Abby runs her own agency, providing beautiful girls for promotional events. She needs a new website and when she calls in the web contractors, none other than the gorgeous, sexy, young Marcus turns up.
Abby had met Marcus at a party a few weeks earlier and they had an amazing one-night stand. Abby is not unhappy to see him again. He is rather divine, after all. It’s just that she’s 33 and he’s 22, so how can she ever expect anything to come of this relationship.
But Marcus is determined and sets out to prove to Abby that he is wise beyond his years and knows what he wants. Abbie is not so sure and when she escapes to Italy and meets someone else, she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.
About the Author
Zoë Foster enjoys writing author biographies because she gets to write things like, ‘Zoë Foster is Australia’s most critically acclaimed and bestselling author,’ and, ‘In 2010, Foster was controversially awarded the Pulitzer for the second time’ despite the fact that all of these things are untrue.
Things that are true include her role as contributing editor at Mamamia.com.au, and dating columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine. She was previously the editor-at-large of beauty website primped.com.au, beauty director at Harper’s BAZAAR, and prior to that beauty director at Cosmopolitan magazine.
Zoë has published two novels, Air Kisses and Playing the Field, as well as the dating and relationship book, Textbook Romance (written in conjunction with Hamish Blake). A collection of her best beauty tips and tricks, Amazing Face, was released in 2011, and her next book, The Younger Man, a novel, will be published in late Feb 2012.
Clever beauty tricks, should-own products + spectacularly useful how-to-do-its
Author: Zoe Foster
I learned how to apply makeup from a girl in the toilets.
She was an exquisite, popular, sophisticated* (*It’s all relative) year nine girl (I was a year eight weed and the girls in the year above were deities for reasons I can only put down to ‘having pashed boys already’), and it was bewitching watching her do her face in the school toilets.
Sadly, my facsimile did not eventuate in the flawless masterpiece I’d hoped, although with several layers of Mum’s salmon Helena Rubenstein powder, blush loaded onto cheekbones that didn’t yet exist and more eyeliner than is legal at 13, I was able to generously offer several solid hours of amusement for my family.
But what the heck was a girl to do? My options were my older sister, who was at that time stomping noisily through her punk stage and terribly unhelpful in the beauty department, my mum, who wore only powder and lipstick, or my friends, who to my irritation were hypnotised by Lip Smackers and unwilling to progress. The Girl in the Toilet was my best chance.
Surprisingly, learning how to do makeup – that most crucial form of visual enhancement and self-expression – from a Girl in the Toilets (who invariably learned it from someone equally unqualified) is not as valuable as one might think. As condom-covered veils at Hens’ Nights kindly demonstrate, tradition does not always mean it’s right.
But I persisted, experimenting with beauty in all its forms through the tragic comedy of high school with the application technique of a drunken bat. Eye shadow? Whatever shade’s on sale at the chemist! Hair colour? Whatever Emma and Lee are doing! Skin care? Whatever Mum buys me! Screw technique, doll; just get it on there! Oh, and whatever you do, PLUCK YOUR EYEBROWS. Pluck them a lot. Have no idea why or how, just do it because everyone else is. See? See how pretty they look all thin and wonky and uneven like that? Great job!
This spectacular incompetence continued until I was 23, when I became beauty editor at Cosmopolitan. It’s terrifying that I was given such a role – I distinctly remember my only eye shadow palette at that time being a frosty pastel CoverGirl one I wore with evangelical passion, skipping merrily from lilac to mint to aqua according to mood and outfit, and you can bet your blush brush I wore it to the job interview.
Two days in and I was interviewing the gentleman responsible for doing JENNIFER ANISTON’s hair, and so my on-job learning commenced. And it never stops.
People occasionally assume beauty editors are makeup artists or beauticians turned writers, but we are not. Those guys are incredibly knowledgeable in one area, whereas we know lots of little things about many areas. We are writers whose job it is to inhale all available information on beauty, from every available source, and elegantly spit it out in an accessible fashion for our readers.
And inhale I do. Every time I chat to an artist, whether they’re an international King of the Biz like BRUC GRAYSON or FRÉDÉRIC FEKKAI, a National Megastar like RAE MORRIS or JAYNE WILD, or a terrifically talented makeup or hair genius on a shoot, I am learning fantastic new tricks that alter the way I do my hair or face. Ditto with the dermatologists and scientists behind those skin care prodz you buy. These people know their shit. They are the finest in their field; beauty is their passion and their profession.
For me to translate all of their priceless insider information to readers, I need to understand it first. (‘Explain it to me like I’m five.’) Which means I learn a whole lot of stuff along the way, both from these experts, and from subsequent experimenting. (Seven years’ worth which have cumulated in this book.) (The stuff I can remember anyway.) (I was drunk for a lot of it.) (Kidding!) (Kind of.)
Pros aside, my fellow beauty editors are tremendously inspiring. You cannot imagine such a glorious constellation of stylish, mischievous, talented dames! They are extremely proficient with any makeup/hairbrush or product in their orbit and magnificent at sassing a trend before it even knows it’s a trend. This is no accident: as a beauty editor, you might attend 10 product launches a week, and are expected to look polished and glamorous at each. And so you’d expect as much from the women forecasting for, educating and gently dictating to a nation on perfect skin, hair and makeup. Obviously, this lends itself to some exceptional creativity: a shimmering peacock green liner and a frisky new fringe there, outrageous melon lips and duck-egg blue toenails over there . . . it is a circus of invention and playfulness and I hurl myself into it with zest and jubilance.
To be inspired and excited by the fun and frivolity of beauty. To learn (or re-learn) the basics and master some new trickery. To take what works for you and chuck what doesn’t. To challenge what you’ve always done or thought. To experiment and play. To thieve these tips and announce them as your own, rather like I did in putting this book together. Although let it be known I would never suggest I created these tips: they either came to me via dreams (false) or were taught to me by the best in the biz over the years (true).
For the love of lettuce, cut the cackle, Fosters!
Okay, okay, now it’s time for you, sweet reader, to run squealing into a book that will make you feel competent, be confident and look magnificent, and a world that isn’t intimidating or confusing, but in fact frightfully enjoyable, easy and exciting. It is! It really is. And this book was created lovingly to demonstrate as much.
Enjoy it, you gorgeous rascals. (Buy it now)
The following tips and tricks work for me, but may not work for everybody. I tried my best to choose the most universal, and hope you get some use from them. Also, all unintentional errors are intentional, unless unintentional.
Mia Freedman reviews Amazing Face and interviews Zoe here
In the glossy world of footballers’ WAGs, love is the toughest game of all . . .
Jean Bennett, aspiring jewellery designer, knows as much about football as she does astrophysics. But when she moves to the bright lights of Sydney and falls in love with star footballer Josh Fox, she has to learn fast. Thrown eyelashes first into the world of WAGs, Jean is way out of her league. She navigates her way through semi-finals, a gruelling social calendar and salacious scandals on Josh’s arm, safe in the knowledge he belongs to her or so she thinks.
But as her hair gets blonder, her heels higher and her tops lower, Jean begins to wonder who she’s become . . .
‘Air Kisses is written in such a sexy way that it’s difficult to put down . . . Clever and cheeky.’ Sun-Herald
‘This girl can write, with a humour and charm that frequently has you thumbing through the wit-strewn pages with a smile stretching from ear to ear.’ Sunday Age
‘Zoe Foster continues her romp into the romantic travails of Generation Y with this high-calorie slice of chick lit.’ SUNDAY MAIL
After Hannah Atkins, the magazine world’s most unlikely beauty editor, is dumped for the local TV weather girl, she adopts some hardcore rules to attain the Perfect Life. She will learn how to blend her eye makeup so she doesn’t resemble an over-emotional beauty queen.
She will triumph over the catty mag-hags waiting to see her trip in her new-season Jimmy Choos. She will not drunkenly disgrace herself at achingly hip PR launches. She will not accidentally go home with inappropriate men.
And she absolutely will not fall in love with one of them . . .
‘A brilliant novel – a rollicking good read.’ Mia Freedman
‘This girl can write. Its wit-strewn pages will give you a smile stretching from ear to ear.’ Sunday Age
‘Fast, entertaining fun.’ Woman’s Day
by Zoe Foster & Hamish Blake
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a textbook with clear lessons on clever dating and how to build that Perfect Relationship? One that tells it straight but lets you laugh at yourself too? One that leaves you with your dignity and your personality intact? There is!
Zoe Foster, relationships guru, provides whip-smart step-by-step lessons in successful romancing, with male commentary from self-confessed male, Hamish Blake.
From ‘Never Drink and Text’ to the secrets of avoiding the ‘Thai and Tracksuit Pants Curse’ and the meaning of ‘Engaging the Apricot’, Textbook Romance is essential reading for every girl looking for love that lasts.
Zoë Fostergrew up in the Southern Highlands of NSW and while completing her schooling enjoyed wearing green slacks and manning the McDonalds drive through. She studied Media and Communications at UNSW, fell down three sets of steps during 0-week and failed the only subject she genuinely enjoyed (children’s literature) because she felt it was ‘sacrilege’ to ‘brazenly deconstruct’ her favourite childhood texts. This arrogance continues to this day.
Zoë began her magazine career in 2002 at Mania magazine, where she reviewed Xbox games and pretended to care about DragonBall Z, before moving to Smash Hits and interviewing shithouse boy bands on a fortnightly basis.
Next was her role at Cosmopolitan, where she stayed as Beauty and Lifestyle Editor for three years, a time when she began her beauty blog, fruitybeauty, and started writing her first novel, Air Kisses. From there it was over to Harper’s BAZAAR to be the Beauty Director, where she learned it was entirely appropriate to spend $800 on a pair of shoes, and that it was also immensely enjoyable.
In 2008 Zoë popped on her lycra unitard and set off for the future, also known as ‘online,’ where she helped develop primped.com.au, a web 2.0 Beauty website she currently edits. She is also currently the beauty columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, and the dating columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine.
Zoë published her second book, Textbook Romance, which she wrote with Hamish Blake, in 2009. Her third book, a novel titled Playing The Field is available now, and her fourth, an expose of the underground rattlesnake boot trade is due for publication in 2011.
Follow Zoë Foster on Twitter – click here
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.