Sunday, 29 March 2015

Healthy Hair, Head and Scalp

So - admission. For the past month or so I've had an itchy scalp and the dreaded D word: dandruff. I know I'm far from alone! In fact, it's pretty common for sporty or active types because sweating into your hair doesn't make for a healthy scalp and using dry shampoo instead of washing doesn't improve the situation.
I tackled the issue on 3 fronts:

  1. Diet and lifestyle
  2. Hair Products
  3. Styling Habits and Utensils


A healthy scalp means the skin and hair follicles are not clogged with product, there is adequate protein in your diet and the vitamins and minerals required to nourish healthy skin in general. Biotin, silica, vitamin B and D are all Healthy Scalp and Hair elements. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. The typical mediterranean diet, rich in fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and healthy fats rather than heavy on white carbohydrates and convenience foods is your best option, but also consider a supplement like Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails 

As for other lifestyle factors? Stress and lack of sleep will impact every aspect of your body, from increasing the likelihood of injuries to sallow skin, moodiness and...bad hair. Rather than get even MORE stressed about it, look at what you can change. Could you reduce some of the activities you feel obliged to do? Could you ask colleagues for assistance? Could you do a yoga class instead of working through your lunchbreak? Could you swap your 3pm jelly bean frenzy for a power walk to the nearest juice bar and get a berry smoothie instead? (Or make a batch at home and take it to work!)


I have just discovered a new range of Australian Made products.
I wanted no nasties (formaldehyde, sulphates,parabens, etc) and salon-quality results. What is especially exciting is it's AUSTRALIAN! So, go local! bhave uses raw natural bioactive keratin extracted from New Zealand sheep wool that is rich in amino acids and proteins to nourish the scalp and hair. Essentially, this binds to damage and rebuilds strength and elasticity.
Here's what you need to know:

  • Australian Owned
  • Not Tested On Animals
  • No Parabens, Sulphates, Sodium Chloride
  • Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Proven Results

I'm using the damage control rescue shampoo and conditioner as well as the scalp shampoo and since the FIRST WASH, no dandruff and no itching! It's specifically designed to control irritation and the non-toxic formulation is rich in naturally active ingredients to rebalance the scalp environment.
I'm also using the macadamia-oil enriched leave-in creme, fresh ends and riot control oil. It's called "riot control" for frizzy hair. What more could you ask for?

Find your nearest salon and read more on their Website.

Also check them out on


I was saying to my Carlton class just a few days ago, I used to idolise the sleek, straight, raven black bob of a newsreader on TV as a child. I was certain that I would grow up and no longer have wild, curly, coppery brown tresses but a sleek, chic bob with a fringe. A perfectly straight, no-nonsense fringe. That is still my dream. So, of course, I am a straightener addict.

When the dandruff and irritation really started impacting on my sleep, I looked hard at both the products I'm using and the fact I've got an ancient hairdryer that only blasts super-hot air and is well beyond it's use-by. So I found a kickass replacement that is SUPER AFFORDABLE! For under $30, I found the Remington Styling Pro 2150 that has:

  • Air Curler & Waver attachment
  • 2150 watt Hair Dryer
  • 6 switch combinations: 3 heat/2 speed
  • Cool Shot to set style when you're done!

You can buy it at Harvey Norman for $27 (AU).

As for my straightener, it's still good for action and I use the salon-approved ghd. My pick is the ghd IV Styler (free delivery if you order on the ghd site!)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Alexander McQueen and Dior & I Giveaway

Had he lived, Alexander McQueen would have celebrated his 46th year in the past fortnight. But the Brit fashion “wildchild” and master of both tailoring and fierce, warrior women garb suicided in February 2010. His fashion legacy has been continued authentically through the designs and vision of his assistant Sarah Burton, who took the reins soon after his death and has been embraced by his fans and  new league of followers.
Alexander “Lee” McQueen was not a provocateur of the “Now see THIS!” variety as witnessed with Jeremy Scott, bare-breasted models, safety pin dresses and rats on the runway. Rather, his clothes, his catwalks and his editorials were works of art. Referencing history – and imagined worlds and characters – he ruffled the feathers of editors and feminists especially with his Highland Rape (2004) and pants cut so deep in the hip they made “bumsters” a phenomenon.
A patron and great lover of the music, culture and arts world, McQueen designed David Bowie’s 1996 and 1997 tours, also dressing him for the album cover of 97s Earthling. His highly tailored and chic designs spoke of fierce strength and attitude – exemplified in wearers Bjork, Cate Blanchett, Penelope Kidman, Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
Amongst his most memorable catwalk events was the holographic Kate Moss – McQueen a great fan of technology and science; the glass box of moths that for an hour behaved as a mirror, reflecting the fashion crowd back to themselves (VOSS, 2001); the Spring 1999 Collection where robots sprayed the pure white dress of Shalom Harlow live on stage as she spun like a doll in a box; the gothic geishas with painted black mouths in 2009.
“There’s something . . . kind of Edgar Allan Poe, kind of deep and kind of melancholic about my collections,” McQueen once mused.
Indeed, from inscribing filthy words into the Savile Row coat of Prince Charles to the finest feathered details on his dresses, McQueen was a poet with a pen, fabric and a vast fashion house to create savage beauty.
Without a first class ticket to the Victoria & Albert Museum in Britain, I have settled in with the impeccably presented tome Alexander McQueen, edited by V&A Museum Senior Curator Claire Wilcox. The accompaniment to Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A, it includes over 400 images of both photographs and sketches previously unseen, along with 28 essays from expert fashion commentators, scholars and McQueen collaborators.
Alexander McQueen is available at Allen & Unwin
I have a fabulous fashion giveaway for you. The legacy of Alexander McQueen is deftly being carried on by Sarah Burton. At Dior, John Galliano's embarrassing exit meant the swift installation of Raf Simons as designer - and certainly, his assignment to prepare a womenswear show in a few weeks was a trial by fire. Would you want a roasting from Anna Wintour?
Thanks to Madman Entertainment I have four passes to giveaway to Melbourne readers of my blog. If you can pick up the tickets from me, please visit the Core Integrity With Cat Facebook site to enter.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Week of #Beauty

Yep, I shrunk everything I do into a blog-sized graphic and I'm letting you in on the habits of my beauty junkie ways! My justification and explanation of everything is below! Do you use any of these? What is a staple of your beauty routine? Come and tell me on Facebook!

Jing Qi Shen Diamond Showered Mischief Youth Protection Elixir: the Haute Couture of Scientific Skincare indeed! Made up of elite antioxidants, collagen and skin renewing actives including botanicals and Willowbark Extract, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and results in super fresh, luminous skin. Can't skimp on the quality of your skincare - your face is forever!

Shu uemura Calligraph:ink is the ultimate in chic eyeliner pen. As with all shu uemura, the packaging is amazing. You get a little cartridge of ink to insert and then, with a shake, the brush tip fills with ink and you're ready to go. The fine tip means you can be super subtle, or build to a full cat's eye. Or you could get arty and make all sorts of shapes and patterns!

Shu uemura pressed eyeshadow: This precious green shadow is like the little forest of calm in
my morning routine. Yes, I can meditate on an eyeshadow! shu uemura do classy, minimal packaging with the focus on high-quality, high pigment colour and formula.

Orly nail lacquers: I'm digging neon bright Melt Your Popsicle for my toes and the subtle, pastel pink Cake Pop for fingers. Classic, pale tones for my  hands work best.

OPI nail lacquers: The new Hawaii range, aloha! It is awesome. Like I said, pale pastels for my nails work best and I am loving "Do You Take Lei Away?"

Kiehl's Multi Corrective Eye Opening Serum is the bomb! I feel my skin tighten gently immediately and wake up with fresh open peepers, even if my sleep has been crap. Kiehl's have long rocked my skincare world and this is just another new addition that proves they are the elite in targeted and effective skincare. Do it.

Kiehl's Vetiver & Black Tea Fragrance is spicy, peppery and exotic. I love it for the earthy essence and fresh citrusy smell of vetiver. It is gorgeous UNgirly. Worthy of daily use!

Lancome Renergie Mult-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Cream. Feels silky smooth and velvety and I swear my skin is smoother. As you'd expect of a prestige brand, it's not cheap but it's worth every cent.

Dior Blush in Vibrant Coral picks up on my passion for orange! Plus, there's a bit of a marine-life,
underwater couture vibe going on in the fashion world at the moment. Rodarte put out a collection of shipwrecked princesses and exotic mermaids recently and I loved it. As with anything Dior, this is bold and dramatic but entirely beautiful and flattering. Tres belle.

Maybelline Kohl Liner in Coralista is bold, dramatic (notice a pattern here?) and so easy to use for either dramatic looks or super subtle fine lines to enhance your eye colour. I have green eyes with a smattering of hazely/blue so the intense orange of Coralista really enhances their brightness!

Maybelline Color Drama Lip in Minimalist is perfect for subtly exaggerating your lip line and flattering paler and olive skin tones in particular.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Fashionably Fit on a Super Budget @ MRP

I discovered MRP through Instagram and I am addicted now. It has a great activewear range and it is AMAZINGLY budget friendly. Ain't no $99 yoga pants here.

I've got racerback tanks, capris, leggings (gold pineapple print, anyone?) and socks/undies for the price of a couple of coffees. You must check this out if you're into your workoutwear but you don't want to mortgage the house to keep your wardrobe full!

The Drop It Like A Squat tank and similar singlets are $9.60, capri pants $12.40, print leggings $17.80 and cheeky shorts either $5.60 or $6.80.

I've done two orders now and both have arrived fast and fuss free - wrapped up and in perfect condition! Totally recommend you get shopping. You can see me rocking my MRP gear on my Instagram @cat13gram and follow MRP on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Back Strength 101

It is not uncommon for new participants of my class to say to me "I have some back issues", which is typically followed by, "but it's no big deal."

It is.

The old-fashioned and ineffective method of dealing with a sore lower back in particular was to say "rest up, Jane! Don't strain yourself." Let's crawl out of under that rock and embrace the healing powers of resistance training to actually STRENGTHEN and activate those back muscles so that they can support your weight whether static or moving.

Pilates is a great way to train for balance, alignment and body awareness. So is lifting weights. Here are my top moves. For technique, ask a trainer to show you! If this isn't an option, look up these moves on YouTube and seek credible guides to form. Women's Health magazine online is a great resource.

  1. Dead Lifts with either a bar or dumbbells
  2. Back Flyes with dumbbells
  3. Reverse plank 
  4. Superman lying
  5. Superman in kneeling position 
  6. Lateral Pulldowns
  7. Side Plank
  8. Goblet Squats

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Call of Summer : Australian Made Swimwear

Australian owned, designed and made, The Call of Summer is not your average mass-produced, all-things-to-all-people range of swimwear.

Their philosophy is that imperfection is to be embraced, not disguised. Authenticity in action , thought and fashion matters! And, as their website attests, “a pushup bra should not be worn to the beach. Ever.”

Call of Summer bikinis are designed for women with small cup-sizes, but most importantly women who EMBRACE their small boobs! A lot of bikinis, tanks and one-pieces on the market have extra padding built in. This is great if you intend to fall on your small boobs and want to bounce back up again, but your body is gorgeous, healthy and strong the way it is. There’s no need for padding at the beach.
I’ve just added the Lucy bra and Willow pants to my wardrobe. I’ll be wearing it to the pool, but also out and about when it gets steamy. The details on the Lucy top are gorgeous under a tank top!

I have a scar from the hip surgery in September that I’ve embraced. It is a reminder that my body is masterful at healing. It’s part of my body and my story.
The Call of Summer

 The Call of Summer

Having said that – you can be authentic and still prepare to be your BEST authentic self! When it comes to bikinis, I hit the self-tanner. Bondi Sands Foam in Dark does the trick overnight.

Do NOT accept dry heels and unpolished feet. You’ll see them on the beach and on the mat during your yoga and Ballet Sculpt classes and they will make you sad. I am freakin’ LOVING Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream. Smells like summer! 

If it rains, I highly recommend getting into your bikini and doing a crazy disco dance to Ministry of Sounds 80s Mix. Yes, Tainted Love and Garry Numan. Yes, "Don't You Want Me?" by Human League. There's 4 CDs of awesomeness. Get it at Ministry of Sound.

Monday, 16 March 2015


I'm a magazine junkie - fashion, design, fitness, lifestyle, music and art. You name it, I've probably read it and bookmarked half of it for later referral! So you think I'd be pretty good at flipping past the ads...but I couldn't ignore Kemp Muhl for Maybelline. She's a fashion and beauty inspiration for me - as a rock star/model/actress/beauty adventurist unafraid to wear the strangest colour combinations. Not averse to a feather headpiece and the odd fedora either. A woman who loves her wild makeup and headwear is my kind of icon! So, when I saw her rocking pink lips like nobody's business, I had to have what she's having. The Maybelline Color Drama lip crayons are total Pinkspiration. It's a bit like going back to kinder and having a treasure trove of crayolas and total freedom - I am loving all the crayon-style makeup at the moment. Because, really, the face and body are a canvas and makeup is a brilliant way to express your love of colour, contouring and mood.

If pink isn't your thing - yet - there's nudes, reds and corals to suit your fancy. I am getting my kicks with the velvet matte finish Love My Pink and Berry Much.
Get them at Priceline

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Gut Health and How It Affects Your Body & Mind

I recently read an article by Holistic Women’s Psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan MD, on the mind-gut connection. Kelly was emphasising the link between taking pharmaceutical medication, like antibiotics and antidepressants, and a lack of variety of whole, nutritious foods in the diet, and how this directly affects the digestive system and also the production of “happy hormone” serotonin.
Kelly’s preference to the typical prescription is to recommend a wholefoods diet, supplements as necessary, breathwork, exercise and basically, a holistic approach to handling stress, infection, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
Kelly recommended probiotics to rebalance gut flora, ensuring the ideal environment for digestion to take place and hormones to function optimally. This means no bloating, fatigue and nausea. A stable appetite, energy and sense of wellbeing.
So, feeling inspired to improve my own digestive health (I eat lots of whole foods – veggies, fruit galore) but I’m guilty of going for convenience over organic and super-fresh most of the time. I buy canned fish (in my defence, WILD CAUGHT!) and canned tomato plus frozen vegetables. Again, in my defence, I eat plenty of fresh veggies too but frozen have been proven to retain a high level of nutrients in the snap-freezing process. ANYWAY!
I have started probiotic supplements – yes, you can get a fix with high-quality, natural yoghurt but I’m not a big dairy eater so a handy, measured dose is perfect.

I'm taking Naturopathica GastroHealth Capsules (available at Chemist Warehouse), but I also like Bioglan Probiotics.
I am not doing a juice cleanse. There’s no way food is not existing, in solid form, in my life for any amount of time as long as I have a choice. BUT I am definitely adding the healing, delicious juices I discovered in Kara M L Rosen’s Plenish.

Plenish – Juices to boost, cleanse & heal is the book form resulting from Kara’s Juice Delivery business in the UK. The one-time media professional was flying New York to LA, subsisting on coffee and processed foods, and regularly getting prescribed antibiotics and medications to deal with her fatigue, stress and depression. It took the poster of Albert Einstein and his eternal words of wisdom to finally force Kara to act as her own GP: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In the introduction to Plenish, Kara says “I wish I could have told my younger self then that 95 per cent of the happy hormone serotonin is produced in your gut, so looking after your second the first step to promoting your mental wellbeing.”
Plenish has a treasure trove of juice recipes designed for particular ailments but also for general wellbeing, skin, liver and mood boosters. Below is the Kale Mary juice to detoxify, heal and cleanse. A great substitute for a Bloody Mary!

This is a great virgin version of a Bloody Mary. Detoxifying and alkalizing greens aid in eliminating toxins, while fresh horseradish has a high level of glucosinolates, which help to detoxify the liver, as does apple cider vinegar. Kale Mary!
1 cup kale
2 salad tomatoes
3 celery sticks
1 cucumber
1 slice fresh horseradish root (unpeeled), about 1cm thick (adjust according to how much kick you want)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Dash of tamari
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

#Flawless Skin: Retexture, Resurface, Rebuild

I am guilty of loving the feeling of scrubbing my skin clean with a handful of exfoliator. It feels like I'm really scraping off any "dirt" and renewing my skin.
Lancome Ambassador Elettra Rossellini

In FACT, scrubbing the skin with harsh microbeads (as most exfoliators are packed with) is both:

  1. terrible for my skin
  2. terrible for the environment

If you are prone to blemishes, skin discolouration, redness and also if your skin is exposed to sunlight and smog daily, then you're actually just damaging and weakening it by treating it with harsh scrubs.

As for the environment? Those microbeads wash into the ocean or the ground and because they're built to last - often from miniscule plastics - they remain solid. This has been shown to damage habitats and also choke or poison smaller wildlife.

But, back to your skin.

The skin naturally exfoliates itself through a process called "desquamation" where dead skin cells come to the surface of the skin, where they are shed and replaced by new skin cells. This process slows with age, and the dead skin cells cling to the surface of the skin, which can give the effect of dull, rougher texture. Harsh exfoliants are NOT the answer.

Rather, use high-quality, targeted treatments that will remove dead skin cells and increase cell turnover and renewal. You also want to use products that build collagen and infuse your skin with vitamins and cell nourishing minerals and hydration.

I have a longstanding love affair with Kiehl's. Their dermatologically tested and produced skincare is high-quality, smells divine and is packaged like old-style apocathery products. Try their Over-night Biological Peel. I also totally recommend blitzing any wrinkles and fatigued eye area with Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream with the ingredient du jour, copper. Also contains caffeine - tightens, nourishes and protects.Kiehl's Australia

If your skin is your prime investment, and it should be considering you're stuck with it for life and loving it is vital, then I also highly recommend getting your paws on Lancome Renergie Multi-Lift Night Creme. At just over $150, it's not cheap, but you'll notice clearer, fresher, firmer skin after the first night and it lasts for AGES.

If you're wondering who Elettra Rossellini is (pictured above), she's the model daughter of actress and Lancome model, Isabella Rosellini. Both have flawless skin. Just sayin'.
Lancome Australia

Also luxe, if not as hugely well known, is Thalgo. Their range specifically for men is Thalgomen and has a targeted eye treatment to address puffiness and dark circles. Get it for your man so that he keeps his mitts off your products! Thalgomen Anti-Fatigue Serum For Eyes.
Thalgo Australia

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...