Hands, The Extension of Your Heart

Pre-post warning -This post contains images from hand surgery.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a couple of years now. I was filled with conflicted feelings about the situation and its taken over two years now to feel at peace with it. In 2015 We had two gorgeous dogs whom loved each other very much for four years and for some un-explained reason they went through a intense period of fighting.* Long story short; my two girls went at it and I thought with my heart, tried to separate them ( I know..) and received a bite to my right hand. This all happened within a space of a few minutes.

In a space of 24 hours I went to the doctors, a few hours later A&E and then at one am in the morning I was in surgery with a very nasty case of Cellulitis. My hand had swollen, was bright red , I had red lines tracking up my arm and the lymph nodes under my arm were sore. I had a serious infection. The surgeon explained that she needed to clean out my hand and that if it was under my fingers pulleys then I was at risk of loosing some fingers. I panicked! I automatically thought of my bridal client that weekend ( thank goodness for hair and makeup friends), my day job and how it was going to effect me, hubby and our son! Scenarios where playing out through my head but oddly I started to feel calm as there was nothing I could do about it.

The surgeon did a amazing job. She explained that it was quiet messy in there and as you can see in the second photo she thought she was going to head into the fingers. Fortunately that wasn’t the case. Six weeks followed of extensive hand therapy and splints and I now have full mobility of my hand.

Long story short; be grateful for every little movement your hands make. For the art your create, the loved ones you embrace, every button you unbutton or coffee cup you lift. The unspoken language they speak as an extension of your heart – your humble hands

xx Melanie


Beauty Review: MiSkin Dia Force Hydro-Gel Eye Patch Gold

I’ve recently been exploring the world of K-Beauty and their skin beauty regimes after coming across a K Beauty store called Maggies in Hamilton. K beauty is Korean Skincare and it places a strong importance in preparing and nourishing the skin. This includes using a  variety of products including oil cleansers, foam cleansers, essences, sheet masks.

One of the products I purchased ( there has been a few ) is MiSkin Dia Force Hydro-Gel Eye Patches in Gold. These promise: brightening, moisturizing and lifting. What 35 year old mother wouldn’t love that! The packaging is in Korean but lists the active ingredients as :Rose Water, Colloidal Gold, Purified Water, Pearl Powder,Collagen, Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Algae Extract and Camelia Leaf Extract.

 Beauty Review: Mi Skin Dia Force Hydro Gel Eye Patch Gold

It comes in a gold plastic pot and when I opened it I was pleased to see an extra removable seal and spatula inside. This is great to lift your eye patches out and stop the spread of bacteria in the pot. I was thrilled to see that it contains 60 patches! The patches are gold, have a shimmer to them and there is a lot of extra product in the pot. Perfect for using on other parts of your face! At $30 a pot it is great value for money.

The patches are lightly floral scented. I like the scent but some may not.

Beauty Review: Miskin Diaforce Hydro Gel Eye Patch Gold

What do I think?

I have been using these patches for 2 weeks, twice a week  ( Weds and Sun) so have given them a fair trail. The patches are easy to pop on just be prepared for a little sliding if there is too much product on them. I wiped the excess off ( popped them on my fine lines) and re-positioned under the eye. I find the patches have a nice cooling effect and after 30 minutes my under eye area feels hydrated and my fine lines have lessened. If you place some of the excess product on the patch you can also use them your lines between your brows and on the corners of your mouth.

Beauty Review: Mi Skin Dia Force Hydro Gel Eye Patch Gold
Hey there, bright eyes!

Great value for money, love the results and will definitely purchase again. Store them in the fridge for an extra cooling effect.

I would love to know what K-Beauty products your have tried!

Look out for my next K-Beauty Review next Thursday.





Links à la Mode, April 20th

Thank you to Independent Fashion Bloggers for the feature on Links à la Mode. Be sure to visit the other featured bloggers and their top style tips, inspirations and thoughts on the fashion world.

Links à la Mode, April 20th

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop Veronica Beard, LuMee Cases, SMYTHE Coats, Place Nationale, Hunza G, Maison du Soir, Platform Sneakers, Bucket Bags, Statement Earrings, Men’s Atelier de l’Armee


Want to Know When to Use Skin Serums?

Recently, I had a client ask me what skin serums are and should she be using them instead of moisturizer or in conjunction with them? The answer is BOTH, depending on your skin type.

Serums are very popular at the moment and are a lightweight lotion that penetrates deep into the skin. Serums are often infused with active ingredients such as Retinol, Vitamin C and Glycolic acid . Skin serums can help with: hyper-pigmentation, fine lines,firming skin, smoothing skin and calming sensitive skin. Most are water based and a few drops will go along way on your face.

Antipodes Super Fruit Skin Serum

I have recently purchased Antipodes Worship Super-fruit Antioxidant Serum and have been using it daily in my skincare routine. I selected this to help with my fine lines and to fade some of my sun damage. There are many options available and I recommend exploring the benefits of each and selecting what is best for your skin.

My Skincare Routine, including Serums

I suffered cystic acne as a teen with scaring and have developed sensitive skin over the years.Therefore I try to keep my skincare as natural as possible to avoid flare ups.

  1. Cleanse – I use a non foaming cleansing gel.
  2. Tone – My favourite is a few light sprays of rose water.
  3. Facial Serum – Morning and night
  4. Moisturizer.
  5. Sunblock

Moisturizer comes after serum as its heavier. If you have oily skin then you can try forgoing the moisturizer after applying serum. I would love to hear about the products your using or your experiences with serums!



My Style: Vintage Summer Dress

Its always a thrill to find distinctive clothing and some of the best pieces I’ve found are from local op-shops and vintage stores. One of my favorite places to shop in Hamilton in the Recycle Boutique on Grey Street. I love the variety there and I always find a great mix of designer and vintage clothing. Finding good novelty piece has been on my wishlist for a while. And in this Kerry McGee dress is perfect with its “Colorful Colorado” print on it.

Shopping Vintage Dresses

Initially I was disheartened when I saw the dress on the rack as it was labeled Size 8 and I fluctuate between a 10 and a 12. However, I had to remember that today’s vanity sizing is not the same as vintage and retro sizing. A 1950’s/60’s size 16 will fit a 10/12,in this case Terry McGee’s 90’s dress in a size 8 was a perfect fit! Remember if you love it on the rack, try it on! You may find it fits!

The Dress

Shopping Vintage Dresses

I paired the dress with some Maguba of Sweden wooden clogs. I cant wait to wear them with tights this Winter.

Share with us your favourite op-shop or vintage finds! They can be from Etsy, Trademe, a relative or the local Hospice down the road. I would love to hear about them


My Style: Mansfield Garden Picnic

Amy and I attended the Hamilton Gardens ” Mansfield Picnic” last month. This provided a great opportunity to style an outfit influenced by the Deco era! In this instance I selected a great tropical vintage maxi dress, pairing it with a classic straw boater hat. I styled my hair into a some classic 30’s waves and framed my face with large, flat pin-curls.

My makeup was 30’s inspired and I decided to go for the natural flushed look. Placing emphasis on my cheeks, rounding my brows in 30’s style and a rose soft lip. A nice soft look that translates well in modern day.

We were fortunate to run into our friend David Rowe who then invited us into the Italian gardens for a photo shoot.

Deco Style

Deco Style


Deco Style

Deco Styling

Amy’s Style

Style Shoot

Style Shoot

All images David Rowe Photography.


The A-Z Guide of Autumn / Winter Style

Are you looking forward to far-welling Summer and embracing Winter? Want to add more colour or texture to your daily style? Enjoy my A-Z Guide of Autumn Style, including some classics, vintage, contemporary and of course some fun!

Miss L Fire
Miss L Fire

A – Ankle Boots. Perfect  with pants and they look great teamed with tights worn with skirts and dresses.

B – Botanical’s. Embrace nature and bring some print into your wardrobe with a botanical print shirt or wrap dress. Perfect paired with leather boots and your Winter coat.

C – Coats. A good wool coat goes a long way in a New Zealand Winter. Invest in a statement coat in a bold colour or a print that makes you happy. Prefer Black? Then look out for interesting details such as quirky linings, clasps and buttons.

D –  Denim Jeans. The perfect go to for weekend brunch to dinner with the girls. Wear with some cute flats during the day and team with your strappy heels for the evening.

E – Embroidery. Embroidery has made a huge appearance this season.You will find small motifs on jeans to fully embroidered bomber jackets. For something a little unique try searching the vintage racks for embroidered 30’s and 40’s numbers.

Trelise Cooper

F – Fur/ Fluff. Faux, shirling, vintage,fluffy? Whats better than snuggling into a warm fur jacket on a cold winters day.

G – Gloves. Protect your hands from the chill with a pop of colour and lush materials. Leather, Vintage or Wool.

H – Hats. Not only do they look great but they are perfect for disguising a bad hair day. Look out for Wool Cloche hats or chic Berets to add a little interest to your outfit.

I – Indulge. Indulge in home cooked meals, hot chocolate, baths or Netflix. Good for the soul.

J – Jumpsuit.  Team with a jacket during the day or flirty with a one shoulder number.

K – Knits. Chunky, Wool, Cashmere or Merino! Add texture to your outfit with a chunky cable knit, or layer in Merino or Cashmere. Embrace the 80’s in a riot of colour or sequins.

L – Layers. Autumn and Winter are all about layering your outfits. Transition your favourite Summer dress by adding a turtle neck and a long line cardigan or a cute blazer on top.

Antipodes Skincare

M – Moisturizer. Protect your skin from the Winter chill by keeping your face and lips well hydrated and protected.

N – Necklaces. Big, Bold and colourful! Bring a pop of colour to a classic black outfit or co-ordinate your accessories from the shoes up.

O – Oversized – Look for huge sleeves, bows and embellishments.

P – Pleated Skirts. From metallics to jewel colours there is a tone for every style type. Team with a classic t or shirt for a soft feminine look.

Q – Quirky. Look for unexpected and quirky prints. Experiment with clashing prints and colour.

R – Red. Red is everywhere! Embrace the classic red lip or grab a red lips novelty bag to add some quirk to your outfit.

Oscar De La Renta

S – Statement Accessories. Bold earrings and necklaces, The bigger, the brighter, the better! #notsubtle

T – Tassels – Earrings, key rings, necklaces. They are everywhere and in every colour.

U – Umbrella. Go bold, go bright, stand out in a sea of Black umbrellas

V – Velvet.  Plush, lush and a beautiful way to inject some richness into your work day. Velvet is on trend this season and you will find something to suit your budget and style tastes.

Charlotte Olympia
Charlotte Olympia/ net-a-porter

W – Wellness. You cannot look your best if you don’t feel your best. Stock up on your Vit C, EPO and get a decent sleep.

X – XL. Is your wardrobe in need of a downsize? Donate what you no longer wear to charity….

Y- You! Be uniquely you. Express yourself, have fun, challenge yourself, be true to yourself…..and don’t give a crap what others think. #unapologeticallyyou

Z – Zip it. Zip it real good. Look for fun zip embellishments on jackets, sleeves, pockets and shoes.

I hope you found some inspiration for this season! What are your Winter must haves?



My 5 Minute Natural Makeup Look.

We all have those mornings where we are pressed for time but still wanting to look presentable at work. While navigating around getting myself and our son ready I attempt to schedule some time to do my makeup and feel good about myself for the day. Here is my 5 minute Natural Makeup Look.

5 Minute Natural Makeup


I try to moisturize as soon as I get up to allow time for it to soak in and then follow with foundation. I like to wear a lighter coverage at work so use a small amount of Estee Lauder Double Wear to even out my skin tone. You could use CC cream for a lighter alternative.

Once I have finished my foundation I use MACS Mineralize Concealer to cover any under-eye darkness. Mineralize is great as it extra hydrating and doesn’t settle in the creases of my under eye.


Next, I add a little warmth to my skin tone with Ben Bye Carnation Pink Creme Rouge, gently blending it into my cheeks. You can build the colour up in small quantity and a creme rouge keeps the skin looking extra hydrated.

Set it

Invest in a great setting powder. I  set my foundation base with Paris Berlin loose translucent powder and a large powder brush, This helps hold your foundation for the day.


I always fill in my brows to frame my face, even if I bypass my foundation having my brows filled I feel more groomed. I have tried a variety of products over the years and my current favourite is MAC Dirty Blonde Fluidline Brow Gelcreme. I like that you can use a little for a more natural look or build up for more definition.Fill your brows in following the direction of your hair.

I use a natural vanilla eyeshadow from my Crown Over Exposed Pallette to open my eye and use MAC Texture Velvet in the crease. I give the illusion of open eyes by using Rimmels Eye Definer in nude on my lower water line, you could also use white.

Don’t forget to your eyes off with mascara. I finish my eyes off with Nutrimetics Dramatic Lash and then I’m done!

Natural Makeup


I wear a natural lip at work, occasionally switching it up for a berry or red. I line my lips in Smashbox in Nude followed by the hydrating NARS Dolce Vita. Using lip liner under your gloss or lipstick will help it last the day.

If I have more time in morning I will add liner to my look and a bolder lip.

I would love to hear your morning makeup routine and your favourite tips.

Share them in the comments.




My Style: Weekend Outfits

Welcome to “My Style”! Featuring my latest weekend outfits. For those who didn’t know, I wear a black uniform during the week so my outfit focus is on the weekends and events. Lately I have been focusing on evolving my personal style and ejecting more colour and print into my wardrobe.

What I’ve been Wearing

I recently came across New Zealand company Oli & Gus on Facebook and fell in love with all the bright colours options available.   I fell in love with this hot pink and blue sequin knit, adding a pink tassel necklace from Louisa, paired with Glassons pants and leather lace-ups.

Sunday Shoot

This Month I changed my hairstyle! I wanted the versatility of a edgy bob and for a little funk I opted for a cheeky side cut.

Dress: Vintage Italian Boater Hat

Amy and I had a grand time at the Katherine Mansfield Picnic held at Hamilton Gardens. We visited the event, caught up with some friends  and then escaped the heat into the gardens with photographer David Rowe for an impromptu shoot. More on that soon.

Dress: Augustine by Kelly Cole Fitted pants: Glassons

I accidentally poisoned my skin and as a result have a nasty case of allergic dermatitis so loose clothing has been my recent choice to help slow the urge to itch ( fail ) Thank goodness the weather is cooling and I can cover up without overheating.


Those Thirty Something Hormones….You Know What I’m Talking About!

Thirty Something Hormones

Are you in your Thirties? I used cringe when people asked me how old I was. Cheekily laughing and saying in my Thirties, like it was something to be ashamed off…you know …kinda old. These days I wear it with pride and I happily turned Thirty Five in January. Old enough to think I know better, with a little more life skills, some money to play with when needed. While still looking forward to crawling into bed at a reasonable hour with a cup of tea.

But, I cant be the only one who feels like they go to the doctors with a list and leaves with a shopping bag? Most recently I have noticed all kinds of skewey things happening to my body. Skin breaking out like my 90’s teenager self, dry patches, spontaneous raging pre and post period , bloating and the list goes on.

When I discussed this with my doctor he told me ” oh its probably a hormone imbalanceFun! – Now I experienced a  pretty decent hormone imbalance three months after having my son. I had stopped breast feeding and my body became a foreign person. Again, break outs and a pretty decent amount of hair loss, so much that I could grab handfuls out in the shower and had to cut my hair short.

When I investigated this further I could identify with quiet a few of a hormone imbalance  symptoms:
  • Persistent weight gain – also not helped my love of a good steak n cheese pie, only its a little harder to get off.
  • Belly fat and loss of muscle mass – I call this my mama belly
  • Low libido -which starts with disturbed sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia and poor sleep patterns – also called motherhood?
  • Sweating
  • Digestion problems – includes bloating – I have identified that gluten is not my friend…..bye bye steak and cheese pie.

I have started to get this hormone imbalance under control by now taking Women’s Hormone Support to adjust my Estrogen Levels, Evening Primrose Oil and after reading Dr Libbys new book, my diet!

I would love to know what your hormone imbalance stories, what you have found that works..or doesn’t and generally getting you talking about them so you don’t feel like you are the only one experiencing them….your not!