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BEAUTY + WELLBEING, GIVE A LITTLE

Christmas isn’t far away, but I’ve got you sorted!

December 17, 2014

So it’s officially one week until Christmas and my oh my.. it’s certainly crept up on me. Usually I am in control, months in advance with my Christmas plans. But not this year. In a whirlwind of a week I have managed to put up my tree, decorate my house and attempt (yes attempt) my Christmas shopping. A word of warning – get to your local shopping centres at least half an hour before it opens to even have a smidgen attempt of getting a car park. Or… do all your Christmas shopping online! Easy peasy.

One of the biggest panics we all face (aside from tackling a turkey on Christmas Day) is that confusing and often very stressful moment of deciding on gifts for family. Or having to purchase presents for someone, well that has everything. Or perhaps, a Secret Santa gift for someone that you sorta-kinda-only-speak-once-or-twice at work. I know most people turn to gift vouchers, but there is something very special about physically opening up a present. Putting thought into a gift makes it even more worthwhile.

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So, what’s with this post? Well I thought I’d whip you at a last minute Christmas guide! My wonderful friends at Ry.com.au and I, have personally handpicked some perfect gifts for that special someone. What is so fabulous about these gift ideas, is that they are all under $50.00 and have a festive and Christmassy feel.

If you’re loving any of the products I’ve listed above, then you can head straight to their links now. Or if I have got your Christmas present inspiration going, feel free to browse the website. Ry.com.au have hundreds of potential gifts.

1. ECOYA ‘JACARANDA & PLUM BOTANICALS’ MINI METRO JAR

2. OPI ‘DS BOLD’ NAIL POLISH AND OPI ‘ ‘GREEN ON THE RUNWAY’ NAIL POLISH

3. ALPHA-H ‘PETITE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION’

4. MOR ‘LUCKY STAR’ CHRISTMAS CRACKER

Oh, and don’t worry about shipping, because Ry.com.au have filled me in and guess what? Thursday (tomorrow) is the cut off date for guaranteed express shipping (order by 3pm AEST) and Monday is the cut off date for guaranteed overnight (by 3pm AEST). So if you’re quick and get your act together, you can do a big chunk of your Christmas shopping without leaving your laptop. Perfecto!

Wishing all my friends and followers a wonderful Christmas, full of love and happiness Xx

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

Summer Hair, Don’t Care!

November 21, 2014

I have had a number of requests for some beauty and hair posts recently, so I thought it would be fabulous to share with you all two of my favourite summer styles – the French Chignon and my take on the Beach Wave.

My friends at ry.com.au hooked me up with some amazing hair products from Original Mineral, perfect for the two styles that I wanted to create. O&M have an amazing range of products – both for colour and styling. Aside from the very slick packaging, O&M are against animal testing, which Leo and I both give the tick of approval.


Know Knott Detangling Spray
The perfect summer have for when you’re at the beach or near the pool. Saltwater and chlorine can really dry out your hair and for a blondie like me, can make your hair feel so icky. Full of Argan and Macadamia oil, Know Knott won’t just smooth your hair, it will recondition it too. Just spritz all over and then run through with a comb or brush. 

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Surf Bomb Sea Salt Texture Spray
This product is your partner-in-crime for when you want to oomph your hair. As you’ll see in my how-to videos, Surf Bomb, will just give you that extra bit of lift and texture without leaving your hair dry and crispy.
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Frizzy Logic Shine Serum

I cannot share with you all how important it is to have a shine serum in reach. For a slick hair style, it can just polish the whole look off. There’s nothing worse than styling your hair to then step outside into the Aussie heat for your fly aways to suddenly stand on end and for the frizz to kick in. Frizzy Logic is the 3-in-1. It smoothes your hair, protects it from humidity, and adds shine to give a silky, yes-I’ve-just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look.

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Original Queenie Firm Hold Hair Spray
So you’ve done all your hard work, so you need to set your style right? Grab the Original Queenie, she will hold your style in place, but without leaving that tacky, sticky, ‘urgh’ feeling that some hair sprays leave behind. Some of the ingredients include Australian native Lilly Pilly, which manages to  extend the hold by reducing unwanted oil and Quandong adds weightless protection to nourish the hair.
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So let me guess, you want to see the products in action right? Well look no further..

Live a Little TV: Original Mineral from Sophie Crenigan (Livealittle.TV) on Vimeo.

Since the summer months are here, I do encourage you to live a little, and to be a bit adventurous with your styling. Try the wave or a fancy up-do. There are plenty of occasions, so technically you haven’t got much of an excuse. Plus, and I don’t know how to explain it, but a girl carries herself a little taller and walks with a little more confidence once she’s has her hair styled.. 😉

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

Add some spring to your makeup bag!

September 16, 2014

As I sit here and type, I keep stopping and can’t help looking out the window. I have a cool breeze blowing through the house, the sun is shining, Beyonce is playing and I’ve noticed everything and everyone has a little bit more of ‘spring’ in them. People are out walking their dogs, taking a stroll across the water front and there are plenty of people down the road enjoying the sunshine with a coffee in hand. Our flowers in the front courtyard are blooming and I am starting to see more green than brown. After careful observation, what I can deduce, is that spring is finally here.

Once the spring months start to make an appearance, we begin to make a few wardrobe changes. We swap our boots for sandals, our jeans for shorts, beanies for straw fedoras and long sleeve tops for tee shirts. I’ve also noticed that the colour palette of my wardrobe starts to change as well. I begin to wear less black and naturally draw myself to pastels, prints and colour. I am not sure why, but I always feel better in colour?

Naturally when you refresh your wardrobe, you’ve got to refresh your makeup too. Think dewy skin, pastel eye colour and corals and nudes for the lips. I say goodbye to heavy eyeliner, pale skin and darker lip tones. My friends at ry.com.au, sent me some of latest products to add a little bit of spring to your makeup bag.

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The Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette Volume Three – $49.95
What I love so much about spring is the ability to experiment with colours! This particular palette gives you some great colour options that you can mix and match with (See how I did this later in the post). Plus I think eye shadow palettes are great value and so much easier to have in your makeup bag, because they are all in one place!

The Balm’s name for their eyeshadows are just fabulous – with names like Lusty Lee and Come-Hither Heather! I love the Balm’s retro packaging too – really feminine and really cute! 
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The Balm Instain Blush Argyle – $26.95
Once again I am obsessed with the packaging – it’s like a mini Vogue magazine on the outside. Inside, they’ve even included a girls best friend, a compact mirror along with a little gentle reminder to, ‘Vous va bein’ or ‘wear it well!’.

It’s the perfect blush colour for spring – a nice rosy pink, perfect for putting on the apple of your cheeks with a soft brush to give you that slightly ‘flushed’ look. Don’t go too overboard though, we don’t want you looking like a clown!

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Napoleon Perdis Limited Edition Slim Aarons Poolside Gift Pack – $134.95 (Free Delivery)
For the ladies that appreciate a little luxury in their life, then this pack is perfect for you. You’ll need all three of the products in the pack to finish off your spring look.

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We all need a little bronzer in our life. I haven’t met a female yet that doesn’t say a bronzer is a must in their makeup bag. The ‘Matte Bronzer’ is a perfect addition. With a matte finish, it’s the perfect product to shape and contour your face and give you a warm glow. Always use sparingly though – think where the sun might hit you – a little on your forehead, the side of your face, chin and nose.

Then you need the ‘Champagne Days’ highlighter. It’s a beautifully soft and velvety highlighter that just tops off the overall look, giving you that dewy finish. With highlighters, I always go along my cheekbones and blend in (Highlighter needs to sit higher than blush to give you a guide). I also dab a little down the bridge of my nose, a little on my chin and then just above my cupids bow on my lips to really accentuate the shape.

To finish off the look, whip out the ‘Creme Lipstick’ in ‘Entitled’ and go over your lips. A nude shade is a must for your makeup bag. Perfect for any occasion, nude works well on all complexions. I always say if you go heavy with colour on the eyes, stay subtle on the lips.

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With the three products, you will also receive a beautiful makeup bag. For those that aren’t familiar with Slim Aaron (who inspired the collection), he was an American photographer that worked for society publications and regularly captured socialites and celebrities. One of Slim Aarons’ biggest successes is the iconic snap ‘Poolside Gossip,’ which was shot at a Palm Springs home in 1970 designed by famous modernist architect Richard Neutra. This particular image sits in Napoleon’s Sydney home, and inspired him to create a collection that celebrates the sun-kissed skin and optimistic color palette of the Seventies jet-set, captured in Aarons’ work.

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So I thought it would a good idea to give you guys an idea of how I used all of the products. I decided to go for two different looks. I’ve never been one to go too heavy with makeup, so these looks are great for day or night! Hopefully though, you’ll get a sense of how I best utilised the products!

Look One: Subtle Glamour

Look Two: Pretty in Pink


I hope you’re a little more inspired to add some spring to your makeup bag and try some new makeup looks. I bet you’re now asking how can you get the products? Easy peasy! All you need to do is head to ry.com.au and browse through their amazing range (Remember The Balm and Napoleon Perdis!). If you’re good for makeup, ry.com.au stock plenty of other products! ry.com.au is Australia’s largest online skincare, haircare and cosmetics store and right now, if you spend over $99.00 (which isn’t hard to do!) you’ll receive complimentary shipping.

Go on live a little and update your look! X

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

It’s time to get real with Carefree

April 7, 2014

Periods and vaginas. Two words that make most of us squirm. Yet, when you think about it, there are nearly 12 million females living in Australia alone, that either will be getting, are having or have had their own experience with their period. Despite it being one of the most natural bodily functions for women across the globe, it still seems to be frustratingly taboo. Why is this though? Why do we as women, feel ashamed by something that we cannot change?

Just over a week ago, I attended an all womens breakfast, hosted by Carefree Australia and the ever amazing Dr Ginni Mansberg. I was lucky enough to meet Dr Mansberg at another health event, where we discussed the taboo of ‘sex’. You can read about it here. Dr Mansberg is an incredible figure, who you would most notably recognise as the female doctor for the Embarrassing Bodies Down Under series. She is a practicing GP and in particular, womens health. It was wonderful to hear her speak again and shed some light on the many misconceptions that women have around their period.

At the breakfast, we were encouraged to discuss openly any issues or questions we had about periods, menstrual health, vaginas or even tampon use. It was so refreshing to be able to speak so freely about a topic that I find even sharing with friends, can be an uncomfortable experience. What shocked me was that women described their friends as ‘vulgar’, ‘crude’, ’embarrassing’ and even ‘weird’ that spoke with them about their period (based on Carefree’s research). These words have such a negative connotation, despite the fact that we, as women, share the exact same experience, every single month.

Another area that was shocking, was the many misconceptions around tampon use. 26% of women still believe that a tampon can get lost inside you and 47% women believe that you can only wear a tampon for four hours – wrong, they can be worn unto 8! And finally, 75% of women choose not to wear a tampon at night for fear of Toxic Shock Sydnrome. Dr Mansberg explains, “It is a condition, but extremely rare. Despite an enormous amount of research, there have been no studies which have shown that wearing tampons for up to eight hours – day or night – raises the risk of TSS”.

In response to this, Carefree have done two things, they launched their night time claim with their existing ‘Flexia Tampon’ and  recently launched their ‘Be Real’ campaign. I never thought I would be sharing my thoughts on tampons on the blog, but hey ho, there is always a first! The ‘Flexia’ has been designed to be able to be worn at night, and as we learnt that many women didn’t know that they even could! What is fantastic about the ‘Flexia’, is the winged design. Carefree had added innovative SoftFold® wings technology to their tampon design meaning they draw fluid into the core, catching fluid that other tampons miss, so there’s less likelihood of a leakage. So you can have a restful nights sleep with out a worry.

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As a mentioned before, Carefree also launched their ‘Be Real’ campaign, shedding a light on the issue of periods, putting it out there in the open and encouraging women to speak freely about their experiences. As I’ve learnt, so many women have misconceptions and misunderstandings when it comes to their periods and especially tampon usage. I am sure you have seen their recent television commercial (which is certainly causing a stir). If you haven’t seen it, view it below:

What do you think? As a female viewer, can you relate, or do you think it’s pushing the boat too far? Perhaps you’re a male viewer, so what are your thoughts? The main aim by Carefree is to open up the conversation and ‘get real’ about periods, do you think this could ignite the conversation? Carefree are encouraging conversation beyond the television ad, especially on their Facebook page. But obviously many women are still very embarrassed, so for those women out there, who are a little more private, if you have any questions about your period, you can ask them here and they will be answered by a professional.

Do you think this sort of campaign is a game changer? Can we break down those barriers? Can we alter the statistics? Menstrual health is something that has been so badly marketed in the past, that we have created these misconceptions and misunderstandings. In some religious societies to this day, women who have their period are considered ‘unclean’ and are marked, so the whole of their social circle know. We need a ‘earthquake shaking’ shift surrounding the issue of periods – and not just amongst women. Men, boys, perhaps even children need to be educated. It’s about getting real about the situation. And I think that Carefree are doing a fantastic job about getting the topic out there in the open and starting the shift. But realistically, the education needs to go beyond women, to the whole of society, before we start to see really start to see a momentous change. Period (don’t mind the pun).

#bereal #becarefree
www.carefree.com.au
www.facebook.com/CarefreeAustralia

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

Beautiful Because..

December 18, 2013

I am so excited to share with you all an online store that solely focuses on natural, organic and cruelty free beauty and cosmetic products, something that I (and little Leo) are very passionate about. There are so many products on the market that all claim to do the same thing, but do organic/natural products perform just as well as the other brands out there? Well I investigated..

Beautiful Because is an Australian online store that provides customers with an extensive range of international and national products that aren’t only good for Mother Earth, but also a treat for yourself ;).

Beautiful Because sent me through a wonderful range of beauty and cosmetic goodies to try including a cleanser, toner, facial oil and cosmetics.

I thought it would be fantastic to produce another episode of Live a Little TV, sharing my thoughts on the products that I was sent through from the team at Beautiful Because.

I was incredibly impressed with the timeliness of the delivery, with my products arriving within days of me placing the order. Beautiful Because go above and beyond, wrapping each individual item with love and care. If you look closely, you will see I even had some lovely handwritten messages on each of the products sent through.

If you’re looking for some last minute Christmas gifts for someone, or even if you want to live a little, and treat yourself, then I would thoroughly with out a doubt, recommend Beautiful Because. Not only will they provide you with an impeccable service and shopping experience, but are passionately supporting cruelty free and naturally derived products – which ultimately are always going to benefit you more!

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Even Leo is super pleased with the natural products 😉

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, GIVE A LITTLE, SOCIAL

Let’s Talk About It..

December 1, 2013

Just over a week ago I attended an all female sit down dinner at The Winery in Surry Hills, which was of a lets say.. an interesting nature. Kindly put on by pharmaceutical group Menarini Australia, the “Let’s Talk About Sex!” event covered all aspects of male and female sexual health, sexual psychology and relationships. I was incredibly excited to meet the guest speakers, sexual health physician, Dr Margaret Redelman and Dr Ginni Mansberg, who you would notably recognise on the hit TV Series, Embarrassing Bodies Down Under.

Dr Ginni Mansberg

Dr Ginni Mansberg

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Dr Margaret Redelman

Everything was open to discussion and we given the opportunity to ask questions in a judgemental free environment. Interestingly there still seems a huge stigma around ‘sex’ and interestingly ‘PE’ (Premature ejaculation..) in society, which can be seen in some of the facts and figures that were shared.

The Asia-Pacific Sexual Behaviours and Satisfaction Survey was conducted by Kantar Health and commissioned by Menarini in 2013:

  • Results revealed more than 50 per cent of Australian couples are dissatisfied.
  • Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual dysfunction, affecting 32% of men in Australia and New Zealand.
  • It’s not surprising that 80% of respondents said that PE had a negative impact on their relationship, but 15% reported that it actually led to a relationship breakdown or divorce.
  • Physical satisfaction plays a big role in Australian bedrooms, with 74% of men and 72% of women stating that mutual physical satisfaction plays an extremely important role in a successful relationship.  

I think what struck me the most, was the discussion around ‘relationships’. Both Dr Ginni and Dr Margaret made incredibly valuable points, which got me thinking about the whole concept of what is a ‘relationship’ in the 21st century. Now I am no Carrie Bradshaw, but I thought I’d share some of my observations and thoughts, based on what I learn at the “Let’s Talk About Sex!” event.

With the influx of technology, I have seen such a change in the way relationships are formed, sustained and maintained. We’ve seen a huge rise in online dating, which seems to be a booming business. We even have an online dating system that can ‘match you with compatible singles’. Now I don’t know if I really need a survey or an ‘online process of elimination’ to work out what sort of man is perfect for me. In a positive light, I suppose, it is giving people the opportunity to meet likeminded others in a non threatening environment, which leads to my next question, is it really that hard to meet people out and about? Can one strike up a conversation with a stranger on the train, at the gym, in a cafe or whilst you are walking the dog?

I would have to say it is proving to be quite difficult as a ‘Gen Y-er’. I will give you an example. I am out with my girlfriends on a Saturday night – strictly a ‘girls night’ (Note: all four of us are currently in a relationship). We’ve gone out for dinner, had a few drinks and decide to head out afterwards to have some cocktails and have a dance. After ordering drinks at the bar, we are approached by a group of guys who are celebrating their friends bucks evening. We are all happy to chat and have a laugh.. Right on cue, I would say 10 minutes into the conversation, we were propositioned about our relationship status. As soon as we mentioned that none of us were actually single, up they got and left, without a second thought. On the same evening, whilst we were having a dance, I would say that close to 12 different men approached us (a good majority, heavily intoxicated). As soon as we would explain that we were just enjoying a girls night, we were thrown a filthy look, with one even swearing at us and one particular fellow, who really didn’t get the message, insisted that he stays, actually cornering my friend. Now in my eyes, that is lack of respect. Not only was our evening interrupted, but we were also sworn at and insulted because we didn’t offer them the attention that they demanded.

Now I am fully aware that there are plenty of respectable men out there, with these only being a few bad apples, but it does seem like a reoccurring scenario. Many of my girlfriends have shared similar stories of being inappropriately propositioned. In defence of the men, there are plenty of women out there, that behave in the exact same manner. With many women happily and readily offering their attention too. Since we live in a society, where everything is so accessible, everything is on demand, perhaps that bit, where you have go through the ‘arduous-task-of-getting-to-know-someone’ chat, seems so unnecessary.

This leads to another issue that we discussed at the event was the rise of STIs in this country. In 2009, the total number of reported STIs in Australia was over 70,000 – including HIV the virus that can cause AIDS. The true number may be much higher, as many people who have had unprotected sex haven’t been tested for STIs. The most shocking part is that three quarters of reported STIs occur in people aged between 15 and 29 years. ‘Generation Y’ and the next generation, dubbed ‘Generation Z’ seem to be the most obtuse to the STI situation, with STI cases increasing yearly.

It seems that there is a growing lack of communication between us all. Sexual gratification and attention is expected instantly. We’re living in the fast paced, ‘now now now’ situation and I think everyone just needs to slow down a little bit. My message to the teens of today, should be relax, it’s not a race and your virtue should certainly not be handed to someone on a platter and treated as a competition.

So what if you’re not a teenager, what if you’re in a long term relationship like myself or even married? We’ve all the heard that sadly, 1 in 2 marriages are ending in divorce. This is such a frightening statistic. Money, work, stress, traffic, low self esteem, weight, children and lack of communication. These are regular blocks and some people might even call excuses, that can break down a relationship. How do you manage to keep the ‘spark’ alight? Dr Margaret explained that it’s incredibly important for couples, dating or married to make sure that they are maintaining their sensuality. Now, when I think of the word ‘sensuality’, I automatically think of something physical. But Dr Margaret explained it in a way that couples can find it together – and sometimes the answer is so obviously in front of you. An example she came up with was cooking and having dinner together at a table (Shock horror!) Yes, not in front of the TV on your knees, but at a table. Giving you a break from all things with a screen, creating a cozy and warm atmosphere for conversation and discussion, where you can solely focus on each other. Take an interest in your partner, ask questions, laugh, joke, sing and dance. Give your partner attention – don’t forget that kiss in the morning before you go to work. Call them rather than text. Remember the reason why you’re in a relationship in the first place.

I came across this video as it was ironically passed around the social media stratosphere, and I am sure once you watch this, many will feel a pang of guilt. Or on the other foot, you might even have experienced the rejection.

If you are lucky enough to be in a relationship, then cherish what you have. It is very important to have ‘alone’ time, to give you an opportunity to find out who you are as a person. But lets not allow technology and the fast-paced lifestyle that we are living in, destroy something as fundamental as as beautiful as sharing your life with someone.

And for those who are still looking for love, treat yourself with the respect you deserve, whether you’re male or female. Live a little, but don’t self yourself short and always keep a little bit of yourself a secret.

I hope that this has given you some food for thought. The “Lets Talk About Sex” event certainly got me thinking.

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BEAUTY + WELLBEING, FOR THE CAT LOVERS, GASTRONOMY, GIVE A LITTLE, SOCIAL, STYLE, TRAVEL, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

Pedestrian.TV Ultrabook Blogster Awards!

September 10, 2013

 

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I am so pleased to announced that my blog, Live a Little have been nominated by pedestrian.tv in the Design, Media & Tech division in their annual Blogster Awards! I am so overwhelmed and it is such an honour to be considered.

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I (and Leo of course) want to thank all the readers, supporters, friends and family who have been a part of the Live a Little journey so far. I love writing, presenting, photographing and creating interesting content that everyone can enjoy.

If you would like to support Live a Little a little more, all you need to do is head to my profile here, and just press the ‘like’ button! That’s it! The judging panel consists of Intel, pedestrian.tv and a major media sponsor for each category (Mine is Desktop Mag!). They judge each blog based on the following:

25% Creativity and originality of content
25% Technology and innovation
25% Overall design and presentation
25% Audience engagement

There is the potential to win the category or even be crowed the Intel Blogger of the Year! What ever happens, I am so pleased that I am finalist. I want to wish all the other bloggers the best of luck!

Thankyou so much everyone and as always LIVE A LITTLE!

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

September Beauty Review: Spring is here!

September 1, 2013

It’s finally here – Spring has sprung! In celebration, I thought I’d give the latest to you all in the beauty world. From hair care, to BB creams and hair oils, I’ve got you covered.

Check out my September video review here:

Get excited, get inspired because Spring has finally sprung!

Live a little,
Sophie & Leo x

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

Beauty Round Up: June

June 16, 2013

FF_Divider_Pink4The month of June has opened my eyes to a range of amazing beauty products and services that are currently on the market. From hair care, to tanning and the latest in the world of makeup, I’d thought I’d give you the heads up and the low down of products to keep an eye on.

Luscious Cosmetics, Designer Brands & Model Co. 
Starting with makeup, I’ve been introduced to some wonderful new products and brands and thought I’d share a few favourites with you. The latest to hit the makeup world is, Beauty Luscious & Co‘s brand new range, Luscious Cosmetics. Designed by professional make up artist, Suzanne and made here in Australia, the range is wide enough to anyone achieve the perfect look, from day wear, to bridal right through to high end fashion.

I’m wearing their Luscious Mousse Foundation, which is lovely, light and airy, perfect for day wear. I also found that the foundation lasted all day without budging. Additionally, I am pictured wearing the Luscious Sheer Glo Illuminator in “Movie Star”, which gave just enough sheen and glow. I even popped some on my lids, just to give a little bit of dimension. Finally from the Luscious Cosmetics range I am wearing their “Famous” lipstick, a gorgeous red that isn’t too heavy for day wear. It was creamy and wonderful to apply and I found that it didn’t crack and dry, but the colour remained for a couple of hours before I had to reapply. Really pleased!

Underneath my foundation, I primed my skin with Designer Brand‘s Pore Minimising Primer, which evened out my skin, leaving it silky smooth (I love DB’s makeup range and have written about them before, which you can check out here). I’ve always heard that primers were a great base for makeup, but never really gave them a go until now and my word, they really do help! By using a primer, it gave my foundation a flawless look and even covered some of my larger pores.

Additionally I am loving Model Co‘s FIBRE LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara. Pictured in my gallery, it literally does what is stated on the packaging. I am a big fan of falsies, especially on shoots, but it seems a little OTT to wear lashes during the day, so I have been on the hunt for an amazing mascara, and I think I’ve found it! Lengthens out my lashes without being too thick and clumpy. And.. as a little added bonus, they’ve added a very handy mirror along the side of the tube, perfect for mascara-on-the-go!

Mii Maa Mineral Makeup
I am really excited to announce to my readers another amazing makeup range called Mii Maa, a new mineral range that is Australian made, Vegan, NOT tested on animals, Halal friendly, Gluten free and 100% organic! I will admint, I have been sceptical about ‘mineral’ makeup and the ones I’ve tried in the past were a bit flaky and didn’t seem to stay put on my skin, but Mii Maa was fabulous. Light and airy, it stayed put and didn’t leave that ‘dry’ feeling on my skin.

Mineral foundation can also be really messy and goes everywhere. Mii Maa have solved this issue! I really loved the application brush, meaning the mineral powder was transferred to the skin by pressure. All you need to do is give the built in applicator a few taps and the powder magically comes through. To apply, all you do is use the applicator in a round motion, and by lightly tapping, you can decide how heavy you want your foundation to be. Again, a very clever use of design adding an in-built mirror in the lid!

Mii Maa also do a range of other cosmetic products including blushes, bronzers, illuminators and lipsticks – of course, all mineral based!

Ry.com.au
So if you haven’t heard of ry.com.au (RY being ‘Recreate Yourself’), read up! Ry.com.au is Australia’s largest haircare, skincare and cosmetics store! The site has every aspect covered, from styling tools, to skincare, to tanning, to waxing and even has an entire section dedicated to male grooming! I have never seen a site have so many amazing ranges (St Tropez & Redken being some of them) to choose from. They have free delivery over $99.00, a price match guarantee, 120 days of returns AND free samples with every single order! I was blown away by the service and the quick delivery.

The Diamond Oil range from Redken is amazing. I have blonde (highlighted) hair, and after a couple of washes I found my to be less course and much more smooth and silky. I haven’t had a chance to trial the St Tropez Gradual Tanning Mousse, but I know how amazing St Tropez is, so I can’t wait to try it!

So that’s it for my big beauty round up for June! I hope I’ve shared some fantastic products, ranges and services for you to get inspired by! I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve tried anything thats been featured in my post!

Be adventurous, live a little and try some new products!

Until next time,

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, SOCIAL, STYLE

HFB Bloggers Brunch

May 22, 2013

This morning I was invited along by the exquisite Kath Purkis & Kerry Osborn, to attend Her Fashion Box’s ‘Blogger Brunch’ at the very cool, The Grounds in Alexandria.

I have regularly talked about the Her Fashion Box concept on my blog (I am SUCH a fan!) but I thought I’d share what I got up to this morning.

Kath & Kerry invited a number bloggers along to hear about the business behind Her Fashion Box, what the concept involves and where Her Fashion Box was going in the future. We were treated to a delicious breakfast of poached eggs, tomatoes, ham, avocado and toast accompanied with one of the best skim lattes I’ve ever had.

It was a great opportunity to meet with other amazing bloggers and meet the brains behind the business in person.

Here are some snaps of the event:

If you haven’t heard of Her Fashion Box, make sure you check out my review here. It’s the most amazing fashion & beauty subscription service and the first of its kind in Australia.

Many thanks to Kath & Kerry and the Her Fashion Box team for inviting me along – I had a wonderful time and I am so pleased to be able to share the Her Fashion Box story with everyone!

In the mean time, keep your eyes out for some beauty posts, a restaurant review and for the first time in Live a Little history, some kitty related posts!

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, SOCIAL, STYLE

The Ultimate Wedding Planning Party 2013

April 16, 2013

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I have a few friends that are currently engaged and soon to be married, and I must admit, it’s so much fun chatting about wedding ideas, the dresses, the suits, the cake, the music, the entertainment, the ceremony, the flowers, the venue, the guest-list, the food.. I think you get the picture! I can go on and on!

I’ve also realised just how much is actually involved in organising a wedding.

Coming up on the 8th of May, is one of the most glamourous events for any bride-to-be to attend, the Ultimate Wedding Planning Party all due to the amazing Kim Veverka from Magnet PR and Events. Now in its fifth year, the Ultimate Wedding Planning Party is going to be more elegant than ever, with this years theme, being the Vintage & Classic bride.

Held at the prestigious Opera Point Marquee at the iconic Sydney Opera House, you’ll be blown away as the venue is transformed into a spectacular showcase. Brides and grooms will be treated to guest speakers A-list wedding planner, Anthony Del Col, wedding photographer, Rachael Bentick and Abraham Joffe, the wedding film guru, who will share their tips, tricks and ideas to make your day one to never forget. Attendees will also be treated like celebrities, with a tasting experience of canapes provided by ARIA catering.

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Industry experts from the some of the best in the industry will be present to answer any wedding qualms one might have. Representatives from the following, ARIA Catering, Sweet Art, Vintage Kitchen, De La Mod Stationary, Bobbi Brown Makeup and Jo Malone will there to chat face-to-face with guests.

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The ‘Pièce de résistance’ of the evening will be the bridal showcase. In my experience, the ‘purchasing of the dress’ can be either very smooth sailing or can be one of the most aggravating experiences for a bride. The Ultimate Wedding Planning Party has organised the creme-de-la-creme of Australian bridal designers to show their designs. Brides-to-be will be treated to the stunning designs of Steven Khalil, Maria Chiodo, Karen Willis Holmes, Henry & Michelle Roth, Kristi Bonnici Bridal Accessories, Ermenegildo Zegna, Peeptoe Shoes & Rachel Gilbert. With an aim to remove the stresses of buying dresses, a bountiful number of designs will be shown, allowing brides-to-be to walk away feeling inspired.

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To top the night off a little more, brides and grooms will be in the running to win some incredible door prizes and each guest will be treated to a gorgeous gift bag filled with wedding day gifts, valued at an outstanding $500.00!

For any bride-to-be, The Ultimate Wedding Planning Party is a must attend event. Evoking feelings of elegance, style and glamour, get inspired whilst being in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Your wedding will be the most amazing day of your life – so live a little and buy yourself a ticket!

Opera Point Marquee, Sydney Opera House May 8th 2013 – 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Ticket prices: $60 or two for $100.
To purchase tickets or to find out more info, log onto www.ultimateweddingplanningparty.com or contact Kim at Magnet PR & Events.

SPONSORS

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, STYLE

Live a Little’s Fashion Delivery..

March 24, 2013

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The postman made a very special delivery this week – my very first Fashion Box! When I saw my pink box arrive, I squealed with excitement. I very rarely get packages, unless it’s Christmas or my birthday, so to get one on a Monday morning in the middle of March was fabulous!

A month or two ago, I previously wrote about the launch of HFB and spoke with the brains behind the business Kath Purkis about how the service works – which you can read about here. So this is purely to review my delivery and share with you all the amazing goodies that you can potentially receive if you want to sign up!

So when I first had the opportunity to open my package, not only do you get a pink box, but you get a very class black one too! Kath even wrote me a darling little note (Thankyou Kath!) and I couldn’t wait to have a look at what was inside.

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So for anyone that doesn’t really know what Her Fashion Box is, basically its a monthly delivery of high end fashion accessories and beauty goodies sent to your office or door for . The box is completely tailored to your own style. I personally think it’s a wonderful concept and would make a great gift for a friend or a little treat for your self!

 So, the first thing to come out of my box was this amazing on trend necklace – black and gold, studs and spikes! In a little black velvet pouch, making it even more of a surprise!

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Next, a sample kit of Redken hair products from their Diamond Oil range – a shampoo, conditioner and treatment. I love the travel size too – perfect for a weekend away!

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Next is a gorgeous Lilac & Orchid soap from Circa Home, who make amazing luxury bath products and the best candles too! I love their cute packaging.

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The surprises just kept coming, with an eyeliner brush from Dean Nixon’s master makeup brush range. Every girl needs makeup brushes, and ironically I actually needed a new eyeliner brush!

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Even Her Fashion Box went practical, as every girl needs feminine hygiene products! I love love love Moxie’s range – their packaging is adorable and this pack would fit perfectly into my handbag.

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To add to the makeup box, Her Fashion Box gave me a gorgeous popping coral lipgloss from Maybelline, the colour is hot, on trend and I am so excited to try it on tonight!

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Finally – hair accessories are on trend at the moment, so to keep us girls up to date, Her Fashion Box even gave us a stunning hair accessory, which is going to primp up and perfect my ponytail.

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And voila! My little box of goodies – I love how Her Fashion Box covered all areas, from hair and skin care right through to makeup and accessories. Her Fashion Magazine, which is included in the box, gives more information on all the products, gives tips and tricks and keeps you upto date on the latest trends.

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I am SO happy with my Fashion Box, the service is quick, prompt and the products of high quality. I want to congratulate Kath and the HFB team for doing such an amazing job launching HFB! Much love from Live a Little xx

DSC_0151Make sure you follow HFB on twitter, instagram and facebook!
www.herfashionbox.com

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

The Quest For the Perfect Tan

December 9, 2012

Summer

I think we can all agree that summer is finally here.. We’re a week in and Sydney has already seen some scorchers of days. It is so important to maintain a regular sun protection in your skin care regime. The Australian sun is savage at times, so sun block is a must. Since I shared my skincare secrets a couple of months bach, I figured I’d share with you my sun protection secrets and how I have learnt to maintain the perfect tan!

When it comes to my tanning, I certainly do get out in the sun to get my Vit D, but ultimately I am not a slave to the sun. I am slightly fairer, so I tend to stick to the tanning products when I can. Often on shoots or on film, it’s quite common for the client to expect you to have some colour – if you’re paler, sometimes you can look a little washed out on camera.

Now if you walk into David Jones, Priceline or even the supermarkets, you’re completely overwhelmed with all the tanning products on the market – with lotions, mousses, foams, sprays, creams and gels, it can get all a little too much. After trying and testing a number of products on the market, I have found the perfect combination to get you, the perfect tan.

Prep: Big Buffy by Lush
It’s so important to prep your skin before using any tanning product. I like to have a nice soak in the bath to really soften the skin, and then I use Big Buffy (22.95), a gorgeous body butter bar with ground almond, rice and beans to exfoliate all over. You need to wipe the canvas clean, so they say, so your tanning product goes on nice and smoothly. Big Buffy is amazing – it leaves your skin smooth, soft and never irritated. (It’s also important to note, when it comes to any hair removal, this always should be done the day before you start tanning to let your skin settle).

Tanning: St Tropez Bronzing Mousse, Bondi Sands Tanning Spray & St Tropez Tanning Applicator Mitt
So as previously mentioned, I have tried every product under the sun (ha!) and it has been a struggle to find my life tanning partner. However, I can stand proud with these products and never have to worry again.

St Tropez is one of the leading tanning products on the market. Having been around for a while, they recently went through a rebranding and have added a whole bunch of new products to their range. I still believe that their ‘Bronzing Mousse’ (120ml $39.95 and 240ml $59.95) is by far the best product for tanning I have ever used.
The colour you get is a beautiful olive tan, not that awful orangey-yellow colour, and the reason being, is when you initially use St Tropez, it comes out almost a green/grey. This acts as a great guide and you can really see where the colour is going. An amazing product, that never ever fails.

When it comes to applying the product, you need to invest in a ‘St Tropez Tanning Applicator Mitt’ (10.95). Since mousse is very fast drying – never ever use your hands (I’m sure you’ve seen someone who’s forgot to wash their hands post tanning – orange palms alert!). At this point, if you don’t have a mitt, I thoroughly suggest you wear rubber gloves to apply the mousse. However, the mitt does wonders, so I do suggest you invest in one. The mitt, slips easily on to your hand and blends the mousse evenly. The trick is to use big circular motions, starting from your legs up. Sometimes you do need some help getting your back done, but I have mastered the stretch, so I can just get there. The best thing about the Applicator Mitt, is that you can wash it in the machine and use it over and over again. A great little tool, that really makes my tanning life easier!


For things like the face, the back of hands and the tops of feet, it’s important to find a light product, that’s not going to cake you with colour. Another awful tell-tale of tanning is the white hands, and the tanning just the wrists. It’s so important to blend everywhere, and when you’re applying, you need to think where the sun would normally hit you if you were out in the sunshine tanning. So places like your face, the back of your hands and the tops of your feet do need to slightly get some colour. I recommend a spray for this, and I came across Bondi Sands Tanning Mist (19.95) a few weeks ago and was attracted by the amazing price, the fact that it’s made in Australia and doesn’t test on animals.


Basically I lightly spray my face, about 10 inches away, just so the mist falls slightly. Same with my hands and feet. Bondi Sands is also great to top up your tan after a few days – it’s lightweight and smells delicious with a coconut fragrance. A perfect (and cheap!) addition to my tanning family.

Moisturiser:  Coco Lotion by Lush
The one thing I have learnt in my tanning time, is how important it is to moisturise day and night! It can ultimately control the length of your tan and prevent looking like a scaly lizard as your tan decides to come off! Coco Lotion by Lush (22.95) is a beautiful product that you could just slather on all day long.

It’s lovely and soft, quick absorbing, light-weight and smells just a teeny tiny hint of coconut. As you probably know by now, I am a big Lush fan, and once again I can put my faith in this product. My skin is hydrated for 24 hours and my tan lasts longer than ever.

Sun Block: Le Tan’s Coconut 30+ Spray
Even if you’re wearing your tanning products out in the sun, please make sure you still apply your sunscreen! A limited few tanning products actually offer sun protection, and often consumers get confused. None of the products I’ve discussed here offer any sun protection, so please always apply.

Also made in Australia, the Le Tan’s 30+ Coconut Spray (16.99) is a fabulous little addition to the bathroom. Once again I am drawn by the delicious coconut smell, and the spray is a handy way of applying the sunscreen. Full of moisture too, this product is definitely a winner and will protect you from the suns harsh rays whilst you enjoy your beautiful faux tan!

I promise you’ll be impressed with all of the products I’ve mentioned – Tried, tested with a seal of approval! Next time you want to look like you’ve spent a week in Bali, try some of these products and live a little.. 

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

Loving Lush – the new way to get clean!

September 19, 2012

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Being in an industry where physical upkeep and maintenance is a given, means that I have had to develop a very strong skincare regime. A number of my friends have asked me what products I use and how I keep my skin so clear – so I figured I’d let everyone know my secret – well not so much a secret anymore!

I am a huge fan of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics a globally recognised company that prides themselves on offering a range of unique and deliciously awesome cosmetics and bath products –  but probably most importantly everything Lush make is organic and 100% fresh! Creatively thinking up their own products, giving them a personality, Lush use a range of essential oils, fruit, vegetables and natural ingredients. From skincare, haircare, to bathbombs, soaps and more, Lush has the solution to any dirty problem you throw at them!

One of my favourite Lush Stores – QVB, Sydney

The amazing skincare range on offer at the QVB, Sydney.

There are so many fabulous things about Lush as a company and I was lucky enough to work for them casually when I was 16. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and I will never forget working there. One thing I can take from my job, is that Lush genuinely stand by everything they state. Here’s 5 reasons why Lush is just plain awesome:

1. They don’t test on animals – never have, never will and this goes even further. Lush will not source ingredients from any company that test on animals. In fact, Lush work overtime encouraging businesses to stop testing on animals!

2. All ingredients are vegetarian and in some case vegan and as I stated before 100% fresh and organic.

3. A huge part of Lush is their focus on the environment and environmental issues. Everything from packaging, to ingredients, energy use even communication through the business is considered through an environmental view point.

4. On the note of packaging, more than half of Lush’s product range can be taken home with no packaging and Lush have saved nearly 6 million plastic bottles just by selling their solid shampoo bars.

5. Lush have a product called the ‘Charity Pot’ a yummy, chocolately, cocoa-ey hand and body lotion, where when purchased, all proceeds bar GST go straight to a range of nominated charities (fair trade, animal welfare, environmental, human rights). You can contact Lush directly here, and let them know of any organisations which you think should be helped!

Ok on with my skin care regimen..
Cleanser: Ultra Bland
Lush’s Ultra Bland is one of the most amazing products I have ever, I mean ever, put on my skin. It’s this very soft and very creamy cleanser made up of delicious ingredients including, almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey. Best way to use Ultra Bland, is with a tiny bit, rub over your face, then get a hot wash cloth and wipe away any dirt and makeup. I guarantee your skin will feel so soft. It’s amazing.

Toner: Breath Of Fresh Air
I use Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air after letting Ultra Bland do its magic. With Aloe Vera, Spring Water, Rosemary, Seaweed and Rose oil, your skin feels hydrated, soft and rejuvenated. It’s great for sensitive skin and a tip that the Lush girls taught me was to keep it in the fridge during the Summer months as the perfect mid-day pick me up!

Moisturiser: Imperialis
A rich and luxurious but an over all good value face cream. Once again, perfect for slightly oily and sensitive skin, you’ll see improvements due to calming lavender and brightening oranges. Smells beautiful due to the tigerlilies! You only need to use a tiny bit to feel Imperialis’ full effect.

Scrub: Ocean Salt
I use a scrub once a week – most skincare specialists will recommend not to go overboard with scrubs as they can dehydrate your skin easily. However, it is imperative to incorporate a scrub into your routine to get rid of dead skin cells that can build up. Ocean Salt is a great option as it’s a little more heavy duty and really does scrub your skin. When I finish using Ocean Salt my skin always seems to glow! Now, this may be due to the invigorating ingredients – sea salt, grapefruit, lime, seaweed, avacado and vodka! It sounds so fresh doesn’t it? Another tip I learnt from the ladies at Lush, is to use Ocean Salt as a hand and foot scrub – use once or twice a week for soft skin!


So there you have it! Sophie’s skincare secret – I promise you, if you are struggling with your skin, or you can seem to find a brand that you want to stick with, go into Lush and have a chat to one of the staff members. They will pick out precisely what you need dependant on your skin type – and if you’re lucky! You might get to try one of their scrumptious face masks!

I think Lush is an inspiring, dedicated and innovative company that truly do make amazing products that do work – it’s so rare to see global businesses that stand tall with integrity, honesty and truthfulness. Also, Lush provides employment here in Australia too, with their very own factory!

So make sure you head into one of their stores (list of stores in Australia are here) or check out their e-store online at www.lush.com.au.

“Love yourself for who you are and take care of yourself – you’re beautiful and you should know it”

It’s so important to find your inner beauty. This can only happen when you can start to love yourself. How do we do this? By looking after yourself and making sure that every day you live a little!

Sophie X

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, STYLE

Feel Fabulous at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival

August 23, 2012

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“Sydney Is Fashion..”

Spring is so close! Try less than two weeks! So how does one get inspired? Heading to the Fashion Festival and checking out all the latest Spring/Summer trends that are going to be hitting our stores soon! If you’re a fashion lover (like me) I thoroughly recommend that you check out the Fashion Festival that is happening down at Town Hall. So what is the whole experience about? Well let me show you…

I was lucky enough to attend the Fashion Festival, as I was working for Maybelline, the major makeup sponsor of the event. So I was given access to a couple of shows and had the opportunity to look around and see what it’s all about. If you purchase a ticket, you’re able to check out the latest trends on the runway and then have some fun in the ‘Festival Hub’ – here all the major sponsors have interactive stalls where you can get your mits on some amazing samples, have your picture taken by a pro and try a hot new shade of lippy! The tickets range from $35 right through to $100. So if you’re stumped for cash, you can still attend the show! Or, if you feel like splurging and want the whole VIP she-bang, you can! Here’s a little breakdown for you:

From $100: Front Row & Fabulous:
  • Sit Front Row at a collection show of your choice
  • Go behind the scenes on a backstage tour
  • Post show enjoy Tempus Two wines, Peroni & Canapes in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge
  • Gift bag
From $80: Access All Areas:
  • Best view of all the runway action
  • Go behind the scenes on a backstage tour
  • Post show enjoy Tempus Two wines, Peroni & Canapes in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge
  • Gift bag
From $50: Runway:
  • A Premium seat in the collection show of your choice
  • Be a part of the Post-show after party in the Festival Hub
From $35: Fashion Fix:
  • A seat in the collection show of your choice
  • Be a part of the Post-show after party in the Festival Hub
Here are a couple of snaps from the Bendonlingerie.com show that I got to see on Tuesday night! Jennifer Hawkins looked flawless (as usual!) and I loved her pink tipped hair.. Totally trying that trend soon!

The models showcasing the latest looks for Bendonlingerie.com

Miss Jennifer Hawkins & her models in the finale!

So once you’ve seen your show, you head down to the Fashion Festival’s ‘Festival Hub’ – a funky space where you can get interactive with all the major sponsors.
  • Mercedes-Benz

Marvel at the latest SL Roadster and feel like a celebrity as you have your photo snapped in this fabulous car!

  • Maybelline NY

This was where I was working! Stop by the stand and have your lipstick touched up by the professional makeup artists – they’ll recommend a colour for you to try if you are feeling a bit game! Plus you’ll score yourself a baby lips, mascara, lippy or bronzer sample! Top of your experience with getting a snap of you with your new lippy as you’re be instantly transported to NYC.

  • HP

The HP gang have an awesome photo studio set up with wigs, feather boas, glasses and costumes – have a laugh and take some funny snaps. The HP team will print out your photo there and then. You’ll also score yourself a super cute laptop case!

  • Redken

The super hot team at Redken will give you guys a tailor-made goodie bag full of amazing Redken products. All you need to do, is share your hair dramas and they’ll hook you up with an instant fix! On top of that, Redken have a styling bar, where you guys can fix yourselves hair-wise post-show. Finally, top off your Redken experience with another snap!

  • The Photo Studio

The lovely Photo Studio will conduct a mini-photoshoot for you, with fans and re-touchers at the ready! Feel like a professional model as your photographer guides you through a quick shoot – I can tell you now the photos that are produced are stunning. You sit through the re-touching process and can purchase your photo at the end. A lovely memento of the Fashion Festival.

  • Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge

If you’re a VIP, Front Row & Fabulous or Access All Areas ticket holder, then this is your place. With complimentary Tempus Two wines, Peronis and canapes on offer, feel like a star post-runway. You also get your awesome goodie bag here too.

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Delicious drinks!

The amazing Photo Studio hard at work, getting ready to model-fy everyone!

The Redken Stand ready to help out with your hair dramas.

Some of the designs showcased!

MUAs at the ready! Let the lippy touch ups begin!

The fabulous Maybelline stand!

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If you’re going VIP and check out the Star Lounge don’t forget to Tweet!

Jennifer & I rocking the Maybelline photobooth!

Jennifer & I rocking the Redken photobooth!

You have plenty of time to go and check out the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival as it’s happening until Saturday night! With Myer Spring/Summer ’13 on tonight at 6pm and Sportscraft & Cotton On tomorrow you’ve got no excuse! Whitney Port is also debuting her collection, ‘WE by Whitney Eve’ on Saturday night at 6pm!

There are shows on every day at 12.30pm 6.00pm and 8.30pm.

You can purchase your tickets at http://mbffsydney.com.au/packages and ticketek.com

So grab some girlfriends, make a date, purchase a ticket and get down to Sydney’s Town Hall and enjoy the Fashion Festival – feel fabulous and live a little!

S x