretically at least
Slicked-back, gelled hair was all over the runways – featured on BCBG, Alberta Ferretti, Proenza Schouler, Giambassati Valli, Donna Karan and more- but it didn’t appear to catch on in real life. Perhaps that’s because most girls prefer to  toss their hair rather than give it a lube job. (Pauly D., we love to hate you. But we don’t wanna BE you).

 

What do you guys think were the best and worst trends of the year gone by? Did you embrace any of these trends in 2012?

the blonde power crop

In the flaxen and extension-ed land of Hollywood, your average Joanna is Barbie pretty with gleaming teeth and requisite flowing manes. Such long-locked ladies are usually flawless… but forgettable.

Until they do something to shake it up.

Dianna Agron never really reached my radar- until I saw pictures of her with lobbed off, texturised locks.

Wow! The blandly beautiful cheerleader from Glee suddenly seemed edgy and captivating and gave me some serious hair envy.

From all accounts, she loves it, feeling it reflects her- previously hidden- creative and quirky sensibilities (check out her blog here).

She landed a Nylon cover and a 60s inspired shoot, to boot.

Bitchin’!

Brooklyn Decker is another celeb who cut off her hair and rocked a bob. She is beautiful but seemed a little… yawn. Swimsuit model with blonde extensions? Yeah, yeah.

Now? Fresh glamour.

Aussie Rachel Taylor uses her structured crop to give her rising star a stand-out edge. Check out that jaw!

And proving short hair can be versatile, she works the slicked hair trend to perfection.

I love how the cuts transform the ladies’ faces. No longer Barbie variations, you really notice their unique beauty. It definitely inspired me- I snipped off inches and am loving playing with texture and different looks.

Have you had a defining haircut that got you noticed?

How to wear a white blazer: celeb inspiration

Bianca Jagger immortalised the white blazer when she wore it to wed Mick Jagger in ’71. Glamorous, sexy and a little edgy, the white blazer evokes a sense of mystery with a touch of rock-and-roll cool.

P.S. The fact that it is a staple of Kate Moss speaks volumes!

The innovator: Ms. Jagger in ’71
Kate Moss by Terry Richardson

The way they wore:

Monochromatic: Kate Moss and Ashley Olsen wear it timelessly; Blake Lively flirts with a plunging neckline, imbuing the classic with the sexy playfulness she’s famous for
Feminine: Hayden Panettiere gives polish to her embellished skirt; Moss wears over snakeskin dress with nonchalance; Lively is pretty and girly in white-on-white.
How do you wear your white blazer?

health reform + recipe

Anyone can tell you I’m not the healthiest eater. I believe McDonald’s cheeseburgers should form the foundation of the food pyramid and I need sugar like air! Exercise? Don’t even go there..
I always reason a healthy lifestyle is too time-consuming and expensive, but  feeling sluggish and low-energy means I spend a disproportionate amount of the day glued to the couch- not exactly time-efficient!

I had been feeling like making some healthy changes so my moods and energy levels would be lifted. But the real source of inspiration came via a more urgent request… A friend asked me if I would help out with a prostate cancer awareness campaign he’s organising. This guy is the nicest out, and is about to lose his dad to cancer. I couldn’t say no.

The catch? He wants me to stand in the middle of uni. With a moustache. IN A BIKINI. 

Needless to say, I am now a member of the gym! My boyfriend taught my clueless ass how to do bench presses and leg curls and all that gym jazz and it was actually kind of fun-  to my absolute surprise!

To celebrate, we cooked a healthy meal. Teriyaki salmon and pesto spinach salad.

Our culinary efforts- YUM?!

It was totally delicious and totally easy.

Ingredients:
2 skinless salmon fillets
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

- Place salmon in middle of the al-foil and cover with onions & garlic
- Put sides of foil up to make a dish
- Gently pour teriyaki sauce over the salmon
- Fold foil so it is sealed
- Marinate in fridge for 1/2 hr
- Cook in oven – preheated to 18O degree C- for 1/2 hr

ONOMNOMS! 

For the salad, combine baby spinach, avocado, cherry tomatoes and pesto.

& to satiate my sweet tooth, I opted for a ripe mango- as yummy as any lolly.

Healthfully yours,

xx

summer skin tips from the glow guru

–> via russh: dr. nicholas perricone’s best summer skin tips
1. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil to address these problems from the inside out. 
2. If you long for that golden glow on face and body but don’t want the damage to skin that comes from tanning try a high quality self-tanning lotion.
3. Nothing ages the face like the combination of tanning and alcohol.
4. Don’t smoke!  Smoking will also rapidly destroy youthful skin.
5. Enjoy anti-inflammatory foods. A diet rich in protein, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and healthy fats like cold-water fish, extra virgin olive oil and nuts will repair your skin from the inside out.
6. Apply the right creams. Any skin cream with high levels of DMAE, Vitamin C Ester and Alpha Lipoic Acid will help heal sun damage. You may ask your dermatologist for prescription Retin-A, which revives depleted collagen and elastin caused by sun damage and restores youthful skin.
7. Wear topical non-chemical sunscreens. I recommend non-chemical sunscreens such as ‘physical’ blockers titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide and not chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are more likely to cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin but the formulations are often lighter and easier to apply. Non-chemical sunscreens (physical sunscreens) are less likely to cause skin reactions.
8. Cleanse thoroughly after wearing sunscreen on the face because of left on the skin it will clog pores resulting in breakouts.
9. Eat your vegetables and fresh fruit including all orange, red and green leafy vegetables rich in carotenes including spinach, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.  Numerous scientific studies show that oral supplementation with carotenes, especially lycopene and beta-carotene improve skin structure, have powerful wound healing properties and offer great protection from damage caused by sunlight. 
10. Drink green tea and/or take EGCG supplements. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a key component of green tea and it protects the skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Topical application also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
11. With so much skin exposed during the summer months, we are more apt to notice any unusual moles or skin changes. If you haven’t started seeing a dermatologist yet, start now. It’s always a good idea to see one every few years and more frequently if you notice anything unusual or if skin cancer runs in your family.
12. Avoid sugar and starches if you want to stay swimsuit slim and stave off wrinkles and accelerated aging.
13. Gentle exfoliation along with alpha hydroxy acids can help the skin to look fresh and renewed. The important concept to keep in mind is to be gentle and not to over do it. Too harsh or vigorous exfoliation treatments will create an inflammatory response in the skin, resulting in redness and irritation.
14. Avoid sun bathing!  You should be out in the sun for at least 15 minutes each day for a brisk walk or enjoying other activities, but don’t bake in the sun.
15. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eight to 10 glasses daily. Water keeps the skin plumped up and helps carry out the toxins and wastes produced in the cells—and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Water naturally suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that if we decrease our water intake our fat deposits will increase. Conversely, an increase in water intake will reduce fat deposits.
16. Vitamin D is unique among vitamins in that it can be provided to the body through food or from exposure to the sun. Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D because UV rays from sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin.  I recommend spending 15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen. This will increase Vitamin D protection known to reduce the risk of many internal cancers as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Although sun exposure has been greatly vilified in the past decades, exposure to the sun is our most important source of this critical vitamin.
17. Protect your lips from summer sun. Soft, supple lips are a sign of both beauty and health.
 

dr. perricone’s summer skin tips

via russh: here are dr. perricone’s best summer skin tips
1. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil to address these problems from the inside out. 
2. If you long for that golden glow on face and body but don’t want the damage to skin that comes from tanning try a high quality self-tanning lotion.
3. Nothing ages the face like the combination of tanning and alcohol.
4. . Don’t smoke!  Smoking will also rapidly destroy youthful skin.
5. Enjoy anti-inflammatory foods. A diet rich in protein, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and healthy fats like cold-water fish, extra virgin olive oil and nuts will repair your skin from the inside out.
6. Apply the right creams. Any skin cream with high levels of DMAE, Vitamin C Ester and Alpha Lipoic Acid will help heal sun damage. You may ask your dermatologist for prescription Retin-A, which revives depleted collagen and elastin caused by sun damage and restores youthful skin.
7. Wear topical non-chemical sunscreens. I recommend non-chemical sunscreens such as ‘physical’ blockers titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide and not chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are more likely to cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin but the formulations are often lighter and easier to apply. Non-chemical sunscreens (physical sunscreens) are less likely to cause skin reactions.
8. Cleanse thoroughly after wearing sunscreen on the face because of left on the skin it will clog pores resulting in breakouts.
9. Eat your vegetables and fresh fruit including all orange, red and green leafy vegetables rich in carotenes including spinach, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.  Numerous scientific studies show that oral supplementation with carotenes, especially lycopene and beta-carotene improve skin structure, have powerful wound healing properties and offer great protection from damage caused by sunlight.
10. Drink green tea and/or take EGCG supplements. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a key component of green tea and it protects the skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Topical application also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
11. With so much skin exposed during the summer months, we are more apt to notice any unusual moles or skin changes. If you haven’t started seeing a dermatologist yet, start now. It’s always a good idea to see one every few years and more frequently if you notice anything unusual or if skin cancer runs in your family.
12. Avoid sugar and starches if you want to stay swimsuit slim and stave off wrinkles and accelerated aging.
13. Gentle exfoliation along with alpha hydroxy acids can help the skin to look fresh and renewed. The important concept to keep in mind is to be gentle and not to over do it. Too harsh or vigorous exfoliation treatments will create an inflammatory response in the skin, resulting in redness and irritation.

14. Avoid sun bathing!  You should be out in the sun for at least 15 minutes each day for a brisk walk or enjoying other activities, but don’t bake in the sun.
15. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eight to 10 glasses daily. Water keeps the skin plumped up and helps carry out the toxins and wastes produced in the cells—and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Water naturally suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that if we decrease our water intake our fat deposits will increase. Conversely, an increase in water intake will reduce fat deposits.
16. Vitamin D is unique among vitamins in that it can be provided to the body through food or from exposure to the sun. Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D because UV rays from sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin.  I recommend spending 15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen. This will increase Vitamin D protection known to reduce the risk of many internal cancers as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Although sun exposure has been greatly vilified in the past decades, exposure to the sun is our most important source of this critical vitamin.
17. Protect your lips from summer sun. Soft, supple lips are a sign of both beauty and health.

pretty leather

I love when leather is worn in a beautifully relaxed way. These feminine ensembles belong in a Parisian cafe- not a motorcycle.

cupcakesandcashmere.com- i love the necklace with the blouse! and ah-may-zing shoes. 

clochet.com – so simple, so works.

acne: beat it, just beat it


Although I had typical teenage pimples like most people, my skin got BA-A-A-D at a weird age, like 19 to 20. My boyfriend claimed he didn’t care that his girlfriend suddenly morphed into a less-tasty pizza but I didn’t even want to leave the house.


Magazines, usually my go-to for all life matters, disheartened me as their ‘Get Perfect Skin Fast!’ articles seemed to cater for People Without Pimples. Screw dat!


It took a lot of perseverance, trial and error and some funky side effects along the way, but I’ve finally beat ‘em! I thought I’d share my experiences seeing as the lack of information out there depressed me as much as the red army on my face.


skinspiration: Karlie Kloss at elle.com

PROACTIV

  • Active ingredient: benzoyl peroxide
  • Smells weird, like diapers
  • Pimples disappear fast, but leave red marks
  • Expensive + shipping/debit system= odd. Plenty of cheaper products with BPread the labels!  
  • Could be great, espec. with resilient skin
*Also see my rosehip oil rave if you need to fade pigmentation.

ST IVE’S APRICOT SCRUB
  • Active ingredient: salicylic acid
  • Inexpensive, easy to find
  • Doesn’t cause as many red marks
  • Not for daily-use- if you feel like it works, use to supplement a skin routine featuring a salicylic acid-based cleaner and/or lotion


DIET AND EXERCISE

  • Ha, yeah right. Ask someone else about that.


ROACCUTANE
  • This is mega HK- my doctor daddy was appalled when dermatologist rec’d this
  • If you’ve tried everything else and nothing worked it’s worth a try
  • Will clear you up, but the journey won’t be pretty. I went off it because I couldn’t hack it.
  • Side effects: peeling skin, cracked sore lips, I got this weird toe thing (google paronychia if you dare- nasty!!) and some people have reported depression on it.


THE PILL
  • Hard to predict what will work
  • Was on generic Levlen- no change whatsoever
  • Yasmin (apparently wonder drug for skin) broke me out worse than ever
  • Finally went on Dianne-35 and the heavens parted… HALLELUJAH! No more pimples! 
skinspiration: Karmen Pedaru at elle.com


MY REMEDY

- Figure out whether your skin responds better to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and buy according products 

- If neither works, choose gentle products (Think: Cetaphil, witch hazel, rose hip oil and tea tree oil)


- Make sure your makeup isn’t breaking you out. Look for non-codomegic or dermatologist-tested products. Mineral makeup is good & I personally <3 Innoxa


- Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise. 2x daily. Exfoliate. 3x weekly. Targeted lotion on blemishes. 1x nightly

- Consistency is key! Don’t give up before a few months

- Life is too short to be a pizza face- if you have been a slave to your skincare routine with no results, visit a doctor or dermatologist and ask for a prescription 

GOOD LUCK!


skinspiration: Natasha Poly at elle.com