Thursday, 27 February 2014

If not pink, how about blue?

Illamasqua Apocalips
Lime Crime No She Didn't
I don't always agree with Rihanna - though I'm all for holidaying in Barbados at the drop of a hat! I got super excited about her blue lipstick outing though and as you know, I'm not one to back away from a bold statement or a challenge.
I went to the expert for guidance on wearing blue lips. Frances is a key makeup artist for Illamasqua.

Illamasqua Disciple
If your after a day time look I say it is really up to the person wearing it! There is no right or wrong way, teaming it up with a blush and eye makeup is personal preference either way Apocolips and Gender will always be one of the boldest colours of the makeup. I love to wear Apocalips myself and I feel the best way I enjoy to wear it is with very bronzed glowing skin and soft eyes. 

The beautiful Jess Anne from Taken By Surprise gives the following tips:
At night time, you can get away with a little more makeup, so pair your blue lipstick with some amber or orange toned eye shadow. These two shades complement each other gorgeously, and don't overpower each other. Try a warm gold eyeshadow applied with your finger tips in a wash over your eyelids and a deeper copper shade blended into your crease. Finish off with black mascara and defined brows.

There is every shade out there from palest blue to darkest navy. My recommendations are Illamasqua Apocalips, Discipline and Gender and Lime Crime does a stunning pale blue (GREAT for pale skin!) called No She Didn't.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Powerfully Pink

Isn't it funny that as a kid, I shunned pink and picked red as a statement colour and yet now, I love every shade from fairyfloss to fuschia? Perhaps it takes confidence to recognise that pink is actually a really strong colour and since it draws attention, you have to own it!
With that said, I'm taking the next step from pink leggings to pink hair. Not all of it! There is bleach involved, after all. Wish me luck. I go with Fudge paint box in Pink Moon in my arsenal.

If pink hair isn't your thing, you'll still be excited by Illamasqua's new homage to the glamour and beauty of pink with the Glamore Collection. Though I'm get to lay my hands on it, I have my eye on that killer shade of pink, Luster. Glissade looks amazing too - a deeper, less candy colour. You can find Illamasqua at Myer.

Illamasqua Luster and Glissade

Monday, 24 February 2014

Do I Need a Program or Can I Go It Alone?

This will depend on a couple of things.

  • What are your goals?
  • Will you be training in a gym, at home, outdoors or elsewhere?
  • Have you been able to get the results you want in the past?
  • Are you injured and do you know how to avoid agitating or worsening it?

If you can confidently say you've met your goals before and you know your training ground and how to make the most of it, then I'd suggest you pick up some fitness magazines or browse good fitness sites for ideas and motivation rather than depending on a trainer.

If you end up spending more time looking around your training ground thinking, "What now?" than you do actually working out, get a program from a trainer you have seen in action. You want to know they prescribe workouts that you'd WANT to do!
The more experience you get and the more you understand WHY you're doing particular exercises and for how long, the more prepared you'll be to design your own workouts in the future.

If you want to go it alone, here's my guide to making your own program:

  • What are your weaker areas? (ie. many people have a weaker back from sitting and hunching forward)
  • What are your time and budget? (this will define how much time your program takes to complete and where you'll exercise)
Prioritise your weaker areas first - and usually, you'll want to work with the bigger muscles down to the smaller ones to make sure you have the most energy to devote to the larger muscles.

Back Exercises - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 
Chest Exercises - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 
Glutes Exercises - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 
Leg Exercises - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 
Shoulders - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 
Abdominals - Number of repetitions - Number of sets 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Dance + Pilates + Yoga

Tracey Mallett is a big influence on my class choreography. I love her barre and pilates workouts - whether 10 minute YouTube options or full DVDs.
She's challenging but just when you are thinking she must be crazy, this isn't POSSIBLE, she introduces a new move and you carry on!
Here is a ten minute option from PopSugar, which offers great fitness content. All you need is a chair that you can hold at hip-height for balance. Choose an even, non-slip surface to work on.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Gwen Stefani - Abs Ahoy!

First of all, aspiring to anyone elses' body is destined to disappoint, but being INSPIRED is a different animal! Gwen Stefani trains like an athlete - let's not pretend those ab muscles just happened.
If you want strong, defined abs muscles there are a couple of factors. You need to train the abs from different angles and you need to vary your training so that they don't just go "oh, this again? Whatever."

That's right, your muscles have an attitude problem and given the option, they'll just laze about. Give them something new to chew on!

Also, having strong abs is one thing, but if you want to see some definition, that layer over the top is not going to budge just because you're crunching and planking like crazy. You need to focus on healthy fats from fish, nuts, avocado or coconut oil for omega 3s as
well as lean proteins. Cut the fried foods and beware of stress and lack of sleep. Both cause a rise in cortisol production, enhancing the belly fat storage. Also, if you're serious, cut the alcohol. If you can't make my Ballet Sculpt classes, take on the 2-Week Plank Challenge at home! Hold as long as you can, then collapse and start again.
If you're less inclined to cut the booze entirely and plank daily, then join me in getting super excited about the fact Gwen Stefani has joined forced with OPI to release rockstar nail shades. My favourite three are Hey Baby, I Sing In Color, and Over & Over A-Gwen. FOR STOCKISTS CALL 1800 812 663

Hitting Your Thirties: What To Update

When I turned 31 last year, my sister happily congratulated me on now being "the wrong side of thirty".
Since my 20s weren't all that great, I'm actually thinking this is the RIGHT side, BUT there are
some adjustments that need to take place to nutrition, fitness and skincare once you're beyond the invincible 20s.

  1. Maintain or START a resistance training program (ideally with weights to protect and build lean muscle 
  2. Ensure you are meeting your iron, calcium and vitamin D levels to stave off fatigue, mood fluctuations and disease
  3. Learn how to prepare some basic healthy meals and keep these as your staples - invest in a cooking class or cook book! Nina Stabey (right) is a naturopath and clinical nutritionist who runs clinics and workshops Australia-wide. Find out her locations and availability at The Healing Ingredient (health rebates available)


First of all, get those sun spots and freckles checked out by a doctor or dermatologist - better safe than sorry. Especially if you are 100 shades of pale, like me.

I might be out of my 20s, but I'd like my skin to stay as youthful as possible.
I don't spend up on skincare, instead relying on a prescription retinoic acid cream to act as an exfoliant and collagen booster. My doctor prescribes ReTrieve cream, which I apply around the eyes and on any blemishes. It has the bonus effect of being an acne treatment so blast wrinkles and spots overnight! It's $50 a pop and lasts for 6 - 8 months.

If puffy peepers are more your concern, my favourite organic skincare brand, live clean, makes Fresh Face De-Puffing Roller Eye Treatment. Packed full of lavender, cucumber, vhamomile, milk thistle, mallow, aloe and buckthorn, its my morning eye massage. Hypoallergenic, vegan and totally clear of mineral oil and petroleum. It's the bomb at approx $32.

Once you've done the groundwork - get to know what colours and makeup effects suit you. This will save on the number of products you have lying around the bathroom and bedroom, AND the amount you spend on products! That said, my nan had about 50 shades of coral lipstick and I used to be thrilled to open her makeup drawer and ogle them all.
Your staples should include a lip liner in a shade darker than your lips, an SPF-enhanced foundation or BB cream, concealer, and eyeliner.

If you're me, a whole lot of glitter and lipstick in every shade under the sun will round things off, but you're not me so you're probably much tamer with your choices!

I cannot rave enough about Rimmel ScandalEyes Thick/Thin liner. It makes it super easy to draw a long-lasting, smudge-proof line. You can carry it around in your handbag forever without needing to sharpen it.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Glute Medius: How to Target and Stretch

We've been doing some intensive matwork recently in Ballet Sculpt, focusing on the glute medius which is positioned to the outside, upper part of the glutes (the butt, backside, you get the idea...)
We also rely on the gluteus medius when balancing on one leg - not stretching and allowing it to feel "tight", can lead to back pain and pain when walking.
It is less robust than the big muscle at the back and fatigues easier. It isn't the easiest muscle to target and stretch easily, so take the time to hold these stretches for 40 - 60 seconds.
Do these stretches when you're warm - after a workout or a walk, when your muscles are pliable and you're not risking strain. If you feel any pain, stop! Discomfort is different - grit your teeth!

There are two trigger points for the glute medius - pressing them and massaging into these areas can relieve tension and pain in the back and glutes. Try holding for 10 seconds, releasing and repeating as necessary!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Adding to bag!

In the interests of sharing the best products to boost your skin and hair health and keep the bought-it-never-use-its to a minimum, here is what you need to add. Absolutely loving Jojoba Company antioxidant spray - who can't love a product that requires virtually no time and effort to revitalise your skin whenever and wherever you want? Fantastic to keep it in the fridge on these hot days in Melbourne and spritz every few hours!

I wear the Manicare Gel Toes to relieve my post-sneaker toes in the morning before a workout and afterwards. Totally recommend.

A Kerastase Cristalliste Masque (for long hair!)
B Jojoba Company Antioxidant Mist (with Kakadu Plum and Green Tea)
C Lady Jayne Pony-Cuff - and Max May's How-To Guide - see below video!
D Illamasqua Discipline and Apocalips lipstick (How To Guide coming next week)
E Manicare Gel Toes (spreads out the toes - wear them for an hour or two daily)

Friday, 7 February 2014

KX Pilates Fitzroy: Barre Class

Shannon (front) and Natalie
Great people, great studio, great location. I convinced Natalie to come with me to KX Pilates Fitzroy studio to do the morning Barre Sculpt class at 10am. The studio is an upstairs location on Brunswick Street with, thankfully, plenty of parking options on a weekday mid-morning.
We booked via an easy online system that ensures the class doesn't exceed the maximum number of participants. With around 8 of us, plus mats and the barre, this feels like the ideal number. It also meant our instructor, Shannon, could keep an eye on our technique and make suggestions or corrections discreetly.
Shannon (Instructor)
The other participants were experienced in both barre and pilates so Shannon gave us challenging moves, advanced options, and little rest. Perfect - heart rate soared, muscles grimaced in the most satisfying way!

If I had to find a gripe - which I don't, but bear with me - it would only be that I indicated my vulnerable hip condition and there were several moves I couldn't comfortably (or safely) do that I wasn't offered an alternative for. This is my fault though, as I assured Shannon at the start that I would modify as I needed to PLUS Shannon knows that I instruct Ballet Sculpt and instructing instructors isn't a fun prospect for anyone.

While Natalie loved the plies in fifth position (Leg-achingly good!), my
favourite move was the tricep push-ups followed by a modified "Scorpion" move from yoga.

Tools for Sculpting
I am going to return for the Pilates Reformer class - the studio and the facilities look amazing, plus the instructors I met today were really down-to-earth, friendly, funny and encouraging.

If Fitzroy isn't your local 'hood, there are KX studios in Malvern, Ascot Vale, Richmond, Camberwell and Port Melbourne. Head to the KX Pilates website for locations, bookings and more class details. You can also join in the conversation on their Facebook page.

KX Pilates Fitzroy
Level 1, 360 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9419 4129

Monday, 3 February 2014

All White On The Night: Andy Howitt from Ausdance Victoria

Andy Howitt
Andy Howitt is the Scottish-born Director and CEO of Ausdance Victoria. He took time out of his busy day to talk to me about the role of Ausdance in Victoria and his own history with dance. Oh, and that exciting all-night dance event that will be a major feature of White Night Melbourne on 22nd February.

Andy is coming up to his 30th year in the dance world, having performed and worked all over the globe. After many years of dance, he realised his body would better thank him for moving into a management and direction capacity - a hard decision, but one that is inevitable for dancers and performers in any physically taxing profession.

Andy joined Ausdance in March 2013, so this will be his first White Night Melbourne. He gave me the insider info on the 12 dance styles to feature at I Could Have Danced All Night:
7pm: Disco
8pm: Zorba The Greek 
9pm: Polynesian dance
10pm: Salsa
11pm: West African Dance
12pm: Anna's Go-Go Academy
1am: Bollywood dance
2am: Hip Hop
3am: Beyonce's Single Ladies dance
4am: Body Electric
5am: Dancehall
6am: Vogueing

Professional dance companies and individuals include Demi Sorono (SYTYCD), Sid Mathur, Todd Patrick, Adam Wheeler and the Salsa Foundation.

Andy's advice for dancers young and young at heart is to focus on preparation - eat well, stretch, train for cardio fitness and endurance, and pay attention to your body when you're sitting, lying and moving. Basically, take care of your body - it's the only one you'll get.

Denise Payne: Fearlessness And Mercy

In the 1970s, as a teenager, Denise Payne was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by her teacher Sat Jiwan Singh. It became more than “a life...