Beauty Collective - Manicure

Fun for all the family: 6 simple steps to the perfect at-home manicure

Who doesn’t love a manicure? Half an hour, to an hour of ‘you’ time to be pampered and preened, and at the end, you come away with fabulous looking fingertips! Sadly though, with social distancing still in place, that frequent visit to your nail salon isn’t an option for now, but it does make for the perfect time to master your DIY manicure skills!

At-home manicures can still be a relaxing activity, as well as a lot of fun if you get your kids or whoever you might live with, involved. While you may not be able to give yourself or each other a gel manicure or a professional shellac, (best to leave those to the professionals) you can still try and recreate a full nail salon experience at home, it just takes a few simple steps and the right products.

Read on for our step by step on how to perfect an at-home manicure;

Step 1 – Remove old polish

If your nails are baring the remanence of regular polish, you simply need to remove it with a good polish remover, but if you’ve been sporting a gel or shellac manicure for some weeks now, a little more effort is involved – but still easy to do! Simply use a fine-grit nail file and very gently file the top coat of the gel, next pour some pure acetone into a bowl, and soak nails for three to five minutes. Finally use a birchwood stick or similar to gently remove the remaining gel. Alternatively, you can soak some gauze in acetone, apply to fingertips and wrap in aluminum foil for 15 minutes.

Step 2 – Determine the best nail shape for you

While there is no wrong nail shape so to speak, there are a couple of rules of thumb which you should follow when deciphering which nail shape would be best for you.

nail shapes

If you like maintaining longer nails, it’s best to opt for an oval shape as this way your nails are less likely to snag. Oval nails also tend to be the most flattering as they create the illusion of slimmer, longer fingers no matter their size or shape. A more square shape tends to work best for short, neat nails, but just be aware that this can be the hardest nail shape to wear too, as it can make your hands appear stumpy! So your other option for short nails (even nail biters!) is rounded. It’s a simple shape, extending only slightly past your nail bed and in line with maintaining your nail’s natural shape.

Step 3 – Trim, file and buff your nails

Once you’ve decided on your perfect shape it’s time to get filing! If your nails are really long and you are vibing shorter nails this time around, it’s best to trim them slightly with nail clippers.

See-sawing back and forth with your file can actually weaken the nail and cause it to split and/or peel. Instead file from the outer edges of your nail toward the center in one direction. Just make sure you use a good quality file.

Finally, buff the tops and sides of your nails with a nail buffer. This is an important step as it’ll help create a smoother surface for polish application but it’ll also prevent the build-up of natural oils on your nails.

Step 4 – Exfoliate your hands

Exfoliate hands, wrists, and forearms with a scrub that eliminates dead skin cells while replenishing moisture. I love Pevonia’s Silky Skin Scrub. Its creamy formula gently polishes away dead skin cells and impurities with jojoba beads, rosemary, sage, and allantoin. Unveiling smooth, radiant, and silky-soft skin. Heavenly.

Beauty Collective - Pevonia Silky Skin Body Scrub

Step 5 – It’s time for some hand pampering!

All hail the hand massage! – just because you’re not in the spa or at your favourite nail salon doesn’t mean you can’t be pampered for a minute or two or three! Even when my four year old daughter has a go at this step it’s honestly a little luxury, and she loves playing beauty therapist! Research has also proven that a hand massage can not only increase hand strength and elevate any aches and pains but also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety!

Now first things first you want to indulge your hands and nails in the spa treat they deserve so choose wisely!  I highly recommend Phytomer’s Oleocreme Ultra-Nourishing Hand Cream. Enriched with a blend of skin-loving ingredients, this luxurious treatment soothes, softens, and deeply nourishes hands. Also unlike many other hand creams, it absorbs super-fast to instantly condition hands and nails without leaving them sticky and slimy.

To start your massage gently stroke your hand (or the hand of your mani-partner) to relax and warm it. Now take your cream and gently rub it between your hands to warm it up a bit, then start by rubbing it into your arm with long smooth motions from wrist to elbow, this is to warm up the muscles. Next, use your thumb to lightly rub the back of your wrist and hand applying moderate pressure as your thumb nears the wrist. Now move onto your fingers taking time to massage each finger individually. Give each finger a gentle twist in alternating direction then give a quick but not too firm full to finish. Repeat this for each finger and your thumbs.

When you have finished focusing on each finger turn your hand over. Use your thumbs to apply pressure to your palm. Then interlock your fingers and slowly rotate your hands. Alternate directions and stretch it out. Finally, cup your hand around your forearm and gently move it all the way down the arm from the elbow to fingertips applying a little pressure.

Once your pampering is complete, give each nail a quick swipe with nail polish remover to get rid of any oily residue.

Phytomer Oleocreme Ultra-Nourishing Hand Cream

Step 6 – Apply your polish

Now for the fun part! It’s time to polish!

Firstly, it is important to invest in a polish that is not only long-lasting but healthy for your nails too. Look for “5-free” options which means it’s DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor free.  ELES Cosmetics nail polishes are made with the best of Australian quality ingredients and have a 5-free professional patented formula which holds its colour and shine for days.   They don’t require a base coat but you can still opt to apply one first if you wish.

Now select your colour of choice – my forever favourite is the ELES Cosmetics Nail Polish in Alice in Wonderland, while my daughter is currently loving Some Like it Hot! On application be sure not to overload the brush with polish (you need just enough to cover the nail in one coat). Brush from cuticle to nail tip in as few strokes as possible, preferably three times only – one stroke down the middle of your nail, one on each side. For seamless coverage it’s best to apply two coats, however the longer you can wait between coats, the better.

ELES Nail Polish

You can complete your manicure by applying a topcoat if you wish, this can protect your manicure and add a little extra shine.

Beauty Collective - Makeup - Mental Wellbeing

7 ways makeup can actually improve your mental wellbeing

While it might have been tempting to forego makeup altogether since #isolife and hey it’s the perfect time to give your skin a break, right? There is no denying the impact makeup can actually have on your wellbeing. When it comes to wearing cosmetics, the benefits go way beyond looks and we are here to explain how;

1  It can transform your mood and mindset

If you’re one of the many currently working from home whilst home-schooling your kids, I’m feeling you. The daily juggle is real and the idea of any time to yourself is almost laughable, but practising self-care at home is imperative, as is maintaining routines where possible!

A simple beauty regimen can be so beneficial for those who have a hard time implementing or prioritizing self-care. Setting aside some time and energy for daily makeup application – and we aren’t talking hours, it can be as little as 5-10 minutes – can have a profound effect on your mindset. Taking time out to pop on a little mascara, foundation, concealer and blush even, can help your skin look it’s very best but also greatly elevate your spirits. I personally find getting up in the morning and following the same routine I would if I was still going into the office, is a great motivator! By making myself look presentable I feel better, brighter and so much more productive!

2 It can be therapeutic

I don’t know about you but those 10 minutes to myself when I can forget about the daily grind or the outside world, and instead just focus on creating my mini makeover, is actually bliss, therapeutic almost. I unfortunately no longer have time for swimming and at-home yoga sessions are few and far between, so my morning makeup routine has become my little self-soothing ritual, especially when the kids have been driving me a wee bit crazy since 7am!

3 It can bring out your inner artist

Your makeup routine can provide a creative outlet. Whether you’re feeling the minimal makeup vibe or channelling your inner Lady Gaga, with makeup you can be as artistic as you like, no limitations. It can also be a great way to explore different makeup trends and find out which looks work best for you! Nothing like taking this time in isolation to perfect your look for that dinner date or girls night out once lives return to normality.

4 It can be fun!

Makeup isn’t all about looking presentable, it can be so much fun too! You can play with colours to create looks you never thought possible and for me the only people to judge at the moment are my little minions! Who happen to think any look I don is fab! Phew!

Plus if like me your kids find makeup fascinating and are old enough, why not make it into something fun you can share with them too? With kids home 24/7 it’s the perfect time to engage them in makeup play. It provides them with an alternative option to drawing, painting, and doing craft and the looks they create themselves will, in turn, create fun memories forever, I have the photos to prove it!

5 It can boost your confidence

It is fact that wearing makeup can help you cultivate a more polished or even ‘perfected’ version of yourself…so to speak. Concealing any imperfections can increase confidence as well as make you feel more in control of yourself and your skin. And this boost of confidence, in turn, is known to increase productivity. Win Win I say!

6 It can improve your skin

Say what? Wearing makeup can actually improve your skin? I hear you say. I know this might sound a little ridiculous after all doesn’t the majority of makeup clog your skin? Prevent it from breathing properly? Not if you are using the right makeup products, no!

Spending so much time at home in quarantine can have a negative effect on your skin, deplete it of certain essential nutrients and minerals. And while skincare care vastly improve your skin’s appearance, so can your makeup if you opt for formulations with skin nurturing ingredients. By choosing mineral foundations and powers rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, aloe and chamomile, will not only provide your skin with antioxidant protection but also soothe, protect and correct your complexion too! I personally LOVE the ELES Cosmetics best-selling Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation for these exact reasons! The coverage is perfect – silky smooth with a matte finish, creating a totally natural flawless complexion, while also protecting and correcting my skin!

Also makeup – anything from your lipstick to your highlighter – can be one of the most efficient anti-ageing measures as they offer additional protection for your skin against the sun’s rays and pollution! It’s easy to forget about applying sunscreen to our lips or around our delicate eye area, I know I’m guilty of this! So pigmented eyeshadows and long-lasting lipsticks can actually help with this. The ELES Moisture Crème Lipstick has an instantly nourishing formula, offers both rich colour and long-lasting wear and it deeply conditions lips with vitamins E, A, C, shea butter, avocado and jojoba oils! I can’t get enough of the Nutmeg shade, I have very pale lips so this adds the perfect sheen of much needed colour!

ELES Moisture Creme Lipstick

7 It can increase longevity

Practising self-care such as makeup application comes with both short and long-term health benefits. Makeup routines we now know can raise your mood helping you both behave and think differently. And due to numerous studies it is proven that people with a more positive attitude quite simply live longer!

ELES omnibus Sept 2019


When was the last time you sorted through your makeup? I mean organised, dusted and decluttered it? Whether it be the selection of products currently sitting on your bathroom vanity or the hoards you’ve accumulated over the years that no longer sees the light of day, by ‘tidying’ your makeup you will also ‘tidy your mindset’, according to globally renowned ‘organising consultant’ (aka ‘tidying expert’) and bestselling author, Marie Kondo.

Back in her late teens Marie Kondo created the ‘KonMari’ method, a philosophy which suggests we should all “keep things that speak to the heart and discard items that no longer spark joy.” And now this method has been adopted by people all around the world, transforming their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration! Sold? Read on…

Having worked in the cosmetics industry for many years, I have been blessed to not only trial but be gifted with countless products and if I hadn’t have adopted Marie Kondo’s KonMari method myself, I’d have been signed up for the TV show “Hoarders” by now!

So if you are one for acquiring a mountain of makeup products, many of which you no longer use but can’t bring yourself to throw them away, now is the perfect time for change! Here are some decluttering Marie Kondo mantras to live your new life by;


ELES Cosmetics Tinted Moisturiser

  1. Commit to sorting ALL your makeup

This isn’t a onetime thing but a process that will allow you to enjoy your makeup routine in a whole new way so you need to be committed to tackling the entire task at hand in one go, no matter how tedious a job it is! Unless you apply yourself from start to finish in one fell swoop, you’ll just end up shifting your makeup from one spot to another, accomplishing nothing. I promise once you’ve decluttered all your makeup hoards and completed the organising process you will be motivated to keep it that way!


  1. Create a mountain

Now you are committed you still need to ensure you don’t just tidy one drawer or bag of makeup at a time if you do it that way you’ll lose both momentum and motivation! Instead, grab every single item of makeup whether on display or hidden in the deep depths of your cupboard and put into one large pile. This way you can really see what you have been clutching onto for all those months, years even!


  1. Sort by category

It’s time to dive right into the mountain of makeup and organise by category (I found this part rather therapeutic!) The KonMari ‘tidy your home’ method has people starting with the clothing category and then sorting into subcategories such as shirts, skirts etc…this exact same method can be applied to organising your makeup. So put your many lippies into one pile, your mascaras into another and so on…


ELES Cosmetics

  1. Out with the old, in with the new

Once you have categorised your masses of makeup it’s time to discard the products that are old, expired or even those that are unused, or “that no longer give you joy” as Marie Kondo states.

So many of us (I really was a sucker for this) tend to cling onto so many material things ‘just in case’ we might need them again. It’s important to be realistic and ask yourself the question “when did I last use this?” if you can’t remember it’s time to toss it!

Products such as foundation and concealer will typically last a few years (although once opened beware of bacteria build-up) but products like mascara have a much lesser shelf life so if you haven’t used it for a few months it’s likely time to replace it!

By cutting down your collection you will create room for inevitable growth, after all who doesn’t want to get their hands on that new product launch! Just remember though some makeup, while it looks fabulous in the palette, might not look so great on your complexion. Have a little fun, do a little experimenting and choose to keep only the products while make you feel and look your best.


  1. Decipher which products bring you joy

Now that you’ve eliminated the old and unusable, take those remaining red lipsticks, that shadow palette, your powder blush, in your hand and ask yourself if it sparks joy! If the answer is not really then simply say a Marie Kondo “thank you for your service” mantra and add it to the ‘see you later’ pile. This exercise not only cleans out your beauty bag, drawer or cupboard, it also instills decision-making skills that’ll transfer into other areas of your life. But remember by ‘sparking joy’ we mean how it makes you feel when you wear it, not that when you last wore your sparkly lip gloss at the 2018 Christmas party you had a fun night!


ELES Cosmetics makeup brushes

  1. Don’t forget your tools!

Aside from your makeup products, it’s important to sort through your tools too!

Your makeup tools are meant to be washed. Besides bacteria, both brushes and sponges also accumulate dead skin cells and oil which can clog your pores leading to skin irritation and pesky pimples! Also if you apply your makeup with a dirty bush the end result can be a streaky and patchy complexion! Clean brushes definitely make for a smoother makeup application!


Once you have completed your KonMari ritual, the end result will be a clean, well-organised, easily accessible collection and a new improved you!

self care at home

Practice self-care at home with team BC’s beauty recommendations

Whether you are now working from home, find yourself in isolation with extra time on your hands or are currently channelling your inner teacher while working a full-time job (who doesn’t love a bit of multi-tasking – EEK), practicing self-care is, and will continue to be imperative in these unsettling times.

From DIY facials and mini makeovers to pampering baths and eyebrow maintenance, we take you through some of our team’s must-try recommendations on how to keep both your skin and wellbeing in check….all you need is a little effort and the right tools!


Give yourself a DIY facial

While we can’t visit our faithful salon or spa for a while, we can practice self-care at home with a pampering DIY facial. A facial is perfect for nurturing both the skin and psych and is very simple to do. For a detailed account of how to achieve a salon-style facial click here.

Phytomer Oligomer Well Being Sensation Essential Minerals Relaxing Bath

Indulge in a therapeutic bath

Little instantly reduces stress quite like taking a relaxing remineralizing bath. Ahhhhhh. Begin by creating a spa-like atmosphere so your entire body is relaxed – we are talking soothing music, burning essential oils, lighting your favourite candle, whatever it takes to set the mood. Next, fill the bath with a de-stressing bath foam or detoxifying salts. After having the luxury of trying many a bath product, I have to say Phytomer’s Oligomer Well Being Sensation Essential Minerals Relaxing Bath really does create an unparalleled stress-relief experience. This amazing lightly foaming product is enriched with Oligomer – a partially sodium-reduced seawater concentrate that contains all of the remineralizing properties of seawater –to strengthen and restore the skin and release all pent-up tension.

ELES Nail Polish
Try your hand at a mani/pedi

While having my nails done professionally is something I love to treat myself to once a month, it is totally achievable to do a little DIY mani and pedi at home, and something fun you can do with your kids if you have them at home with you too! You can opt to do a simple mani/pedi which just includes a little nail clipping or filing, followed by a hand soak and then polish application (the best method for me to follow when my 4 year old demands ‘mani/pedi time!’ or for a salon-style DIY experience follow these simple tips;

  1. Start by soaking your hands or feet in warm water for a few minutes, you can add some reinvigorating bath salts to the water too!
  2. Next exfoliate your hands and feet to promote blood circulation and slough and file your nails to your desired shape.
  3. Now do the same process on your feet, but remember to file your soles with a foot file or pumice stone.
  4. Next it’s polish application time! Try ELES Cosmetics range of healthy nail polishes.


Phytomer Sun Radiance Self-Tanning Cream

Give yourself a sun-kissed glow

Let’s face it, we may be stuck inside for longer than we ever anticipated, but that doesn’t mean we have to forsake that golden, sun-kissed glow, after all who doesn’t feel better with a tan! I personally love the Phytomer Sun Radiance Self-Tanning Cream, it is so light in texture, leaves no streaks and delivers a very natural, luminous, long-lasting tan. Bonus since we won’t be sunning ourselves on the beach anytime soon!

Pevonia Enzymo-Spherides Peeling Cream

Do an at-home peel

Something I love to do every few weeks is treat myself to an at-home peel. The combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (like glycolic and lactic acid), Beta Hydroxy Acids (like the acne-fighting salicylic acid) and gentle exfoliants like fruit enzymes dissolve the so-called glue that holds your dead skin cells together, revealing healthier and more radiant looking skin in as little as ten minutes. There are even options with skin-soothing ingredients so they’re safe for sensitive and reactive skin.

One of my absolute favourites is the Pevonia Enzymo-Spherides Peeling Cream which combines natural fruit pineapple and papaya enzymes to eliminate impurities, blackheads, dead cells and toxins and in turn reveal smooth, soft and glowing skin.

Marine Magnesium

Try your hand at massage

Give yourself or get a family member to give you a massage! And don’t underestimate your kids if you have them at home, sometimes my 6 year old is better at massages than my hubby!

I’m talking anything from a relaxing hand, arm or foot massage, to a back and shoulder massage to elevate aches and pains, or a good head massage to reduce tension headaches. And no it’s not going to be anything like indulging in the hands of the professionals at your favourite salon or spa, but it will reduce stress and enable you to decompress, all the same.

Before starting the massage you need to choose a massage cream, gel or oil. Your choice can hugely impact the effect of the massage as particular scents can evoke relaxation while certain ingredients will alleviate aches and pains. For an indulgent hand and arm massage I adore the Phytomer Oleocreme Ultra-Nourishing Hand Cream followed by an all over arm spritz of best-selling Pevonia Dry Oil Body Moisturiser. It revitalizes and deeply nourishes every inch of skin with squalene, lavender and chamomile. Bliss.

If your legs and feet are feeling heavy and fatigued, both the Pevonia’s Tension Relief Gel and Phytomer Cryotonic Soothing Leg Gel are a must. Both products are anti-inflammatory, cooling and uplifting gel formulations for tired aching muscles and sore feet.

For a therapeutic back and shoulder massage to alleviate aches and pains at the hands of stress, I would highly recommend using the Pevonia Micro Emulsion Massage Oil Anti-Stress. With its gorgeous aroma and nourishing ingredients, it immediately releases pent up tension. For more focused areas of muscle tension, the Pevonia Marine Magnesium is amazing. This de-stressing treatment oil works quickly to relieve fatigue, muscle cramps, and muscular inflammation while nourishing your body and spirit with remineralizing and wellness induced benefits.

Now take your product, rub between your hands and place hands on the chosen area for massage. Set tone and rhythm of massage translating comfort and relaxation,

ELES Nude Palette

Give yourself a mini makeover

While you might be currently donning the ‘makeup free look’ since you are self-isolating at home, a mini makeover can provide a creative and fun outlet for self-expression that can lift you up during tough times.  I definitely find it helps me conquer any anxiety I might be feeling! At the moment, my mind is constantly preoccupied or engaged in worry, but those ten minutes of putting on makeup for fun is a time where I get away from that, after all, it’s pretty difficult to focus on all that is happening in the world when I’m playing with my amazing array of ELES makeup shades! So do yourself a favour and use this time to enjoy your makeup while it’s no longer a must-do daily task!

Do some eyebrow maintenance

For those of us who rely on having our brows maintained by an amazing brow specialist, the next few months will be tough! While you need to be very careful not to undo the amazing work your beautician has crafted, it will likely be necessary to remove a few growing strays yourself in order to maintain your brows’ shape! After all perfect, natural-looking eyebrows can completely transform your face and make you look and feel 10 years younger! Who doesn’t need that in their life right now?

For expert tips on how to create perfect brows at home click here.