Inspiration and Beauty RSS

The Simplicity of Flowers

Nadine Monley - Thursday, September 01, 2016

‘Florals? For spring? Ground-breaking.’ – Miranda Preisly, The Devil Wears Prada

But seriously, who’s going to deny it – it happens every year.

As soon as the sun’s back in action they pop up everywhere; from festivals to weddings, from head dresses to table settings. They not only bring us so much pleasure and joy, but the beautiful scent makes us think of summer... like clockwork they reappear and once again we’re smitten.

This year though, it’s time to put a twist on the old classics. Time to brand out (lol..see what I did there) and do something different.

So here’s our advice, and a bit of inspiration to go with it.

  1. Pick your flowers

Ok ok, this is a big one. Make sure you wear sturdy flowers. Ones with semi thick stem’s so they don’t break, fall or look flimsy within two hours (which we all know happens). A good idea is to check your local florist, see what’s in season and what is available. Who knows, something might pop out at you. 

  1. Choose your event wisely

Like anything, you match what you wear to where you’re going. You make sure you don’t clash with anyone else and make sure you’re dressed appropriately. So if you’re going to a wedding, perhaps wearing a flower crown isn’t the best idea. Why not opt for one, singular statement flower instead? Pin it in your hair or stick it in your up do. Subtle and sophisticated whilst not upstaging the bride.

  1. Try something different

Don’t be boring. Branch out from the classic crown or halo. Or at least, put your own spin on it. Try a halo of green foliage maybe or a crown made out of native flowers? You could wear braids and entwine the flowers or a scarf choker with a big bold flower attached, even entwining flowers into your chain necklace?

Flowers have made such a statement in fashion week shows season after season. Dolce and Gabbana brought out the beauty and simplicity of flowers in the hair a few years ago. It not only looks incredibly beautiful but leaves us being inspired by just something so simple as flowers in the hair, this is what I love the most about fashion, it may only be about a single flower that brings so much beauty.

  1. You don’t need to wear them

Sure the go-to is to wear the trend, but what about bouquets and interiors? Perhaps style your next event with flowers? Table settings and centre pieces are a great way to utilise their vibrant colours and scents to lighten up any room. And lastly, I mean it’s a bit extreme, but you could take inspiration from Dior’s runway show or the ever famous Kim & Kanye wedding flower wall.

Anyhow, as you can see there are a thousand and one ways in which you can incorporate the floral, flower fanaticism into not only your wardrobe but life. Flowers are not only the go-to trend for Spring, they’re a key part in encouraging happiness. And we all know that those who exude happiness, also exude beauty…so go buy some flowers and make yourself pretty!

beauty department loves

Raw Complexions - Such an amazing product

Nadine Monley - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

First things first, what does the concept of beauty mean to you?

The media tells people that physical beauty is everything and if you don't look a certain way that your not beautiful. We disagree with that. Beauty is not something that is defined by everyone else, beauty is defined by ones self. Beauty is accepting your stretch marks, your lumps, your bumps, your flaws and having the confidence to take on the world, feeling chic and luxurious whilst your at it!

What do your own beauty routines involve? What are the key products you swear by and why?

M –  I have a major collection of serums and creams although I swear by vitamin A. Anyone over the age of 25 should be using a vitamin A. It’s so amazing for treating so many different skin conditions such as acne, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles! I use medik 8 3 TR retinol serum every night.

K-  I always make sure to take my makeup off at the end of a day and double cleanse. My favorite product would have to be The Skincare Company's exfoliating serum. It keeps my skin free from congestion and leaves it smooth.

How did you both meet?

It’s actually quite funny; we went to high school with each other but never spoke! Then I (Maddison) started dating Kristina’s brother and we just clicked!

Both your backgrounds as a skin specialist and nutritionist make for a pretty incredible bank of knowledge behind your business. But what were the main reasons you decided to team up and go into business?

We both are so driven and influenced by so many successful women we just always knew we wanted to have our own brand and work for ourselves one day. We both also struggled as we were growing up with our own skin issues ultimately affecting our self-esteem so it was something we really had a passion for. We both also had dealt with so many young girls and women that had no idea where to start with treating their skin and what products to use, we really wanted to create a brand that was accessible for all women and a brand that can give women healthy and clear complexion that doesn’t break the budget.   

Continuing on from this, what are three pieces of advice you would give to those struggling with their skin?

-       ALWAYS double cleanse at night, once to remove makeup and secondly to remove any excess oil and impurities.

-       Always read what’s in your products, do your research!

-       If you can’t afford a whole range of cosmecutical skincare, don’t stress! Start off with slowly incorporating one product at a time. Even introducing one product at a time with active ingredients will turn around your skin in a matter of weeks.

When you both first started in the industry, working in your respective roles, did you realise you were doing anything wrong in terms of skincare and beauty routines?

M – I definitely learnt that it is 80% homecare and 20% treatments. There is no point of having in clinic treatments if you are not prepared to maintain the results at home with quality skincare tailored to your concerns.

K -  -I didn't have much knowledge in the quality of ingredients found in skincare products. I have learnt that reading the ingredients list and knowing what to avoid is exceptionally important.

Do you believe in the nutritional benefits for you skin, through what we eat and drink? (not necessarily through supplements) If so, what are the biggest pieces of advice you can give regarding this?

 Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body's internal needs, including its nutritional needs. When our skin is unhealthy it is usually a reflection of the internal state of our bodies, and is often a sign of poor elimination of toxins and waste products.

How would you do your make-up for the following

M –

Date Night: Bronzed smokey eye, dark brown lip, a little contouring and highlighting

Summer event: light dewy foundation, highlighting, natural tan eye, always mascara

Winter, night out with the girls:  Same as date night!

Work: Natural dewy tinted moisturizer, mascara and a statement lip.


Date Night: ­Red lip with a winged liner

Summer Event:­ Lots of lash and a bright lip

Winter, night out with the girls:­ Smokey eye, heavy contouring  and a nude lip

Work:­ Very natural base (a tinted moisturiser) with a nude lip 

If you had to choose one out of the following, what would it be and why?

M – Mascara!! I have such small lashes and eyes I literally always wear mascara even when I just pop on some tinted moisturizer. I just can’t deal with lash extensions, they irritate my eyes

K - Lipstick­ - I like how versatile it can make you look. Whether work, an event or dinner there is always a color.

Lastly, who or what is your beauty inspiration and why?

M – I am so influenced by Jen Atkin she’s a serious beauty entrepreneur and I love what she has done with her brand. I love how she also is making luxury beauty more accessible for women.

K- My mum is my beauty inspiration. She has always looked after her skin and looks amazing for a 50 year old. She has always taught be the importance of taking care of your skin and to stay out of the sun.


Nikki Philips

Nadine Monley - Monday, June 13, 2016

Nikki Phillips is one of those natural beauties who can do everything…and I mean everything… She has been in the industry for a while now; previously a model and now full time blogger and TV presenter you can’t deny she’s sure got a hell of a lot of experience. Her blog By Phillips offers an intimate insight to the world in which she works, from red carpet events, fashion week and exclusive interviews. So now we’re turning the tables and putting Phillips on the other side. Instead of asking the questions, she’s answering them.

First things first, what does beauty mean to you?

Beauty is what’s beneath. In order to look good on the outside we need to concentrate on within. Maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle shows on the skin.

What are the beauty products you swear by and why?

Cosmedix benefit clean cleanser, The clinic moisturizer and simple paw paw ointment.  I’ve always been a less is more girl, so I don’t down my face in a million products when it comes to my beauty regime. These three products help my skin feel clean, clear and nourished.

What is your go-to beauty look and who is your muse?

My go to beauty look reflects my muse. A classic dewy skinned clean look with a defined brow, lashings of mascara and depending on my day a red lip. So who is my muse? Grace Kelly! She epitomises classic chic and that classic elegance resonates today as loudly as it did decades ago. A true beauty icon and a true inspiration. 

You’ve just been to fashion week and we loved your looks, but what did you learn this week in terms of beauty trends and the next big thing? I saw alot of minimalistic dewy skin, that flawless base is back giving of that “no make up look”. Also trending was the subtle smokey eye in different tones from warm browns to charcoals.

How would you do your make up for the following:

Drinks with the girls – Brow game would be strong, winged eye maybe and a good lip, loving a matte nude currently.

Family BBQ –  To be honest, this would be a no makeup look. If anything mascara, BB cream and lip gloss.

Red carpet -  This is when I call in my makeup guru, Michael Brown. He is my make up artist and has been for a few years now. When will generally pull out my outfit for the night and brain storm a look. We always love to experiment with shades and trends, but always making sure it suits my personality.

Date night – I’m married, so the poor hubby gets me as I am... again this would be a no makeup night. Maybe a red lip and mascara... if we were doing a dinner. My husband is obsessed with the movies, so this is generally date night haha.

What tips can you give for using the following products?

Lipstick – Always use a lip liner, to avoid bleeding.

Eyeliner – Follow the shape of your bottom eye line up, then create a dot. Draw a line from the corner of your eye up to the dot to create the perfect winged liner  ( Refer to my Loreal tutorial for the full video on this tip )

Mascara -  Addicted... the one thing in my bag always. I always curl my lashes first then apply mascara to top and bottom creating a wider eye look.

Bronzer – I am not a huge fan of bronzer... and actually don’t use it personally.

Concealer – Always use under the eye and if those pesky pimples come to visit I also cover them with concealer. Little powder ontop to set also.

Since working in the fashion industry and transitioning from model to personality, has your idea and perception of beauty changed? Absolutely. When I used to model the looks that were being created were out of my hands. You are being a canvas so to speak for your client. Today, I get to be myself, express my style and beauty looks the way I want to. Beauty is extremely personal, which is something I didn’t understand when I was younger.

Has there been anything you now know you were doing wrong? What are three things you’ve learnt since being in the industry? I have always been a firm believer is staying true to yourself. We all make mistakes, it’s about being experimental until you find what fits for you. Beauty comes from within, don’t follow trends but adapt them to suit you.  Every skin type is different so use products the work for you, not because they are the IT product of the moment.

Lastly, what has been your biggest stuff up in regards to beauty? I think it would have been when I was a teenager and eager to try new things. Instead of realising it wasn’t for me, I would just rock it due it being the cool thing to do. Yes I’m talking about that white glitter eyeshadow, followed by that punk rock stage of black panda eyes and yes black eye pencil on the lips.

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