Book Review: “The Girls” by Emma Cline

Recently, I’ve been reading “The Girls” by Emma Cline. I’ve done a short book review, so please feel free to listen:

Book Review: “The Girls” by Emma Cline:

Purchase “The Girls” here. 

Happy Listening guys!

Book feelings

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Haha! Got you if you followed the link from my Facebook page. If not, I was just playing around on Piktochart and here’s what I made! ❤


2024 – The Competition

After scouring the internet on my break time for competitions for writers, I came across 2024.

This competition encourages writers to envision a positive vision of the future, hence the name 2024. It’s a great stimulus for me and in the upcoming months, I look forward to entering this competition.

If you’re a writer or have ambitions to become published, I’m betting on competitions or trying your hand at journalism. It’s a slow and gruelling process to become recognised but I’m willing to risk it.

Here’s a site with most Australian writers’ competitions listed:

So many to enter, and so little time!

Until next time,


Source: Google images

Site Update Alert!


Just an update for my followers:

I’ve changed the name of the site to empower blog! This decision was not taken lightly. I’d like to start writing about business, authors I admire and anything else related to my personal pursuit of knowledge. I love make-up, and I may well write about new and interesting technologies in the cosmetics industry. There’s so much in the world that I like writing about, so i’m working on organising the site so that I can do that.

Recently, I’ve picked up listening to educational podcasts on the train. One that I listened to today was all about the scalability of SAAS (Software as a service) businesses. You can subscribe to them here: To give a little background on the podcast, the host Cara Hogan interviews budding leaders and sales professionals on the importance of data in better business decision-making. It’s great to listen to when you’re tired but want to use the time on the commute home constructively.

I really like the podcast medium; I might experiment with it in the future. Ultimately, I’ve decided to embrace technology as an enabler for my writing. I did study Writing and Cultural Studies as a major for my undergraduate studies. One thing I learnt about being a successful writer during this degree was that it’s important to look at the format in which consumers are most likely to view your work. If my potential reader is sitting on the commute home, tired from a long days’ work, they might find it easier to consume my work in the form of a podcast, rather than reading a long written post.

During my studies in communications, I also learnt that creative displays are important too. Increasingly, I am learning that in any business, the presentation of the product is very influential on the customer’s reception of it. I might have the greatest content ever, but in the most illegible font and that could completely destroy my customer’s willingness to read what I have written.

The world of writing and publishing is always changing and I want to learn as much as possible about where it is at right now, and where it will go in the future.

This seems pretty interesting:

It’s a machine that can print a book in six minutes with minimal human interaction, otherwise known as The Expresso Book Machine . This revolutionary new technology is the kind of thing that I think will change the world of publishing forever. The phenomenon of self-publishing has already caused publishers to change their business models, and continually rethink their marketing strategies to keep up.

Business never stands still, and that’s why I love it. It’s constantly evolving, taking into account major changes not only in technology but also government regulations, new competitors and past lessons.

I have such strong admiration for the successful entrepreneur, who is able to take the changing sales landscape into account and make successful decisions, building new businesses.

And this is where we part, reader. I’m going to be posting up a new blog this weekend, so stay tuned.

Until next time,


Wedding make-up on YouTube


Source: Beautify You Beauty Facebook Page

Beautify you Beauty is a business that specialises in Wedding Make-up, run by Anant Sidana, a friend of mine.

I’ve been going through some wedding make-up videos on YouTube and I was not disappointed! There’s so much to learn on there.

After catching up with a friend,  at the Grace of India restaurant in Milsons Point, I discovered the hefty bill some of these brides pay just to get their make up done all special on their wedding day!

Curious explorer that I am, I went online to check out some of the work that’s done on Indian brides. I’d love the opportunity to do some of this make up for my make-up portfolio!

Check out these beautiful brides:


Hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did. The only flaw I can see is that the make up artist doesn’t talk you through the make-up as is done on the following video. So, if you’re looking to learn like I am, then check out the one below!

She’s got a good point in her video; she’s done another Eid video, and her point is to unite women in the YouTube community, which I love. She’s an atheist like me, but she believes that Muslim women are ostracised at times. I like that she’s outspoken about her views. She’s got crazy product knowledge and pure talent! Beautiful Chloe Morello was introduced to me last week by Rachael Brook, another beauty blogger.

Sigma brushes seem to be on trend also! I was alerted to this at brunch yesterday, and she appears to be using them as well.







Differentiate between different nail shapes 

At college today, I was about to start doing some treatments but realised I didn’t know the names of nail shapes. Found this on Pinterest for anyone who’s interested in knowing the different nail shapes and their names. My favourites is the Stiletto nail but as a beauty therapist I’d go for a short oval or square shape so I don’t scratch clients!

Bisous and good luck finding your ideal nail shape 💋

Q&A with the YouTube make-up sensation Rachael Brook

Rachael Brook beauty blogger came to visit Nuvocca beauty salon and I asked her a couple of questions about achieving success in the blogging industry! Here’s a short summary of what I learnt:

1. Get yourself a good apprenticeship- she worked under some of the best make up artists in the industry for free before she was able to master make up artistry

2. Contact PR people from your favourite brands and ask for product knowledge. This is more subtle than actually asking for an invite to one of their exclusive product events.

3. Visit fashion shows/trade shows, where you can meet like minded people who love make up artistry.

4. Don’t forget to make your contact details very accessible through your blog site so that people or PR executives can contact you when they need to. This is how she got a lot of her opportunities.

5. Join an agency which manages your bookings for you! She was with DLM

6. Go to events pro bono so that you can talk and become an influencer in the make up industry. Make up schools are recommended.

7. She was also very open about giving tips and advice to us in person. Instead of a presentation, she had an ongoing dialogue going with the students at Nuvocca.

Visit her blog here:

Hello Kitty Nail Party

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a Hello Kitty Nail Party with some close friends from UTS. The concept of the party involved Hello Kitty, lots of pink nail polish as well as the novelty of the only Hello Kitty diner in Australia. I only recently found out about the diner. So you can imagine, that I was ecstatic to have my party there.

I’ve recently taken up Beauty school as my full-time study. In our first couple of units, we are studying how to give professional manicures and pedicures. One of the most important things I’ve learnt in this unit is the importance of cleanliness inside a salon. For example, the autoclave that is required in salon environments to keep the implements clean is all new to me. We use specific hospital grade disinfectant to clean all the mani/pedi metal implements. But that’s not it; we’ve been taught a very specific method of hand-washing which is recorded in our log books day to day.

I study at Nuvocca Beauty college in Parramatta. A short way away from the CBD, the college has state of the art facilities, including a beauty salon up the front, where students like me conduct manicures and pedicures, massage rooms as well as waxing facilities. We even have a little kitchen where the students congregate every day for lunch. In our little Nuvocca community, us budding make-up artists are ready to show the world what we can do. Each unit consists of knowledge questions, health and safety checklists as well as a practical component. This allows us as Nuvocca students to keep practicing beauty therapy as well as know theoretical information about the discipline.

Back to the party…

The first thing I did was assess the client’s nails. I cleansed them with nail polish remover. Following this, I shaped, buffed and polished them with my three step starter nail shaping starter kit. I made sure that the client  was not experiencing any pain throughout the process. It is important to place the nail file at an upward 45 degree angle when shaping the nail, making upward motions in a singular direction. In beauty school, we are taught never to “saw” at the nail as this effectively damages it. When we are using the nail file, we are actually taking layers off the nail in order to shape it in a certain way. In the most ideal situation, I should also wear protective gloves and a mask as personal protective equipment (PPE).

In the photo above, you can see that I am using a Napoleon pink nail polish. I usually use MAC cosmetics in all my make up and nail applications.

However, the client brought her own nail polish as a preference in this particular case. I added a simple base coat (Butter Nail Foundation).

I love creating a rapport with my client (hence the smile on her face) :). In this case, I knew her so it was quite easy. In cases where I don’t know the client, i’d ask a lot of questions about their skin type and what type of colours they would like on their nails.

Similarly, when applying make-up on a client, I’d extrapolate information about the client’s skin type and colour preferences before performing a make-over. I’d also grab multi-purpose products. While perusing YouTube channels on make-up (this is how I learn when I’m not at college), I’ve come across several multi-purpose uses for MAC products especially. For example, the blushes that MAC provides can be used as eyeshadows. I’d pick up a bronzer, and a creme foundation. Sometimes, mixing foundations can create the correct colour for the client’s skin colour if the colour does not exist already in the range.

During my party, I followed a very standard method of doing manicures (by the book). I hope to have more parties just like this one. It was honestly a treat to organise. Everything from the pink tablecloth to the lollies were bought and laid out for guests.

The Hello Kitty Diner in Chatswood is a great place to host your future kids’ parties especially. It has a great ambience and its just so much fun. The novelty never wares off for me at least!

You’ll get to know my obsession with MAC cosmetics as the blog wares on. But basically, I’ve also discovered that MAC  cosmetics has in the past teamed up with the iconic Hello Kitty brand and made blushes with it! My love for Hello Kitty goes way back to that day in year 4 when my mum bought me a bright pink Hello Kitty backpack for school.

And now, as a make up artist, my obsession with everything Hello Kitty is definitely coming through with this party!




My daily MAC Make-up Routine


In this post I’m going to go through the products I use in my daily make-up routine as a make-up artist.

First of all, because my eyelashes are done, I don’t usually put on a mascara, especially when they’re freshly done. A great little place on George street called Nail Pop Art does my nails every two weeks. I usually get the shelac manicure just because it lasts the longest.

  1. I put on my foundation base coat. I use MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NC40)
  2. Then I put on my MAC Night Moth Lip pencil. This gives my lips a very rich mauve finish, which I like. Sometimes I might simply use the pencil for a matte finish. Other times I’ll add a coat of red lipstick to give it a shiny finish.
  3. The third thing I’ll do is use some MAC pot eyeliner in black. This eyeliner combined with a MAC thin tip brush adds an extra pop to my eyes!
  4. Lastly, I’ll finish it off with some INIKA blush, in rouge.

I have found a video online to showcase how they do it at MAC. By the way, to anyone who’s curious M.A.C stands for Make up Artist Cosmetics. Fun fact for the day!


This is pretty good!

Also, this:

In case anyone was looking for a guide to getting hired at MAC cosmetics! I found this to be a really good overview of what was required by the managers. Most of the information you’ll need is on their website.

So just a quick summary of this video for you:

It’s important to know the corporate social responsibilities of MAC Cosmetics. The first one of these is the MAC cruelty free beauty. This is a principle that does not allow animal testing for the creation of MAC products. Currently, MAC no longer guarantees that its products are cruelty free. Second, MAC Kids Helping Kids began in 1994 where kids living with HIV/AIDS create images that are then reproduced on greeting cards. 100% of the selling price goes towards beneficiaries of MAC Cosmetics.

Next on the corporate social responsibility ladder for MAC is the MAC Viva Glam program. 100% of the purchase price for VIVA GLAM products goes to the MAC HIV/AIDS fund. Multiple celebrities have endorsed the VIVA GLAM program including Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande.

Back 2 MAC Recycling offers free lip glasses, eyeshadows or lipstick to any MAC location (lipsticks only at MAC counters in department stores) with the return of 6 empty MAC containers.

The MAC AIDS Fund supports community organisations providing direct services to people living with AIDS. To date, the foundation has raised over $240 000 000 since its inception in 1994.

Secondly, the MAC Motto “all ages, all races, all sexes.” is repeated all the time. MAC cosmetics values diversity in its workers. That’s why I’d love to work there. It has a very open company culture. There’s so much to learn there as a make up artist starting out on her career. I love the spontaneity that’s involved in the marketing of MAC products, with special reference to the Hello Kitty range. MAC has a way of turning anything as iconic as the Hello Kitty brand into something sexy and irreverent. It’s like a party!

Speaking of parties, I hope you’ve read my first post about the Hello Kitty party I hosted last week. It’s just testament to my love for Hello Kitty 🙂

Finally, knowing the history of how MAC came into existence is very important. Every company has its own story and MAC’s is particularly inspiring. It was literally started in a kitchen in Ontario, Canada by Frank Tuscan (make-up artist) and Frank Angelo (hair artist) in 1984. They sold it out of their hair salon. Initially, it was sold to make up artists and fellow professionals in the beauty industry. Later, it became known to beauty editors. Professionals used the MAC range for photo shoots and strong lighting.

The first US MAC store opened in 1991 in New York.

MAC cosmetics was staffed with professional make-up artists. This was an industry innovation when MAC first did it. That’s one of the reasons I want to work for MAC. Aside from being a playground for my senses, it’s also an intelligent company. The packaging is unique; chic utility.

The packaging is the brainchild of James Gager, who got his masters in packaging at Pratt institute in Brooklyn. He was born and raised in Niagra Falls, NY. As a child, he sketched interior design ideas.

“I want MAC to be intelligent. I want it to tell a story. I want to educate people. MAC should never just be pretty.” – James Gager

As if this wasn’t enough, MAC is also innovative behind the counter. It’s the first make up brand to invest in education and training. Throughout every make-over, the artist is very expressive about what they are doing. This in turn, allows the customer to understand what the artist is doing. Also, hygiene is a huge thing with MAC as with any beauty brand, but MAC specifically. Everything must be squeaky clean at all times. Customers must be confident that their make-up artist understands the importance of cleanliness and the absence of contra-indications (cuts or bruises) on the face or hands when performing make-overs. 


MAC has also managed to establish itself as an authority in colour. Whenever I go into the city city store, I’m immersed in the colours that MAC has as compared to other make-up counters on the floor.

In 1995, Estee Lauder purchased a percentage of the MAC brand which effectively increased its distribution across the globe.

With its enhanced image and fast expansion, MAC teams started working backstage at fashion shows. I’d love the opportunity to go through the specific training and education that MAC offers and following this work at a fashion show with the brand. In 1998, Estee Lauder acquired the remainder of shares for MAC cosmetics and the company under the Estee Lauder umbrella. So if you work for MAC, you indirectly work for Estee Lauder. John Dempsey was named president of MAC. Under his leadership, link between fashion, beauty and culture has been strengthened allowing MAC to stay edgy.

He also was instrumental in the participation of MAC at prestigious international film festivals. He also encouraged sponsorship of pop music concert tours for the VIVA GLAM. Stars that have worked with MAC include: Linda Evangelista, Lisa Minnelli, Pam Anderson, Catherine Deneuve.

And now for some basic statistics:

  • You can buy MAC in over 70 countries.
  • Over 12000 make-up artists work for MAC cosmetics.

We won’t look down on you and we won’t intimidate you, because we know what its like to be picked on by the cool kids. And guess what? Now we’re the cool kids.- MAC