Why I've stopped wearing makeup?

When I was younger (early highschool) I feel like I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to wearing makeup. I dabbled in a bit of mascara and lip gloss and maybe the occasional tinted moisturiser in yr7-8 but that was about it. When years 9 and 10 rolled around my hormones had well and truly kicked in. I was oily, pimply, splotchy and I had no idea how to care for my skin or apply makeup. Actually the part where I was meant to take my makeup off at the end of the night was the hardest bit for me to wrap my head around. So my skin got worse. Not violent acne (thankfully) but it was for sure mild acne and serious hormonal pimples! They dominated my chin and my forehead and what made matters worse? I swept my oily side fringe right over the top to cover it up. I was forever touching my face, picking at pimples and transferring bacteria from school desks, pens and every other surface I touched directly to my skin. 

There was a time when I literally remember saying "I wouldn't leave the house without makeup" and that was totally true. Not that I was particularly good at makeup... It was a self confidence thing. I seriously thought that people would comment if I went out without a layer of muck on my face to cover my pimples and redness. To make matters worse I slept in my makeup, almost EVERY night. My mum used to tell me my eyelashes would fall out if I didn't make my mascara off, but I didn't listen. One day in yr10 Math Class the boy sitting next to my turned to me and said "you really shouldn't wear your hair pulled back like that because you've got breakouts". I died. He may as well have punched me in the gut. Any scrap of confidence I had was crushed right before my eyes. 

Although I used decent makeup when I did start wearing it. Mum insisted that if i was going to wear foundation it would be a mineral one (NUDE by nature), and I still use products from that brand to this day. I would slather some concealer under my eyes and on my blemishes, coat my face in a good layer of mineral powder, mascara, sometimes bronzer and a fat line of shitty eye pencil. That was my go to look, from 15-21years of age. 

Finally I went to Makeup College and learnt how to do makeup properly, I look back at photos and cringe. I can't believe how low my self esteem was as a result of my skin. I also cant believe how uneducated I was about how to properly car for it. Obviously I knew I was meant to 'cleanse, tone and moisturise' but I was using all the wrong products. I literally thought that "Clearasil" would make my skin look like the girls in the ads. Instead it stripped my skin of all of its natural oils and dried my face out to an inch of its life. And moisturiser? No way! I was scared to use moisturiser because I thought it would make my skin more oily. 

When I was living in the UK I felt the need to wear makeup to work, although some days it was BB cream and mascara and others it was a full face. However that was about it, outside of work I rarely wore makeup. My skin was SO beyond dry that any makeup I applied such to the dry spots. My skin did not agree with the English weather! Once I returned home and began working for myself I embraced the fact that I didn't need to wear makeup for work anymore. I don't feel the need to do a full face of makeup on myself when I'm doing other peoples makeup. I don't want them judging what is on my face as a indication on my skill, so I'd rather go bare faced. A proper skin routine has saved my skin (and probably the fact that puberty has well and truly ended is a plus too!). I feel confident enough in myself now to leave the house without makeup, work without makeup and go about my everyday life without worrying about makeup. Don't get me wrong, if I'm going out for a nice dinner or a special occasion I will happily go full glam. Every now and then I do feel the need! But generally these days I'm bare faced 99% of the time. 

Obviously a good skin care routine helps, although mine is minimal! I primarily use two products from Lush - Angles on Bare Skin (cleanser) and Skin Drink (moisturiser), and occasionally I will use one of their Masks.  That is literally it! Their products are natural, made of real ingredients, cruelty free and I love their anti-packaging theory!

Not wearing makeup has, weirdly enough, boosted my self confidence. I'm no longer hiding the things I don't like when I apply makeup, I'm enhancing the things I do like and being creative! I urge you to give it a go, not only will you feel better but your skin will thank you for the rest from makeup as well!

Spray Tans & How to Prep Your Skin

Who doesn't LOVE being tanned? I certainly do! It literally lifts my mood, makes all my clothes look better on me and even makes me feel skinnier. I know it sounds superficial but having a bit of a bronzed goddess glow makes me feel 100 times better. 

In recent years I have been cutting right down on the sun baking and loading up on the SPF 50+. Its seems insane to me that anyone these days would even dream of baking their bodies in oil on the beach for hours on end. With all of the scientific research directly linking sun exposure to melanomas/ skin cancers it's all the more reason to 'Fake It' not 'Bake It'. You wont have to go through the painful sunburn, potential skin damage, and (if your'e like me) certain peeling - only to return to your natural colour of pure whiteness. With the right research, skin preparation and maintenance your spray tan will last upwards of a week AND will save your skin from the damaging effects of tanning.   

Here are my tips and tricks to prep your skin and maintain your tan:

PREP - Get in the shower and shave your legs (if you're anything like me, it's probably been about 3 weeks anyway - so you're due). Shaving the hair off your legs helps the tan go on smoother. If you can imagine the tiny particles of tan mist getting stuck to your leg hairs instead of your skin, you can imagine it might end up a bit patchy. Exfoliate your entire body. Take this time to really pamper yourself, if you're spending $30-$50 on a professional spray tan you'll want to prep your skin in the best possible way. Exfoliating gets rid of any dead or dry skin they may peel off after your tan leaving you with a flaky, dry, patchy tan! DON'T MOISTURISE when you get out of the shower! Even if you feel like you need to... just don't... put the body butter down. If you're prepping your skin the morning of you tan it's SO important to have clean, dry skin when you get there - the technician will put a barrier cream where needed to prevent the tan building up on dry areas (knees, elbows, ankles). Basically anywhere you mositurise, the tan will not sick! Last of all make sure you have a dark lose dress to put on afterwards, something that isn't restricting and wont rub the tan off while it is still developing.

Okay now we are ready to tan :) When clients come to see me I am happy for them to wear whatever they want while they are being sprayed. Anything from a tank top to a G-string, whatever you're comfortable in is fine with me, there is no pressure to strip down to your birthday suit for a tan if you don't want to. If you aren't comfortable going topless, wear a bra. If you're rocking a low plunging, backless number on the weekend and want some bronzed boobies - go for it. It's always awkward to get your gear off in front of someone you don't know, but don't forget I do this all the time! I've literally seen every kind of body and yours isn't any bigger, wobblier, whiter or more cellulitey than anyone else's. Everyone's body is beautiful.

Now that we are past the initial shock of being half naked, in a tent, with a sexy hair net and our tanning underwear, we can get the the spraying. I will start on your back, move you in to strange poses to reach certain places, spritz your face and hands and dry you off with the warm air from the tanning machine hose. And you're done! 

Now stay away from the water (for at least 2-3hrs). If you get wet within the developing time, your tan will be streaky and uneven! Once your waiting time is up jump in the shower and rinse off the indicator. Don't freak out when you see a whole bunch of colour running down the drain, that is just the colour indicator so that I know where I am spraying. The colour will usually develop slowly over the following 8-12hrs so don't be disheartened if you're not as dark as the night when you first get out of the shower. Wait till the next day to see the full colour payoff! In the following days when you shower don't exfoliate, scrub or shave your skin, and when you're drying yourself with your towel use patting motions instead of scrubbing yourself dry. Now pop on some moisturiser and you're ready to go! My suggestion is to stay away form chlorine pools, strong cleaning products or anything else that my have a bleaching agent for obvious reasons. 

The tanning solution I use is called Naked Tan. An organic, green based tan which counteracts fake orange tones and smells like vanilla and coconut. I have always had positive feedback on the colour of this tan, it gives a beautiful, natural olive colour and my clients often tell me people compliment them on their "natural holiday tan". I'll keep it our little secret!

How to clean your makeup brushes (and why it's so important).

When I first stared wearing makeup in High School I NEVER cleaned my one, single makeup brush. I used the same weathered, old kabuki brush for everything! Foundation, powder, blush and bronzer. Although I only had one makeup brush I had no idea of the importance of washing it regularly... and I wondered why I had a constant flow of new pimples! 

Now, I'm no scientist, but I know for a fact that makeup brushes can hold a lot of bacteria. Which is then brushed directly onto your skin. Every day. When you really think about it, it's disgusting, leaving your makeup brushes to fester and collect makeup, dead skin, dust, oil and dirt month after month... or for some, year after year. Its not until you wash a foundation brush for the first time that you realise HOW MUCH product and gunk is actually collected in your brush!

Anyway, I'm going to give you a quick rundown on how I clean my brushes.

Step 1 - Collect all of your dirty brushes, a hand towel and a brush cleaner of your choice. You can pick up brush cleaners from your local Sephora, Mecca or online beauty supplier. Or if you're like me and don't believe in spending $40 on fancy soap here are a couple of other products - Stain remover laundry soap or baby shampoo. They do the same thing and work just as well as the expensive stuff but will cost you a quarter of the price!

Step 2 - Wet your first brush. Add some cleaner. Swirl around in the palm of your hand (watch all the built up makeup wash down the sink). If the brush is still dirty, repeat this step again. Extra dirty brushes or ones that haven't been cleaned in months may need a few goes! 

Step 3 - Repeat for all of your brushes. Make sure you're careful with your brushes, swirl them gently. Once you've rinsed the soap out, swirl on the hand towel to remove excess water, reshape your brush and lay flat on the towel to dry. DO NOT stand them upright! This can let the water soak into the glue of the brush and can ruin your brushes!

Step 4 - Once all of the brushes are washed and laying flat on the towel, leave them overnight to completely dry (bigger face brushes will take longer).

Step 5 - Once all of your brushes are dry they are ready to use! 

If you wear makeup every day I recommend cleaning your brushes every 1-2 weeks. You can pick up alcohol based brush sanitizing spray from makeup stores to keep them clean between washes. At the moment I am using the Mecca Brush Sanitizing spray to clean my brushes in between clients.

Do the right thing for your brushes and your skin by washing them regularly. Not only will you be keeping them clean and hygienic but your brushes will be born again once all of that clumped up makeup and oil is removed. They come out looking and feeling like a new makeup brush every time!