Mind, Body, Beauty: Head-to-toe Transformation
By Catherine McCormack
Mind, body,beauty: head to toe transformation. Stuck in a cold-weather rut? We feel you. So we tracked down the best new beauty, body and brain tricks that will help you throw off the winter doldrums in a second. Get ready to dance, dream and put some much-needed spring back into your step.
- Practice self-absorption.
This is the latest buzz term in popular psychology and an easy way to improve your wellbeing. “Mindsight is a kind of mindfulness — a focused attention that allows us to observe the internal workings of our own minds,” says Dr. Dan Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry and author of Mindsight. By consciously observing your own thoughts and feelings — and not reacting to them — you simultaneously develop the empathetic part of your brain that helps you feel calm and connected.
- Boost your breath.
Forget stretching! In your next yoga class, focus on your breath and reap instant rewards. “Students often say by learning how to focus on their breath in their yoga practice, they’re then able to bring that focus to their breath when they’re stressed or having trouble sleeping,” says Nikki Fulford of Yoga Studio in Bondi Junction, Sydney. “By bringing their mental focus to slow, deep breathing, they immediately feel more calm and relaxed.”
- Start dancing.
Skip the gym and dance away the winter blues instead, with the biggest new trend in fitness: Zumba. A mix of aerobic and strength training set to a thumping Latin soundtrack, Zumba improves fitness and muscle tone, and leaves you feeling exhilarated. “The music really takes people to a new place,” says Cindy Calderon from Zumba Perth.
- Eat at your desk.
Transform your body in your lunch break with a guilt-free organic meal delivered right to your desk. Sydney-based Love Lunch serves up nourishing vegetarian fare that helps give you, “shiny hair, beautiful skin and clear eyes,” says chef and owner Annalise Braakensiek. “The difference you feel eating whole foods is remarkable.”
- Indulge in an ancient skin ritual.|
The hottest new spa experience, Hammam massage improves skin tone and texture for up to three weeks. Developed from ancient Islamic purification rituals, the massage incorporates thick henna clays, exfoliating Moroccan black soap and the heady scent of orange blossom and eucalyptus. During the 45-minute massage, “blood circulation improves and the lymphatic system is stimulated,” says Nina Elbasha, owner of Lella Hammam on the Gold Coast. Expect to walk out feeling light, luscious and silky smooth.
- Shine on.
Metallic makeup dominated the international A/W catwalks, with designers adding a shimmer of silver and gold to eyes, lips and cheeks. Give your everyday makeup a brand-new glow by choosing an intense metallic pigment that works with your skin tone. To apply, “wet a small brush, dab it into the colour, then apply it only to the inside corners of your eyes,” says Rae Morris, makeup artist and author of Makeup: The Ultimate Guide.
- Sleep your way to great hair.
The latest styling trick delivers body and bounce, and saves time styling. Before bed, “pull hair up and twist it into a high, loose bun near your front hairline,” says Brett Albury, technical director of Suki Hairdressing in Paddington, Sydney. “In the morning, shake hair out and mist in light spray.” The result: modern, deconstructed waves that are the perfect mix of soft and sexy.
- Spring-clean your wardrobe.
Sick of dreary winter woolies? Swap dark colours for soft shades of grey, blue and pink. “At the recent Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, the palette was heading into muted pastels,” says Melbourne-based fashion blogger Amanda Evans of CapitalCityPretty.com, which covers the latest in local and international fashion. Pair spring’s whisper-soft shades with classic blue denim for on-the-spot chic.
Catherine McCormack is a Sydney-based freelance writer and part-time yoga teacher who thinks cream blush is the only beauty boost you’ll ever need.