How to create effortless waves with your straightening iron || video tutorial

Last week my friend, Diana, e-mailed me with a request to teach her how to create waves with a straightening iron.

Admittedly, this technique takes a little bit of practice, but after a few times I promise you'll be able to do this too.

Before you start, be have the following items handy:

  • Dry shampoo (not mentioned in video) -- if the hair framing your forehead is on the greasy side, it's always best to prep this area first.
  • Flat/straightening iron with a slim profile, preferably with ceramic plates as I find it leaves hair with a smoother finish.
  • Texturising spray to set the waves.
  • A comb
  • A few hair clips to section the hair off.

Hopefully this video gives me a good kick in the butt to start blogging again.

Going red, root canals, and a few of my favourite makeup bits from September

September was in all honesty a blur of a month, I turned 32, celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, got a root canal (ouch doesn't quite cover it), dyed my hair red, and managed to apply some makeup in between countless appointments to the dentist. 

Blogging unfortunately moved to the back burner as a result, because I couldn't quite get myself to sit down and write. So instead of going into detail about the root canal, let's touch on the light-hearted stuff, makeup.

First up, brushes..

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

In late August Real Techniques released seven new brushes in order to appeal to both their grassroots fan base, as well as brush snobs like myself. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye with their angular lines and precious metal finish (rose gold, gold, and silver), and synthetic bristles -- read: animal-friendly. While I do love gold as much as the next gal, I cannot overlook the fact that the brush handles won't stay gold forever. Greasy fingerprints and annoying/tricky packaging take these seven brushes down a few notches in their hot pursuit of luxe-ness. RT brush prices range from $39 AUS to $65 AUS, and in the event you head to your local Priceline to check them out be sure to hit up the cashier as you won't be able to find them on the sales floor. 


  • Brush 301 - holy contour, Batman!
  • Brush 202 - the petite multi-tasker for lining the eyes and creating natural brows.
  • Brush 300 - this tapered blush brush was made for pairing up with Hourglass' Ambient Light Blush palette.


  • Brush 101 - the triangle foundation brush fails to compute, I just don't get it.
  • Brush 100 - the arched powder brush.. been there, done that. Plus there far better and cheaper alternatives out in the market.
  • Brush 200 - The oval shadow brush is too large for my small eyes. It can blend, but not with the same precision as MAC's 217.
  • Brush 201 - The pointed crease failed to leave a lasting impression.
Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Speaking of brush snobs, I picked this brush up, Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush Fluid and Powder, way back in August, and it's become the brush I'd like to master using. When used correctly Photoshop filters and the Healing Tool will quickly become obsolete. Sabrina's in-depth review definitely justifies this spend-y indulgence. 

Evo's roy wide-tooth comb (pictured in the first image) was an anniversary gift from Scott. Don't knock this comb until you've tried it -- made from recycled wood, this tooth-y comb really gets into the roots while the rounded ends massage the scalp.


Renewed Hope In a Jar Dry, as commented by my facialist, has left my skin looking and feeling plump, hydrated and youthful. Filled with AHA's, Philosophy's revamped formula spreads on evenly as it melts into the skin to moisturise, fill in fine lines, and promote gentle chemical exfoliation throughout the course of the day. Because of my sensitive skin I tend not to slather this stuff on morning and night in fear of having a negative reaction. *touchwood* Highly recommend this lightweight moisturiser for Spring and Summer, and don't forget to apply SPF!

And the scent, I can't help but think of babbling brooks and gentle streams.


Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

When smoky eyes became a big thing again in the early aughts, the three colours of choice were black, silver and white; when executed on me I was left looking like a sad panda. Well, we've come a long way in the past decade, because UD's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette for lack of a better word is sexy. From its plastic packaging, magnetic closure, and built-in mirror I seriously cannot get enough. Let's not forget about the four looks broken down in one handy insert created by Urban Decay's in-house makeup artists -- watered down instructions for the makeup impaired and uninspired, they help make the trickiest looks achievable. I was on the fence about picking up palette number four, but it was love at first swatch.

Maybelline's The Rocket Volum'Express was like a shot to the heart (in a good way). Mascara and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Just when I settle on a brand or a formula, without fail, things breakdown, and I'm left looking racoon-like. The Rocket Volume'Express' thicker consistency coats the lashes evenly and sets/dries rapidly, a feature more to my liking. My lashes are left looking fuller, albeit slightly crispy which I'll gladly accept in lieu of smudged mascara along the under eye area. Thank you, Diana 😘 


Becca's Champagne Pop

Becca's Champagne Pop

I like my bubbles right where I can see them, preferably in a glass. For the days when I can't imbibe Becca x Jaclyn Hill's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop gives the structure of my face that extra oomph with a touch of ethereal glow.

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Going Red

Growing your hair out is such a bear. Tired of seeing the dreaded line of demarkation between old and new, I made a huge leap of faith and dyed my hair RED, and I, of course, left this to the pros.

I won't go into huge detail, but I tried out a new salon and a new hairdresser, and was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I eventually grew to like the results (it took a couple of days), but now the hunt begins to find yet another hairdresser to take the reigns -- the red hair is here to stay (I think).

*PR samples provided (Real Techniques and Philosophy) –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

Liptember: help me kiss away the blues

Unfortunately, mental health issues and depression don't discriminate. I have friends and family members who've ambled through the darkest clouds. My words here can't even begin to scratch the surface of their personal struggles, but I can share my own story as a testament that depression can flow through the cracks and suck you right in.

September was typically a trepidatious time for me thanks to the new school year ticking over right around Labor Day in the US. Couple that with the fact that my birthday fell seven days into the aforementioned month, which should of been a happy time -- but, I was the awkward kid handing over the cupcake filled Tupperware container to my teacher on or around the first day of school while thinking I'd instantly become popular (never happened). The SAT's left me in cold sweats in Junior and Senior year, but it was the second year of university when things turned dark. Turns out living away from home for the first time plunged my already sensitive mind right down to the rip currents. Here I was 20-years-old, crying in the middle of the Gap on Newbury Street one lovely fall night, unable to see the tags through the hot tears -- with an hour left in my shift sizing underwear became less of a priority as my chest grew tense -- look busy, that's it, so no one would catch onto the tinge of mania.

I hated myself, the experience, for rooming with a girl who didn't even want to know about me, the gaggle of girls who partied at 3 AM in the common area, the neighbour who professed she was apple shaped after watching an episode of Dr. Phil and swore off all food (what does he even know about a woman's body, I thought), and the suite mate who disappeared in the middle of the night and to never be seen again after breaking down. It's safe to say she was having a much tougher time than me.

When you're twenty the minutiae of life really stings, and suffering in silence only cures the concrete. Instead of remaining stuck, I put in for a dorm transfer request to move closer to my best friend, Diana and found a counsellor. My sunny disposition slowly returned, I was finally able to immerse myself in schoolwork and comfortably socialise again, and I think my parents even made fewer trips up and down 93 in order to break me out of school. 

If I didn't change my situation, or recognise something was in fact wrong I think I would've given up on studying, and hated myself even more for squandering something I worked so hard for. 

Wearing three of six shades from the W7 Liptember range

Wearing three of six shades from the W7 Liptember range

Throughout the entire month of September I'll be raising money for Liptember to help support women's mental health; all donations will go directly to Lifeline, a crisis support hotline, and the Centre for Women's Mental Health in Australia.

Or, you could purchase a neon Liptember shade from Chemist Warehouse, and wear it proudly throughout the month of September.

Go on, make the first donation, you won't regret it!

My current favourite nude lip combo: MAC's Creme Cup and Colourpop's Button Pencil

Better together: Colourpop's Button and MAC's Creme Cup

Better together: Colourpop's Button and MAC's Creme Cup

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to my lips -- most days I opt for chapstick and a pale pinky/nude lippie, and if we're being totally honest here, I didn't see the point in applying lip liner until I finished beauty school. Lip liner not only defines your lips, it also evens out the colour of your them and helps make any run-of-the-mill lipstick last.

Armed with a bit more insight, I picked up a few cheap-o lip liners from Colourpop to see what all the fuss was about and MAC's Creme Cup, because this shade is the gateway to endless possibilities. When worn alone, I can't pull either shade off, but together. Oh, man, say hello to #kyliejenner calibre lips. 

Tip: if you can't get your hands on Colourpop's Pencil in Button, MAC's Spice is a close match, albeit a tad more expensive.

Swatches from left to right: Colourpop's Button, MAC's Creme Cup and blended together

Swatches from left to right: Colourpop's Button, MAC's Creme Cup and blended together

Wearing MAC's Creme Cup over Colourpop's Button

Wearing MAC's Creme Cup over Colourpop's Button

What's your current favourite lip combo?