The Orgasmic Effect

What’s your preference in the bedroom? A mind-blowing orgasm? Or settling under the covers with a nice, challenging crossword? If the good folk at the State University of New Jersey have their facts straight – it seems orgasms are more beneficial for your brain than crossword puzzles.

Tat O’Per couldn’t agree more. The Sydney author, psychologist, counsellor and therapist has documented her findings on men’s and women’s sexual energy for her book The Orgasmic Effect.

A firm believer in how sexual energy can benefit your emotional, physical, and mental health, Tat reveals what every woman needs to know about men; how to channel sexual energy into having a successful business, career and life plan as well as how to keep the passion alive in the face of the mundane, daily grind – and most importantly, tips on how to keep your man from straying. Pretty sure a crossword puzzle won’t help you there.

What do you do as a life coach?
I teach people how to harmonise emotions, by connecting to their body intelligence. I employ my psychology background with my intuitive abilities to enable each one to go to their next step where ever they are on their path.

My studies of religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Theosophy, Catholic studies and Yoga, have given me insights and understanding into the human soul and the realisation that there is no religion higher than truth.

This has led me to gain inner strength and inner peace and is a platform from which I teach.  I have developed a Life Balance and Relaxation program with techniques to incorporate mind – body rejuvenation. And a seminar “Using Sexual Energy in your every day life”.

How did your work as a counsellor and therapist lead you down this path?
I have always wanted to write about energy, as I felt that there is a missing link to combining it all. People either teach about health, or fitness, wellness programs and healing all separately. Sex is never discussed or the wrong connotations are associated with it, it’s the main topic in movies.

Sexual energy is not really known about on its own, so I decided to combine it when I began to notice how lack of self esteem, was a huge issue with men who brought it into every session when addressing their issues. A common denominator always played a role. I began to document my findings until I realized I needed to write this as a book, to inform everyone of this common problem that interferes with men’s health, and wellbeing and for all of our personal relationships, men and women.

Who is the book aimed at?
Sexual energy is a common factor to both men and women, so I address both men and women. It encompasses techniques and exercises that refer to both and is a great reference book to reference any part of topics you may be interested in. I have made the table of contents accessible by dividing it up for this reason that you can look up any part rather than searching through the chapters.

What are the main things women can learn from your book?
What men don’t want women to know about them and what every women needs to know about men. When a woman learns about that, she is more in control of herself and her relationship on a daily basis.

Women can learn what turns a man on, and why they go seeking sexual relief from outside, and how to prevent this from happening.

How orgasms really work. How to keep their man in order for their man not to go astray. How to recognise baggage we carry so we can be responsible for our own energy rather than dump it on our partner. It opens up for women how to be more aware about the dynamics of their relationship with their man, and the signs to watch for to keep a healthy balanced partnership on track.

How do you define ‘sexual energy’?
Sexual energy is the most powerful tool in existence and is the driving force within us that makes a man do anything. All great men of genius and power used their sex drive as fuel. Love must be included in the sex relationship as sex, alone, is a powerful force and can be uncontrollable. Transmutation of sexual energy is the key to turning sexual energy into productivity, creation, invention and accomplishment. Creativity, advancement, and achievement are the most long term satisfying goals for mankind. When the emotion of love begins to mix itself with the emotion of sex, the result is calmness of purpose, poise, accuracy of judgement, balance, and most of expansion of our true self.

How does sexual energy benefit your emotional, physical and mental health?
The benefits of sexual energy for our emotional and mental health is when you recognise that we have to transform our sexual energy into fuel for something else. Masturbating frequently drains vital physical energy from you. You can see vast, positive changes in mood, personality and happiness by giving this up. The greatest benefit is to have love in your sexual relationship which becomes key to any successful partnership both home and business.

Does sexual energy benefit men and women differently?
Sexual energy is our power energy, this applies to both men and women. We can consciously use our sexual desire and energy and focus it into our business and life plan. Women initially seek to have children and use their sexual energy for nurturing the growing family. Or if she chooses career over family, as long as she has a supportive loving partner, her business can really take off significantly.

Sexual energy is damn near limitless and when re-directed can turn any man or woman into a money making machine.
A good woman who will take care of her man’s needs (not just sexual) – will free his mind from having to even think about these things and he can focus completely on his goal at hand. The love and support of a woman is essential for success – most successful men had a good woman behind the scenes. This rule applies to both men and women in business.

Can you ‘tap into’ your sexual energy at any time?
Tapping into our sexual energy is easily done with meditation a few times a week, also with balanced exercise routine, reviving yourself in nature, and harmonising the body with breathing exercises. I also list exercises in my book on stroking different parts of the body using a love energy that is different to masturbation energy.

How can we improve our sexual energy?
Improving sexual energy is not to indiscriminately have sex. Don’t make sex your primary goal. Don’t masturbate or watch internet porn frequently, this drains vital energy from you. Keeping your seed develops an animal magnetism that draws people to you, constantly spilling that seed repulses people.  The key purpose of my book is to draw attention to the beneficial ways that transforming sexual energy actually boosts your health and quality of your relationships. As positive relationships are the major factor that bring happiness.

What are your top tips for women wanting to keep their man interested and not straying?
Remember to thank him for the little things he does around the house. Give him a foot or head massage when he comes home and looks tired. Don’t avoid sexual innuendo’s just ask If he’d like a neck to shoulder massage, as he might just want a relief from tension. Men don’t realize that realising tension is not necessarily from the genitals only, so when he reaches for a quickie ask him if he’d like to have a head massage.

Arrange to take turns to give one another oral. If he is insisting on a quickie, ask yourself if you’d prefer to give him a quickie or if you really don’t mind another woman doing this for your man. If you love your man then a quickie is something part of your relationship that you want to maintain.

How can couples reignite the passion in their relationship? What are some of your top tips?
Reigniting sexual energy does not happen just by going away for the weekend, engaging in some on going activity is what keeps the energy flowing. Activities that bring you pleasure like, ice hockey, ice skating, salsa or ballroom dancing, jazz, hip-hop. Outdoor sporting activity with your sons, bush walking or yoga for yourself. Activities raise sexual energy and actually release negative patterns that come up in our daily life. Try giving one another a regular sensual massage every so often. Celebrate with any occasion by cooking dinner and spoiling your partner with buying special treats, spoilt her/him. Sexual energy is stimulated from the heart and being

consciously aware of it raises your sexual energy energising you body in these simple ways. DVDs on sexual play can work for some people, and even going to week end retreats on exploring your sexual energy, especially when you are both looking
forward to it.

Once you’ve reignited the passion – how do you ensure it doesn’t wane again?
Get into a good habit of having one day of the week where one will give the other what s/he really wants from their partner. It could be just a really good massage, or shoulder, neck or head massage. It could be a sensual massage that ends in some erotica.

Another good habit to get into is to score points, or exchange good deeds, like X3 dishes in a row will give you a shoulder neck and head massage. Washing the car could be exchanged for cooking a nice meal, it pays to be inventive. You can easily come up with some fun scoring ideas. Always look out for going for drives, walks in the forest, country markets together, playing golf or tennis together maybe once a month. Scanning what short holidays may be on offer for things like share accommodation.

What are your top tips for shy folk to discover and act upon what their partners really want?
Going for drives, stopping when on a walk and having a cuddle. Cuddling on the beach or cinema. Making outdoor picnics an intimate affair where its special for just the two of you, so you can become more relaxed with one another and have scope to talk and chat about some fantasy that your partner could be fantasising about and not being brave enough to articulate.

The Orgasmic Effect by Tat O’Per, $27.99 available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa Press.

 

Q&A with Celebrity Chef Matt Moran

Celebrity chef and leading restaurateur, Matt Moran, ditches the chef whites and embarks on a foodie adventure, that sees him get down and dirty, discovering some of the best produce and farmers the east coast of Australia has to offer in his brand new series, Paddock to Plate, on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel.

After 20-odd years in the industry, the series sees Matt encounter a few food ‘firsts’ – milking a fresh water salmon; spit roasting a rare breed black pig; facing his fear of bees and sharks; truffle hunting; making goat cheese; cooking and tasting ostrich for the first time.

Matt reveals to SHE’SAID’ why his journey of discovery was not only exciting but at times, an emotional one.

Do you think country folk make better chefs/cooks because they have more of an affinity with the land and produce?
Nope! The reason being, I grew up on the land and everyone says to me ‘Geez Matt, you’re a good cook. You must have that romantic story to tell about cooking alongside your Grandmother and your mother…’ But no. I grew up eating meat and three veg. My Grandmother – who was the most beautiful woman in the world, God bless her soul – I reckon she used to put the lamb roast on the day before I got there and the Brussels sprouts on three days before! I tell people I think I started cooking so I could actually get a decent meal!

In an ideal world, do you think all apprentice chefs should do a similar journey to what you have just done to discover where fabulous produce comes from & the passion of the people behind it?
No! I want to keep it all to myself (laughs). My food knowledge is probably better than average, I’ve been in the industry for over 25 years, I live, breathe all things food but the amount I learnt every day, whether it was big or little things, was unbelievable. I had been using this produce for years and sometimes you take it for granted, you really do. Doing this show, sparked something in my brain, my love for food has skyrocketed since.

The series really takes you back to your country roots. Was there any emotional moments for you?
I’m a big, beefy, boofy guy but there really were some emotional moments for me. Lola and Mal Orr, digging potatoes out of the ground at 70 years of age (Episode 3, Wednesday November 20), fifth-generation potato farmers with an annual income of 25 grand, sitting on land worth absolutely millions and millions of dollars. They could sell it, put the money in the bank and live off the interest for rest of their lives. When I asked them why they did it, they said “Because we love it!” That makes you emotional.

Going back to the farm I was born on in Tamworth (Episode 7, Wednesday December 18), that made me emotional.

Cooking all this amazing food made me emotional. It’s a feel-good show.

Every episode there are mind-blowing stories. The real heroes are the people I meet. Incredibly passionate human beings who love what they do. It’s not about the money, it’s about producing the best thing they can. It brought tears to my eyes. Professionally, it was the best 3 months of my life. I feel blessed and am incredibly grateful I got to do it.

Although you’ve been a chef for 25 or so years, the series introduced a few food ‘firsts’ for you…what was the most memorable or surprising?
It was bucket list stuff! Digging for truffles! Getting abalone off the bottom of Bass Strait! Making Holy Goat cheese, it goes on and on! Riding a horse in the Snowy Mountains and cooking the crew bacon and eggs over an open fire on the Snowy River. None stand out more than the other. Every episode was incredible.

Why is it important for Australian’s to know where their food comes from?
People want to know. It’s not a trend or fad. People want to know what they’re eating, where it comes from, how it was grown, whether it’s sustainable, whether it’s been looked after, whether it’s been killed properly. Brands are becoming more popular. People recognise brands and know what’s what. People’s food knowledge has improved a lot in 20 years.

Do you think the large supermarket chains have a lot to answer for?
I can’t go there…but what you’re seeing now, are people being independent. People like Peel Valley Milk in Tamworth, when they got deregulated, owner and dairy farmer Malcolm mortgaged himself to the hilt and built himself a factory. He’s got this super breed of Jersey cows – you put a fork in his cream and it stands up! He pasteurises the milk himself, he bottles the milk himself and he goes out and sells it himself. You can buy it for the same price – or even cheaper – than what you can buy milk at Coles or Woolworths. I am telling you, you don’t taste milk like that anywhere else. It’s incredible, it really is.

How can the average Australian shop and cook more seasonally and locally?
Farmers markets. Talk to the people who are actually growing it and doing it. Learn about what you’re eating. Find out what’s the best. And the folk growing it also often know how to cook it too!

The perception of small artisan producers is that their produce is expensive. For families on a budget, how would you encourage them to support local farmers/businesses and utilise the produce in their weekly meal planning?
I don’t think they’re more expensive. You’re helping them. Farmers certainly aren’t greedy.

If you are on a budget, what are the ‘must have’ pantry or fridge items you need to splash out on to improve the taste of your cooking?
You need a good oil, good butter and good salt. Coming into summer and BBQs, start using secondary cuts. Don’t get lamb chops, get a leg or a shoulder, bone it out, marinate it and whack that on the BBQ. It’s going to taste better and it’s not going to break the bank.

Did this journey improve you as a chef?
I think it improved me as a person! (laughs) I love food and I have done a lot of reality shows – and don’t get me wrong, I am grateful beyond belief for what those shows have done for me and my profile which helped me make Paddock to Plate – I wanted to get back to cooking. I am a cook. The integrity of the produce, these beautiful people and it’s shot beautifully.

Will we be seeing anything from the series on plates at Aria or Chiswick?
Chiswick maybe. It’s not Aria food. I tried to keep the integrity of what we were doing. It’s simple food. Everyone can relate to it, get something out of it and be able to do it themselves.

You only covered the east coast of Australia…do you have plans to venture further afield?
I am a very ambitious person – everyone knows that! I wouldn’t have seven restaurants and businesses if I wasn’t ambitious. When we looked at doing this series, we thought if this is successful, we need to carve Australia up. We did Victoria and a little of NSW in the first series. There’s Tassie, South Australia, Western Australia, Far North Queensland  and the Outback all needing a series of their own.

How do you find the time to do everything you do?
I am very lucky. I have a very understanding family. I have amazing people who have been with me for 15 years and believe in what I do, which allows me to go off and do those things. It all regenerates back into the businesses. People say ‘Well, Matt if you’re not at Aria, who’s cooking?’ and I say ‘The same people who cook when I am there!’ I was filming this in two week stints. It’s my love and my passion.

Christmas is just around the corner…what do we need to be putting on our tables to support local producers? What products/dishes from the series are perfect for Christmas?
The Tamworth episode (episode 7, Wednesday December 18) is a bit of a Christmas episode. We used Quast Turkeys. I am a traditionalist. I love turkey and ham with all the trimmings for Christmas. I cook all day in the kitchen on Christmas Day. Those Quast Turkeys were some of the best turkeys I’ve tasted in my life!

Paddock to Plate, starts Wednesday November 6 at 8.30pm, The Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel. 

Q&A with Karen Martini

You know the drill. Rushing through the door, late home from work, kids follow two steps behind you into the kitchen. You open the fridge and sigh as the ‘what’s for dinner mum?’ chorus begins. A quick survey of the fridge’s contents and it’s not looking good. Sounds like a job for Karen Martini.

Chef, restaurateur, TV presenter, recipe columnist and busy mum of two, Karen Martini knows your pain. She understands. She has penned five cookbooks, is the resident chef on Channel 7’s Better Homes and Gardens, judges others culinary skills on My Kitchen Rules and has rattled pans in various iconic restaurants including Melbourne’s Tansy’s, Melbourne Wine Room, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar in Sydney and her St Kilda pizzeria mr. wolf.

Taking a twist on the classics, Karen’s new cookbook Everyday will inspire you to come up with mealtime inspiration with more than 120 no-fuss recipe ideas for salads, pastas, pizzas, curries, roasts, one-pot dinners, puddings, cakes and even biscuits. It’s all about keeping it simple and delicious, of course.

Karen Martini tells SHE’SAID’ how she gets inspired in the kitchen and reveals how to get the ‘wow’ factor into an everyday, impromptu dinner party…even on a budget!

Tell me why every Australian kitchen needs a copy of your book Everyday?
My aim was to give super-quick ideas for stress-free cooking. I’ve tried to simplify the recipes but keeping them interesting. Sometimes things can get too tricky and it turns people off but they still want a good result, something exciting and delicious on the plate, with a bit of a twist they haven’t had before. It was also important to me to use accessible, every day ingredients that are familiar and easy to purchase. There are a few dishes in the book that can ‘challenge’ but the majority of the recipes are tried and true and the essence of what has kept me interested over the last few years when I’ve been busy and flat out!

The book is an insight into my head, I sometimes stand in my kitchen staring blankly into the fridge and pantry wondering what I can cook – just like everyone else! All of sudden I get inspiration and I go from a blank stare into cooking and making a dish. This book documents those moments.

What’s the best tip for getting yourself out of a cooking ‘rut’?
Spending time reading and refreshing your mind about food – with books like this! There are many great Australian cooks out there who are expressing their views and opinions which will get you starting to think about the way you look at a chicken thigh and how you don’t always just pan or stir fry it.

I think shopping in a different environment can also inspire. Take yourself out of the supermarket and go to a small green grocer or local farmer’s market. Even changing the supermarket you shop at – just breaking your routine can inspire! It’s a good place to start.

What’s the best way to deal with a family of fussy eaters – each with their own different ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’?
I’ve actually talked to a lot of people about this. A few have had good results by actually handing over my book and saying ‘OK…what looks good to you guys?’ And they (the kids) might pick something you wouldn’t even begin to think they’d like! Once you get them involved in the selection process, you’re on the road to having something else interesting for dinner!

If your children are young – it’s a hard thing. One of my daughters who is 5 is going through a ‘I’m not eating fish’ phase at the moment. And I’m like ‘Well, darling, this household eats fish twice a week so it’s going to be a long road for you!’ I just keep presenting it and I make sure there are a variety of salads, rice, pasta, cous cous or whatever it is, going as well, and I do always insist she at least tries it, because I don’t always buy the same fish. It’s persistence! Sometimes I think parents give up too quickly. You need to present something 20 times (sometimes) for them to get a grasp of it.

Family members always have their ‘favourite’ dishes – what’s the best way to persuade folk to try something ‘new’?
Sometimes something as simple as altering the environment like dining outside can switch things up. I’ve done that with my children – Amber is 5 and Estella is 7 – we did a BBQ outside recently and we don’t have an outdoor table yet so we had a picnic on the tiles outside because the grass is still growing too! We all sat cross-legged and they tried everything! It sounds kooky but it works in my household!

What are your family’s favourites?
My girls love the Slow-Baked Lamb shoulder with Horta-style salad (p.199), or I serve it with yoghurt, feta, Greek-style salad or a boiled barley side instead of potatoes or the pita bread. They love to assemble their own souvlaki style dishes. That is something that’s on the agenda at least once a week at the moment.

Spaghetti Bolognese was one that was requested to the point where I cooked it so much and I had as a ‘back up’ all the time, they don’t actually want it anymore! If you present what they love often they can make the decision to ‘move on’.

Roast chicken is another favourite. I am trying to get them onto light-style curries or dhal – they will have a little taste (I don’t make it hot, I take the chilli out but keep the spices in) they might not particularly like it but I always put a little taste of whatever the base sauce, gravy or dressing is on their plate. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t but at least you’re trying to develop their palate. It’s a real headache when you have to cook different meals. I don’t do that anymore because my girls are old enough. You have to start thinking like that from 3 onwards but always making sure you’ve got the simple, staples on offer so they don’t go hungry!

You decide to host an impromptu weekday dinner party. What are your ‘go-to’ dishes that always impress?
A Thai-style fish curry like the Coconut Curry with Blue-Eye Trevalla (p.132), it’s quick because you put everything in the one pot, the flavours are amazing because of the Asian ingredients you add to the sauce. You can always substitute chicken too. I might do something a little ‘extra, extra’ if I come across an ingredient that’s special – like perhaps, Spicy Fried Quail with Sichuan Pepper (p.143). If clams are in season, I can’t go past Linguine alle Vongole (p.63). I will make a really big pot of pasta, pop it in the middle of the table with a salad, that could easily work for mid-week dinner party. The idea of not serving individually but putting a platter on the table keeps everything convivial and casual!

What are the biggest mistakes you can make planning an impromptu dinner party?
Picking too many dishes you’ve never attempted before! You need a staple dish in your repertoire that you know you can nail every time. Think about dishes you can prepare a little ahead of time so you’re not working away in the kitchen the whole time.

Can you get the ‘wow’ factor into a dinner party on a budget?

There are simple jelly recipes in the book like Berry Jelly (p.213) and Blueberry and Orange Jelly (p.213), anything turned out of a mould always gets a bit of a ‘wow’ when you present it! Always hone in on ingredients that are in season to keep costs down. Old favourites – like Sweet and Sour Chicken (p.147) – I have revamped in the book – I use chicken thighs which are inexpensive and you can feed a lot of people with that! I’ve also done a mince chapter – with a lot of different dishes. The Lebanese Lamb and Peas (p.179) is something I pull out occasionally and if you serve this up with steamed or Dirty Rice with Lentils (p.72), yoghurt and a shredded carrot salad, it can be a little exotic and fancy but you haven’t spent a fortune. I also love the Beef Kofta (p.176). Sometimes you need to apply a little more ‘skill’ when you’re cooking on a budget – in other words, making things from scratch like the kofta, pressing them onto the skewer yourself. I also love to deliver a fancy way to present dishes. You’re still using simple ingredients but you’re thinking about how you put it on the plate.

What food items should you always have in your pantry and fridge?
On my kitchen bench, there is never a lack of salt flakes rather than iodised table salt. I use flakes to finish dishes and whilst they’re cooking sometimes too. I find iodised table salt can be ‘too salty’ and it ‘burns’ the palate, in a way. The Australian Murray River salt – I use all the time – a little goes a long way.

Good olive oil is essential. Australia is making some fantastic olive oils and it makes everything taste better at the last minute! I always have a bowl of lemons kicking around and a selection of cheeses on the go – a chunk of parmesan, fresh ricotta or fresh goats cheese – you can apply them to so many dishes and change the dish entirely. Base spices like cumin, cinnamon or coriander are essential in your kitchen. I always have a zip lock bag of bay leaves, parsley and other herbs  in the fridge. If you can’t grow your own herbs – which are pretty easy to do in pots – keep a few in the fridge. Mint can transform a lot of dishes. In my freezer, I always have a bit of an ‘Asian section’. People sometimes find cooking Thai or Asian a little daunting because they have to go out and buy 27 ingredients but if you come to my house, you’ll always find in the freezer in little zip-lock bags, a little tub of shrimp paste, lemongrass, chillies, lime leaves, dried shrimp, curry leaves, galangal (Asian ginger).

Get Karen Martini’s easy panna cotta recipe here!

 Everyday by Karen Martini, RRP $39.99, is available now.

Spring Racing Style for Every Body Shape

Spring has certainly sprung and as any fine filly will tell you, frocking up for Sydney or Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is fun with a capital ‘F’ – especially if you know what works best for your shape.

Brisbane fashion designer, mum of two and authority on dressing a woman’s body shape, Sacha Drake, says it’s all about identifying your shape and dressing accordingly.

“I am an ‘hourglass with pear tendencies’” laughs Sacha, who is dressed in her stunning ‘Fumetta’ silk kaftan dress when we meet in her Woollahra store in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“I’ve been in business – and keep loving my business – for over 10 years now because I listen to my customer and come up with design solutions for various problems. It’s all about helping.” says Sacha, whose celebrity fans include Kerri-Anne Kennerly, Deborah Hutton, Georgie Gardner and Jesinta Campbell.

To make flattering choices even easier, Sacha identifies the five most common body shapes – hourglass, column, pear, apple and pregnant – and lists what body shapes her individual garments work best for on all her clothing’s swing tags and online.

Sacha’s Spring Racing Styling Tips for:

tatumdress

Hourglass – typically have curvy bust and hips, narrow waist, medium width shoulders and slim or shapely thighs.

Celebrity inspiration – Scarlett Johansson

  • Show off your slender waist! Accentuate your curves and avoid anything too roomy in the waist. If you have a bigger bust, keep your look streamlined with tailored panels and simple silhouettes. A lean pencil skirt or A-Line shape will be flattering.

Go for:

  • ‘Tatum’ fitted cotton dress (above). A streamlined tailored fit which can create shape, perfect for an hourglass figure. The cap sleeve balances out the hip and the v-neckline draws focus up to the face. It’s a classic shape.
  • ‘Simone’ cotton wrap dress. Versatile. The broad collar frames the face and draws attention to the face whilst the wrap shape adds structure and the A-line skirt streamlines the hips.

blairdress

Column – typically have shoulders and hips of same width, thicker waist with flat tummy, small to medium bust, slender legs and arms.

Celebrity inspiration – Nicole Kidman

  • Flaunt those lean limbs! Look for styles that can be wrapped or tied to create a waistline. Styles with wider shoulder lines will make your waist appear narrower. Lean pencil skirts or A-line shapes will suit.

Go for:

  • ‘Liza’. You want to show off those long, lean limbs. It’s a high neck with a tie at the back and hangs loosely which you can leave fluid or belt it with our ‘invisible’ belt that creates shape by blousing the dress.
  • ‘Lylah’ and ‘Blair’ silk wrap dresses (above). Effortlessly glamorous. A softer style that works well, in either the long or short sleeve. Underneath is a stretchy slip and it works because it is a wrap and very flexible. It fits nicely across the body and the flare of the skirt accommodates any hip.

benniedress

Pear – typically have narrow shoulders, a neat bust and waist, wider hips and curvaceous thighs, shapely calves.

Celebrity inspiration – Jennifer Lopez

  • Show off your slim upper body. Create a wider shoulder-line with sleeve details or bare shoulders to balance out hips. A-Line styles that skim hips and thighs work well. Hem length should be on your knee to show off shapely calves.

Go for:

  • ‘Reuben’ fifties style dress. The structured bodice, flared skirt and easy fit waist with a tie which can be tightened to create shape will work for you. The square neckline works for small or large busts too. If you’re self-conscious about your arms, a shrug, bolero or ballet-wrap style cardigan will work.
  • ‘Bennie’ fifties style dress (above). A classic best-seller of ours. A fitted, panelled bodice and square neckline flatters small and large busts. The cap sleeve provides upper-arm coverage and balances your proportion if you have narrow shoulders. The flared skirt hides a larger hip and bottom.

venezueladress

Apple – typically have broad shoulders, a voluptuous bust, a rounded tummy, slim hips and thighs.

Celebrity inspiration – Oprah Winfrey

  • Flaunt your cleavage. Choose garments with open necklines to draw the eye to your face. Soft draping and ruching that skims not clings to a fuller tummy is best. Look for clean, tailored lines to streamline your body and show off slim legs.

Go for:

  • ‘Tyler’ one shoulder kaftan dress. One shoulder, asymmetrical shapes are perfect for apples because it draws the eye up to the shoulder, away from the wider bust. It hangs loosely from the bust and shows off the slim leg.
  • ‘Venezuela’ stretch shirt dress (above).  Streamlined and fitted with a v-neck and a pencil skirt. This creates an hourglass shape by cinching in the waist. It’s especially flattering because it skims over the body and it doesn’t ‘cling’.

martinadress

Pregnant – typically tummy is most prominent feature. Bust and hip size will vary for the individual.

Celebrity inspiration – Kate Winslet

  • Be proud of your bump! Keep a feminine silhouette by creating shape under your bust. Choose open necklines and show off your slim legs to ensure you’re not ‘all tummy’. Soft, stretchy dresses are easy to wear as you grow, plus perfect for post-pregnancy.

Go for:

  • ‘Martina’ jersey dress. You want to be comfortable and it depends how pregnant you are. You also don’t want to invest in a $500 dress! The fluted sleeves, adjustable ties to fit and flatter any bust and fluid, soft jersey that skims the body grows with most pregnant shapes. It’s plain but you can really jazz it up.

 Visit Sacha’s online boutique at www.sachadrake.com.au.

Tell us about your spring racing style – do you prefer traditional or more on-trend dresses for the races?

Tinder, Fancied + Grouper: 3 Best Mobile Phone Dating Apps

Meeting your match in real life or online is so 2012. If you’re not addicted to Tinder, Fancied or soon-to-launch in Australia, Grouper, chances are you’re not Gen X & Y, single or looking to become so. Hailed as the ‘straight’ Grindr – are Tinder, Fancied and Grouper all about one night stands or long-term love?

Dating through apps is just the thing for those with short attention spans, very short attention spans.

If hanging out with friends in bars or at parties or combing through online profiles is just all too tedious for you – a tap or a swipe of your phone could be just the thing between you and meeting your one, true love. Or, at least, your one ‘you-look-pretty-alright-for-tonight’ hook-up scenario.

Tinder

What’s it all about? Tinder links to your Facebook page and notifies you, via profile shots, based on your Facebook mutual friends and interests, who is single and looking for love nearby. You like what you see? Swipe right to the green heart to register your interest. Not floating your boat? Swipe left to the red cross to say ‘not in this lifetime.’ If you both give each other a ‘green heart’ light, a conversation via the app can begin.

Tinder is the fastest growing dating app. The company is reluctant to release figures but since Tinder launched in September last year, Forbes says users have rated each other’s profiles 3.5 billion times and have been matched up 35 million times.

According to Tinder’s Australian brand manager, Joshua Metz, the app is downloaded more than 1000 times a day in Australia alone.

Pros: The app saves you from potential romantic humiliation by letting you anonymously ‘like’ or ‘reject’ your nearby suiters/users. Only if they ‘like’ you too will Tinder make an introduction and you can start communicating via the app. You can’t be randomly messaged by people you don’t know or don’t want to know.

Got some down time waiting for the bus to arrive to meet up with friends? You could potentially line up a date (or several) for that night.

Cons: By trawling through your Facebook to look for folk nearby with mutual friends and interests, the chances of stumbling across your ex; your best friend’s ex or even your second cousin is more than likely.

Your picture – and their picture – is your only chance to make an impression. Dangerous territory for folk clinging desperately to a flattering snap taken 5 years ago, especially if you actually plan to meet up in real life, at some stage, there’s going to be that awkward 3 minutes of non-recognition.

What if you accidentally swipe ‘no thanks’ when you meant to ‘green heart’ someone? You’ll never get that person back on screen. Imagine, it could’ve been your one true love…

Good for: Wanting to broaden your social circle slightly in a comfortable, non threatening way.

Not so great for: Someone who desperately believes in soulmates and hopes they will magically appear in the palm of their hand via their phone. Whilst some will be more legitimately looking for love than others, the very nature of the app makes random hook-ups and bragging rights very easy. But if that’s what you’re looking for, good luck to you.

Fancied

What’s it all about? Fancied is an Australian-based dating app launched 4 weeks ago and already boasts thousands of ‘fancies’ nationally. Aimed at the 18-35 demographic, the app is gaining popularity with users sharing the app with friends via Facebook.

Founder and CEO of Fancied, Christie Sharpe explains, “We are thrilled with the results and have 60% engagement on the app, this is mainly because users are getting matched by people they mutually like.

Like Tinder, Fancied links to your Facebook page and offers up profile shots, names and ages of potential matches who are nearby and looking for love. You can either play the ‘fancy’ game and search profiles nearby or check into a venue listed as a ‘hot spot’ for singles ready to meet.

Again, like Tinder, liking or not liking someone is kept anonymous until two ‘likes’ become one.

Pros: Using the geo-location ‘hot spot’ allows the user to know where all the fun-loving singles are mingling close by and can join accordingly.

Cons: Like Tinder, by trawling mutual friends on Facebook, the chance of your ex, your best friend’s ex or your cousin is again, a dating possibility.

Good for: The ‘push-to-maps’ feature is great for users geographically challenged to find their way to the right bar to meet their match.

Not so great for: Similar to Tinder, those looking to find their soulmate may be in luck but also exposed to some of society’s not so romantic idealists.

Grouper

What’s it all about? Originally launched in New York as a three-on-three blind dating service, Grouper is a dating app available in 20 cities across the US that will soon launch in Australia.

You sign up for Grouper, pick a specific date and time or choose the on-demand feature, choose two wingmen/besties, pay an up front yet-to-be-determined fee per person for the date and the app automatically sets you up with three others of the opposite sex.

The fee paid pays for the first round of drinks and ensures everyone actually turns up. And then it flows (or not) from there.

Grouper Director of Operations, Kristen Badal, says “We’re launching in Australia in coming months so I encourage single Aussies to sign up at joingrouper.com to find out when and where we will be happening.”

Pros: Grouper sees itself more as an app for meeting people than a dating service. In the US, it is more popular with women and has a roughly 60/40 split between women and men members.

Expanding your social circle and going on a ‘blind date’ with two of your besties takes the intimidation and safety issues out of the blind date equation.

Cons: What’s the etiquette? Do the six of you interact as a group or do you make a beeline for your favourite and start to pair off?

What if no one wants to talk to you or you get left with the third party that wasn’t really ‘into’ the blind date in the first place?

Good for: Folk who need a concierge for their social life. Can’t think of a new bar to visit? Grouper can sort that, and the company you keep, out for you.

Not so great for: If you go on the ‘blind date’ with three friends with similar tastes in the opposite sex. Bestie biffo over a bloke at the end of the night is never a good look. It gets worse if only one of you gets an SMS asking for a second date. Oh dear.

Have you tried mobile phone dating? What are your favourite dating websites or apps?

Kate & Kim Baby Weight Loss Watch: Too Much Pressure?

It was the tale of two ridiculously famous pregnancies – the most-watched Mum Tums in recent times. Reality superstar Kim Kardashian, 32 and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, 31, gave birth to their much anticipated offspring a little over a month apart.

First came little North West on June 15, 2013, Kim’s daughter with rap star Kanye West, 36 and then came His Royal Highness, Prince George [Alexander Louis] of Cambridge on July 22, 2013, Kate’s son with Prince William, 31.

Then came the flurry of excitement to clock eyes on Kim and Kate’s offspring.

Whilst Kim and baby North went uncharacteristically ‘underground’, Kate, Wills and baby George made their very public appearance on the steps outside the Lindo Wing at London’s St. Mary’s Hopsital, one day after giving birth.

Kim and Kate’s pregnancies came under very different scrutiny.

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Kate, who was lauded with having the perfect baby ‘bump’ and only looking pregnant ‘from the front’, apparently achieved this by hitting the gym, running, swimming and Pilates whilst pregnant.

Meanwhile Kim was ridiculed for piling on the pounds, which could really just be attributed to dubious fashion choices, shocking shoe choice and more than one unflattering angle.

Kim hid for two months, working hard to silence her body-critics whilst Kate had no qualms about showing her still round, post-baby bump to the world.

According to Vanity Fair, Kate’s hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker was responsible for bringing the pale blue spotted Jenny Packham dress to the hospital, one of a selection of dresses for the Duchess. There was no point trying to hide her bump, so Kate chose a flattering dress that worked with her curves.

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Kim unveiled her post-baby body when she took newborn North to a LA Medical Centre clad in a loose shirt. Hints that her body was getting back to its old self appeared when Kim attended the funeral of Kanye West’s grandfather and more recently when she stepped out with her newly blonde locks and skinny jeans on September 4.

Kim is thought to have dropped 20 kgs with healthy eating and a strict exercise regime. She reportedly has another 5-7 kgs to go to hit her goal weight.

Kim works out six days a week – three days in the gym with trainer Gunnar Peterson and the other three days with fitness guru Tracy Anderson, working on cardio and Pilates.

Anderson, who has also trained celebrity mums Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow, has weighed into the debate over public obsession with celebs ditching baby weight.

“It’s insane,” Anderson told Newsday.com on Tuesday night at US Weekly’s Most Stylish New Yorkers event at Harlow in Manhattan. “I don’t think the public is even fascinated with it. I think they know it’s not real. It’s the most evil trick that women play on women.”

“There’s something really wrong with us trying to manipulate people into thinking celebrities have some secret that other women don’t have,” Anderson added. “Or there’s some superhuman unnatrual force that they were given that they just bounce back.”

Anderson revealed her goal with Kim was to make her ‘healthy and as in proportions as she should naturally be.’

“Kim is taking as much time as she wants to just be with the baby,” Anderson said. “She’s not even concerned with working out. Kim is amazing as a mom, she’s so connected. I knew when I was training her she would be a great mom. She was concerned with all the right things.”

Kate Middleton was back into her pre-pregnancy skinny jeans just six weeks after giving birth. Kate appeared unexpectedly alongside Prince William at the Ring O’Fire Ultra Marathon in Anglesey.

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Last week, Kate returned to the red carpet in sparkling fashion at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London. Wearing a silver, sequinned floor-length gown by Jenny Packham and silver Jimmy Choo stilettos, there was little evidence of giving birth to a prince a mere seven weeks before.

Singer-turned-designer Jessica Simpson can sympathise with Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton over the relentless attention dropping celebrity baby weight.

Jessica, 33, was ridiculed for her weight gain with first child Maxwell, 15 months and has worked hard since having her second boy, Ace Knute on June 30.

“I am definitely one of those pregnant women who just gains a lot of weight,” Simpson told Us Weekly. “I have really big boobs, I have my curves and I just gain weight. I can’t help it.”

“It’s been six weeks since I’ve had my baby now and I feel great,” she added. “It’s OK to gain weight and it will always come off.”

Jessica also weighed in on both Kim and Kate’s post-baby bodies.

“I felt for Kim – I knew exactly what she was going through,” said Simpson. “I send a lot of love her way, and I know she’ll come back with a bang.”

“Kate Middleton was glowing throughout her pregnancy,” she added. “A lot of pregnant mums were looking at her like, ‘How do you do that?’”

Indeed!

What do you think about the pressure for celebrity mums to lose the baby weight?

Pregnant and Glamorous

Boasting a bodacious baby bump never gets in the way of an A-List yummy-mummy-to-be on the red carpet – especially if she has a new flick to promote. From Kate to Halle, we look at the best celebrity maternity style.

Kate Winslet debuted her bump at her new movie, Labor Day premiere at Toronto’s International Film Festival on Saturday, September 7.

Kate, 37, announced her exciting news six months after marrying husband number 3, Ned Rocknroll in secret. A bouncing baby brother or sister for Kate’s two children, Mia, 12 and Joe, 9, with her ex-husbands, filmmaker Jim Threapleton and director Sam Mendes, respectively.

Kate told reporters at the festival she has been taking care of her body and watching her weight the third time around.

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“I’ve been really good this pregnancy, partly because I was working in the beginning until about 20 weeks. I couldn’t have it all go to my face. I don’t know how much I can be bothered to have to lose the weight. It’s such a pain in the ass. I’m not one of those people for whom it magically drops off.”

And it seems Halle Berry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rachel Zoe and Holly Valance aren’t prepared to swap heels, make-up, sleek blow-dries and their signature style for oversize t-shirts, leggings and Ugg boots – just yet either.

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Halle Berry, 47, who is expecting her second child and first with partner Olivier Martinez, is always glam and she hasn’t let a little baby bump get in her way in the name of style. Halle, who has a 5-year-old daughter, Nahla, with her ex, model Gabriel Aubry, certainly over-achieves on the ridiculously good looking family meter.

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A skintight LBD in the third trimester could be one woman’s nightmare but actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, 34, has been rocking them on more than one occasion. She is expecting her first child any day with fiancé (and The Client List co-star), actor Brian Hallisay.

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Australian actress Holly Valance, 30, who is expecting her first child with billionaire husband Nick Candy, didn’t let that get in the way of wearing Italian Riviera-worthy garb on a recent holiday.

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On the fashion front, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, 42, is expecting her second child with husband Rodger Berman whilst rock-star-cum-designer Gwen Stefani, 43, is rumoured to be expecting her third child with husband Gavin Rossdale. We can expect to see anything but maternity wear from those two.

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Naomi Watts Opens Up About Diana

Naomi Watts was always anxious about the reception her new film Diana would receive – and rightly so. Weeks before the savaging critics bestowed on the film at the world premiere in London recently, Naomi hinted, “I might go into hiding. I might have to leave the country.”

She mightn’t have left the country but Watts did storm out of an interview with BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo when she became uncomfortable with his line of questioning regarding the film. Mayo tweeted “A first for me and @wittertainment as Naomi Watts walked out of an interview! She seemed a tad uncomfortable with the questions. Shame.”

The 44-year-old actress thought long and hard about taking on the role of the iconic late Princess of Wales. Watts knew the biopic, which focuses on Diana’s romance with London-based Pakistani surgeon Hasnat Khan, was always going to ruffle feathers.

Aside from the predictable onslaught from the UK press, Naomi had the Royal Family itself to consider, in particular Princes William and Harry.

Having lost a parent at a young age – Watts’ estranged father, sound engineer Peter Watts, died of a suspected heroin overdose when Naomi was 14 – and also being the mother of two sons Sacha, 6 and Sammy, 4, Naomi considered not taking on the role, wondering how the Princes would feel about it.

“That’s always the big thing in my mind, you know, would they approve?” said Naomi, in a recent interview.

In another interview, Watts said she “found herself constantly asking for (Diana’s) permission to carry on” in the film.

“I felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted,” Naomi revealed in another interview.

Such is the obsession of all things Diana, Watts gained insight into the desperate lengths paparazzi would go to, simply to capture a precious, money-making snap of an actress playing a princess who died tragically 16 years ago, with her lover Dodi al-Fayed, when the Mercedes in which they were travelling slammed into a pillar in a Paris road tunnel, while being chased by paparazzi.

“It was definitely not normal.” Said Watts.

As one of the most famous women of our time, with every part of her life documented, scrutinised and watched, literally, under a media microscope, very little is known of Diana’s relationship with Hasnat Khan – a man who is described as her ‘real love’ by those close to the princess.

Khan has described the film as “completely wrong” and “based on gossip.”

Khan refused to participate in the making of the film, just as he avoided the media during his relationship with the princess and after her death.

Watts defended the scenes that take place between Diana and Khan.

“Someone was going to tell this story eventually. Liberties had to be taken and poetic licence. Actors bring nuance to it and, because it’s not a documentary, I think it was OK to do that.”

Diana opens in Australia on October 10. 

What do you think of Naomi Watts playing Princess Diana? Will you be seeing Diana the movie?

Naomi Campbell and The Face Come to Australia

There are Supermodels, there are Ubermodels and then there’s Naomi Campbell.

A Supermodel’s Ubermodel. The very definition of fierce.

Reknowned for her lateness, her unbelievable beauty, cheekbones, bee-stung lips and that killer body, Naomi Campbell is heading to Australia in early November to begin production on her modelling reality show The Face.

Already a smash hit in the US and UK, The Face is a modelling competition like no other.

Naomi, who is co-executive producer as well as modelling ‘mentor’ (don’t call her a ‘judge’) will lead the local charge to hunt for the ‘face’ of a major Australian brand. The show’s host and Naomi’s two other model ‘mentors’ are yet to be announced but the buzz is already building.

The buzz, naturally, is focusing on Campbell, who at 43 has been strutting the runway and striking poses for 27 years – a feat unheard of in the youth obsessed fashion industry.

The modelling icon, known for her diva antics and difficult persona, is perhaps just misunderstood.

“I’m very direct.” She says. “Am I bossy? Absolutely. I don’t like to lose, and if I’m told no then I find another way to get my yes. But I’m a loyal person. And I’m generous and I don’t bullshit.”

Whilst Naomi paints herself as a protective ‘mother hen’ to her girls, she admits she practises tough love and discipline with a healthy dose of encouragement.

“No, I’m not a friend. When I came on board, I agreed to be a mentor, not a friend. We care about our girls – that’s just a normal thing to happen. But in order for you to have some type of authority, you can’t be a friend,” said Naomi, in a recent interview with UK InStyle.

“I’m straight up, I’m honest. When my girls do something great, I praise them and pamper them. And when they do something wrong I’m gonna tell them. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, because they’re not going to get it sugarcoated in the real world. Everyone makes mistakes but you have to learn from those mistakes if you want to get on.” She recently told The Guardian Weekend.

Campbell was discovered as a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Streatham, south London in 1985. She was spotted by a model agent as she window-shopped in Covent Garden and before she turned 16, she was on the cover of British Elle.

When Naomi struts the catwalk now, she is a special guest of the designer, like recently when she opened and closed at the Versace haute couture show in July in Paris. But it was the late 80s to mid 90s that Naomi believes was the golden age to be a model.

“In my era we’d get a phone call from John (Galliano) before the show: this is what the show’s about, what do you think? And we’d talk about it; we knew what the inspiration was, we really understood the collection and where the designer was coming from and so knew what kind of vibe to have,” She told The Guardian Weekend.

Naomi believes, as the fashion industry has expanded, models have been sidelined.

“If we [Christy, Naomi, Linda, Cindy etc] were on a different level to the models now, that’s because we had a relationship with the designers, so it was a real collaboration. And the photographers too – we were so close to Steven Meisel, to Mario [Testino]. When I started, the designers saw you in castings and chose you. We went for dinner and hung out. Now you’ve got casting directors, and production. There’s more of a gap between the model and the designer, because there are all these other people in the middle.”

Naomi is insistent on the word ‘mentor’. The word ‘judge’ does not sit well with her.

“I like the word mentor. I don’t want to judge someone. I like sharing my knowledge with my girls, and anything they ask me I’ll try to do to help them. Any of my real friends who know me, know that’s how I am.”

One of Naomi’s recent tweets about heading to Australia: ‘I can’t wait to get to Australia to start my search for The Face! Here I come @FOX8tv #TheFaceAU’

Are you going to watch The Face Australia with Naomi Campbell?

Style Trend: Celebrities and Pearls

Pearls – the gem world’s enduring style icon – are back. Do those natural wonders ever really drop off the fashionista radar? Girls have been wearing pearls since ancient Rome and beyond. A fragment of the oldest surviving pearl necklace, found in the sarcophagus of a Persian Princess who died in 520 B.C., is displayed in the Louvre in Paris.

Karl Lagerfeld played homage to Coco Chanel’s design signature with a plethora of pearls on the Chanel Pre-Spring/Summer 2014 Cruise Collection catwalk. Classic images of Coco in her ubiquitous little black dress, toying with her multiple strings of pearls, epitomise what style is all about.

Pearls are symbolic of chastity, purity and feminine charm. Those lucky enough to be born in June can enjoy them as their birthstone and if you’re celebrating your third or thirtieth wedding anniversary, your beloved better stick with the program and adorn you with those lustrous gifts from the oyster.

Cleopatra dissolved a pearl in wine and drank it to prove her love to Marc Antony and ever since, the precious gem has adorned famously chic women throughout time.

Fabulous Women Who Made Pearls Their Style Statement 

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1920s – Coco Chanel, Josephine Baker, Louise Brooks

Flappers kicked up their heels to the Charleston while Louise Brooks and Josephine Baker showed them how to make the moves more alluring with a strand or two of pearls. Coco Chanel gave pearls iconic style status and made them her design signature, famously declaring every woman should wear ‘ropes and ropes’ of pearls.

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1950s – Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe

Elegance and the single strand went hand in hand. Ice Princess Grace Kelly kept       hers tight and teamed with white gloves, Audrey Hepburn wore hers to Breakfast (at Tiffany & Co., of course) and Sophia Loren gave hers the siren treatment with a décolletage worthy neckline.

Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe treasured a strand of Mikimoto cultured Akoya pearls given to her by her husband, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, whilst on their honeymoon in Japan. Marilyn gave the necklace to her friend Paula Strasburg and in 1998, Paula’s daughter Susan gave the pearls back to Mikimoto to be put on display – still in the original oval box they were given to Marilyn in.

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1960s – Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie O

Glamorous movie icon and avid jewel and husband collector, Elizabeth Taylor, once owned La Peregrina, one of the most famous pearls in history. Her beloved Richard Burton bought the famous pearl that passed from an African slave to European Kings and Queens, including Mary I of England, at a Sotheby’s auction for $37,000. He gave it to Elizabeth for Valentine’s Day during their first marriage. Liz had Cartier redesign the piece, setting La Peregrina with diamonds, rubies and pearls. In December 2011, the pearl sold for more than $11 million at auction at Christie’s New York.

Jackie O kept her signature Chanel suit and pearl look a little more lady-like and subtle.

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1980s – Madonna, Boy George 

Pop princess Madonna tarnished the pearl’s purity reputation by taking Coco Chanel’s advice and adorning herself with ropes of pearls, atop tight lace ensembles, fingerless gloves, crucifixes and writhing on a gondola in Venice ‘Like a Virgin’ style.

Boy George teamed his strands of pearls and brooches with billowy satin and proved pearls are definitely not just for girls.

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1990s – Princess Diana

Royalty and pearls just works. Tiaras, brooches and chokers, Princess Diana made her pearls work at just about any occasion. A gym visit of a charity gala event, a Princess can somehow make a pearl work in any situation.

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2000s – Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie

Sarah Jessica Parker was never afraid of a bold pearl look on the set of Sex & the City.

Angelina Jolie, who has temporarily moved to Sydney with her brood Shiloh, Maddox, Pax, Zahara Marley, Vivienne and Knox, to work on her latest movie Unbroken, is fond of a simple strand of pearls and matching earrings when addressing G8 Meetings or walking the red carpet.

First Lady Michelle Obama takes the pearl beyond stylish and makes them effortlessly ‘cool’.

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2013 – Taylor Swift, Rihanna

Apparently pearls are the secret to songstress Taylor Swift’s day-to-night dressing. A staple pearl necklace and earrings secreted in her change purse is all she needs to make her ‘day’ outfit party-ready.

Rihanna has worked pearls into everything from show-stopper sunglasses to layer upon layer of strands for a more ‘demure’ look.

Do you love pearls or think they are old-fashioned? What’s your favourite way of wearing pearls?

Laura Csortan Puckers Up for Bright Pink Lipstick Day

Grab your lippies ladies. Only your brightest hue will do. A slash of vibrant colour on your pout and you’re selfie-ready for Bright Pink Lipstick Day (September 20).

Former Miss Australia-turned-TV-presenter and media personality, Laura Csortan, 36, will be donning the ‘brightest, most obnoxious shade of lippie’ she can find to support Pink Hope, to raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Laura chats to SheSaid about why she’ll be supporting Bright Pink Lipstick Day, her new role as Sydney Racing Ambassador for Australian Turf Club and she shares some of her beauty and style secrets.

Why are you supporting Bright Pink Lipstick Day? 

Bright Pink Lipstick Day is a fantastic initiative to get your girlfriends together and have a bit of fun wearing your bright lippie to highlight an issue – hereditary cancer. It is at the forefront of our friends, family and society in general.

Will you be puckering up with bright pink lippie? What shade will you be wearing? 

Absolutely! I’ll probably have it all over my teeth too but I’ll give it my best shot! I don’t have a signature pink shade but I will be on the lookout for something bright and obnoxious! It will certainly get the message across.

Is your partner Chris [Joannou, Silverchair bass player] a fan of bright lippie or does he prefer more of a natural gloss on you? 

He prefers no makeup at all so bright pink lipstick will scare the bejesus out of him.

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How has Pink Hope founder Krystal Barter inspired you? 

Cancer is an issue that touches everyone. We all have someone we know or someone close to us who has been touched by cancer. I’ve got a few girlfriends directly affected by breast cancer and this particular strain – BRCA1 – so for Krystal to start Pink Hope after having a preventative double mastectomy herself and about to undergo ovarian preventative surgery next year – it really highlights the fact we need to look at prevention rather than a cure. Having someone who is not afraid to get up and talk about it, takes the mystery out of it.

Angelina Jolie’s decision to go public about her preventative double mastectomy brought incredible attention to the reality of hereditary cancer.   

Angelina going public was incredible for Pink Hope. The charity experienced a 700% increase in families reaching out to them, which is why they need additional funding. The more high profile people coming out and speaking about their experience is just what we need.

Has hereditary cancer touched your life?

Thankfully my family and I have not been directly affected. But I certainly keep on top of my regular check-ups. I am very aware.

As Sydney Racing Ambassador for Australian Turf Club, what’s the one fashion faux pas that irks you the most at the track? 

There are a few! I like to think of racing as a classic, classy event. Tight frocks, boob tubes and clunky shoes are not racing attire. I like to think ladies should follow some of the dress guidelines.

Describe your style in a word?

Effortless.

First serious fashion splurge?   

A crème Prada handbag. I love it and still use it, rarely, because it’s crème and I’m scared of marking it!

A fad you wish you never followed? 

I did live through the 80s. I did get stuck into the ra-ra and bubble skirts.

One clothing item you can’t live without? 

My black leather pants.

Fashion tip your mother taught you? 

Never wear anything too tight. God love her, she’s still right.

Whose wardrobe would you most like to raid? 

Cameron Diaz. She always look fab. I like her bubbly but stylish personality.

What’s the most worn thing in your wardrobe?

I like strong basics. I have a beautifully cut Helmut Lang blazer that I wear to death.

Who is your style icon? 

Elle Macpherson. I love the way she frocks up.

What would someone learn about you from looking inside your wardrobe?

I’m not big on colour. I’m very much a black, white, navy kind of gal.

What do you wish you had the nerve to wear?

Sometimes I have the urge to go a bit grunge but I don’t know how to pull it off without looking like a dag. Some people make it look so good and I put it on and I look like I need to go back home and clean the house.

What are your beauty bag essentials? 

I can’t go anywhere without my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for my lips. Especially when travelling. I have a Clinique bronzer that works a treat all over – my décolletage and face etc. I love black eyeliner too.

What foundation do you wear?  

I’m wearing a great Elizabeth Arden one at the moment.

Favourite skincare products? 

I fluctuate all the time. I will use a commercial brand like Clinique and then mix it up with a plant-based product with no additives.

Favourite salon beauty treatment?

An all-over body massage. You come out feeling completely rested and revived.

Biggest beauty blunder?

Plucking my eyebrows until there was barely anything left. With bushy eyebrows back in, I am thankful they grew back.

Best beauty tip you’ve picked up? 

With all the travelling I do, I have a Vitamin-C serum I use on my face. Letting your skin absorb a nice, rich serum on the days you don’t have to wear makeup is a must.

Favourite beauty bargain? 

Bio-Oil.

Favourite fragrance?  

Tom Ford Black Orchid .

Bright Pink Lipstick Day – Fact Box

  • Pink Hope is Australia’s only genetic cancer charity developed to support families who face hereditary cancer. Bright Pink Lipstick Day, launched in 2012, raises money to help high-risk families to be educated, informed and be proactive, ultimately helping them take the right step to reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Pink Hope founder and BRCA1 carrier, Krystal Barter, was 22 when she discovered she had the gene fault that gave her an 85% chance of developing breast cancer and up to 65% of ovarian cancer. Krystal’s mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had all fought breast cancer.
  • In 2009, at age 25 and with two young sons, Krystal had a pre-emptive double mastectomy. Krystal is now a healthy 30-year-old Mum of three children and plans to have her ovarian preventative surgery in 2014 to make a final stand against her family’s cancer curse.
  • In Australia, it’s believed nearly 250,000 men and women carry a hereditary gene that puts them at increased risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.

How You Can Help Raise Money and Awareness 

Bright Pink Lipstick Day is supported by Revlon, who are releasing a limited edition shade called ‘Pink Hope’, on sale in September from Priceline, Target and selected pharmacies. Revlon will donate $25,000 from sales of the limited edition lipstick to Pink Hope.

Gather your girlfriends, pop on your brightest lipstick, pucker up, pout and pose for a good-cause selfie. Share your good work on social media using hashtags #brightpinklipstickday #pinkhopeaus #revlon and make a donation to Pink Hope. For more information on how to donate visit www.pinkhope.org.au

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