Friday, 26 July 2013

How to clean your makeup brushes

Affordably, hygienically and efficiently

So. It's that time again. Time to clean my brushes. For those of you following my Instagram (@kattrap93 see link to the left) you will have already heard the news and seen live update pics of the brush cleaning process. As a makeup artist his HAS to be one of the most mediocre parts of the job... No fun. I often have people at Mary Kay parties and makeup job clients and just friends in general ask me how to clean their brushes. Obviously this is very important, especially as a makeup artist because you need to ensure that you are not going to be spreading any nasty germs!!! This blog post is going to go through with you how I clean my brushes and the products i use in doing so with the I intention Of answering some questions and helping you guys out.

You will need:


Your brushes

Shampoo and conditioner... Yes you heard me!!

Artiste Brush cleaner... This stuff is magic it sanitizes, kills germs and bleeds all the colour out of the brush between makeup jobs when you don't have time for a full clean!!!! Available at Priceline for $10

Paper towel- and LOTS of it!!

Fresh air a. So the powerful antiseptic smell doesn't knock you out b. so the breeze can hasten the drying process!

Your going to want to set yourself up with a workspace (i use the vanity in the bathroom, close to tap and running water access) and allocate about an hour (more or less depending on the number of brushes you own/need to clean) for this activity.

create two half meter long trains of paper towel ( I place one on either side of the basin to avoid confusion) the train to your left is going to be used for bleeding the pigment and left over colour out of your brushes and the train to the right is going to be used to lay down your brushes for drying. 

For each brush, and yes you need to do the each individually, you will first want to spray soak it with your artiste brush cleaner and then wipe the brush on your left paper towel and watch as all the leftover colour bleeds out of your brush. It's magic, I'm telling you go invest in this product you won't regret it!!

Then fill the basin with hot to boiling water (great for killing germs) and soak the bristles your brush but be sure not to get the ferrule wet as this will overtime cause the brush to shed and fall apart. I will insert a picture below demonstrating the anatomy of a makeup brush. Remember to only work with and wet the bristles in this procedure that is vitally important to ensure the longevity of your brushes!

Then get some shampoo (any brand will do, I use Herbal Essence simply because that's what I use in the shower for my own hair and so have laying around) and cleanse your brushes bristles just as you would your hair until you see no more product coming out of the brush.

Then use conditioner (now the reason shampoo and conditioner works so well in cleaning your makeup brushes bristles is because makeup brushes are often natural hair!! It makes sense when you think about it doesn't it! Shampoo and conditioner even work great with synthetic bristles!

Finally, rinse your brushes squeky clean and squeeze all the remaining water out of them and place them on your right hand paper towel train to dry for 24 hours, closest to a window is best and will ensure fastest drying time!

As a makeup artist and a Mary Kay consultant I have found this brush cleansing technique to be hygienic and effective. And furthermore it's inexpensive and simply uses products (minus the brush cleaner) that are lying around the house.

Happy cleaning!!

Katrina xx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Health Benefits of Almonds

Recently I have become ADDICTED to nuts!!!!! Namely, Almonds!

You can pick up a packet of what must be hundreds at Woolies. And they have become such a healthy snack alternative for me throughout the day. After reading Jessica Alba's health book, reviewed on my blog in an earlier post, I have been limiting the amount of refined sugar in my diet. As I am growing up and am almost a full adult now (haha... What?) my mum passed down one of the tricks of her trade to me in a quiet conversation about becoming a housewife (which I secretly hope is very soon!!!!). She said 'Katrina, in your diet you can allow yourself one square of chocolate per shirt you iron' - hahahaha. That was her little trick to encourage and motivate herself to get the ironing done as a you g newlywed! How funny is that!

Anyway I have found this has greatly limited my sugar cravings as chocolate must have been triggering them quite substantially for me. Because I do little to zero ironing haha you can see I haven't been eating much chocolate haha! And chocolate was my number one source of refined sugar in my diet. It has been a great health move for me haha wise mum wise.

So I have been substituting my chocolate intake for ALMONDS- glorious almonds! I have become somewhat addicted! Everyday this week for lunch I have had a mandarin and a handful of almonds... Yum!

I thought I would do some research into the benefits of almonds and came across the following:
1.  Almonds strengthen bones- woohoo no limbs will be falling off Katrina anytime soon!
2. They assist brain function; increase alertness and just general brain performance
3. They nourish the nervous system which helps improve clarity of thought, longevity and again strengthens brain function

So all in all, almonds were a much better choice than chocolate to begin with!!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How to identify Natural, Heathy and Toxin-free Makeup

All cosmetics need to be synthetic fragrance free because these are manufactured fragrances from who knows what chemicals mixed to make that smell! Synthetic Fragrances also contain PHTHALATES which are toxins that keep the scent fresh but cause damage to reproductive health and disrupt the natural balance of our hormones

Powder foundations need to be talc free and 100% pure minerals for optimum health results.

Check your concealer, mascara, fake tan and conditioner for dishonest ingredients tea (triethanolamine) and dea ( diethanolamine). These two ingredients create a chemical reaction with particular other cosmetic ingredients to produce the cancer-causing compound, nitrosamines. Need I say more.

Check your mascara for mercury. It's one of the only toxins the government has actually legislated against its use in beauty products; which should be a pretty clear indication as to the health risk it poses! It is used as a preservative to prevent bacteria growth which is all well and good until its neurotoxin property's get easily absorbed into your body and start accumulating, a common feature of mercury. 

In lip products you need to avoid any lipstick of product that contains lead. The more unnatural and vibrant the colour, such as a bright red, the higher the chance of it containing lead. Lead is a harmful neurotoxin that can play a role in the development of learning disabilities, autism and other neurological problems for babies and children. It can also penetrate a developing fetus so it is of utmost importance if pregnant to avoid this dishonest ingredient. 

Nail polishes can contain the dishonest ingredient of toluene. As your polish dries toluene evaporates into the air for you, your manicurist and anybody around you to breathe in. Not only can this cause irritation of the nose, throat and eyes as well as headaches and dizziness but also is toxic to the liver and kidneys and can cause harm to reproductive health. Another big miss for pregnant women. 

You also need to check your nail polish (as well as your eyelash glue, shampoo and hair products and body wash) for formaldehyde. It is dishonestly used to make hair and nails silky and prevent bacteria growth. However, not only can it trigger respiratory issues, t
Allergic reactions and asthma but also chronic, long term use is known to contain ute to cancer.

Be cautious with your self tanner, fake tan, gradual building tan etc. they may contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is known to alter DNA and cause genetic modification! That is just shouting risk of cancer, cancer, CANCER!

This article goes through the theory of what to avoid. My next article will dig deep into the application of this going, through my very own MUA kit showing you what products and brands are safe and which ones to avoid!!!

This article is not meant to scare you but instead to EMPOWER you with a heightened awareness as to ingredients to steer clear from to ensure good health :)

Good luck healthy shopping friends!! 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The UGLY truth about Nail Polish!!

If you like me have been a girly girl since age three, dressing up in mummys jewellery, smothering her lipstick all over your face and painting your incy bitcy nails then you too are in for a shock from my most recent research findings!!!

Heres me, Baby Katrina, looking swish dressed up in my mummies goodies!! Many a time i enjoyed a good dress up and makeup believe play and im sure if your a mummy you would experience similar moments with your cheeky little bub! Thats why I was so alarmed to learn that nail polish (which many young ones play with, not to mention the countless adults who apply this substance everyday around the world!!!) CAN commonly contain toxic chemicals!!

EW! Yuck! And to think as consumers we are so trusting of big corporations to be providing us only with safe and tested products which are NOT going to bring harm to us long term or short term!!

In 2006 a study emerged exposing the ugly truth about nail polish and whats actually in them and the effect in can have on our (and even more so any little ones exposed to the smell of the polishes!) health! THREE toxic compounds were found to be included in almost all of the nail polishes on the market back then and a health law was passed in the states that required those brands to either remove those toxic chemicals (Formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate [commonly reffered to as DBP]). The world thought we had the whole toxic nail polish thing under control until in 2011 the California Environmental Protextion Agency conducted random testing on polishes used in Salons and found that 10 out of 12 polishes that claimed to not have any of the "toxic-trio" (As they came to be known) actually did!!! LIES! This makes me so mad! A. There is little to no regulation and enforcement of health laws when it comes to the consumerist market and B. all of those brands prioritised their own stinkin profit above the health and safety of its users!

So as a consumer i URGE you to do the checking and research yourself, because you simply cannot trust the claims that brands make. Very sad. Check the ingredients of your beauty products before you purchase them to ensure they have no dishonest, harmful chemicals in their ingredients list. And make yourself aware as to what these dishonest ingredients are so that you can make informed decisions when shopping!

I will list below the three TOXIC compounds that you need to avoid and WHY it is so important that you do/health risks associated!

Toluene is found in nail polish, nail strengtheners and cuticle treatments. It is used to form a smooth finish and suspend particles throughout your colour. HOWEVER, as your polish dries this substance evaporates and is breathed in by yourself, your manicurist and any children around is toxic to your health. Not only can breathing this chemical in cause irritation of the nose, throat and eyes but also the chemical is toxic to your kidney and liver and poses serious risks to your reproductive health (The issue i am most concerned about being just 20 with a whole life ahead of me!!!!). Pregenant women in particular need to avoid this chemical at ALL COSTS!

Secondly, Formaldehyde has been used in nail polishes to strengthen nails, fight bacteria and give nails that silky finish. BUT IS A HIGHLY TOXIC CHEMICAL THAT YOU NEED TO AVOID! This ingredient can not only trigger irritation and respitory issues but also can cause cancer over long term chronic use!! EW! Need i say more about its dangers!?


Lastly, DBP is used as a disinfectant to prevent bacteria growth BUT instead poses a similar threat to the aforementioned chemicals in that it can cause cancer over long term chronic exposure and also poses a risk to a womans reproductive health. Not good.

So i urge you as a consumer to check your nail polishes are Toxic Trio FREE. Most should brand this on themselves somewhere quite clearly. This morning i was painting my nails with Butter London and read that on the back they had reformulated and are now free of those three toxins. Butter London gets a big tick in my books.

And i was reading on the OPI website just this morning, in research for this article, that they too are TOXIC TRIO FREE. Prior to 2006 they do admit to having used torleune and DBP, however never formaldehyde. But have since reformulated to eliminate all three substances from their polishes.

However i could not find a press release (Dont rely on second of third hand reports such as blogs, even please go double check my findings, go straight to the company itself to determine whether they are truly toxic trio free or not) for China Glaze or Revlon Polishes... sketchy.

So at the end of the day i personally am going to stick to Butter London and OPI as a rule of thumb. They have brilliantly diverse colour ranges and the formulations are beautiful... and SAFE!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Author of international healthy living self help book is a chain smoker. Ironic. Updated thoughts on Jessica Alba's book "The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to you"

Yesterday, I excitedly typed up a raving book review on a book I am currently enjoying and reading, Jessica Alba's new text "The Honest Life". 


Read my aforementioned blog post to find out my positive thoughts on this book. In brief, I think Jessica has done a wonderful job in promoting a healthy lifestyle and inspiring readers to take up use of more natural, organic products. The book definitely heightened my awareness as to the many chemicals and toxins that enter our bloodstream from simply everyday products such as toothpaste, lotions, makeup and from the foods we eat and their agricultural origins.

The text places a special focus on protecting our bubbas from these harmful toxins and ensuring that they are exposed only to the CLEANEST, purest substances. This includes changing out items such as your child's shampoo and conditioner and monitoring the ingredients and the origin of the foods they eat. 

Jessica is careful not to judge. In fact she makes it very clear from the beginning of her text that she wants to be relatable and down to earth. She doesn't seek to provide lists of right and wrong and force her own beliefs on others she simply wishes to extend our choices and raise awareness. Noble outcomes.

The non-judge mental nature of the text has to be one of my fav components of it, with "keeping it real" sections intermittent throughout where Jessica admits something "naughty" that her and her family indulge in. 

That's why I feel terrible about what I am about to blog about and say.

Jessica Alba is a chain smoker.

It seems so so strange to me that a chain smoker could be writing a book promoting a healthy lifestyle, organic living and is freakishly controlling about making sure no toxins enter her or her baby's body's.

Odd, very odd.

I don't wish to judge, no that's not my goal at all. I simply wish to highlight the absurdity and irony of the situation. 

Smoking has to be one of the most terrible health choices one can make, with hundreds of nasty toxins entering your bloodstream with every puff. Yet the women who is most paranoid about having anything with an unhealthy toxin enter her families home admits to being a chain smoker. Jessica stresses the importance of checking product in your house for any of the ingredients that she lists in her book as "dishonest ingredients" yet she regularly smokes. Hmmm...

I was so inspired and uplifted from her book yesterday, determined to bring about healthy changes to my lifestyle and eating habits- convinced of the benefits of eating organic. I won't let this deter or sway me, but I do find this new found information disappointing. To think I looked up to Jessica Alba and her healthy lifestyle so indefinitely yesterday, to just find out today that she doesn't exactly practice what she preaches.


Friday, 12 July 2013

Review on Jessica Alba's "The Honest Life"

My current obsession is Jessica Alba's new 'self help' book, "The Honest Life". It has been forefront of my mind for the past few days as I have been keenly reading it on my iPad's kindle application. The text itself, published earliae this year, is about Alba's quest to find healthy, organic everyday alternatives for her little family. The book covers topics from healthy eating to chemical-free beauty choices to sustainable home decor and everything in between. The text is comprehensive and Alba writes in an inspiring and down to earth way relating everything to her own experience with her little family. I am loving this book and finding it extremely helpful challenging the way I see the products we come into contact with each and everyday. This book encourages a healthy, organic, sustainable lifestyle which brings about positive change in your life and the life of others.

Thanks Jess

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