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Skin is in

23 January 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

Skin is in

Image source: Over Blog.

Let’s talk skin, shall we? Unlike our reptilian friends, your skin is the only one you’ve got. You’re wearing it daily from now until forever. Not only that, but it’s a shield to protect your squishy innards from exposure to the outside world, so you must take good care of it. Seriously. Love it the way you’d love your car if it were irreplaceable and you had to drive it everywhere for the rest of your life and your car was prone to wrinkles.

Obviously, everyone has their own special skin type and therefore, their own special skin concerns – but no matter your age (or skin type), there are a few essentials that everyone should keep in their bathroom cabinets:

Skin is in

Image sources: Clinique daily protective base, $36; Benefit Remove It, $29; Lancôme Hydra Zen Neurocalm Yeux, $78 from Myer.


  1. Sunscreen. Please. Every day. I put it first, because given the furnace that we currently reside in; it’s the most important. You want a cheap anti ageing treatment? This is it. There are many and varied ways you can get your dose of SPF – I’ve put the Clinique primer up because it’s mattifying, corrects redness and helps my makeup to stay; but you can get SPF in your moisturiser, foundation – even in a BB cream. Don’t forget your neck and décolletage), that skin is just as easily damaged as your face.
  2. Take your makeup off before you go to bed. I know you’re tired and you just want to go to sleep – and that’s why god invented makeup wipes. Keep a stash in your bed side table if you must, but make sure you let your skin breathe at night. You think you’ve managed to get everything off cleansing in the shower? Nope. In a world of makeup engineered to last the distance, cleansers aren’t enough: you should always follow up with a toner or a makeup remover to remove those last pore clogging, panda eye- giving bits. The Benefit makeup remover pictured above is oil free and comes in a super cute bottle that you could totally recycle and use as a vase.
  3. Even more fragile than the skin all over your face? The skin all over your eyes. Those little bags under your peepers that betray your sleepless nights? You should take good care of them, because not only are they as fragile as a baby chick, but they’re the key (along with bright white eyes, for which you can get whitening eye drops) to looking bright and beautiful. So lastly, but certainly not least, a good eye cream is key for women at any age (I’ve been using them since I was 18). I’m obsessed with the Lancôme one pictured above – puffy, dark eyes are my genetic betrayal and the Hydra Zen really brings them down. What’s more is that the moisturising base you get from this or any eye cream is the perfect canvas for your undoubtedly expensive and carefully applied under eye concealer. Here’s the truth: no matter how fancy, makeup can only do about half its job if you haven’t taken care of that giant organ underneath. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, but it is absolute key to getting the most from your beauty regime.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Mum, Trends

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Advance Australian Flair

20 January 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Australia Day

Image source: resources3.news.com.au.

There’s nothing quite so sweet as holidays followed by more holidays, so it’s little wonder Australia Day is so beloved. Could you typify our work hard, play much harder culture better? I can just imagine our forefathers: “Two weeks back at work, you say? Better get a long weekend in there while the beach is still good, eh? Make sure there’s plenty of frothy cold beverages in tow. That’s right, write it in the constitution after the bit about kangaroo bartenders. Good lad.” Further to the clause regarding marsupial servants, constitution also clearly states that all Australians must pile on some unsuspecting family member or friend with a pool, or get down to a sandy body of water and grill meat or feel the wrath of our unforgiving sun. So, it’s splashy water times, barbecues and drinks for everyone! Let’s start thinking about how you’re going to dress poolside, avoid heatstroke and get a teeny bit patriotic on the Aussiest day of the year.

2014 Australia Day 1

Image sources: Australia Day Boardie, $20 and Oversized boyfriend tee in white, $12, both from Jay Jays; Lawrence sunglasses, $39.95, from Sportsgirl.

Exhibit A: the classic “Aussie/Oi” outfit complete with flag print garment. The great thing about these wee shorts is that they’re boardies, so you can wear them in the pool and dry out in them as you wait for the fireworks. Keep it simple with an oversized tee (those are some very short shorts, so it’s nice to balance) a colourful pair of sunnies, and later, some John Farnham lyrics screamed at the top of your lungs.

2014 Australia Day 2

Image sources: Strappy trapeze maxi dress, $99.95, from Witchery; Luscious metal toe sandal, $39.95, from Portmans; Bondi Beach Bag Co floppy hat, $49.95, from Myer.

Exhibit B: the fancier, resort style look for when your Australia Day celebrations include beautiful finger food and champagne glasses made from actual glass. You know what? You can’t go wrong with a floaty maxi on a hot day. It’s loose enough to wear your swimwear underneath, and not only is this particular number colourful enough to be downright festive; it’s heavily patterned enough that if you (or someone else) spill, nobody will be any the wiser.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Special Occasion, Trends

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Resolution Revolution

07 January 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 New Years 1

Image source: media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com.

Let me guess: it’s a new year, a clean slate and you are totally going to change your exercise habits this year (read: you are going to do some/ any at all). You’re ready to take care of yourself. You want to see some muscle tone or at the very least, would like to be able to run up a flight of stairs without having to stop halfway to catch your breath. Funny thing: I’m resolving to do the same. And I bet you and I share the same resolutions with a lot of hungover, bloated people all over the world. Why? Because we often make the resolution (often in the same breath as declaring we’ll never drink again) and then take no steps to keep it. Or take a few, very small steps and then stop for a drinks break. That’s why you promise yourself the same thing year in, year out. But 2014 is going to be different: we’re putting our money where our mouths are.

2014 New Years 2

Image sources: New Balance sneakers, $219.95, from Athletes Foot; Black Sprint short, $39.95 and Pink Line detail cami, $34.95, from Sportsgirl.

Getting into some sweet exercise gear is a great motivator: you’re far more likely to actually hit the gym if you’re wearing designated work out wear rather than re-purposed slouch around the house trackies, and you’re less likely to do harm to yourself (or your bust) if you’re repping the correct clothes. Don’t try to run in your hideously old trainers, you’ll end up with shin splints. Those dudes down at Athletes Foot are nice, they know what they’re talking about and they’ll get you in the right runners for your feet (and your exercise plans). Sportsgirl has also started a line of activewear and it is cute, functional and not overly expensive: the best of everything. Of course, the best way to force yourself into the gym is to actually acquire a gym membership: Fitness First Forrest Chase is centrally located, so there’s no going home and potentially staying home post-work, there are heaps of classes to get you started, and you can give it a try with their free pass (just sign up here: fitnessfirst.com).

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Sportsgirl, Trends

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How to win at Boxing Day sales

24 December 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2013 Boxing Day

Image source: jaxmomsblog.com.

Congratulations, soldier. You’ve made it through the Christmas Season of Extreme Silliness unscathed and only one notch looser on your belt. For this, you deserve a reward. May I suggest an array of deals at this year’s Boxing Day sales? I know, I know - they get bigger and more intense every year, but you’ve got to rock them or feel the crushing regret of paying full price for new towels in March. Lucky for you, I have served many an intense sale on both sides of the counter and have come away with many lessons to help you not only survive the sales, but to emerge a victor, waving your purchases above your head in triumph as you walk slow-motion out of the store to the cheers of your fellow shoppers.

  1. Go in with a plan
    Consider what you actually need before you hit the shops. Make a list, or form a vague one in your mind so when you arrive and are affronted with mountains of discounted goods, you know what you’re looking for, how to move through the premises and you come out on the other side faster with things you actually need. Of course you are going to be distracted by something fantastic that wasn’t on the list, and that’s fine – that’s what bargain hunting is all about – but if you at least have an idea of what you need, you’ll feel in charge and it will keep the stress to a minimum.
  2. Get the essentials
    The greatest things to buy on sale are usually the most boring: underwear, haberdashery, leather goods, wardrobe basics. Use the sales as an opportunity to stock up on those often overlooked corners of your world, and stock up well – buy quality that will last (and feel great) while it’s affordable. It’s also a fantastic time to stock up on little miscellaneous gifts (hand creams, candles, fragrances, books) that you can give at all of those last minute birthday parties you’re invited to.
  3. Think before you buy
    Here’s the thing: if you never use your awesome bargain sales item, it’s not an awesome bargain. Whatever you’re diving for that you would never ordinarily consider, be it feathered hat or cupcake maker, think first. What are you going to wear it with? Do you already have something like it (like, I don’t know, a cake tray and an oven and parental supervision) that will do the job? If you’re not one to get things altered or mended, don’t buy it on the premise you will (because you won’t).
  4. Eat first
    Just do it. If you’re preparing yourself for the long haul, the last thing you want to be feeling when you’re knee-deep in party dresses is a growling stomach and a caffeine headache.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Special Occasion, Trends

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