How to get a beach body without going to the gym or taking a holiday…

It’s been a gloomy old week in Melbourne. Weather-wise I mean. Grey and wet all the way, which leaves one feeling like you’re stuck in the middle of an endless English winter.

A bleak week in Melbourne

A bleak week in Melbourne

Work-wise it’s been a different story. I’ve had a fantastic week. I’m settling in at smoothfm and starting to feel a little less like the new kid on the block.

Tropical paradise

Tropical paradise

But with my new working hours and this dismal weather, I’ve started to hanker for a bit of sunshine. You know that feeling, when you start to fantasize about a holiday in a tropical island paradise?

Just looking at this picture makes you feel warmer, doesn’t it? You can feel the sun on your skin, the sand between your toes and the smell of sea-salt in the air.

 

I'd like to look like this please...

I’d like to look like this please…

I’m also missing my regular gym work-outs and feeling a bit on the pale, bloated side. I did actually manage to summon up enough energy to make it to one gym class earlier in the week because the name appealed. It was a ‘Beach Body workout’. What could be better, I thought? A workout, plus I’ll start to feel all lithe and summery – fabulous!

 

 

No such luck. There was a lot of sweaty, hard grunt-work but in the end, I realized it would take about a hundred such classes to transform the white flabby shape in the mirror. However, the ‘beach body’ concept stayed on my mind and I started to think up ways to make this happen without all the hard work…

No one wants to look like an Oompaloompa

No one wants to look like an Oompaloompa

And then it came to me in a flash. Of course! All I needed was a bit of fake tan and I’d instantly feel slimmer and more summery! I’m not talking about some horrible orange smudged on goo – more like a light frosting of summer – an elegant, subtle tan that leaves you glowing instead of marching around town like an Oompaloompa.

And so, for your benefit (and mine!) I’ve given a few products a test run to help steer you in the right direction.

My fave product for a gradual glow

My fave product for a gradual glow

 

1. DOVE Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion.

This is the best of all the gradual tanning lotions I’ve tried. It’s easy to apply, dries relatively quickly and doesn’t streak Use the ‘Normal to dark skin’ colour for the best results.

Price: 400ml – $11.57 (larger bottle pictured)

Rating: 8/10

 

 

Duwop body foundation

Duwop body foundation

2. Duwop Body Foundation.

You used to be able to buy this from specialty cosmetic store Mecca, although most recently I purchased this online through Amazon. This is a great product for when you get ready for a special night out and realise your legs look like white sausages. An instant remedy, but also washes off so no lasting benefits. Use a sponge to apply and it’s not too difficult to achieve an even finish.

Price: $24 – 120ml

Rating: 7/10

 

Pure Tan instant bronzer

Pure Tan instant bronzer

3. Pure Tan Instant Bronzer

Like the Duwop Body Foundation, this is an instant fix for white skin. It also comes with a handy applicator mitt, however, it’s a little more streaky to apply. It still works, but takes a little more time than the Duwop. The other difference is that this is a more translucent liquid, leaving a more natural finish, whereas the Duwop can look a bit like heavy, pasty foundation if you apply too much.

Price: $23.95

Rating: 6.5/10

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze gel

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze gel

4. L’Oreal Sublime Bronzer gel

This is a favourite of mine for a deeper, lasting tan. It should be applied the day before a special event and it helps if you have a friend or partner who can cover the back region. It leaves a glowing, natural colour that lasts for about a week and is the closest result to a natural tan that I’ve found.

Cost: $16.76 150ml

Rating: 9/10

 

So there you have it. How to get a beach body without going to the gym or taking a vacation. It’s the quickest, cheapest way to get a holiday-pick-me-up and beat those summer-withdrawal blues. I bet you’re feeling better already!

 

Searching for Skin Care’s Holy Grail by Carolyn Palliardi

Fourteen years ago while breastfeeding my son I witnessed what I thought was a miracle. Well, yes, my son was a miracle but that is another story for another time.

In the early days when he couldn’t control his arms, he’d often scratch himself on his face –   his tiny, perfect nails leaving teeny, weeny scratches. By the next breast-feed this barely obvious wound would be completely gone, like it had never happened!

Emmanuel

Emmanuel

If I hadn’t been so absorbed in his every waking moment, I may have blinked and missed it. I remember thinking to myself, ‘If you could bottle what was in breast milk you would have the holly grail of face creams.’

Today, I’m still as passionate about discovering all things new and wonderful, as I was when I was the long-standing beauty editor of Victoria’s biggest selling newspaper and its’ colour magazine.

So while researching for my new grooming products business, I’d often be distracted by a link or site, which would lead me to the most amazing places. Six months ago a new product was being promoted through some American doctor’s vitamin newsletter. I clicked, followed the link and couldn’t believe my eyes.

theCream

theCream

 

I swear I have finally stumbled upon the Holly Grail of skin creams. A cream made with colostrum simply called theCream.

For those of you that don’t know, Colostrum is the first secretion from the mammary glands after giving birth, known as foremilk and it is very rich in antibodies. The literature and studies on it’s miraculous benefits are endless and worth a read when you get the chance. The list of ailments it’s said to cure is even too long for this short blog.

 

 

Now the company that makes theCream gets its colostrum from New Zealand cows. In fact, the creator Denie Hiestand was once a successful New Zealand dairy farmer.

It is said that bovine colostrum is the universal donor and New Zealand grass-fed bovine colostrum is recognized as even more powerful than human colostrum.

I always knew I could perform miracles...

I always knew I could perform miracles…

One of the great things they say on the company literature is that they don’t have to kill or hurt any cows to obtain it. It is produced every year voluntarily after calving by happy New Zealand cows. It the ultimate renewable health resource.

I love this quote on their advertising as it resonates with my beliefs. ‘We use “quantum physics” and energy field concepts to create the most bio-active, natural beauty cream. We don’t use water as a base. Everything is built around Colostrum as the main active ingredient.” In fact 75 percent of the cream is pure colostrum and the rest is natural. See the list of ingredients below:

  • Coconut/Palm
  • MSM
  • Tocotrienol Vitamin E is a long chain molecular complex from Rice Bran oil.
  • Organic Aloe Vera
  • Sea Meadow Foam Oil
  • Apricot Oil
  • Emu Oil
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Silica
  • Organic Bentonite Clay
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Blueberry Seed Oil
  • Orange Peel and Vanilla Oils
 theCream for men

theCream for men

 

And the good news is that theCream is not only for women. There’s a men’s version too which has a slightly different formula due to the thickness of male skin.

There are some wonderful claims on the website (no I haven’t tested them all just yet!) but I highly recommend you check them out – especially as this cream might also improve everything from your sex life to the gums in your mouth.

I’ve been using this cream for six months and I’m a convert. I love the way it feels, makes my skin look and improves my energy. I occasionally alternate it with the snail cream I bought a month ago because I couldn’t help myself as the idea of snail slime in skin cream got those journalistic desires flowing again. But that story is for my next post.

 

 

If you’d like to know more about this product, which you can buy online for $59.95 US, visit this website:

(Carolyn will be back with another guest blog in a couple of weeks. Thanks Carolyn!!)

 

 

My next scientific self-improvement experiment – post muffin-top

You all loved the blogs about my muffin-top experiment so much that I’ve decided I really should get off my butt and try another beauty treatment – just to keep you entertained. I mean, heck, it’s not like I CARE what I look like, or anything??? All in the name of duty, right?

It just seems that’s there’s so MUCH stuff out there about how to improve our faces and bodies – how do we actually sift the good from the shonky and know what actually works?

Jocelyn Wildenstein

Jocelyn Wildenstein

 

Don’t go thinking I’m going to turn into some kind of Jocelyn Wildenstein, though. I do understand the meaning of restraint. And just in case I went all silly, I KNOW Fletch would pull me into line. He even hates lipstick. To the point that he WIPED HIS MOUTH after kissing me at the alter during our wedding. The shame…

Luckily the kind folk at the Liberty Belle Clinic in Toorak, where I underwent the Cool Sculpting process, are happy to help out, so I went along to check out the different procedures available.

 

Pelleve brochure

Pelleve brochure

Looking through all their brochures, I learned there’s a helluva lot of different and NEW treatments available to improve ourselves that I’ve never heard of. I could easily hang around this clinic for years. After focusing so much on my tummy last year, I thought it was time my face got a bit of attention. When I saw this brochure with the line ‘A Fresher Face WiTHOUT Surgery’ – I snatched it up faster than you could say ‘Botox’. Because, yes, I have had Botox and I love it, but something new and different is always appealing. This treatment is called Pelleve.

 

 

I’m at that age where anything promoting WRINKLE REDUCTION warrants immediate attention, especially now those nasty lines around the neck region are becoming more prominent. Unfortunately, if I’m to blog about this, it means more humiliating photos of myself to show you what really happens….

Side profile - NO MAKE-UP!!!

Side profile – NO MAKE-UP!!!

 

So I have to show you a really ICKY close-up photo of my face without makeup, so you can get the gist. Ewww. These pics are taken by the lovely staff at Liberty Belle in the same photo room each time so the lighting is consistent too – very legit!! This snap was taken before my first treatment.

 

 

Before and after photos

Before and after photos

 

But getting back to how Pelleve works… In the brochure, it explains how a metal probe is used over the skin – using gradual radio frequency that becomes quite hot at times – to stimulate the re-growth of collagen. The effect is not immediate and you really need about three treatments over a course of several months. But I’m assured it WILL work.

 

 

 

To give you a much better understanding of the science behind all this, I’m going to interview Dr Chris Moss (you met him last time, chatting about the Cool Sculpting fat freezing treatment) who will explain it properly. He’s a very busy man, but I’m going to nail him down in the next few weeks for the nitty gritty and get back to you. Then I’ll have some Pelleve sessions and, over time, we’ll see how my wrinkles go. (Away, I hope.)

(For further enquiries, contact the Liberty Belle Skin Centre on 9826 9988 Address: 504 – 506 Toorak Road, Toorak)

 

 

 

 

Best blow-wave at home – Vidal Sassoon

Sometimes ‘going out’ can be a struggle. When you’re busy juggling work and kids stuff, the concept of actually putting on make-up and doing your own hair for a social occasion seems a bigger challenge than climbing Mt Kosciuszko.

Hats and pigtails - a good solution for a quick hair-do

Hats and pigtails – easy solution for a bad hair day

 

That’s why I’m also a huge fan of hats. They’re a quick fix for a bad hair day, although sometimes this look doesn’t necessarily work in the evenings…. But generally speaking, a hat is a favourite accessory on holidays when you just couldn’t be bothered lathering up.

 

 

 

 

But what if you’re going to a ‘special’ function or wedding and you know you have to up the ante? You’re probably going to have to have your hair coifed, teased and sprayed to within an inch of its life at the hairdresser’s. But what if you’re time poor – and who isn’t these days? Who has time for making an appointment and planning ahead, let alone getting there?

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for shortcuts. Tips on how to do your own hair and make it look half decent so you can avoid that hairdresser palaver. Which means I’ve bought lots of junk over the years, looking for a magical solution. And yes, I do occasionally use the GHD straighteners, even though they fry the bejeezus out of your hair and my colourist warns they should be avoided at all costs unless faced with an emergency.

So my latest tip comes from a good friend, Judy, who kindly insisted I borrow her new contraption before buying one of my own. It’s called the Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler and it looks like this.

Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler

Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler

 

I was skeptical, but agreed to give it a go. I already had another version lying unused in my bathroom cupboard so didn’t hold much hope. It took a few attempts, but –  VOILA – it works!! I was impressed enough to run out and buy one the next day, and now I use it almost every time we ‘go out’.

If you want to get one yourself (and I’d highly recommend it) then I do have a few tips for getting the best results.

1. Generally speaking, the Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler retails at $99.95. Unless you can find one on sale, I’d recommend buying one from National Pharmacies. If you sign up for their Customer Rewards card, you instantly get a 20% discount!

2. Wash you hair, towel dry and leave it for between half an hour to an hour, before styling. And use a blow dryer to dry off your hair a bit first. If you start using the Big Hair Styler from scratch with dripping wet hair, it will take hours.

Create a top knot with a butterfly clip

Create a top knot with a butterfly clip

 

3. I’m not a professional hair dresser, so don’t really know how to ‘section off’, so I usually just grab about half my hair from the top of my head and secure it with a butterfly clip to start with. This means I can work on styling the underneath layer first. Yep, it’s a messy look…

 

4. I use a comb brush to section off a piece of hair that will fit around the brush and then pull firmly to get the best results.

Use the roller button to pull the hair tightly to the scalp

Use the roller button to pull the hair tightly to the scalp

5. I push the roller button to draw the hair in tightly to the scalp and then hold it there for about twenty seconds each time, which seems to work well for creating volume. Because the machine does the pulling for you, it also takes a bit of muscle work out of the job, which saves the aching arms you often get from performing a regular blow wave.

 

 

The finished result

The finished result

 

6. After the underneath section is done, I release the top half and repeat the same process, working around the head. It takes about two or three goes to get it down pat, so keep trying. In the end, it might not be as good as a result as I’d get at a hairdresser, but considering the time and money saved, I think it’s pretty good.

 

 

 

And sorry, I should have tidied up the bathroom a bit before having photos taken, but hey, remember what I was saying about being busy? Which is why I love the Vidal Big Hair Styler – it really is a fab time saver. Thank you Judy!

Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler

Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler

Of course, the Vidal Sassoon website has an actual video which shows you more clearly how to style your hair, but given those commercial productions are so fancy and sometimes hard to believe, I wanted to show you my own happy snaps so you could see a normal person can actually come up with a half decent result at home in their own bathroom.

But if you DO want to check out their video, it’s at http://www.vssassoon.com.au/BigHair/StylerVideo.aspx

Good luck!

 

How to get the Longest Eyelashes

 

My new I-Pad

My new I-Pad

I was going to post this yesterday, as my Christmas gift to you, but then realised most of you would miss it, due to the fact that you’d be too busy celebrating. Far better to post it today when most of us are lazing around watching the Boxing Day cricket or reading in the sun. Or playing games on your I-phone or I-pad, and a big thank you to Fletch for my fancy new I-Pad for Christmas! This means I’ll be able to Blog more effectively with such a nifty, portable device.

 

Now back to the bit about me giving something to you – and this really is more of a girly thing – although that’s not to say men don’t want long eyelashes too, because let’s face it, the longer the lashes, the better the frame for any eyes – male or female. This is my secret tip on how to make your lashes grow longer, and if you look at the before and after photos of my lashes, you’ll see proof it really does work.

There is a small problem in that I have no medical authority to pass on this information, so please check with your doctor before taking up this advice.

I first learnt about Careprost when I was working as an MC at a charity function last year and was seated next to the keynote speaker – a young doctor who was speaking about the prevention of stroke. Not only was she smart and very attractive, I couldn’t help but stare at her eyelashes. Long, thick and dark – I could only assume she’d had extensions. Over lunch we struck up a conversation and, trying to be tactful, I asked what mascara she used. She told me the secret wasn’t her mascara, but a treatment she used nightly.

She’d been given the tip from another female doctor who, while researching glaucoma treatments, discovered a wonderful side effect of the eye-drops they were testing, was that all their patients had developed amazingly long lashes.

The product is called Careprost and can be ordered from an Indian on-line pharmacy called All Day Chemist. (www.alldaychemist.com) It costs only $11.00 and I’d recommend when first ordering, to spend the extra ONE DOLLAR buying the application brush as well. As the product is so cheap and postage isn’t, I’d also recommend buying there or four bottles at a time. The bottles are also quite small so it’s worth buying a couple at least.

3 Careprost

Careprost

Check out these before and after photos of my eyelashes as proof of the improvement.

Tom and me, more than 10 years ago

Tom and me, more than 10 years ago

This photo was taken when Tom was just a toddler and he’s now fifteen. So you would expect more than ten years ago, my lashes would have been a little bit fuller and longer than they are today.

Close-up of my lashes

Close-up of my lashes

 

 

 

 

Without make-up and mascara today

Without make-up and mascara today

 

Now here’s a shot of my lashes today – even without mascara.

 

 

With mascara today

With mascara today

 

 

With mascara, it almost looks like I’ve glued on falsies – but I haven’t.

 

 

Use Careprost nightly

Use Careprost nightly

 

It’s just a case of dipping the brush into the tiny bottle each night, and wiping the fluid along the lash line.

 

 

Applying Careprost

Applying Careprost

 

Some say you shouldn’t brush the liquid UNDER the eye, as it may cause irritation, but I do the bottom lashes as well and haven’t experienced any problems.

Overall, it will probably take a couple of months to see a difference, but it’s worth it.

 

 

I tried having eyelash extensions once and found it not only expensive, but the tendrils drop off pretty quickly – not to mention the sheer horror of having to lie still for more than an hour to have them applied. THAT drove me crazy.

There’s one more thing. I do believe the mascara I use is one of the best on the market and also contributes to the appearance of longer lashes.

mascara

Kevyn Aucoin mascara

Kevyn Aucoin mascara. It’s produced under the Kevyn Aucoin make-up line – Kevyn being a formally famous Hollywood make-up artist, renowned for his brilliance. It’s a bit more pricey here than overseas, but it’s practically impossible to buy it on-line, as Mecca have the sole rights to importing it into Australia. Which means you can only buy it at Mecca and it’s about $35.

Oh yes, and I’m also rather fond of the Kevyn Aucoin marketing strategy which spins a good philosophy.

Kevyn Aucoin advertisement

Kevyn Aucoin advertisement

So there you have it guys – my Christmas gift to you – the secret to longer lashes! Long may yours grow.

 

What you SHOULD do instead of getting a SPRAY TAN for the Party Season

It has to be said. There are far too many spray-tans-gone-wrong being flaunted at Christmas parties right now. I’m not dissing spray tans as such, but when they crossover into the fluro-orange Ompa Loompah shade, it’s not a good look. Sure, it’s better than signing up for skin-cancer inducing solarium sessions or frying yourself in oil under the sun, but I’d still rather look at other solutions.

ARGHHHHHH….

ARGHHHHHH….

One of my favourite options right now is to build up a natural looking tan by using a moisturiser that also doubles as a gradual tanning lotion. As far as I’m concerned, the best one on the market is Dove Summer Glow. It doesn’t streak, nor does it leave an overpowering, acrid ‘fake tan’ smell hovering around. But I do buy the one labelled ‘medium to dark skin’ because I found ‘fair to medium’ just didn’t cut it.

Dove Summer Glow

Dove Summer Glow

 

It’s also a reasonably priced product. I try to buy the larger size with a pump dispenser as it’s more cost-effective and easier to use, but it seems harder to come by these days with supermarkets constantly cutting back on many of their product ranges.

But whatever shape it comes in, the end result is a more natural looking glow (‘scuse the pun) than a spray tan, which is more in keeping with fashion trends right now. Take a look at any fashion mag and you’ll find the overly-bronzed bathing beauties of yesteryear have swum off into the sunset.

 

 

But an even better tip for great looking tanned legs is to buy a good quality pair of stockings. That way you get a smooth tone, no streaks and if you’re in-between leg waxes – a decent camouflage as well. I KNOW this is a good tip worth sharing with you because it’s the fashion question I get asked the most, when people (mostly girls) discover my legs are not my own! Write this down – you won’t regret it!

VOODOO PANTYHOSE          Colour – JABOU

Getting the colour right is essential. So I’ll say it again. Remember – JABOU!!!! This is the closest looking colour to a natural tan you’ll find anywhere.

The Voodoo Pantyhose range at Myer

The Voodoo Pantyhose range at Myer

Voodoo Hosiery usually take up a decent amount of the shop floor at most major department stores across Australia. But there are so many different varieties, it can get confusing. Here’s what I’ve discovered after trialling many of them. And they’re not cheap, so hopefully this will prevent you from making the same mistakes I’ve made.

Shine Sheer to Waist VERSUS Shine Firm Control

Shine Sheer to Waist VERSUS Shine Firm Control

 

The Shine Sheer to Waist version in the red packet retails for $13.95. So you might think this is a better option than the Shine Firm Control in the yellow packaging – being one dollar cheaper…

 

But think again. I find the red version ladders more easily as the texture of the pantyhose is finer, right up to the waist. The yellow version is thicker around the tummy so it doesn’t ladder as readily and also pulls in any unsightly bulges which is also a huge bonus! It’s also cheaper to buy in bulk, so pick the 3-pack. You can never have enough stockings in reserve at home. (I also keep one in the glove-box of my car for emergencies!)

Sheer Toe Pantyhose work well with open-toe sandals

Sheer Toe Pantyhose work well with open-toe sandals

 

For those of you wanting to wear open-toe sandals, this is still possible. There are two varieties of Voodoo stockings to pick from.

 

 

One is the Sheer Toe Pantyhose, which I prefer as only the pickiest of fashionistas will be able to notice, but for those who consider stockings and open-toe sandals a downright fashion crime, there’s also the open-toe stocking variety – Glow Toeless. This has an opening at the end of the stockings, with one stitch in place to hold the fabric around your big toe. It can work, but generally I find these a little uncomfortable, plus the line where the stocking ends has to fit exactly with the line of your sandal. And the Glow Toeless variety comes under a different colour scheme (God knows why… ) so they don’t come in the cherished Jabou colour. Golden Glow would be the next best shade, but it’s still not as good as Jabou.

And for those of you who love a bargain and on-line shopping, yes, I have checked out the price comparisons. There are many on-line options, however Stockingsonline.com.au seems to have the broadest range. BUT, while their Voodoo hosiery is slightly cheaper, I couldn’t find ONE PAIR that came in the Jabou colour. Sorry… Guess you’re going to have to make that trip to your local Myer or David Jones after all! But DO let me know if you find a cheaper way of tracking down the one and only Jabou. Especially in the Shine Firm Control yellow pack. Thanks.

 

 

Muffin Top Update – Week Two

 

Just so you know, these muffin-top updates about the medical procedure I underwent – called Cool Sculpting – will be kept brief as I explained the process in detail in the Blog titled ‘How to Lose Your Muffin Top’ which was posted last Wednesday. So if you do want more information, just go back to that story.

Well, here’s how I’ve fared in the past week. I can report the skin on the tummy region became even itchier – at times a little uncomfortable. Fabrics that were quite tight on the skin were irritating and as for my skinny jeans… well, I know I’m a bit chubby right now, but half the time I wore long tops last week so no one could tell I had the top button undone…

And it wasn’t the best week for me in terms of food and alcohol consumption. As with any treatment or diet, the medical advice is to also eat sensibly and exercise. But before the Spring Racing Carnival, there’s a plethora of events serving lovely champagne and canapes and well, hell, what’s a girl to do? Wear a maxi dress is the best solution…

Opening of the Mumm Champagne bar at Crown with Fletch

Opening of the Mumm Champagne bar at Crown with Fletch

 

And then there was Derby Day on Saturday – again more bubbly and canapés. Not that I’m complaining – I’m extremely grateful to be invited to these events and I very much like to show my gratitude by enjoying the hospitality on offer. After spending about twenty years trackside either reporting or reading the news on course and hosting Fashions on the Field, it’s fabulous to finally go as a guest and have fun.

Not much exercise was done on the weekend but I did manage to squeeze in a spin class yesterday morning!! Go me.

Because of Cup Day, I went to Dr Chris Moss’ consulting rooms yesterday for a staff member to take my weekly tummy shot, because obviously, they’ll be closed today. Some clients have said they can see a difference in their bulges after two weeks – but having come a day early, I tell myself not to expect too much of an advance.

Let’s compare pics from Day One to just under Two weeks:

Tummy shot - front view: Day One, 23.10.'12

Tummy shot – front view: Day One, 23.10.’12

Tummy shot - front view, 5.11.'12

Tummy shot – front view, 5.11.’12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow. I’m pleasantly surprised. There does seem to be an improvement! The indentation at the waist line does seem marginally better. Let’s check the side view…

Tummy shot - side view, 23.10.'12

Tummy shot – side view, 23.10.’12

Tummy shot - side view, 5.11.'12

Tummy shot – side view, 5.11.’12

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, this is much better than I was expecting. It even looks like the ‘back fat’ crease has lessened and I wasn’t treated in that region. Maybe champagne is good for losing weight!!! No, of course it’s not. It’s early days, but already I’d say it looks like the Cool Sculpting is working. But don’t get your hopes up for a big improvement next week. I’ve got a friends BBQ for Cup day today, an Oaks Day Ladies lunch at Crown tomorrow, Oaks Day at Flemington on Thursday AND I ate meatballs stuffed with mozarella on pasta for dinner last night. Damn good recipe that one – I should share it with you.

Stay tuned till next week’s Muffin Top update – and remember, the best results are predicted at six to twelve weeks.

(For further enquiries, contact the Liberty Belle Skin Centre on 9826 9988 Address: 504 – 506 Toorak Road, Toorak)

NICOLE KIDMAN, THE FACE OF SWISSE – SET TO GO GLOBAL

I can’t believe the Melbourne newspapers didn’t make more of a fuss. Australia’s leading lady of Hollywood has, for the FIRST TIME EVER, signed on to represent an Aussie brand and it only made page 21 of the Herald Sun?? Yet  it’s front page news in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. It seems a change in management ranks means we’ll be getting a much more serious and less tabloid Herald Sun in the future – which is fine, but why ignore a major entertainment story that also ties in with a brilliant and audacious business strategy by Australian company, Swisse?

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

And it is BIG news for Swisse because going global and competing with the big multi-nationals is no small feat. And if you’re going to take on the world markets, why not do it properly and sign on the nation’s queen of style? Swisse couldn’t have produced a lovelier photo of Nicole too – the perfect picture of grace and good health.

Kidman will be ambassador for the brand when Swisse rolls out its international campaign, starting with the United States in January. Then they’ll march on into the U.K., Europe and Asia. The TV ads and photos for the campaign will all be shot in Australia.

If you want to argue about who IS Australia’s leading lady of Hollywood, just look at the statistics. Nicole has been nominated for 8 Golden Globe awards, winning three, and is Australia’s only Best Female Oscar winner. But it’s not only her artistic achievements that make her a good fit for the brand. Her lifestyle and values give her exponential value as the total package. Being involved in international issues means she has also been honoured as a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007 and is a global ambassador for UN Women that promotes gender equality and empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

Kidman chose Swisse because she likes the idea of being part of a small Australian family-built company (about to get a whole lot bigger!)  that is commited to good health and well-being. ‘I joined Swisse because I wanted to help bring awareness to the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in a busy, often stressful world,’ she said.

Only last week, Swisse was announced as BRW’s winner of the most successful Australian private business of the year. (with a turnover of $100 million plus)

Part of their marketing success relies on rolling ad campaigns using famous faces. They sponsor top TV shows and are also a major presence at Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.

On Thursday night, they kicked off their racing season with a launch party at South Yarra’s newest and coolest restaurant, Mama Baba. Swisse CEO Radek Sali spoke about how they’re expanding the brand to release a skin care and body range, and will soon be unveiling protein bars and sports supplements.

Swisse CEO Radek Sali

Swisse CEO Radek Sali

And Sali is thrilled about their new partnership with Kidman. ‘Nicole Kidman is a much loved Australian overseas and we know that Swisse will be Australia’s most loved health and wellness brand overseas in coming months and years,’ he said.

Swisse have also become famous for their amazing parties and the Mama Baba event was a stand-out. Finger food from Masterchef George Colombaris’ kitchen was superb and French champagne, Laurent-Perrier, flowed freely. The guest list read like the who’s who of Melbourne, and you can understand why. If you get invited to a Swisse party, you’re guaranteed quality food AND company. Here’s some of the people Fletch and I ran into on the night:

Model David Witco and Olympic basketballer Liz Cambage

Model David Witco and Olympic basketballer Liz Cambage

Michelle Ronan, Glen Moriarty and Paige McKenzie

Michelle Ronan, Glen Moriarty and Paige McKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Fletcher and Jessica McNamee

Alan Fletcher and Jessica McNamee

 

 

 

 

Kate Arnott, Brad Green, Catherine Chisolm and Simon Bones

Kate Arnott, Brad Green, Catherine Chisolm and Simon Bones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elliot Garnaut and Lauren Phillips

Elliot Garnaut and Lauren Phillips

Tom Davidson and Mitch Catlin

Tom Davidson and Mitch Catlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim O'shea and Melissa Bergland

Tim O’shea and Melissa Bergland

 

Nick and Rachel Holland

Nick and Rachel Holland

Anna Byrne and Catherine Chisolm

Anna Byrne and Catherine Chisolm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To give the guests a taste of what’s to come from Swisse, Goodie Bags were handed out when we left the party. (yay!) I’m yet to try the creams, but I can assure you, those sleep tablets work a treat.

Swisse Goodie Bag

Swisse Goodie Bag

 

 

 

 

Minxies – The Newest Trend in Nail Art

In keeping with the travelling theme of this week’s blog post, let’s look at a beauty tip for your next holiday. Chances are you don’t want to spend time on maintenance while away, and if you’re going somewhere in the sun, your toes will be on show so you might opt for a pedicure before leaving.

The best way to keep your feet sparkling for the longest time is to invest in some MINXIES. They look like a high-end brand of ultra-shiny nail polish, but in fact they’re foils that are cut from a special sheet of paper and applied with a heating device to your toenails.

A huge plus about Minxies versus regular nail polish is that they last between 4 – 6 weeks on your toes, and about two weeks on your fingers. Personally, I only have them applied to toenails because fingernail re-growth is faster and I don’t have the time, money or inclination to visit the salon that often.

Minxies for your toes

Minxies for your toes

 

Here’s how they look in a promo shot:

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s how they look on regular feet. (i.e. – mine) Not so glamorous, but proof even the knobbliest of feet do look better with Minxies.

My toenails...

My toenails...

 


Zebra minxies

Zebra Minxies

 

 

 

Minxies are now available at many nail salons around the country and come ins a variety of patterns and colours. Yes, you can even get a zebra print…

 

 

Yellow on silver Minx

Yellow on silver Minx

 

 

 

 

 

Personally, I like to stick to a simple metallic, plain gold or silver.  Although I did see a new design – silver and yellow – which brought to mind Seal’s famous yellow nails from The Voice and I suddenly had an urge to try something new…

 

If you’d like to see more designs, check out the Minx website at www.minxnails.com

For Melbourne girls, my tip for the best salon working with Minx is Ripponlea Nail Shop at 32 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea.

Ph: (03) 9528 5740

The lovely Melanie Lachal is the salon owner and an expert in the art of Minx.

Melanie Lachal

Melanie Lachal

The cost is $50, which is quite economical given it lasts on the toes for as long as it does.

Another bonus about this product is you can’t smudge your nails once you leave the salon. Shoes can be worn almost immediately, making Minx a much more practical option than nail polish. Let’s face it, anything that saves time is a huge plus for most women leading hectic lives, trying to maintain careers, families AND appearances. If it’s simple, fast, economical and looks good, it wins my vote.