Brittany-kerin

Autumn Fashion Trends with Karen Millen

The latest Autumn/Winter Karen Millen collection just dropped. Think more relaxed pieces rather than a focus on occasion-wear, with casuals and separates, demins and leathers bridging the gap between high-end and high-street fashion. Karen Millen’s Louise Mitchell shares the brand’s new direction, the latest campaign shot by David Bailey and what trends to look out for this winter.

What is the inspiration behind the new Autumn/Winter collection?
AW14 is a stand-out season for us as a brand. Traditionally, we’ve been known for our amazing dresses and occasion-wear but moving into AW14 you’ll see a greater emphasis on our urban edit, led by amazing leather jackets, denim and versatile separates. There’s still the signature quality and attention to detail which we’re renowned for but the focus for AW14 is to showcase our great mix of trend-led pieces and wardrobe staples that can be worn year after year.

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There is a strong mix of tailored pieces, leather and tartan. What are the key trends to look out for this season?
A trend that’s particularly prominent right now is the use of leather detailing on dresses, skirts and tops as a way to provide a point of interest and add some edge to a piece. The masculine silhouette is also really popular but then so is lace detailing, which adds a nice feminine touch. For our AW14 collection tartan is a key trend – one of our signature campaign pieces is a beautiful red tartan coat.

There are some beautiful patterns and materials used throughout the collection. What is the design process behind creating these amazing colours, patterns and fabrics?
One of our major points of difference as a brand is that everything in our collections is designed, fitted and created in our Shoreditch Atelier in London.

We will fit and re-cut every piece as many times as it takes to ensure the silhouette is right – usually between 7 and 15 times – in all sizes.  Not only do our designers create many of our prints in-house, they also work closely with premium specialty mills around the world to source and select the most luxurious fabrics and finishes. Getting the fabrics, the fit and the detailing right is what really makes a Karen Millen piece so distinctive.

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Can you talk me through the concept behind Karen Millen’s latest campaign shot by David Bailey?
The AW14 campaign focuses on the brand’s changing style via a series of portraits featuring stand out pieces from the new season’s collection. The concept was to allow the clothes and the models to take centre stage, which is why we worked closely with Bailey to select four fresh new faces that embody the essence of a ‘Karen Millen woman’.  We wanted to celebrate high profile creatives working together to create a unique platform on which to propel future faces into the next stage of their careers.

What is your favourite piece from the collection?
There’s so many fantastic pieces in the collection it’s difficult to choose but one that I particularly love is our camouflage faux-fur coat. It’s a great investment piece that will work really well from day, with my favourite Karen Millen boyfriend jeans, to night, with a great dress. It’s top of my list this season.

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What are your favourite fashion trends this autumn?

March 11, 2014

3 Easy Festival Hairstyle Tutorials

Festival season is well and truly upon us, and with that, comes many great challenges. Which festival to attend, and how to coordinate the ultimate clash-free timetable? What to wear? And how to style your hair?

In order to make your life that little bit easier, SheSaid spoke with Blow Dry Bar hairstylist Luke McCaul about creating perfect, festival-worthy hair. Here are three easy step-by-step celebrity-inspired hairstyles:

For each look, start by prepping your hair using a volumising shampoo and smoothing conditioner, comb through and blast dry. For best results, Luke recommends the I Want Body Volume Shampoo and Smooth Me Now Anti-Frizz Conditioner from Eleven Australia, combing through with Eleven’s Miracle Hair Treatment.

Festival-Chic Waves

1. After drying off your hair, brush through and smooth out. Part your hair where desired and section into two halves front and back – create these sections by taking the hair from each ear and meeting at the top centre of your head.

2. From here, take the front half section, and section again into four equal parts. Repeat to the back section until you have eight large sections all together.

3. Take your curling wand, tongs or flat iron and curl each individual section away from the face. If you are using a curling wand or tongs, point them down towards the ground, wrap the hair from the middle to the ends and hold for 20 seconds.

4. By just using your fingers, comb through the curls you’ve created to achieve that soft, boho wave. Hairspray to finish.

Note: By using Dry Shampoo at the roots and Sea Salt Spray over the ends, scrunch your curls for more of a rock chic look.

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Messy Top Knot

1. Spray Sea Salt Spray through the ends of your hair, this will help to give your hair that added texture for a festival-worthy messy bun.

2. Flip your hair upside down and gather into a high ponytail at the crown of your head.

3. Using a generous amount, hairspray your entire ponytail by holding it up toward the ceiling.

4. Section your ponytail into three frontward facing sections and tease and hairspray each individual section. The more you tease, the larger your bun – so go crazy!

5. Now that you have a crazy messy textured ponytail, simply wrap your hair around into a bun shape you’re happy with and pin into place – be sure to camouflage your hairband.

Ultimate Bun Tip: If you find when you put your hair up into a bun that you have unwanted flyaways – take a clean blush brush, spray with hairspray and smooth over your hair. You’ll be amazed at how well this workd! Always avoid using a comb, as this simply makes it worse by pulling more hair out of your ponytail.

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Halo Braid Boho Updo

1. Take a large horseshoe section from just above your temples to the back of the head and section this off (you’ll be coming back to this section later).

2. With the remaining bottom half of your hair, separate into two even sections and bring forward over the shoulders. Simply plait these two sections forward and secure with a hair elastic.

3. Going back to your top horseshoe section, hairspray and lightly tease this section to your desired height. Loosely plait the end and secure with a hair elastic. Wrapping the plait up and under, into the teased section, secure with bobby pins to create your updo bump.

4. To create your halo braid, take the two plaited sections and wrap up and over your head like a headband (or halo) and bobby pin into place. It doesn’t matter if your hair isn’t long enough to completely reach the other side – as long as you ensure to hide the elastics, the two plaits from either side will meet in the middle to create your halo.

5. Pull and loosen any pieces of the plaits and any loose strands of hair to soften the look and give it that boho festival look. Finish with hairspray.

Extra Festival Hairstyle Tips:

1. Shampoo your hair twice to ensure that it is extra cleansed and festival ready!

2. Be generous with the amount of product you use on your festival do – remember you’re going to be outdoors and exposed to all the elements all-day and all-night long so you want it to last.

3. Remember with your festival hairstyles, you aren’t looking for perfection – if there is a curl that just isn’t sitting right, don’t stress, embrace the messy, boho look.

4. Dry Shampoo is your best friend – it stops any unwanted oils or sweat ruining your look.

5. If you want to add some colour fun to your hairstyle, why not try hair chalk? Added colour that simply washes out the next day.

But, if hair isn’t really your thing and all that seems just a little too confusing for you, don’t stress. If you’re heading to Future Music Festival on 8th March in Sydney or on 9th March in Melbourne, there will be a complimentary pampering hair and makeup lounge being held by Blow Dry Bar and Gorgeous Cosmetics for all VIP ticket holders. 

March 11, 2014

Australia’s First-Ever Fancy Food Fight

Imagine this: you’re sitting at a restaurant – and not just any regular run-of-the-mill place, but a high-end, fancy restaurant. You’re out for dinner with friends, laughing and catching up. Your food arrives, your mouth begins to water, you go to take your first bite and then…WHAM!

You just took a tomato in the face…

Bet you weren’t expecting that! Two words: food fight!

Last Monday, Schweppes held the first ever fine-dining food fight! It’s all part of a new TV campaign for Schweppes Mineral Water, and SheSaid got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at all the food-fighting action.

Prepare yourself. It’s time to have your cake and throw it too…

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Three-hatted chef Martin Benn of Sydney’s Sepia restaurant prepared a mouth-watering menu inspired by the flavours of the Schweppes mineral water range. The menu consisted of dishes perfect for the food fighting action, such  chilled spiced squidgy tomatoes and baby basil, super sticky soba noodles and prawns, and yuzu and raspberry grenades.

Each course not only delivered on taste, but also trajectory – the Golden Eggs being a definite favourite – tiny wafer baskets stuffed with pickled ginger cream and persimmon, so popular, they are going to be added to Sepia’s menu. It was a food-fighting frenzy to say the least, and we cannot wait to see the final cut of the ad, tempting us to start a food fight of our very own when it airs in mid-March.

March 4, 2014

Q&A with Adriano Zumbo

When you hear the name Adriano Zumbo, what do you think? If you’re anything like us here at SheSaid, then what springs to mind is nothing short of deliciously delectable, out-of-this-world, flavour explosions in the form of macarons, desserts and now…Tim Tams?

That’s right, Australia’s most celebrated patissier Adriano Zumbo has teamed up with our favourite bikkie – Arnott’s Tim Tams, to bring you three serious flavour sensations. Zumbo has taken the classic chocolate varieties and added his unique twist, creating tantalising Raspberry White Choc, the seriously addictive Salted Caramel and the deliciously decadent Choc Brownie Tim Tam flavours, all in celebration of Tim Tam’s 50th birthday. So prepare yourself for a Tim Tam coma come March, when the limited edition flavours hit supermarket shelves Australia-wide.

Last night SheSaid had the chance to taste-test Zumbo’s Tim Tam creations and chat with the man himself about Tim Tam slams, inspirations and his all-time favourite dessert.

How did the Arnott’s Tim Tam and Adriano Zumbo collaboration come about?
Arnott’s got in contact with me and it started from there. It’s been a 12-month process with lots of meetings, but I thought it was just a great opportunity to work with such an iconic brand, a brand that has been a part of me since I’ve been a kid.

What is your favourite childhood memory of Tim Tams?
Eating the whole packet! When I was young I used to play a lot of sport, so I could burn it all off though – luckily!

Are you a fan of the Tim Tam slam?
I don’t mind a Tim Tam Slam every now and then, but I’m more traditional – I just like to eat them.

You have created some of the world’s most unique desserts. What inspires you?
Inspiration for me is everywhere. It’s life – the people you meet, your friends, when you’re in the supermarket, going to a restaurant or even just things that happen during the day. I believe that everything and anything is inspiration. You might look at the shape of a roof or something, and then think of the shape of a cake, or a design that you want to put on it. It all depends on the person though, what they see as inspiration, what they can absorb and what they take from it.

What is your all-time favourite dessert?
I’m very simple – it would have to be just simply ice-cream and custard.

Do you have any tips for budding young patisserie chefs out there?
It’s a great industry, but sometimes it can be tough. You have to be able to take things, because that’s what makes you a better chef. Always have a dream and chase it – if you have nothing to chase it’ll become a boring job.

Adriano’s top three tips:

1. Know what you want
2. Have tough skin
3. Learn from your mistakes

If you would like the chance to try Adriano Zumbo’s Tim Tam limited edition creations before they go on sale in March, an exclusive tasting will be held today in Sydney at The Star, Shop 1, Café Court from 4pm – 8pm and in Melbourne tomorrow at 14 Claremont St, South Yarra from 7am-7pm.

February 19, 2014

Why Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

We’ve always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether that be advice drilled into us from our parents, dieticians or nutritionists – or perhaps you’re like us here at SheSaid and know that without a decent breakfast your mind just simply cannot function (cue fumbling typos and misplacing anything and everything).

So it’s interesting that even with all this in mind, with there being such a focus on the ‘health and fitness’ trend at the moment – kale chips, 5:2 diets and juice detoxes – that there is still so many of us that choose to skip breakfast. But, why?

We all have our excuses, from ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I just don’t feel hungry in the morning’ to ‘but I’ll grab a coffee, that’ll get me through till lunch’. If you’re a regular (or even occasional) breakfast skipper, it’s time to change your habits! At the new recipe Special K launch, dietician Nicole Senior and author, columnist and mum-to-be Zoe Foster Blake gave us the scoop on the importance of always having a healthy, balanced breakfast. Here’s why:

1. Stay fuller for longer, fight the cravings and stop the unnecessary snacking
Nicole says that having a breakfast full of protein, grains, dairy and fruit will keep you feeling fuller for longer. This means no more sneaky snacking throughout the day to add to those unwanted extra kilos. If you’re a person short on time, try organising your breakfast the night before, or opt for a simple bowl of cereal topped with your favourite seasonal fruit.

2. Be a healthier, happier you
Look after your body by not depriving it of the essential nutrients it wants, needs and desires. It is now even easier than ever to ensure your body is fuelled and ready for the day ahead – there is a huge range of breakfast options out there packed full of goodness, find something that works for you and that suits your lifestyle. People who eat breakfast everyday have a better nutrient intake than those who don’t, so by not skipping breakfast it will allow you to stay focused and on track to becoming a healthier you.

3. Boost that metabolism
By having a regular healthy breakfast it gets your body into routine to jump-start your metabolism first thing in the morning. This ultimately means that that you are more likely to maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle than someone who skips breakfast regularly. When you skip a meal, your body starts to feel starved and in turn, this slows down your metabolism. This has a negative effect on your body and can make it even harder if you’re trying to lose weight. By having a balanced breakfast, it gives your body the boost it needs to start each day motivated and allows your body to utilise it’s energy levels productively as the day goes on.

Do you start the day with breakfast, or do you skip breakfast?

February 6, 2014

You by Sia Skin Care Review

When it comes to having flawless skin, we’s always in search of products that really give us results. From facials and peels, to  cleansers and creams, let’s face it – unless you’re blessed with great genes, it’s often hard to find something that actually works.

So we were excited to trial the new You by Sia skin care range by Sia Hendry, and our glowing skin is proof we are definitely impressed with the results. Even in the heat of summer, our skin has never looked better.

These are products that actually do what they say they will – unlike many other skin care regimes that just don’t seem to hit the mark. Each product has been carefully designed to address even the most difficult to treat skin conditions by combining natural ingredients with high-powered vitamins, peptides and amino acids.

Sia Hendry is the founder and philosophical mind behind Sydney’s Skin and Laser Clinic, You by Sia. The popularity of her clinics (located in Bondi Junction, Sydney CBD and Castle Hill) has skyrocketed, and now, after more than 10 years in the industry, Sia has launched her own premier clinical skin care range – proving incredible results in as little as two weeks. The secret behind the success of the range is that it delivers a skin care maintenance program that works from the inside out. Rather than working on the epidermal layer of the skin, these products reach the deeper layers in the skin through active ingredients and silicone-emulsion technologies.

Let’s go over the range:

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You by Sia Delicate Clenz Gentle Cleansing Foam, $89

The Delicate Clenz is a gentle foaming cleanser that foams beautifully, and all you need is one tiny pump. It’s great for all skin types as it doesn’t strip away your skin’s natural protective layer and so it doesn’t feel harsh on the skin, but you still see results. Vitamin E is one of the key ingredients, which works towards nourishing and repairing damage to the skin. It also easily removes makeup and build-up, leaving your skin feeling very refreshed.

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You by Sia Intense Clenz Deep Cleansing Foam, $89

Similar to the Delicate Clenz in that one pump is all you need, the Intense Clenz is great for removing any dirt, makeup or skin build-up, and is especially great for the whole body (perfect for traveling). It’s a deeper cleanser than the Delicate Clenz so is recommended for more oily to acne prone skin types, whereas the Delicate Clenz is more suitable for sensitive skin.

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You by Sia Release Growth Factor and Peptide Anti-Aging Serum, $225 

This was a dream to use, and I actually looked forward to applying it in the mornings and again before bed. It’s a potent cocktail which revives lacklustre skin and plumped out lines, especially on the forehead, laugh lines and around the eyes. Forget hyperbole: this really is better than Botox.

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You by Sia  Revive Advanced Therapeutic Balm, $205

I’ve spent years wishing I could wave a magic wand and erase my dark circles for good. Long days and party season don’t help, so you can imagine how excited I was to try a balm that bills itself as a treatment for dark circles. After just a few days, my under eye area looked lightened and fresher. I wasn’t even using concealer on the area, which is unheard of for me. It’s my new beauty BFF.

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You by Sia Minc Natural Moisturising Zinc 20%, $80

This product is so light and nourishing on the skin, it’s my new summer must-have. Minc is great because it’s actually a sunscreen, so your skin is protected from  harsh UV rays all day, without feeling like you’re wearing anything too thick or heavy, and  is especially great for under your makeup.

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You by Sia Enhance Luxurious Body Enhancing Lotion, $89

After just one night of using the body lotion, the results were incredible. Your skin will just soaked up the moisture, especially on these harsh summer days. It works the deeper layers of the skin, but also leaves the top layer of the skin feeling rejuvenated, firmer and less dehydrated. Hello silky and smooth summer skin!

You by Sia is available exclusively at You by Sia clinics and online at youbysia.com.au.

December 27, 2013

How to Take Perfect Photos of Your Kids

It’s the holidays, and so out comes the camera. The subject? It’s usually the Christmas ham or the kids. But as soon as you pull out the camera, most kids refuse to smile and shy away. Sound familiar? It’s definitely no easy feat to coordinate that perfect family Christmas photo, not just because of the unsmiling kids but because most of us with a DSLR have no idea how to use it, essentially missing out on capturing those important family moments that are gone with the time it takes to fumble with the camera settings!

So just in time for the holidays, SheSaid caught up with incredible children’s photographer and photo blogger Rachel Devine for her family photo tips. Rachel has recently developed the Little Sideklick program with Tamron Australia, where she focuses on not just teaching, but also involving kids in photography by sharing her love and passion for taking photos. Here are her best tips on how to take photos of kids and getting the most from your DSLR.

1. Get off auto
If you truly want to capture those family moments, it’s time to step it up from your standard ‘point and shoot’ auto setting and really experience the full range of what your camera has to offer. Rachel suggests you familiarise yourself with your camera. Learn where everything is, get comfortable with your menus and be confident in your ability to adjust all the settings.

Tip: Go back to the basics – master these key elements that might seem simple, but actually make all the difference in the long run.

The big three: ISO, shutter speed, aperture are the important concepts to understand. Photography is all about light, and these are the three settings that relate to light. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • ISO: controls your cameras sensitivity to light. You should always try to use the lowest ISO to reduce noise and avoid grainy photos. Low ISO (100 or 200) is best for bright or sunny conditions, while high ISO (800 or higher) maximises the light and is best for low-light situations.
  • Shutter Speed: the time it takes for your camera’s shutter to open, take the photo and close. Slower shutter speed blurs motion, while a faster shutter speed freezes movements.
  • Aperture: the size opening of the lens, affecting how much light enters the camera. Larger aperture (smaller f-stop number) allows less to be in focus, and creates those blurred backgrounds, while smaller aperture (larger f-stop number) allows for more to be in focus.

So depending on how you want your photo to look, play around with these settings and find a combination that you are happy with. Don’t be disheartened if it all seems a little overwhelming at first, practice makes perfect!

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2. Lighting
Rachel says finding the right lighting will make all the difference in getting that perfect family shot. It’s most flattering to have the direct light behind the photographer, as this allows them to capture the light glistening in the eyes – it also avoids those unwanted squinty eye pics! Be sure to look for places, both inside and outside, that have diffused lighting, nothing too harsh or too direct, otherwise this will create a shadow.

Once you have found somewhere with lighting you are happy with, try taking photos from different positions, heights and angles – don’t be afraid to get creative.

Tip: Before trying to coordinate a picture with your kids, do some test shots in that spot first.  Every lighting situation will be different, so taking test shots avoids you having to keep re-adjusting the settings later on. Then you’ll be free to capture the moment and make the kids your focus. Also, simple is best – try and make sure there aren’t too many distractions in the background, or why not even try portrait shots that zoom just one element – such as faces, feet or hands?

3. Timing is the most important thing
When it comes to capturing that perfect photograph of your kids, timing is everything. Speaking from experience, Rachel said that if you are trying to coordinate a family picture when your kids are tired, hungry or are simply unwilling to cooperate, odds are you’ll get frustrated and you wont get a picture that you are truly happy with. It no longer becomes a fun experience and just turns into a forced-looking photograph. So, Rachel’s advice: don’t try to force it. If it’s not happening at that exact moment, sometimes it’s best to wait and try again later.

Tip: Don’t lie – if you say “just one more shot!”, make sure it really is just one more shot, not 10 more, because that’s when kids start to get frustrated and uncooperative.

Rachel’s Little Sideklicks program focuses on how important it is to have fun with your kids when taking photos, so be sure to include them in the process and take the time to make it exciting for them. So with Christmas only two weeks away there will be plenty of picture-perfect opportunities – it’s time to capture that something magical.

Be sure to check out Rachel’s blog and follow her on Instagram at @sesameellis.

December 11, 2013

Perfect Party Dresses for Every Occasion This Festive Season

Christmas is just around the corner and the December calendar is filling up with everything from office Christmas parties, to catch-up drinks with the girls, family functions and New Years Eve plans.  So when you’re busy organising everything from presents, to food, and who’s picking up Uncle John from the airport, who has time to find the perfect outfit?

Luckily, for the first time this year, Karen Millen stores in Australia are stocking their stunning collection of holiday party dresses in line with their release in the United Kingdom – perfectly timed for Christmas. The beautiful collection comprises of five dresses, perfect for any occasion that will be sure to give you that instant ‘wow’ factor this festive season. Here’s how to wear each dress with styling tips for every occasion.

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Animal Applique Shift Dress

Perfect for: Night Out with the Girls
If you’re heading out for a night with the girls this festive season, this shift dress with sheer sleeves, faux leather applique and beading is divine. It’s a statement piece, yet still simple enough to brighten up with bold or coloured accessories.
Karen Millen Animal Applique Shift Dress, $495

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Leather Sequin Mesh Dress

Perfect for: Office Party
Finding the perfect dress for an office Christmas party can be quite the challenge. Keep it chic and simple – you want to make the right impression in front of your boss, colleagues and their partners. Opt for something that still makes a statement but that you’re comfortable wearing. This pencil dress is stunningly appropriate with sheer three quarter sleeves, high neckline and all-over faux leather sequin design.
Karen Millen Leather Sequin Mesh Dress, $495

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Dandelion Beaded Dress

Perfect for: Christmas Luncheon
If your festive social diary calls for a Christmas luncheon, then this gorgeous detailed Dandelion Dress is perfect. With daytime events, it’s often hard to find the perfect dress, because you don’t want to look too overdressed, but you still want that ‘wow’ factor. Because this dress has a sweet style short sleeve, fuller skirt and delicate beading, it’s pretty for day, and can still easily be dressed up and take you through to the night.
Karen Millen Dandelion Beaded Dress, $895

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Placed Sequin Flower Dress

Perfect for: Christmas Day
This stunning dress is perfect for our unpredictably (and often hot) Australian Christmas day weather. The delicate floral applique and beading around the hemline ties in perfectly for summer, with the fuller skirt being a flattering alternative to pencil or bodycon dresses, an especially perfect option for Christmas day with so many temptations around! This dress can take you from day through to night by switching to a higher heel and statement accessories for a more dramatic look.
Karen Millen Placed Sequin Flower Dress, $545

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Long Sleeve Pleat Dress

Perfect for: NYE
It’s the night of nights – NYE is the time to pull out all the stops, so why not embellish a little, or a lot, in this stunning long sleeved hand-beaded dress. This is definitely a ‘wow’ dress that will turn heads, with the intricate beading design, all-over embroidery and pleated skirt. Because this dress is such a statement, do go overboard with accessories, keep it simple and make sure the dress (and you in it!) is the focus when the clock strikes midnight.
Karen Millen Long Sleeve Pleat Dress, $945

Which is your favourite dress from the new Karen Millen dress collection? 

December 9, 2013

How to Take Food Photos like a Pro

It’s pretty much a ritual now when you go out  for dinner, meet up with friends for a coffee or simply just cook a delicious-looking meal at home – don’t even think about eating, out comes the smartphone. You rearrange the plates and cutlery, try multiple angles and add various filters all in the name of getting that perfect shot for Instagram before you’ve even had one bite. We’ve all been guilty at one point!

There is definitely an art to photographing your food – hey, even Martha Stewart has received flack for her terrible Twitter food photos recently – so SheSaid caught up with cookbook author and food styling pro Kate Gibbs to get her insider tips to capturing that perfect shot – and give all your friends and followers on Instagram ultimate #foodenvy, just in time for Christmas lunch.

1. Tell a story
Tell a story with the photos you’re taking. It’s all about those little details that make a difference – a twirl of noodles around your fork or a beautiful drizzle of chocolate across the plate. Think about where the photo was taken. Who made the meal? Who are you with? Try to come up with creative ways to incorporate the story, whether it is through the subtlety of a logo or a friend’s hand taking a slice of pizza: capture these moments to evoke a story in your photo.

Tip: If you’re struggling with busy background elements, find someone sitting near you with a nice coloured or patterned top and use it as the background instead.

2. Colour and lighting
Did you know that Instagram photos with predominately red and yellow tones actually receive less likes than images with cooler blue and white tones? In the post editing stage, Kate recommends focusing on lowering the saturation and temperature of your image to bring out those blue tones, then adjust the contrast until you find a balance you’re happy with.

Tip: Try and keep your shots clean and simple. White is always a winner – be it a white plate, tablecloth or serviette – lots of white space is appealing to the eye.

If you get stuck with a coloured plate, such as red or yellow, you’ll often find that these colours don’t shoot too well, especially if you’re shooting food with vibrant colours to begin with. Kate suggests moving the food to another plate or opting for a black and white edit instead.

Tip: Natural lighting is best when shooting food, but avoid direct sunlight, or you’ll risk casting a shadow across your shot.

3. Angles, focus, size and scale
Play around with multiple angles, sizes and scales until you find a shot you are really happy with. Try zooming right back from an aerial perspective to capture everything on the table, or zooming right in on the plate focusing on one simple element of your dish – it’s all about experimenting until you find what works for each different dish. Aerial shots work well for ‘flat’ items such as pizza or soup, but most often a 30-45 degree angle works best.

Find the ‘hero element’ of your dish and make this the focus of your picture. Remember you can always crop, edit and zoom in later, so always start by taking pictures from further away.

Tip: Rectangular plates are difficult to shoot; Kate suggests taking your picture from a corner angle or aerial perspective. Or, if the meal has interesting layered elements, like a burger or sandwich, you could also get creative and try shooting from a side-on perspective.

4. Props
Remember less is more. Don’t overwhelm your photos with too many elements or too many objects around – it soon becomes distracting and the food is no longer the focus. Be sure to choose props that work together size-wise. It’s important to make sure one prop doesn’t overpower the photo, so keep it simple.

Tip: De-prop. Once you have styled your shot, take a photo and then remove one prop or part of the dish and reshoot it again – you’ll be surprised at how well this stylistic trick actually works!

5. Kate’s ultimate tip – incorporate what you’re passionate about
Kate says, “Photographs drawn from inspiration are more likely to inspire your followers and potential followers, so go ahead and shoot what you’re passionate about, what you love. You’ll soon discover common threads in your feed, be it in shots of healthy food, or places you’ve been exploring in your local area. I follow people who inspire me, or whose photography I love, be it a fashion blogger in New York or a women on a farm in regional Victoria who is growing her own fruit and vegetables.

“Develop your own photography style, whether that’s lots of busy close-ups, or a cleaner look with lots of white space. It’s worth using similar filters, or none at all, to develop a bit of consistency in your feed. Potential followers will scour your entire feed, and it will look so much better if it looks like it was developed by one person, you!”

For some creative motivation, follow Kate’s incredible Instagram photos at instagram.com/kategibbs. Some of Kate’s favourite Instagrammers to follow are:

Kate Gibb’s favourite photo editing app:
Kate’s favourite photo editing app is Snapseed. Kate isn’t a fan of the standard Instagram filters, because everyone’s photos tend to look the same – Kate says you can always tell who has used ‘Lo-Fi’ or ‘Valencia’ and the point is to make your pictures stand out! There are so many different editing apps out there, try them out until you find one that you like the look of and that you are comfortable using.

So now you’ve learnt how to take food photos like a pro, it’s time to get snap happy! Try out Kate’s food styling tips and tag your photos #shesaid so we can check out your food porn and follow you on Instagram. And don’t forget to follow us at instagram.com/shesaid_editor.

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Photos: Kate Gibbs

December 4, 2013

Dîner en Blanc Sydney Takes Over Bondi Beach

On Saturday 30th November, Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach transformed into a spectacular shade of white, as the surprise location for secret global party Diner en Blanc.

3,000 guests dressed head-to-toe in white flocked through the streets, gathered on the sand, and began unpacking tables, chairs and decorations right on the beach for a once-in-lifetime picnic.

Described as a ‘fancy flash-mob picnic’, the idea behind Diner en Blanc is for insiders to dress in white, BYO tables, chairs and food, and gather at various meeting points across the city. This year’s Sydney Diner en Blanc, the second time in the city, collected guests on buses, strategically circled around various locations across the CBD to sway the speculations until finally arriving at the iconic Bondi beachfront.

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“Sydney has so many amazing locations, we wanted to take Diner en Blanc out of its urban context and closer to nature this year,” said co-host Antoine Bessis. “A picnic on one of the world’s most iconic beach sounded great on paper, it proved in fact even more spectacular.”

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Guests wined and dined on picnic favourites, from cheese platters, dips and breads, to gourmet hampers of cold meats, salads and sweet treats, topped off with delicious bottles of Champagne and wine – white, of course – although some dared to drink red and spent the night trying to avoid a serious spillage mishap.

Attendee numbers have doubled since Sydney’s first Diner en Blanc event last year, so finding a location big enough to accommodate was definitely a challenge – in fact it took eight months of planning to secure the space.


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“The evening was a spontaneous epicurean and elegant feast with friends, old and new. A truly spectacular and magical way to rediscover the beautiful public spaces that Sydney has to offer,” summed up Antoine.

A truly magical experience, with guests standing on chairs and waving white napkins and sparklers in the air. Others danced to music, with many there to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and even engagements (how romantic!).

We can’t wait to see what Diner en Blanc has in stall for Sydney in 2014. Visit  sydney.dinerenblanc.info for information about signing up for next year’s Diner en Blanc.

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December 2, 2013

Q&A with Nutritionist Emma Sutherland

Emma Sutherland is not only a naturopath, nutritionist, and busy mum, but she is also the co-author of 50 Foods that Will Change your Life and the expert Nutritionist for Wagner’s Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. It is Emma’s mission to encourage and inspire women to take control of their lives through advocating healthy eating and making positive lifestyle choices – she is such an inspiration for all of us who feel like we need that little extra motivation.

Emma recently had the chance to visit Japan, the home of Aged Garlic Extract, and experienced first hand the garlic aging process and the research behind its benefits. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is the only aged garlic product in the world and recent studies have shown that taking Aged Garlic Extract supports healthy immunity and maintains healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is fast becoming the secret super unique extract that everyone should be taking.

Recently, SheSaid had the opportunity to catch up with Emma to get her advice on healthy eating, her time in Japan and the benefits of taking Aged Garlic Extract.

You’ve just released your book, the ultimate guide to healthy eating, 50 Foods that Will Change You Life. What have been the key foods that have changed your life?
Avocado would be the number one food that has changed my life. As a child I didn’t like it but once I hit puberty I couldn’t get enough. Full of beautiful monounsaturated fats, avocado supports optimal hormone health for women. Avocado also contains high levels of vitamin E, vitamin B6 and fibre.

Fennel is another favourite due to its ability to reduce bloating. The essential oil anethole combats digestive complaints such as IBS and works beautifully to alleviate painful menstrual cramps. I love fennel finely sliced with orange, walnuts and rocket.

 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life

What are your top 3 tips for maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and lifestyle?
1. Avoid chemicals in any form and eat clean, fresh wholefoods instead of packaged, processed foods. A book called The Chemical Maze is a great user friendly guide to avoiding chemicals.

2. Practice mindful eating – take 5 deep breathes before each meal, avoid multi tasking and put your utensils down between mouthfuls.

3. Have a huge side splitting belly laugh at least once a day.

You are the expert nutritionist and naturopath for Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract and recently had the opportunity to go to Japan. What did you take from the Japanese lifestyle and their approach to health?
Japanese people have a completely different approach to health – it’s hugely preventative and they are very proactive about preserving good health rather than waiting until they are sick to take action. They walk instead of drive, eat small portions of a wide variety of foods, practice regular tai chi and they really take the time to care for their health. Its no wonder Japan has the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease in the world!

What did you learn about the ageing process behind Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract?
First of all the 20-month ageing process takes away the strong odour that raw garlic has. Harsh compounds found in raw garlic that cause nausea and stomach upsets are eliminated. The antioxidant properties are boosted which results in AGE having more antioxidant capacity than vitamin C! The process also produces new compounds that are incredibly beneficial – S-allylcysteine is a great example which is responsible for the blood pressure lowering effect of AGE.

What are the key health benefits of taking Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract?
Research from over 700 scientific papers shows that AGE will boost immunity, increase your antioxidant levels, reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

Who would you recommend to take Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract?
I thing everyone would benefit enormously from taking AGE. It has so many proven benefits that it will not only support your immediate health by improving immunity and resilience to stress but also lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, Australia’s number one killer. Personally I have been taking it every day for nearly two years as I have a young child and need to boost my immunity and avoid getting infections.

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December 1, 2013

Top 5 Summer Fashion Trends

When it comes to pulling off the latest fashion trends, there’s often a fine line between wow, woah and oh no! Sometimes it can just seem all too overwhelming, because as soon as one trend is in, it’s over, and then you’re stuck with a wardrobe full of jeggings and mullet dresses – what were we thinking?

The best way to avoid all that but still stay on trend is to find pieces that suit your personal taste and combine them with more classic styles. Read on for our top 5 summer fashion trends, from glamorous embellishments to pure white pieces to pair with a tan.

White, white, white

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It’s all about crisp, clean silhouettes and sculptural pieces. Contrast your more casual items, like a classic white t-shirt, with a dressier piece – like a white blazer or tuxedo pants. Consider layering sheer fabrics with different textures for something a little edgier. Or if you can’t fathom wearing head-to-toe white, break up a white piece with metallic or holographic accessories.

One word of advice: be careful – white is a little too easy to get dirty!

Embellishments

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Look for conversational pieces that make a statement. The beauty is in the details, and details are what this trend is all about. Whether you opt for a sequinned dress or choose a more subtle approach by teaming your favourite jeans with a simple cami with embellished detail and heels for a night out, make the trend work for you – don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Mixing Prints and Textures

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Clashing prints and textures may have once been a definite fashion don’t – but this season, the rules have changed. Feel free to mix stripes with graphic prints, lace with fur, coloured leathers with sheer silks – it’s all about having fun. Look for key pieces that have contrasting elements.

Bold Colours and Bright Prints

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This summer is all about a colour explosion! Make a statement with bold colours and bright prints, from jackets, dresses, accessories and everything else in between. If too much colour isn’t really your style, spice up a classic colour block dress with some neutral accessories.

Posh Pastels

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For this trend, think ladylike classics with a modern twist. Beautiful feminine dresses in lace or luxe fabrics, flowing skirts and sheer tops – all in pretty pastels, especially pink. If you want a different take, contrast sheer tops with leather or metallic bottoms and team with bold accessories to make this trend your own.

What are your favourite summer fashion trends?

All pieces are from the latest River Island collection available at au.riverisland.com.

November 25, 2013

Q&A with Juice Master Jason Vale

Australia was one of the first countries to truly embrace juicing culture, and the craze is only getting stronger. There is now a growing trend towards juicing diets, cleanses and detoxes that offer impressive results; not only in terms of weight loss, but also for their undeniable health and lifestyle benefits.

Juicing is a tasty way to provide your body with the natural nutrients that are often lacking from eating over-processed foods and making unhealthy lifestyle choices – and let’s face it, drinking a juice is much easier than eating a huge bowl of salad.

UK author and motivational speaker Jason Vale, better known as the ‘Juice Master’, is an advocate for the juicing lifestyle, and SheSaid caught up with Jason on his recent visit to Australia to get his insight on the benefits of juicing and his advice for maintain a balanced juicing diet.

What inspired you to get into juicing?
It was my own ill health that led me on this juicy journey. I was covered from head to toe in a skin condition called psoriasis to the point where almost every inch of my body- including my face- was affected. I was badly asthmatic, using an inhaler up to 14 times a day. I was also overweight and suffered terrible hay fever and smoked 40-60 cigarettes a day.

When I started to juice I saw my life and health transformed and I have witnessed tens of thousands of others do the same. I transformed myself by drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices every day, losing 25kg and gaining a new perspective on health.

What are the key benefits of a juice diet?
Juicing allows the perfect liquid fuel to help you improve your general health. Beauty comes from within and once you start to hydrate your body with vegetable and fruit juices everything shines.

When you give up processed foods and replace just one meal a day with a freshly made juice you have changed 1/3 of you diet in one simple step. Your friends will notice the shine in your skin, your hair your nails, your eyes, the whole you. It’s like adding super unleaded instead of diesel to an unleaded car.

Juicing is definitely not a fad.

By fasting you are giving your body a rest from trying to breakdown the processed foods that seems to have taken over our diets. Once we stop eating these foods and give the body a rest, then the body is able to reboot the liver, kidneys, intestines, blood, every organ in the body gets an overhaul. We are always detoxing, yes the body is designed to detox, but sometimes it is too difficult for the body to do its job properly.

I like to compare it to how often do people work hard up until their holiday and then complain for the first week of their holiday they were struck down with the flu. This is the body saying yes, seeing as you have finally slowed down, now I can start doing some cleaning up here.

At my health retreats we have seen the transformation in many people once they have been shown how to make nutritious, tasty juices.

What are your favourite ingredients to juice together?
I always take a couple of apples for juice volume, soluble fibre, and sweetness. I then add celery, spinach, kale, raw beetroot, cucumber, ginger, carrot and lime. This gives a wonderful spectrum of nutrition, plus it tastes stupidly lovely!

The first couple of days on a juice diet can often be quite challenging. What advice would you give for someone just starting out with juicing?
Anyone who starts a juice diet of any kind needs to understand that for the first 72 hours the body is in ‘withdrawal’ mode. People call this ‘detox’, when it is in fact withdrawal like the withdrawal from nicotine. The maximum it lasts is 72 hours, but the vast majority of people only feel it every now and then. The feeling of withdrawal from refined sugar and caffeine is one of ‘hunger’. This ‘false hunger’ will go and by day four you are left flying on a juice high!

What would be your advice for maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle?
Use juicing as a tool, but don’t become too obsessed with food and nutrition. We are all human and a balance is not a bad thing. I would always advise at least one good veggie juice a day and a five or seven day pure juice diet once every three months. When it comes to food I would keep what I eat as unprocessed as possible whilst having the odd blow out remembering that we are human and food is there to be enjoyed.

Coming into summer, what would be your favourite summer juice?
It has to be the homemade Lemon-Aid. This is the healthiest, creamiest and most natural lemonade in the world. You’ll need…

2 x golden delicious apples
1 x 1/3 unwaxed lemon
1 x small handful of ice cubes

Sandwich the lemon (with skin on) between the two apples in the chute of the juicer, and juice the lot. Pour over ice and enjoy.

This is best served with friends. Why not make a pitcher and of this delicious refreshing juice? Using the ratio of two apples and a third of a lemon per person, make a large batch and pour into a jug of crushed ice – perfect for a sizzling summer day.

Together with Juice Master Jason Vale, Philips aims to encourage a healthier lifestyle this summer by making juicing at home even more convenient. With their clever QuickClean design, the easy-to-use Philips QuickClean Juicers can be cleaned and ready to re-use in less than a minute. Maximum juice with minimum fuss. Happy juicing!

November 18, 2013

Jackie Collins Confessions of a Wild Child Book Review

Lucky Santangelo – a name many Jackie Collins fans would know and love. Being the daughter of infamous former gangster Gino Santangelo, Lucky is the fierce heroine of several of Collins’ best-selling novels.

In Confessions of a Wild Child, we are transported back to the wild teenage years of Lucky and learn how she first set out on her rebellious path to success. Lucky is fifteen; smart, sassy and strong-minded, striving to one day follow in her fathers’ footsteps and rule an empire. Her father however has other plans, wanting nothing more than for Lucky to become a lady, get married and settle down. In this prequel and ninth novel in the Lucky Series, we get a glimpse into how Lucky challenged her father and forged her way to independence.

After tragically witnessing her mothers’ death at the age of five, Lucky and her brother Dario spend all of their time at their secluded Bel Air estate. That is until Lucky is sent away to a strict all-girls boarding school. It is here Lucky meets Olympia Stanislopolous and the two become an unstoppable pair, taking you on a crazy ride of fun, friendship and wild nights.

Lucky reveals in her newfound freedom, breaks all the rules and learns the power she holds over boys, love and ultimately, in taking charge of her own life. From sneaking out of boarding school in Switzerland, running away to the South of France and partying it up in Vegas, we share in Luckys’ wild child confessions.

This latest Collins page-turner gives you a deeper insight into Lucky’s character, delving into her innermost thoughts and secrets – including her attraction to an older man, Marco, who works for her father.

Lucky is wild, ambitious, and definitely trouble; far from any ideal sweet and innocent teenager! In Confessions of a Wild Child Jackie Collins does not disappoint – loyal Lucky fans and new readers alike will not be able to put this one down!

Confessions of a Wild Child, by Jackie Collins. Published by Simon & Schuster RRP $29.99

 What are you reading right now?

October 28, 2013

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wine this Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means – ’tis the season for entertaining; wining and dining the summer nights away as our social calendars start to book up. From casual BBQs to formal dinner parties and everything in between, it’s an excuse to relax in the sunshine and enjoy a glass of wine (or two).

But if you’re anything like us, you might feel a little overwhelmed and intimidated walking through the endless rows of wine at the bottle shop, searching for the right wine, for the right meal and the right occasion. So we chatted with Ben Malouf, CEO of First Vintage and got some tips on choosing the perfect wine this summer.

1. Wine is a very personal taste
So first and foremost, you need to educate yourself about which wines you like and which wines you don’t. This means it’s time to experiment. The summer season is the perfect time to try as many different styles and varieties as you can. If you’re out for dinner, order something you usually wouldn’t. If you are heading to a BBQ, take along something different and try what other people have brought along. Why not even organise a wine tasting dinner party and everyone can share their favourite? Who knows, you might just surprise yourself with what you like.

Always remember that there is no right or wrong answer, and that the best wine is the one you enjoy, not the one with the biggest price tag!

2. Wine should not simply accompany, but enhance your food experience
When it comes to choosing the right wine for your meal, this can be a challenge. There are so many different rules, pairing tips and flavour guides out there that it all starts to get very technical and confusing.

Ben recommends forgetting all this and simply thinking about what you are eating and what you enjoy. Is it a big meal or a light meal? Are there lots of complex flavours or is it a rather a simplistic dish? Once you’ve found the varieties of wine you enjoy (from all that experimenting), be sure to pair a heavier wine with a heavy meal and a lighter wine with a lighter meal. Simple.

For example pairing a Shiraz with a steak, rich sauce and veggies, and a woody Chardonnay with a creamy pasta dish while paring something like a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc with a piece of grilled fish and salad. Ben also suggests that if it’s a spicy dish, don’t be afraid to try some bubbles – it’s the perfect pairing because bubbles break through the spices and enhance the flavour.

3. Don’t be intimated by choice, and always read the label
Look out for wines that have been awarded medals, but always make sure you carefully read which medal it is – don’t just pick the wine with the most! Make sure you are drinking wines of quality, because there are many obscure wine competitions out there. Rather than purchasing a three time gold medallist from ‘Aunty Mary’s Wine Show’, be sure to look out for medals from the Royal Award Winning Wine Shows, such as those from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth, all of which are benchmarked for excellence.

4. Finally, remember that wine is all about the experience
It’s about creating memories, sharing moments with friends and having fun. In Australia, we are lucky to be blessed with a wine industry is that it is so diverse, so if you are willing to try, you’ll find some truly unique and wonderful flavours like nowhere else in the world!

First Vintage is offering SheSaid readers $50 off a Wonderful Whites, Rustic Reds or Mixed Dozen package – simply follow this link to redeem your offer!

October 24, 2013

Q&A with Guy Turland of YouTube Cooking Show Bondi Harvest

We’re huge fans of Bondi Harvest, the hit weekly YouTube cooking show set against the background of one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Chef Guy Turland and director Mark Alston combine their passion for food with their laid-back attitude, to produce super tasty (and super healthy!) recipes using only fresh and local produce.

SheSaid chatted with Guy to get the inside scoop on how it all started and what he’s excited about cooking this summer.

There is huge hype around your cooking show, Bondi Harvest, and it’s only getting bigger. How did it all come about?
We’ve got large goals for Bondi Harvest and are super pumped for it to have grown so quickly. Mark, who’s the other half of Bondi Harvest and behind the camera, approached me about the idea while doing a test shoot for a different cooking concept. It was funny when he was pitching it to me, it sounded like he was doing a rundown of my life – “it’s a cooking show about seasonal, sustainable food featuring surfing and spearfishing based round Bondi Beach.” Yep, that I could do!

We started filming in secret on and off in between our day jobs about 18 months ago to see if we could commit to the concept. We launched it only eight months ago, it’s been a crazy fun ride ever since.Two trips to the USA, and now doing a pop-up Bondi Harvest restaurant at The Depot in North Bondi.

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What would you say is the best part about your job?
I love what I do, working with my mates, and I do it from the most beautiful beach in the world. I then get to share all this and connect with a worldwide audience through YouTube – it’s mind blowing.

With summer just around the corner, what are you looking forward to cooking most?
The summer BBQ – after surfing all day, firing up the BBQ on my balcony. Slow BBQ’ing a big bit of salt spice-crusted beef, some cold beers and some mates.

What are your top three summer ingredients?
Summer berries, zucchini flowers and kingfish.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
Heston Blumenthal or Kelly Slater. Would love to pick their brains…I think I’d be crazy nervous in the kitchen that night!

October 24, 2013