I know some women tend to have a lot in their beauty kit but I’ve managed to keep it down to only the essentials to ensure that I can get through my makeup routine fast! I don’t have a lot of time to spend getting ready these days so the less steps I have to go through the better and these are the products I always have on hand…
Foundation: I buy a quality foundation to ensure a great finish. My favourites are Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and Chanel Vitalumière.
Mascara: This is a constant in my kit as it really helps to give my eyes some definition once I’ve applied my eye makeup. I use ModelCo LashXtend.
Eyebrow gel: I use the a clear brow gel by M.A.C to keep brows in place after I’ve filled them in with a pencil.
Eyeshadow: M.A.C eyeshadows are my favourite. I always tend to go for neutral colours as I find I can wear it naturally or build up the colour for a slightly smokier eye.
Cream blush: I love the consistency of M.A.C Cremeblend blush as it gives a really great hit of colour but is really easy to apply. I use the shade Something Special.
Moisturiser: I am constantly going through moisturiser so I don’t spend too much on them. At the moment I’m using QV cream and Nivea Moisturising Fluid.
Lip balm: My lips can get a little dry so I always make sure I have a lip gloss on hand but also Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment to keep my lips hydrated.
What’s the number one aspect of my beauty routine? It definitely has to be skincare. I follow my routine religiously. I believe amazing skin gives you a great foundation to start from and if your complexion is in top condition then your makeup will, by default, look good too.
My skincare routine is pretty simple as I like to keep it quite streamlined and not have too many steps. All I do is cleanse my skin morning and night and make sure I remove my makeup at the end of each day. I moisturise twice a day too and ensure I apply an eye cream to hydrate my skin. I’m also quite particular about applying sunscreen; I do it every day, no matter the weather. Other than that I ensure I drink plenty of water to keep my skin hydrated. It’s quite a straightforward regimen but I find it definitely works and keeps my skin in top condition.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: when it comes to my hair I’m really low maintenance. I’m lucky enough to have the kind of hair that has a bit of texture to it so I can wash and wear it without having to do too much to it. However there are certain things I have built into my hair routine:
I don’t go too long between a cut and colour
I get my hair cut by Renya Xydis at her salon, Valonz in Sydney’s Paddington along with getting my hair coloured (Dan at the salon does my colour) and I try and do this every 6-8 weeks so my hair looks fresh which I find means I don’t need to do too much to it.
I put a treatment in through my hair
If I can I’ll sometimes do a treatment in my hair when I’m at the hairdresser. If I don’t have the time I’ll just buy a leave-in treatment from the supermarket and I’ll just pop it in my hair when I’m washing it.
I don’t use too much product
To get a little body and texture in my hair I’ll use a volume powder when I’m styling it. Also I recently discovered Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray at a photo shoot I was on so I have started using it to help protect may hair from heat damage.
I wear it up or curly
My hair doesn’t require too much fuss so I tend to just roughly blow dry it to get the moisture out of it. Truth be told I don’t have much time to do my hair so most of the time I will just put it up in a ponytail when I’m on the go. Otherwise I find it easier to curl it than blow dry it straight so I just do loose curls or tie it back in a low bun or a top knot.
When it comes to my beauty kit I don’t mind splurging on things like perfume and foundation which at times can admittedly be a luxurious treat but I also consider them to be the building block and finishing touch of my look and I use them all the time. However there are certain things I don’t spend a fortune on and that one thing has to be moisturiser. The array of moisturisers available out there is extensive and let’s face it they can also be quite expensive too depending on the brand you go for. Lately however I have found that a moisturiser from the supermarket and chemist does the job just as well. It’s hard to beat a beauty buy that’s effective but also inexpensive too.
So what am I using? At the moment I’m juggling QV Cream and Nivea Moisturising Fluid (pictured above). I use QV on the girls so I’ve found myself using it too and have found it to be quite nourishing and hydrating and works well with my complexion. I also sometimes use a simple moisturiser by Nivea which is lightweight and is quite refreshing for my skin, and it contains an inbuilt SPF which is a plus. They’re both bargain buys but they earn my tick of approval.
What are some of your favourite cheap and cheerful beauty buys?
My beauty kit is always changing as I love trying new products but there are certain essentials that are always a constant, so much so that I actually finish them quite often. I’m the kind of person who will often have a variety of different products in my bathroom cabinet but they’re not always so special that I’ll actually end up finishing every last drop. These products however, are my favourite go-tos and are the ones I end up having to replace time and time again.
I don’t keep mascara for more than a couple of months as I’ve heard it’s not very hygienic to hang onto it for a long time but if there’s one type I always use it’s ModelCo’s LashXtend mascara. I’m a big fan of ModelCo’s mascara as it’s not too expensive but achieves a really great finish.
My lips tend to get quite dry so I always have a tube of paw paw ointment in my bag. I tend to apply it multiple times a day so I always end up finishing it as I’ve always found it to be a really effective moisturiser.
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, it’s the perfect time to go all out and really turn it up a notch when it comes to your make up. Turn up the colour, embrace shine and be sure to add a touch of drama for this one night of the year. It’s definitely the night to be bold and daring. These five makeup techniques are guaranteed to dial up your look and help you welcome 2017 with a healthy dose of glamour.
Turn your pout into a statement-making feature by opting for a bright bold lip. A classic red is always sexy and when it comes to finding just the right shade try a scarlet with blue undertones for fair skin, orange-based brick reds for an olive complexion and on darker skin orange-reds work perfectly. If working with a bright lipstick makes you nervous you can try my easy step-by-step guide to help make it easier.
It’s time to upsize your lashes and make them a stand out feature of your New Year’s Eve look. Invest in a pair of great false lashes to really amp up your eyes. Your options are endless with everything from the store bought variety that you can apply at home (I show you how here) to lash extensions that can be done by a beauty salon at your disposal.
This sultry makeup look is just dying to be used on a night out. Achieving a smoky eye make look tricky but it’s actually quite simple once you know how. Why not try my smoky eye tutorial here to help you achieve the look at home? The only key is to keep shades in a similar colour scheme to achieve a seamless finish.
Pretty in pink
If red isn’t your colour try a sweet candy pink lipstick to add some colour to your pout. It still helps to liven up your look and is the kind of shade that most women will find easier to pull off.
A classic cat eye is perfect for a night out. All you need is a wing-tipped liner and the help of this tutorial and you’re all set to achieve the look yourself. You’re guaranteed to get plenty of compliments when wearing this glamorous 60s inspired look.
Which beauty look will you try this new year’s eve?
Christmas is just around the corner so I’ve already started to compile a list of gift ideas for my friends and family. I’ve found the one kind of gift that is always a definite people pleaser are beauty gifts. I tend to buy my mum beauty products as presents and I have to admit I love receiving them too. Plus they’re the kind of present that is suitable for everyone from your closest girlfriend to your mother-in-law, so it solves the problem of having to wrack your brain trying to find the ideal gift.
I know it can be tricky sometimes trying to pinpoint the right beauty product to give to a particular person which is why I particularly love the special Christmas gift sets that are released at this time of year. I always tend to gravitate towards them as they’re always beautifully packaged, contain a perfectly curated edit of products and they last long after Christmas is over, so the person receiving it will be able to enjoy it for quite awhile. This year, I’ve got my eye on SK-II’s Festive Sets, especially the Ageless Beauty Set which includes their famed Facial Treatment Essence. I’ve used the products myself so I know that whoever finds the set under the tree on Christmas Day will be quite pleased! The set also comes with SK-II RNA Moisturiser, SK-II RNA Eye Cream and SK-II Skin Signature 3D Redefining Mask so it’s like an entire skincare regimen in one box.
If your Christmas shopping has already got underway I’d look to the beauty counter – you’re definitely guaranteed to find something that will impress!
SK-II Ageless Beauty Festive Set, $399, is available at Myer, David Jones, Adore Beauty and Sephora
Your eyebrows can change your face dramatically (good or bad!) so it pays to devote a little time and attention to them to keep them looking in top shape. Achieving Cara Delevingne level eyebrows isn’t impossible – you just need to know the right tips and tricks to make it happen. Amy Jean Linnehan, founder of Amy Jean Eye Couture and the go-to brow expert for the likes of Dannii Minogue, Naomi Campbell and Delta Goodrem shares her top tips for keeping yours looking amazing.
What are some of the biggest brow mistakes people make?
It’s best not to improvise on how to shape your brows at home. Invest in a professional opinion, then follow their lead. I think the worst mistake on an eyebrow is too much product. You now see Instagrammers demonstrating up to 3-4 products on one eyebrow. I think this is a little “theatrical” and overdone in my opinion.
What are the key characteristics of good eyebrows?
Symmetry and softness. Never cut the eyebrows with scissors. This will cause a very rebellious regrowth of coarse hair that will protrude forward from the skin. Unruly brows can be awfully distracting.
Another key characteristic is a slightly elongated brow with a soft arch. This will open your eye for a more youthful appearance.
What can you do if you’ve overplucked?
You can learn how to use a product and softly sketch them in daily OR try Micro-Feathering. Brow tattooing is nothing like a “block” of colour like the old days. We now etch fine strokes into the outer layers of the skin that mimic real hairs, and natural pigments are used for realistic “hair-like” results. This procedure is painless and lasts 12-18 months.
What should every woman have in her brow kit?
Brow Brush: to comb through the hairs before you apply your product.
Tweezers: to maintain your shape and de-bulk any rogue hairs within the brow line.
Your favourite brow filling product: whether it be pencil or powder you should always have a staple.
What kind of brow maintenance should a woman incorporate into her beauty routine?
An appointment with a brow specialist every 4-6 weeks. A de-fluff with wax helps to maintain a polished glow over the brow bone.
Tidying up your brows with tweezers at home in natural light every two weeks.
If you have no brows, then book a Micro-feather touch tattoo treatment (this is done in two stages, 4-8 weeks apart) then maintain the strokes by booking a tattoo “refresh” appointment once a year.
What are the key things you consider when shaping someone’s eyebrows?
The first thing I look for is making sure the arch placement is correct. If your brows are too rounded or short, this can be incredibly ageing on the face. The aim is to have them as elongated and symmetrical as possible. If someone is lacking colour definition or they are too dark, I will make a colour adjustment to harmonise with their hair and skin tones.
What’s your biggest tip when it comes to getting good brows?
Follow your favourite brow artists on social media and hunt down an appointment. Even if it’s a one off appointment as an investment. A great reshape and colour enhancement for the brows has been likened to a “mini facelift”. A dedicated artist (not a different one each time you visit a department store) will guide you through a rehab regime if necessary and offer the most tailored product tutorials.
When it comes to packing a beauty kit for your gym bag it pays to keep it to just the essentials so you’re not lugging around your entire bathroom cabinet. So, what are the things that you will really, really need? Add these 10 things to your list the next time you pack your bag.
For those times when you just don’t have time for a shower a spritz of dry shampoo will do the trick. Not only does it absorb sweat it will even give your locks a volume boost.
This is a no-brainer of course! No one likes to deal with the odour post-workout so a mini can of deodorant in your bag is well worth packing.
It goes without saying that packing a towel in your gym bag is key. If you really want to up the style stakes this is a great option.
Doing a hardcore workout with makeup on is a serious beauty no-no. Just think of your poor clogged pores! Be sure to always have cleansing wipes in your bag to ensure that you can give your face a good cleanse before training.
There is nothing worse than rocking up to the gym only to find your hair tie has gone M.I.A. To avoid this dilemma keep a packet in your bag so you always have spares.
Zoë Foster Blake is an Australian author, beauty editor and owner of skincare range Go-To Skin Care. She is also an associate producer of The Wrong Girl, a new television series show based on her best-selling novel. Foster Blake and her husband, 2Day FM co-host and comedian Hamish Blake, are proud parents of their two-year-old son, Sonny. Foster Blake, 36, chatted to me about how her novel transformed into a television show, her top beauty tips, and how she “sort of broke my body” having her first child.
What have you been up to?
I have a few projects. Amazinger Face [her book], I just got that out and pushed that baby out to sea, and I’ve also got The Wrong Girl [TV show] … Jess Marais is the star and we’ve got a brilliant cast.
Tell me about The Wrong Girl.
[It] was my last novel I pulled out just before [the birth of my son] Sonny and it got picked up to be made into a TV show … Jess Marais is the lead and Hamish is in it … It has every chance to be a really excellent show. It’s about Lily who works in breakfast TV as a producer and this handsome new chef comes in and it is a love triangle. It’s a female-centric story about a career girl. The love story is there, but it’s secondary to her career and her life and her hiccups and her learnings.
Did you ever imagine that your novel would be made into a TV show? When I was younger, 25/26, I was like, “Well, this book has to be a TV show.” I was so arrogant and I just was like, “It’s obvious.” It never happened, of course [so I] let that go. I was like, “It’s a small country, small industry, there is not a very high chance of happening.” So when I got the call that they were interested in optioning it out, I was like, “Kidding?”
You never put it forward to the producers?
No, so the producers, they also did Love Child and House Husbands and The Code and they were looking for a fresh, romantic drama, comedy drama and they chose The Wrong Girl.
Have you been hands-on in the TV process?
I am an associate producer, so I sat in on story meetings with the writers and we would just spitball ideas and come up with lots of narratives. Obviously there’s a lot more to a TV show than just a book … I think adaptations are a bit tricky for the screenwriters because they’re worried about upsetting the author. But from day one I’m like, “This is amazing, I love it.”
What is a day in your life?
It varies, depending on whether I have Sonny or whether I have a workday … I like being at home while Sonny is young, so that I can see him through the day and have a cuddle … [At] 6:30pm when [Hamish] comes home, then he does bath, bottle, bed and I get some work done and do dinner. We have dinner together, a glass of wine and then we watch our [TV] shows.
Tell me about your new book Amazinger Face.
Amazinger Face is excellent, but … [the original book, Amazing Face] came out five years ago, so … some of it was out of date, in terms of products … [and] I’ve changed my opinion on some things, more specifically [why] physical sunscreen is so much better than chemical [sunscreen] … Also I’ve had a baby and there is pregnancy beauty I can talk about now.
What would be your No. 1 beauty tip?
Something that you get the most amount of impact for the smallest amount of effort, and to me that’s lipstick! But really, even before that, have good skin and you can wear less make-up. So, splurge on a professional treatment … once a month and then you can just basically use the basics – sunscreen, moisturiser, exfoliation and face oil.
Is there one beauty product that will never go out of fashion?
Lipstick is always in, whether it’s matte, creamy, glossy and so on. I think [eye] liners [have had] too good a rap for too long. I think it’s very unflattering on most women. Black liner around the eye makes your eyes look smaller. I think you should reassess, if you’re a really big black liner user, maybe even just doing the top line, not lower, or try a brown or a plum or even a navy.
What has been your career path to get to where you are today?
It was pretty conventional in some ways. I came up through the magazine ranks, from kids mags to teen to women’s to high fashion, and then I left and went digital, in beauty … I went all the way to get into freelancing … and had written five books or something by then … With Go-To, it was a bit of serendipity but ultimately I sort of thought, “Just put blinkers on. Don’t think about all those other great skin care products and just do what you wish you could do”.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your own business?
Not being able to switch off. You do get to work from home and work your own hours, but you never really turn off. I’ve got an amazing team, but I sort of am involved in every aspect of the business.
Did you ever imagine it would be this successful?
No! I never thought I would be a businesswoman in that sense … I love being creative director, but my favourite bit is the copy. I just want to do the copy and the marketing and at this point we’re still so small that I’ve got a hand in everything.
How do you juggle everything?
It is a juggle … My main thing is just to only do one thing at that time and try and be good at that … In the mornings, I don’t turn [my phone] on till 9, trying to just be with [Sonny] because he is only going to be small for a minute and then he won’t want to play with me!
Is Hamish a hands-on dad?
Yes, he is really involved and engaged and invested and I love this generation of fathers. We’re really lucky because they’re around, which is a big thing. [Hamish] is running his own career … He is full-time on air at the moment, but his career is the kind that could be vastly different from one year to the next … It keeps things exciting. But he is so conscious of being with Sonny and having quality time.
What’s the best thing about motherhood for you?
Well, the love and having a family, going from two to three is special and you feel like a little team … I think it brings more meaning to your life, but not just in terms of the child, but what you do outside of that. So, if I’m going to work on a project, then it has to be pretty good to take me away from Sonny.
Do you have plans to grow your family?
Yes … we want at least another kid, but I was always going to leave quite a gap between the two. I also sort of broke my body with Sonny … I’m still sore even sitting here talking to you because [of] my hip … So I want to get my body super-fit and tight, not tight but like core strength, so that it doesn’t break again … And also, I think as a career woman, I have to go, “Well, when does it fit right?” Last time I did this shitty job [at timing] – I had a book and a skin-care line and then a baby! …. It was terrible timing … It’s a lot of things to consider because it’s not just [the birth], it’s two years of your life. It’s the pregnancy, birth, it’s the breast-feeding … It’s all of that. So, I take it seriously.
Who do you look up to and admire?
I really like funny women. I’m drawn to women like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer. They’re writers, they’re producers, they’re actresses. They’re brilliant, funny, excellent women.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
It’s my mum’s. It always still rings in my head: “What you think about, you’ll bring about.” So you have to be really mindful of what you think. It’s easier said than done and it works both ways.
The Wrong Girl premieres on Wednesday, September 28, at 8.30pm on Channel 10.
WE ATE Marinated chicken pieces with a mild Portuguese spice blend; Argentinean spiced chicken breast, supreme-cut and pan roasted. Served with a thyme, garlic and shallot puree, sautéed greens, new potatoes, garlic stems and chimichurri; Sautéed broccolini with pan roasted almonds and cultured butter.