I’ve mentioned before that I love my netting-sponge-on-a-stick – it’s great for washing conditioner off your back, and for reaching your feet when you’re too sore to bend over (thanks, dance comp training). I’ve been using a sponge on a plastic handle from Daiso (which cost a whole $2.80) but recently it looks like they’ve decided to discontinue it, with no good replacement.
So I grabbed one from Chemist Warehouse… but alas, the stick is made of wood, and the mesh sponge is super dense, which mean it’s not going to dry out properly, which is pretty much THE biggest issue for me.
Why Do Shower Sponges Need to Dry?
We tend to think of soap as clean, but bacteria can still thrive even with regular soaping of your sponge!
The number one thing that makes bacteria grow is water. That’s why there’s a robust preservative system in every properly formulated water-based beauty product.
I’ve been asked about Foreo’s sonic cleansing devices more times than I can count, so I’m glad to say I finally have the Foreo Luna Play Plus ($75 AUD) in my hot little hands!
I’ve been trying out the Foreo Luna Play Plus in my cleansing routine for the past few weeks. Unlike other vibration-based cleansing brushes, the Foreo tools use little silicone knobs. On the Luna Play Plus, the knobs come in two sizes: there are larger ones at the tip which are meant to be used on the T-zone, and smaller ones around the rest of the tool that are meant for the rest of the face. The Foreo Luna Play Plus comes in 7 colours, and I have the fuchsia model.
It’s much smaller than I expected, smaller than the palm of my hand, so it’s super purse-friendly and travel-friendly (the exact dimensions are 64 x 60 x 28 mm, and it weighs 60 g). But don’t let the small size fool you – it’s very efficient at cleaning!
Total Refresher by Michael Todd Beauty is a new tool that attempts to replicate the spa experience at home. I was very lucky to have it in my hot little hands before its official launch next week!
The nifty Total Refresher combines 3 things in the one lightweight handheld tool: dermabrasion, comedone extraction and misting.
Total Refresher comes with 4 heads, one of which is a diamond tipped dermabrasion head. To exfoliate your skin, you glide the tip over taut skin without pressure. It’s recommended that you use it on clean, dry skin after applying a hot towel for 3-5 minutes. The instructions say to use it for a maximum of 5 minutes a week if you have dry skin, or 5 minutes twice a week for normal or oily skin. The tool has 3 speeds so you can adjust the intensity.
Dermabrasion is my favourite function of the tool. The suction automatically presses the diamond-coated tip against your skin so you don’t need to worry too much about how hard (or not-hard) to push. I’ve heard that other people end up red for an hour or two afterwards, but my skin seems to be resilient enough that I had no redness (although I’ve had aestheticians surprised by how little redness I get with in-clinic peels as well – I think my skin is deceptively resilient!).
Fat, bee-stung lips are more popular than ever. How do you get there if you weren’t born with them? Here are your options, from least to most drastic…
Hydrating Lip Care
Your lips dry out faster than the rest of your face because the skin there is very thin, and there aren’t any oil glands to produce natural sebum to moisturise them. Just like skin, lips are less wrinkly when they’re well-hydrated and moisturised!
It’s also important to protect your lips from the sun – in the short term sun exposure can lead to dehydration, but long term it can reduce collagen, which is the protein that keeps your skin and lips plump. Collagen goes down with age, but it goes down a lot more with sun exposure!
My favourite lip balm brand is Hurraw which have balms based on plant oils, but I’m also quite partial to Chapsticklimited edition Cake Batter balm and their Dual Action Hydration Lock. Revo has some cute round balms that I found much more effective than eos. Nivea has some great lip products too, especially the Repair and Protect balm which I think has been reformulated recently. Chapstick, Nivea and Hurraw all have SPF versions. Sun Bum has some nice SPF lip balms, but no plain ones.
Other balms I’ve heard a lot about but haven’t tried personally: Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm (though I can’t seem to find it stocked in many places anymore), Dr Bronner, Paula’s Choice.
Be conscious of your water-drinking habits
There’s a tiny bit of evidence that drinking water can affect your skin hydration if you don’t drink enough, but did you know that drinking water can actually dry out your lips? Wet skin loses water faster than dry skin, so flooding your lips with water too often can make them dry out faster. It can also wash away the oils, so make sure you reapply lip balm afterwards.
I’ve always been a bit lazy with my makeup routine because I really, really like sleep. I’m the least morning person who’s ever morninged, so I’m only willing to sacrifice 15 minutes for makeup, max.
But I also really enjoy playing with makeup, so cramming in a bunch of products is also necessary! My current makeup routine has expanded to the following, which I’m pretty proud of because it stays nice-looking despite the Australian summer and my oily-ass skin.
Pre-makeup: Wash face with water, apply sunscreen (I’m currently using Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Mattifying, my previous fave was Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence). Use Pixi 24K Eye Elixir on puffy bags if I feel particularly nasty (the cold rollerball is almost as good as a coffee).
1. Klara Cosmetics Reset Glow and NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% mixed together as a glowy primer with a little Shu Uemura Face Architect mixed in if my skin is being naughty. I’ve also started trying Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone as well. Since my skin is quite oily I used to avoid any sort of illuminator to cut down on shine, so applying it all over is a bit of a radical departure. I’ve found that if I put it all over with a sponge and cover it up with powder later, it works really well to make my skin look glowy and healthy without making it look greasy. Here’s what the three illuminators look like alone. From left to right: Klara, Becca, NIOD.
It’s been summer here in Sydney and since I’m running around bare-legged, hair removal has been on the forefront of my mind. Here are some cool new hair removal discoveries I’ve made, hope they help some of you out too!
Braun Silk-epil9 SkinSpa Epilator
Back in 2011 I bought a Braun Silk-epil epilator, used it for a bit… then misplaced the charging cable for a few years. When I finally found the cable again, unsurprisingly, the epilator refused to wake up. I hadn’t gotten around to buying a new one, so when I had the opportunity to try the new Braun Silk-epil9 SkinSpa (Amazon/Shaver Shop) I was pretty excited!
I originally turned to epilation because I really disliked shaving and waxing. The main advantage epilating has over shaving is that the epilator usually pulls out hair by the root, so overall it grows back slower and regrowth is less prickly (though some hairs will still snap in the middle and grow out prickly). It also doesn’t involve any disposable materials so it produces less trash (though it requires electricity), and it’s gentler on skin in terms of razor burn. However, epilation hurts more than shaving, takes a little longer, and the epilator requires you to remember to charge it. The risk of ingrown hair is also higher, since the hair can break off under the skin and remain trapped.
Epilation is a bit more similar to waxing. While both waxing and epilating both give you smooth stubble-free skin, waxing requires a bit more skill, you need to repurchase the wax, and it’s generally messier too. You also need longer stubble for effective waxing (2-3 mm for waxing vs 0.5 mm for epilating with the Silk-epil). I also find waxing more painful than epilation (other people disagree), but whereas waxing involves one quick big ouch, epilating requires you to bear a lesser amount of pain for a bit longer.