Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Massage Tool That You Need


 Back pain, shoulder pain, forearm pain, leg pain... you name it!

It's the joy of having a new baby, my entire body started to ache after 4 weeks of holding my big bubba. I stayed up in the middle of the night googling two things; night nannies and a massage during the first few weeks. Having a fussy newborn baby who is pretty much exclusively breastfed made leaving the house for hours at a time fairly difficult. Little Miss can't stay in one position for too long. When she was 9 weeks old and fairly well behaved, her weight had more than doubled. My poor arms, legs and back! I asked my husband to massage my back, the massage lasted for about 60 seconds before his hands were tired. Now that she is 3.5 months old and over 7.5kgs I realised that I had to find some form relief for my muscle aches in the comfort of my own home, I started using Elinz Electric Massage Gun and never looked back. I have been using this massage gun at least once per day on my back, arms and legs.

Features: 

- 20 adjustable speed levels
- LED touch display
- Long Battery life
- Provides 10mm deep tissue vibrations 
- 8 massage head attachments 
- SAA Approved wall charger (You will never need to buy batteries!)

RRP $115AUD

This massage gun provided me with a lot of soft tissue relief, especially for my back. Prior to the massage gun, I had also tried to massage my own back, this ended poorly, with sore fingers and bruises because I couldn't determine how hard I was pressing. I can hold the massage gun my self and position it to the sides of my lower back where I experience symptoms for instant relief. I can also ask my husband to hold the gun for me with minimal effort. The various attachments is designed for different parts of your body, but I tend to mix and match, see what fits and keep trying different attachments for different level of relief. I can confidently say, Elinz Electric Massage Gun is a must have!



Elinz Australia offers a wide range of tech supplies via their easy to navigate website. From dash cam to consoles to power inverters. You will be able to find what you need there. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

My Pregnancy Journey: Getting Pregnant "THE HERBAL SHIT WORKED"


This was quite a sensitive topic for me for quite a while.

My husband and I never really wanted to get married but we were both agreeable on having a child out of wedlock. You can imagine my parent's reaction when I first announced this news. Without the financial burden of a wedding we can utilise the wedding funds to purchase baby essentials. It took a while for them to come to terms, they eventually did. As always nothing went to plan, we ended up getting married and tried to kids after. 

We started trying. Every 2-3 days they said. Keep your legs up and do a head stand they said.

We both shared the preliminary mentality that babies are created in one go. That unprotected sex meant instant pregnancy - this must've lingered from high school sex ed  and mainstream movies/tv.

I did have an assumed issue, prior to 30 my periods came and gone like clockwork. As soon as 30 hit me, my periods became irregular, I experienced up to 5 days of dreadful spotting. Initially I consulted my GP because having irregular periods was foreign to me.

"What is wrong 

with my body?"

I completed a variety of tests, yearning for a diagnosis. My ultrasound was largely unremarkable other than a 3mm uterine polyp. My GP advised me that "it's fine, we will just monitor it". I decided to consult a Gynecologists who recommended the polyp to be removed to ensure that it does not affect my chances of becoming pregnant later down the track. I went with it.

My first post-polyp removal period was great. No spotting. I was thrilled and thought I was "fixed". Unfortunately the spotting resumed the following month, the month after and so forth. The Gyno couldn't explain the spotting and said "it may just be age related". Damn, 30 is old? 

A few months later my husband and I spoke about having a child - he had a steady job, I had a steady job and we received a 15k refund for our Italy honeymoon - thank you Covid. I felt "ready". We tried for approximately 3-4 months with absolutely nothing. One month, my period was a week late, I was hopeful and purchased a packet of pregnancy tests. Negative. 

The following days I had bits of really dark blood come out in small amounts. We went to my GP who said it may have been a miscarriage, I completed a blood test to confirm this. We were both quite upset until my GP called me with the results and said "You were definitely NOT pregnant, it was not a miscarriage". It was a conflicting feeling, we were both relieved yet frustrated that I just couldn't get pregnant at all. 

After the fourth month I promised my husband that I'd stop thinking about it and we stopped trying, instead I bought another packet of pregnancy tests - 12 this time. Ended up peeing on a stick every time my period was a day or two late. I experience faux "pregnancy symptoms", I felt nauseas when my periods were late.  Every pee test was negative. I used 8 pee tests from that packet. It was emotionally and physically draining.

" I wanted to find a reason

 and called my GP to get my 

husband tested. Of course, 

blame your spouse! "

We never got around to complete any further testing, my mind was preoccupied with moving houses. Eventually, I accepted the fact that we were incapable of having children and mapped out a life for two. We made grand plans to travel post covid, purchase a Sphynx cat and fill our house with French Provincial style furniture. I told my husband I wanted to buy a luxury car eventually, he nodded and said "you can do whatever you want". 

This mentality was relayed back to my mum (who was baby crazy). I told her we want to have a child, but we can't seem to make one. She understood and told me to live my best life, who needs children anyway. What a mum!

I continued to complain about the 5 days of spotting before the period gush. Thankfully I was using reusable pads but it was increasingly frustrating to wear one for 10 days out of each month. My friend Emma recommended Thompson's One A Day Vitex 1500 for period regulation. I went to Chemist Warehouse and purchased a bottle for $12.99. I also mentioned it to another friend who was suffering from intense period pains, she purchased a bottle as well. 

The online reviews stated that it worked well for acne, some period symptoms and for a few - period regulation. I am overall very healthy and active, I don't have any pre-existing medical conditions and have never been on medication other than cold and flu/some antibiotics. I had no structural issues, my hormones were regular and all my levels were very stable. So I thought I'd give it a go. 

I took it for about a week or two, my period came and I only spotted for 2 days. I very rarely experience period cramps or period pains, this time I did. It didn't matter, as long as it was effective against the spotting. 

The next month my periods were late. My husband reassured me that it was just another late period. I started to experience period cramps and thought it was "stuck". I had a pretty rigorous daily exercise routine. Instead of 1.5hrs, I started exercising for 3hrs (ahhh lockdown life). A lot of HITT, ab work and jumping and running--- gotta get that period out, right?

One Friday morning, I decided to bite the bullet and pee on a stick, I look at the stick immediately after I peed on it and it showed ONE line - not pregnant. I wasn't phased. I placed the stick on the wrapper and slowly got up to wash my hands, clean my face, brush my teeth etc.... 

"I went to put the pregnancy

 stick in the rubbish bin and

 saw a second line. 

PREGNANT"


I was in disbelief. I sent my husband a message and he was shocked. It was the most surreal moment.

Vitex is not a miracle pregnancy pill, however I believe that it did help me to regulate my periods and that my ovulation overlapped with the spotting. Vitex is labelled as a supplement, I guess see it like you would look at collagen powder or any other supplements - not a cure all. Works for some but may not work for others. Please consult your doctor in the first instance. My GP also advised me that on average, it takes couples 1yr to conceive successfully. It took us about a year and 7 months, this baby came to us when we least expected. 

I'd love to hear your story. 


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Pregnancy Skincare Routine

 


Being pregnant is a life changing experience, I found I had to modify a lot of things in my life for this exciting time. Changes to my clothing, diet, activities and skincare routine were all necessary and this included modifying my skincare routine. After a phenomenal amount of research to learn more about what skincare products are safe to use during my 9 month journey, my skincare routine is now carefully curated. Luckily, I have been able to continue my AM and PM routine with a slight tweak of some of the products and ingredients I usually use.

 

Cleansing

Cleansing is still an important element in my routine! I usually do a quick cleanse with a gel or cream cleanser in the morning to remove any excess sebum that may have developed overnight. In the evening, I prefer a much deeper cleanse with a cleansing balm to remove sunscreen and any environmental pollutants. This is always the first step to my skincare to prepare my skin for the next steps.

 


Exfoliating

I’m currently using low doses of Glycolic Acid on a reusable cotton pad to gently exfoliate my face, neck and decolletage once per week. My skin absolutely loves this step and feels smooth and more alive afterwards . I find it has the added benefit of It also helping with pigmentation and acne that developments during the trimesters.

 

Toner

My toning mist is always near me, my skin is quite dehydrated so I need to recharge and re-hydrate throughout the day. As soon as I exit the shower, I grab a towel and spritz my face with the toning mist to retain the moisture. I noticed that my skin will crease if I don’t do this, so it’s a very important step for me.

 




Serum

I’ve noticed my skin has changed and while I’m experiencing the pregnancy glow I have also noticed new and emerging freckles appearing - more so than pre-pregnancy. I’ve found that using a Vitamin C serum on a daily basis can help to combat this. The other serum that I can’t go without is Hyaluronic Acid. Pregnancy, lockdown and the cooler weather made my skin dehydrated and dry. Drinking more water than I usually do and putting some hydration back into my skin is now crucial! These two serums are probably some of the best skincare products I have in my routine at the moment.

 

Eye Treatment

The joy of pregnancy means constant toilet runs as added pressure is applied onto my bladder, resulting in waking up at odd hours and insomnia in general. Eye cream and under eye treatment is a saviour, keeping any signs of fine lines at bay and the under eye area hydrated.



Moisturiser

Moisturiser is a must for me, day and night. With my skin being dry and dehydrated, I tend to do a lot of layering. I apply two pumps of moisturiser all over my face and one pump on my neck. Since I am unable to use retinol, I have started to notice more prominent lines and neck lines, so I always bring all my treatment products down to my neck.

 


Oil

The last step to my evening routine is always oil, I pat some Jojoba or Prickly Pear Oil all over my face and neck to seal everything in, my morning routine is not as rigorous and from time to time I’d only apply a serum or some prickly pear oil.

Since Jojoba Oil is a wax and a very effective moisturiser, I apply a generous amount over my belly, hips and chest before bed to help the area stay hydrated every evening before bed.

 

SPF

Sunscreen is a routine product! Mineral based sunscreens are recommended for pregnancy. Whilst I try to get some sunshine (where possible) on a daily basis, I make sure my skin is always adequately protected! Slathering on sunscreen to protect my skin from the harmful UVA/UVB rays and help prevent the pigmentation or the infamous “Mask of Pregnancy”.

 

This has become my routine during the pregnancy. I hope that this can be a useful guide for others who are going through these changes or provide some insight for those who are interested to know more about what a skincare routine can be like during a pregnancy.


(Sponsored post)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Must Have Winter Skincare


So, winter can be tough for many reasons, especially when it comes to our skin. Whether you are a fan of winter or not, even those who do prefer the cooler months cannot deny that winter can be super tough on our skin, taking a toll on our poor faces. The harsher elements, freezing temperatures, blistering winds and in-door heating can inflict all sorts of unwanted and tricky to deal with skin conditions. I’ve collated some of my favorite must-have skincare ingredients to help your skin survive and stay happy throughout the colder months.



Hydrating Serum

Our skin struggles to retain moisture in the colder weather, making hydration even more imperative. Hydrating serums containing Hyaluronic acid help boost moisture levels and helping combat dryness, dehydration and dullness.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

Even the more robust skin types can become more sensitive and subject to dryness or dehydration during winter. Indoor heating and those deliciously hot showers can leave skin feeling tight and dry. It’s also much harder for our bodies to keep hydration levels up throughout winter so switching to a thicker, heavier moisturiser can plump and nourish your skin as well as restore lost moisture.



SPF

Yes, even though its freezing outside – UV rays are harmful to our skin all year round and are just as active during winter! Applying an SPF as a final step to your skincare routine provides an extra layer of protection for skin and ensuring our skin barrier stays nice and strong.

Antioxidants If you don’t already, incorporating skincare products that contain topical antioxidants are a great addition to any skincare routine – especially in winter when the elements are harsher. Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E help fight off nasty free-radicals, combat stressors from the environment and protect our skin.

Lip balm with a sunscreen

There’s not many of us that don’t suffer from annoying dry, chapped lips during winter. I’ve gotten into the routine of making sure I remember to apply a thick, nourishing lip balm at night before bed so that I wake up with hydrated, plump lips. I also make sure to apply a lip balm containing SPF as that helps to prevent any dryness and protect them from those nasty winds!



Cream cleanser

To keep cleansing as gentle as possible, using a cream cleanser is ideal for winter. Suitable for all skin types (even the most sensitive), a cream cleanser won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Cream cleansers tend to be packed with soothing ingredients that will add an extra layer of moisture to your skin and help protect and strengthen skin barrier.

Exfoliant

Exfoliation is important all year round, but it’s imperative during winter. It’s extremely common to experience dry, flaky sensitive skin during the chiller months and exfoliating helps to resurface the skin. I prefer using chemical exfoliants such as AHA’s and BHA’s as they are also humectants, meaning they also work to keep my skin nice and hydrated at the same time as getting rid of those dry flaky bits of dead skin cells!


(Sponsored post)

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Worth the Hype? Ere Perez Review

 




Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation $50AUD

I have two shades, Honey and Malt.

Honey was a lot lighter than expected, Malt suited my NC25 tone better, I probably can go up to Chai. I now use Honey for under eye concealing which works quite well. I found the colour matching to be slightly difficult because just by looking at the shades online, I'd be a Honey. However when Honey is rubbed in, it's lighter than expected. Malt works well, especially during winter.

I found the texture to be easy to spread either with fingers or brush. It's fairly creamy. I personally prefer to use a brush because - cold hands! Rubbing my cold fingers all over my face is not ideal, I can cope with a small amount but not when it's my full face on a cold morning.  This foundation works like a dream on well prepped skin. The coverage is light to medium and it gives you a perfect dewy appearance. 

If you have dry patches, this may not be the foundation for you as it will cling onto dry patches, unless your skin is really well prepped.

Purchase here 



Carrot Colour Pot $36

I own two colour pots. Healthy and Holy. 

I bought Holy a little while back and it was on a site that marked the product as heavily discounted. So I'm not sure as to how long they had it in stock for. When I received the product, it wasn't creamy as advertised, it was a little bit hard but still useable. A little goes a long way with Holy. I personally didn't find it as flattering as expected on my olive skin tone, I feel this product may be better suited to cool toned skin,

Healthy on the other hand, was purchased from a different site. The product was exactly as advertised and reviewed - beautiful and creamy. Still pigmented like Holy, but a warmer shade which suited my olive skin really well. 

You can use your fingers or a brush. I like to use my fingers to dab it onto my cheeks and a brush to blend it out. 

Absolutely beautiful, you can use it on your lids and lips too.

Purchase here



Moringa All Beauty Creme $45

A beautiful cream that pairs really well with the Oat Milk Foundation and just sits really well under makeup. It's not heavy but its moisturising at the same time. The scent is very subtle. 

No SPF,  a decent cream all round. It worked well for my winter skin. 

If your skin dries and chaps - you may need a heavier duty cream.

Purchase here



Vanilla Highlighter $40

This was purchased after seeing raving reviews. 
Did it live up to the hype? Yes it did. 
Mind you, I personally haven't had the luxury to try many cream based highlighters, without much to compare with, I am really really happy with this highlighter. Its not blinding, its subtle but visible. Looks beautiful on the cheeks bones, creamy and easy to blend. 

I like to use this with my fingers, in a tapping motion. 

Purchase here

Closing Thoughts:

I started purchasing Ere Perez because I was curious and after trying their products I think I want to try more. If you are a beginner, try the Carrot Colour Pot or the Vanilla Highlighter. There are many stockists and seem to be on sale fairly regularly on their main website or on Vital Pharmacies.

I personally love this brand and think it's worth the hype.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

10 things I wish I could tell my younger self….

 We all have regrets or things we wish we knew 10 years ago, some lessons we can only learn in retrospect. The following is a list I’ve compiled along the way of some beauty lessons that were learnt through good old-fashioned trial and error. Some are permanent, some not so much. Others are never too late to start implementing



1. Put down the tweezers.

My poor eyebrows never and I mean never recovered from the late 90’s early aughties trend of barely-there pencil-thin eyebrows. I blame my mum for letting me pluck them in the first place.


2. That tattoo does not look as good as you think it does.

What you considered “cool” ten years ago does not age well. In fact, the cooler it was for the time, the more dated it probably looks now. Aside from the fact it just doesn’t feel like “you” anymore, it just looks really terrible. Thank God for tattoo removal lasers. Mum was right on this one.



3. Don’t sleep with your makeup on.

Guys…I mean come on. I know we are all guilty of this cardinal rule but we are not teenagers/in our twenties anymore. We are grown-ups and grown-ups take off their make up before bedtime. And yes, its ok to cheat with a sneaky make-up wipe now and again.


4. Smoking is not cool.

Just….no. Don’t do it. Not cool people.


5. Do not sunbake. Like EVER.

In my mind’s eye, I can see my 16-year-old self slathering herself with what might as well have been baby oil to get my skin as brown as possible. Getting or having a tan was definitely considered “healthy-looking” or even desirable when I was growing up. Solariums were still a thing and maximum protection meant SPF15+.

Aside from the more obvious health risks to un-protected sun exposure, 80% of visible ageing is linked directly to UV exposure or sun-damage. Those unwanted pigmentation and fine-lines I’ve ended up with? All preventable.

Moral of the story: it is never too late to start wearing sunscreen. Even when its 14 degrees and overcast, the sun’s rays are still harmful (especially here in Australia) so it’s crucial to wear your sunscreen every day and make sure its 30+ or even 50+



6. Be gentle with your skin (and Do. Not. Pick!)

This one’s an easy one and we have all been there, I’m sure. Using ingredients that are too harsh or strong for one’s skin can end up causing more problems. Exfoliation is great – over exfoliation is not. I learnt this one the hard way and my poor skin paid the price. It took ages to get my skin back to where it was before I tried to burn my face off. Test patch new ingredients first and don’t overload your skin with too many products all at once.

Also, picking pimples is just a no. For that brief moment of satisfaction when you successfully squeeze a pimple is just not worth that scar or mark that it leaves behind. I still struggle with this one, it is definitely a hard habit to break.


7. Embrace and work with the hair you have.

There is no point wishing you had pin-straight blonde hair, when in reality you have dark brown curls. Straighteners and other hot tools will wreak havoc on your hair. Likewise dying your hair incessantly will cause it to thin and fall out. And don’t even get me started on bleach….


8. Start laser hair removal now. Pronto.

This one is an investment. But also, a no-brainer and again, never too late to start. If you consider all the time, money and hassle combined over the years with all the painful waxing appointments, bleaching, plucking and razers …well you get the idea. Also, laser hair removal machines have come a long way in the last 10 years and treatments are now quicker, cheaper and more effective than ever before. The sooner you book and complete your sessions, the quicker you are on your way to being smooth and hair-free. Permanently.


9. Invest in a good skincare routine (and stick to it).

See a professional (i.e. aesthetician dermal therapist, dermatologist) and get a proper skin analysis to work out your skin type and/or condition you wish to treat, plus the best skincare products for your particular skin needs.


10. And finally….learn to LOVE yourself and embrace your body exactly as it is!

I wish, most of all that I could have told my younger self this: The things you are self-conscious about now are the things you will end up loving about yourself – because they make you, you.



(Sponsored post)

Monday, December 21, 2020

Not all Laser Hair Removal is created equal…


Come again? News to me…I don’t know about you beauty junkies but I’ve been hearing the term “Super hair removal”  or SHR floating around…and it peaked my interest. Afterall, isn’t all laser hair removal the same? No, apparently not. Which kinda makes sense…have any of you ever had a series of laser hair removal sessions only for nothing to happen? Correction, something did happen – the damn hair grew back! 


So, this got me thinking…what is the best type of laser hair removal?  Afterall, laser hair removal machines came on the scene 10 years ago, it stands to reason that there have been some advances in technology since then right? Bear with me as I attempt to break down this new-wave technology, so we can all hopefully work out what’s right for us. 


All of the lights 


So how does standard laser differ from SHR? And what about IPL? Isn’t that a laser too? Well all 3 hair removal lasers use targeted light (the laser) to affect the hair follicle, heating it up and essentially killing it so that it cannot grow hair anymore. The difference is basically the type of light, laser is a one-shot deal; an intense pulse of light, standard IPL laser is similar but uses a scattered light pattern to target the follicle. SHR treats the area by heating up the hair follicle slowly, using multiple flashes of light.  



So, what does that mean for me? 


Well for starters, talk to your clinician about the colour of your skin and hair. They will then determine which type of laser hair removal is suitable for you and if you are a candidate for SHR. Basically the hair needs to be darker than your skin tone as the light is attracted to the darkest thing it finds…and if its not the hair then the surrounding skin cops the heat, so to speak. 





How does SHR work? 


Well, despite heating up the hair slower – SHR is much faster treatment (due to the multiple lights). The treatment takes far less time to perform (we are talking HALF the time people!) as well as your clinician being able to treat much larger areas with ease. Rather than a stamping motion – the laser is rolled back and forth over your skin, making treatments much more comfortable. Instead of an intense zapping, it’s more of a warm tingle. The best part? The results usually last longer!  


Ok so now the super part is making sense – its faster, with zero pain AND longer lasting. I’m pretty sure that’s a trifecta in anyone’s eyes. 


Most places that offer SHR will have standard IPL also, which is great as it’s still a fantastic tool and can be used to treat smaller more difficult areas.  





Extra perks 


A few other honorable mentions – SHR is considered a safer treatment overall. This is due to the slower heating process, making it preferable for those with more sensitive skin types as well. Another perk is that whereas traditional IPL excluded those that did not have fairly light skin and dark hair, there is a bit more wiggle room when it comes to treating those with a darker complexion or tanned skin. 

 

Another benefit to SHR is its FANTASTIC for those pesky ingrown hairs. A friend of mine was plagued with ingrowns and literally everything she tried failed. Yet she swears up and down since getting SHR, she has not had ONE. Pretty impressive stuff. 





OK so that’s about it folks. I hope that de-mystified SHR and if it’s the right type of laser hair removal for you. It’s important to remember, everyone’s body differs – I have plenty of hair-free friends that got laser many moons ago, the results lasted, and they are as pleased as punch. I also have others who have had to “top up” their results with a couple of sessions later down the line. Speak to your clinician and find out which type is most likely to yield the best results for YOU. 


And on a final note - the body is an impressive thing, capable of healing and rejuvenating itself. Which is why those damn hair follicles are sometimes able to repair themselves after being dormant for a long period of time. I know, so unfair…why can’t it repair those crow’s feet that came in a few years ago? Or those laugh lines…come on body – get on it!!!  


I’ll keep you posted… 



(Sponsored post)

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A Massage Tool That You Need

 Back pain, shoulder pain, forearm pain, leg pain... you name it! It's the joy of having a new baby, my entire body started to ache afte...

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