OMNILUX with Claire Francoise

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Pre Treatment

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During treatment

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Post treatment 🙂

Is it just me or has ‘skincare’ suddenly become a huge topic of discussion? Gone are the days of a basic, cleanse, tone and moisturise routine with a sporadic facial thrown in, if you’re lucky. Now its double cleansing, multiple oils, sunscreen, laser, microdermabrasion, fillers, night creams and day creams. It seems that women these days are far more educated about what treatments are available and that the health and vitality of our skin is the priority as opposed to buying a whole heap of make up to cover up ‘imperfections’.

I know that this is certainly the case for me. As I start to approach my 30’s I’m beginning  to notice that the products that got me through my 20s are no longer cutting it and certain lifestyle factors (too much coffee, lack of sleep, dehydration etc) come into play a lot more. So recently when Claire from Claire Francoise Skin and Beauty contacted me asking if I would like to come in and try an LED Light Therapy treatment using Omnilux I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Here is a little bit about the treatment, taken from the Claire Francoise website:

Omnilux revive stimulates cellular activity. As cellular activity increases cells become more permeable and responsive to exogenous factors. Blood flow increases, it gives anti-inflammatory properties as well as to help treat hormonal acne, acne scarring and leads to greater tissue oxygenation and detoxification. Skin appears clearer with less fine lines, plumped up and hydrated.

Omnilux Plus (near infra-red light) has longer wavelengths than the Omnilux revive. It has been designed to help heal the skin. It is perfect for skin scarring including acne, damaged skin and after cosmetic surgery. After a treatment using the omnilux plus your skin will feel fuller and appear tighter in appearance.

Advantages of Omnilux LED Light Therapy

  • Stimulates the bodies own cellular mechanisms by photomodulation
  • Not a laser or an IPL so no heat, no side effects or downtime.
  • Non-invasive, safe and completely pain-free.
  • No damage to sub-dermal tissue
  • Relaxing and calming experience
  • Allows treatment of large areas such as the face and chest

So, my verdict? 10/10. The three big pro’s for me were:

  1. Zero downtime and walking out of the clinic with absolutely glowing skin (as opposed to redness after microdermabrasion for example),
  2. The treatment itself was SUUUUPER relaxing. As you can see in the picture above, the light itself is VERY bright but it is not at all hot and after a few minutes your eyes adjust to the brightness (behind your goggles of course) and a relaxing sensation washes over you. I dare you not to doze off ;),
  3. It can be a one off treatment as a little pep me up or you can book in for a series of treatments to target more specific issues like acne scarring.

The only con for me was that I did have quite a significant breakout two days after the treatment. This however is common with most facial treatments (it’s called a ‘purge’) and it could have more to do with the light peel we did before the Omnilux and the fact that my skin is quite congested anyway. After the breakouts cleared however, my skin felt really radiant and youthful.

Final thoughts? I would really recommend this treatment to everyone, especially given how non-evasive it is. I’d love to have a series of treatments as I think the results would just get better and better with consistency, however I also think it’s a great ‘special event’ option for those times that you need your skin to glow! In addition to the treatment, the clinic itself is beautiful and welcoming, Claire is an absolute expert in her field and if you are a Melbourne girl I would strongly advise you to get yourself into Claire Francoise for all your skincare needs! Thanks again Claire, can’t wait to come in again soon. x

Monday Mornings

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Cardigan: Zara (similar here), Black singlet: lululemon athletica (similar here), Crop top: Forever 21 (similar here), Leggings: Forever 21 (similar here), Hoodie: Forever 21 (similar here), Shoes: Nike

Anyone else a sucker for Monday morning resolutions? No more alcoholic drinks until Friday night. No more sugar or junk food. Will work out every day. Sound familiar? I actually love Monday mornings. I can’t get to the gym over the weekend and am only able to work out when the kids are at school / day care which is Monday – Friday. I definitely don’t exercise all 5 days but having that little bit of freedom each morning is heaven for my sanity.

Last week I picked up some new activewear from Forever 21 and have since been busting to work out. I’m sure most of you can agree that having new clothes or shoes is the ultimate motivation to get your butt into the gym. I am usually a purist when it comes to my activewear. You know, Nike, Adidas, lululemon, Lorna Jane etc. Lots of fashion brands have added a sportswear line to their collections over the last few years but Ive always been a bit dubious of the quality. However with only two gym outfits with me in India and a constant  debate regarding our water supply, I decided to bite the bullet and just get a few pieces to see me through until the end of the year.

Well I think I’m officially a convert. At least with Forever 21. The quality is amazing, the fit is true to size and although I’ve only worn and washed it once, so far there are no complaints there either. Obviously in India I wouldn’t wear the crop top by itself but in Australia I would definitely feel comfortable thanks to it’s support and coverage. The sleeveless hoodie is a bit of a fashion addition for me, but it would be great for morning walks or post gym coffee’s too.

So what kind of Monday Morning resolutions do you guys make? Any tips to sticking with them ;)? Hope you all have a great week xx

Please note – the Forever 21 website is currently down so I’ve sourced similar products from Cotton On Body and linked them above. The Cotton On Body range is at a similar price point and although I’ve only worn a few items, I think the quality is quite similar too. 

Kenzo x H&M

Hi Friends, after a few weeks of missed ‘Fashion Friday’ posts, today I am back with an absolute winner! This morning I was lucky enough to be able to check out the new Kenzo for H&M capsule collection at my local H&M store here in India. Not many locations around Delhi received this collection, so I was so excited when I found out that the closest store to us would be stocking it.

I’ve been following its release across social media all week and I must say, I wasn’t that surprised by the mixed reactions to the collection. As a designer, Kenzo is not for everyone. Bold prints, a penchant for tiger heads and colour clashing can be quite a statement. Nevertheless I was still thrilled to be invited to the launch here and after peeking at the collection online, I knew I’d find SOMETHING that I’d like (disclaimer – I can pretty much find something to buy in ANY shop I go into. Trust me, it’s a gift).

So here were my picks for the most wearable and best value buys. Note – all images are taken from H&M Online.

 

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Wool Blend Jumper $99.99

Honestly if this jumper was any other colour or any other shade of green I would have purchased it. The design and the fit are amazing. Unfortunately fluorescent green tiger stripes do absolutely nothing for me. For my tanned skinned ladies or just not so pale friends, I’d really suggest you try this!

Here is a change room pic:

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Obviously pairing it with this skirt gives you a FULL ON Kenzo look haha, not something I would wear but if you are into print clashing, its not so bad. So having said that, here is the skirt.

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Pleated chiffon skirt $199

I LOOOOOOOOVE this maxi skirt and I knew I would buy it just from seeing it online. It is great quality and the tiered layers give it so much life and movement. It does work best on a long legged lady such as myself but if you really loved it you could easily alter it thanks to the layers. Needless to say, it came home with me!

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Printed silk top $69.99

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Patterned silk skirt $99.99

Next up is this two piece set that is sold as separates and can easily be worn as such. For such a bold collection I love the subtleness of the colours but the design itself still speaks volumes. The blouse was sold out before I got there and even though I was tempted by the skirt, I really liked the idea of having the set, so I didn’t purchase it (….yet….).

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Silk chiffon dress $199.99

This dress didn’t catch my eye online and when I saw it in store I thought it was a new piece because it didn’t look familiar at all. Then I tried it on however and absolutely loved it! It looks so much better on and the details on the sleeve are amazing. Those ties actually ruche up the shoulders and then tie into a small bow. It very, very nearly came home with me but then I was worried that my current Eastern location was getting the better of me and that in a few weeks I would find myself back in Melbourne with no where to wear a semi sheer, full length, kaftan style dress. So I left it. Here is a fitting room selfie:

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Next:

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Reversible silk-blend dress $139

There are a few reversible items in the collection and this drop waist mini dress was one of my favourites. Really wearable and easy for summer, this dress gives you a ton of bang for your buck with it’s effortlessly chic silhouette but totally different designs on each side. Also considering that it is a silk blend, I think $139 is a great price point!

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Quilted silk dress $269

Loved this quilted pinafore and from looking online I thought this would be a strong contender to come home with me but it, like many other pieces, was so thick and heavy. Also at $269 it was one of the more expensive items and going from India to an Australian summer soon – I just couldn’t justify it. It would look amazing over a simple white tee or a silk pussy bow blouse though.

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Patterned dress $269

And finally, my favourite dress. Gosh I love this dress. Like the pinafore above, this dress was ridiculously heavy, especially considering it is a mini dress, but for me its ultimate downfall was that it was too short. I (literally) bent over backwards in the change room trying to find a way that it could work but unfortunately as a mum of two and with not enough child free social occasions to justify it (and convince myself it wasn’t too short), I had to leave it too. Here’s a strategically posed change room selfie 😉 :

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Ok so I know what you are thinking, “only one purchase?”. Haha well firstly, I know! But secondly, luckily for me they also had a great array of accessories. Most of them entered into the crazy, wacky realm, but some of them, like this neoprene clutch, were perfect.

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Patterned scuba pouch $69.99

This little guy has just the right balance of personality and class for me so I snapped him up too, and was happy to leave the event with two new (and limited edition) items for my wardrobe. As I am writing this however I’m thinking I miiiiiiight still go back for that mini skirt…..

If you haven’t already had a squiz at the collection be sure to quickly jump online and find out which stores in your state are stocking it. Each item is in very limited supply and the range will only be around for as long as stock lasts, so don’t miss out!

Thanks again to H&M in Saket City Select Mall for the invitation. I WILL be saving my skirt for an upcoming hen’s night, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see how I style it! xxx

Diary Of An Expat: Week 10

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‘Week 10’ just sounds like it should be good, doesn’t it? Well thankfully, it was a good one for us! In fact it went by so quickly and we spent most days out and about that I fell behind with my usual posting schedule. I guess it is a good sign when you a living your life instead of blogging about it all the time though right? ;).

Highlight: As opposed to what I’ve been complaining about over the last 9 weeks, this week we had SO MUCH GOOD FOOD! We have really nailed down our favourite restaurants and cafes and eat out at least 3 times a week. This is more than we normally would at home but we also don’t do a big grocery shop each week so it’s not like we are wasting food at home. Dhaba is one of our favourite places. It serves Indian street food but all prepared in a high quality restaurant environment. It is the best place for hubby to get his fix of meat and the best place for me to feel like I am eating something other than bread and rice :).

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Xander obviously knows exactly where to go. We are fast becoming regulars here 🙂

 

We also found an amazing ‘Wine and Beer’ shop that sells imported brands as well as local. There is a local wine here called ‘Sula’ that is honestly THE WORST wine you will ever taste haha. Now I like my wine and I’ve definitely had my share of sub-par vinos but if I had to choose between Sula or nothing, I’d go nothing every time! Of course imported bottles equals highly inflated prices but we managed to find some of our favourites at an ok price!

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hmmm take me to the vino

Things I’m loving: The festive season is still in full swing over here and the next two weeks will just get even crazier. Every day there seem to be new mela’s popping up, live performances, fireworks at night and just a general atmosphere of celebration. We hit a few markets over the week and this weekend but we are planning on doing the most popular one in Delhi, which is put on by a local Blind School, tomorrow after we pick the kids up from school.

Things I’m missing: The greenery and clean (ish) air. The weather is cooling down and like I mentioned last week it is really pleasant in the mornings but now that the Monsoons have finished Delhi is turning into a dust bowl. You can see how dusty the road is in the picture at the start of this post. November / December is when we would usually come for our annual visit, so this is the India that I know, and trust me it just gets worse. Pretty much everything you wear gets covered in dust and dirt and the air quality is terrible, but having seen how green and luscious all the gardens were during the monsoons, it’s a big shame seeing everything turn brown.

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This was our front yard during the Monsoons.

What I’m looking forward to: Diwali school holidays start on Friday and we are thinking of taking a trip to a nearby city called Jaipur. Some of you might be familiar with Jaipur or ‘The Pink City’ as it’s often called. It is supposed to be really beautiful and have some of the most amazing textiles and fabrics so it would be great if we could get ourselves there. It’s about a 5 hour drive so that will be a fun logistic to work out with two kids under 2.5 but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

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How amazing does this look?

Your Questions:

Are you still considering a type of online /blog store if a particular item is required for Aussie customers? Yes I definitely am however I haven’t been able to get a good enough lay of the land in terms of manufactures, seamstresses, suppliers etc yet. I do have a handful of good sources to deal with one on one client requests but not yet to fill a store. Definitely still in the works though :).

Is it safe to eat street food? I’d say eat at your own risk. Unless you have reliable sources and you know that all the produce is fresh and prepared hygienically I’d probably advise to skip it. If no other reason than the climate, it is really hard to ensure that the food is safe. If you really want to try the street food look for a very popular stall as the locals will be the best judge. A popular vendor also means that they will be making everything fresh and will have a high sell through rate.

Have you lost weight in India? I’m not really sure what the intention behind this question was and I thought for a long time about whether to include it but I’ve decided to give the asker the benefit of the doubt and assume nothing negative was being implied! But yes I think I have. We don’t have any scales here but I’d say I’ve maybe lost 2-3kgs. Nothing major and not at all intentionally. I think the change in diet, climate and probably a little bit (a lot) of general lifestyle adjustments have contributed to this. The gym has been good for me though as I am slowly putting on some muscle mass and I’m sure that Christmas back in Melbourne will sort me out quick smart ;).

And so concludes another week as an expat! Is anyone else starting to freak about how close the end of the year is? I am just excited as we will all be heading back to Melbourne to spend Christmas with my family. It is looking like our plans might be changing too (story of my life) so the next month or so will be crunch time for us figure out what we want to do in early 2017. Never a dull moment for the MSF family ;). Have a great week everyone xx

 

 

 

 

What I Wore Wednesday

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Tee: Zara, Jeans: Paige Denim, Shoes: Marks and Spencer, Bag: Zara

Happy hump day friends! Firstly I just want to thank you all for the lovely and supportive comments you sent me after last weeks rocky expat post! I am happy to report that week 10 is already shaping up to be a good one :). So lets get to today’s post! Is there anything better than a classic pair of jeans and a crisp white t-shirt? I know that it is very Jennifer Aniston, circa early 2000 but really, you just can’t go wrong.

I am so happy that the weather is slowly starting to cool down here because I am a denim girl through and through. Although I am on the ‘minimalist’ side when it comes to my staple wardrobe, I do love a pop of colour in accessories and this red cross-body bag was the perfect exclamation mark for my outfit. To be honest, I really wanted to add a burgundy / red felt fedora to this outfit but there is absolutely no place for a felt hat here in India, no matter how good you look in hats lol!

I know that some people are a bit funny about ‘mixing metals’ but it doesn’t bother me at all. My necklace is silver and the chain of my bag is gold. I usually wear a gold bangle everyday as well as my platinum engagement and wedding rings so I am definitely ok with a mixed bag of jewellery :). However, I will admit that often sticking to one metal either silver or gold, will create a more cohesive look over all!

I’m sure my fellow mum’s out there will agree that jeans and a tee are a major staple in the ‘mum on duty’ wardrobe, but next time you pop on your go-to pieces why don’t you try to add a little bit of interest somewhere too? Things like a bright bag like mine, a metallic sneaker, bright lipstick or a statement necklace will help take your jeans and tee to the next level and I guarantee that it will add a little extra pep in your step too!

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone. See you on Friday x

Diary Of An Expat: Week 9

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Well, what can I say? Week 9 hasn’t been pretty! If you follow me on social media you probably already know this and whilst I am conscious of not being a total downer, I promised that I would share my expat experience exactly how it is, so that’s what I have to do.

With that being said, I am only here to talk about my life and my experience so I don’t think it’s fair to talk about anyone else but the one thing I will say is, pwwwwoar, in laws! Why is the MIL-DIL relationship so fraught? I know that some of you out there are lucky not to experience this but I’d hazard a guess and say that many of us are in the same boat. The only difference is, you are not all LIVING in the same boat, together and to be honest,  I’d advise against that! 😉

So that aside the beginning of this week saw a myriad of other challenges. Firstly I had a hefty dose of mum guilt thanks to my 15month old son constantly looking like a boxer with cuts and bruises and scratches on his face. He seems to have entered that stage where he has a never ending quest for independence and adventure which often ends in a tumble. Secondly, I had my first experience with an online troll reporting a perfectly innocent (faceless) photo of my daughter on Instagram, resulting in it being removed as ‘inappropriate or offensive’.

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Not quite sure what is ‘inappropriate or offensive’ about a 2 yr old dressing up for a play at school but haters gonna hate I guess!

To top it all off on Tuesday we all got our first case of ‘Delhi Belly’ which left us quarantined for 2 days and hence we missed the Dussehra celebrations on Wednesday night. I’d been looking forward to going to this festival for weeks now and had even planned to relax my strict bedtime policies so that the kids could stay out and watch the burning of the effigy and fireworks but alas it wasn’t meant to be!

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You know I’m not feeling well if I’m drinking Coke!!

Ok, so lets get in to the rest of the week and focus on some positive things 🙂

Highlight: The kids were on school holidays this week and although we didn’t get to do much, having them home and not having to rush from here to there of a morning was nice. I’m sure that they could sense that I was feeling a bit down cause they both stuck close to me all week and the cuddles, kisses and “mommy I lub you toooooo”‘s were endless. Pretty much all the photos we took for the blog this week were hijacked by mini people, but having my two munchkins at my feet is exactly what my everyday looks like anyway!

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Tired eyes, tired arms, happy heart. 

What I’m looking forward to: So just to totally contradict myself, after a full week of school holidays, no gym, no spare time, I’m looking forward to the kids getting back to school tomorrow and our routine to start again. It’s crazy because up until 3 weeks ago, the kids were always with me. All day, everyday and that’s the way it’s been for almost 2.5yrs, but now that I’ve had a little taste of freedom and independence and of course socialisation and learning for them, I have to admit, a full day at home with them feels LONG.

What I’m missing: Feeling motivated. This week I had my first experience of losing motivation with the blog and my business. After my photo was removed from Instagram I felt hurt by the online community and then I had a few opportunities in Australia fall through because I am not currently a local. Of course this is all part of the expat experience and I’m happy to say that I feel like I’ve managed to roll with the punches and get back on track but it wasn’t a nice feeling at the time.

Your questions:

Are there many Indian Fashion Bloggers?

Yes there are quite a few! I’ve slowly been finding bloggers and stylists that I connect with and there are a heap of cool people out there. Most of the big bloggers are from Mumbai though as that is the fashion capital of India. I’ll compile a little list and next week I’ll share my favourites for those of you that are interested.

You look so happy, are you having the best time?

Haha! This was asked on Instagram underneath this picture:

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You know what, despite everything that I’ve said about this week, I still found PLENTY of reasons to laugh and have fun. Yes, my expat experience might be difficult and challenging at times (as I’d guess most expat experiences are) but I am still happy because I have my family with me. My husband and I are completely rock solid and on the same page as to what the next step for us should be. Our kids are happy and healthy and the rest really is just noise. I know that’s easy to say but I do really believe it. Maybe the answer to that question is, no I’m not always having the best time but yes I am really happy :).

Can you get me a recipe for Naan Bread?

I got this question a while back and whilst I am yet to come through with the recipe, don’t worry I haven’t forgotten!

So that was week 9. As I said, I am really aware that everyone has their own ‘stuff’ going on in their lives and if you take time to connect with someone online, you don’t really want to be brought down by them too. However, I’ve always maintained that honesty and authenticity is so important, especially in this mum community of ours and honestly, even if I tried I don’t think I could have faked a ‘everything is perfect, my life is SO fun’ post this week lol! Having said that, it’s Sunday night and I am ready to let week 9 just be week 9 and wake up ready for an amazing week 10! Thanks for all of your continued support, I hope you all have an amazing week too. xxx

 

 

What I Wore Wednesday

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Dress: Fabindia (sold out online, similar fabric here and similar colour here), Shoes: Marks and Spencer. ps YES my son is wearing crocs. I still maintain that they are not an attractive shoe, but omg are they comfortable (I’m assuming) and practical for little kids. I’m just sad Fashion Blogger 2.0 in the background wouldn’t have a bar of them, cause they are amazing. 

Hi Friends! As you can see the kids well and truly crashed my photos for todays post but that’s mum life for you isn’t it? I bought this dress over the weekend thinking that it would be perfect for a Kitchen Tea I’m attending in December (with different shoes of course), but me ‘saving clothes’ is like that experiment where children are tested for self control. You know the one? The kids are set in front of a bowl of lollies and told not to eat any but then the parents walk back in the room 5 minutes later and most of the kids have sugar all over their lips and an empty bowl in front of them. Me wearing this dress only three days after I purchased it for December, is the equivalent to having sugar on my lips, lol!

But, how could I not? It’s 100% pure cotton and feels super soft thanks to the natural die used to make it this cornflower blue. It is ridiculously easy to wear with the right amount of classic class and a little bit of interest with the twisted knot in the back. Its from a store here called Fabindia that sells clothing, food goods, natural beauty products and manchester. It really is fab! Whilst there are quite a few traditional Indian outfits sold, I can always find something that is the perfect balance of ‘modern ethnicity’ for me. By that I mean, something that I could wear anywhere in the world and not feel out of place but also not feel generic or boring. They have a great selection of jewellery that you could add to a simple outfit and immediately lift it, or like my dress,  which doesn’t look particularly ethnic but has the highest quality of cotton thanks to the Indian suppliers. Everything is great quality and interesting.

Anyways, of course I paired it with my slides, because I love them and they are so easy but I would love a pair of tan leather slides, or  strappy metallic heels to go with it too. You could also do a statement necklace but I just opted for my usual delicate gold jewellery because we weren’t doing anything too special and Xander is a nightmare with pulling and tugging at all my jewellery lately.

Sorry that I was late with this post this week and that I’ve been quite on social media, I’ll explain it all in my weekly recap on Sunday but for now I’m just happy to be back up and running, talking to you fine people and enjoying my babes being on ‘school holidays’. I’ll see you all on Friday xxx.