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Taking Better Care Of Yourself - Melbourne Edition

As regular readers of  ‘Young Blood Travel’ would know, I’ve recently started taking better care of myself.

Well, trying to.

Gone are the slabs of Coke cans in the fridge, the multiple McDonald’s drive-through trips and complete lack of any kind of exercise regime.

These days I’m at Pilates 5 days a week, chowing down on whole meal salad wraps and chugging on OVI to keep me hydrated.

The change in my diet and lifestyle has also meant I am a much happier person. My anxiety is kept at bay, I don’t struggle so much to sleep and my body confidence is at an all time high.

The feedback on my recent blog (where I touched on how pilates and exercise in general has helped monumentally with my anxiety) was overwhelming and so, so lovely. A lot of you guys said I had inspired you to give working out a try, which is all I ever wanted to do; help those suffering from depression to anxiety. Even just a little bit.

In fact, the comments and Tweets were SO beautiful and encouraging, it sparked me to investigate other little things we could be doing to take better care of ourselves.

I’ve discovered three beauties; a café that deals in happiness, a natural inspired nail salon and a boutique skin clinic that that keeps your face looking as young as you feel.

It’s worth noting the below are all Melbourne based as that’s where I’m living at the moment, however I’m sure there are Sydney/Adelaide/New York/Paris alternatives.

Give it a Google! Or better yet, open up your own!

Be inspired to seek out the healthy, happy you.

Serotonin Eatery; 52 Madden Grove, Burnley (Richmond)

Any place that has “Happiness is a drug and we want to be your dealer!” as their slogan has my vote from the get go.

In fact, I dare you to walk into this light and bright cafe, be greeted by the owner Emily’s ginormous smile (on a pint sized body), and NOT crack one yourself. It’s near impossible.

Before you even hear Emily’s ethos or the science behind the ‘Serotonin Eatery’, you’re blown away by the interiors. The colour scheme of white, grey, yellow and gold is instantly soothing and the Japanese matting and swing seats make it tricky to decide where to park your butt first.

The Eatery has some pretty big goals: they aim to make their customers happy with foods that promote the release of serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep pattern, appetite just to name a few).

As Emily herself puts it, “Every dish is designed to be a rainbow!” which is ‘Happy Emily Speak’ for: by including all the colours of the rainbow in each dish, Serotonin Eatery are ALSO making sure us Aussies are increasing our daily intake of fruits and veggies (which apparently only 6% are meeting.)

In terms of what to order- it’s all good. No, but seriously. And if you’re looking for a ‘healthy option’- they all are. Which sucks if you’re hungover and dying for some greasy, fried goodness but is fan-fucking-tastic if you’ve just finished a run and are after a stack of ‘Positive Pancakes’ made from organic banana flour and served with delicious (and healthy!) house-made banana ice cream!

Look, between the huge windows allowing for warm natural light, baby succulents, dog friendly courtyard, gold cutlery, comfy cushions and the option to take your meal in a picnic basket across the road for an impromptu picnic on a sunny day- Emily and the team at Serotonin Eatery bend over backwards to ensure everybody leaves with a smile.

I practically skipped out of there this morning. No joke.  Make sure you check it out and FAST, it’s gaining huge momentum with all the ‘Wellness Warriors’.


Missy Lui, Shop 1, 1161 High Street, Armadale

I’ve never been a fan of nail salons.

Apart from the fact that you usually feel like you are nothing but a number to the staff, who try to get you in and out as fast as possible, all the while shooting you stern looks when your ticklish foot wriggles even the slightest… theres the smell of nail polish, acetone and finally, that horrendous little purple light that’s designed to dry the nail polish.

That stupid thing gives me severe headaches and makes me feel nauseous- I can’t even look at it.

That being said, I LOVE having my nails painted. I take pride in picking bright and unusual colours and feel naked if they aren’t painted. I’d also never thought about the health of my nails, or what those products were doing to the poor little guys until I stumbled across Missy Lui.

Missy Lui came about after Peggy, the owner, noticed a need for Melbourne to have a sanctuary for people to enjoy the experience of getting beautiful and healthy natural nails.

Their range of nail and skin care products are free of the most harmful known toxins and they’ve made sure to get rid of all the heavy fumes, drills and contaminated nail files and buffers.

The interiors calm down the senses automatically. Clean lines, beach wood, comfy grey couches with chunky knitted foot-stools, moss-green throw rugs and vases full of native Australian arrangements make for a very relaxing environment.

Forget the ‘Top 40’ being played over and over again at your old nail salon, Missy Lui plays the kind of soothing tracks you’d hear during a massage, which acts as a peaceful background noise to your complimentary tea and iPad for all that social media stalking.

Make sure you try out their ‘Japanese Manicure’ which basically means your nails are polished with all natural beewax and buffered with Peal Mineral powder from P-Shine. It’s the shit and is SO good for those of us wanting to grow our nails.

To be frank- I’d come here for the hand/arm massages alone. I’ve never left a nail salon feeling like I’d just had a 60 minute full body massage but at Missy Lui, that’s exactly the kind of TLC experience you’re in for.


Victorian Dermal Group, 2/1 Princes St, Kew

I’ve always been pretty lucky with my skin (I inherited naturally blemish-free skin from my parents) however when the buggers DO decide to rear their ugly heads, it’s bad.

Realllllly bad.

It’s because of this that I have perhaps taken my good skin for granted and therefore never really looked after it properly.

Cleanser? Too hard.

Sunscreen? If I remember.

And I only moisturize daily because I can’t be bothered buying a primer so I figure I’m killing two birds with one stone. (I’m a Tomboy when it comes to this stuff… a lot of stuff actually.)

That being said, the amazing and brilliantly informed Derya at Vic Dermal Group has made me see the error of my ways as well as taking the time to open up my eyes to a few other ‘advanced cosmetic solutions’ that are not nearly as scary as they sound.

When Derya first suggested I get a chemical peel (or ‘clinical skin peel’) on my face, I was instantly terrified. I had flashbacks to that scene in ‘Sex And The City’ where Samantha gets a chemical peel and ends up with a horrific red raw, peeling face.

However, as Derya explained, clinical skin peels are the ultimate anti-ageing treatment designed to address concerns ranging from wrinkles, dullness, acne and congestion to sun damage, ageing and hyperpigmentation.

She also assured me that the Victorian Dermal Group uses clinical strength skin peels that vary in strengths- and that my skin and concerns would be assessed carefully before the strength was determined.

As I was a first timer, we’d be starting off slow and with a low-strength clinical peel.

This premium clinical grade peel is a complete rejuvenation treatment, superior to ordinary facial treatments. Basically it gently peels and decongests pores while hydrating the skin, leaving you with visible, long-term results.

The whole process took maybe an hour and apart from a slight burning/stinging sensation, wasn’t even uncomfortable let alone painful!

There’s also this really relaxing bit where Derya lathers your hot face up in cool, hydrating gel and you get to lie there and listen to Enya or something equally soothing.

In terms of the recovery period, Derya informed me that my face may be slightly red that day (it wasn’t really) and may feel dry over the next few days but by the end of the week, would feel amazing.

She was correct. I am super happy with the results and my skin feels incredible. As with most things, great skin takes time and patience. For best results, a series of peels is essential however even just the one-off will make you feel a million bucks.

Better still, she made sure I went home with a complete new skin care regime which, at week 2 of using it, I am completely obsessed with.

It’s the Aspect Dr Skincare ABC Kit and is basically the ‘ABC’ of anti-ageing using vitamins A, B and C for healthy, glowing skin.

There’s a few steps and they differ morning and night but they don’t take long and have made a noticeable difference in my skin.

I cannot recommend the delightful Derya enough AND lucky for you, the Victorian Dermal Group is currently giving away a FREE chemical peel on their Instagram so follow them at @vicdermalgroup for your chance to win!

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Picture Polish Freya’s Cats

Pretty disappointed with this one.  It’s supposed to be a royal blue jelly with scattered holo particles but it just looked like silver microglitter.  Not very sparkly even with flash (1st photo, and no, my hands aren’t that red).

Formula was fine.  I heard it was a 3-coater but I got coverage in 2.  This polish was too expensive ($15 for 0.37 mL) to be meh.

This shade was dreamed up by blogger Nihrida.  I was going to link to her page and photos but the photos are gone from her website.  

Kitty Avengers! Inspired by a google pic I came across the other day. I’m going to see the movie tonight & any excuse to do themed nails right?

Used in this mani:

Wet N’ Wild - French White, Black Creme

Jordana - Crystal Glitter

Characters painted all with Apple Barrel acrylic paints

HK Girl Topcoat