Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sonya's Story

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Three years ago a wife, a mother, a sister had the world at her feet. She had two beautiful little girls, a husband, and was about to build their dream home. She was an international flight attendant and had a great sense of self worth....until. One fateful day her husband ran off, her younger sister was diagnosed with a Melanoma, and on top of everything else, she was forced to take a redundancy from what she thought was her dream job. Sonya Driver was left to raise her two young girls alone. 

Abandoned, unemployed, and using what little energy she had left to lift her shattered spirit, she promised herself to be a strong positive influence for her fragile younger sister Rachael. For most women in the same circumstance it would be hard not to lock yourself away and let depression eat you up.

Sonya however, is not an average woman. This is where her life truly began....

“I remember the day all too well. In a second my life plan exploded into dust. My marriage was over via a phone call, and my dream home complete with a fireplace was all but a fleeting memory. My two gorgeous little girls kept asking me why I was crying so much. It’s been 3 years and they still ask why we can't be a family. I remind myself daily that Lady Di once was a single mum, and so I refuse to accept any element of shame associated with being a single parent. I even have the family stickers on the back of my car. 1 lady, 2 girls and a fat dog.” Sonya said.

Despite all the chaos and emotional pain that was engulfing her life, Sonya knew that if she didn’t shift her focus and energy into something uplifting then it would only be a matter of time before her battered self esteem would crumble. She drew herself wearily from the ground and decided to volunteer in East Timor to care for the poorest of the poor. She shampooed the hair of women that had never had their hair washed, fed hungry children, and comforted the sick.... “To be honest I was battling grief and anxiety and I couldn’t shake it. I knew deep inside my spirit that I needed to face a different kind of struggle and help bring comfort to others. I knew it would heal my wounds better than any medication ever could.”

After a month in East Timor and a new determination, Sonya came home, inspired by the women who struggle day to day living in the poorest conditions.

“It was time to make a positive change. I was still deeply affected by my sister Rachel’s cancer scare. She was also a young mum with two very small children and I couldn’t bare to think of what we would do if the cancer had travelled “too far”. I’m so grateful that the melanoma was on the front of her arm where she noticed the changes quickly. Anyone with a younger sibling who has been through a traumatic experience would know the helpless feeling you get when something like this happens.”

But from a dire situation came Sonya’s inspiration. Tanning had always been a favourite past time for the two sisters, but now that was definitely not an option.  

“Sun protection was something I started looking into. I loved to spend hours in the sun tanning my pale complexion, so I knew this was going to get interesting. Much to the amusement of our kids, Rachel and I started using spray tans. I mean from what everyone claimed it was a much safer option.”
Curious about these claims, Sonya started researching the ingredients used in the tanning products she was using.
“I was appalled at the petrochemicals and synthetics that manufacturers were using to create these tanning products. Rachel's scar was deep and new and we didn’t want any toxic ingredients on her skin. From what I had learnt, much of what we put onto our skin gets absorbed through our blood stream.”

The fact Sonya felt so passionately about what her sister was putting on her skin after her diagnosis led her to create a true organic tanning product that both women and men can use. Her Eco Tan range recently made Australian history by becoming the first and only tanning products to be certified by the Organic Food Chain under the Australian Government.

“To be honest, manufacturing an organic product has been a tough battle, both personally and financially, but I believe what I’m doing is important. It’s a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture synthetics, money has never been my motivation. I want to look back on my life and feel I left a legacy of something positive, and wasn’t just a consumer on this earth.”

Sonya says creating the range has been a mix of blood, sweat and tears and has taken its toll on her family. “My girls have days when they ban me from talking about my business. I’ve spent thousands of hours sourcing and researching ingredients. I made small batches myself and my kitchen was turned into a lab as I experimented on my family and friends.”

It’s been an eye opening journey. “I almost wish I didn’t know as much as I do, it’s stopped me buying a lot of cosmetics on the shelves. I get so annoyed at the misleading natural and organic claims. It makes my blood boil!” 

Sonya still lives in a tiny house without a dish washer and yep, she’s still a single mum. Her organic mission highlights to the best of us that no matter how dark your world turns, never give up and know you are worthy, strong and have value!

Synthetics and nasty ingredients have had their day. There are amazing Australian products out there that are affordable so we need to read the ingredients on labels and look past fancy marketing. Ask yourself, what’s the integrity of the company? Petrochemicals, nasty preservatives and synthetics, not really the words you’d associate with beauty?

Please contact me for any further information.
Sonya Driver 1300 596 118

Sunless Tanning is a growing trend throughout Australia, and according to one Australian study, more than 9% of the population over the age of 18 use fake tanning products, 28% of which are women aged 18-24.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bridezilla to bombshell

Bookmark and ShareYour special day has finally come, and no, I don’t mean the next episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. It’s even better than that! It’s your wedding day! Your mind is already spilling over with wedding plans, making sure that everything turns out right- the guest list, the seating plans, the flowers, menus and music. With so much to do, the last thing on your mind should be your wedding makeup!

It’s your beautiful face people are going to be staring at all night long. Leave a lasting impression- go from bridezilla to bombshell in the time it takes to say “I do”.


In my many years of experience doing bridal makeup, I've noticed that makeup for the wedding day might seem almost inconsequential — that is, until a few weeks before the big event, when you remember how much you're paying for those photos.

Fortunately, whether you're a queen bee who's planned this out months in advance, or a procrastinator nearing the last two weeks before the big event, your method for finding a good makeup artist is the same.

You have to know where to look. If you're today's typical bride with fingers afire, using the Internet to coordinate the ins and outs of your event, once again make the Web your first stop. Visit wedding websites (like this one!). Most pros who work with brides will be listed on these types of sites. Often, you can easily and quickly compare pricing, service offerings, and ideally even view some snapshots of their recent work.

Now you have to ask yourself some questions. For example: do you want to go to a salon, or have them to come to you? If they do, is there a travel fee involved?

Other great questions to ask yourself — and your pro:
•    Will they do a trial run of the makeup before the wedding, and is that included in the fee?
•    Do they require a deposit to hold my date?
•    Will I be the only one getting my makeup done, or will other members of my party be made up too?
•    Do I want someone who can do both my hair and makeup?
•    Can I express how I want my makeup to look (natural, glamorous, exotic)?
•    Do I have any special needs I should let my pro know about, such as allergies to certain products, plants or foods, tattoos that will need covering or severe acne?
•    Are they professionally trained?

You'll also probably come up with a few hundred more questions on your own.

So, you've narrowed down your list of makeup artists to call and you're armed with your questions. Now, opinions may differ, but I personally think that the most important considerations when choosing your makeup artist are whether they listen to you, answer all your questions to your satisfaction, and above all, whether you feel comfortable with them.

And another thing: there are makeup artists, and there are Makeup Artists. What I mean is, there are some artists out there that have no cosmetic experience other than selling makeup. "Working with makeup" and being a makeup artist are a world apart.

You've had the conversation. You've met the makeup artist; you feel comfortable (glamorous, even!). You think you've found "the one." Now, how do you tell him or her how you hope to look? As always, a picture speaks volumes. Snip some personally appealing photos from bridal magazines and hand them to your makeup artist.

A good artist will give you what you want. But a great makeup artist will give you what you want, considering your assets. What I mean is, if you want to look your best, then be ready to let your artist design a look that meshes perfectly with your colouring, features, bone structure and overall appearance — while keeping your desired vision as the cornerstone. With a professional, this is hardly a one-size-fits-all process, and a pro might steer clear of giving you the precise workup that J.Lo sported on last month's Cosmo. But that's to your advantage. And the results speak for themselves.

Finally, wedding makeup is an art. As the bride, you need to look natural in person, yet defined enough so that you give off that bridal glow in photos and don't look washed out. This is challenging to achieve, and it's truly a learned skill. This is not the task to delegate to helpful Aunt Sarah. Your wedding-day face isn't the canvas to do test runs on.

Make up Tips

1.    Starting with concealer and foundation. Be careful about the colour foundation you choose. Whilst you should always go for a match as near as your skin, anything too pale will make you look washed out if you are wearing a white/ivory dress. Try to choose a yellow toned foundation to bring warmth into your face. Alternatively use bronzing powder to give you a bit of colour – if you are wearing a low cut dress remember to sweep it across the chest area so you don't look “two toned”.

2.    Whilst there are some lovely “shine” products available to give a dewy complexion, again be very careful where you use them. In photographs it will be easy to mistake the “glow” for sweat – not nice. If you are applying a highlighter, stick to brow bones, cheekbones and a dab in the middle of your lips. If you are wearing a low cut dress add a little on your décolletage. Beware of any makeup that is too sparkly, this can look strange in the photos.

3.    Pending on what season you are getting married this will also have to be taken into account when planning your makeup. Avoid anything too shiny on your skin if you are getting married in the summer, stick to a coloured lip-gloss but don't wear shine all-over. Light formulas are better as you don't want your makeup melting in the sun. Winter make up can be more dramatic although again it's best to stick to a stronger look of your usual make up.

4.    To make your lipstick last all day. First apply a lip primer to give your lips an even surface and rid of any flaky bits. Then line your lips with your lip pencil (which should be the same shade as your lipstick). Then fill in all your lips with the pencil. Finally on top of that apply your lipstick. Blot with a tissue and reapply your lipstick – repeat this twice. Now your lipstick should stay on all day. If it does start to wear off you will have the lip pencil underneath so your lips won't look patchy.

5.    Eyebrows - have them professionally shaped before your big day and enhance them with a same colour eyebrow shade. Eyebrows frame your face and it can make a huge difference if you have the professionally shaped – a la Liz Hurley!

6.    To make your eyes look bigger and whiter choose black mascara. Brown mascara can make eyes look tired.

7.    To lift your eyes apply a highlighter just below your brow bone. If you have small eyelids, apply a highlighter just in the center of the eyelid and a dark brown shade in the eyelid crease – this will lift your eyes. White/ivory eyeliner in the rim of your eyes also makes them appear brighter, however be careful if you wear contact lenses as your eyes maybe sensitive. To make your eyes look more wide set blend the highlighter in the inner corner of your eyes.

8.    For a natural flush apply a light natural pink shade onto the apples of your cheeks – don't go to harsh, especially if you are drinking which can give you a natural flush look without the blush.

Finally remember on your big day to have the following to hand:

•    Cotton buds, to wipe away any smudges under the eyes
•    Your lippy, should you need a touch up.
•    Some translucent powder to blot away any sweaty patches
•    Breath freshener (you will be doing lots of kissing – alcohol breath is not very attractive!)
•    Contact lens solution – if you wear them.
•    Small phial of your perfume to keep you smelling gorgeous – which you will be!
•    And your man of course!!! 

Written by Jessica Obst  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guinot Institute Paris - Bridal Skin Care Program

Guinot is proud to be the number 1 prescriptive skin care in France. We are sold exclusively through our extensive network of salons nationally. Our beauty experts go through extensive training developed in Paris to ensure a high quality professional approach.

6 month Bridal Program

Salon Treatment Program:

Month 1        Hydradermie Facial

Hydradermie is a complete facial treatment using Galvanic and High Frequency currents.  It deep cleanses the skin, re-hydrates the deeper layers and speeds up cellular regeneration.  The treatment takes 1 and 1/4hrs and is suitable for all skin types over 15 years of age.

Month 2        Hydra Clean Facial
In just 30 minutes the HYDRACLEAN treatment attacks all the steps for CLEAR and RADIANT skin. Active ingredients more effectively penetrate perfectly cleansed skin after 1 treatment.

Step 1.  A deep cleanse using a THERMOCLEAN ELECTRODE heating up to 42°c to stimulate deeper into the skin, and with specific skincare.  
Step 2.  Massage which favours drainage and restarts skin micro-circulation.  The massage is carried out with a serum which contains Allantoin and Witch Hazel Extract.

Month 3         Hydradermie Facial

Month 4         Hydradermie Facial

Month 5         Course of Beaute Neuve AHA’s peeling facials
(One a week for 3 weeks)
Combining the powerful actions of fruit acids and pure vitamin C this biological peeling treatment will eliminate dead cells and thus stimulate cellular renewal and boosts radiance. 

Using fruit acids, the treatment begins with the Peel in gel that separates the dead skin cells from the living ones, followed by the Peel Out foam that exfoliates the skin to eliminate the dead cells and stimulate cellular renewal.  A Vitamin C mask completes the peeling effect, lightening brown spots and boosting radiance to the skin.
After one treatment, you will visibly notice the difference

Month 6         Hydradermie Facial – start of the month
                       Hydraclean Facial - The week of the wedding

Home care program: 

Month 1 –
3 Start to follow the basic skin care routine

•    Cleanse & tone morning and night
•    Exfoliate the skin at least twice a week
•    Day cream, night cream and eye cream

Month 4

Use an appropriate Guinot serum underneath your day and night cream – the Longue Vie Serum is perfect for most skin types – it revitalises the skin and feeds the skin with amino acids and vitamins – the serum should last at least 6 weeks

Month 6

Continue with regular skin care routine, use a body scrub at least twice a week to get skin smooth and soft. Include a mask into the skin care routine at least once a week. Guinot’s Anti Fatigue mask – suitable for all skin types – provides radiance and hydration and can be left on the skin for only 3 mins!!

Getting your skin prepared for your special day does not just happen a week before the wedding – looking after your skin with monthly facials will make your skin be at it best for the day.
Home care is essential and if the skin is kept hydrated and exfoliated – then the skin should looked smooth, radiant and dewy. 

(Laura Pritchard – Senior Trainer, JPI)