Before I start this post, let me begin by saying I am writing this post 100% unbiased and the favourable comments that I am about to pepper all over this post is well and truly deserved. As a seasoned (ahem, I have after all just recently passed my 9th year mark blogging on THIS BLOG!) beauty blogger, it will get to a certain point where not many beauty products can tickle your fancy. After all, how different could a red lipstick be after being launched and relaunched every single year?
So recently, a common friend put us in touch and Dean Nixon reached out for my help to organise an intimate beauty bloggers’ gathering to attend his Makeup Masterclass and to showcast the launch of his Master Makeup brushes and this is what went down.
With the extremely insightful and resourceful Dean Nixon
With some of my #MBBE ladies – love them all with or without makeup
The Makeup Masterclass (RRP AUD$150) ran by Dean Nixon is by far the best masterclass I have attended and here is why:
- You’ll never be forced to buy anything.
- Dean never preach about one make up brand only (my biggest pet peeves from so many make up artists), he believes in sharing and discovering the latest beauty products and continuing to improve oneself. Totes my mantra!
- Dean is full of character and shares the most hilarious stories, you’re guaranteed to laugh through your session and actually have fun. Tres important!
- There is no textbook guideline to makeup application technique for everyone, Dean believes that each individual is different and hence should modify the technique to best suit each individual.
- Most importantly, Dean doesn’t take makeup too seriously, it is about experimenting and having fun with makeup and yourself.
- During the masterclass, you’ll also be able to trial and play with his make up brushes (try before you buy!).
- We were instructed to bring along make up products (and questions!) that we have and to learn how to best apply them. Very consumer focused!
As for his newly launched make up brushes – Master Makeup by Dean Nixon; the Kabuki Brush is by far the most impressive. Every single beauty bloggers (who know their stuff) that trialled the brushes have nothing but high praises. Personally, I am a firm believer that we don’t need a million and one make up brushes to complete a look (unless if you’re a makeup artist, that’s a different story!). In fact, I only go through less than five make up brushes on my day to day make up look.
The key make up brushes that completes any make up bag are – a big fluffy brush (Kabuki brush RRP AUD$40), a pointy tip brush (Eyeliner brush RRP AUD$30) and a Blending brush RRP AUD$30 (how did I live without you?).
A good quality kabuki brush with LONG HANDLE is so versatile. You can use it to dust powder all over face AND can double it as a bronzer or blush brush. A true multi purpose brush!
The eyeliner brush is a tricky one to get it right. General rule of thumb, the smaller a brush the better always easier to blend out then to pile on too much eyeshadow and trying to work backwards I say.
As for the blending brush, it is a no brainer, it helps to smooth any obvious rough lines and helps to blend everything together.
If I were to rank them, the one that won my heart over would be the Kabuki Brush because it is unique (long handle), super soft to skin and is totally affordable. Secondly, it has to be the Eyeliner Brush where it is just the right size for my eye makeup application and the third would be the blending brush.
All Master Makeup brushes and classes are available to purchase online
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Jurlique to their never been-opened-to-public Mylor farm in Adelaide Hills to witness the glorious 155 acres of herbs and flowers grown here locally and harvest for production of beauty product ingredients for Jurlique.
We started off our day by flying to Adelaide from Melbourne. Once landed we were whisked to Burnside Village for The Spa Experience. For those of you who are unaware, Jurlique offers both facials and body treatments. I was treated to a Ultimate Signature Facial (90 minutes) that incorporates a professional grade peel to rid all the dullness of my skin and the congestions.
I highly recommend this treatment for those who are suffering from congestions (mine went away immediately with the peel!). The facial also incorporated neck and shoulder massage, let’s just say I didn’t want to leave the room when the facial came to an end. Definitely a treat I will start pampering myself after travelling and when my skin requires some SOS in the future.
After the facial, I was also treated to a hand scrub + massage trialling different types of scents and sensory oil blends. Did you know you can even mix different scented body care to create your own signature scent? I went for a blend between roses and citrus, refreshingly good!
Jurlique Mylor Farm
A quick pit stop for lunch at The Lane Vineyard later, we begin the farm tour at Jurlique Mylor Farm with Marc Intervera – Horticultural Specialist at Jurlique. I have to say this experience was such an eye opening journey for me as a beauty blogger aka beauty obsessed individual. We often slap products on our face but we don’t often think about where, how and what the ingredients are from.
Having witnessing how the farm is maintained (biodynamically), sourced from the most precious soil and top quality grade seeding; it is safe to say the herbs and flowers produced from this farm is nothing short of spectacular. Mylor farm grows and harvests all the herbs and flowers ingredients (not fragrances) used in all Jurlique products worldwide, yes all in Adelaide Hills humbly and processed locally.
In addition, this farm is certified organic/biodynamic and employs 16 full time employees and additional contractors during peak season. The farm combines traditional biodynamic and modern organic production methods with a state of the art irrigation system to create an efficient, productive and sustainable farm. Jurlique’s mission statement is to produce the purest most effective skin care through nature, science and innovation.
In total there are 29 species cultivated on the farm including Chamomile, Calendula, Roses, Rosemary, Echinacea, Marshmallow and Spilanthes. There are also tree crops like Silver Birch and Black Elder that are all very popular key ingredients of a lot of Jurlique’s beauty products.
Tri color Violets, Calendula, Roses, Chamomile
These roses are so fragrant and the chamomile oozes soothing chamomile scent. The tiny white flowers at the bottom are elderberries used in the Jurlique brightening range.
My personal top 5 picks Jurlique products:
1) Ultimate Signature Facial – I am a convert! My skin literally glows after the treatment without looking greasy and have oily hair post facial. Win!
2) Skin Balancing Face Oil – For those who have irregular skin issues like overtly dry/oily, you’ll love this. Pour some over cotton pad and massage all over face & neck.
3) Pure Essential Oil – Sensory experience is very important to me and I almost always sleep better when I have essential oil burning.
4) Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator – My all time favourite Jurlique product. This product alone defies all the myth about natural skin care don’t deliver results.
5) Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask – Takes out all the redness from skin, highly recommend this for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from redness.
For those who have asked, requested and demanded an answer. Here it is and once and for all, why MBBE is the way it is.
We eat, like you do.
We share beauty finds and secrets just like you.
We hang out like normal people do.
We fool around like you would with your friends.
We make an effort to put time aside in our private lives to see each another, like friends do.
We travelled together to do the things we enjoy doing.
We support each another.
We have fun with each another.
We accept each another.
We bring the best out of each another.
We fought like sisters and make up with a kiss.
We celebrate the special days of our loved ones together.
We might attend events together but these pictures you see are only the tip of an iceberg.
We laugh off our personal issues with each another.
We were all once strangers on the internet but we are now sisters for life.
MBBE and the people behind it is no different from you. We are human beings who have emotions, who work hard for what we earn and fight to keep those who hold dear to our hearts. As friends, we do what a friend would do for others - protect each another from mean words, cowardly acts and attention seeking trolls. There are no words to explain friendships, people click and that’s how the universe works.
I shall leave you with words that brought tears to my eyes, from someone who simply could not bear the acts of a childish troll.
Sometimes in life, circumstances happen to bring together powerful forces.
Cheezels and Pepsi.
Sonny and Cher.
Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer.
And the Melbourne Beauty Bloggers Event.
Two years ago, I was asked by the delicious Ms Valerie Chan to attend an event designed to bring together burgeoning beauty bloggers. I’m an independent sort and the idea of joining forces did not appeal. But the promise of free cake did and off I went.
And then it happened. I met a group of girls where we connected. Instantaneously. I remember getting a foot spa with Christine of Beautyholics Anonymous where we chatted like we’d known each other for years. We swore. We made blue jokes. And, at the end of the day, everyone there knew we had stumbled on something magical.
And the cake was pretty good too.
Since that time, the ties that bind have only gotten stronger. Not only did we support each other as bloggers, we began to support each other as women and sisters.
In December last year, I had a miscarriage at 19 weeks. It was without a doubt the most traumatic experience of my life. Along with my family, my MBBE family were there. Even when I dropped out of sight for weeks at at a time, they were there. Checking in. Making sure I was ok.
When I decided to stop beauty blogging, there was not even a moment’s consideration as to whether I was still MBBE. I was MBBE for life.
These women are my sisters. They are my lifeblood. They are people I lean on and they are people who lean on me. If they were the mean girls they are portrayed to be, they would have dumped me the moment I stopped blogging. That they didn’t is a reflection on the beautiful, perfect friends that they are.
To those who wish to see the bad in this, I believe this says more about you than it does about us.
Don’t hate on a sisterhood that is strong and kind.
Don’t hate on a group of women who supported me through the most traumatic experience of my life without once judging, hating or criticising me for my choices.
Don’t hate on a special connection that defies explanation.
Don’t hate on women who hold me tight when I shed tears and bleed. They are worth more than the gold in the world.
These are my sisters. I love them. So f*ck off. Seriously.
‘Because there is one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood’ - Robin Benway - The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, June.
What is it?
Kiehl’s Since 1851 and Marita Cheng – official Kiehl’s ambassador and Young Australian of the Year, and Connected Community HackerSpace, Marita’s engineering team, will attempt to break a world record for ‘The Most People Simultaneously Participating in the Robo Dance’ in Melbourne, Bourke Street Mall.
Their aim is to encourage hundreds of people from all over Australia to participate in a robot dance choreographed by Marita and Kiehl’s, alongside our famous Kiehl’s unofficial mascot, Mr. Bones, who will be unveiled for everyone to meet. Mr. Bones is a life-sized skeleton that can be found in Kiehl’s stores worldwide as a nod to Kiehl’s apothecary heritage and scientific skincare.
Friday, 26th October 2012
7.30am- registration opens | 8.50am- dance commences | 8.55am – dance finishes
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
Special promo for my readers:
First 100 people who mention “Ponikuta” at registration receive a FREE full sized Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. You will need to collect this from the registration desk.
You’ll also receive a FREE Kiehl’s Robo Dance t-shirt to pop-it-on and dance your way to a world record with the live NOVA FM beauty beats.
RSVP now at www.facebook.com/
Please be sure to sign in by 8:15am.
There will be 2 rehearsals so everyone can learn the dance.
First 500 participants will go in the running to win a Kiehl’s hamper valued at $500. There’s also hundreds of free Kiehl’s best selling Crème de Corps samples on the day.
Remember how I’ve posted about Australian Open giveaway last week? If you’re going be sure to visit Dove marquee at Australian Open that is open to public, corecto – everyone!
- Face care zone – Try Dove Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 15
- Hair damage zone – Test the health of your hair and find out different ways to keep hair healthy and beautiful
- Hand massage zone – Check moisture level with a moisture pen, hand massage and help with skin hydration
- Deodorant zone – Check out men and women’s deodorant range
· Dove Deodorant (100g)
· Dove Visible Beauty Body Lotion (50ml)
· Dove Beauty Bar (25ml)
· Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Treatment Mask (40ml)
Don’t worry the men won’t miss out with Dove Men+Care experts handing out:
· Mini Deodorant
· Mini Body Wash
Serena Williams (taken 5 seconds after she cursed, tee hee)
Thank you Dove for the lovely experience! Here I am with Tina who I’ve invited along.
Avon is the world’s number one fundraiser for the breast cancer cause. A cause I claim closes to heart as my family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer and I have previously needed to remove a non-cancerous cyst from my breast.
Avon believes in a future without breast cancer! In support of the cause, Avon once again launches a range of Pink Ribbon products with 100% profits going towards the breast cancer crusade.
The Pink Ribbon product range:
- Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Mug $3.99
- Pink Ribbon Friendship Pen $3.99
- Breast Cancer Crusade Pin $3.99
Visit online or call in to purchase.
If you’re committed to the cause, do check out Kimmie’s post on other available Pink Ribbon products.
By now, you have probably read about Australian Beauty Blogger Weekend in about 20 different blog posts. Instead of telling you what the weekend enthralls I thought what better way to share with you what I walked away with from every single event.
Lessons I’ve learned from these events (some of which I have probably tweeted about):
- Always do your research before going to a makeup convention like this scale
- Have a wishlist ready and study your map to shop efficiently (to avoid crowds)
- Time your shopping and shows so you won’t miss out anything
- Go as early as possible, best if you can go in as soon as it opens
- Bring cash with you, not all stalls accepts card
- Accept that not all brand has samples for trial, so be sure you do point #1 quite extensively
- Personal Highlight: Hakuhodo makeup brushes completes me. Check it out if you haven’t.
- Etiquette in dealing with PR from a beauty blogger’s perspective
- Always say your thank yous and pleases, it’s even better if it’s delivered via a snail mail with a personal touch
- Pick up the phone if you can’t always meet the PR to foster a solid relationship
- Like friends, PR relationship is a natural evolution, it takes time to build it up, you can’t hurry that process
- PR are professionals, approach with respect. Treat them as if you’re a corporation dealing with another business
- PR will have a bad day too so try to be considerate and don’t take things too personally
- On beauty events, be sure to reply to RSVPs. Don’t agree and not show up or ignore the invitation because you’re from a different city. I get Sydney invites all the time but I make it to a point to respond why I can’t attend them.
- Bloggers must have a reason to justify why you want to be in an event
- Keep PR informed and have your stats/blog snapshot ready on hand at all times. Be sure to invest time in it
- Calling in to ask for a product is actually welcomed in the beauty industry
- When you write, think of your audience and write with a point of difference
- Grammar, spelling and sentence structure is key!
- Personal Highlight: Got to catch up and squeeze insider goss out from Eleanor (beauty ed of InStyle).
Maxted Thomas Gala Night
- Ladies, I cannot stress this enough. Do not ever take things in ANY events that were not given to you by the people hosting the event. You may have a million excuses (eg: but it’s obviously goodies for bloggers, but other people are taking them, but the queue is too long, but someone told me its’ okay) well guess what? It’s NEVER OKAY to take things, period.
- Always wait for your opportunity to speak to the PR (to build your relationship) and gently request. If you can’t be bothered to make the effort, what makes you think you’re entitled to stuff their products in your bag? Most beauty events have heaps of beauty products on the event as ‘props’ and ‘decoration’ for you to look, touch and to experience their products. That doesn’t mean you can stuff it in your bag and walk home with it.
- Have integrity, use some common sense and for those of you helping yourself with stuff, shame on you and when those product review go online, the PR will wonder did I meet that person and how did they get them.
- Personal Highlight: Photobooth sessions with my girls, winning Benefit’s lucky dip and catching up with Debbie (beauty ed) from beautyheaven! #winning
Karen Ledbury for Alpha H*
Alpha H for Beautiful Skin
- The question “who created 3 steps for skincare anyway” was raise and it was indeed a good point, which bible wrote that?
- Skin needs to prep itself to take on more potent skincare to fully benefit from it
- When treating skin it’s more important to assess skin’s condition (genetics and lifestyle choices too) rather than just its biological age
- Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System promises instant and gratifying results to combat anti-ageing, dullness and overall skin condition
- Personal Highlight: Receiving the Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System, I can’t wait to trial this.
Face of Australia Masterclass
- Makeup artist Kirsty Dolores share her makeup tips on using bronzing & illuminating pearls to enhance your everyday makeup look
- Understand your face shape to contour and highlight accordingly
- When applying makeup always start from the middle and blend outward
- Face of Australia Liquid Eyeliner is perfect from super thin to the thickest eyeliner style
- Personal highlight: To be able to view the Masterclass Look Book and Malibu Barbie lipstick prior to it launching to the market
Key Note Speaker – Bahar Etminan from RESCU
- Take time and effort to explain your point of difference to PR
- Embargo dates is the nail in your coffin for your blogging career, look out for it
- Be patient and persistent. Send your updated media kit quarterly
- You need to payback PR’s hospitality for inviting you to an event
- Know how much your blog is costing you
- Beware of agencies who are offering the impossible monetary offers (pretty much don’t sell out)
- Know your twist on the same old beauty question, know who you are
- Read, research and be in the know with what’s going on in the industry
- Keep a record of events, people, products and notes of everything. Have a system, have a library
- It’s okay to be you. Don’t copy others’ voice, opinion and methodology (pointing at you copy cats)
- Don’t steal, don’t sell, don’t trade and most importantly don’t horde beauty products
- Always return products if they have been requested back by PR
- If you ask/request for products you should know that you’re expected of a review
- Always be in touch with PR, your followers and your community
- Sell yourself, sell your brand but don’t sell out (there’s a fine line between those)
- Personal highlight: While I did not agree 100% of what was being shared during this session, I did walk away with 3 key things in mind. Respect. Professionalism. Common Sense.
Sometimes a blogger’s work does feel like a full time job. While I don’t have intention to do this as a full time job or get into the beauty industry, there’s certainly plenty of room for improvement. Overall, I had an amazing time over ABBW 2011, met a lot of new blogging friends and had a great time with the MBBE girls.
*Pictures taken by my camera.