Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Want Victoria’s Secret Model Hair? Here’s how.

Candice Swanepoel

Depressing right?

Well listen up beauties, it doesn’t have to be. 

Yes, you will probably never have Candice Swanepoel’s 23 inch waist (where would last night’s two scoops of salted caramel ice cream fit?!) or Jessica Hart’s crazy-long legs BUT you can have beautiful, shiny, luscious locks.

What do the VS models mane’s all have in common? Health, vibrant yet subtle colour, volume and shine.

This isn’t rocket science. Hell, this isn’t even regular year 10 biology science, it’s just common sense.


Using a good quality, salon-brand shampoo and conditioner is important because they lack nasties such as silicon which “coats” the hair to give a smooth and shiny appearance however over time builds up and weighs the hair down making it look flat, greasy and positively un-modelesque. 

Also, if you’re a product junkie then you really should be shampooing twice. You know how when you’re at the hairdressers the apprentice always washes your hair twice? Well, like cleansing your face, the first wash is to “clean” the hair while the second is to “treat” as per whichever speciality your shampoo claims to achieve: volume, curly enhancing, straightening or colour toning. Also make sure you pop on a treatment mask once a week.

Jessica Hart


Not only does correct colour application help make your eye colour pop and enhance your skin tone, it is also the easiest way to add volume and texture. And it looks hella cool when you do waves and curls and braids, because there is variation of colour. If you look at the VS girls, most of them have extremely natural looking highlights, nothing too extreme as it detracts from the face.

Note: If you are blonde or a variation of and wish to REMAIN not-yellow, you need to be using a toner. My gorgeous hairdresser Jo, from Salon Nook put me on to Revlon Nutri Color Creme. This is my absolutely favourite product! Not only does it keep my blonde ends (I have subtle balayage that looks more like I spent some time in the sun a few months ago) looking bright and non-brassy but it is also extremely conditioning and smells totally divine. I use this once a week doubling as my treatment mask.

Revlon Nutri color Creme in 1002


If like me you are cursed with fine, straight hair then you need to fake it babyyyy. There are so many amazing products available these days that provide natural looking volume and hold, unlike the crunchy mousse and gel of the 80s! Sea salt spray as I’ve discussed previously is a god send, as is dry shampoo for injecting instant volume and grit. However to set the “framework” or “scaffolding” I like to scrunch in some mousse while the hair is still wet then blow dry. Kevin Murphy’s Body Builder Volumising Mousse is my go to.

Alessandra Ambrosio


This will often come from using a decent shampoo and treatment mask once a week however there are sneaky ways to add some extra gloss. Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray or John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine are both excellent options for creating shiny, lust-worthy locks. 

 Ok so I'm lacking in volume here, but I am rather happy with the shine factor.

In conclusion:

Team all of the above with a great blow dry followed by some velcro rollers (or create large waves using a wave wand) then allow the hair to completely cool before brushing out the waves. Now flip your head over and blast with volumising hair spray and voila Miranda Kerr eat your heart out!

Have a great week Parlour and Looters, thanks for reading!

T xx

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chemical or Physical Facial Sunscreen? Which to Choose and Why.

With summer only a matter of weeks away it’s time to get serious about sunscreen.

No, that measly SPF 15 in your BB cream is not enough to protect you and your gorgeous young mug from premature ageing!

You need the strong stuff and you need to be wearing it errday, over the top of your serum/moisturiser and under your BB cream/ tinted moisturiser/ foundation.

Why? Because it will prevent burning, halt pigmentation in its ugly tracks (those horrible brown spots commonly found on your cheek bones and upper lip – if you’re on the pill) and stop premature ageing.

As most of you now know, I work for a skincare company so nobody’s more familiar than I with the particularly high-pitched, somewhat hysterical tone emitted from a skin therapist when explaining to a client how important sun protection is to ensure you stay looking beautiful darllllllling.

A cute hate and some good quality sunnies to protect those peepers is also a must!

Lazing by the pool a few Sundays ago ...

So, should you be using a chemical or physical sun block? Or a slinky hybrid containing both?

Here are the facts. 


Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing or sometimes scattering the UV rays. 

  • A chemical sunscreen must go directly onto clean skin, and will take 20 minutes to work.  
  • They are supposed to be better at the UVA (ageing) protection.

  • They utilise well, chemicals, such as: Octylcrylene, Avobenzone,Octinoxate, Octisalate, OxyBenzone and Homosalate and Helioplex to absorb or scatter the UV rays.

  • There has been some worry that some of these filters may cause free radical damage.

  • It should also be noted if pigmentation is on the top of your Skin Concerns list that chemical sunscreens can actually trigger pigmentation – what the flying feck!

My top picks:

Ultraceuticals Ultra Protective Daily Moisturiser Mattifying SPF 30+ (Octylcrylene + Avobenzone) RRP: $65

 Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ (Octylcrylene + OxyBenzone) RRP: $59.95


A Physical (or mineral) sunscreen reflects UV rays off the skin without allowing it to be absorbed at all.

  • Physical sunscreens should be applied on top of your other skincare products but before makeup and start working immediately. They are better at UVB (burning) protection, but so long as you pick a broad spectrum prod you’re covered. (Or, choose a hybrid with some chemical sunscreens and some zinc oxide.)

  • Physical sunscreens use zinc oxide or/and titanium dioxide to physically block the UV from getting to the skin. Remember zinc from your school days? Vile green or hot pink non-spreadable lard. Modern Day micronized zinc is transparent (ohh fancy) so it won’t leave you looking like Casper after application.

  • For the most part they should not cause irritation which is why the organic skincare brands sell physical sunscreens. However if they do cause you to break out, it’s likely the titanium dioxide that’s causing havoc, not the zinc oxide.

My top picks:

 O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF 30+ (Zinc Oxide) RRP: $45.00


 Coola Mineral Face SPF 30+ Matte Finish (Zinc Oxide + Titanium Dioxide) RRP: $40.00

Personally, I prefer a physical sunscreen as my pigmentation has been causing me some bother of late. 

Which do you prefer? Why?

I would love to hear your thoughts beauties. 

T xx

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seeing Red

Classic, elegant and versatile. Done well, a red lip ups the va-va-voom factor by about oh say, 2046%.

But before getting all gung-ho with your lippy, checkout these simple guidelines to help you achieve a beautifully made up pout.

Me wearing M.A.C Ruby Woo

Cautionary note from author:

Please use your smarts beauties. No applying red lipstick casually in the back of a cab or when you’re rushing out the door. This is when many enter the high-risk zone for the Lipstick Cardinal Sins as stated below.

  • ·   Bleeding or “feathering” into the fine lines around the mouth
  • ·   Unsightly smears around the mouth area #hotmess
  • ·   Rouge all over your teeth! Eww T.A.C.K.Y

The Rules

Exfoliate and Moisturise

Don’t even think about putting that lipstick near your pretty little mug until you’ve exfoliated the dead skin from your lips. Use a lip exfoliant or gently buff using your tooth brush – sound weird but trust me on this. Then generously apply lip balm, something with actual medicinal properties like Carmex. Dry, cracked and flaking lips won’t hold colour for long. Once you’ve applied thoroughly, dab off the extra moisture with a tissue.


Outlining your lips will keep the colour from running and looking like a hot mess. When finding your signature red, look for a lip liner in a matching shade. You can also buy invisible liners now too - ahh makeup sorcery, you never cease to amaze me!


Apply your lipstick evenly and generously. If using a semi-matte or hydrating lipstick, apply it from the centre of the lips and move outwards, then fill in the edges with lip liner moving from the corners to the centre of the lips. Both lipstick and lip liner will glide on easily for a smooth finish. If you favour a matte pout, apply your colour with a steady hand (before coffee/three tequilas) using a lip brush to follow the natural shape of your lips.


Delicately apply just a little bit of concealer around your lips using a concealer brush. This will not only keep the colour from smearing, but will also really make the red pop!

Suck It

Your finger that is! This removes any build up of colour on the inside of your lips which often causes lipstick-on-your-teeth awkwardness to occur.

Optional Extras: Gloss or Translucent Powder

You can finish off your dramatic red lip with a tiny bit of gloss patted into the centre of the pout to enhance the colour and add fullness. Otherwise, use the lightest sweep of translucent setting powder for extra staying power.

Other Lippy Tidbits

Let your pout behave like an attention whore Miley Cyrus by keeping the rest of your makeup minimal. A lightweight hydrating foundation, filled in brows, a swipe of mascara and some bronzer is all you need.

If you're looking to make teeth appear whiter, choose a red with blue undertones.

As a general rule of thumb (or elbow) those with warm complexions generally suit corals and orange-based reds while cooler complexions suit more blue-based “true” reds. That said, it really comes down to trial and error to find your perfect red!

Here are my top red lipstick picks grouped into orange-based reds and blue-based reds:

Orange-Based Reds

NARS Lipstick in Heatwave
Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 401


Miranda Kerr


Blue-Based Reds

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Kate #1
M.AC. Lipstick in Ruby Woo

Jessica Alba

Kate Bosworth

So tell me Parlour and Looters, do you have a signature red lipstick you can't live without? 

Please, share with the class.

T xx

Friday, October 25, 2013

Messy Hair Don't Care

It’s time to get dirrrrrty.

Yep, just like Christina Aguilera circa 2002, ass-less chaps and all. I kid, I kid. I much prefer the ‘ole g-string and cowboy boots look. Ok stop, let’s be serious for a minute because I am of course talking about HAIR here people! Long, short, curly, wavy and poker-straight.

It’s time to put the gritty back into pretty.

Cara Delevinge

There’s something about the slightly unkempt, slept-in look that’s quintessentially model-esque. Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller are prime examples of this. However the trend has been around for years and years. Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s defined her image with sexy, bed-head blonde locks, distinguishing herself from the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, who all sported exhaustively polished ’dos.

Sienna Miller

The early 2000s’ boho chic trend brought back the style once more, with the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen and Nicole Richie showing off their messy manes for the paparazzi.

Mary-Kate Olsen

The key to this look is don’t try too hard! Sounds obvious right? Teasing and too much product will leave one looking more like a bin lady come swamp-creature rather than the daughter of an 80s rock star/heiress. 

Here are my tips and tricks for achieving the look effortlessly.

I’m ALLLL Natural Baby

Wash your locks in the PM, sans conditioner. One of the key attributes to this look is that the hair look “piecey” with the strands slightly “clumped” together. Give a quick blast of the hair dryer changing the direction frequently to create volume. Sleep with slightly damp hair, on a pure silk pillowcase (mine’s from in Caramel) to avoid any static. These are also great for eliminating those horrible crease marks on your face you wake up with. For those of you with really straight hair like moi, style it into a low, loose braid for extra texture. Use your fingers to comb through in morning and finish by flipping hair over and spritzing with a light-hold volumising hair spray. Hola Lara Bingle!

Me, freshly messed'

Customized Sea-Salt Spray

Sea salt causes the fibers of your hair to naturally separate and clump. Your hairdresser will never tell you this, but you don’t actually need to buy sea salt spray. You can make it at home, and even customize the recipe according to your hair type (oily, dry, etc.) making it more natural and cost effective oh la la!

Buy an empty 12-oz spray bottle from Chemist Warehouse, fill it with warm distilled water or actually sea water, and mix in these ingredients:
·         1 tsp of sea salt
·         2 tbsp of epsom salt (for more for extra texture and hold)
·         1 tsp of aloe vera gel
·         A few drops of coconut, almond or jojoba oil (for moisture)
·         A few drops of essential oils or a spritz of your favorite perfume (optional)

Shake it vigorously before spraying on shampooed hair. Scrunch up your hair as it dries. The spray can dry out your locks, so wash it off in the evening and apply conditioner to avoid hair damage.

If you’re a time-poor lass and can’t be assed with brewing your own, my favourite salon sea salt spray is Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray. 

KM Hair Resort Spray RRP: $34.95.

Thanks for reading beauties have a fab weekend!

T xx

Friday, October 18, 2013

Baring It All! What Your 20s Are For ...

*Note to readers: I apologise for my absence in 2013. This year has been chaotic to say the least however things are settling down and looking up. I cannot wait to get back into the glossy world of Parlour and Loot!

We Australian lasses are undoubtedly lucky to live in a world laden in excess but nowhere is this abundance of “stuff” as blatantly clear as the beauty section of your local Priceline/David Jones/MECCA/Myer.  Between the CC creams, tube-y mascaras, highlighters, contouring palates, lip stains, gel pot liners, translucent finishing powders, bronzing beads and cream blushes it can be tres tempting for a cosmetics loving gal to use all her makeup wares at once. But alas dear beauty, this tactic will only serve to leave your mug looking cakey and over done when really the adjectives we should be striving for are FRESH, POLISHED and EFFORTLESSLY STUNNING (sorry for shouting). I mean, nobody wants to be the girl you avoid air kissing at a party because she leaves half her “face” on the shoulder of your raw silk Zimmerman jumpsuit you spent half your pay check on right?!

Don't do it, ok?

Now don’t get me wrong, in my younger years I played fast and loose with the makeup rules. Sometimes even pairing a red lip with a smokey eye (what a little rebel) but you see as I’ve hit my mid-twenties and spent most of my professional career working in the beauty industry I’ve come to realise that less really is more.  My beauty mantra is now, “work what yo mamma gave you” (minus the Will Smith inflection of course). It’s all about enhancing your best features to make them pop without going OTT on the products, this attitude towards makeup application is universally flattering and won’t get you voted out of the Big Brother house.

Want some examples? Ok!

Are you in possession of naturally dark and/or thick brows? Have them professionally shaped (threading is my method of choice), trimmed and tinted for timeless appeal and face-framing-beautification. Work with your natural brow shape not against it, lean towards “natural looking definition” – a little more Miranda Kerr, a little less Katie Price. For at home maintenance and every day wear, invest in a waxy brow pencil or matte, cool-brown (no red-y tinge) eye shadow that matches the roots of your hair and a small angled brush for filling in any gaps. And don’t forget to slick those bad boys down with a spooly brush + hair spray for polished perfection that will allow you to get away with wearing a lot less makeup and still look ‘done’.

Doing a stellar example of this on a night out, two of my girlfriends Kadie and Zoe.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to belong to the Angelina Jolie club of plump pouted vixens? Then take care of those lush lips of yours! Do use a lip exfoliating scrub and wear a balm with SPF protection! Make sure to play with colours too, typically speaking dark or bold lip colours conspire to make pouts look thin, so pay thanks to the genetic gods and embrace true reds, hot pinks, deep plums and bright oranges!

My soul-sister Else, rocking a fuchsia lip at her birthday high tea earlier this year #babealert 

We can’t all have naturally flawless skin but if there’s one thing I've learnt in my twenties and working for a cosmeceutical skincare company the past three years it’s that you can achieve a healthy, fresh looking complexion no matter what your skin type or concerns. Cleansing is crucial! Once in the morning and twice at night; first wash removes makeup, dirt and pollution while the second wash helps clear out pores and balance the skin, preparing it for your treatment products. Regular exfoliation changed my complexion woes for good. Soo many of us have underlying congestion that affects the texture and overall tone of your skin. I use a gentle powered exfoliant each morning made of fruit enzymes as opposed to the old school coarse scrubs which caused my oil-prone skin to breakout – eww! And last but not least, you really should be having facials once a month. You'll thank me when you're 50! Whether it be Microdermabrasion or a AHA/BHA peel, think of this as you would the treatment mask you put on your hair once a week (and I know you do this because Parlour & Loot readers are whip-smart and want shiny, Victoria Secret Modelesque locks), time consuming and sometimes costly but worth every single penny!

Me! Snatched from my Instagram account @tessstolly if you so wish to be social media friends.

It’s good to be back beauties, I promise on the butter-soft leather of the Deadly Ponies Mr Caiman bag I plan to soon own, that I Tess Stolarchuk will regularly post on P & L and do my very best to keep you engaged and inspired after each visit.

Peace, love and makeup.