Who would’ve thought water doesn’t moisturize?
Want pearly whites? Read this first.
Will you vajazzle yourself this spring? It’s the season of the fake tan and vajazzling, whereby if you so desire, you can have a sparkly secret in your pants just begging to be celebrated.
Vajazzling, which has taken the US by storm and been popularised by the likes of actor Jennifer Love Hewitt (pictured), is like Mardi Gras for your lady parts. It’s a spring/summer beauty trend which is the act of applying glitter and jewels made from Swarovski crystals to your pubic area.
A portmanteau of the words “vagina” and “bedazzle”, vajazzling is typically performed at a beauty salon. It follows a Brazilian wax treatment, whereby all the hair is removed from your lady garden, and sees crystals applied to your bare pubic area using adhesive.
What’s more, you can go all out and get the pretty crystals applied to other body areas such as your stomach, back, waist, arm, neck and legs.
A typical vajazzle application only lasts a few days; by the time your pubic hair grows back, the vajazzling crystals will have fallen off on their own. Costs vary and some beauty salons still don’t perform the procedure.
A word of warning ladies: the cosmetic adhesives used in vajazzling – not to mention the crystals – may cause skin irritation to your freshly waxed pubic area, already aggravated by the Brazilian wax. In fact, one US obstetrician recently advised women to spend their money on sexy lingerie or a good pair of shoes instead, as they’ll last longer.
So, what do men think of the art of vajazzling? Is it something they’re into?
My husband is not a fan, preferring my lady garden unadorned. “What on earth do you need that for?” he asked ahgast, when I informed him of this spring/summer beauty trend.
Next up, I asked a male friend – another typical blokey bloke – for his thoughts on the topic. The conversation went like this:
Me: “What do you think of vajazzling?”
Me: “What do you think of women adorning their freshly-waxed pubic areas with pretty crystals and glitter?”
Him: “I think that’s kinda weird. Wouldn’t it just get in the way?”
However, as with any beauty trend, women will do as they damn well please. And if a good vajazzling helps a woman feel great about herself this spring/summer and it honours and celebrates her beautiful, private lady parts, who is anyone to judge?
Interestingly, Ella Baché’s national franchise network is able to perform the procedure if so desired, depending on demand, but it’s not something the brand is pushing as a whole. However, the salons do regularly perform Brazilian wax treatments.
“Ella Baché, and the Ella Baché salons, are not against vajazzling – it’s the individual salons’ choice to offer the service,” says Ella Baché national marketing manager Alison Navarrete.
“However, it is not in the overarching menu of salon services, as we are skincare brand offering skincare treatments which are results-driven.”
What do you think? Do you vajazzle?
Images via theisozone.com, miss.at, theglow.com.au
Calling all busy mums! Was the last time you actually had time to yourself when you took a five-minute toilet break? You gotta get yourself pampered in time for Mother’s Day, girlfriend.
I was recently fortunate enough to be able to drop off my two toddlers to their nanna’s and hotfoot it to one of my nearest true luxury day spas: the award-winning Harbour Day Spa at picturesque Raby Bay, Cleveland, located on the western shores of Moreton Bay, about 25km, or a 40 minute drive east-south-east of the Brisbane CBD.
If you’re planning a trip to the “sunshine state”, lock this one in, Eddie! For Harbour Day Spa, which is famed for its excellence in these parts, provides amazing, head-to-toe beauty services for your hair, face and body.
What’s more, it was a prime time to visit it, given Mother’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, May 10 and the salon is celebrating its 11th birthday. If you’re stressed out, never underestimate the power of touch and the amazing healing and rejuvenation that comes from a great day spa treatment or two.
Harbour Day Spa is an opulent, Thai-inspired retreat aimed at providing the ultimate relaxation experience. It offers multiple indulgent treatment rooms, spacious relaxation areas, and a hair salon and make-up artistry. It also prides itself on its “cosmedical” approach to diagnose, treat and solve serious skin concerns and conditions without compromising on relaxation and indulgence.
My divine treatment of choice? The Ultimate Mums Time Out Mother’s Day Package, valued at $250. This saw me enjoy a heavenly tea on arrival (pictured) then 2.5 hours of ultimate bliss, pampering and luxury. In fact, I was so relaxed during the divine treatment, I dozed off several times.
My treatment included:
- A lemon and juniper berry detox foot soak.
- A back cleanse with a green tea and Turkish rose cleanser.
- A back neck and shoulder massage incorporating hot stones (40 minutes).
- A rejuvenating facial (40 minutes).
- A relaxing, warm fig and guava oil scalp massage.
I had a wondrous time – so much so, I didn’t want it to end! And my beauty therapist, who had 15 years experience, was one of the best I’ve ever had. Both knowledgeable and personable, she was also a damn good masseuse.
Luckily for me, there was still some added extras to enjoy: a luxury signature shampoo and blow dry, Curtis Collection make-up touch up and Devonshire tea or glass of bubbles with nibbles. Naturally, I opted for the bubbles and took the opportunity to take in the amazing balcony view at Harbour Day Spa (pictured). Ah, the serenity.
For more information on Mother’s Day packages visit harbourdayspa.com.au.
Images via Trip Advisor and True Local
If I were to ask women about one thing that they would like to change about their bodies, getting rid of some stubborn fat bulges would undoubtedly be among the top three answers. Technically this is achievable through the right diet and exercise, but there are certain areas of our bodies that will never be as flat as we want them to be, mostly due to genetics.
Liposuction is an option to reduce fat, but many people don’t want to go to the extreme of having surgery. As impossible as it sounds, there is a new way to permanently eliminate fat without having to go through surgery and it is still relatively unknown in Australia. It’s called CoolSculpting and it could be the answer to your fitting-into-those-skinny-jeans prayers. CoolSculpting simply freezes fat cells in your body without the use of needles or any other skin penetrating device. But more on that later.
I talked to skin aesthetician Emma Stewardson from world-renowned plastic surgery clinic Silkwood Medical to get all my questions about the seemingly magic machine answered.
So Emma, how does CoolSculpting work?
The CoolSculpting machine cools fat cells down to a temperature which basically causes them to die. However, the temperature is not cold enough to damage any surrounding tissue or nerves, that way only the fat cells are destroyed and gradually removed from our bodies.
What happens when you book a CoolSculpting treatment at Silkwood Medical?
You first come in for a consultation where we explain how CoolSculpting works and then we see if you are a suitable candidate for it. We try to find fat pockets that are easy to pinch and then we do a so-called ‘full transformation plan’ which shows you all areas on your body that would be possible to treat. You can then decide which areas you want to focus on.
On the day of the treatment I advise patients to wear comfortable clothes and the first thing we then do is take 360 degree photos of them, followed by marking up the area that we are going to treat. After that, gel pads are applied and the vacuum is turned on, which sucks the fat in. Depending on the area, we choose different applicators that vary in size and shape.
Lastly, we turn on the cooling and make sure our patient feels comfortable and has everything they need for the duration of the treatment, such as refreshments and entertainment. After the cycle is finished, we remove the vacuum and do a 2-minute massage, which enhances the effectiveness of the fat freezing.
What does it feel like?
Most patients don’t feel any pain, but rather a feeling of pressure, pulling, and mild pinching. This is completely normal as the applicator sucks in the tissue in the targeted area. You will also feel intense cold, but that feeling usually subsides after a few minutes. Overall, it is a comfortable treatment during which you can just lean back and relax. At Silkwood Medical, we will provide you with lots of entertainment such as movies and magazines, or you can work on your laptop or even take a nap if you like.
Does it work on everybody?
In order for CoolSculpting to work on your body, you need to have pinch-able fat pockets. If there is not enough fat, it can’t be sucked into the applicator, but most people have those nasty fat pockets anyway.
When do you see results?
It takes a bit of time for the body to eliminate the dead fat cells. Some people see results after 3 weeks, but the biggest change usually occurs between 8-12 weeks after the treatment.
Are there any side effects or risks?
Prior to the treatment we make sure you are the right candidate and don’t have any health conditions that CoolSculpting could affect. Other than that, your skin might look a bit bruised and swollen at first in the area that was treated and it might feel itchy for a few days, but that’s all. There is no downtime.
Is the fat gone for good?
Yes. Basically, your fat cells can either expand or shrink. With CoolSculpting, you are killing fat cells which are then eliminated. Of course you can still put on weight, but it will be much more evenly instead of just in that one area. So you can maintain a balanced body shape more easily.
CoolSculpting was developed by Harvard University scientists who noticed that some children who were eating popsicles all of a sudden had dimples on their cheeks, which lead them to the revelation that cold temperatures affect fat cells. But don’t just jump into a bath full of ice water, it doesn’t work like that.
Here are some stats: 92 per cent of patients who had just one CoolSculpting treatment noticed a reduction of fat in the treated area and 8 out of 10 patients plan to refer friends or family members. Not bad, not bad.
I have to say, it sounds pretty amazing and the results speak for themselves as you can see in the before and after pictures below. As any cosmetic treatment, it doesn’t come cheap (prices start from $990 for one cycle – still much cheaper than liposuction or a pair of Manolo Blahniks) and is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, but it is fantastic to have an alternative to surgery.
Would you try a facial treatment which promises to fight signs of anti-ageing, is full of antioxidants and will give your skin a youthful glow? Of course! Now would you still try it if we told you it was done purely by a snail? Snail facials have been used for years in Japan since they are packed with antioxidants, anti-bacteria properties and will even make your skin feel soft and smooth.
What is a snail facial?
A snail facial is a beauty treatment whereby the dermatologist or consultant places 2-3 snails simultaneously on the forehead cheeks and chin for 20 minutes at a time. Snails emit a mucus which has been found to be very beneficial to the human skin – with promises of reduced lines and wrinkles, and overall healthy skin. The trained snail facialists manoeuvre the snails, and keep them away from the nostrils, eyes and mouth making this treatment extremely safe.
How does it work?
The mucus from the snail is packed with antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and cleanses the skin with it’s anti-bacterial properties. Although the sensation is often strange for the patient, they are encourage to sit back and relax during the facial – not moving too suddenly.
Where are the snails sourced?
Most snails are farmed for the specialised treatment, and are fed organic food and vegetable matter so they are as pure as possible. Once snails are used on a client, they are given at least 4 days of rest before they can be used again. After the treatment, snails are separated from the others to avoid the chances of exchanging bacteria or even cross contamination.
How to prepare for the facial
Clients are encouraged to arrive to the facial makeup and skincare-free, since this is the best way to have a successful treatment. This treatment is also very beneficial for those who suffer from various skin treatments as well as acne, since the mucus holds various antibacterial properties and hyaluronic acid which is used in skin primers.
The cost of treatments can vary, but your average snail facial will cost an upwards of $200 just for the snail itself.
Would you ever try a snail facial?
Image via YouTube
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I often applied a face mask which included toxic white lead as an ingredient? Or that the Ancient Romans believed that gladiator sweat could create a glowing complexion?
Weird, right? Well you may be surprised to learn that the 21st century has some totally bizarre anti-ageing beauty treatments all of its own.
We look at 3 anti-ageing beauty treatments that might freak you out – but actually work!
Yes, you heard right. Snail cream has been big in Korea for several years, but it’s taken the likes of celebrity Katie Holmes to get products infused with snail filtrate flying off the shelves in the West.
When we talk about snail cream, we’re talking about products made from snail filtrate or mucin. You know, the glittery trail your good friend the garden snail leaves behind. The creams also tend to be formulated with other skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E.
Rumour has it that snail filtrate’s efficacy was first discovered by Chinese snail farmers, who found that handling the snails made their skin heal quickly and minimised scarring.
Snail cream is marketed as a product that can fade scarring, fight acne, moisturise skin and even fight the signs of ageing. If you’re feeling brave, you can even opt for a snail facial!
How does it work?
Snail filtrate contains allatoin, which promotes tissue growth; glycolic acid, which breaks down dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and dullness; hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to maintain moisture and; collagen, which strengthens the skin and protects it from environmental toxins.
Interested? Try Tony Moly’s Intense Care Snail Cream Set.
Again with the creepy crawlies? Not quite. SYN-ake cream isn’t actually made from snakes, nor will it give you scaly skin (phew!). Instead, it contains a synthetic peptide that mimics the effects of a polypepetide found in the Malaysian Temple Viper’s venom.
While SYN-ake anti-aging cream is a fairly new skin care innovation, it already boasts celebrity fans such as Jennifer Lopez and has been hailed by users as ‘Botox in a bottle’.
Studies have found that ongoing usage can significantly decrease the appearance of crow’s feet and expression lines on the forehead without the dangers of more drastic treatments.
How does it work?
SYN-ake cream works in a similar fashion to Botox, by blocking nerve receptors to keep your facial muscles relaxed. When the SYN-ake peptide freezes the tissue beneath a wrinkle, the paralysed muscle allows the wrinkle to relax, creating a ‘smoothed out’ appearance.
Interested? Try Secret Key Syn-ake Wrinkle & Whitening Cream.
Sheep Placenta Facial
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, let’s talk about the bizarre Sheep Placenta Facial that’s rapidly gaining popularity. Victoria Beckham and music mogul Simon Cowell are converts to the treatment, which has been touted as a less drastic solution to a conventional face lift.
The treatment was devised by Harley Street doctor, Dr Roberto Viel and can cost around £600 ($1,000) for results that last up to 5 months.
The Sheep Placenta Facial, also known as Actistem, involves applying an anaesthetic cream to the patient’s face before rolling a dermaroller across the skin to stimulate blood flow. Then, sheep placenta (in a viscous liquid form) is massaged onto each area of the face. The process is repeated three times for each portion of the face.
Patients are then told to keep their skin dry for the following 12 hours and to expect a visible improvement in skin texture within 3 days.
How does it work?
Just like snail cream, the Sheep Placenta Facial aims to promote the body’s production of collagen to fight the signs of ageing. According to Dr. Viel, the placenta treatment achieves this by harnessing the restorative power of sheep stem cells. These stem cells (present in the proteins contained in the placenta) rebuild the patient’s skin cells and fibroblasts, which build up elastin and collagen to increase skin firmness and plump up its appearance.
Interested? Sheep placenta facials are still catching on in Australia. In the meantime, you can check out this cream option from Healthy Care.
It’s amazing what people will put on their faces to stave off old age. However, with preliminary research showing that these three anti-ageing beauty treatments get results, they make an excellent choice for people who are feeling their years but aren’t quite ready (or comfortable) to go under the knife.
Would you try a weird skin treatment like a snail facial?
Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.
To some of you this might seem like a trivial admission but to me it?s been a long time coming. Let me explain. I am one of those beachy-types, never played with dolls, doesn?t wear much make up (OK, if at all), prefers sand shoes to stilettos and is NOT a beauty therapist devotee.But for my 35th birthday a couple of girlfriends decided it was high time I was indoctrinated into the secret world of beauty treatments. I was dragged along to the salon and proudly announced in the very quiet palatial reception area ? ?No I have never had a facial treatment before.? After the gasps and the attempted cover up of ?Oh you poor girl?, I was led by a young thing (with flawless skin) called Jasmine to a room and told to take everything off but my underpants! Thank goodness I wasn?t wearing my scungy old cottontails that day!
My first thought was ?if I?m just having a facial why do I have to undress??
Jasmine then proceeded to explain to me very carefully what secret women?s rituals she was about to perform on me and why. It all sounded pretty straightforward to me. Little did I know the pleasure was that about to begin. For the next hour and a half Jasmine slowly became my new best friend. She rubbed, scrubbed and massaged my face, neck, shoulders and scalp till I was so relaxed she could have made me agree to anything. Just when I was sinking into that really deep relaxed state, she leaned over and whispered to me ?Brigette will join us know to do your feet?. By now I thought, ?OK, do whatever you want to me!? But nothing prepared me for this orgasmic added treat. As Jasmine massaged down the whole length of my back with exotic smelling oils, Brigette massaged the soles of my poor, hardly ever touched feet! I felt like I was in a threesome! (OK, what I imagine it would be like to be in a threesome!) My brain didn?t know which pleasure receptors to listen to ? my feet or my head. Oh joy! Oh bliss! Can I stay in this warm, yummy smelling, relaxing, safe environment forever? Do you think that must be what babies feel in the womb?
By this time, my brain really kicked in with the shocking realisation that I had been missing out all this time on the joys of beauty treatments. Once I got past remonstrating with myself for being so foolish to deny myself for the last decade, I really began to enjoy myself as my fellow sisters have been for years and years.
So now I am addicted, I have left my tomboy past behind and joined in the devoted beauty therapist following and I am a true believer! Yes of course I immediately booked in again for another session in three weeks time and look forward to handing over my $100 for the best hour and half of each month!
One thing I didn?t understand though – why didn?t one of you chicks tell me how great facials are?
By Ruby Harris