Guyyyyyyys I’m so excited about all the incredible tips you’ve given us for our upcoming trip to Spain. On the back of your mini guides I’ve booked hotels, made lists of must visit neighbourhoods and even changed a few of the plans! It pays to know some locals, right guys? More than the actual content of your suggestions, what stuck me is how many of you got involved in the conversation, something I absolutely love and feel brings us so close together, even if we’re all over the world. It’s always so good to be reminded that it’s not a one way thing, a blog is about an ongoing conversation from which we all grow and learn.

Annnnnnnddd with that in mind, I wanted to throw it out to you, to see f you have any questions that you’d like answered from my side, by starting a series of Q&A posts. No question too small or random> whether it be about travel, beauty, style, business, careers, getting started, um house plants or whatever really. Depending on how many there are I’ll be answering them in a blog post and also maybe putting  a few into video format so you can hear it all enunciated in pure, unadulterated Aussie (‘maaaaaattttteeee’).

Hong Kong Pottinger Street Geneva Vanderzeil

So let’s get the conversation going! To submit simply comment on this post or send me questions via twitter or instagram, and I’ll put the answers in a post/video for you. If you’d prefer to keep your name/details on the downlow, you can email me at geneva @ and I’ll add them to the list, and keep your details secret.

And for those of you who do get involved, I’d love to hear more about you! It was fun and enlightening to learn more about my Spanish readers (or people who had just stopped by Spain) and so I thought this could be a great opportunity for us to get to know each other better. Cue Sound of Music theme song. Let me know where you’re from, what you’re into, whether you’d prefer a Backstreet Boys or a Destiny’s Child come back and even your thoughts on climate change …. or whatever you feel like sharing. Can’t wait to chat more!

Question from me to you….. How are we feeling about flares? Be honest!

Photo by Nicola Lemmon


A very easy little project coming up to help cure your Monday blues.  I know I’m probably a little late to the party on this one but I’ve got a bit of an urge to embrace everything about 70’s style – hoop earrings, mustard, flares. And circles everywhere. Sign me up. I’ll be starting small with this little belt though… baby steps. Perhaps you’ll join me?

DIY Double Circle Belt

You need

  • A  scarf or a piece of soft ribbon
  • Two metal hoops
  • A needle and thread

DIY Circle Belt

How to

1. Start by lining your two circle loops up together at the end of the piece of ribbon/scarf.

DIY Circle Belt

2. Fold the end over the two loops and sew it down to the fabric on the other side, so you’re effectively sewing the loops to the end of the fabric.

DIY Circle Belt

3. It should look like this….. Annnnnnnd you’re pretty much done.

DIY Circle Belt

4. To secure the clasp, you need to thread the other end through the rings. But if you just put the end through both rings it will obviously just slip out, which is where a little techniques comes into play. To do this, take the end under both rings, over the top of the outer one and then under the underneath one. This creates the tension that will keep your belt nicccccce and tight.

DIY Circle Belt


DIY Circle BeltDIY Double Circle Belt

Hope you’re having a great Monday guys!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon


One of the biggest problems with travelling so much is the toll it takes on skin. Being exposed to that harsh and dry plane air-conditioning when you’re travelling long haul can really rain on your parade, that parade being your dreams of looking fresh and feeling relaxed when you land. In the past I was pretty lax about it, I pretty much only took lip balm on board and barely drank any water when I was on a flight – something I used to notice straight away with dry and cracked skin that stuck around for weeks (just in time to go back and do it all over again). But in the last few years I’ve become a bit more serious about my travel skin routine, and it has made such a difference!

Recently I travelled down to Sydney for the launch of Dermalogica’s two new skin primers, Hydrablur and Redness Relief and had a great opportunity to really experiment with my travel skin regime, with the help of make up artist Max May. I got some Hydrablur to use on my flight, which is the ultimate test for a moisturiser/primer, don’t you think? Read on for few tips for how I keep my skin fresh and hydrated when I travel, including a few tips and tricks I picked up from Max and the team at Dermalogica.

Travel Beauty

Ditch the make up

I’ve seen such a difference in my skin since I’ve ditched make up the day of flying (when I can!). In the past I’ve just used a heavy moisturiser, but for this trip (and definitely in future) I used the Hydrablur Primer as both skincare and make up. It has a soft mattifying effect that seems to smooth skin and minimise pores without you having the wear foundation. I found it also lessened the appearance of my dark circles, something I get from my Sri Lankan side of the family (thanks dad!). Naturally it also works really well as a base for foundation in the event I need to get glammed up as soon as I land (#werk).

Hell yes h20

Yes yes I know, this one’s obvious. But funnily enough I used to skip drinking too much water on the plane because my addiction to sitting in the window seat meant it was always hard to get to the bathroom. Fast forward a few years and man priorities have changed. Hydrated skin and insides are way more important to me now than seeing outside, and these days I aim to drink a quarter of a litre every hour. Usually therefore coveting the aisle seat and accepting that I’ll be up and down, but so worth it! Even though you sometimes can’t take drinks onto the plane when you’re flying internationally, these days I bring on a bigger bottle and have the hostess fill it up, that way I know it is right there and I don’t have tp rely on those tiny cups they give you. Anndddd although most people say skip alcohol entirely, which I am sure reduces dehydration a lot, I just can’t seem to go past a glass of red while eating my vegetarian Indian meal, so perhaps in this case you should do what I say and not what I do? :)

Rule of three

When you’re packing your carry on, make sure you check off the rule of three when it comes to moisturisers – eye, face and lip. I always look for something really hydrating without being too oily, and obviously it needs to come in handy packaging so I’m not decanting into something else. Wayyyyyy too lazy for that!

Moisturise: face, neck and chest

Max imparted many many gems of wisdom when we spent time together at the event (here’s me: *wait wait I’m just writing that down*), including a different technique for applying mascara, a contouring approach I’ve been attempting to recreate ever day (getting there, getting there) and the five products you need in your life (more on that soon). Something else that he told me that I took on board, both mentally and physically when I got on the plane on my way home, was to apply your face moisturising products on your face, neck AND top of your chest. Call me lazy but I was more of a face girl, however I did this on the plane and I noticed when I got back how much more soft and hydrated my skin was where I had applied moisturiser and primer.

More is more

These days I always apply a thick layer of moisturiser just before I pull down my eye mask on a long haul trip. That way when I wake up my skin is super soft, with the product creating a shield between the aircon and my skin during those sleeping hours. Just make sure it’s not something greasy, as you might get pimples. I found the Hydrablur worked really well for this, keeping my skin nice and moist whilst not being too sticky or oily.

Soft landing

Once I touch down in my destination, I’ve found it’s a really good to take it easy on your skin for a few days by not wearing too many heavy products. I’ve found a great way to feel more fresh is to just apply a primer to smooth out imperfections, and then add a tinted moisturiser over the top if you want to freshen up a bit. This is pretty much my go to routine these days unless I’m doing something fancy, but if you usually wear something heavier its a good idea to think about this. I do this for a day to allow my skin to recover from the flight and it really helps fight dryness and breakouts.

I hope this helps you guys when you fly next, and you feel refreshed and hydrated when you land. Check out this video from the Dermalogica youtube channel for more insights on how to use this product, demonstrated by Max May on me. Such a fun day!

Travel Beauty

On an unrelated note, this is some of the mud cloth I got from Etsy, I love it but it has a certain fermented river mud odour that I’m going to have to remove somehow. Can’t wait to show you what we’re going to make with them!

Travel BeautyTravel Beauty

I got to try a few of the other Dermologica products when I was there and I wanted to share two that I really like. One is this serum, which is basically a sunscreen aimed at stopping pigmentation – you know you’re growing up when you worry more about pigmentation than you do about pimples! And the other is their natural deodorant. I’ve been looking for an aluminium free one for a while (it’s scary when you learn about what aluminium does to stop you sweating) but after trying like, all of them, found most don’t work. This one does! I’m wearing it now…

Travel BeautyTravel BeautyTravel Beauty

I’d love to hear if you have any other tips for keeping your skin healthy when you’re travelling – although please don’t tell me to skip my glass of red wine. Somehow it keeps me going :)

This post is in collaboration with Dermalogica


Hey guys! I’ve been wanting to explore more of Spain for years, the culture, vibe and most of all love of food makes it one of my favourite places to visit.  Annnnnd I’m super excited because it looks like I’ll be visiting twice this year *happy dance*. The first visit as part of our Europe trip to Greece and Spain in Summer and once with my family for a hiking trip later in the year. It might be a little bit early to get excited about this but I can’t help it! It’s Spain after all. Knowing just how much you guys have helped me out in the past with itineraries (like when I went to New Zealand), and also all the amazing travel tips you give me on Instagram, I thought it would be a good time to ask you guys for your advice on Espana! (tried my hardest to work out how to get the tilde accent on that ‘n’ but mac failed me).

How to make leather luggage tags

I feel like Spain is one of those places where most of what you do will be good, but it takes a local (or someone whose totally clued in) to point you towards the hidden gems. So I thought I would ask you guys. As a bit of background, Ben and I will be visiting Madrid and Barcelona next month, and then later in the year I’ll be seeing some of the South with my parents. Just two little questions for you (if you don’t mind):

  • What do you recommend we get upto in Madrid and Barcelona, food, neighbourhoods, cultural sites, the best pardon peppers – no recommendation too small! We’re in Madrid for 3 days and Barcelona for 4.
  • The other question isssssss my family is visiting Granada, Seville and Cordoba for a few weeks – eating, hiking and seeing the sights. I can only join them for a little bit of the trip (#werk)… So where do you think is the best destinations in that area? If you know of any amazing hikes we can go on I’d love to know, but perhaps that’s getting a little too specific? :)

Thank you thank you thank you in advance for any and all tips you can give. I can’t wait to share with you what I discover while I’m there!

** In case you’re wondering, I’ve been to Spain before, but not for years and years. Once for a road trip from Lisbon to San Sebastian and the other time to Barcelona for my 21st birthday.  That was my first trip away with Ben (the first being the one where you’re like this is either going to be incredible or a complete disaster… Luckily it was the former and the start of so many travels. That said we didn’t have much money then and I remember staying in hostel place with no windows. Like literally. This time we’re going to be doing it better! A little bit better anyway… And with your help I know it’s going to be out of this world. xxx

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