Category Archives: Martha Loves…

r e m e m b e r

was there ever something you did that you were REALLY proud of?

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As I get older, I love to think about when I was younger. I think we all do. Call it romanticising a time in our lives.

For me, ballet from an early age was all I could think about it. My mother drove me to countless destinations so I could be involved in rehearsals, performances & auditions. Most nights after school AND both days of the weekend. I was lucky. Lucky because she facilitated it, but lucky that she wasn't a pushy “ballet mum”.

So how do you remember it & record it in a completely vain way? Why, you ask a clever photographer to take some photos whilst you move your limbs and hope to god that it is the slightest bit flattering!

Kerstin from Lillikad Photography made me feel super duper comfortable and we had the most amazing natural light to work with. What was her biggest surprise? I think how many outfit options I had haha! Now there had been a bit of prepping with this. I am a “mover” from way back, if I don't exercise I tend to become unmotivated and grumpy (ask the hubby!). I had done a hell of a lot of Xtend Barre classes in preparation. I was intent on getting some of that muscle toning that dancers have. Did I achieve it? Not as much as I had hoped but thats where makeup & the right lighting comes in handy.

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So what did I use:

  • B a s e : Face & Body Foundation everywhere! Tanned muscles look more toned so I plastered myself in a colour called C4. This is great for a photoshoot. Please do NOT use this on your wedding day! There are many products that claim to be non-transferable….nothing is 100% proof!
  • E y e s : Light and neutral with matte colours like Orb on the lid to keep it looking light and fresh and then a sweep of Shadester Contouring Bronzer in the socket. I wanted the overall makeup look to not be distracting so keeping the tones of the eyes the same as the rest of the body colour will add just about the right amount of depth. Pop a bit of NC15 Chromagraphic Concealer Pencil in the waterline and the eyes look instantly awake. Mascara on both top and bottom.
  • C o l o u r : Brit Wit Cream Blush was used to continue with the neutral colour scheme. Cream blush is great for keeping the skin dewy….I suggest putting it on with a small round buffing brush or fingers tips on the apple of the cheek and blending it up the cheekbone. I avoid using a sponge as you will waste product and potentially create lines.

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I always like to learn something every time I do photoshoot….what was the lesson this time? Your body will NOT move like it did when you were 16…nor will it look like it.  I had cut down on my water consumption in the lead up to the photoshoot to make sure the muscles were more defined…. would I suggest it? No! So thirsty and its bloody hard to balance in awkward poses when you are feeling parched haha.

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Thank you to Kerstin for your patience, your eye for art and your ability to balance on very tall ladders to get some epic aerial shots! xxx

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c r e a s e

Why does my eyeshadow crease? All the  t i m e. o i l This is a question I get asked a lot and it really comes down to the shape of your eye and its natural contours. Your eye is constantly moving so the skin on the upper lid is constantly rubbing. This means…
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a n g r y birds

Are you planning on being on stage any time soon? No?

Then lets tone things down shall we??

I am all for a defined eyebrow but ladies…. please. What is going on??

This new trend of over-darkening your brows needs to fade out. It’s great on a stage, it looks great with the right lighting and fabulous with the right filter. Everyday life, not so much.

In England we call them “Scouse” brows which refers to a particular region of the UK where people are of a certain overly made-up, bad fake tan calibre. Grab a “sharpie” and draw ya brows on. Nice. Here in Australia its taken inspiration from some very talented drag queens.

I believe that eyebrows should be seen on the face but should NOT be the 1st thing you look at. slow down on the “angry eyes” people.

Blend it...please!!!!

Blend it...please!!!!

Sometimes, we may need a little bit of extra definition on our eyebrows. This can be done using a variety of products, the market is saturated with choice.

I'm not a big fan of tinting as I find that even when the colour is perfect initially, with the washing of your face it tends to last only about a week. Regrowth can look pretty interesting too when the brows have been lightened…tiger stripes anyone?

I usually like to recommend using a small angled brush to apply a shadow to fill in any gaps in the brow and create some extra definition. There are specific eyebrow powders or use a matte eyeshadow instead. I always comb through after applying the colour with a clean mascara wand to remove excess product, this will soften any harsh lines too.

Blend it and soften it!

Blend it and soften it!

A pencil can be used but ladies, keep it light and blend it! If you draw on a looks like a line. Soften it! I am in LOVE with the new MAC Big Brow Pencils. They provide a powdery finish and don't require much combing through with a wand or brush.

Big Brow Pencil

Big Brow Pencil

Coloured brow gels are also an option for eyebrows that are a little patchy in colour.

Do you trust yourself with a long-lasting tattoo pen?

Do you trust yourself with a long-lasting tattoo pen?

And the latest trend are the eyebrow "tattoo" pens and gels. Do they work? Hmmmm I'm testing a few to find out. Watch this space!

s p r i n g



Bring it on!!

Winter is officially over and I say gooooooood riddance. I know we are still 3 months off summer but I feel Spring is a good compromise. The days are longer, the weather is (usually) better and everyone seems to be in a better mood!

So, the stockings get put away and perhaps you may even start wearing a skirt or 2. Exciting! Now, if you are anything like me, I have a tendency to get dry skin, especially during the colder months. Like a snake. Its gross.

The key here is to exfoliate. Get those disgusting dry skin cells off your body now!! What do I use? Well I’m still a fan of Frank Body Scrub. It smells delicious and it leaves your body feeling like velvet. Yes, it is messy but it is worth it.


Messy but I smell delicious!!

Messy but I smell delicious!!

I also love the Aesop Geranium Body Exfoliant. A little bit of this really does go a long way and scrubbing with this will leave you feeling refreshed and polished.

And then what next??

Hydrate! I am not faithful to any particular moisturiser. To be honest I make use of Priceline’s 50% off sales. They have a huge range. The only body cream that I would say I haven't been a big fan of is the Palmers Cocoa Butter Intensive Relief as I find it is one of those ones that leaves white streaks which are hard to rub in.

I LOVE Bio Oil, I baste myself in it, if they sold it in a litre bottle I would buy a dozen!

So shiney. So hydrated!!!

So shiney. So hydrated!!!

Also, try lathering yourself with coconut oil. Its great for dry patches even for us eczema sufferers!

So start prepping that skin of yours…before you know it, you will be in a summer dress and you will be flashing those luscious glowing limbs!


b e l i e f s

belief breakdown

I was recently away with some friends and we randomly started talking about weird stuff/routines that we did when we were younger in the name of beauty and vanity.

For all of eternity I have had dry skin. Best resolution when I was 15 was basting my face in Vaseline to sleep. And I don't mean the moisturiser. I mean the petroleum jelly type. Scrape a nail across my well lubricated face and that nail looked like a grease plough. Needless to say, my pillow case had to get changed frequently...

Toothpaste is great for drying out pimples. So good in fact that it creates a lovely red ring of dried out flakiness. Yes it works but yes it irritates the other skin around it.

I was optimistic...

I was optimistic...

For me, there was the long term goal of bigger boobs. I can confirm that smothering your décolletage with mayonnaise or toothpaste makes absolutely no difference. It does NOT work. No real surprises there. Bless my younger self!

I trained as a classical dancer with the Royal Ballet and part of our daily routine included putting surgical spirit on our feet. Now this isn't a weird routine or habit, this was a necessity to dry out the skin so it created hard callouses….all the better to stand on pointe with. And yes, I still have ugly feet because of it!

Although it wasn't a weird treatment, I insisted through my teens that I should wear this purple tinged lipstick that had a bluey/pinky shimmer. I called it purple. My parents called it "Death". It was pretty horrific in all honesty. I thought I was so edgy. And rebellious. I would purposely wear it  knowing that my parents didn't approve. To the supermarket. Everywhere! I wasn't able to find a photo of it unfortunately...I think mum actually refused to capture the evidence!

So was there anything that you used to do in your younger years that you thought  was going to solve all your beauty woes or wore something that only YOU thought was edgy and beautiful?


one m a k e u p product

If you couldn't live without one makeup product, what would it be? It is a tough question. I will leave you to have a little think….. So, for me it would have to be CONCEALER. One product that I think is magical. [caption id="attachment_2782" align="aligncenter" width="2913"] 10 Hours sleep in a tube!![/caption] I know, I…
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s m o k e it.

Make it soft.
Blur it.
Soooooo many pencils!

Soooooo many pencils!

Pencil is the most forgiving of liners as it can be smudged easily into a smokier look by using a variety of tools and techniques.

The first step is to always make sure that your pencil is sharp even if you know you want to soften the liner. I find the wind up pencils are lovely and soft but they tend to not allow for a sharpened tip which will mean your line will be thicker.

So how do you soften a line? Lets try to avoid using cotton tips shall we? There are a lot of brushes out there to choose from so here are a couple of tips:

Angled Brush - This is usually made of a synthetic fibre. The shorter edge will always lead the way. By using this brush, you will soften the line and keep the pigment of the liner looking consistent. It will be harder to spread the eyeliner thicker using an angled brush

Small brush - This is great for softening and dispersing the liner out of its defined state. It is like a small shadow brush, the softer edges means that it will spread the product so will soften the line

Pencil brush - Why not intensify the liner by laying some eyeshadow over the top of the pencil. The moisture of the pencil will help the shadow stick and the colour will be intensified. The brush is a small dome shape so it will help soften the line whilst the colour  builds.

Smudge it. Smoke it. Blur it.

Smudge it. Smoke it. Blur it.


I like to tip my head back and keep both eyes open. Otherwise, I find the skin tends to pucker (this is only going to get worse as our eyelids age unfortunately 🙁 ) By using a dot-to-dot method I find the pencil will stay nice and snug to the lash line.

Remember, be patient. Eyeliner takes practise, the more you do it, the better you will be...I promise!

n a t a s h a & matt

Natasha & Matt

I don’t actually remember how Natasha came to me but I’m glad she did. What a beautiful soul she is. There were so many elements I loved about this wedding. It was simple and the celebration was a surprise…even to her bridesmaid!

They had gathered all their friends and family for an engagement party and caught everyone off guard by actually having the wedding then and there. Natasha said that she didn’t want the fuss and expense of a big wedding but wanted to mark the big occasion sharing it with their close friend, family and their son. Celebrating in Matt’s parents backyard which they had decorated with flowers from the flowers markets was the perfect laid-back backdrop.

Natasha has amazing skin, it is absolutely flawless so we didn’t need much foundation at all. A quick touch of Pro Longwear concealer under the eyes and a sweep of face and body foundation set with some sheer powder is all that she needed. Lots of lashes and a black Chromaline Gel liner to define and extend the lash line. The eyeshadow colours on the lid were kept neutral with retrospeck and kid in the contour.

Natasha finishing touchesNatasha happy

A great tip for opening up the eyes is to use a light coloured pencil on the lower inner waterline. White can look a bit stark and unnatural so instead I tend to use a concealer pencil called Studio Chromagraphic Pencil in NW20. By putting it along the lash line it attracts light to the area creating a fresher more wide-eyed look. This is a great trick when you are tired (or hungover!)

Natasha Beauty

Natasha -

The photos are stunning and I think they can be best described as natural & honest. Margan Photography have captured the day earnestly and the happy couple look effortlessly calm and stylish.

m a s c a r a

[caption id="attachment_2786" align="aligncenter" width="3264"] Find a mascara that has the right wand for you.[/caption] How do you find the perfect mascara for you? Ok. So, first things first. Mascara is a wet product which is used on a particularly sensitive area of your face. Which means that it can pick up bacteria and then become…
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l e a r n . . .

We can design a look specifically for you!

We can design a look specifically for you!

and create something new...

Makeup can be an everyday routine that can become a bit of a bore.

I find at the turn of the seasons, it is a great time to evaluate what is in your makeup bag. Chuck out those wrong purchases and buy something new and fresh.

But where do you start? If you go to a makeup counter, they will sell you what their company has produced and only that. Although I am MAC girl I don’t only recommend their delights, I am open to other suggestions if I think there is a better product.

This past month has seen me making a lot of recommendations of makeup products during our Eyebrow Styling appointments. I love talking about makeup and leading people in the right direction to feeling and looking fabulous. It can be hard to demonstrate and make my recommendations as the appointment is too brief.

So, why don't you think about booking a lesson in with me? Let me get my bossy head on 🙂 I ask you to bring in your existing makeup & brushes and then we can sort through it. I will show you how to apply makeup in step-by-step instructions and then you can do the other side. I promise I will balance you before you walk out the door. And whats more, you get to take away eye charts, face charts and a tips and tricks booklet. Stick those charts on your mirror and follow the instructions. Easy!

Like anything, it takes practise and a bit of time. Before you know it, you will be polished, flawless and fresh in no time and you will have done it yourself!

love L O S T

You head to the make-up counter.

You ask to purchase your favourite product.

You find out that it has been discontinued....

Discontinued & Disappointing


I seem to have a knack of falling in love with makeup products that either get discontinued or they are limited edition. I am a MAC girl from waaaaaaaaay back and my kit is full to the brim with their delights. They are a company that pride themselves on evolving their products so that it is the absolute best that technology can make but also for creativity purposes. Personally, I have the type of personality that once I love something, I tend to always stick with it. So, when I run out of a discontinued product, its like a break-up!

Luckily we are surrounded by a huge array of cosmetic companies who are constantly bringing out new delights to play with though.

So here are some of my loves that have gotten the chop:

  • Wild About You lipstick - a deep dark wine matte that would make Lorde jealous…I’m going to say I started the whole dark lip thing waaaaay before her! Now I have moved on to a colour called Volga by Nars. Silky, matte and it does not shift. Its the perfect vavoooooom needed for a plain outfit. Seen here on the beautiful Kat on her wedding day...(image courtesy of John Benavente Photography)

Kat -

  • Spring Up eyeshadow - want to liven up your baby blues? This was a great soft lemon colour that made your eyes pop. Although  not quite as pastel yellow as Spring up, a good alternative is Retrospeck or Gorgeous Gold which is a beautiful muted gold.


  • Dirty Blonde Brow Pencil - this was perfect. W H Y?? It was ashy, the pigment density was excellent and it was super easy to blend. I now use & recommend the new MAC Big Brow Pencil in Fling for my blondie clients. They are a new release and they are permanent fixture...(for now!). I am VERY excited!

blonde pencil

  • Brow Definer Shadow - Now this is going back a few years, when I used to work for MAC! It was a washed out shadow that defined without being too dark. You used an angled brush to apply with small feathery strokes and you didn't even need to blend it. Nowadays, there are all sorts of products to choose from: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo where you use 2 colours to create dimension softly. If you don't want to commit to a specific brow powder, you can use normal eyeshadows too. Try Bobbi Brown shadows in colours like Grey, Malted, Blonde & Saddle using an angled brush like #204.

shadows:brow powder

So what products have you had discontinued that you absolutely L O V E D & wish you had stock-piled?

de f i n e

c r i s p. and s h a r p. [caption id="attachment_2748" align="aligncenter" width="712"] Gel Liner creating a fluid definition.[/caption] Eyeliner is there to define and to create extra depth at the base of your lashes helping them to look longer. It can also be used to add a pop of colour. To create…
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w e d d i n g – Becky & Mark

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I have known Becky for about 10 years now. She first started to visit me when I was plucking eyebrows at MAC in David Jones and she soon became a regular client. Then, after I left MAC I would go and visit her office and she would book a meeting room for me. I would pluck her and her colleagues in a boardroom overlooking the harbour. It was a genius idea, they never had to leave their office building but they could maintain a beauty routine. I would visit every 6 weeks and it was great…they would be back at their desks before their boss’s would notice!

We lost contact whilst she changed jobs and had babies. But, she found me again and it was exciting to hear that Mark and her had decided to get married after 15 years of being together. I put up my hand to do the makeup and I was honoured to be part of their big day.

So beautiful. So effortless. And it makes me feel mighty grateful that I could be a part of Becky's big day.

m a k e u p   b r e a k d o w n :

the p l u n g e

Sometimes, you have to just follow your h e a r t .

I am lucky to have the pleasure of meeting a lot of people through my work and I LOVE the relationships and opportunities that unfold from our interactions.

Olivia Babarczy had been working in the corporate game for many years when she decided it was time to mix things up. She wanted to invest her time in something she had a love for.

R e s o r t  w e a r .

Olivia was just about to have her fourth child when she decided to launch this new project. I think she is Superwoman! The Plunge Collective was born and since its launch in November it has been dressing ladies in fun and beautiful patterned kaftans Australia wide. Lightweight with a silk and cotton blend means you can throw it on for any occasion and they feel fabulous.

When Olivia asked me to help with the hair and makeup for the shoot, I jumped at the chance. Using pinterest we came up with a glowing bronzed look for our model, Jira from Chic Management. Jira made my job so very EASY. What a beauty and what a professional.

m a k e u p   b r e a k d o w n

Skin : when working with perfect skin, you really don't need to do much. Hydrate it with MAC Lightful C Formula, dot on some Select Cover Up Concealer where it is needed under the eyes and buff on a very light layer of Smashbox BB Cream. Seal it in with a spray of Fix + and we were ready!

Eyes : Gold and bronze. I used Fix + with a flat #239 brush to spread Vintage Gold Pigment over Jira’s lid. It creates a fantastic moist look to the eyelid without looking like the product is clammy. I used Shadester Sculpting powder to contour her eyes. I wanted to define her eyes without being too dark so I used a great pencil called Powersurge. Its an ashy bronze colour that seems to suit everyone and you can pop it in the waterline for adding a bit of oomph and get rid of any redness.

Lashes : Fluffy lashes were created with individual lashes evenly spread out along the eye. I used a combination of the short and medium length Ardell lashes and used minimal mascara so that the lashes looked less brittle.

Lips : We wanted to a have a few different looks using different colours. I used: Morange (orange), Rebel (dark plum) with Currant Lipliner blended, Shy Girl (nude) and Lady Danger (tomato red).

Warmth : I wanted to keep the cheeks very neutral as Jira would be in a number of outfits and the look was all about glow and bronze. I brought in warmth by using Shadester on Jira’s forehead and cheeks and applied a beautiful blush called Trace Gold. It has a soft gold shimmer to it so it gave the cheeks a subtle sheen.

Hair : Using my trusty GHD straightener I was able to create some fantastic soft curls in Jira's hair. We were going to accessorise one of the kaftans with a turban and then have a number of different hairstyles to vary the look. The secret here is to not use too many products as the hair has to stay malleable. I am a big fan of the Unite products especially the Texturiza Spray . Its great for styling freshly washed dry hair and giving dirtier hair a bit of a boost.

Photo credits must go to the talented Fashion Photographer Andrew Babarczy who flew up from Melbourne to be a part of the fun.

Best of Luck to The Plunge Collective and I cant wait to see more fabulous prints in the next season. xx

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e a s t e r

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Look at my buns!

How is it Easter already?? The year is flying by. It has been a pearler so far. It warms me to my cockles to have so many of my regulars come in for a visit. Thanks for all the recommendations for my lovely new ladies too….my motto is to change Sydney, one brow at a time. I feel like I am kicking goals 🙂

I hope that everyone gets to enjoy 4 luxurious sleep-ins and have some good old fashioned family time. I love the idea of not setting my alarm and not making too many concrete plans. I plan on indulging in chocolate eggs and eating my own body weight in hot cross buns…I love those suckers…in fact, it has been rainy and a bit dreary of late so I went to the trouble of making my own. Pretty impressive huh? Will I share them with the hubby though…

Put some ears on, paint your nose and gather your baskets to go egg hunting.

Happy Easter y’all! xxx

1 y e a r & still going strong

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Time has absolutely flown. I have just celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary, which blows my mind.

It really was the best day. I would happily do it again & again….mind you, the old bank account probably wouldn't allow it. So much planning and headspace too but ALL worth it!

I still question whether I should have drunk quite so much alcohol the night before with my bridesmaids….especially as I had been on a detox for the month leading up. I was one eager beaver to get the party started. I did a hell of a lot of rehydrating with drinking coconut water and then moisturising the morning of the wedding. It is amazing the difference having a glass or 2 of vino makes on the skin. I may have had tired skin but I had a very happy heart!

I realised I never did do a product breakdown of my makeup look. So, I thought now is as good as time as any!

m a k e u p  b r e a k d o w n

Base : I used Face & Body Foundation all over my face because I LOVE the finish and the fluidity. I built up coverage with Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. And then underneath my eyes (where my slight hangover was evident) I used Select Cover Up Concealer….10 hours sleep in a tube!

Lid : The look I wanted was all about the eyes. Gold hues against blue eyes make them POP and this was a day I wanted them to shine. Goldmine by MAC is one of my favourites which I pressed onto the eyelid. A really simple thing to do to freshen up the eyes is to use a light colour on the inner part of the eye. I love a colour called Nylon which is a very pale lemon colour applied with a soft fluffy brush like the #217.

Socket : Contouring doesn't have to be difficult. Start off with a medium colour like Kid that follows the outer part bone socket to about two thirds of the way towards the inner eye. Then I started darkening the outer socket with Tempting and then Sketch.

Waterproof : On an emotional day like this it was imperative that I used waterproof products. BlackTrack Fluidline and Haute & Naughty Waterproof Mascara kept any streaking on hold.

Lashes ; I cant go past the individual lashes. They stay on better than the row of lashes and I love how you can build the thickness and length where it is needed for each individual. Personally, the Ardell lashes are my favourite. They are easy, they don't look synthetic and they don't break the bank.

Brows : One word for us blondes. Fling. It is the BEST colour for us lighter haired ladies. Unfortunately MAC refuse to bring it out in anything but a skinny pencil that only winds up (and not down). Use it every day and you are likely to burn through it in about 6 weeks. Annoying and expensive! Save it for special occasions 🙂

Warmth : I used a bronzer by MAC called Shadester. They call it a sculpting powder so it means that you can create a very contoured look. It is matte and it is the perfect colour as it minimal redness in its hue and it has no shimmer BUT the pigment is extremely strong so blend, blend, blend.

Blush : I wanted to keep the glow to my cheeks so I used a combination of Margin and Springsheen. They have a fine milled shimmer to them which creates a radiancy to the skin when it catches the light. They are my absolute favourites.

Lips : I LOVE my red lipstick, especially a fabulous colour called Lady Danger by Mac but I knew I wanted to have a good snog at the alter and I didn't think that the colour would necessarily suit the hubby. So I decided that I wouldn’t upstage my eyes so I kept it very light and soft by using a great lipstick called Blankety. I then topped it up with my favourite lipgloss called Big Baby.

Make it last : I love to set my makeup so I spray Urban Decay All Nighter once my makeup is complete. It helps rehydrate the skin creating a dewy finish and it helps to keep all the products in place.

I would like to thank my friend Tara who applied my lashes for me as I would never have been able to apply those individual little suckers with all my excitement. She also did a beautiful job of my bridesmaids makeup.

And I will always be grateful for Vicki Macfarlane, who is the best bridal hair lady in town. She knows her way around a head and over the years I have worked many a wedding with her. My hair did not move and it was an absolute pleasure to have her there with me on my big day.

What a day, what a year and what a marriage. So far, so good 🙂 xxx

e y e b r o w s

how long will you let them grow out for?

Its funny how eyebrow shapes follow “trends". It doesn’t sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the thicker brow that is in fashion at the moment but if you look through the past you can almost pinpoint the decade just by looking at the brows.

For every parent out there that refuses to let their children touch their own eyebrows, I salute you! Its this yearning we have as teenagers to remove hair, I can’t remember why I wanted to pluck my eyebrows, I think I just felt like its something I was meant to do. Luckily I didn’t get too pluck happy with them.

There are countless brows that I have rescued over the years from the dreaded "over pluck” and I know its a long and painful growing out process. Let me tell you, the regrowth doesn’t always come back where you want it. You can guarantee that those particularly useless hairs positioned on your eyelid will be persistent though. Frustrating.

I do think seeking help from a professional is a good idea. Would you cut your own hair? Nope. I have spoken to so many clients and they love their magnifying mirrors. I don’t. Its not real life and no one looks at us that closely (except maybe our loved ones and I would hope that they are forgiving).

What I would recommend is come in for a regular shape and then in between appointments you can do a little bit of tidying up. Below are some tips to help with the maintenance:

Tweezers   - I LOVE my Rubis tweezers that are angled and skinny at the tip. They get every hair first time and they allow me to grab the hair just as it breaks the surface. Tweezerman are great too.

Brow Comb   - By using a brow comb it will help keep the hair that you want to actually keep out of the way whilst you pluck. I like to use a plain mascara wand.

Magnifying mirrors   - Its a distorted perception of our face. Instead use a normal mirror and remember to take a step back occasionally so you can see your whole face.

Good Lighting   - This should not be the natural lighting in your car. Using your rear vision mirror. Whilst you are stopped at the traffic lights. PLEASE. Overhead lighting can create a shadow from the brow bone so I do find natural lighting is the best. Sit in the garden with a cuppa or by a window in your house with a hand held mirror. Alternatively if you happen to have a mirror with lights around it like the celebrities do, use that!

c e l l u l i t e

Dimples without the smile!!

Otherwise known as “orange peel”, “cottage cheese" and "hail damage”. Personally, I just think its DISAPPOINTING.

After a recent trip overseas in warmer temperatures walking around half naked in a bikini I couldn’t help but notice mine and everyone else's dappled skin. And they say skinny people don’t have cellulite. Pfft. Wrong!

According to wikipedia, 80-90% of us post adolescent females have it. So in theory, its become the “norm”. Which in some ways is reassuring but it got me thinking why?

I don't claim to be an expert, a scientist nor a biologist but I am naturally nosey so I decided to look into why it exists. Of course, there are many theories and every one has an opinion. But these seemed to be the main offenders:

  • Hormones. Those good old chestnuts. It would explain why males manage to skip this beautiful butt and thigh landscape. Us girls get it all don’t we?
  • Genetics. Luckily for some nationalities and races, their genetics have managed to avoid the contribution to a dimpled society. But for the rest of us, if your mama has it, chances are you will too. Not only did I get my dad’s ears and forehead, I can thank my mum for my squishy bits?….No, not really. My mum has great legs. She really does, even at the age of 71.
  • This is an interesting one, Clothing (?) Tight clothing across the butt can mean poor blood flow….so those tight leggings that suck everything in at the gym are actually not favourable? Who doesn’t love the feel of a good wobble?
  • Smokers, Exercise Avoiders and the Stationary. Get up off that office chair once in a while!
  • Stress.  I don’t know anyone that isn’t stressed at some point in their lives. And I don’t necessarily mean something traumatic. I actually mean our everyday lives. Time. Time nowadays seems to be our biggest stress. We are busy. All the time.

One of the most disconcerting things to me though are all the magazines out there photographing and creating "stories" on this subject. The paparazzi just "happen to be (lurking around) on the beach" to capture celebrities with their pants down. One day, celebs are being celebrated for not being stick thin but then the next day, their cellulite is the latest shock horror news. Its boring. And more importantly, completely irrelevant.

So yep, cellulite exists. Its all around us. The best thing we can do is be kind to ourselves. Eat a diet that is right for you, exercise and sleep well. And more than anything, forgive your body for being expressive…my dimples on my butt are bigger than the ones on my face….so what!?

Not long now . . . .

  So, the countdown is on! I will be leaving on a jet-plane in just over 3 weeks for our delayed honeymoon and I am pretty darn excited. Africa has always been on my "to-do" list and I feel grateful that I get to share the experience with my husband! Between now and then my diary…
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Ahhhhh over the years I have discovered that a "good tan" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I know, it's the more safer option than actually baking yourself in the sun but it's not having the right effect if you KNOW its fake, right? Whether it be because of bad application leaving you with stripes or whether it's just because it is the wrong colour.

It's imperative that the right one is used, which unfortunately means a bit of trial and error. But think of it this way: When you are trying to match foundation to your skin, you are looking for the right texture (oil-free, moisturising etc) and more importantly the right colour. So why wouldn’t fake tan be the same?

I have a yellow undertone to my skin (growing up I was called Bart simpson…kids can be so cruel) so applying a yellow based “golden” tan is going to look ridiculous and make me look jaundice. Not quite the desired effect. I am a control freak from way back so if I am going to wear fake tan its going to be applied by me and me only. It's a lot of effort and it requires some pretty interesting body contortions but so far I've been pretty successful. Luckily, I was blessed with long gangly arms!

For us “Simpsons” I love the Ella Bache Great Tan Without Sun as it has a bronze undertone which means it gives my skin a subtle warmth. What I love about this product is that the lotion is actually coloured so you can see where you apply it to prevent the lines and patches. Unfortunately it is a 6-8 hour one so make sure you don’t have to exert yourself that day and I tend to stay indoors. You will look dirty by the end of it so maybe wear some older clothes. See, I said it was a bit of effort.

There is obviously a bit of preparation and some things to look out for. Follow my tips and you will be a bronzed god/goddess in no time!

  • Exfoliation - This HAS to be done in the lead up to your application. 2 days before and then again the day before (especially in the colder months). The tan will sit on the dead skin cells if they aren’t buffed off creating patches (and grossness!). Try using an exfoliating mitt with circular motions or use my favourite product at the moment Frank Body.
  • Hydration - Fake tan will always dry out your skin so you want to make sure that it is well nourished before its applied. This should be done in the lead up everyday to create a smooth palette for the tanning product. Mix a bit of Vitamin E oil or Bio Oil into your body moisturiser to ramp up the hydration.
  • Application - If you aren’t a control freak (like me!) then head to a salon that either specialises in fake tans or go off a recommendation. I send all my brides to Bronzalicious in Neutral Bay. They have every make of tan available under their roof and they match the product according to your skin tone and your desired darkness. Some will only need to be left on for 2 hours which is a winner in my eyes.

Please, please, please do not be a serial fake tanner though. Your skin will need a rest in between and trust me, it takes weeks for it to be off completely even with a good amount of exfoliating! Although I'm not of a scientific background, I don’t think pickling your skin in this tone changing substance can be good for you too right?

Now that the warmer months are upon us and I don't want to blind everyone with my white and mottled flesh I guess I will start warming up for my contortions!!

# n o f i l t e r

I PROMISE to NOT use filters on any of my photos that showcase my work....

Do you know why? Because my work is about real life, real vision and what we see in real time. None of us are walking around with filters on our eyes. There are so many apps to help us achieve a flawless and in my honest opinion an unrealistic look nowadays. I think it is messing with our perception!

Instagram is wonderful for a lot of things but I'm beginning to think that "reality" is being a little bit warped.

Granted, filters can make a photo look pretty. They can accentuate colours. They can smooth out lines and creases. They can make us look younger. Give that photo a tea-stained sepia tinge and we are instantly "vintage". There is even a function where you can whiten teeth and eyeballs!

Its clever. Not only are we "smugging" about an amazing experience that we are having (and actually not being that present in the moment because we HAVE to record it on our phones) but we can now look EXTRA beautiful whilst doing it!

I am a sucker for it, I've definitely used them on myself in the past...if in doubt, change your photo to black and white and I can guarantee you will instantly look better haha!

Some may argue that makeup itself is "fake" and "cheating" and I suppose I would agree to a certain degree. We use it because we want to look our best, we like the transformation and the confidence it brings. Makeup should NOT feel or look like a mask though.

So, my instagram account that displays my makeup won't have filters on, no sireeeeeee. I want to showcase my work, I want it to be MY work. No clever lighting. No filter. And no plastic fantastic models either. I like to see how beautiful a woman can look naturally.

Let's look and enjoy the REAL things in life!



so much c o n f u s i o n

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Does anyone else feeling like their skin is thoroughly confused at the moment?

Yes, yes it is!

There is a tightening, a flakiness and a dullness and I am sick of it. The time has come to have a bit of an overhaul on my routine and the products that I am slapping on!

It is a case of finding the right formula for you but here are my recommendations:

Cleansing and Makeup Removal - This can surely be done at the same time can’t it? Some brands love to advocate these processes be done separately but I am l.a.z.y. I use a product by Bobbi Brown called Cleansing Balm Rinse during the cooler months and it melts my makeup off and cleans every pore and crevice on my face. I love it because it doesn't strip my skin of much needed hydration during the winter. And then during the summer I use Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I only do this at night and then I will just splash my face in the morning with a bit of warm water.

Exfoliating - I love the feeling of my skin after exfoliating. My favourite is the Clinique 7 Day Scrub, apparently you can use it everyday but you wouldn’t want to use anymore than twice a week as it will confuse your skin to produce too much oil. By exfoliating, you will be removing dead skin cells, encouraging circulation and creating a smooth surface for foundation.

Moisturising - I actually use the same cream morning and night and its just by Olay. During the day, it creates a hydrated base for my makeup to be applied and then at night I step up the hydration by adding a serum like Dr Lewwin’s Ultimate Lift Serum. In the colder and drier months I bump it up with Rose Hip Oil or Vitamin E oil. It is really important to spend time rubbing in your products properly…you will notice a difference especially when you apply foundation.

Eye Cream - Moisturised skin cells are plump cells which means less lines and wrinkles. So pick a cream rather than a gel for under the eye area. Concentrate the cream under the eye for during the day when wearing makeup and then at night you can add it to the upper lid. I am currently using Clinique Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream and its doing a lovely job.

Over complicate - Lets not overcomplicate things by using a ton of different products. For example: Toning, in my opinion is the biggest waste of time, there is actually no evidence that it does anything! BUT, if you like the feeling of it, you can use Rose Water.

I strongly believe that the most expensive product isn’t necessarily the best either. Just because it has a fancy name and fancy price tag does not mean that it is going to work miracles. The main focus should be building a routine that you can maintain. Try to get products that hydrate, this in itself will help plump up the cells smoothing out lines and help with the elasticity of your skin. Bright and perky, thats what we are looking for!

how confused is your s k i n ?

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  • Frank making a mess!
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The colder weather has left my skin feeling less than happy. The temperature rises…the temperature drops. In this transitional phase of the year my skin doesn't know what to do with itself.

From personal experience I know that I absolutely hate getting out of the shower during winter…I have to give myself a serious talking to. And then its a mad rush to dry yourself as quickly as possible before literally leaping into your clothes. If only it was that simple and quick though. If anyone else is like me, the tightening of the skin quickly transcends to flakiness and its not pretty. I don’t like imitating a snake when my clothes peel off at the end of the day, its gross.

So what do we do to stop it from happening to our bodies? Hydrate, moisturise, hydrate, moisturise and then some more of the above if you get a chance.

Here are some tips to keep you smooth and silky during this in-between season where the skies cant seem to make up it’s mind:

Hydrate from within - Remember to drink plenty of water…we have a tendency to keep less hydrated when its colder, this will show in your skin!

Temperature - As tempting as it is, having a scolding hot shower dehydrates your skin (and makes it even more difficult to get out at the end!)

Cleansing Skin - Try to avoid any product that contains soap as this will strip your natural moisture and will leave you feeling extremely tight after. I Love Aesop’s Geranium Body Cleanser. When my dermatitis plays up I use Goats Milk Soap which is neutral and gentle to wash the day’s grime away.

Exfoliate - Keep it regular at once (or more if you can) a week if you can. This will remove the dead skin and it will help prevent ingrown hairs and pimples. Exfoliating encourages circulation…the more circulation to our skin cells, the plumper they are which will mean a beautiful smooth finish. Use an exfoliating mitt, a brush or an exfoliating scrub. I have just discovered a fantastic exfoliating scrub product called Frank Body….it smells divine and works an absolute treat!

Hydration - The market out there is completely saturated with choice for products, it really is a case of finding the right one for you. I like the more natural products, I find the more fragranced products are not as hydrating. Mind you, the Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Balm smells divine and that moisturises my body pretty darn well. Before I go to bed, I LOVE to absolutely baste my body in Coconut Oil…and yes I mean the stuff you cook with….you can’t get more natural than that and I smell delicious!

h e l l o

N e w  M a r t h a  B.


After nearly 8 years of being Ms Independent, I have finally learnt how to enjoy some down time and I think I may have got the hang of this whole balancing “life” thing.

I do feel extremely fortunate that I love my job. Whether it be my eyebrow shaping appointments, my brides or my makeup lessons I thoroughly enjoy the time I get to spend with my clients.

I swear I use up all my social energy at work sometimes. I love talking to my clients and building relationships. I still have my first ever eyebrow shaping client that comes to see me, Ms JB. She has become a good friend and I love our catch-ups, in fact she was there to celebrate my recent wedding with me. My clients are a BIG part of my life.

Up until a year ago, i panicked if i wasn’t completely booked out 6 weeks in advance, it was exhausting. But, now with a little looser schedule I like to think that I have more mental capacity to focus on the things that I love.

I work extremely hard and the one way I like to reward myself is with an adventure overseas. In fact, I live for my holidays. What do they say? “Travelling is the only thing in life that makes you richer”. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t need much encouragement!

I have discovered that with me working slightly less hours, I am actually a nicer person. I reckon my husband will agree 🙂 Its important to have hobbies. For me I love to exercise and to immerse myself in crafty things. Currently I am loving colouring in…who would have thought that could be such a stress reliever? Its ace.

Balance. Thats what it comes down to.

Stay tuned to my blog to learn some tips and tricks with makeup application and skin maintenance. I've got all sorts of advice about fake tan, exfoliating, eyeliner application, eyebrows and so much more!

I am truly grateful to each and everyone of my clients for their support and loyalty over the years. Thank you for letting me continue to do what I LOVE to do. xxx