Natures miracle treatment.

It’s coconut oil! now before you dismiss it as a beauty trend (and yes coconuts are “cool” at the moment) take a moment to think about why it has been used for thousands of years in tropical cultures, because it works.

So why is coconut oil so effective? Compared to moisturisers or hair serum coconut oil does not contain water, water temporarily makes the skin feel moist but quickly dries drying the skin along with it. It is also free from petroleum that can dry the skin.

Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids, or triglycerides MCTs, now let’s be honest I have no idea what these are but they act as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent. It also contains vitamin E, is rich in antioxidants and has a high content of Lauric Acid.

Here are some of the many uses for coconut oil, you many be surprised…

– A natural all over body moisturiser for soft, hydrated skin, for me coconut oil is what keeps my skin moisturised for the longest. If used on the face, the connective tissue in coconut oil is strong so it helps to slow down fine lines. If you have oily skin and break out easily (like me) it’s best to use a minimal amount tapped onto the top of your cheekbone area to keep your under eyes moisturised and plump.

– It is claimed that it can improve or completely heal in some cases skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

– Use it as a eye make-up remover, Put a few drops on a cotton pad and gently rub over eyes (this also helps to grow long and healthy lashes), Wash with cleanser afterwards.

– Massage through hair as a treatment, leave in for 10 minutes then wash like normal in the shower..if you want to leave it in so it penetrates more you can put a towel on your pillow and leave it in over night. Doing this treatment will leave your hair shiny and soft (especially good for those with dry scalps because it actually penetrates the roots).

– Rub into cuticles for strong and healthy nails, it has anti fungal properties so will also help with fungal nail infections.

– Use it to shave instead of soaps or creams that can be drying, it’s also a natural alternative if people have sensitive skin (Good tip for boys too).

– Make your own scrub

Face scrub:
Mix baking soda into your coconut oil, the baking soda exfoliates your face while the coconut oil moisturises.

Body scrub:
Mix brown sugar with your coconut oil as a body exfoliating scrub..the sugar rubs off dry skin then the oil leaves your skin super soft. If you are prone to fungal infections focus this scrub on your feet because coconut oil is known for it’s anti fungal properties.

– If you have super frizzy or curly hair it can be used (in minimal amounts) to smooth frizziness.

– Sunscreen?! Now I would never recommend not wearing sunscreen, but if you happen to be caught out with none and you happen to have coconut oil it blocks out up to 20% of the suns rays..only if you are caught out though!

– Mouthwashhh?!??? Yep mouthwash..it’s kills harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevents bad breath..not sure I will be trying this one out.

– Treat head lice on children naturally by combining coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil..the tea tree aggravates lice and the other oils suffocate them.

The 100% virgin coconut oil is the purest oil to use, but it doesn’t smell as nice as you think it would. Pure Fiji have an exotic oil that mixes coconut with things like almond oil and macadamia oil with a little bit of fragrance so if I’m going out then I use this one.

It’s also great for massages, now go get tropical ;)!

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An interview with Martin Bray a.k.a glitter king :)

Head make-up artist of programs such as Xfactor and Australia’s Got Talent, Celebrity Make-up artist and king of special Fx, body painting and glitter πŸ˜‰ this guy has it all including his own pro makeup range! I’ve been lucky enough to have him be my boss for Xfactor..now I’m interviewing him just for you guys!

Katy: Top products you couldn’t work without?

Martin:- my new foundation (martin bray pro range Skin Perfection) goes on all skin types like silk. Very excited about it.
– black kohl pencil ( KIm Wong He ) , so soft and extremely black
– eye paints to put down on the eye before eyeshadow
– Modelrock fake eyelashes
– eyelash glue and every glitter under the sun.
– Martin Bray Pro Range( MBPR) pallets for lips ,cheeks and skin
– MBPR high definition loose powder.
– good quality brushes in general.
– waterproof liquid eyeliner

K: Amazing! What is your favourite job you have ever worked on?

M: Don’t really have a favourite. Each job brings different challenges, i did love being makeup director for Xfactor and Australia’s Got Talent. We normally work by ourselves, so It is great to work with a team of artists to create magic.

K: Yes of course! So what inspired you to become a make-up artist?

M: I was working in hospitality and after studying acting and dance many moons ago and I was craving a creative work environment that could make people happy.

K: Oh and you just happened to be amazing at it! Were there any particular make-up artists you looked up to?

M: In Sydney when I was starting out I looked up to 4 different artists who really helped me. Kelly Stratton, Linda Jefferies, Noni Smith and Jodi Oliver. Internationally, Pat McGrath.

K: Wow they are some VERY talented ladies. Now lastly I wanted to ask on behalf of my readers, If you could give one tip to the everyday girl to help her makeup application what would it be?

M: Make sure the foundation matches your body, not just your face and don’t “pack it on”. A little cream blush always livens up the skin.

K: Great tip! Thank you so much for chatting with me today πŸ™‚

Not only is he a great artist, but martin’s range of products are amazing..I could not live without his cream blush palette that I use on cheeks and lips. They are available at http://www.lehved.com.au

I could go into detail about his amazing work but it would take pages and pages so check it out here at his website:

http://martinbray.net/newweb/

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Refresh in the new year!

It’s a new year and I found myself sifting through my personal make-up kit thinking 1. I never use half of this stuff, 2. It all needs cleaning, 3. I want all new make-up…I had to talk myself out of buying new makeup (I own a ton!) but I did buy a new eye palette I must admit.

I’m not sure how you organise your make-up but I have one draw that holds everything and one smaller sectioned bag that is my “everyday case”.

Having a smaller case with your basics makes your routine more efficient instead of spending forever trying to find things.

I organised, cleaned and replaced now it feels sparkly and new. Here’s how!

1. Take everything out of your case and set this aside.

2. Wash your case with soap and water, providing it is the sort that can be washed like this if not then use baby wipes.

3. Wash any brushes that were in your case (see my tools maintenance blog to learn how). Sharpen any pencils such as lip, eye, brow.

4. Sort through all the makeup you removed and take out anything you haven’t used in weeks (you can always put it back, but you will probably forget about it) this step is some what therapeutic I must say :).

5. Once you have chosen the makeup you definitely use. Clean the exteriors of the products with baby wipes so they look shiny and new again.

6. Finally once your kit and brushes are dry put everything back in, have a spot for everything that way it’s easy to find and you can have an extra two minutes sleep in the morning hehe πŸ˜‰

I have pictured my personal kit below (don’t judge me!) my personal makeup is not as luxurious as the makeup in my professional kit, I often experiment with different brands on myself before buying them for my professional kit..any questions on what products are feel free to ask xxx

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Gone away for the holidays and forgot your makeup kit!? Solutions here.

You have gone away on holiday, you go to pretty yourself up only to realise you forgot your makeup 😦 noooo! Never fear..I took a trip to my local supermarket I will navigate you to the totally usable cosmetics.

The main problem with supermarket cosmetics are lack of shade choices and there are usually no testers. Here are some tips πŸ˜‰

Foundation: Mabellline Fit Me foundation. They won’t have your exact shade, I would buy a light shade and a dark shade, mix these to get a perfect tone for you. Put a tiny bit of your moisturiser to make the foundation a bit more sheer.

Lips and cheeks: Kate Moss developed a lipstick line with Rimmel London these come in great shades and have an awesome watermelon smell. As well as lip colour these make a fantastic cream blush.

Mascara: Rimmel Scandal Eyes, these have awesome brushes. They tend to dry out after a few weeks but perfect for a holiday mascara.

Eyeliner: Maybelline Eyestudio gel eyeliner, not only does this last the whole day but it comes with a brush. You can use it for a thin line or smudge and blend to give a softer effect.

If you don’t have makeup remover I would also recommend Huggies fragrance free baby wipes. Why not makeup remover wipes you ask? Because these can have irritating fragrance and leave an oily residue on the skin. As well as being over priced.

Another handy thing to have on holiday is Batisse dry shampoo, keeps your hair less oily between washes and smells nice (it’s a bit strong so make sure you like the smell before purchasing).

Happy Pretty Holidays xoxo

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Lanolips update! X

Christmas came early for me today! Lanolips sent me these beautiful gifts, when I did a post on their lip treatment I mentioned how I had not tried the Lemonaid lip aid. I finally got my hands on it. It’s sooo nice and totally yum, it’s made with natural lemon oil. It smells amaze! Not only this but it naturally exfoliates the lips πŸ™‚

They also sent me two gorgeous lip ointments with colour and SPF15 (I’m totally loving the mulberry πŸ˜‰ ) andddddd a 101 ointment multipurpose balm, (this product I have previously blogged about as my fav lip treatment) thank god! I was running low in my kit πŸ™‚

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Do’s and Don’ts Make-up Edition

Here are some quick make-up do’s and don’ts to avoid those make-up no no’s and to boost your everyday make-up routine πŸ™‚

-Do slightly wet your Eyeshadows to increase intensity of colour (experiment with this, as some shadows work better than others).

-Don’t keep make-up in hot areas, it will cause lipsticks to melt and foundations to change colour and separate.

-Do make sure you test make-up before purchasing.

-Don’t use eye drops that are whitening for more than one or two days, these drops have bleach in them. This whitens the eyes temporarily but causes them to be even more red once this wears off.

-Do check make-up expiry dates.

-Don’t share mascara with friends, it can spread infections such as conjunctivitis.

-Do use make-up brushes.

-Don’t buy make-up with out checking what it looks like in both natural and unnatural light.

-Do maintain eye brows, rather than waiting for them to grow back. Once you have your perfect shape, tweeze the stray hairs and keep them looking great all the time.

-Don’t over pluck eye brows, it’s better to have more. If in doubt see a professional (check their work first, brows are very subjective).

-Don’t experiment with your make-up before going to something important (aka a first date).

-Do experiment with make-up when you have nowhere important to be, perfect that look before rocking it.

-Don’t use foundation to create a tan.

-Do use a foundation that matches your skin tone and use a mineral powder one or two shades darker to contour and bronze the face. This adds warmth without causing that horrible foundation line.

-Do blend blend blend! This is the difference between a flawless look and an unnatural one.

-Don’t apply a liquid foundation then try and apply a powder blush.

-Do set liquids with translucent powders before trying to apply a powder brush, this will insure it doesn’t catch on the liquid and become patchy and uneven.

-Don’t get caught in a make-up rut, go check out what’s new at counters, read all the beauty trend sections and watch make-up tutorials online.

-Do have fun with make-up, relax and read my blog πŸ˜‰ xxx

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Keep your make-up amazing for the whole day.

Firstly it’s so important to set your foundation. Use a translucent powder (such as make-up for ever HD powder) after applying foundation, concentrating on areas that you become oily through the day.

People always ask me how to keep their make-up on? To be honest if you are a human, make-up will come off (if you’re an alien, I’m sure you have invented something amazing). Taking a few minutes after eating to touch up makes a whole world of difference!

This is what I have in my bag to keep fresh for the day..

Laura Mercier “Secret Camouflage” concealer (yes I am mentioning this product again) this is perfect for the bag because there is two shades to cover any redness or under eye darkness.

Essence “I love extreme” mascara. I love big lashes and I re apply this to keep them big throughout the day.

Lanolips “101 ointment” for a moisturising lip treatment and any other dry skin problems.

Ysl “glossy stain” in number 17. I keep this in my bag for when I want a colour pick me up.

Mac “so sweet, so easy” cremeblend blush. Because it’s a cream blush it can double as a pink matte lip colour.

Cortas “orange blossom water” I pour this into a small spray bottle, I use this instead of perfume and it’s also great to spritz on the face during the day to freshen up. (Bottle pictured below).

Palmers ” cocoa butter hand cream” to keep my hands soft, as well as protected from the sun whilst driving.

It also helps to keep a pressed powder with a bit of coverage in your bag, this will cover discolouration and absorb oil (Mac studio fix is good for this). If you don’t want to add coverage and don’t like powder, the smashbox antishine is a cream that takes away shine through the day. This product can also be used as a primer if you are extremely oily.

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The magic wand of makeup (it literally takes away wrinkles).

A common question I am asked by clients is “can you get rid of my wrinkles??) closely followed by a chuckle then a shocked face when I reply with an enthusiastic “yes!”.

Eyesentials under eye enhancer is a product that literally swipes away wrinkles like magic..I must admit whilst watching the ads for eyesentials on t.v I was a bit skeptical, but my god was I curious. Coincidentally I ended up doing makeup for two of their ads and it work before my eyes. I had to have it! ( link to view one of the ads below)

They were kind enough to send me a box and I have not stopped using it ever since. This product was invented in the 1950’s by a top Hollywood make-up artist to give screen sirens such as Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn a youthful look.

It’s a cosmetic so it’s last for the day (not forever unfortunately) I like to think of it like when Cinderella has her beautiful dress and coach till midnight, then she goes back to normal πŸ™‚
It gives an amazing youthful smoothness to the under eyes. My clients look fresh and I’ve had a lot of compliments on their looks especially when it’s used for t.v.

I have tested the effects on my mum and photographed them especially for you guys so you can see the results (picture below).

Celebrity fans include:

Sonia Kruger
David Wenham (who loved Eyesential for his flash back scenes in the hit series Killing Time)
Underbelly and City Homicide use it for their actors
Caroline O’Connor
Holly Valance
Gina Riley (for Kath and Kim)
Neighbour’s stars and a whole range of news readers and morning show presenters loving Eyesential, and that’s just to name a few!

Channel Nine Ad (make-up and hair by me)

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Keep it fresh! Tool and make-up maintenance.

Why isn’t that mascara looking good anymore? Why do my makeup brushes look dull and barely work? Nothing has changed! Well to you I say again πŸ™‚ …

One of the main parts about keeping makeup looking fresh and beautiful is looking after your tools. This means washing brushes and keeping an eye on makeup expiry dates.

Mascara: Approx every 3 months (I’d make it three months at the absolute maximum in terms of performance you will get).

Mascaras need to be replaced regularly because they can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Also when air gets into the container it drys up and gives a poor performance compared to when it was first purchased it (don’t pump your mascara wand up and down into the container this will put more air in, it’s better to swirl the wand whilst in the container. This grabs the mascara that has been pushed to the side).

Foundation: Approx 12 months

Powder foundations last longer than liquids, the ingredients of liquids can separate especially if kept in warm areas (best to keep your foundations in cool places). If left in the heat it can also change colour and smell.

Lipsticks: Approx 12 months

Air drys some lipsticks quicker than others. Glossy ones tend to last longer whereas matte ones dry out quicker. If the lip sticks consistency changes, it stops sticking to your lips properly or the fragrance differs that is a definite sign that it’s done!

Brush cleaning!

This part of your routine is super important. It means that the eye shadow, powder or blush you use will be the true colour you choose rather than a mix of what you wore yesterday and what you chose to wear today. Makeup brushes are a ground for bacteria to grow, keeping them clean can be extra important to people that suffer from acne.

If they are you personal brushes and you use them for the same colours everyday you can wash your brushes once a week. If they are brushes used on different people they MUST be cleaned before touching another face, if you don’t clean them you can seriously risk infecting someone with something such as conjunctivitis (this is why you never share mascaras and make-up artists use disposable mascara wands).

Some people choose to use an alcohol based brush cleaner, the brushes are sprayed or dipped into the alcohol and brushed on a tissue until makeup is removed. These are handy because the alcohol drys very quickly. In my case I prefer to use this as a last case scenario for cleaning my brushes. I use an anti bacterial soap under super hot water then dry with a hair dryer between uses, I believe this is the most hygienic way to do it.

If they are you personal brushes and you are doing this routine once a week, I would use an anti bacterial soap under hot water, rinse then apply hair conditioner. Leave conditioner on the brushes for about five minutes rinse realllly well under hot water (this makes them super soft πŸ˜‰ )

Always make sure to pull the brushes through your fingers to remove excess water and get them back into the shape they came in so they dry properly. Leave to air dry on a paper towel and they will be as good as new!

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An interview with Stephen Moleski Hollywood make-up artist to the stars.

Stephen Moleski is one of my favourite make-up artists, I came across him when I was curious about how Kim Kardashian acheived her iconic make-up look. I found a video Stephen had done. It was a step by step tutorial with a bare faced Kim (video below) not only did he start from absolute scratch but he showed exactly what products he used and was so incredibly generous with his information and so so talented.

Considering Stephen is based in L.A the thought of meeting him had never crossed my mind. I began working on the second season of xfactor doing makeup, I heard through the grapevine that Mel. B (scary spice) was having her own make-up person coming from L.A.

I showed up for work as usual and walked past the judges make-up room. You would never believe my surprise when I saw Stephen Moleski..I almost died. He was just as lovely and generous in real life and now I am lucky enough to be able to interview him just for you guys πŸ™‚

What are the top products you couldn’t work without?

Products I have to have are Beauty Blenders and my lashes (www.smokeandmirrorsbeauty.com) and YSL powders.

Your lash line is so amazing, you even designed some especially for Kim Kardashian. She’s one lucky girl (lashes pictured below). Who was your mentor?

Kevyn aucoin, he was my inspiration from the day I met him!

You are so lucky to have met him! What is your favourite job you have ever done?

Doing what I love, making women feel amazing!

So every job is your favourite job because you make women feel beautiful?

Yep!

Aww that’s awesome. What inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I fell into makeup artistry by luck, but I studied art as my major for 18 years before that.

Any advice to the everyday girl for her makeup application?

Keep it simple and use sunscreen always!

That great advice, especially for girls in Australia! Thanks for your time πŸ™‚

Smokey Eye Tutorial with Kim Kardashian

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