You got engaged, perhaps had your engagement party and it’s now nearing to the end of winter and I am sure many brides-to-be are thinking, spring is the perfect time to get married. Those brides won’t be wrong as the most popular months to get married in Australia are in fact all of spring; September, October and November. The weather is balmy and the rainy season seems to have stayed away for long enough to enjoy the blue skies.
Even if you’re planning a wedding for next spring, which is still a year and a bit away (The average engagement time in Australia is 21 months by the way) you’re probably already considering a lot of details and it’s no less busy 12 months out than 3 months out, although it does get a bit more hectic.
Here are some of the things you should start considering (from experience) at around a 12 month mark.
- Save the date – you have to make sure your family and friends can attend the wedding so make sure to let your guests know as soon as you decide on the day so they can keep the date free. The most popular wedding day to get married in Oz is Saturday, so keep in mind that it will be the most expensive day to book venues, cars, DJs etc. TIP: Ask around and see if your guests could possibly attend a wedding on a weekday, or a full weekend away in the country somewhere or perhaps a destination wedding? That way you won’t have to fork out for the most expensive day, as weddings are pricey enough without having to bid for the most popular day.
- Set a budget – yes it sounds boring and tedious, but without a set budget and actually understanding what you can afford – no matter who is paying for the wedding expenses, the wedding costs can quickly blow out. Half of Aussie brides spend over $30,000 on their weddings and if you think about it, that’s a deposit on a property gone in 1 day. What’s scary is that most final wedding costs in the end are 53% higher than originally budgeted. You also want to go on a nice honeymoon, after all, with all the wedding prep and the long day that ensues, you two deserve a romantic getaway and you want to make sure you’ve got some budget for that – trust me, the honeymoon in a way is more important than a huge, expensive wedding. TIP: Track your finances using user friendly software like Xero and see where most of your spendings are. Assess your average spend and what you are willing to spend on a wedding and work from that sum. Of course there will be fluctuations and some potential surprise costs, but do your research and ask friends for recommendations on services like photography to potentially get good rates.
- Dress shopping – brides, please don’t leave this to the last minute (and even 3 months out). As I’ve found out, a lot of the salons in Australia get their dresses shipped over (Europe or Asia) when you actually purchase the dress, and this shipping process can take 3-6 months, and sometimes longer. You also have to leave enough time to get alterations done – there will be multiple fittings and almost definitely changes. TIP: Go dress shopping by yourself, with your family and with your bridesmaids on separate occasions. Don’t get bowled over with other’s opinions or latest trends and get what is most flattering for your body shape. After you selected the type of dress (A line, princess, fishtail etc), see if it’s available online as the rates are much cheaper. You can always get alterations of the dress separately if it doesn’t quite fit, but make sure to leave plenty of time for shipping!
- Fitness regime – for you and your fiancee. Love it or hate it but love handles make it hard to pick find a flattering dress and boys, don’t just hide your belly under your tux. Getting into a good fitness routine together, will not only help you get fitter and slimmer but will also give you an activity to spend time together and not just doing wedding planning. After all, with a 12 month wedding planning regime, day in day out, any couple will experience frustrations. TIP: Use your fitness time to do something fun e.g. play tennis, go snorkelling, in other words, stay active but don’t burden yourself with the thought of ‘must lose weight’ or ‘must look good for wedding’. Enjoy your time together and make it a habit that takes you beyond just wedding preparations.
- Wedding dance – all of us have been to at least one wedding where the newlywed dance is a spin in a circe with awkward movements until the song is over (thank god its over!). I am sure you’re both dreading it but if you’re well prepared and have at least some kind of routine sorted, the impression you’ll make on the guests is phenomenal and you’ll both walk away feeling like you’ve been on Dancing with the Stars! Google your local dance school and you’ll be sure to find wedding dance choreography instructors. You’ll be working with professionals, they will pick out a routine that’s right for you and with music of your choice and soon enough, you’ll dazzle your friends and family with some pretty impressive moves on the dance floor! TIP: If you can, try and go for something more jazzy than the traditional waltz or tango and pick perhaps a Latin Dance routine such as bachata, bachatango or zouk (Youtube these dances, you’ll fall in love with them in no time!) you can even do something completely unorthodox and seal the day with a bit of “Thriller” moves by Michael Jackson!
- Looking your best – We all want to look our best on our special day. Of course it doesn’t have to be your wedding day, but that day is ranked pretty high on the happiness scale. There are certain things that can help us look and feel our best and the top examples of these services are:
- Hair: Having the right hair can make you feel like a true hollywood star. TIP: Do your research and go with the hairstyle that suits you and you feel comfortable with on the day. Don’t go with anything that is completely new without trying it out at a salon first.
- Tattoos: Many of us have tattoos we got in our younger years, thinking that it was the coolest thing in the world, but if you’ve got a spring wedding, chances are your dress will be sleeveless and showing off your shoulders and back. An old tattoo coupled with a gorgeous wedding dress for many brides is not the ideal look for the day. Tattoo regret can be caused by many things, and wanting to start a new chapter in life can definitely be one of them.
Luckily you now have tattoo removal services that use laser technology to help you get rid of unwanted tattoos. TIP: If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, it is recommended to start as early as possible and some tattoos take longer to remove than others. (At least 6 treatments are usually required to fully remove a tattoo, and sessions have to be spaced 8 weeks apart.)
The friendly tattoo removal specialists at Sydney Clinic Fade To Blank will be able to help you with any queries. If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, read this article on why Winter is the Perfect time to get your tattoos removed.
-Teeth: Teeth whitening is a popular service for any occasion and is ranked very high on wedding preparations list. I recently blogged about tips on keeping your teeth white here but if you’re after a no fault service call up your dentist and ask if they provide in chair treatments. I used whitening gel with custom trays – not only did I find that it took a long time to whiten teeth, but it was also a very painful experience. In chair treatments are almost instant, work with sensitive teeth and get your teeth 4-6 shades whiter.
Yes there are many more things to consider before getting married, such as choosing the right venue, picking a photographer, deciding on the music, flowers, cake… the list can be forever expanding. However, I listed the things I thought about when getting married and that I thought took a bit of prep time, rather than a decision in booking or purchasing. Looking our best can take a bit longer but in the end its all worth it because it’s not about the one day, it’s about the memories and a start to a happy and hopefully long life together with your partner.
Most importantly, enjoy every moment of the day as it goes by so very quickly!
Good luck with your wedding preparations!
Statistics from Easy Weddings Annual Survey of Weddings in Australia (2015)
Photos: Julia Kim Murphy personal wedding photos (2012)
There are many reasons to love curly styled hair -
- Looks fancy
- Suits all outfits
(If you have naturally curly hair – embrace it! Look at all the ways us straight haired people try to make ours curly :))
If you’ve watched your 100th youtube video on how to curl your hair with a flat iron and still not getting it, this product from VS is here to help! It’s called Fashion Curl.
I am not a hair stylist but I love volume in my hair – I already have a lot of hair, but more can never hurt. Trust me, more is more when it comes to hair.
I use my Fashion Curl to get VOLUME.
Start off with completely dry hair, well brushed.
Separate your hair into thin strands – I work with around 2 cm in width.
Keep the Fashion Curl positioned with “This side to face” and insert hair strand in – the curler will pull it in automatically.
Continue this process around your hair – depending on how much volume you want.
More curls = more volume.
It’s recommended to wait for 4 beeps once the hair strand is inside the Fashion Curl. As you’ll find out, after 4 beeps the curl is very strong and super wavy.
In order to get volume, I don’t wait for the 4 beeps on all the strands I’m curling – so half of them are curled and the other half is semi-curled.
This creates more “oomph” if you’re seeking volume.
Brush out with a flat brush and voila – you have voluminous hair:
As with any piece of technology, there will always be a ‘what not to do‘ – so here I wanted to show you what happens when the piece of strand is too wide, messy or isn’t fed into the FashionCurl completely (i.e. you see some strands coming out the side).
Fashion Curl can’t get a proper grip of my hair as demonstrated in this gif, and so it stops curling – if this happens, just let go of the hair strand and make sure it’s thinner and fed into the roller in a neat fashion.
Benefits of using Fashion Curl:
- EASY: The automatic curling system gently draws in the hair for a fast way to create curls.
- SAFE: No burnt fingers or getting hair burnt off like so (I think this happens quite a bit actually, you’ll be surprised)
3. Thick curls/volume:
The curls done through the VS curler are much more dense, so in order to get bigger, wavy curls, it’s recommended that you get a flat paddle brush and brush out the curls to create volume.
4. Thin curls:
If you prefer thinner curls, then leave the curls to cool before touching them, and set with hairspray.
*This product was gifted to me for an honest review and feature on the LIVESHOPTRAVEL blog.
Author: Julia Kim Murphy
When we want to make some changes in our lives, we look up to the stars in search for inspiration, but be honest, how often did those stars on the sky respond to your demands? Unlike them, our red carpet stars are showering us with their styles, fashion choices and even home décor. And when it comes to hairstyle and beauty there is actually no one better to show us the way, than the always fashionable A-listers. Let us take a look at what some of them have prepared for us now.
Jennifer Lawrence and Her Je Ne Sais Qui Hair
The X-Men and Hunger Games star is a hairstylist’s dream. She does not steer away from changing her hair drastically (whether for a role or just for some drama), and she has tried it all – from short to long, from brunette to ice-blond etc. Since it would be impossible to name all of her phases, we will single out a few you can try:
● A classic wavy textured bob (Oscars 2016) is easy to pull off – cut your hair, use hair tongs to create the waves, shake it up a bit and you are good to go.
● Choppy crop (Golden Globes 2014) – ask your hairdresser to try to frame your face with a short hairstyle, leaving the bangs slightly longer and across your forehead.
● A stylish up-do (Oscars 2013) – Jenny did not just stole an Oscar statue that night, but all the attention too. Her sophisticated yet rather simple hairstyle is something you can try to recreate in the comfort of your home.
Emilia Clarke and Her Flawless Skin
The Mother of Dragons sure knows a thing or two about turning heads (and even more about breaking hearts), and she is just as gorgeous off camera, so it cannot be a bad idea to steal some of her beauty secrets.
● Style your eyebrows with Vaseline to get a more refined look.
● Start your skincare routine with perfectly cleansed skin. According to experts from L’occitane, the best way to do it just right is to use a gentle face scrub, wash your face and apply a moisturiser.
● Use a high-quality tinted moisturizer instead of a foundation.
The Best Celebs’ Beauty and Hairstyle Secrets
There are too many stunning celebs in the Hollywood realm and beyond, so it is difficult to name them all, but that should not prevent us from using some of their best beauty tricks, right?
● Douse your hair in beer if you want it to look as lively and fresh as Catherine Zeta-Jones’s.
● If using a spoon as an eyelash curler sounds too strange for you, just remember that Miranda Kerr is doing it too.
● Another beauty trick from Kerr is to use a lip balm instead of a highlighter around your eyes.
● Put avocado onto your strands (you can mix it with a spoon of olive oil) to deep condition your hair, and you will discover why Denise Richards’ hair is so fabulous.
● Spray your skin with rose water after you are done applying your makeup to achieve the flawless and fresh as Liv Tyler’s.
● Have you ever wondered what the secret is behind Isla Fisher’s seductive look? It just might be her habit of blow drying her eyelashes before using a curler. Celebs might be blessed with amazing facial features and sublime hair, but they also need to invest some effort in their looks. Steal these secrets and get inspired by hairstyles and makeup looks, and you will be red-carpet- approved.
I have never had my hair short. The only incidence is probably when I was born. Other than that, it was always long, black and heavy. When I was a teenager I had an insane urge to dye my hair. I don’t know what happens but for some reason when you get to a teenage stage, your need to do something radical with yourself skyrockets. From here come tattoos, piercings and the colouring of the hair. Luckily, I survived my teenage years with just the hair colouring obsession and a nose piercing that is no longer there. I am glad that my tattoo contemplating days never lead anywhere and in the end I was too chicken to get anything done.
Caring for long hair can be a real pain. I wanted to grow it out at one stage and my hair got so long that I couldn’t brush it properly. I learnt that investing in good hair products can be a win and a loss at the same time. There are so many products out there, some claim to save your hair and don’t, despite what your hairdresser will tell you.
I wanted to showcase the products I currently have on rotation in the haircare section. Yes, it is all of the above pictured products!
For starters, shampoo is very important. I never really paid attention to the shampoo I used but after using so many, if your hair is dry and doesn’t seem to get better with treatments, use a good shampoo and conditioner. These products have tendency to dry out your hair (if you’re using the wrong formula) and so no matter what treatments you use after, they won’t help.
I used to use Joico products when my hair was completely dry and now I don’t have to as it’s back to normal.
My current shampoo and conditioner, Goldwell Color Extra Rich. I have coloured hair as its gone back to dark brown so I need this to lock in the colour and provide moisture to my hair. The Goldwell Hot Form Heat Styling Product is great just before drying hair with heat because drying straight after washing hair can cause a lot of damage. This products helps lock in moisture and protects from the damaging heat waves.
To prevent frizz, I use John Frieda oil products. John Frieda Frizz Ease and Repairing Oil Elixir. Just apply to full length of damp hair and help keep your hair frizz free and sleek.
Occasionally when I feel my hair needs extra help I will apply the Kerastase Elixir K Ultime Mask Treatment and then if I am spending time in the sun I’ll apply ‘hair sunblock’ or the Kerastase Micro Voile Protecteur. Mist your hair in this product and be ready to face the sun.
For extra volume, when you feel like it, use Paul Mitchell Extra Body Daily Boost. Gives hair a volume boost at the roots, apply where needed for an instant effect. Tangled hair, long hair tends to get tangled a lot, I use the good old Johnson’s kids detangler. It’s renamed to Kid’s Junior now but the product is still the same and it works for kids and adult hair. Between washes use the Polished London Dry Shampoo. The reason I picked this one is because other dry shampoos leave your hair white and if you haven’t brushed it all out in time you’re out the door, you will look like you’ve got extra greys all of a sudden or you’re wearing a white wig. Polished London Dry Shampoo (the one pictured above) suits my hair because it comes on dark, however doesn’t smudge or colour. I haven’t quite figured out the formula, but it works.
For extra tangled hair, the kind that doesn’t want to brush out and it feels like the only solution is to cut that bit of hair off, use the original Tangle Teezer. It will brush out your hair in minutes, without pain and save your locks the embarrassment of being cut off. You can even repair the tangled up hair later with all the treatments I’ve described above.
Finally styling advice. These Shu Uemura products for Hair styling are new and work magic when it comes to quick, fuss free, every day styling. The Shu Uemura Texture Wave Spray works on any hair and all you have to do is apply to damp or dry hair and scrunch your hair to get the textured wave effect. Easy! The Shu Uemura Detail Master Directional Fixing Spray allows for strong hold yet brushing is easy, sleek shine and easy to use. Has not aerosol and is applied through pump bottle. Tackle flyaways and create perfect ponytail looks with this product and you’ll never look back.
Let me know if you come across any awesome Haircare products as I’m always on the lookout for others.
I publish this post with a smile. My own hair has recently undergone a darkening phase rather than going blonde. (As you saw on Instagram) I do know however that many people want to go lighter in the summer months. So here are a few tips for getting your hair ready for going blonde or just for a few highlights. So many celebs go from brunette to blonde and vice versa and the change in hair colour is sometimes all we need to feel like a new person ready for a fresh change.
Blonde hair and summer go together like the sea and the sand, so perfect the beach bombshell look this season. Going blonde can be more difficult than it seems, as the peroxide can be brutal to your hair. The trick is to get your strands into the best condition possible before you dye. Here are a few golden tips to get your hair ready to go blonde.
Will It Suit Me?
The general rule is that if you were blonde as a child, it will suit you as an adult. However, if you are blessed with darker locks, don’t despair, just add blonde highlights instead to create movement and light in your hair. Or throw caution to the wind and opt for a dark honey shade. If you have fair skin with cool undertones, choose a shade somewhere in the sandy, ash blonde to platinum range. For those with medium skin tones or warmer complexions, look for golden colours with lots of highlights.
Build Up Your Hair
To truly nail that blonde bombshell style, you want to have thick and luscious locks. Spoil your hair with intensive conditioning treatments; there are some great at-home options. For salon-level care, ask your hairdresser to run a deep-conditioning treatment through your hair. If you have thin or thinning hair, consider building up your hair with products from hair growth experts like Transitions Hair to restore thickness and volume.
Consider A Cut
Your hair is always healthier when it is trimmed regularly and ridded of those ugly split ends. The longer hair is the harder it is to maintain, so consider a chop before going blonde. Ask your hairdresser to get rid of the split ends and add some layers. Layers create beautiful movement in your hair that will catch the light and really highlight your blonde tones.
Lighten In Stages
Going from brunette to blonde too fast will result in ugly, brassy tones. Avoid the curse of the orange tones by lightening your hair in stages. If you have dark hair, dye it a light brown first before going blonde. It is important to stick to cool, ash tones for this first dye, even if you want a warm, honey shade as the end result. Give your hair a little break in between dyes so your scalp can recover too. For a natural look, ask your hairdresser to dye it a slightly deeper base colour with foil highlights. This will partially disguise dark regrowth too and mean you can leave it longer between dyes.
Invest In Products For Blondes
Many brands of shampoo and conditioner have specific ranges for blondes that add highlights or eliminate brassy, orange tones. Invest in the products that are right for you, so that when you dye your hair blonde you can preserve its beautiful shade after every wash.
Will you be going blonde this summer? How do you look after your hair to keep it safe from peroxide harm? Join the conversation by adding your own hair care secrets below.
Loving this new collection from Lady Jayne. Sports Luxe. So much classic colour of black and white in theses accessories making way for pink, blue and gold.
This Pony Snag is extremely cool. I love these sorts of accessories esp a fan of a high pony tail so anything that accessorises this go to hairstyle is a winner.
Stretchy hairbands are great for your hair when doing yoga. All those downward dogs and cat cows, I remember struggling to get my hair secure and out of my face. This is the yoga accessory.
These Double Bar Pins are the best for clipping strands of hair for when you’re running and your fringe is just refusing to get out of the way!
Pony Snap $7.99
Hair Bracelets $6.99
Elastic Ball Hair Ties $9.99
Sport Elastics $6.99
Hair Necklace $7.99
Laser Flaxi Band $7.99
Bobby Pins $6.99
All products are now available on counters