How to Define Your Eye Brows

When I had my make up done last year, the make up artist asked if I took care of my own brows. Yes, was the answer. My Mum taught me how to pluck my brows when I was about 12 or 13. This was pre-waxing revolution, and I tried to follow their natural shape and only pluck from the bottom. Unfortunately, the thin brow craze got the better of me at about 15, and after plucking from the top and bottom they were a bit of a mess. The only time I have had them waxed was prior to my wedding, but I hated having to grow them out to a length where the wax could be applied. The make up artist suggested that I grow my brows in a little, which I have been trying to do. Unfortunately, they have become a bit patchy over the years, due to all the over-plucking. Since August I have been trying to grow them in and they are looking a lot better, but they do still need some help.

I was wandering around in the chemist a few weeks ago and was browsing the Natio stand, as I tend to do every time I am in there! I had a pharmacy loyalty voucher to spend, and came across a brow kit. The make up artist had used something similar, so I decided to give it a go. It retails for $19.95, so it was a bargain when used with my voucher.

How to Define Your Eye Brows

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Thankfully for this newbie to brow definition, there are full instructions on the back of the box. The kit comes with a double ended slanted brush, a round grooming brush and some tweezers.

Step One – I used the tweezers to clear up any stray hairs and shape my brows.

Step Two – The palette comes with two different coloured powders, which you can combine to make the perfect shade for you. I decided to try the lighter shade first and experiment. I’m glad I did this, as I think my natural brows are fairly dark anyway, and this shade was dark enough. It will be interesting to have a play with the colours next time I use the kit and see what kind of contrast I can create.

Step Three – Once you are happy with the colour, use the slanted brow brush to apply to brow wax. This will help to seal the colour so it won’t rub off during the day.

Step Four – Use the round grooming brush to smooth your brows into place.

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The before and after photos show what a difference the brow kit makes. I need to work on my application – this is the first time I have played with it. I am looking forward to playing with the shape a bit more – I have one good brow, and one not so good!

I don’t know if I will incorporate brow definition into my every day look, but will use it when I’m going out at night or for a special occasion.

Do you define your brows? Are you a plucker or a waxer? What’s a new make up product you’ve been trialling lately?

 

Favourites Unearthed

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I have recently been saving up some bits and pieces to tell you about. Some things you might have seen posted on Instagram, others I’ve been waiting to share with you. Hopefully you tell me about some of your new favourite things in return!

Natio Tinted Lip Balm

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It’s been no secret how much I love Natio cosmetics. They are made from natural ingredients, cruelty free and budget friendly. I picked up these in our local pharmacy one day for $5 each. There are about eight colours to choose from, and they add a hint of colour. I’m not a big lipstick or lipgloss wearer, so these are a perfect middle ground, especially for day time. The shea butter and aloe will leave your lips soft, which is great towards the end of Winter when they might be dry and sore.

Lady Jayne Tangl-eze Brush *

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This is the perfect go-to handbag brush. It’s egg like shape means that it is easy to hold and fits snuggly in your hard. It glides easily through the hair, and even my toddler will let me brush her hair with it (and you know what a fuss they can kick up!). If you’re tired of the little travel flip brushes that always end up collapsing on you, try one of these babies. You don’t regret it!

Unlock Your Style by Nikki Parkinson

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Nikki’s blog Styling You is one of the first style blogs that I read. It gave me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone a little, and add more colour and accessories to my outfits. Since I started blogging I have been lucky enough to be able to call Nikki and the other lovely ladies on the cover my friends and mentors. Unlock Your Style encourages you to look at your wardrobe and work out what really suits you. This is the book I needed a year ago when I started my own blog! It’s available at all good book stores.

EmerginC Skin Care*

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EmerginC skin care is a skin care brand that uses active natural ingredients where possible, including a great dose of vitamin C. The brand is well known world wide, and can be found in more than 700 spas and speciality stores. I was sent the Protocell Eye and Protocell Combat Cream, with apple stem cells, to try. The creams are designed to combat fine lines and wrinkles. I have been using the creams as a night cream and they feel lovely on my skin. The Combat Cream is nice and thick, and perfect for night time. I don’t think I have been using the creams long enough to give a definitive answer on whether the wrinkles around my eyes have lessened, but I do know that my skin feels soft and hydrated, and that has to be a good thing!

Eyelash Curlers

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A pair of eye lash curlers used to be a beauty bag staple of mine, but somewhere along the way between kids and work and the business of life they slipped by the wayside. When I had my makeup done a few weeks ago, the makeup artist used a pair in conjunction with lots of mascara and some false eyelashes. I loved the result, and reignited my love of the curlers. Teamed with a good dose of mascara, you will have stand out lashes every time. I picked up my pair in Coles for about $7, and you can find them in most supermarkets or pharmacies.

Rimmel London Colour Rush Lip and Nail Collection by Rita Ora*

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Rita Ora’s new collection for Rimmel London is perfect for Spring. The colours are fresh and bright. I love the lip crayons – they are easy to apply and last for a long time. The top colour featured in the picture is perfect for night time or a date night, and the bottom one is well suited to work. The nail polishes are quick drying, which is perfect for a manicure on the run, or when the kids are around. The range is available in all good pharmacies, and some supermarkets.

Please note: Items marked with a * were given to me to review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you have a favourite find that you’ve unearthed recently? Please share what it is below!

Five Ways to Fix Dry Skin

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I have dry skin, especially on my hands and face. It’s normally a problem that presents itself in Winter, but lately with a busy (and sometimes stressful) life and lots of hand washing to try and avoid bugs, I have been suffering from very dry skin. These are my five ways to fix dry skin, that tend to nip the eczema that follows in the bud. I hope they help you too.

1. A good facial moisturiser

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Dry skin often crops up on my face. This week I have had a head cold, and now have a red nose to rival Rudolph that I am desperately trying to get rid of! I normally use Pure Fiji day and night creams, along with a serum. I have recently been trying a Perfecting Lotion* too, which I love. It feels very smooth when it is applied, and seems to moisturise the skin evenly. It feels similar to a serum, though a little thicker. I think I will definitely be investing in a larger bottle! Used in combination, these creams work very well and seem to bring plenty of moisture to my face. Used in combination with a cleansing and toning routine, the creams and serums will keep your skin soft and supple.

2. A naturally-based body moisturiser

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Along with a vitamin E cream, I also use Pure Fiji Dilo Rescue Body Gel, and QV Intensive Moisturiser when my skin becomes particularly dry. The Dilo Rescue is wonderful on freshly shaved legs, or to sooth irritated skin. It is made from all natural ingredients, and smells lovely. It is the perfect after sun lotion, and can be stored in the fridge if you need it to be cool.

The QV moisturiser was recommended to me for my daughter’s dry skin when she was a tiny baby. It is water based, which means it does not hurt when it is applied to cracked skin. This is wonderful news for me, as I often get cracks in my hands that sting. If your hands or feet are dry and uncomfortable, apply a thick layer of this cream before bed and cover with socks or cotton gloves. It may take a couple of days to settle down, but it will help the moisture absorb and repair your skin. This enormous pot was around $25, but was purchased two years ago. It is still going strong!

Make sure your moisturise your hands regularly, especially when you are washing or sanitising your hands frequently.

3. Look after your lips

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As a teenager, I was obsessed with lip gloss. I had multiple tubes floating around in multiple bags. These days, I’m lucky to remember to put it on! When I do remember to look after my lips, Baby Lips by Maybelline has become a favourite. It comes in a range of flavours that add a hint of colour. They smell great, are available in the supermarket, and are incredibly cost effective. You can afford to have one in every bag!

In Summer, I will be switching to an SPF rated lip gloss for extra sun protection. I have heard good things about the Sun Sense gloss, so I think I will try it first.

4. Drink plenty of water

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I notice that my skin is on the drier side if I neglect to drink enough water. The recommended intake is 6-8 glasses of liquid per day, and while this does include tea, coffee and juice (among other things) water really is the best option for rehydration. It is especially important in the Summer months when your body will lose moisture due to the warmer weather. There are so many cute reusable water bottles around that we really shouldn’t have any excuses not to be drinking enough h20.

5. Keep a healthy body and mind

Eating poorly and stress or worry really impact upon the state of my skin. I can tell if I am stressed by my hands and legs – they will break into eczema very quickly. Trying to look after myself really affects more than just my body and mood. Dreaded pimples and white heads also appear on my face. So, an apple a day (along with eating a balanced diet, meditating and exercising) also keeps the steroid cream away!

* I was given a sample size of Perfecting Lotion to sample. I was not paid for this post, and I do not write about products unless I truly like them.

What do you use on your skin? Are there any lotions and potions I need to know about?

Favourites Unearthed

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my current favourite things with you. There is a bit of a theme today – beauty and exercise. Health for the inside and outside, if you will. The weather here in Sydney is going to warm up next week (I hope so, because the past few days have been freezing!) and I am very much looking forward to making the most of the sunshine. Warmer weather also means planning a Spring and Summer wardrobe – lots of inspiration to come to this page in the next few weeks! Without further ado, here are a few of my favourite things, unearthed.

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

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Not only does this guy have a seriously cool name, he is an inspiration. At almost 40 years of age he struggled to climb the stairs to his bedroom, afraid he was going to have a heart attack. Overweight and unhealthy, he decided to make a change. He transitioned to a vegetarian diet, which later became a plant-based vegan diet, and began training for triathlons and marathons. Dissatisfied with his performance in these events he set himself the goal to compete in Hawaii’s invitation-only Ultraman event (10km open ocean swim, 421km cross country bike ride, and an 84km double marathon run, completed over three days). Now, at 45, he is one of the fittest men in the world. My friend leant me Finding Ultra this week for Mr Style Unearthed to read, but I got to it first and haven’t put it down. It is interesting and very inspirational. You can change your life, and you can put your health first. Don’t be afraid if you’re over 40 – it’s not too late. Rather than just pushing one form of exercise, he enjoys a holistic health regime, using yoga and meditation as part of his regular routine. He also produces podcasts, which I will now be listening in to. You can visit Rich Roll’s website here.

Couleur Caramel Natural Makeup*

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I first discovered Couleur Caramel Natural Makeup on Twitter. When I did some research I discovered that they are cruelty free, 100% natural, made from fair trade sourced ingredients, and delivered in packaging made from recyclable materials. They were kind enough to send me some cosmetics to trial for a post I am currently writing for another blog, but I wanted to feature them here as well. I have been using the dark circle concealer daily, and I love it. It applies smoothly with my finger tips and blends well under my BB cream or foundation. I am looking forward to using the bronzer more coming in to Summer to give me a healthy glow without sun damage. The lipstick applies well, and has a nice shine to it.  I absolutely love the fact that this makeup does not harm animals or people. The packaging is gorgeous, and feels fantastic to touch. I think I will be placing an order soon. You can browse the range here.

Women’s Fitness Magazine

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I mentioned fitness and wellness magazines in my recent post about getting back into exercise, and Women’s Fitness is my personal favourite. At $5.95 it is very affordable, and has a range of Australian health and fitness experts who provide tips and hints. The recipes featured each month are great, and there are often vegetarian options, which I love. I am looking forward to trying the apple and cinnamon breakfast cookies from this month’s issue. The include lots of information about health and fitness studies, and the latest exercises to try. It is available at all good newsagents and supermarkets.

Pure Fiji Serum*

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This little gem has been a recent addition to my skin routine. Serums are the new anti-aging product on the block, and designed to moisturise your skin for 24 hours after application. Ngi grass is the magic ingredient in Pure Fiji’s offering, moisturising and reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  Like many of Pure Fiji’s products, the serum contains their anti-oxident blend of natural plant oils (including Dilo, coconut and macadamia oils). I have been using a small pea sized amount under my day creme, and it has allowed my normally dry skin to stay moisturised during the harsh Winter. It is lighter than the day creme, and is easily applied. Many mainstream brands offer serums, and you can pick them up in the supermarket or pharmacy. If you would like to try Pure Fiji’s beautiful version, visit their website here.

Lola

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This little face has also been unearthing happiness around here lately. We have quite a decent backyard which she loves running around in, but she has started developing a little – shall we call it – middle aged spread recently (curse of the garbage guts Beagle). As a result, wee have been walking her a lot more. She gets so excited when we all put on our shoes and get her harness. New smells during a walk are heaven for a dog who is lead by her nose! She will be seven in a couple of weeks, and is a far cry from the tiny puppy we picked up all those years ago. She has started getting a little grey, but she’s growing old fairly gracefully. She is great with the children, and they love her to bits. I am definitely a dog person, and we love having her around.

What has been making you happy lately? Do you have any inspirational books I should read? Are you a dog person?

* These products were gifted to me for editorial consideration.

In Search of the Perfect Pout

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I remember buying my first coloured lip gloss at about 12 years of age. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers were all the rage and they had brought out a gloss that was slightly tinted. My pocket money was spent on two tubes – chocolate and berry flavours. I felt so grown up, and wore them to death. The lip gloss love affair continued through high school and university, but was abandoned after I had my first child. Sadly I let looking after myself slide, and didn’t take the extra couple of seconds to slick on some gloss. Since starting this blog I have been trying to make a bit more of an effort with makeup, although it is still very basic. Embracing the lip colour has certainly made my look a bit more put together. I have never been one to wear lipstick but have been experimenting with more lately. I thought I would look in to the difference between the two products, and how to choose the best one for you.

What is the difference between lipstick and lip gloss?

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Lipstick and lip gloss both come in a wide variety of colours, however there are some big differences between the two. Lipsticks generally last a lot longer, but they will generally be more drying on your lips. You might like to pop a clear gloss or lip conditioner on prior to applying the lipstick to prevent drying. Some now come with conditioning agents in them, so just check the label carefully before purchasing. Lipsticks produce rich colours, and come in a variety of finishes including frosted and matte. They traditionally come in a tapered stick so they’re easy to apply.

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The range of lip glosses has really grown in the past few years. I remember MAC’s Lip Glass coming on to the market and lip glosses in tubes applied with wands exploded. Lip glosses need to be reapplied more regularly, but they provide a sheer look. They are applied in a lot of different ways, from small pots to sponge-tipped wands. Some lip glosses can be very versatile, able to be used as cheek colour as well. They normally have the added bonus of tasting really good, which is probably why they don’t last long on your lips!

How do I choose the right colour for me?

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Test, test, test! Choose a colour that you like the look of, and test a range of colours from a variety of brands on your hand. The shade of the skin on the back of your hand, or the inside of your wrist are a good indicator of how the colour will look on your face. I am not so daring, so generally stick to pink or brown tones. I was looking for something that would be similar to my natural lip colour, but with a bit more pop. If you want to try a red lipstick or gloss, you should try one with a blue coloured base, as it will make your teeth appear whiter. Lip colours with cool blue undertones will achieve this look, where as other red lip colours will have a warm orange undertone. You may have to try several different shades until you find the perfect one for you. I am still on this quest! Depending on the look that you want (day or night, casual or dressy), experiment with both lipsticks and glosses. Adding a little gloss over a lipstick will add some additional shine.

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I ended up choosing a Natio lip gloss from their new range in a watermelon shade. It applies really easily and gives a nice, glossy shine. Definitely something to smile about!

Do you favour lipstick or lip gloss? What is your favourite colour?

Unearthing my style

‘Fashion changes, but style endures.’ Coco Chanel.

My name is Sarah, and I am currently style-less. I am mum to two gorgeous children, a teacher, and have recently lost a dress size thanks to eating well and exercising. While this is fantastic, it now means that the only winter clothes I possess are two pairs of jeans and some cardigans that are older than my son. I am taking this opportunity to overhaul my wardrobe and beauty routines, and unearth my own enduring style.

Being a mum, my uniform tends to consist of jeans, shorts and basic tops. I have favoured high street shops and department stores thanks to their affordability and convenience. I am hoping to expand my horizons and build a wardrobe of staples, professional work wear and a few special pieces.

My beauty routine has never been something to write home about either, so I will trial new products to find what works for my skin and hair. Hopefully we will be able to pick up some hints and tips together along the way.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

If you feel like sharing, please tell me –

What is your current style? Is there anything you’d like to change about it?

Are you ready to take the unearthing style challenge with me?