Friday, 31 July 2015

Makeup Inspiration from the 2015 Runways

I used to love the runway shots of John Galliano for Dior. Alexander McQueen also sent some ethereal and alien looks storming down the catwalk too. Makeup artists like Val Garland and Pat McGrath created futuristic creatures that lived on imaginary underwater islands, or punk-cyber-goth bombshells with huge hair and glued on diamantes and lashes.
Now, short of the nightclubs, these looks aren't going to wash in everyday life, but be inspired to dare something different.

The beauty of makeup is you can transform - take on a role that is more confident, more daring, more adventurous than you feel. 

Then you can wipe it off and change again.
Here's my pick of the 2015 looks you can adopt and adapt.

Nanette Lepore did iridescent purple lips, spidery lashes and metallic gold nails. Try doing ONE of these things at a time. As a purple lover, my preference is daring the lilac lip. Go on! Maybelline Color Elixir in Vision in Violet. Try a gold shimmer from NYX (Roll On Shimmer in Almond).
The Givenchy runway shots were ubiquitous. Sure, it's extreme.

The Victorian Chola Gang looked tribal and dark and confronting, but editors swarmed to the images and the clothes were not lost beneath the styling. While in Barcelona, I noted gleefully that all the beautiful young things were tattooed and pierced. The once rare septum piercing was no longer confined to hippies or punks. And the
super small rings that merely glinted under lights were super chic. If you're not ready for the real thing, I recommend a faux septum piercing. I got mine
from Junylie on Etsy.

As ever, Chloe and Michael Kors runways gave us a youthful nude palette that emphasised flawless skin, blushed cheekbones and beige toned eyes and lips. Go for the super luxe foundation (Urban Decay Naked Skin) and then pick budget friendly NYX for the entire nude palette.

Depending on whether you're gothic pale or Naomi Campbell, your nude colours will fall within a spectrum of flattering shades. Go for peachy (NYX Lipstick in Snow Cap) through rose beige (Pops Explosif) and make a subtle statement with the NYX Love In Rio eyeshadow kit of three shimmery beige/brown options. Skip the eyeliner and emphasise the lashline with Over The Taupe eyeshadow. Blush is mandatory - hit the apple of your cheeks and trace up to the outer corners of your eyes. With a subtle brushstroke - we're not going for a warpaint look.

Need a bit of oomph to your lips? Put a subtle dot of Angel Food Cake Butter Gloss in the cupid's bow and in the centre of your lower lip to finish. The light-reflecting gloss will make your lips appear fuller and smoother.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen

Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or just love a great vegetable-based dish to break up the meat-and-3-veg approach of usual...I totally recommend Amy Chaplin's At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen (Jacqui Small Books). The photography is amazing - you will want to make everything. Well, ok, you'll want someone to make it as long as you can eat it.
From sweet corn frittata (mouth-wateringly good) to salads that will not leave you feeling deprived or undernourished in the slightest. Plus, there's a guide to what to stock your pantry with to be prepared for adventuring into wholefood recipes full of flavour and nutrients. This isn't a fad diet. While some of the recipes are going to tick the paleo or gluten free boxes, they are not designed to appease any particular dietary needs.
The beauty of embracing wholefoods is to choose good quality, seasonal produce (whatever fruit/veg/legumes/fish/poultry and meat) are available fresh and local rather than pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods. The less that happens to your food between coming from the ground, the plant or the creature and to your plate makes it more "Whole".
If this means you can't eat avocadoes and bananas every one of the 365 days of the year because they're just not growing 365 days of the year close to you, you'll adapt and find new foods to embrace and prepare! Take the challenge.
Here's one of my favourites. Looks fabulous. Tastes incredible.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
plus more for brushing cakes and tray
520 g (1 lb 3 oz/3. cups) cooked chickpeas (see page 68),
or 2 425-g (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 red onions, finely diced
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 red beetroot (340 g/12 oz), grated on largest hole of a box grater
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
30 g (1 oz/. cup) chopped dill
Freshly ground black pepper
Tzatziki to serve (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5. Line a baking tray with
baking parchment, lightly brush with olive oil and set aside.
Place chickpeas in a bowl and crush with a potato masher; set
aside. (Dont mash the chickpeas completely. The mixture should be
somewhat chunky.)
Warm olive oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onions
and saute for 5 minutes or until browning. Add garlic and salt and
cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in grated beetroot and continue
cooking for another 6 to 8 minutes or until beetroot are cooked. Add
balsamic vinegar and remove from heat. Add to mashed chickpeas along
with chopped dill and mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt
and pepper.
Divide mixture into 12 and shape into 12 cakes. Place on prepared
tray and brush top and sides of each cake with olive oil. Bake for
15 minutes, rotate tray and continue baking for another 15 minutes or
until brown on the bottom. Remove from oven; allow to cool for
5 minutes before serving.
To serve, slide a thin spatula under each cake and flip onto plate so
bottom side is up. Top with tzatziki or serve it on the side.

Tzatziki is a fantastic Greek yogurt dip or side dish
made with cucumbers, dill, garlic and olive oil. The first
time I ate it was on a trip to Greece with my best
friend, Guinevere, many years ago. The tzatziki we
had was served with cooked beetroot and beetroot greens,
and the simple and extremely tasty combination has
stuck with me ever since. Dont save it just for these cakes;
tzatziki is delicious served with roasted vegetables,
simple grains and crunchy summer salads.
MAKES 480 ML (16 FL OZ/2 CUPS)
1 large (225-g/8-oz) Middle Eastern cucumber (or
a regular cucumber, peeled and deseeded)
360 ml (12 fl oz/1. cups) whole-milk Greek
yogurt or Labneh (page 215)
10 g (. oz/. cup) chopped dill
2 garlic cloves, crushed
. teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
plus more for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
Grate cucumber on the largest hole of a box
grater, place in a sieve and squeeze out juice with
your hands. Drink or discard juice and add
cucumber to a medium bowl along with yogurt,
dill, garlic, salt, olive oil and a pinch of black
pepper. Stir to combine, season to taste and serve
drizzled with olive oil. Store any leftovers in an
airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Recipe and image from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen (Jacqui Small Books) $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

I Am A Real Woman & So Is Every Woman Even In Yoga Pants

I fully endorse the feelings expressed here by the wonderful yoga teacher, Kathryn Budig. I wear tight, fitted clothing for teaching and working out and I yet I feel like I need to wear a big logo warning people not to give me their opinions on my body.
I'm not wrapping myself up like chopped meat that you can scan and decide if you'll buy me. I am human in yoga pants. So keep your opinions to yourself. That goes for all men and women in tight pants. We're human, too.
Also - if you love barre but you're sick of all the airbrushed models on Instagram that are apparently the "summer bodies" or "barre bodies" you're going to achieve if you pay to do classes, don't subscribe. I have had to let a few go. Barre is amazing for your body - both how it looks and feels. And it's fun. Be selective with the images and messages you subscribe to.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Superfoods for Super Skin

Every morning I make my green smoothie with green superfoods powder. Now I have a new routine also - detox for my face with a grainy cleanser full of vitamins and green goodness! I am loving Australian brand Sukin Super Greens facial scrub. Full of the goodness of kale, spirulina, chlorella and parsley and trust me, it smells gorgeously sweet and not horribly "healthfoody" at all.
Just to be sure I am absolutely super, I followo up with super green detoxifying Facial Recovery Serum - again full of goodness.
Did I mention Australian owned and made? Go team.
sukin is available at Priceline

A new label is the reason this brand caught my eye - while 7th Heaven is a new name, this is actually the renewal and rebirth of a long lived skincare brand. It is bigger, better and bolder than ever so I had to stock up on a few "weekly indulgence" facial masks. Particular formulas for particular concerns. Manuka honey is great for hydration, healing and moisturising. Berries are great for reinvigorating the skin and senses and there's also strawberry, apricot and tropical flavours. Totally recommend you spend the spare change on it - very budget friendly!
7th Heaven is available at Target and Woolworths

Monday, 13 July 2015

Kombucha + Charity = KombuchAID

KombuchAID makes fermented, bottled tea that is not only tasty, but also great for your guts AND your conscience. Kombucha is all the rage in health circles at the moment for its digestive system boosting probiotic effect. Like kimchi, it is the product of fermentation and timely bottling that creates this elixir of good bacteria.
A fellow yoga lover and entrepreneur, Geneva founded KombuchAID as a way to support refugees on the Thailand-Burma border. 10% of proceeds from the tea and workshops go towards this project.
In her own words, Geneva Pritchard explains.

How and when I founded KombuchAID
My husband and I moved to Melbourne two years ago from New Zealand with our life belongings consisting of two bicycles and two boxes.  He was recruited to a really great position here, and began working immediately upon arrival.  I sought out to create a like-minded community by finding the closest yoga studio (Power Living South Melbourne)and signing up for the 40-day yoga challenge.  During that time I began brewing my own kombucha as a way to kick-start my health and wellness lifestyle in my new setting.  Each Monday at the 40-day challenge meditation meet up I brought my booch, and my fellow yogis started asking about it, wanting to try it, then wanting to buy it.  Over the course of a couple months I quadrupled production and went from bottling in used Grolsch beer bottles to formalising a proper business and launching KombuchAID.  It was a beautifully organic process of business building. 
My background is deeply routed in development and humanitarian work.  I have a masters degree in public health, and have spent the majority of the last ten years working with health and education projects among refugee populations on the Thailand-Burma border, spending two and a half years living amidst very remote communities.  When I started KombuchAID, I knew there had to be a giving component woven into the fabric of the business.  It was my aim to create a product that made people feel good physically, produced from a business model that made consumers feel good about purchasing.  Thus KombuchAID was born, a fermented probiotic tea with the ability to promote optimal health, using a business model that makes all decisions based on core ethics and integrity.   Going back to my roots and passion, we donate 10% of proceeds to refugee populations on the Thailand-Burma border.  
Where is it available?
We are available at about 20 stores and yoga studios throughout Melbourne.  A couple of my favourite places to buy KombuchAID are at Smith and Deli in Fitzroy, at CERES Market in East Brunswick or CERES Fair Food boxes, and of course at my home studio where it all began, Power Living South Melbourne.  For a complete list of retailers check out our website

What is kombucha?Kombucha is a fermented tea with a rich anecdotal history that claims it detoxifies the body and energizes the mind. Ancient Chinese tradition has revered kombucha as the “immortal elixir” due to its role in aiding digestion, joint health and detoxification.  
Kombucha is packed full of vitamins, enzymes and acids including: B1 Thiamine, B2 Riboflavin, B3 Niacin, B6 Pyridoxine, B9 Folic Acid, B12 Cobalmin, Bromelain, Papain, Glucuronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Chondroitin sulfate, Tannic Acid, Usnic Acid

Upcoming Workshops
An exciting element of KombuchAID are the home-brew workshops.  I absolutely love teaching these workshops.  It is a great space to educate people on the benefits of probiotics and how adding something like kombucha to an already healthy diet can create efficiencies in the body leading to optimal health.  Two stats I love to work with are that 80% of your immune system is in your digestive system, and 90% of serotonin is produced in your digestive system.  Wow!  Kombucha promotes a strong, well-balanced gut that leads to so many health benefits, both physical and mental.  The workshop includes a home-brew kit that enables each student to leave and get a brew going right away.

We have two upcoming workshops:at Bikram Yoga Yarraville, and at the Henley Club.  To stay up to date with available workshops, keep an eye on the Events page

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Ode to the Maverick Fashion Twins Viktor & Rolf

I love quirky, edgy, strange and surreal. I love intelligent, rule-breaking, ferocious spirits that burn bright. So, it will come as no surprise that I love Viktor & Rolf.
I know you weren't expecting to read about haute couture here (yes, no leggings!) but I couldn't resist when I saw the pictures of Viktor & Rolf's ridiculous, amazing, funny and clever haute couture show in Paris.
Staged in a gallery, models appeared to be wearing the paintings - complete with wooden frames and paint-spattered canvas clothing. Rather than lurking backstage, designers Viktor & Rolf awaited the models on the catwalk to remove the canvas pieces and hang them on the wall! Thus, creating their own gallery. Check it out on their Instagram.
I'm thinking I might frame my yoga leggings and make some sort of psychedelic rock-poster-yoga-style gallery in my living room. It's art.
I can't afford to buy haute couture - so it may be the closest I come to Viktor & Rolf style fashion madness. I have loved them since they brought a model out with a pillow attached to her head and her hair spread out as if she'd just awoken Sleeping Beauty like from a trance. I got obsessed with
Flowerbomb. Remember the perfume bottle that looked like a glass grenade full of pink?
A photo posted by Viktor&Rolf (@viktor_and_rolf) on
It's the ten year anniversary so use this opportunity to go discover it if you haven't already. It's very sweet, very sparkly and yet it's in a GLASS GRENADE. It will look a treat displayed in my framed yoga legging gallery...
Flowerbomb @ Myer
Viktor & Rolf Website

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Match your Yoga Pants with your Nails

It's as simple as the title suggests. I'm not going to tell you anything hugely deep and insightful. The world is a big, difficult and troubling place. But it's also full of tiny little joys and for me, nail polish and a kickass pair of yoga pants will make me ecstatic.

Find the little joys.

I do feel guilty over waving pom poms around when I find rainbow zebra print leggings (ahem, Dharma Bums!) and polka dot print with ROSES (thanks, Om Shanti!)... but really, if I am able to be so easily thrilled by something SO simple then I know I am blessed to be alive and to be me.

Maybe you find your joy in taking yourself for a coffee and people watching, or reading TV Week, or getting a pedicure, or watching that Disney movie for the 500th time... whatever it is, stop feeling guilty. Life is too short. And if there's haters? Well, haters gonna hate. This is how we roll!
Find your inspiration on Instagram - and then just try getting off it...
Om Shanti Clothing
Fifth Element
Dharma Bums

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Grapely Good in Dry July

Good news now that we are fully immersed in Dry July: you don't need red wine to get a good dose of powerful, grape-derived antioxidant Resveratrol. So all that bleating from wine merchants about how red wine is full of antioxidants and hey, have some dark chocolate with it too - please.

So what is this magical compound?

Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and also in peanuts and berries. It's a plant compound considered to be extremely high in antioxidants, which protect against environmental damage to the skin and body.
Some research has shown it to be highly effective for weight loss in obesity - but these are animal studies and are not definitive. It has also proven promising in protecting against heart disease and other age-related conditions including Alzheimer's and macular degeneration (eye disease).

The bottom line here is, regardless of whether it is going to prolong your life and ensure you are disease free - it IS a powerful antioxidant that nourishes from the inside out. It can only improve your heart function, skin clarity and collagen strength and early studies suggest it defends against tissue degradation - a key factor in arthritic pain.

Try Bioglan Resveratox

Try Swisse Grapeseed Ultiboost Grape Seed 12,000mg 60 tablets

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Facts Opinions and a Candy Crying Imaginary Friend

I went to see Disney's Inside Out yesterday and it is a psychologist's dream movie! For adults, there's so much richness in the simple characters who represent emotions from sadness to fear, disgust and joy.
The concept of memory, long term and core memories, the ability to be sad and joyful and to build "islands" from the things we really care about (family island, friendship island, hockey island, etc) made my VCE Psychology textbooks come to life in technicolour.

I loved it.
Of all the moments where I thought, "yes! remember THAT next time you're feeling sad or hopeless!" there was the most brief of moments where Joy and Sadness are on the Train of Thought and Joy accidentally knocks over some boxes. This intermingles Facts with Opinions.
"Oh, facts and opinions. Who can tell them apart?"

I work in the fitness and media industries where opinions are as present as oxygen. I'm definitely not immune to the power of opinion presented as fact but as I get older and wiser, MOST of the time I'm able to distinguish and remind myself that opinions are highly emotional, borne of individual experience and ingrained ideas and values.

That doesn't mean they don't have a lot of value - it is just a reminder that we need to know they're not Fact. I am reminding myself of this as I go to do photos for a pictorial workout guide! In the space of two days, I was given two very different opinions on my body and while I was angry and upset that people feel they can comment on my body as if I'm up for auction in the stockyard, I also reminded myself that we all have opinions and preferences and ideas of beauty and fitness and wellbeing that differ. Whether you believe I'm too thin, too fat, just perfect or any grey area between, your opinion is totally valid to YOU. I don't need to know!
But if it is shared, and you'll get it too, remember that for every opinion there will be an opposite one and there's zillions of people with even more zillions of opinions out there. Our own values and what we know and can prove matters most of all.

Ultimately, Joy wants to run the show and we can let her. Even if Disgust, Fear and Sadness take us for a spin sometimes!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Hair Makeover - Ombre, Colour Investment Advice and Photos!

 I love a hair makeover – new colour, new cut – to signal the end or the start of something. I just finished up a work contract and I’m approaching more teaching, which I love. Rather than a new Porsche or a trip to Ibiza, I invested in my hair instead.
From dark brown with a bit of copper through the ends, I went ombre – or lighter at the ends with balayage technique. Because red is like a clingy boyfriend you just CAN’T GET RID OF, it took two appointments to tone up the light ends and get rid of the redness. Because hair appointments aren’t cheap and there’s so many options, I want to drill down to some haircare basics that will see your colour last and hopefully you can also see a big improvement in strength and softness.
   Olaplex: I had this treatment in-salon and also have the at-home conditioning treatment. It is a new system designed to protect colour, strengthen strands that have been highly processed, and create softness and shine. I definitely notice my hair feels softer and easier to style after I’ve used it. It’s early days still!

2.  Protein, silica and vitamins: Your hair is made up
of keratin protein. Just like your skin, muscle and nails it requires protein and essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to build and maintain lustre and strength. I eat lots of lean protein in the form of meat and fish, as well as taking a supergreens supplement every day for multivitamins and I also take a daily silica supplement. I definitely notice my nails get longer when I’m taking silica. By the way, the Q Silica spot gel is freaking amazing. If I need a spot gone overnight, it’s my new go-to.

3. Colour and damaged hair specific products: Depending on the shade of your hair, you may need a blue or red-based toner to maintain the colour.  I use the L’Oreal Vitamino range of shampoo, conditioner and also a new CC cream. Yes, CC cream for the hair! It is Color Corrector which means it ensures the integrity of your colour – no brassiness creeps in. Especially necessary if you are a swimming pool user...chlorine is NOT your friend. The range is available in salons, online or at Hairhouse Warehouse 

4. Non-damaging styling products: Remember the scrunchie? I learned how to sew them and use to pump out neon coloured scrunchies while watching Beverly Hills 90210. The following are absolutely mandatory for being gentle on fragile, post-colour hair.
  • Brushology Detangling Comb
  • Black Mini Scrunchies
  • Bobby Pins in Travel Case

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...