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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Be A Glow Getter


Alpha H


Exclusive to Sephora Australia, I've been using Clear Skin Daily Moisturiser to blitz a couple of spots (can't always cleanse and tone between yoga and barre classes...) and I can thoroughly recommend it. It isn't as addictive as the Liquid Gold that tingles but leaves skin thoroughly revitalised if you apply overnight.



VMV Hypoallergenics


Exclusive to Sephora in Australia, VMV Hypoallergenics is ideally suited to sensitive skin and also to skin prone to acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and allergies to typical makeup.
Their packaging is beyond design 101. Little suitcases package eyeshadows, blushers and bronzers. The Skintelligent beauty blush brush comes in its own recycled paper bag with soy-based ink. If you are a fan of #greenbeauty you are ticking every sustainability, environmentally friendly box on the way to karmic heaven. You’re going to look especially lovely when you get there too. My picks are Smauve and Heat blush palettes and you absolutely MUST have a blush brush and no-water-required brush cleaner spray (hypoallergenic of course!).

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
Look no further if you’re after luxe and a brand name you know and trust. I once read a book on Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Though Estee Lauder didn’t enter the picture until towards the end, all those makeup queens were the true pioneers and entrepreneurs of their day. BronzeGoddess has been a cult hit for beauty lovers since it was released some years ago. With a fragrance, colour palette and face/body bronzers as part of the collection, you have your pick of products.
Right now, it’s all about highlighting and the “strobing” effect where the skin is given a glowy effect all over. That said, you don’t want to blind people with your ridiculous luminescence. Be subtle. The Bronze Goddess Palette has a bronzer, coral hued blusher and gold highlighter. Each shade could be used alone but in combination, it adds vibrancy, shade and light to your face.

Bobbi Brown
Talking of glow, the only foundation I consistently return to over and over is Bobbi Brown. I loved the cushion foundation but I'm a bit old school and a liquid foundation that I can pump out a reliable and ritualistic amount is perfect for me. Totally recommend the Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation. I wear it to the gym and it still lasts all day without giving me spots. Bam.
My next trial? The Foundation Stick. My shade is Warm Ivory but there's a zillion to choose from whether you're icy pale or Grace Jones. Also, for highlighting heaven, you can't go past the subtle gold glow of Telluride Highlighting Powder.

e.l.f
Hello budget beauty. Not only will you get change from your weekly pocket money allowance, you’ll also have the happy glow of knowing many e.l.f products are vegan and therefore, cruelty free and ethically produced.

There is a full makeup range for face, lips, eyes and also a skincare range if you’re so inclined. A makeup artist friend highly recommended their brush sets (a BUDGET quality brush set? YES!). I can back this up. Most of the brushes are vegan but not all. If this is of concern, do your research and you can always ask via email or online.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Activewear, Yoga Pants and Accessories on Etsy


Are you a natural hunter? Could you be thrown into the wilds of the urban wilderness and hunt your way to coordinated pants, tank top and sneakers with ankle socks thrown in for good measure?

If so, trawling through the stock standard shopping sites for yoga pants is not going to give you the hunter’s high of “I FOUND THIS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!” which is so good for you!

This is where Etsy kicks in. Not only can you find gear that nobody in your neighbourhood is going to be rocking at the same yoga class, but you can talk directly with the owner/designer/maker and know you’re supporting an entrepreneurial spirit in their business.

Without further ado, my favourite Etsy yoga gear purveyors. Hunting for yoga gear has never been so much fun...

Lily Jara Leggings
Day of the Dead meets yoga pants? Heck, yes.
This is just one of the crazy fine designs from Lily Jara. She also does awesome 80s geometric rainbow patterns, balloon print, donuts and leggings with one side devoted to fries and the other to ketchup. Yup, this is fun and fabulous.
Mermaid leggings for adults AND their mini yoga sprogs? Definitely. Also, Lily is a super babe and if you’re in the Florida area, I’ll be hugely jealous that you might be hanging out and doing yoga in balloon print leggings together.
My pick is the sugarskulls print leggings and while I haven’t yet been to Mexico, I feel like I’m embracing the gothic culture of Dios De Los Muertes (Day Of The Dead) in these.
Lily Jara Shop


Funky Leggzis Clothing
Funky indeed. Peacock print, Mario Brothers, Alice In Wonderland, the Eiffel Tower. If you can dream it, you can wear it on your pins thanks to Angela at Funky Leggzis.
My super strong personal training client rocks the peacock print leggings while she slays some heavy duty deadlifts so these are not only for fashion – they’re totally fitness friendly.
Made in Hobart and shipped internationally. Check them out.
Funky Leggzis Clothing








ArtsyClothing
Another super talented lady with a knack for leggings you’ll love. Ruta makes divine fitness and fashion forward leggings with sweet, hand-detailed designs.
I fell in love with the mini foxes but there are also bicycles, trees, panda bears and bird prints on t-shirts, leggings, baby suits and even decals for your Macbook.
ARTsyClothing

Fashion Jewelry Online
I’m a bit of a sucker for an anklet, and so are the fashion pack judging by the recent spate of sandals and sneakers with built-in ankle chains! If you’re a pilates, yoga, barre regular, you know you are going to spend a lot of time looking at your ankles (ah, blissful forward fold!) so you may want to give them a bit of zazz with the bohemian, yoga and Buddhist-inspired anklets, bracelets and necklaces from the delightful Puspamurti in Western Australia.
Fashion Jewelry Online





Modern Homewares
The lovely Aussie behind ModernHomewares store on Etsy creates cute, covetable pillow covers, ironing board covers and – essentially for me – yoga mat bags. Yes, no longer do you need to wrangle your yoga mat under one arm and your handbag under the other while you attempt to get through the studio door without knocking over the Ganesh statue and upsetting the decorative bamboo by reception.
My pick is the orange and white chevron print bag. A sling-shoulder harness allows you to pack and go. Without the mess!

ModernHomewares

And if you are more about creating and selling than buying - you can sign up and become a shop owner immediately. Get sewing, knitting, crafting and snapping photos stat!

Monday, 15 August 2016

What To Do After A Binge

I occasionally still have an episode of binge eating when the perfect storm of situation, emotions, tiredness and opportunity come together. Thankfully it is rare but still devastating and emotionally and physically draining and stressful. I know I'm not alone though and that for many of us, the easiest response to anger or anxiety or sadness can be to seek comfort in food.

I struggled with this in my early twenties and while it is rare now, the guilt and shame is even worse than the physical effects of pain and exhaustion. My trigger is highly processed "diet" foods and I need to remind myself these are designed to be "nothing" foods that don't satisfy or nourish the body. They are a marketing gimmick.

Here's my advice if you have had a binge episode - either if it's the first time ever or something that happens regularly.

Don't get angry at yourself. Be proactive. Analyse what triggered the binge - how did you feel? What happened today or recently that might explain how you feel? And then, what else can you do if you feel this way or these events happen again?

Sometimes it's as simple as breaking the circuit or routine that might lead to a binge. Maybe you force yourself to take a walk. Maybe you open a game of Tetris on your phone. Maybe you start to write or draw.

In the following 24 hours, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and assist your poor digestive system to handle rebalancing.

Do NOT make plans to diet or detox or restrict. This only leads to a feeling of deprivation and self-punishment and the likelihood of bingeing.

If you are worried this is something you don't feel in control of, speak to a professional. There are phone lines for The Butterfly Foundation and National Eating Disorders Collaboration.

Take fish oil supplements and B vitamins to assist in supporting the immune system and hormones. A binge episode puts the organs and bodily systems under a lot of stress.

Don't do any excessive or exhausting exercise. Allow the body to recover. Walking, swimming, slow yoga are all good options.

Remember that even elite athletes, celebrities and models have written or spoken about coping with binges. They are not uncommon and yet they can be devastating at the time. Don't encourage a cycle. Identify the triggers and change the situation and your responses.

Maybe you quit your job.
Maybe you leave a relationship.
Maybe you need to re-evaluate the restrictive diet that isn't working out so well!
Maybe you need to work on sleep habits or asking for help with too many obligations.

Whatever else you do though, know that you are lucky enough to be able to make new and different choices every day. And you'll be ok.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Yoga Emojis Made In Melbourne

That's right! When you can't say it in words and only a downward dog followed by a trikonasana and crow will fully express your intentions, the only answer is a full library of yoga emojis.
There's over 400 icons to choose from, handily sorted into categories with both English and Sanksrit names. You just copy and paste the icons into your texts and voila! Yog-emotions all laid out for friends and family to acknowledge and appreciate.
For teachers, the great benefit of Yogoji is being able to grab icons for each pose and create sequences with a tap-and-go approach. Rather than draw funny sketches or write lengthy lists, plan your class with easy icons. Genius!
Made by a yogi in Melbourne, the fabulous Heidi Ireland. After a back injury in 2011, Heidi discovered the restorative and uplifting life of yoga - starting with a hip hop yoga habit! She then completed her Yoga Teacher Training and made the segue from marketing and strategy towards yoga instruction and lifestyle.
Yogoji is the ideal result of a yogi teacher awareness with digital marketing and media appreciation. Fun and useful for teachers, and enormous fun for yoga students, the mildly curious and the casual "whenever I can find the time" yoga participant!
RELEASE DATE:  09 August 2016
PLATFORM:  iOS9+ iPhone 5 and above
PRICE:  AUD $2.99 /  USD $1.99 / GBP £1.49 

Get it here.


Friday, 29 July 2016

Makeup Must Have List for 2016 - bronzer for fair skin, bold lips, pastel nails


There's a zillion makeup brands and products out there - I should know! I find myself in seventh heaven any time I am near a Sephora or a Mecca Maxima. So many colours! The packaging! Oh, the sparkle!

But.
There's what is absolutely worth the spend and the space in your makeup cabinet, and there's the novelty factor. Herewith, the products absolutely worth your hard-earned dollars and my solid gold assurance that I use them, I love them and I totally recommend them.

Bold Liquid Lipstick that Lasts: Estee Lauder Pure Envy Liquid Lipsticks in Savage Garden and True Liar. Savage Garden is a deep, midnight purple that can be a subtle stain if you apply one coat, or a dark, violet gloss if you apply 3. True Liar is a fuschia-pink that applies dark and lasts and lasts and lasts. Much more daytime friendly if you’re not going for an A+ in Bold at the office!

Foundation That Does Double Duty: Bobbi Brown Skin Perfecting Fluid is the ultimate! Sure, it's not cheap, but consider Cost Per Wear. Every damned day if you want to convince people you are from an alien planet where everyone has glowing, flawless skin. I also love Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation - again, not a bargain basement product but you get what you pay for - A Grade Skin.

bobbi brown estee lauder evelyn iona
Concealer You'd Take To A Desert Island: Organic, perfecting Evelyn Iona concealer. God forbid I use up my current stash. I am obsessed. Whatever any makeup artist says, I apply BEFORE foundation. Then touch-ups later in the day as required. #GreenBeauty y'all.
Matte Bronzer for Fair Skin: Bobbi Brown Golden Light Bronzer. Because nobody likes to have a smear of orange or glitter across their face, combat style. Your bronzer is meant to give you a healthy glow, not look like you’ve been shoving your face into a bag of Twisties. Hard to find the perfect blush for fair skin, that does subtle but complexion-boosting, but I have. Bobbi.

Nude Lip Pencil: Bobbi Brown Art Stick is a lip defining pencil that works just as you'd use a lip liner, except that it glides and has a softness to it that means no dry lips, no sharp lines and no vanishing within an hour or at the first sign of lunch. I use the nude shades alone for definition or as a base for stronger colours. My favourite shade is Bare.


Overnight Serum That Makes You Glow: I can't pick just one here. I alternate between two and both are fantastic. I work out daily and wear makeup daily and these are the maintenance tricks required to rejuvenate and fully refresh my skin. It's like a 3 hour facial in an overnight serum! Both Mesoestetic Collagen 360 (Available at RY) and Alpha H Liquid Gold (via Sephora) are Must Haves.

Pastel Nails That Aren’t Sickly Sweet: OPI (available at RY) does 5-free nail colours that have a cult-like following for a reason. Beyond the snappy, laugh-out-loud names, their formula and colours are pure salon quality and the packaging is simple, chic and collectable. That’s my excuse for housing a zillion more than I need, though! What you must Add To Cart is the gelato hued gorgeousness of Gelato On My Mind (pale mint green), Mod About You (pastel pink), Your Such A Budapest (pale lilac purple).

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bring Sally Up Challenge

Core Integrity With Cat Bring Sally Up
I discovered this on YouTube, the place of many fitness discoveries!

What is the Bring Sally Up Challenge?

Press play. Get up, get down and keep it going for the Whole. Track.

Some are going to squat, some will do push ups, some will lunge (good lord...) and WE are going to plie in second for...the...
Whole.
Track.

Here is Suzanne Bowen doing it. I recommend practicing because we'll be doing this in Ballet Sculpt for the next week. See you there.

Is there a particular reason I need to post this? No. Just a whole lot of extremely attractive Euro guys doing push ups for the Bring Sally Up Challenge. Consider it motivation!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Beauty Body and Scents - the EOFY Special

That's right! End of Financial Year - when accountants finally dress up in glitter and sequins and do backflips while they calculate your tax return.

Ahem.

But really, after you've gone through the trauma that is doing your tax, the real joy is working out how to spend that amazing wonderful bonus money that is your tax return. I suggest you throw some of those magic notes at beauty and body products that are going to make you look, feel and smell AH-MAZE-ING. You don't even have to leave your keyboard. See, I'm just like an accountant! Efficient.

My big dilemma is that I've decided to invest in a cult beauty item - because that is how my tax return is best partially spent. In smart investments. I can't decide WHICH of the NARS' The Multiple shades is for me. I do love pearly, cosmic Copacabana, but then there's the CULT factor of Orgasm. Do you have one? Do you recommend it? Alternatively, lipstick in Dominique is purple based and we know how I feel about purple...

For decadent, luscious packaging and scents, MOR is a classic. My sister was obsessed with Marshmallow (as are many judging by the endless ways you can have it: perfume, lip balm, lotion, wash...). I'm all about the garden-fresh scents of Blood Orange, Basil and Sencha Verbena Hand & Body Wash. The Blood Orange Perfume Oil comes in a roller ball that is perfectly sized for your top drawer at work or your gym bag (for $19.95 it's got your accountant smiling too!). I've had to do a serious bathroom cleaning session to make it look nearly chic enough to house the Basil Grape Hand & Body Lotion. A blessing. Each is under $20! Beauty on a budget. You're welcome!
Speaking of smelling heavenly and fresh, I am quite lazy so being able to spray my moisturiser on is totally ideal. And really, any excuse to go for a shop on Nourished Life! I just stocked up on ACURE marula and argan body oil spray in Citrus Ginger scent. So zesty.
As your accountant will tell you, it is smart to invest in cost-per-use or major investments every now and again. Considering I use this mask every second day and it leaves my skin super smooth and looking NOT like I just did two barre classes, I feel it meets the criteria. DNA Restoring Mask may not alter your actual DNA but it will make you glow. 
Now here is my dilemma. I can only choose one item on sale at Fresh Fragrances. Do I go with NARS The Multiple in some shade OR do I go with lipstick in Dominique? There's glow versus purple. OH THE DILEMMAS!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Denise Payne Teaches Yoga at Kerobokan

I had the great fortune to meet Denise when I went on holiday to Ubud, Bali a few years ago. A weekly pass to The Yoga Barn ensured I was a regular Power Yoga participant and her teaching, her delivery, her appreciation and compassion and knowledge of yoga beyond physical asanas to the real essence of what it is to live yoga emanates from her in class and outside it.
As well as taking Yoga Teacher Training in Indonesia and internationally, Denise also teaches at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali as well as volunteering her time to inmates at the infamous Kerobokan Prison.

Yes, the same one that Australians Schapelle, Myuran and Andrew were imprisoned for drugs charges. Denise met both Myuran and Andrew, though it was Myuran who took to yoga with greater interest and effort.

Here's my interview with her and if nothing else, perhaps it will make you re-think how you pigeon hole people - any and all people. It might even make you consider how you could donate your time and skills in a way that uplifts people who need it. And don't we all?

Cat: When did you first begin teaching yoga at Kerobokan? 

I first started teaching at Kerobokan prison in 2011

How did you find out about the opportunity or did you approach them?

I was contacted by Myuran Sukamaran, who had gotten my information from a woman involved with the silver program, Joanna Witt.

We communicated for about 2 weeks about starting the program and going through the proper channels.

How did the authorities respond and has that changed over time?

I felt very fortunate, as Myu had initiated so many programs by the time I showed up, the class was very well received. The guards were always friendly and some of the participated in class at times.

It changed over the years for various reasons. There was a riot a few years ago that set the program back for a couple of months. Or a new head of security would need time to adjust and then the class would be on hold. Once Myu and Andrew were moved in February of last year, there was also some upheaval, but the classes continued, as well as after the execution. I’ve always done my best to keep the consistency of the program for the other inmates.

Many Australians are familiar with the prison because of Myuran and Andrew. Did you meet them and what can you tell me about them as you knew them?

Myu and I had a wonderful relationship. He loved the yoga and always participated in classes. During the last few months before being moved, however, it was very hectic at Kerobokan. He had a lot of family visiting and had numerous meetings with his lawyers. The classes were on hold for a while and I would do private sessions with him.

I was able to get to know Andrew a little bit over the years, too.

Who else have you met at the prison and has their responsiveness or commitment surprised you?

The people that participate in the yoga program are there every week and always amaze me with their smiles and hugs and dedication.

Do you introduce spiritual aspects of yoga or is it purely the physical asana practice?

It’s hard to have one without the other, really. I have a tendency to wrap it all up in one package anyway. There is so much mediation and spirituality opportunities in each asana, it makes it easy. :-)

How often do you teach there?

We have classes twice a week now, and I’m so lucky to have another teacher that has taken this to heart. I could use two more teachers with her dedication to giving back!

What are the conditions like for inmates and has this changed over time?

I’m going to pass on this one.

What have been the major learnings for you from working with the prisoners?

Going to the jail is quite often the highlight of my week. It’s kind of funny because most people might think that the prisoners are the ones that get something out if it, and they do, no doubt, but the truth is it’s me that gets a does of medicine when I see everyone's smiling faces, rocking up with their mats and ready to work. It can be quite depressing to say the least about being in jail, yet the hearts still shine. So, what I've learned mostly for the classes and the group is to let my heart shine in the worst of times.

What I learned from Myuran is how to surrender completely.

What do you think most people misunderstand about those in Kerobokan?

I don’t really know how to answer this question, Cat. I’ve never thought about it.

Do you conduct the class in Indonesian or English and what nationalities are your students?

I teach in English, and the yogis are from all over the world, including Indonesia. Most of the foreigners speak English, and the locals follow along. Our classes are very giggly.

Is there a favourite pose? Do you work on handstands?

Yes of course! Loads of handstands and other inversions. I’m lucky to have 90 minutes for class so we have plenty of time for everything, including a nice long savasana.

What do the Kerobokan students struggle with most?

I’d imagine the same things we all struggle with. Do we feel loved unconditionally? Do we feel like we are good enough? Do we feel like we do enough?

Further information on Denise and her YTT courses are on her website, Denise Payne Yoga

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Classic Brand, Modern Skincare and Beauty on a Budget

I grew up with a nan totally dedicated to makeup and grooming (weekly cut and "set" with rollers and enough hairspray to freeze the whole of Seaford). She had a drawer full of Estee Lauder and Revlon lipsticks in various shades of pink and coral.
My mum would insist she's not fussed about makeup but a dressing table loaded with 20 shades of beige lipstick and every possible eyeshadow palette combination known to human kind would attest otherwise! 
So a love for makeup was in the genes. Skincare is the natural partner to makeup though. While I began using concealer and foundation to disguise pimples and redness as a teenager, it was only in my early 20s that I realised makeup is much more joyful as a form of expression and to highlight and emphasise great skin, bright eyes, and an angular face. 

With the advice of a very strict dermatologist (who insisted on Roaccutane to cure my teenage acne and she was right), I became used to washing, moisturising and duly applying Vaseline to avoid my lips cracking clear off my face.
I also learnt that "non comedogenic" means no blackheads and pore-clogging. This is good. I chose cleansers and moisturisers with the simplest of ingredients - no fancy scents and waxes or minerals. So it is with glee that I embrace the most budget friendly of skincare. Super glam and expensive products are a luxury and sometimes, entirely worth the expenditure for the amount of science and surveys they conduct. But nothing says "I WORK" like longetivity. So, forthwith, two brands that have been around for a looooong time and have been introduced by grandmothers to mothers to daughters and so on, and will be for decades to come.

Best of all, you don't need to hunt them out online or call a salon in advance to check on stock. They are two aisles down from the vegetables and laundry powder. For the price of a few coffees, you can have a daily skin ritual sorted for weeks or months.
Nivea and Vaseline have both had a modern makeover as far as packaging and digital presence, but their formulas have remained reassuringly simple and dependable. 
I swear by Vaseline petroleum jelly as a lip protector. It has so many uses though! A tattoo artist recommended using it to protect colour and clarity of my work for the two weeks after having work done. It can be blended with blush, eyeshadow, lip pigments to turn matte shades into gloss or to blend colours. It's a makeup artist staple! If you're dyeing your hair, it makes an excellent scalp protector. It's a couple of dollars. Go on.
As for Nivea - the packaging has had a major overhaul and the product range has expanded over the past few decades. My mother and sister are fanatical about the Q10 range. I like it, but my personal preference is the Pure & Natural range and also the Daily Essentials. I like that they're titled exactly as what they are. From scrubs to foams, milks to serums to sprays, pick what your preference is. Considering that they're a fraction of the cost of most skincare these days, you can afford to experiment!

Nivea originated in 1882 in Germany - not many brands can claim such a long life and many are too quick to jump onto novelty at the expense of sticking to the basics and doing them well. That said, the packaging design, product innovations and partnerships with celebrities and ambassadors who are relevant and iconic means Nivea has hardly been quiet on the marketing and modernity front. It was a total pleasure to indulge in a major Nivea haul this week. Here's what's taken pride of place in my bathroom cabinet and handbag:

Pure & Natural Soothing Day Cream: Formulated for dry and sensitive skin, this is ideal for those who are prone to spots and yet don't have an oily complexion. It's gentle and has a really subtle, calming scent. Must be the chamomile! 95% natural ingredients. No parabens and minerals.
In Shower Rich Body Lotion: Lazy girls rejoice! No need to shower AND moisturise. This is truly efficient. After washing as usual, apply this almond oil enriched lotion, quickly rinse and towel dry. Designed for very dry skin. Excellent remedy for winter scaliness.
Invisible Anti-Perspirant: For those of us who don't wish to raise our arms and display powdery marks all over our chic black gym gear. Or work wear - apparently there are people who don't wear sports gear all day too.
Soothing Cleaning Mousse: Again, dry and sensitive skin is catered for with a gentle formula designed not to leave you with alligator skin and redness. Ideal for multiple daily uses and should be followed with moisturiser.

Lip balm in Soft Rose and Vitamin Shake: Double duty lip balm! Gives a gentle rosy tint that says, I've just been skipping through the snowy alps after a facial and the Vitamin Shake because it sounds like a delicious smoothie but you can carry it around in your pocket or handbag day and night. No more crackly kissers for us.


If you're in Australia and you want to be the first to try new products, enter giveaways and receive free samples, you can sign up to be a MyNivea member free.


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