Fashion blog – Aussie Fashion Blog

Fashion that is evocative of sun, fun & life!


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Homemade facial & body scrubs- Exfoliates to help your skin wake up for spring!

spring2

Spring is finally here and by here I mean Adelaide, Australia. As I put my knitwear away and unpack my shorts, I know I need a good exfoliation to be truly spring ready. Winter is awesome for bad skin as you can layer up and look chic. I treat my winters as therapy time for my skin where I massage them with warm almond oil and seal them in copious amounts of vitamin E moisturiser.

Spring ushers in shorts, sexy tops and flirty dresses, so no escape for dull, flaky skin. So what’s my secret to spring ready smooth skin? Exfoliation!

egypt

Exfoliation has its roots in ancient history with women in Japan rubbing rice bran on their face to keep skin smooth and bright. The anti-inflammatory properties of rice seeds and bran made them an excellent cleanser and softener. The Ebers Papyrus mentions the use of powdered alabaster, sea salt and honey by early Egyptians to keep the skin perfect! The Greeks invented the first body scrub when they oiled and then scrubbed their skin with sand.

Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface making it an ideal solution for dry flaky skin conditions. It is a safe procedure as long as you remember to be gentle and not to use harsh abrasives that can injure your skin. Once a week is quite sufficient to achieve that smooth soft glowing skin you have been dreaming of.

There are two types of exfoliation manual (scrubs) and chemical (enzymes from fruit). Chemical scrubs use fruit enzymes along with moisturising emollients like honey and yoghurt.  These rely on the enzymes to slog off the dead cells instead of the abrasive action of scrubs, its gentler and ideal for sensitive skin. The only down side being their preparation time, storage (fridge), need to be left on for about 5 mins and that they need to be used up before they spoil. Personally, I prefer manual scrubs since I can have it ready in my bathroom and don’t have to worry about an expiry date.

health Homemade scrubs:

Honey has anti-bacterial and rehydrating properties so a dab of it in anything is a good thing.url

Olive oil is great both inside and out! Known to keep cancer and heart disease at bay by incorporating it in your cooking. It’s an excellent moisturiser and makes a good base for scrubs.

Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate is a versatile product and completely harmless. Make it into a paste rub it in round circular motions and rinse off, its gentle enough for everyday use.

 Sugar & Olive Oil facial scrub

Mix normal white sugar with enough olive oil to make a paste. Add a dab of honey for extra moisturising effect.

sea-salt1 Fragrant sea salt body scrub

Two parts sea salt with one part olive oil, add a few drops of your favourite essence (tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemon oil or try vanilla) and your heavenly body scrub is ready.

If you’re heading out to the beach, rub a little sea sand over your feet and wash off with seawater. The most natural sea salt exfoliate available and it’s free.

In fact washed sea sand mixed with olive oil is an excellent body scrub.

 Anti-ageing tip:

You won’t be 21 forever, how you protect your skin today will define how you look tomorrow. Using sunscreen keeps the wrinkles at bay and when you’re 50 you will swear by those empty tubs of sunscreen!

Lastly, smile and unleash the inner diva within! 


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The 1 Rule for confidence is to be yourself!

Young Bohémienne: Natalie Clifford Barney (187...

Young Bohémienne: Natalie Clifford Barney (1875-1972) at the age of 10 (painting by Carolus-Duran) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I meet so many women who are uncomfortable in their own skin; after all there is a fine line between demure and abashed. While one is a character trait the other is a result of one’s perception of self, usually a negative one. The last time I felt awkward and cringed in my own skin was in high school, in my attempt to be cool, I wore a tight-fitting cocktail dress. Black lace and a bright yellow bow was all it took to make me feel like a turkey on show! Thank God for my father, a man of principle and obviously taste, who forbade me to walk out of the house looking like the bride of Frankenstein. As any normal teenager, I rolled my eyes and protested, but secretly I was so happy that he made me change. My ego didn’t let me publicly admit my fashion faux pas but that day I learned a valuable lesson, never try to be someone else!

It’s one thing to be inspired and quite another to erase one’s own identity and absorb someone else’s persona. My inspiration by the likes of those gorgeous Bohemian style divas leads me to don flowing skirts, but it’s still me underneath the boho skirt. Just like my skin tone, which is brown, cream and uneven, my fashion sense isn’t defiantly anything but always comfortable.

Lace shirts with frayed denim shorts and gold jewellery – that’s me! Hair colour that changes more frequently than the weather courtesy global warming, fashion style that is constantly evolving, adapting, and always experimenting that’s who I am. What about you? Is your personality hiding in the closet or tucked away in the back of your wardrobe? Waiting in the sidelines for the approval of peers, fashion magazines, friends, family, the cat next door?

In one of my earlier posts I had written that the one must have accessory for a plus size woman is confidence, I reiterate: the number one rule for confidence is to be yourself!

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Stretch marks an emblem of shame? I say wear it with pride, it’s your badge of honour!

shore line or stretch marks

shore line or stretch marks?

Now, before you skip to the comments post to ‘advise’ me of the best shrinks in town, I already have quite a few friends who already are shrinks (stop nodding your head!), hear me out or rather read my post.

We, women, get stretch marks for all sorts of reasons, pregnancy is a major cause but so is weight loss.  There are so many women who shrink from a size 20 to a size 12; don’t you think that will leave a few silvery lines on one’s body? As a mother of three I can assure you that my belly looks like a very intricate Mayan symbol that has been etched onto my skin! What was once ripped and taut, now is super soft and a little (just a smidge) jelly like! Now that I have shrunk from my pregnancy weight of 90 kilos, I can assure you those silver streaks are not just on my belly. My husband very loving used to call me a baby whale! No, he wasn’t being mean, it was because my one year old while he was in his bath tub and playing with his ‘bath books’ saw a picture of a big blue whale with a giant smile and pointed to it screaming, “Mommy!”

My loving and ever supportive husband fell on the floor laughing and the nickname stuck! Now, 23 kilos lighter I no longer bear any semblance to a whale but I assure you that, parts of my body look like the rippled shoreline of an exotic beach. I was contemplating buying a swimsuit to cover my belly, then I noticed my thighs, I then reached out for a sarong and then I stopped to just think.

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The marks on my belly remind me of the three most precious gifts that I have received from God. They remind me that for nine months at a time, I held life within me, it grew inside of me and I nurtured life itself. My stretch marks are my badge of honour, the proud symbol of a mother.

My stretch marks on my thighs remind me of the great battle I had waged with my weight and it was excruciating, I assure you. Every 100 Gms was fought off with a lot of sweat and pain, it is very painful to exercise after running around three kids all day and night long. It is my badge of pride, a badge that was earned for strong will power, after all chocolate fudge looks ten times more delicious when you have been off sugar for a month or worse a whole year, and it is a testament to my struggle.

So why should I be ashamed of it? My husband doesn’t mind, my family and friends look at it as a testament to my character and will power, a road map of my adventurous life. So why am I hiding it? Why am I hiding the one thing I can show off about without being conceited? Emblems of my successful battle against my bulge and my ordeal giving birth to three precious darlings are to be celebrated and not to be hidden out of a misplaced sense of shame.

I’m still wearing a swimsuit as I am a bit of a modest dresser but it’s not because I am ashamed of my marks. I think women shouldn’t be ashamed of their stretch marks, no more than a war veteran who bears a scar on his body from honourable wars well fought. Whether any war is ever honourable or well fought is a topic for another time!


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How to be a budget Fashionista, in five easy steps.

Nicole_Kidman_wearing_Ladymatic_in_red_goldfashionista

Did you ever walk into a mall/shop/party and immediately notice someone, who appeared confidant, cool and fashionably dressed? That’s a fashionista, the complete package of personality and flattering attire. It’s not your body type, good looks or just your outfit, it’s the entire package that makes you a Fashionista. It’s how you create the Chic image, irrespective of your body type or looks. Don’t be fooled by the biased media hype that you need to have a supermodel figure or movie star good looks to become a style icon. All you really need is a flattering wardrobe, good accessories and loads of confidence.

The step-by-step guide to be a budget Fashionista:

1. Love yourself! Appreciate yourself and respect your body. You are a female, one of God’s most precious creations. You are unique and already beautiful, you don’t need to look like someone else or wear what others are wearing to look good. You only need to discover how best to reveal your personality and to flatter your body. Fall in love with your self, discover your quirky behaviour, appreciate your personality and then create your own fashion style that reflects all that.

2. Determine your body type: Find celebrities who are that shape and study their styles to get an idea of what will flatter your image. Celebrities have style guides and designers to help them bring out their best, you can take advantage of all that free advice. Scan as many images as you can to find out what look worked and what didn’t, and how that relates to your wardrobe.
E.g.: Apple shaped: wide shoulders, heavier top than bottom.
Celebrities: Catherine Zeta Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Jennifer Hudson etc.
V-neck tops, top flattering/emphasizing dresses, skinny jeans all form their basic wardrobe essentials.

3. Discover your colour: Stand in front of a full length mirror and wear all your outfits. Grade each outfit (1 -10) in terms of look (does it flatter you body shape or draw attention to parts you rather hide) and style (does it give you a frumpy look or does it strike as classy). Discard/donate any item that fails to get above 5 points. While you’re doing that find out which colours seemed to brighten up your face and which make you look drained or tired. Yes, colours have that effect depending on your skin tone. E.g., depending on how tanned you are, different shades of pink will suit you. Every woman has one particular colour that just makes her sparkle, note this down, this is the colour that you should look for in accessories like, eye makeup, scarves, pendants, earrings etc.
If there is nothing in your wardrobe that stands out, then it might be time to head off to the nearest mall and go towards the scarves section and try on different coloured scarves. Look for the colour which, when draped around your neck, seems to brighten your face. That’s your colour.

4. Determine your favourite feature about your self: Is it your beautifully sculpted calves? Your flawless skin? Your perfectly manicured hands or feet? Your slender neck? Thick shiny hair? Sparkling eyes? Whatever it is, make it your signature style feature. Every outfit you wear should accentuate that feature.

5. Invest in a set of classic accessories: Shoes, bags, scarves, belts, bags and jewellery. After Step 3, you should have a rough idea of what is your personal style and what wardrobe essentials are required. Try to buy accessories that frame the face like earrings, necklaces, scarves and makeup, in ‘your colour’, this will help brighten your entire look. Keep your personal style preference in mind when you go shopping and look out for items that complement or build your personal style. E.g. If you have discovered that you are a vintage girl at heart then keep an eye for any accessories that have a vintage appeal. You can pair them with a formal office attire whilst emphasising your individuality.

These simple steps can help you transform your image since most of the time it’s not a lack of designer pieces (there are only so many places you can wear a valentino gown) but a lack of theme, coordination and often unflattering pieces that prevents the Fashionista in you to shine through.
Give these simple steps a go and let me know how it turns out!

Next up, simple make up tricks that promise to transform!


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The one must have accessory for every plus-size woman- Confidence!

Ana Paula @ Plus Size Model :: nov2011

It’s all about the attitude, a confidant one goes a long way in getting you labelled as amazing! While every model/actress/artist, basically every woman, vies to be known as the most beautiful, very few are tapping the extremely accessible amazing. If you are anything like me, being known as an amazing woman is just as, if not better, than being known as a beautiful looking woman. Being known, as a beautiful woman is any day more flattering than a beautiful looking woman, because looks fade with time and not everyone agrees on what is beautiful, but your soul does not age, it only evolves.

Personality is what makes the guy you have a crush on, approach you and have a chat. Ever met someone who wasn’t the prettiest in the room but managed to have the maximum number of genuine friends, off course you have, that’s your best friend. She isn’t a hottie but she is the darling of your life, the one who makes you laugh and cries with you when you’re hurting and not necessarily in that order.

Personality doesn’t just get you admires or friends; they get you mates for life. A strong confidant personality is a major component, but often neglected, of being beautiful. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the handsomest of men, in fact quite the contrary, neither was George Bernard Shaw, but both men in their respective fields, wowed and inspired millions and still do today. Look at spidey, until he was a gawky lanky teenager he was oblivious, gets bitten by a spider, learns to hang up side down without falling, starts oozing confidence and every chic has a secret crush on him!

Seriously, how many villains have you had a crush on, unless you have a thing for bad boys, not matter how handsome? Any admirers for Tom Felton? Alexander Ludwig? Tom Hiddleston? No, Heath Ledger doesn’t count, he totally rocked in A Knight’s tale and 10 things I hate About you, plus he had paint on as the joker, doesn’t count.

Confidence makes you comfortable in your own skin, which basically means the real you isn’t hiding behind some pieces of fabric but is free to shine to mesmerise. Remember Donna Noble from Dr. Who; she wasn’t the prettiest of Dr. Who companions but the most loved, why? Do you even have to ask? Personality, she is plus size but her confidence is refreshing and by the end of the season you are completely in love with her, she almost overshadows the ever-charming time traveling youthful Dr. Who.

Oprah winfrey, Queen Latifa, are few examples of women who are beautiful more for their personality than for their looks. When did being plus size mean that you fell in the ‘non good-looking’ category? Christina Schmidt is one of the most gorgeous women and yes she is plus size! There are many, many more examples of beautiful women but a strong, confidant women can make belly fat, cellulite and extra pounds all disappear. Now that’s the secret no one wants to let out, but I’m calling for a Fashion revolution, want to join me?