What Is Macular Degeneration?

This year, Specsavers is helping to raise funds for the Macular Disease Foundation Australia as part of its Specsavers Community Program. Starting from June 1, 2014 a number of Specsavers stores will be switching their Specsavers Community Program local charity box to the Foundation for one month. Every pair of glasses sold during June, means a donation to the Macular Disease Foundation Australia or The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Optometrist and professional services director at Specsavers Peter Larsen revealed what macular degeneration is and why it’s important to recognise the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Macular Degeneration (MD) is the name given to a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive, painless loss of central vision, affecting the ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in reading or doing any other activity which requires fine vision
  • Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
  • Dark patches or empty spaces appearing in the centre of your vision

Who is most at risk?

Macular degeneration is primarily age related, affecting one in seven people over the age of 50, in Australia. People with a family history of macular degeneration have a 50 per cent chance of developing the disease as-well as smokers and people that have smoked, who are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration.

How can it be detected? Does this have to be done by an optometrist or GP?

It is recommended you have an eye test with an optometrist every two years for the early detection of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Specsavers offer free digital retinal photography with every standard eye test which can help detect eye health conditions such as macular degeneration. Digital retinal photography uses sophisticated equipment to produce a high-resolution photograph of your retina, optic nerve and blood vessels. This technology allows optometrists to screen for abnormalities which can help with the early detection of diseases, including macular degeneration. If any abnormalities are detected, your local optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist to help diagnose or treat macular degeneration.


If macular degeneration is diagnosed, what is the treatment?

There are two types of macular degeneration – dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is a slower form of the disease, causing gradual loss of vision. Dry macular degeneration does not cause sudden vision loss or distortion. If you know you have dry macular degeneration and you experience any sudden change in vision, then it is likely that you have developed the ‘wet’ form. It is critical that you see your eye care professional immediately.

Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels leak fluid and blood into the retina, leading to scarring and loss of vision. When left undetected or untreated, rapid and severe loss of central vision can occur within a short period of time.

Can it be cured or reversed?

Currently there are no medical treatments available for dry macular degeneration, however a substantial amount of research is being conducted to find a treatment. There are a number of medical treatments available for wet macular degeneration. These treatments do not cure the disease but aim to stabilise and maintain the best vision for as long as possible. In some people, treatment can improve vision.

To slow or stop this process, various drugs that block this protein (called anti-VEGFs) may be injected into the eye. Clinical trials have shown that the use of anti-VEGF drugs maintains vision in the vast majority of wet macular degeneration patients. For both dry and wet macular degeneration, diet and lifestyle changes may also slow down the progression of the disease. Wet macular degeneration can be treated if caught early which is why Specsavers optometrists stress the importance of having an eye test every two years.

Any other details you’d like to add regarding Macular Degeneration Awareness Week?

I recommend every Australian at risk – those over 50, with a direct family history and smokers – should take charge of their eye health this Macular Degeneration Awareness Week by having an eye test. It’s important to have a regular eye test every two years, as some serious eye conditions, like macular degeneration, do not always have obvious warning signs. In its early stages, macular degeneration can go unnoticed, so it’s really important to raise awareness so that those Australians at risk can have their eyes tested and catch the disease early.

Selected Specsavers stores in Australia are proud to be raising funds for the Macular Disease Foundation Australia as part of the Specsavers Community Program. Click here for more information.

May 29, 2014

5 Celebrity Hairstyles You Can Do in 5 Minutes or Less

Who has time to style their hair every  morning? Luckily, these five celebrity hairstyles are easy to do, look amazing and only take a few minutes to put together.

Sienna Miller’s half updo
If you can’t decide between wearing your hair loose or in a hair up style, the answer is: a half undo, a sophisticated style that looks beautiful yet only takes a minute or two to style. Medium to long hair lengths look the best in this style. To achieve the half updo, flip your hair upside down and spray the roots with hairspray for some lift. Then, take a few sections of hair around the crown, and braid or twist them into a loose bun to secure. The final result is a feminine style that will show off your best features. jenniferlawrencehair

Jennifer Lawrence’s pixie hairstyle
When Jennifer chopped off her mane last year because it was in the “icky awkward stage”, she went from girl-next-door to style icon. The feminine pixie cut looks amazing on Lawrence and shows off her spectacular blue eyes and luminous skin. A lot of women might be scared of getting the big chop, but rest assured that a pixie cut is surprisingly flattering and only takes seconds to style. To get this look, simply run a little hair texturising lotion through your hair after you shower and smooth it down with a blow dryer so the ends are set.


Rose Byrne’s easy side ponytail
A side ponytail is one of the easiest hairstyles to do, yet it’s perfect for any occasion. This hairstyle looks particularly great on girls with straight or curly hair. To achieve this look, run some curl smoothing cream through your tresses to enhance the curl pattern and reduce any frizz. If you have straight hair, use a large curling barrel to add some volume (don’t forget to use a heat protectant spray). Finally, brush your hair to the side and secure with a hair tie. The side ponytail looks great a little messy, so tease the ponytail for added volume.


Kate Bosworth’s high topknot
Show off killer cheekbones with a sophisticated top knot. This is one of the most popular celebrity hairstyles, and is great for elegant occasions because it highlights and lengthens your neck so that all eyes turn on you. The topknot works best on girls with straight hair because it’s easier to gather into a high ponytail. The first step is to gather your hair as high as possible. Then, use a hair donut to add body and secure. Finish with a light mist of hairspray to tame any flyways.


Taylor Swift curls
Who doesn’t love big, bouncy curls? However, curling hair can be gruelling and it takes an eternity. Plus, the heat from your curling iron can be damaging and result in breakage. Luckily there’s an easy way to curl the hair with less time and damage, and you’ll only need a headband. Headband curls only take five minutes to do, and it can be done in your sleep – literally. To achieve sexy curls, place a headband around your hair. Then, simply twirl the hair into the band and go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, release the headband and the curls will fall loose. Avoid brushing the curls because they will lose the curl pattern and become waves.

Which celebrity hairstyle would you like to recreate at home?

January 28, 2014

Your New Go-To 5-Minute Morning Makeup Routine

Getting ready for the day is never easy, so who has time for a complicated makeup routine? If you’re like me, you don’t. It’s wake-check emails-shower-grumble-throw something on-run out the door-get frustrated that you forgot breakfast again.

So how do you get yourself presentable in just a few precious morning minutes? Follow our 5-minute morning makeup routine and makeup tips and you’ll be surprised how polished, confident and fresh you’ll feel.

1. Splash your face with cold water
Get your day revved up with a clean start. After cleansing, splash your face with cold water to invigorate the skin and close the pores. Then use a gentle toner to sweep away any residual makeup or dirt. We love Adrien Arpel’s Lemon Lime Freshener or Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner (one of our favourite cheap and cheerful pharmacy buys). Now your face is clean and fresh as an empty canvas ready for a quick  makeup.


2. Skip the foundation – concealer is best
Most women cake their skin in foundation when they don’t even need it. Instead, just dot concealer over any blemishes, dark circles or scars and your face is done. We love Youngblood Ultimate Concealer – it comes in a stack of colours and is the perfect texture.


3. Eyes
No one has time for complicated eye makeup in the morning. Skip the eye shadow, and go for eyeliner and mascara. Line the upper lash line – we love MAC Eye Khol and Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner. Extending the line out slightly, not quite a cat eye, will make your eyes pop. Finish with two coats of your favourite black mascara on your top lashes only. Brush your brows into place or fill in any gaps with Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows.

Leaving the shadow out and going with just eye liner and mascara leaves you looking fresh-faced and younger. You may never use shadow again!


4. Cheeks
A pop of colour on the cheeks instantly pulls your whole look together. Sweeping a soft rose blush or bronzer over the cheeks creates dimension to the face and adds a happy flush.. Our go-to blush for day is Youngblood Crushed Mineral Blush in Plumberry or Sherbet. A natural lip colour also doubles as a great creamy blush, just dot on the apples of your cheeks and blend.

youngbloodblush5. Lips
Finish your orange juice, kiss your baby/husband/dog and then set those lips! Fill in lips with your favourite natural lip colour – Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Matte Lip Color comes in a range of your-lips-but-better nudes, soft pinks and warm rose that is perfect for day. Don’t forget your lip balm for your handbag.


Now you’re looking even more gorgeous and ready to face the world!

What are your favourite morning makeup beauty products?

January 21, 2014

Get the Look: Julia Roberts’ Radiant Makeup

Julia Roberts was absolutely radiant at the August: Osage County premiere last week, pairing her electric blue mini dress with a subtle smokey eye and rosy lip. Here’s how celebrity makeup artist Geneveive Herr created the look with some easy makeup tips for recreating the look at home.

Genevieve used Lancôme Teint Miracle on Julia’s skin to create an even, radiant base.

She then used Lancome Blush Subtil in Rose Fresque on the cheeks for a natural, rosy flush.

For Julia’s subtle smokey eye, Genevieve used Lancôme Color Design Doll Lashes Edition Eye Brightening All-In-One 5 Shadow & Liner Palette in Violet Sweetheart.

She finished with several coats of Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara in Black on the lashes.

Genevieve mixed two lip colours for Julia’s pretty lips: Lancôme Rouge in Love in Sweet Embrace and Delicate Laceand Lancôme Le Lipstique Lip Colouring Stick with Brush in Bronzelle. This is one of our favourite makeup tips for creating a unique lip colour.

Are you a fan of Julia Roberts’ August: Osage County premiere makeup?

December 17, 2013

6 Ways To Look Instantly Glam This Summer

Hot, blistering summertime sun, dry skin, long days…welcome to summer! It’s safe to say many of us wake up with with dry, dehydrated skin, or a dreary hangover from one-too-many cocktails with friends. And yet this is the time of year when we should be looking our best!

Kristy Probst, owner of leading makeup artistry service Instaglam, shares her expert beauty and makeup tips on how to look and feel instantly glam this summer.

1.  Splash your face with cold water
This will not only help to wake you up, but cold water assists in reducing swelling of the eyes and face, and tightens the pores.

2.  Prime, prime, prime!
Gently smear primer over the face before applying any makeup. Primer fills every crease and crevice in the face, making the surface silky smooth. It is also great for evening out the skin tone. Makeup lasts longer and stays fresh for extended periods of time with primer.

3.  Conceal dark blemishes
Apply concealer onto any spots, dark blemishes or under-eye bags. Spread it evenly on the affected area, but not around it. Remember to choose a concealer that either matches your skin colour or is a shade lighter. This will assist in hiding any problem areas.

4.  Apply a light foundation or tinted moisturiser
The best way to feel fresh and glam is by using as little foundation as possible! A small dab of light foundation or tinted moisturiser is sufficient, and proceed to spread this over your face to aid in smoothing out the skin tone, making sure that the colour on your face is the same colour as your neck.

5.  Add lipgloss
For the fresh summer look it is best to go with lip-gloss in a clear, light pink, brown or bronze tone. Lip-gloss always adds to the ‘glam’ factor and will make you feel polished.

6.  Tie your hair up into a soft bun or braid
Summer is all about the sexy, casual, effortless style. A soft bun or braid is the perfect accent to a fresh and dewy summer look.

What are your secret beauty and makeup tips for looking glam in summer?

December 9, 2013

Get the Look: Amy Adams’ American Hustle Premiere Makeup

Amy Adams looked pretty and polished at the American Hustle L.A. premiere last week, with flawless skin, defined eyes and classic rosy lips – the perfect beauty look for holiday parties this summer. Here’s how celebrity makeup artist Stephen Sollitto for Laura Mercier created the look, with some easy makeup tips to get Amy’s radiant look.

Stephen started by moisturising Amy’s skin using using RéVive Sensitif Renewal Cream Daily Cellular Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen.

Next, he applied Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Hydrating all over Amy’s face. This is a makeup artist favourite for creating a flawless base which keeps your makeup looking dewy and fresh all day and night.

He followed with a product he recommends to everyone: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Natural, which covers any imperfections but allows your skin to shine through.

For Amy’s natural flush, Stephen used Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Praline to “warm her skin” and create a “perfect, neutral cheek.”

The focus of this look was all about the eyes, so Stephen starting by applying Laura Mercier Sequin Eye Colour in Twinkling Star, followed by Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Twilight on her upper and lower lash line and all over her eyelid. When your look is all about the eyes, your best makeup tips are to blend, blend, blend with a soft eyeshadow blend brush, and always start off with a light hand, step back and apply more only if needed.

He lined Amy’s upper and lower lash line using Laura Mercier Graphic Liquid Eyeliner. He then brushed Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner in Gunmetal Smoke, all over the eyelid, softening the dark tone of the eyeliner.

To achieve Amy’s luminous eye sparkle, apply a stroke of Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Crystal Fantasy to the inner corners of the eyes.

He finished with one of our favourite mascaras, Dior Diorshow Blackout Mascara to her upper and lower lashes.

Stephen applied Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour in Café for Amy’s classic rosy lip polish.

What do you think of Amy Adams’ pretty makeup?



December 8, 2013

Your Guide To Classic Makeup Styles

Makeup styles might change, but some looks will always be universally popular. We break down classic makeup styles for ever occasion, from evening makeup to bridal makeup.

The natural look
This makeup style is perfect for women who just want to cover a few blemishes and lightly enhance their natural features. Natural is always beautiful, so why transform the way you look? Simple enhancements for that ‘just you but better’ look include a dab of concealer under the eyes, clear lip gloss, a sweep of rosy blush, or one coat of mascara.


Evening makeup
If you’re going out to a bar, club or dinner you’ll likely want to glam yourself up a bit more than you do in the day time. Take the challenge and try a bold and sexy makeup style for nighttime. We love a smokey eye with cherry or deep red lipstick like on Milla Jovovich, or softer eyes paired with a  vibrant coral lipstick.


Bridal makeup
Bridal makeup is often soft and natural to compliment the beauty and sophistication of a bridal gown. Popular bridal looks include soft eye makeup, nude lips and a pop of cheek colour, which looks good on everybody, or a soft smokey eyes with a light rose lipstick. If you’re considering a less traditional look, try a bold lip – it looks amazing in photos!


Anti ageing makeup
You can actually use makeup as an anti ageing tool. There are lots of makeup products on the markets that contain anti ageing ingredients that not only enhance your features but reduce the appearance of wrinkles and create a more balanced skin tone. Look for products like BB and CC creams that hide imperfections, ad radiance and bring out your natural beauty. Our favourite anti ageing beauty tip? Use a lip gloss over your lipstick (or alone) to make your lips like fuller and soften the fine lines around your mouth. And remember less is more with mature skin, so apply makeup with a lighter hand.


Celebrity makeup
Celebrities are always on the cutting edge of makeup styles, and the red carpet is a great source of inspiration for new makeup looks. Look to celebrities with similar skin tones, hair or face shapes.


Glowing, tanned skin
Tanned skin looks good on most people, giving you a natural radiance, but you can always fake an afternoon in the sun by using a tinted moisturiser, bronzer or fake tan products. Finish with a hint of luminiser to get your glow on.

July 19, 2013

How to Make Your Eyes Stand Out?

When you’re making your eyes stand out there are some rules you have to remember.


  • Groom Your Brows: The first thing you have to do if you want big sexy eyes is to groom those brows. Don’t muck around with this. Go to a beautician if you haven’t already had your brows shaped.
  • Your skin around your eyes tends to be darker and uneven. Use a thin coat of concealer – one shade lighter than your skintone – under your eyes and on your lids to make it look balanced. I suggest Yves Saint Laurent: Touche Eclat Radiant Touch.
  • Use a highlighter to dab on your browbones. Then apply a light-coloured shadow from your lash-lines up to the high lighter with a brush. Blend them so you don’t notice any lines.
  • Now apply Kenya Eye Intensifier Pencil by Sue Devitt along the base of your upper lashes but make it as thin as possible. Grab an eye-lash curler before you apply a coat of black mascara. While mascara is still damp, separate lashes with an eyelash comb. Voila! Your eyes will look bigger and sexier than ever before. I suggest to use Maybelline Full n’Soft mascara in Very Black.


For more great beauty advice click here!

September 2, 2000