How I started a Movement ❤️🚜🇦🇺

B R O W S • F O R • B A L E S

A call out to Australian Brow and Beauty Professionals to help our Farmers in Crisis.

It was early July 2018 and I was scrolling through my regular social media pages when a photograph caught my eye. It was a dramatic aerial shot showing a convoy of semi-trailers as far as the eye could see. It was evening and they all had their headlights on as they were driving on a long dirt road and appeared to be on a mission to attend something. As my grandparents were from the rural NSW agricultural township of Gunnedah, home of AgQuip – one of the World’s largest Primary Industry Field Days – I initially thought it was an advertisement for some kind of Truck Expo or other Rural Farming Convention of some kind.

On closer inspection, I read that the caption was actually expressing how rural Australia was being affected by “Australia’s worst drought in living memory”  and was calling for volunteers to assist in the transportation of hay bales and grocery items to farmers in what appeared to be hard to reach areas. They were expressing how fuel was expensive and they could use some helping hands in any way possible. They needed volunteers and donations.

At this stage I (and I believe many others) had no idea just how dire the circumstances were becoming for many of our rural areas and the farming communities that rely so heavily on the produce from the Land. AUSTRALIA IS IN DROUGHT.

I live and work in the city so there is a lack of comprehension of just how devastating life has become for many farming communities. There’s a drought? Really? Apparently it has been going on for quite some time but we are not aware or remotely concerned about what happens outside our city walls.

Watching one particular new article on TV reporting the desperation of some farming families who were resigned to eating out of cans so they could retain enough money to feed their remaining livestock, I was ruined. The tears streaming down my face as these brave souls broke down in front of the cameras recounting their stories. Never asking for help and never giving up. These farms were their livelihood and their life. I really had to do something. Now! That night I sprang into action.

I attempted to find the initial photograph that I saw on social media – but to no avail. So I began searching for ways in which to donate to one of the Rural Aid organisations. I couldn’t remember who it was that had posted that picture but I happened across an organisation called Buy a Bale. Hmm … “Buy-a-Bale”. Now I’m a sucker for good puns, clever rhymes and punchy alliteration. So coming from a background in Commercial Art, I was drawn to this one. I read their website http://www.buyabale.com.au and decided this was the one I was going to donate my money to. I spent what I could afford but it felt like it would not be enough.

My mission was to find a way to make this fit into MY world of Eyebrows? Then an idea hit me: 💡 BROWS FOR BALES. Hashtags were born #Brows4Bales and #BrowsForBales I was now going to save the Farmers with the help of my New Brow Friends … but I needed to broaden the scope.

Beauty Salons encompass not only brows and body treatments but nails, tanning and many other service. So I called on Brow and Beauty Professionals to donate a portion of their services to help the cause – #Beauty4Bales and #BeautyForBales were added. #NailsForBales was created and asked to joined my campaign.

It is amazing how many salons responded to my call and were willing to jump on board with my cause. All they needed was a little push. As news of “Australia’s worst drought in living memory” became more frequent and awareness was growing, I began to notice more and more salons using the hashtags and creating their own memes calling their clientele and local salons into action.

My focus was primarily Brows and Beauty Professionals as I am well aware that hairdressers are continuously donating to cancer charities. However, interest was coming in thick from Nail Salons, Barbershops, Hairdressers, Tanning Salons and even a Beauty Product Distribution Company. To my delight people were recognising that this was important and Salons wanted to get involved.

These wonderful people, who were now actively involved deserved acknowledgement, so I created the Facebook page Brows for Bales. This was to be a place that would showcase all the wonderful generosity and somewhere that I could thank participants, bring awareness of our tremendous work to the active and relevant charity organisations and hopefully encourage more involvement. Rural Aid  and Buy-a-Bale  acknowledged our contributions and thanked us in a blog post on their website. Validation was now set.

By this time a number of participating salons were now posting about their charitable achievements and donations to the suggested organisations – like The Farmy Army  and Buy-a-Bale  and Drought Angels. It was about this time that the TV Stations began to advertise celebrity concerts and charity telethon appeals etc. The general public was now swept up by the reach and influence of their favourite television celebrities.

By November, Television was now patting itself on the back letting us know how much money they had procured in pledges. It would seem that viewers were satisfied that they had done enough by tuning in. We had felt a few drops of rain in our concrete jungle so the “Worst drought in Australian history” must be over.

During the Christmas period of 2018, whilst visiting the rural town where my family resides, it was bought to my attention that The Land magazine had reported that my chosen “lead” charity had gone into liquidation. How could this be? Now I was suddenly feeling foolish and embarrassed that all my many restless nights trying to rally my professional community was (now) all for nought. Hours of work trying to convince my city-based peers to refocus from their “first world problems” and understand that the reason that their fresh produce was becoming more expensive and less abundant was because … well … there was none. How does this even make sense that a Rural Aid charity – who was helping so many unfortunate Australians – would “go under”? So many struggling farming communities still needed their help.

It has since been confirmed that this was not actually the case and that all charitable donations have been allocated to their appropriate designations. Thankfully and to much emotional relief, Landcare Victoria Incorporated (LVI) published an article  stating that the Rural Aid Charity Buy a Bale campaign continues!

“ Rural Aid has confirmed that the charity’s drought relief campaign ‘Buy a Bale’ continues and since 30 August 2018 has delivered over 20,000 tonnes of hay to drought affected farmers. The website is still live, the donation bank details etc. are correct, so donors are still able to access and use the site. Landcare Groups and staff can therefore continue to confidently promote the Buy a Bale campaign to members and the public.

PKF has clarified that it is The Give Back Campaign that is being liquidated, not the Rural Aid Charity’s drought relief campaign Buy a Bale. We have been informed that PKF is in the process of arranging the sale of The Give Back Campaign’s assets. The Buy a Bale website domain (www.buyabale.com.au) is owned by Rural Aid (as of January 2019) “

Now in March 2019, Australia is still in recovery from this devastating drought and not all farms were able to survive. Many farming communities are still struggling to make ends meet. Donations are ALWAYS welcome. Despite the misreporting regarding the demise of Buy a Bale, please rest assured that any charitable donations made to this Rural Aid organisation will go to its rightfully intended place.

My sole purpose in all of this was to bring awareness and hopefully call generous and active community members into action and to donate. I do believe that my peers in the Professional Brow and Beauty Industry managed to collectively accumulate a tremendous amount of funds to help save the farmers and for that I am extremely proud and eternally grateful.

As a final note to all the Brow and Beauty Professionals who participated in my BROWS FOR BALES  campaign in 2018, I would like to convey my utmost thanks and respect. Thank you all for donating. Thank you all for encouraging your clients and fellow Salons to get involved to help save our farmers. Wow! What an amazing few months. The sense of community pulling together in this difficult time was immense, with pledges and committed involvement as far afield as Perth in Western Australia to Mackay in Far North Queensland to Geelong south of Melbourne as well as many rural towns and cities in between. Every dollar counts and every little piece of help is greatly appreciated. Just know that you have saved lives and added to the longevity of our National Food Pool. I am so proud of you, your contributions and participation. Thank you all so very much.

Thank you also to Buy a Bale for allowing us appropriate their logo for our campaign. It should also be noted that BrowGuy and Brows for Bales is in no way aligned or affiliated with Rural Aid or their Buy a Bale subsidiary.

Everybody say L♡VE

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#BrowGuy • #AndoPlux • #Browmiester® #EyebrowDesign #EyebrowArtist #SydneyBrowArtist #ArtisanEyebrows #BrowBlogger #BeautyBlogger #Eyebrows #Brows #Entrepeneur #LetMyTweezersDoTheTalking

Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

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Appointment Times 🕰 When did the culture change?

When did it become ok to arrive late to your scheduled appointment?

Having worked in service industries for many years, it is something I have seen develop or unravel more and more often as time goes on. People are now arriving later to their scheduled appointments than ever before and then behave as if it is the Service Professional’s fault if treatments have to be cut short or rescheduled.

It would seem that as our society becomes more insular, more aggressive and people become more self righteous, consideration, politeness and common courtesy is becoming … well … less common.

I was always taught that it was polite, professional and respectful to turn up for appointments, job interviews and invitations at least 5 minutes early to your scheduled time. You are showing respect for the inviter so that you are prepared and settled as soon as they are ready to begin the reason that you are there.

When you attend a performance at the theatre you are given a starting time that you must be there before they lock the doors. Out of respect for the Professional Performers, late-comers are locked out of the opening number or scene. You have to wait for a predetermined, less distracting and more considerate time of entry. You miss some of the service but you pay the same amount for a ticket.

Many Health and Beauty businesses run to a tight schedule so it is not only polite but expected that you should arrive on time. Planes don’t wait. You are encouraged to get to the airport early to check in and get all your incidental bits done before take off. Trains don’t wait for your tardiness. They have to get to their next station (appointment) at the expected scheduled time.

Consider this: When you are rushing to a medical, beauty or hair appointment – you know, something that is more of a hands on service – when you arrive exactly on your appointment time or even a few minutes late, your technician, health professional or hairdresser, beauty therapist or Brow Artist now have to contend not only with your distracted state of mind and flustered repartee but also possible shortness of breath and tensed muscles – which may have needed to be in a relaxed state for best results. Then there is the sweatiness, clammy skin, body odour or excessive radiating heat from rushing – which is not only unpleasant for the operator but can also hinder the effectiveness of the oncoming treatment.

Moisture, heat and body oils all have a direct impact on every wax, cream, physical or chemical treatment hair and beauty technicians perform. It’s like going running before your podiatrist appointment and then presenting him with hot sweaty feet. There are many more factors at play here than your self-indulged and poorly managed time.

Also worth mentioning is stale cigarette smoke which has travelled inside with you – in your hair and clothing – without you giving it time for it to dissipate. Could you also use a mint?

Arriving slightly earlier for your appointment gives your body time to relax, fall back into place and cool down to a sense of ‘reset’ before your Being can react in an expected fashion to the treatment at hand.

Anecdote: Parking the car right on appointment time believing you’re on time.

I recall the conversation with a client who mentioned that she thought her previous service might have been a little rushed. I agreed that it was, as she had arrived late to her appointment and the following client had arrived on time for theirs. She stridently retorted that she was always on time for her appointment. I politely informed her that this was not always the case and that she was actually frequently a little late. Shocked she responded

“I was on time today for my 6pm, wasn’t I?”.

I coyley shook my head to politely indicate “no”. In disbelief she responded

“I looked at the clock when I was parking the car and it clearly said 6pm”.

I paused at that last statement and could almost see the light flickering on in her eyes as she realise that there would also have to be walking time from the car to her actual appointment location.

•••

As professionals in our field, our time is valuable. Rushing the service has a domino effect. Not only does it mean that you may not be performing your fully intended service, it can make us potentially late for our next client and possibly the one after that. It is selfish to assume that your time is more valuable than the next client – or indeed your paid Professional.

Being notoriously late; Ignoring courtesy late calls; Arriving 20 minutes after your appointment has started but with a freshly poured barista-made coffee in your hand and then expecting the same full service when you have finally arrived; Arriving late and still expecting a full service and also insisting that you are needing to leave early to get to another appointment or to pick up the kids from school – This kind of shared or projected stress is now making us look incompetent. We know how long our service takes. This is why we have scheduled appointment times.

Sometimes, in busy salons and studios we might have to cancel a client if they are too late for us to be able to perform the required service, as it then impinges on the following client’s time. As much as we would like to service everybody to make them happy, we also need to be fair to everybody to keep them happy.

•••

Anecdote: Entitlement verses Tardiness.

I remember the time when I first started managing a beauty salon in one of Sydney’s more affluent inner western suburbs. We were doing back to back appointments and running to a tight schedule. Quite often I would have to call a client to inform them that their appointment started 20 minutes ago and as now they were too late, we would have to reschedule. I will never forget the time when one lady responded with

“Yes that’s right. I’m just leaving the house now”.

I’m not sure what the previous culture was in this salon but a few of the continuing clients acted with much self entitlement. It was as if we were to wait around all day for her to graciously arrive and her appointment began when she felt like getting there.

People forget we are running a business here. On one hand, I guess this could be misconstrued as a form of compliment. You might be coming in for a chat and some pampering but we are working and our time is valuable. If common sense prevails, then “quickly” grabbing something to eat, “quickly” going to the bathroom or “quickly” making that phone call should all be done before your allotted treatment time. There are many minutes in the day so why would you choose exactly this time to carry out these tasks? You are paying me for my time. Now you are just wasting it. Your time is no more important than mine and the next person’s money is just as good as yours.

In 2018 I am reading more and more articles regarding salons who have decided to place a ban on clients bringing children to appointments. This is due to the many distractions hindering technicians from being able to perform tasks to their full capacity. Then there is the occupational health and safety risks – but that is a whole other conversation.

Arriving late without a courtesy call is generally deemed as disrespectful. However we do understand that sometimes you just can’t get to your phone – especially when driving. Service Industries are usually populated by creative people with an immense sense of empathy. We’re not all complete “Time Nazis”. We know there are often extenuating circumstances – just perhaps not EVERY time.

The bottom line is: If you are late to an appointment you must expect an abridged service due to the new time constraints you have now placed on your service technician.

We are all professionals trying to give our best professional service.

A little courtesy goes a long way.

•••

Everybody say L♡VE

º(ÔÕ)º

#BrowGuy • #AndoPlux • #Browmiester® #EyebrowDesign #EyebrowArtist #ArtisanEyebrows #BrowBlogger #BeautyBlogger #Eyebrows #Brows #Entrepeneur #LetMyTweezersDoTheTalking #MoreBlurtThanBlog

Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

KNOW 💳 THY 💳 WORTH

I am discussing the price of INTEGRITY and I’m talking about Value for Money. As an experienced Professional in my field, Yes I could charge less for my services but I could also charge way much more than I do. As a customer you could get your Brows done cheaply by a poorly trained ‘non-specialist’ and they could actually mess up your entire face. Or you could spend a few extra dollars and have them expertly crafted by someone who knows what they are doing.

BrowGuy specialises in Eyebrows. Most Beauty Salons are primarily focussed on facials, skin and body treatments and have a “Brow Wax” as an “add-on” service at a cheap price. Many sketchy Nail Bars now offer Brows also as an add-on service (((CRINGE))). In both cases #Brows are NOT their focus.

Sadly it is commonplace in the Beauty Industry for businesses to undercut their opposition just to get a sale. Many unwitting patrons will choose to use the cheaper option because it is … well … cheaper. Alternatively they will try to threaten you into dropping your prices for whatever reason. “I can get them done cheaper down the road.” That may be so but can you get the shaping and clearing done as expertly and as long lasting as what I am offering?

Professionally speaking and from experience, if you can afford outside marketing to assist in promoting your business, the very first thing a (usually fledgling) PR company will suggest is that you offer a discount on your services. (Yet they do not discount theirs). What‘s up with that?! Are they not being employed to help you make MORE money not give it away? They charge top dollar for their “expert” opinion yet they want you to under-charge for your vastly well educated and practiced expertise combined with any God-given talent.

(Can I get an “Amen” up in here?).

As Brow Artists we are constantly being encouraged to de-value the very Lifeforce of our businesses. Why are we relentlessly under attack by people who try to persuade us to charge minimal costing for services which really do have maximum impact? You could do your own brows yourself at home or you could pay a Professional to do them CORRECTLY.

I set up my prices a long time ago and they have not wavered too much since the beginning of time. Simply because I knew the value of having quality #eyebrows and how they can dramatically and instantly transform and enhance your entire face. This revelation came to me in the mid 2000s at the very edge of the beginning of the more recent Brow Phenomenon. I have always let my #Tweezers do the talking and let my “skills pay the bills”.

With foresight I have set my price for a reason and in accordance to my market and my Industry average. Regardless of my competitors in the field, I do what I do and at the price that I charge. I am not in competition with anybody. It’s not a race. I believe there is room for everyone. My clients know that they are getting an exceptionally high standard of precision brow work executed at a cost that is completely affordable in relation to the end result.

I stand with BROW SPECIALISTS everywhere who are here to learn from each other. To encourage and lift each other along with integrity in our burgeoning Industry. I won’t be persuaded by the outdated ideals of cheaper is better for business. Nor will I be price-bullied by potential customers who do not have my expertise for the very thing they are seeking me out for. I’m not trying to rip anyone off. It’s about more than money for me. I just love my Craft and I like to share that love with my customers. Yet I stand firm knowing the value of my skillset. I have set the price of my service with honesty and integrity. As a locally based Brow Sculpting Enthusiast, I KNOW MY WORTH.

Everybody say L♡VE

º(ÔÕ)º

#BrowGuy • #AndoPlux • #Browmiester® #EyebrowDesign #EyebrowArtist #ArtisanEyebrows #BrowBlogger #BeautyBlogger #Eyebrows #Brows #Entrepeneur #LetMyTweezersDoTheTalking #MoreBlurtThanBlog

Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

Eyebrow ✂️ Trimming

I have never been the biggest advocate of trimming Brow Hairs (you see this an awful lot on Instagram). Back in Beauty School we were taught that this was a definite no-no. However over the many years as a Brow Perfectionist, I have come to understand that it has a very important place on occasion. Considerably more appropriate in overly hirsute instances and probably more commonly required when adjusting a #ManBrow.

To me trimming brow hairs is a last resort when you can’t go any further with brow control simply by sculpting and/or using directional products. Sometimes the hairs are growing far too lengthy to remain attractive in a bushier brow. Alternatively a client may be subject to the random ‘hair-horn’ protruding out from the crowd. Sometimes a person may even just have a rogue hair which has grown in such a way that trimming it would be a better solution than simply pulling it out – which may leave a gap.

Aimlessly hacking a straight line across the top browline like you’re performing topiary on an unruly hedge is NOT the way to trim a brow – no matter how aggressively the hair growth may appear to be and no matter many times you might see it on Instagram.

If you are not a hairdresser or you do not understand how to correctly cut a hair then don’t do it!

Often you will see technicians cutting across the top browline before even considering what specific shaping requirements are actually needed for each individual client. As a professional Original Brow Artist this action makes me feel terribly uneasy for the future of our clients’ faces. As these technicians are supposedly qualified Beauty Industry Professionals, it unfortunately displays an ignorance to the actual function of the eyebrow and no understanding that they are on your face to serve a purpose – not only for aesthetic appeal.

Cutting brow hairs too short can result in them losing not only their natural form but their natural function as well. In protecting the eye by deflecting debris and moisture, they need length and some flexibility. If they are too tightly trimmed, it means that the brows can’t do their job.

Whoah! Slow down there, Tiger. Be sure to avoid cutting a Scoop.

Precision trimming; discretely snipping one hair at a time is the ONLY way brows should be trimmed. It needs to be done in such a fashion so that it is unnoticeable that the hair has been cut. On rare occasions a much thicker brow may require some thinning out. This needs to be done with utmost care and absolute precision. Strategic snipping is only for the well rehearsed and extremely confident artisan.

This is where I should say: “Leave this Treatment to the Professionals”.

Unfortunately this is becoming more and more often the first go-to action a NEW Brow Artist will take – again because they have seen it so often on Social Media. Usually these choppy videos are demonstrated particularly by young Makeup Artists who ‘do brows’. They inadvertently display that they have little to no understanding of the shape of the hair strand after it has been cut; the way the actual hair lies within its place in the brow; and that “Crunchy” or prickly feeling after too many hairs have been bluntly trimmed.

Too much scissor action makes the brows look bristly (like a toothbrush) and feel ‘prickly’ (like a doormat). Too many times I have seen brows which have been cut too close to the upper brow line – or even below it 👀 Yikes! This dramatically loses the natural soft line of the brow and creates an unnatural appearance which can also be quite ageing on many faces. Clients will notice little black dots (newer hairs or even broken hairs) within the space of two days; and the shape will be far more difficult to maintain for any length of time.

Too close for comfort

Trimmed hairs are more likely to stand up on their ends creating the illusion of more space between the hairs due to visual foreshortening (👈Google that). With strategic trimming, the brow hairs will lay much flatter hence visually filling any natural gaps and giving a naturally fuller effect.

Think before trimming. Seriously consider how desperately do the hairs actually need to be snipped? Eyebrows that are trimmed don’t look natural when they are growing back. Additionally, the shape is dependent on how the eyebrow hairs lay, which can be compromised if the wrong hairs are cut too short. If you are working with a thin brow or one where the hair is quite sparse, should you really be taking any more hair away? Most likely not.

Trimming sparse hairs will make the hairs appear more sparse.

If some scissor action is absolutely necessary, strategic trimming is key. This is where the angle you hold your scissors is of utmost importance for a natural looking brow. This is best done, firstly with the correct type of scissors and secondly with lots of expertise.

Square and bristly “Instabrows” may appear neat and tidy at first but they will not last the distance. They are high maintenance and may not necessarily suit your natural face shape. A well groomed, easy maintenance and cleverly executed brow should flatter your face and leave your brows looking soft, fluid and feminine.

A trimmed Brow looks like a trimmed Brow.

Harsh and Bristly vs Soft and Natural.

Which do you think is more beautiful?

Talk to your Brow Artist about the best ways to embrace and enhance the beauty of your natural face shape. Scissors may not be necessary.

Trimming isn’t always winning!

º(ÔÕ)º

#BrowGuy • #AndoPlux • #Browmiester®
#BrowPower #BrowCandy #EyebrowDesign #EyebrowArtist #ArtisanEyebrows #BrowBlogger #BeautyBlogger #Eyebrows #Brows #Entrepeneur #MoreBlurtThanBlog

Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

Original Vegemite v. Vegemite Blend 17

HAVE YOU TRIED IT? WHAT DO YOU THINK? COMMENT BELOW👇🏼

… MEANWHILE READ MY REVIEW

Vegemite is a thick, black Australian food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. It was developed by Cyril Percy Callister in Melbourne, Victoria in 1922.” –  Wikipedia

“Vegemite was invented in Melbourne in 1922 when Australian food manufacturer Fred Walker asked chemist CP Callister to create a product similar to British Marmite. … As overseas travel increased, Vegemite was carried around the world by Australians as a way to reaffirm their connection to home.” –  Vegemite | National Museum of Australia

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Image via the Web

It is a vegetarian yeast extract breakfast spread made from barley and wheat and salt, packed with the goodness of folate, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. It doesn’t sound too appealing. It’s a black sticky paste so it doesn’t look too appealing either. Infact the taste can be so polarising that people either love it or are disgusted by it’s unique salty flavour. Most Australians would be familiar with the popular TV jingle: “We’re happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be. We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast lunch and tea” … and so it goes.

Many of us ‘true-blue, fair-dinkum, ridgy-didge, dinky-die Aussie kids would have grown up with Vegemite as a staple on the breakfast table. Some may even joke that they were weened on the black, sticky tar-like substance.

Primarily it is used as a breakfast spread, usually on top of buttered toast or on bread in a sandwich or on crackers such as Arnott’s SAO biscuits. It has also been entrenched into Australian kitchens as a dependable cooking ingredient in a variety of applications. It is often used to enrich casseroles, soups and gravies. It is a regular favourite as a quick midnight snack or cure for a hangover in the form of grilled cheese and Vegemite on toast. More recently people are enjoying it on sourdough toast topped with scrambled eggs or smashed avocado. The latter has become a new brunch favourite in Inner-City cafes for many Inner-City Hipsters.

In 2017, the Vegemite brand (No longer owned by Kraft but now owned by Australian company Bega Cheese) has released a new version of its Aussie breakfast classic. They call it “Blend 17.

So, as I have personally considered myself an aficionado of Vegemite in all its various forms since I was very young, I thought I would put the new blend to the test. Here are my observations:

The new Special Edition jar is presented not in the familiar yellow and red label but rather a smaller version in a rather sleek black and silver box and label, making it look like more of a top shelf product. This is a very clever retail marketing device used across most industries.

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Image via the Web.

Once opened, the colouring of the actual product is identical to its predecessor as a sticky black paste. Although I must say that the existing jar of original formula that resides in my refrigerator had a slightly glossier appearance. The aroma was subtle. This was a newly opened jar so the ingredients would not have contacted oxygen since the time of packaging.

Dipping my knife into the jar, the very first thing I noticed was that the new Blend 17 had a slightly softer, more creamier texture. My knife sunk deeply into the jar of product without any effort before spreading evenly and smoothly across the toast. I was taken by surprise because I’m not used to such spreadability from the older standard.

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Image via the Web.

Now for the important stuff: The Taste. On my first bite I wasn’t so sure if it actually had a new flavour. I couldn’t quite tell if I could actually taste the classic familiar Vegemite nuances at all. It was not immediate. It’s in there somewhere. I know it is. Just give it time. A few more chews and … Success! The aroma started to weave its way up through my nasal passages. I discovered that the new product has potentially lost the classic immediate sensorial aroma. The flavour is a lot smoother and less defined. Hardly noticeable at first but with a slow development. It was definitely sweeter but not nearly as sweet as a similar product, such as Promite (which I also love, by the way).

A few more chews and it hit me. Ah! There is that familiar salty sensation that I recognise. The more I chewed, the sharper that special tingling sensation on my tongue became. This lead me to think that the new blend is actually more salty than the original product. It would appear on first exposure an interesting and more subtle Vegemite flavour but with a sharper bite of saltiness which tended to linger on the tip of my tongue after I’d finished consuming my toast.

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Image via the Web

Points of comparison:

1. New Vegemite Blend 17 is smoother in texture and has an easier application than the original Vegemite – the “OGV”.

2. The new Blend 17 has a more subtle flavour; a sweetness and definitely less impact then the original Vegemite which has a full bodied edamame sensation that you experience all over your tongue. The original has a deep richness at the back of your palate which permeates up through your nasal passages.

3. The saltiness of the new Blend 17 left a lingering, extremely sharp salty sensation at the tip of my tongue whereas the original Vegemite spread left my mouth with the sensation of a reasonable amount of saltiness to the sides and a little salty tingle at the tongue’s tip.

4. As Vegemite is traditionally spread on top a secondary, lubricating spread such as butter or margarine, this time I chose to spread my toast first with margarine. When I tried the new subtly flavoured Blend 17, I could not taste the extra product sandwiched between the toast and the spread. However when comparing to the original Vegemite product, I could taste everything – absolutely everything that I had in my mouth. I found this rather peculiar. Especially as I would have imagined the strength of flavour from the original to overpower any other additives. On the contrary, it enhanced the presence of the additional spread.

…but wait!

While I was pondering the fact that these products were packaged so differently yet tasted almost identical, it got me wondering just what was the purpose of having two? So I headed to the packaging itself. To my utter astonishment I discovered that the nutritional information was exactly the same. I checked the ingredients and again EXACTLY THE SAME! So not necessarily saltier or sweeter at all.

Could I have been deceived? Has some clever marketing genius succeeded in influencing my taste buds in such a way that I subconsciously believe that I have been consuming a different product altogether when in actual fact it was the same thing all along? Surely not. There were some physical attributes that I had found were distinctly different. Like the spreadability for example. The ingredients were the same and the nutritional information was exactly the same so perhaps it was all just whipped in a different way.

Vegemite say in their advertising that their new Blend 17 is “Richer and Bolder”. However in an attempt to procure more information as to why it may or may not differ in taste to the original blend, they do not appear to be responding (at this point in time) to any enquiries that I have made either through email or Social Media. So I guess we are left to make up our own reasoning as to why this new product exists and if indeed it was inevitably, just a worthwhile marketing exercise.

In conclusion I can’t say that the new Vegemite Blend 17 will be a stayer on the shelves of Australian supermarkets due to it being not that far removed from the original Vegemite experience. Although much like the previously controversial isnack 2.0 /  Vegemite Cheeseybite spread, it is in Limited release. However I will say that the new Blend 17 may be a gentler, more palatable introduction to the product for our International Visitors or even those folks who might be a little hesitant to try Vegemite for the first time. It may ultimately be more palatable for an export market … but that is only my layman’s opinion.

There is nothing decidedly wrong with the new product but my own personal preference is with the OGV – the original Vegemite. “We all adore our (original) Vegemite. It puts a rose in every cheek.”

Try it for yourself and place your comments below.

#Vegemite #VegemiteBlend17 #SAO

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Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

U N P L U C K E D • Ex-Tweeze-Me⁉️👀

Who was it that decided that eyebrows needed to be square, sharp and HEAVY?

We don’t all have the same face shape. So how can anyone possibly think that this style would suit them if they have fine, narrow features or pronounced bone structure?

Some of us just don’t have the hair growth to carry a strong brow. But overloading your eyebrows with makeup is not necessarily the best way to enhance your features or flatter your face. Too much brow makeup can result in giving you an angry scowl or maybe completely dominate your face in which you lose focus on the appeal of your beautiful sparkling eyes or plump, kissable lips or the amazing structure of your cheekbones. Lush brows with soft edges are so much more pleasing to the eye.

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Image: @TomFord – Face of 2016

Tattooing, feathering or microblading is an extremely popular Brow enhancement procedure in the world of beauty at the moment but it may not be for everyone. It can be an expensive alternative to defining your brows by securing one particular shape to your face. These processes do fade but only slightly. So your technician HAS to get the shape absolutely correct from the outset. You owe it to yourself to definitely do your research if this course of action for brow enhancement is for you. Doing that basic homework before locking yourself into an appointment for a permanent makeup option is absolutely your #BeautyDuty!

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Image: Missi Pyle – Dodgeball Movie

Currently the most appealing eyebrows on women are well groomed yet soft and feminine. Gently defining the eye socket with a clean arch and drawing attention, centrally to your beautiful peepers. Harsh square #InstaBrows just don’t cut it in the real world. Don’t copy everything you see on the internet. Often these “how-to” guides are purely for fashion photography or artistic demonstration using strong lighting and far too much makeup for everyday living. Do you really want to end up with some kind of cartoonish characterisation of YOU painted on top of your real face? Who are you when you get home? Do you really need to wear a mask every time you leave the house? Be the most beautiful version of you. Always consider which Brow Grooming technique best suits your natural visage. It is always a good idea to consult your professional Brow Stylists. #EmbraceYOURface

” Be the most beautiful version of you. “

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Image: Instagram @DLM_AU | Makeup: @MaxMade

The Modern Man is a fine example of less-is-more when it comes to Brow Grooming. A growing number of guys are embracing the fact that a professionally groomed #ManBrow can still leave them looking natural and masculine. The shape can still be defined by a good tidy up, leaving the lines soft and natural. This can be achieved simply by having the undergrowth cleaned up and the Glabella clear of any Monobrow creepiness.

By some crazy twist in the zeitgeist some gentlemen have succumbed to letting “the girlfriend” have her way with the tweezers. 👀 More often than not this usually increases his chances of having an overplucked and surprised lady looking back at them in the bathroom mirror. You could search for pictures more commonly noted as #JerseyBrow but I am not going to post any here. On most occasions it would be best to leave the business of a good #ManBrow to the professionals.

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Image from the Web

Often a well groomed “fluffy” Brow can make quite the fashion statement. Not every Brow needs to have their tops attacked by scissors to create a dead-straight line. Eyebrows don’t need to look like the head of a toothbrush stuck to your forehead. Now, we’re not talking overgrown caterpillars crawling across your face. However a professionally tidied shape with nicely brushed up feathered tips, discretely held in place with a light gel, can subtly express an undefinable creative sexiness.

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The groomed, more natural and less sculpted style of eyebrow is finally taking its place alongside the precision work most of us are more familiar with. This is not a new trend by any means. However it has taken a couple of years (at least) for people to slowly catch on that there is more than one specific type of eyebrow shape, style or technique which will undoubtedly suit not only their face but also their lifestyle.

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Image: Instagram @makeupbyseng

HEY! Why not try a beautifully groomed “unplucked” creation?

SEXY IS SUBJECTIVE

Show us your most beautiful UnPlucked Eyebrow Creations with tag: #ExTweezeMe

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Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always

Her Customer Service was as busted as her ‘Clown Brows’.

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Today I went to a makeup counter of a very famous and well respected cosmetics brand to potentially top up supplies for my kit. I was (eventually) served by a “Make Up Artist” whose Brows looked like they were painted on with liquid eyeliner. Clearly she had failed to imitate something she had seen on Instagram.

It had me baffled at how unfortunate this girl made herself look in an attempt to entice me to purchase her product or utilise her (questionable) talents.

For a time I couldn’t be sure if this was an actual employee from (this brand) as she was just wandering aimlessly around the grubby counter confidently showing off her busted face paint. Surely this is purely a generic sales person attending the counter while the actual staff are busy or on a break. She clearly has very limited makeup experience, but she was wearing the uniform and I had no other choice but to let her attend my enquiry.

I couldn’t look away as her painted-on Brows were screaming at me for help. In my head I was shouting shady lines back at her like: “Honey, you’re selling Makeup, not house paint! It might be a good idea to learn how to use it sometime!”

… but I kept it all inside. Maybe she was new to this whole scene. Yes. That has to be it.

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Image from the web

Now, I’m not a Makeup Professional and I can be easily confused with all the many variations in products and their applications, so I told her I was a Brow Artist and I was after some specific items. Then I explained how I intended on using them – to which she only stared at me blankly like I had just coughed or something.

From my previous experiences at the makeup counter, this particular cosmetics company has always had a fantastic reputation for service, sales and makeup application. Their staff are always professional. They look immaculate and, generally, they know their shit.

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I have worked in retail so I know the importance of at least trying to make a multiple unit sale. I was ready to be bombarded with products I just can’t live without and overwhelmed with multiple demonstrations on how to combine all of the marvellous techniques from all of her skilled learnings. At bare minimum, I was prepared to walk away with at least three expensive ‘must haves’.

Instead, my under zealous sales “professional” continued an attempt at selling me a whole one item like she almost knew what do do with it, before rushing me to the sale register. The product was quickly in the bag with its receipt and BOOM! I was done.

It was clear that her work colleague (the cute gay boy with the searing attitude who had just walked onto the counter) was obviously more interesting to play with at work than trying to sell me stuff.

Damn! I should have lingered a little longer when I was waiting to be served, as he clearly had a better understanding of personal eyebrow makeup application than my clown-browed Artiste.

Oh, and through all of the distraction and confusion I didn’t quite get to mention that I would have liked to be shown to some green concealer or alternatives if you had the time … but … umph… you know what? I can get that at Mecca.

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To misquote and paraphrase RuPaul: “If you can’t beat your own Brows, how the Hell you gonna beat somebody elses? Can I get an “Amen” up in here?”

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Image from the web

Keep following for future posts regarding #ClownBrows.

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Ascerbic? Possibly – Opinionated? Probably – Passionate? Always