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Look After Your Skin – The 5 Things You Need To Stop



There’s a WRONG and there’s a RIGHT way to look after you skin

Gritty Pretty


If you’re prone to pimples or have an oily skin type, you might notice you tend to gravitate toward exfoliators and cleansers that reeeeeally get in there and dry things out.

In theory, this seems like a good idea, but they actually strip the skin of all its good oils (yes, there is such a thing!) and break down its own natural protective barrier. So, what does this mean? This stripping actually accelerates oil production and will increase future breakouts. Instead, use a gentle face wash with salicylic acid and chamomile. This will fight existing acne and prevent future breakouts while still calming, soothing and rehydrating the skin.


One of the key ways to get the most from your skincare regimen is to apply products from thin to thick consistency after you cleanse. Makes sense, right? To start, apply an essence/toner then serum followed by an eye cream, face cream and sunscreen.

If you’re too quick to the punch, heavier products can block lighter-weight ones from penetrating the skin and doing their job. And, no one wants that.


We are all guilty of this one but consider this: when a dermatologist drains a pimple, he or she will apply downward pressure perpendicularly to the skin’s surface. Bets are that when you try to do it yourself, you usually squeeze from the side, which causes the infection to go deeper — a major backfire that can permanently enlarge pores or worse, leave scars.
So however tempting it may be to pop a pimple, please try to resist.
If the temptation is too much, try washing your face with a clean washcloth and warm water to open up the pore. If the pimple is ready to ‘pop’, this should be all the pressure needed to drain it.


It seems like a no brainer but you know that feeling when you wake up and feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep? Well, you aren’t imagining it. A good night’s rest can benefit our energy levels, metabolism, and even our mood. But it also has a great effect on our skin, even beyond those pesky dark, under-eye circles. Because your skin cells repair at night, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your skin can become dull and lacklustre over time.
The theory that you can “catch up on sleep” is also whack. You can never “catch up” on it. And aside from stimulating stress, lack of sleep can also cause our bodies, including our skin, to generate free radicals, which in turn leads to premature ageing. Zzzzzz.


Speaking of sleep, one of the biggest mistakes women make is not cleansing properly and removing makeup at night. A quick rinse with water is not good enough! It’s important to clean your skin thoroughly at the end of the day to not only remove makeup but also remove excess oil and pollution, which has built up during the day from sitting an office, being outside or riding public transport.
If your skin isn’t cleansed properly, oil glands can become clogged and inflamed, which can lead to breakouts.

Why You Need A Social Media Detox



By Jessica Sepel – The Healthy Life

We are living in a world where we are available 24/7 and I’m afraid it’s causing our bodies to store huge amounts of stress. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, emails, Twitter, texts, phone calls… the list goes on and never seems to end! For me, my business is now social media – so it’s become even harder to switch off.

That’s why the best thing you can do for your body right now is… A detox from social media.

Being attached to our phones and computers without any sort of boundaries is starting to scare me. I also wonder if I would be more productive with my work if I took time away from social media and the technology overload.

This is why I have decided to embrace social media detoxes. We need to start to set boundaries for a healthier and more balanced life.

How to distract yourself whilst detoxing:

– Chat to your friends over tea or on the phone – rather than social media.

– Read a book – something you love.

– Write down your thoughts in a note pad, rather than on your phone.

– After dinner: instead of being on your phone all night, watch your favorite TV show or tuck into a movie

– Go for a nature walk

– Enjoy being with your lover – just have a chat with tea (get intimate!?)

– Go to bed earlier than usual

How to let go:

You have to learn to ENJOY and EMBRACE stillness and peace – it is so healthy for your mind and body. You will perform better in life and at work when you have set boundaries and switched off from social media.

If you want a more balanced life – you just have to make this a priority now.

My advice is to actually schedule it in

On a Saturday or Sunday for example. Diarize your switch off from technology and treat it as a mini holiday to yourself. When you are tempted to be on social media – take a big breathe in and while you breath out say, “I let go” and tell yourself that having a break will be healing for you body.

Motivating fact? You will be more present and awake in your life when you disconnect. You will enjoy everything more. Social media can cause anxiety and stress.

New Face: Tom Ford



By Brandis Ohlsson

Once described as “Fashion’s boldest, most audacious success story ever,” American designer Tom Ford was born in 1962 in Austin, Texas. Having an interest in beauty and fashion from an early age, he touts his grandmother as his first muse, calling her “incredibly stylish” with her big hair and big cars. As a teenager he made the move to New York City, studying architecture at Parson’s School of Design, and has been said to have also dabbled in acting. At some point, Ford realized he much preferred fashion to architecture or acting. At age 29, Ford received his big break; he was asked to become the chief women’s designer at the major high-end design house, Gucci. With this, he was off to Europe.

At the point that Tom Ford began at Gucci, it was a fledgling company by high-end fashion house standards known best for their archaic leather goods. Turning things around for the company and climbing the ranks rather quickly, Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent when Gucci bought a controlling stake in 1999. With his first parley in the fragrance game, Ford created a bit of controversy with the advertising campaign for YSL’s M7 cologne, which featured a full frontal nude man. In response to the controversy that followed, Ford replied simply, “Perfume is worn on the skin, so why hide the body?”

In 2005, Tom Ford returned to the United States and announced the launch of the Tom Ford Brand, and in 2006 he introduced Tom Ford Signature Fragrances. The men’s portfolio of fragrances currently includes six fragrances, Black Orchid, Grey Vetiver, Extreme, White Patchouli, and his newest endeavor for men, Noir. All of Ford’s fragrances can be considered modern classics with seductive and intriguing qualities. The designer himself has said that he is inspired by the history of perfumery when the most suburb ingredients were used to create timeless scents that had a lasting impact.

May 2015 brings us the Tom Ford Noir Extreme, which brings us a new Tom Ford fragrance campaign. This campaign Ford didn’t have to look far to find his star- he cast himself. (No, he’s not full frontal) Ford has appeared in his own campaigns before. He sniffed at Lara Stone’s face for Tom Ford Beauty Fall 2011, and in fall 2012 with Snejana Onopka for the Beauty campaign. One Noir Extreme review calls it a “fragrance for the man who dares to be extraordinary”; who better to market that than the designer himself? A very handsome man with what has been nothing short of remarkable. He couldn’t have found a better model if he tried.

Thin Shaming, Just As Bad As Fat Shaming



Calynn M. Lawrence

Many people think of weight shaming as something that only people who are overweight suffer from. However, that is part of the reason that thin shaming still exists. Yes, fat shaming is cruel and disgusting and borderline dehumanising. I know, because I am a woman who has been “fat” almost her entire life. But guess what? So, is thin shaming.

Many people believe that this is not an issue because, “everybody wants to be thin.” Yet, instead of lessening the problem, let’s try to stop the problem. No one should have to feel bad about their body no matter their size. This article shares the experiences of two young women who have been skinny shamed their entire lives and have been deeply effected by it. Names have been changed for privacy issues.

Lisa, a singer song writer, tells her story:
“I am 120 pounds, 5’4, size 4. In my mind that seems to be a pretty acceptable size. When I look on my health charts, it says I am average weight. Yet, and still, I have always been made fun of for being skinny. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the way my weight falls, I’m fairly straight up and down. Or maybe it’s the way that I dress myself. Regardless, it seems like no matter what I do I can’t help but be made fun of for my weight. “

“I come from a family of curvy women. As a Dominican, I naturally have a mother, sisters, cousins and aunties with teh desired J Lo body. You know, nice bust, big bum, small waist and thick thighs. This never helped the way kids teased me in school either. I would dread attending the same school as my relatives because responses like ‘Oh your sister is so hot,’ ‘Your cousin is so curvy,’ or ‘How come you don’t got no body like that?’ were far from uncommon. In fact it was practically an every day thing. No doubt, my self esteem suffered dearly and it took my years into my young adulthood to come to grips with my body. I’m glad that can now accept myself for who I am with no draw backs. I am woman, no matter what size my tag says.”

Reina, a ballet dancer, tells her story:
“As thin as possible. That was the standard for making a career out of dance back when I was a teen. Nonetheless, I ate like a bird on the strictest of diets, danced 3 hours a day, lifted weights 5 hours a week and did everything I possibly could to maintain my small figure. As a result, I was able to have a successful career and ended up making enough money to put myself through college with no loans and move out at the age of 21 with a fully paid car.

But, this was not enough to shield myself from the bullying that I faced as a result of being so skinny. I never passed a size 2 in my entire career as a ballerina and even to this day, I am only a size 6 which feels very heavy for me. As a result, it was hard for me to secure a boyfriend because guys found me undesirable and it was hard to keep friends because of the petty back hand compliments that females would always sneak in. Now that I have retired from my dance career, I’ve put on a few pounds and it has sadly effected the way people treat me. I get more guys trying to court me and much less hate from my female associates. It’s sickening to know that my dress size determined how people treated me. This is why I can totally empathize with big girls. It seems to me that society does not want to accept you as being attractive unless you’re an ‘average size’ like a 6 to 10, but no bigger, unless you’re shaped like Kim Kardashian. And let’s face it, most of us aren’t. I love myself no matter my weight but I just wish that other people would too.”

These are merely two experiences of women who have extensively endured thin shaming. There are many women across the globe who unfortunatey have to deal with this problem. How about we as a people finally stop slapping labels on eachother and just accept everyone as their own form of beautiful? It seems like things would be a lot better off that way.

How To Avoid Weightgain In A Relationship



By Jessica Sepel

Here are six great techniques you can incorporate into your relationship (new or old!) to stay healthy and avoid the dreaded relationship weight gain.

1. Exercise together

Working out is a natural mood and libido booster. What more motivation do you need?

2. Treat yourself once a week to a date night

Enjoy dinner with your partner and indulge together. Maintain your healthy routine for the remainder of the week, ensuring date night is a special indulgence. If you eat out on a regular basis, choose restaurants that have healthy options.

3. Go for a walk together at night

I love to do this with my partner every evening after dinner. We walk, which allows our food to digest, and have time away from our phones and technology to just be together

4. Movies and dinners are not the only romantic things that you can do together

Try some other romantic activities that involve movement – yoga together on a Sunday morning, a walk in nature or a swim at the beach are all great ways to get active together.

5. Stick up for yourself

If your partner tries to make you eat things you don’t naturally love – your partner needs to understand and respect this.

6. Remember to tune into your appetite

I believe we can eat anything – just in small amounts. Stop when you are full; there is more food coming later.


Swap Your Stilettos For Sneakers



By Stylist Jenni Sellan

Swapping your stilettos for a little white sneaker? You’ve just caught my attention.

When comfort and versatility stylishly collide in the universe of fashion, women everywhere stand up and give it a resounding YES. And that’s exactly why ‘sneakers with ….everything’  (well almost) is this Summers favourite trend.

Best kept for off duty style, the perfect pair of sneakers will  accompany you effortlessly for an impromptu lunch with the girls, and save your soles from a crazy schedule that keeps you running between various social events.

A great alternative with your favourite summer dress or paired with this seasons cropped culotte or denims, and lets not forget everyones favourite, the midi skirt, a perfect pair of sneakers just makes complete sense… and..

It’s nothing less than chic xo

Modeling Scams Everyone Should Be Aware Of



By Calynn M. Lawrence

Unfortunately, many aspiring models are being bamboozled by con artists who prey on individuals who are seeking a ticket to a successful career. If you’re someone who is new to the fashion industry then these are a few (sadly) common scams that people are falling victim to every day. You should be weary of them and take heed to this advice.


Sketchy online advertisements are becoming increasingly prevalent to seek out young people and lure them into dangerous situations. Some times these are criminals simply looking to hurt you and are hiding behind the guise of a photographer or modeling recruiter. That being said, be extremely careful about taking jobs that do not come from reputable websites. Make sure that you double check the person’s references and do a little online research. It may seem like a bit much but it’s better to be safe than sorry! If you are in doubt, then do go ahead with it.


Scammers often will create the illusion that they will provide you with this awesome service and convince you that you should pay them beforehand. This is a huge No No! Unless you are doing business with a trusted agent whom you have worked with before, do not give up your money until after they have done their job! Many people will take your funds and leave you high and dry. Be cautious with how you distribute your coin.


This is something that seems like it would be a bit of a no brainer. However, many people still fall victim to identity theft on a daily basis. When it comes to dealing with other individuals, try to make all of your transactions with cash, making sure to get a proper receipt for reference. Unless you are dealing with a trusted source, then providing information such as your credit card number or Social Security Number is a terrible risk and could lead to your financial detriment!


If you are under the age of 18, then you are considered a minor in America & Australia. Thus, any business that you do has to be done with the consent of a legal guardian or parent. If you have someone, specifically an adult, contacting you for modeling work, knowing that you are underaged, and they do not ask for parental consent then they are people that you ought to steer clear of! These could be child predators or simply unknowledgeable business people. Either way, do not get involved with them!

These are simply a few scams that are common amongst beginners in the fashion industry. Like anything else, take everything with a grain of salt and be cautious and career savvy when doing anything that could help or hurt your success.

9 Signs You’re Working Out Too Hard



By: David Sciola

With this explosive trend of high intensity programs sweeping the world, is anyone else intrigued by the sudden fascination? Is anyone else concerned that we may be overtraining and putting ourselves at risk of serious injuries? I am and here is why.

This past decade has seen an explosion in the popularity of elite fitness for non-elite people. In the past few years, thousands of thousands of high- intensity program gyms have spread across the US,  from urban warehouses to suburban strip malls. “Regular” people are now training with the intensity and intention of paid, professional athletes. Weekend warriors are doing clean-and-jerks, kettle bell swings and box jumps like it’s as normal as family breakfast on a Sunday morning.

But why we are doing this to ourselves? Is this level of training necessary or desirable for the average individual, or is it just a passing craze that we’ll look back on with bewilderment? Only time will tell whether writhing upside down against a wall, attempting handstand pushups, was a legitimate workout or a ridiculous anomaly.

Yet the movement continues to strengthen.

As I bike around New York City these days, it strikes me just how much a part of modern metropolitan culture this extreme fitness craze is.

While I welcome any fitness movement that motivates people to push themselves and get fit, I do fear for people who take extreme fitness to the extreme. Fitness addiction is real. Overtraining and injuries are becoming big problems in the world of amateur elite fitness.

Too many of my friends are smashing themselves at the gym with reckless abandon and then complaining to me that their body composition isn’t improving, or they’re getting sick all the time. Niggling injuries are worsening but they just can’t give up their workout fix.


The paradox is that for the average person just wanting to be healthy and look fit, the volume and intensity of doing extreme training programs five or six days a week may actually be hindering them in achieving such goals.

Systemic inflammation, sympathetic nervous system dominance, endocrine dysfunction, excessive cortisol, fatigue, infection and malaise can all stem from overtraining, making it very difficult to achieve a healthy body composition, robust immune system and overall well-being.

If you truly desire or require elite fitness or if you are able to thrive on such a brutal workout routine, good for you. But if you, like the friends I speak of, have been swept up in an extreme fitness movement but fear it may be too much for you, please listen to your gut and your body. You may need to re-think your exercise regimen.

So what can be done? Ultimately it’s up to you to monitor your own training. Here are nine signs that you may be overtraining.

  • Your performance has plateaued.
  • You start to dread your workouts or come up with excuses to skip them.
  • Your sleep starts to worsen. You find it more difficult to get to sleep or you are waking up exhausted.
  • You are becoming moody. You’re are more easily agitated, anxious, emotional or depressed than you used to be.
  • You get sick more often and the symptoms stick around for longer than they used to.
  • You crave sugary junk food and always seem hungry, especially after a workout.
  • Your libido decreases.
  • You only feel good or energized after your workout. The rest of day, your energy flatlines.
  • You start getting more obsessed with training. Missing a session makes your feel anxious or like a failure.
  • You start to prioritize training over living. You favor going to the gym over catching a movie with your loved one or having an after-work drink. You consistently show up late to social events because you had to make your favorite class.

If you can associate with some or most of these signs, chances are you’re overdoing it at the gym. Try taking a week off and then really cut down the volume and intensity. You may be surprised just how little training the average person needs to achieve their health and fitness goals.

The ethos of “more is better” has pervaded the fitness industry, putting some people at risk of overtraining and/or injury. We need to remember that for some of us mere mortals, less is more.


Website: thepaleomodel.com

A Model’s Diet On The Run



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

Hectic is a word that doesn’t begin to describe a model’s life on the run, from waking up at the crack of dawn, to squeezing in a workout before a shoot, and managing to consume a healthy breakfast while scrambling to run out the door. Busy is a complete understatement and if a model is able to manage a quick healthy breakfast, what does a model do the rest of the day for food in between photo shoots, or appointments for prospective jobs and fittings? Here are a couple of diets/menu items that anyone can benefit from a health perspective combined with a busy lifestyle.

Clean eating – Victoria’s Secret models swear by this diet

In its most simplest of definitions, clean eating is eating healthy, non-processed foods. While most corporate employees think they are doing themselves a favor eating a low calorie frozen lunch, the truth is while many are low calorie there is typically still an excess of salt and preservatives. Many models swear by organic fruits and vegetables for a quick slim down and the key to eating clean is planning ahead to prepare fresh foods. Again, most models avoid the carbs here and stick to low-carb meals such as fresh grilled salmon with a side of vegetables.

Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated in between appointments is not only key to staying energetic and healthy, but H20 will also keep a model on the run feeling full in between shoots/appointments. Most models will avoid sweet energy drinks that are full of calories. They are generally are unhealthy due to high-sugar content and keep a bottle of water on hand at all times.

Choose wisely if it comes down to fast food

As much as we all plan ahead, sometime we are faced with fast food as a last resort. The key is (and to quote Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade) “choose wisely.” If you are faced with having to dine out, always choose a salad with low-fat dressing instead of fried foods. The smart choice here (aside from the salad) is a low-cal dressing, as many creamy dressings may be pushing the calorie limit just as high as fried food options, such as French fries. This is a perfect situation where planning ahead comes in quite handy, as some models will pack a mini cooler complete with yogurt, fruits, cottage cheese, vegetables and nuts; complete with bottled water.

Healthy breakfasts to go

Without question, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day (and everyone always should keep this meal healthy in order to keep one’s energy continuing throughout lunch).There are a couple of meals on-the-go that are healthy and easy for planning ahead. First, while most models avoid carbs, breakfast is the time to have them, as your body has time to burn them off throughout the day. There are a bunch of healthy homemade muffin recipes one can prepare ahead of time and then freeze, so you always have a stash on hand. Oatmeal is also a great healthy option for a breakfast on-the-go as it is a quick, whole grain option with many low-sugar options. You can also stock up on packets and make oatmeal onsite, whenever there is a hot water line/coffee maker at photoshoots.


Are You Really Having A Bad Hair Day?



By Jenni Sellan

“I’m having a bad hair day”.
A universal phenomenon understood by all women, bad hair days are a known and justified cause of unproductive days filled with unforeseen errors and accidental mishaps.

When your hair has seen better days, so have you; if the curl isn’t bouncing and the humidity has created an unwanted tribal affect, then just about everything proceeding that fact is pretty much deemed disastrous for the remainder of your day.
Don’t expect anything else to go well. It’s the internal voice of unreason, telling you that you don’t look good today so don’t expect to achieve anything of any significance, let alone for anything to go your way.

Had any dreams lately about styling your hair? The belief is that this is representative of your internal struggle with self-image and appearance. What about dreaming of cutting your hair? Experts will have you believe that you are dealing with issues around a loss of personal power…
Are you really having a bad day, or are there deeper issues at hand?

Blondes have more fun,’ ‘brunettes do it better’ and according to Coco Chanel, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”.
The relationship we hold with our hair is a complicated one and perhaps the most fascinating aspect is it’s uncanny connection with a woman’s sense of confidence, self-image and worth, with the state of our hair seemingly synonymous with the way we actually feel about our state of self.

Recently while attending a runway show I leaned in to a colleague whispering, “I want the secret to those golden glowing locks”. With my gaze focused on the models hair, bouncing, shining and perfectly placed, looking at her made me feel like all was well in her world, and with hair like that surely I could conquer mine!

Personal power, self-image and confidence; all part of the internal knots and tangles faced by women which do not discriminate by size, race or colour.
Our biggest struggles are most often related to the internal beliefs we hold about ourselves and whether a size ‘0’ or ‘16’, the majority of women do not go untouched by feelings of inadequacy, comparison and questions around their own self worth;

Self-image is a long-standing topic of debate among media and social commentators and the high fashion industry in particular regularly scrutinised and often criticised for its role in promoting unrealistic ideals of beauty and unhealthy body images.
While there are no doubt a large number of hurdles that need jumping for long term change to be felt across the industry as a whole, there is evidence that the voice is slowly but surely adopting diversity and changing direction; From Vogue Editors in 2013 making a pact to create boundaries around age, size and imagery, to high profiles models taking their own stand on busting the beauty myth and diversification around who and what we see on the runways and in the pages of fashion magazines, there is more than a hint at the fact that the industry is listening and the platform of fashion is being used as a catalyst for change as it recognises it’s responsibility to women and the promotion of a healthy body (and self) image.

Model and Body Activist Ashley Graham is one such voice challenging the status quo with a vision to redefine beauty beyond size, and while she doesn’t let the fashion industry off the hook, noting it’s narrow views around beauty, the most powerful part of her message is her willingness to take responsibility for validating and affirming herself, stressing the importance of women being their own “biggest cheerleaders’. In her words, “We need to work together to redefine the global vision of beauty and it starts with becoming your own role model”.

I cant help but draw the conclusion that while changes and developments within the fashion industry are key, 19 synonymous Vogue Editor ‘pacts’ and increasing the standard size above a ‘0’ for the runway, wont change the game on their own.
Surely it has to start with a belief that as women we can.
A belief that we are unique and an acceptance that beauty is not defined externally but from within.

There will be days that are better than others; there will be bad hair days and Instagram worthy hair days. There will be days where we feel prettier than others but it doesn’t mean we’re not.

A positive self-image starts with me, starts with you. Ultimately it’s about how we feel on the inside about ourselves and that in itself is a choice and an opportunity for us as women to embrace self empowerment – no hair cut required!

This is a message for ALL women.

“Be you. Be real. Be authentic. Be your favourite kind of women. This is the generation of body diversity. The current is changing. Ashely Graham”