Browsing Category:


  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    The Benefits of Essential Oils

    While this year overall has been weird to say the least, these last few weeks have been a little harder than most with my anxiety feeling sky high of late. Without going into too much detail, a lot has been going on in my personal and professional life so when I was reminded about the benefits of essential oils, I knew this was something I look into. 

    Ben Phillips, Brand Manager of Buckley and Phillips explains, “many essential oils are renowned for their ability to lift your mood and improve your outlook on life.  Some common feelings that people may be experiencing during this period of isolation and uncertainty are anxiety, frustration, lethargy, lack of focus, melancholy and loneliness. Additionally, essential oils are a terrific companion to a good sleep preparation routine.”

    But how you ask? Ben says: “On a physiological level, when an aroma is inhaled the molecules enter the nose and are registered by olfactory nerve cells. These pass the information to the limbic brain. And it is the limbic system deals with emotions, memories and stimulation. This explains why certain scents have the ability to trigger memories and influence our moods.”

    I know for a fact that I am a much more ‘together’ and alert person when I sleep well, and when I’m anxious the first thing to go is sleep quality, to which Ben shares that by foregoing stimulants like sugar, caffeine, late eating and device use before bed improve your chances of falling asleep more effectively.  

    “There are several essential oils that are ideal for calming the mind and relaxing the body before bed.  They are perfect for vaporizing in the bedroom or for a really relaxing treat – can be added to a carrier oil and massaged into the back, chest wrists or temples.  The best oils for sleep are Lavender combined with other oils like Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Marjoram, Clary Sage and others. For those who have never tried aromatherapy before and are bit daunted by the choice, I recommend started with a ready-made blend. Our pulse point roll-ons are a great way to incorporate essential oils into your sleep routine, reduce the impact of stress and headaches or balance your mood.

    Please see below some other effective ways that essential oils can be employed:

    • Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow before sleep  making your own diluted pulse point blend and applying with a roller. Try uplifting grapefruit, lime and mandarin or grounding sandalwood, patchouli and frankincense.
    • Make your next bath a decadent one – add a few drops of rose, jasmine and chamomile oils to a tablespoon of full fat milk and then disperse in the hot water.  You could even sprinkle on some rose petals. Alternatively you could try adding a few drops of your favorite oils into ½ a cup of Epsom salts, stirring to disperse, then sprinkling into the bath.
    • For sore muscles and joints try a hot compress. Add 3-4 drops of Ginger, Cypress, and Juniper to a shallow bowl of hot water and disperse well. Soak a flannel, wring out well and apply to relevant part of the body. Repeat 3 times after the compress reaches body temperature.
    • As the cold season continues to linger you might consider diffusing Buckley and Phillips’ Immunity blend at work or in your home. For sinus congestion Eucalyptus and tea tree oils are ideal for steam inhalation. Add 3-5 drops to a large bowl of boiled water, cover head with a towel and breathe through the nose.

    Ben explains, “I recommend anyone interested in learning more, pick themselves up any book by Valerie Ann Worwood or Julia Lawless. There’s also a really terrific book for beginners titled Neal’s Yard Remedies – Essential Oils.”

    What is your tried and true method for reducing stress and anxiety? Share with me in the comments!

  • InBeauty

    Grown Alchemist is Here to Save Our Winter Skin

    Well, it’s officially Winter in Tasmania. I mean, it is often colder than most places in Australia but the last few weeks, it has been icy. And of course, my skin has had a freak out already (never misses a beat!) which lead me to reach out to Jeremy Muiji, the founder & CEO of Grown Alchemist, to help assist mine – and your skin – through Winter 2020 during a global pandemic. Let’s jump into it!

    (Jeremy Muiji, the founder & CEO of Grown Alchemist)

    Winter to me means drier skin all over that feels tighter than normal and can err towards scaly. How can we combat this, and preserve our lush facial skin and limbs? “Wintertime poses a special problem because humidity is low both outdoors and indoors and thus, winter air is so much more taxing on our skin than summer where the humidity is higher. Our house and office heating systems absorbs moisture out of the air, and as most of us are staying indoors more this season, our skin is extra prone to dryness, irritation and redness. Our general lifestyle – what we eat and drink, sleep patterns, exercises, and skincare routine – all contribute to changing skin conditions. We are increasingly spending much longer time periods using digital devices and thus are exposed to longer periods of blue rays and free radicals which are damaging to our skin, increasing the likelihood of oxidisation. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always important, introducing products that protect our skins natural barrier, add nourishment and extra hydration to the skin, soothe redness, irritation, and rosacea, and repair our skin at a cellular level are important in our skincare regime to combat dryness during winter. Looking after our body is equally important as looking after our facial skin. Going into winter we are using much hotter water to shower or bathe, that may strip away much of the skin’s layer and cause it to lose moisture. Using a thicker body cream will help seal moisture, soothe itchiness and dryness on the body.”

    What products or ingredients should we look for, and avoid, during winter? “With all that said, the best practice is to transition to a skincare regime for winter, featuring a thicker, richer moisturiser and serums that have high dose of hydration and nourishment for our skin than what we would use in the summer. Products that feature a combination of ingredients such as Collagen, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid that really plump and hydrate the skin, are what you should look for in your skincare. Collagen smooths and firms the texture of our skin; Peptides builds collagen and elastin, making our skin more resilient and stronger; and Hyaluronic Acid increases dermal hydration to maintain the moisture in our skin. Other powerful ingredients you should incorporate into your skincare are Antioxidants. These protect our skin against free radicals and help to heal the skin. Powerful antioxidant ingredients include Ylang Ylang, Rosemary Leaf and Tocopherol (Vitamin E).”

    So, what should we avoid using on our skin? For the health of our skin and our body, we should avoid using products that contain harmful chemical ingredients, and consider products that use plant-based ingredients, that are organic, toxic-free, and that are considered clean beauty. Why? Plant-based ingredients are higher and richer in essential nutrients than synthetic ingredients. At Grown Alchemist we use plant-based and organic ingredients that are 100% compatible with human biology and are highly efficacious because our body can easily recognise the molecular structure of plant-based ingredients and utilise nutrient contents.

    How can we combat the effects of the ever-applied hand sanitizer and handwashing? “Like our face, body and hair care routine, a nourishing hand care regime should be adopted. At Grown Alchemist, we understand healthy hands are more than hand sanitiser. As much as hand sanitisers have become our new normal, we advocate creating a ritual for hands. That is, each time we apply hand-sanitiser, we are applying hand cream. We should be aware that most hand sanitisers we see on the market contain a very high percentage of ultra-drying synthetic alcohol. This not only dries our skin but is also harmful to our body on a cellular level. Also, the vast majority of hand care products such as hand wash and hand cream contain very harsh chemicals, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Petrochemicals (derivates of coal, oil and gas) and Glycols. These are also disruptive to our body on a cellular level. Instead we should look for products that contain clean, plant-based anti-bacterial agents, that protect and hydrate the skin.”

    I also asked Jeremy to recommend some winter product suggestions from Grown Alchemist for face, hands and body:

    • Age-Repair Intensive Moisturiser as a nourishing day cream to protect against the harsh elements.
    • Age-Repair Treatment Cream as an ultra-nourishing moisturiser, especially for a more mature skin type. The Treatment Cream is particularly good for skiers prone to windburn or people spending long periods outside.
    • Pure Rosehip Oil is great to add with any moisturiser for extra hydration, but also great for soothing redness, irritation, rosacea etc.
    • Age-Repair Sleep Masque is full of powerful hydration / skin repairing ingredients such as Oligo- Peptides (builds collagen and Elastin) and Hyaluronic Acid (increases dermal hydration).
    • Body Treatment Oil is a deeply nourishing body oil, which can be used as a body moisturiser, a massage oil or put some into a warm bath for an aromatic and nourishing bath!
    • Hand Wash is a gentle gel handwash with skin softening and nourishing ingredients that leave skin thoroughly cleansed (thanks to the sage), refreshed (sweet orange) and soothed (cedarwood).
    • Grown Alchemist Hydra-Gel Hand Sanitiser – an advanced antiseptic hand sanitiser formulated with 70% Ethyl Alcohol extracted from Cane Sugars, Hyaluronan and Antioxidants to instantly sanitise and hydrate, protecting the hands from being stripped of moisture like most alcohol-based hand-sanitisers do.
    • Soothing Hand Cream – our newest launch. A highly aromatic, anti-bacterial hand cream, comprise of healing and smoothing active ingredients, deeply hydrates hands and cuticles while leaving them softly scented.

    A reminder to self – add an oil to your skincare both morning and night this time of year, it’s totally worth it!

    Stay safe + well,

  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Erika Geraerts, Founder of Fluff Casual Cosmetics

    Meet Erika Geraerts. As one of the co-founders of communications agency Willow & Blake, Erika also co-founded skincare company frank body, which went on to become a huge international beauty brand. In 2016, Erika left Willow & Blake and frank body, and has since been working on her new venture in beauty, Fluff. This one is her favourite. Erika likes to spend her time around plants, dogs, good friends, and good food and coffee.

    Fluff was founded by Erika Geraerts who thinks that makeup is fun, but not necessary. We want you to create and accept beauty, making it up for yourself.

    Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there and did this help create Fluff? I would say I am the least beauty obsessed person I know. My entry into this industry came through writing – I love people and connecting with them through brands, and the stories they tell. It’s only in the last five years that my interest in clean formulas and better packaging experiences has really come into focus, however Fluff’s message — of beauty being more than makeup —  has a far greater meaning for me.

    What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? What are your favourite beauty treatments? I am obsessed with oils; jojoba, coconut, olive. I strongly believe they are the foundation for every beauty routine, and perhaps, all we need.

    In terms of treatments, I am quite passionately against anything that strips or peels away the skin, laser, needling, or drying ingredients like clays. I believe our skin experiences moisture imbalances, and this is always the focus of any treatment I have or product I buy.

    In regard to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? My go-to skin therapist is Stacie and her team at Little Company in Melbourne and Byron Bay. They know what my skin needs, they don’t push any unnecessary treatment on me, and I trust that they want me to look like me, not someone else.

    What are your thoughts on Botox and fillers etc? I personally do not like Botox or lip fillers. I believe society and social media (both brands and influencers) have placed an increasing amount of pressure (of which I have felt), particularly on young people to conform to this unrealistic standard of beauty, and as a result we have a group of people looking increasingly more like each other, instead of themselves. Age gracefully – it’s beautiful. Lines tell stories.

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? Fluff is working on a moisturising mask which I am excited about. I just bought Josh Rosebrook’s Antioxidant Cacao Mask and Nourish Shampoo and Conditioner and Serum Spray. I go to Little Company every few months (I wish more often) for a treatment. I love their LED light therapy and I am looking forward to doing that again.

    What is your favourite beauty magazine? Who are you listening to in podcasts, or watching on Instagram or Youtube? I don’t really read beauty magazines, I usually find out about products by browsing in a few stores I like, e.g. The Lab Organics, as I trust their product selection and offering. I love Gemma Watt’s podcast on beauty, as well as Beauty Island. But my favourite podcasts are Mark GrovesTim Ferris, and Ezra Klein. I’m not really across Youtube but on Instagram I love BalenciagaIjeoma OluoJena CovelloNY Times, and of course, Britney Spears.

  • InBeauty

    Mastering the At-Home Manicure

    While in some places of Australia nail technicians are slowly reopening, for us here in Tasmania we are looking at another 3 weeks at least. Whether going to a salon is not an option or you need to take a few minutes of self-care, now is the time to master an easy at-home manicure and enjoy the relaxing benefits of painting your own nails.

    Here’s what you’ll need before you start:

    • A nail file for filing the free edge
    • A buffer
    • Orange sticks, or a cuticle pusher
    • Cuticle remover *optional
    • Base coat (to protect your nails from staining)
    • Your desired nail polish shade (generally 2 coats of colour work best)
    • Top coat (for sealing in all your hard work)
    • Nail polish remover, cuticle and hand cream *optional

    I’ve been enjoying using Mavala nail polish whilst in isolation, but absolutely any brand will work – the hard part is choosing a colour, right? I find it best to set everything up before I start and if you’re worried about making a mess, just pop down some paper towel under your hands.

    Mavala answers your FAQ manicure questions HERE

    Many nail polish brands contain some of the most toxic and harmful chemicals. Mavala Nail Polishes are worry free – they contain no formaldehyde, no phthalate and no toluene.

    Step 1: File your nails in your desired shape, gently and without creating a friction that may cause nails to burn. The video linked below is a great visual to work with!

    Step 2: Buff the surface of the nail gently, removing ridges where possible and creating a smooth canvas to paint.

    Step 3: Apply cuticle remover and gently push back cuticles with the orange stick, or cuticle pusher if you have one. Generally, I advise not to nip or cut cuticles after this step unless you’re specifically trained in using nippers, but you do you babe!

    Step 4: Using three strokes (start in the middle, sweep from side to side) apply your base coat to the entire nails, avoiding the cuticle and/or touching the skin. Let dry for a few minutes.

    Step 5: Apply two coats of your desired nail polish, painting one finger at a time and painting all ten before you start applying your second coat. Again, use the three strokes (start in the middle at the cuticle, sweep up and sweep side to side).

    Step 6: Apply top coat in the same fashion as above, painting the entire nail without flooding the cuticle – this can cause lifting and will mean your manicure will not last as long as it should!

    Step 7: This step is optional but I do highly recommend – especially if you’re going to post a snap on Instagram – and that’s to wrap a tissue around your orange stick, soak it in your nail polish remover and then gently go around the edges to clean up any mistakes to give you a salon-ready finish instantly. For an extra special step, apply a cuticle oil and hand cream once your polish is dry to feel like you can take on the world.

    What are you wearing on your nail this week? I’m wearing Mavala in Quito for a classic red nail that always look chic – ala Alison Rice!

  • InBeauty

    Why You Need To Be Using Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is one of my favourite skincare ingredients, and when you break down the benefits of daily usage – it is no surprise why.

    Vitamin C (sometimes known as L-Ascorbic Acid or ascorbic acid) is a powerful dermatologist-recommended ingredient that is frequently used in anti-aging products to improve radiance and skin texture while reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet.

    Skincare expert and founder of Australian natural Minenssey skincare brand, Cheryl Ross, is well aware of this cult ingredient, which is why their newest product launch, the nutrient-rich Rejuvenating Range is centered around two main ingredients; pomegranate and kakadu plum. Minenssey is best known for using all natural ingredients derived from the ground to boast botanical goodness through one’s complexion.

    Cheryl says: “The Minenssey Rejuvenating range is centered around two main ingredients pomegranate and kakadu plum.  When applied to the skin kakadu plum, it can reduce swelling, redness and even help get rid of a bacterially-induced acne. It is recognised as the world’s highest natural source of vitamin C, with concentration more than 50 times that of an orange. Vitamin C firms the skin, fade dark spots. It restores the skins natural barrier. Most importantly it protects our skin from environmental damage.”

    I’m most excited to introduce the Nutritious Facial Essence into my daily routine after it recently arrived on my desk – remembering essence is applied after toning but before moisturiser – especially as I’m still working from home, my skin will be looking fab once we start returning to a normal life, right?

  • InBeauty, Features, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Jose Bryce Smith, founder of Original & Mineral

    Jose Bryce Smith has amazing hair. That relaxed wave with some dark roots peeking through gives me the ultimate Cali cool-girl hair vibes, and now I know what products she uses – I too am a little closer to achieving this, right? Probably not as I’m extremely uncoordinated especially with a hair tong – I have burns to prove it! – but either way, I really enjoyed speaking with Jose about her business, her beauty secrets and her morning routines.

    Once a Vogue Beauty Editor’s ‘best kept secret’, Jose Bryce Smith is the original pioneer of ammonia free hair colour in Australia, and the Founder / CEO of clean luxury haircare company, Original & Mineral (O&M). Her haircare line is a powerhouse, stocked across the globe and responsible for the expert colouring and five-free formula of O&M aficionados across 15 countries and several continents.

    Where did your love of clean beauty come from, has it always been there?

    Growing up my mother and my grandmother were always into organic and natural in food and skincare, when other kids were having chocolate, my mum bought me yoghurt raisins and we were never allowed sugary drinks. She brought me up to be concerned about chemicals and although I loved beauty, I always looked for the cleaner, more natural products.

    What are your favourite O&M products and why?

    I have very fine hair and so I love Fine Intellect shampoo and conditioner as it has lilly pilly which acts like natural collagen and plumps my hair and then I can’t live without Atonic, which is our thickening spray. Project Sukuroi is another, which is our gold smoothing balm which I use on my blonde blow dried ends and I rarely leave the house without Desert Dry which is the perfect mix between dry shampoo and texture, it makes my hair go from flat to fabulous in seconds.

    What are your favourite skincare or haircare ingredients, and why?

    I love macadamia oil, coconut oil and argan oil, they are so smoothing and repairing. I have always done a lot of heat styling and colouring with my hair and it’s about protecting it whilst still living my life and staying blonde. Its so brilliant that natural oils can replace synthetics now.

    Tell me about your hair history, has it been ever evolving? 

    I’ve always been passionate about my hair, I had long hair when I was young and pretty much I’ve had every style from a short crop to a perm, black to blonde and for a decade I had a signature haircut which was a blunt fridge and platinum blonde – that was my trademark. Now in my 40s I’m a bit more relaxed and I am into beach waves for day and glamorous waves for night! For most of my life I have been blonde apart from a few times where I got persuaded to try something different, it never lasted long!

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? 

    We are always testing new products and so I am very lucky that I get to try lots of whizz bang ingredients – I’m obsessed with clean and I drive chemists crazy with my desire to take out chemicals whilst still delivering performance. For me it’s always about volume, give me anything with volume and I’m a happy girl!

    What do you do when you have a moment for #selfcare, maybe a wellness ritual or something? 

    I’ve learnt over the years that for me my morning ritual is critical for setting me up for a successful day. I wake up early, generally around 5.30am and I meditate for 10 minutes. I then have a breathing routine (5 mins) and then I do EFT tapping which is clinically proven to clear blockages, then some kind of exercise – right now, a lot of walking! And during that time I plan out my day, I find that meditation is the best for creating space and allowing new experiences to come in and the breath is so good at grounding, I have a lot going on and so I try to do things that keep me in my body and out of my head. I also love to relax at night in an Epsom salt bath I do several times a week.

    What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? 

    I love Vogue UK and Allure, both which have the perfect mix of beauty and fashion. I’m a podcast and Audible addict so my playlists are never ending and always changing, I’m currently loving Hillary Kerr’s Second Life and UnStyled by Christine Barberich, and have recently also started listening to Behind the Beauty with Bobbi Brown. Some of my Instagram faves include CredoBeauty, WWD and WWW.

    May I ask what’s next for O&M, anything exciting in the works? 

    We are focused on our global expansion, the O&M tribe is growing around the world through the best hair salons, we are in 15 countries and we have several more planned for the end of this year. We also spend a huge amount of time and money on research into clean haircare and we are evolving and constantly looking at ways of reducing harsh chemicals in haircare of the O&M brand. Therefore, we will continue on our mission and we have some exciting new products coming out …

  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    Recycled Beauty

    With everything happening in the world right now, I’ve recently started up my own little vegetable garden in an effort to buy less groceries and reduce plastic packaging and in just a few weeks, I’ve got a handful of delicious herbs and veggies sprouting everywhere! While I am making a positive impact outside, it soon occurred to me that I cannot say the same for my beauty cabinet – I mean, what can be recycled and where would I even begin?

    Luckily I know a gal whose knowledge far exceeds mine, and Allison McNamara, founder of the clean line of algae-infused skincare MARA Beauty, has kindly shared some information that can help us all begin to limit our environmental impact without sacrificing our much-loved skincare routines!

    First up, I asked Allison what steps we can take right now for a more sustainable approach to beauty, to which she said: “Use less products overall. Invest in multi-hyphenate products, like our MARA Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil that removes makeup and also rinses super clean. Stop using single use beauty, like sheet masks, makeup pads and cotton balls! Take the time to properly rinse out excess product in your containers and of course, shop local when you can to really reduce carbon footprint. Make sure you’re recycling your beauty products properly – many larger brands and companies (including Credo Beauty in the US and Nourished Life in Australia) have recycling programs and incentives to ensure your beauty products get recycled and don’t end up in a landfill.”

    After another way to use your empty glass bottles?

    When it comes to specific products, Alison shared that aluminium and glass are both awesome recyclable materials in your beauty packaging. Unit cartons made from paper and water-based coatings & vegetable inks are also recyclable as well. There are even brands who take measures to be zero waste, making packaging out of biodegradable and compostable materials that break down in landfills. She does warn though, be weary of virgin plastics, which can usually be recycled but are also adding to the plastic already in existence. Post-consumer recycled materials are great because they are made from pre-existing, recycled materials however they are not usually recycled again because of the capabilities of local municipalities.

    Being in quarantine at home for about five weeks now has given me plenty of time to reflect on how I can implement more sustainable practices and this one is especially high on my agenda. What steps do you take to reduce your environmental impact, or reduce, reuse, and recycle? Share with me in the comments!

  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Beauty During a Pandemic with Sari Hoban, PA-C

    While I appreciate the enormity of the current situation we are in – and one that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon – I’m still a skincare junkie at heart and always will be. When I was given the opportunity to speak recently with one of Allison McNamara’s favourite skin experts in Sari Hoban, PA-C, it made my week.

    Please see below my chat with Sari on beauty during a pandemic, and why she believes that virtual skin consultations are here to stay!

    Sari Hoban, PA-C is a nationally Board Certified Physician Assistant in Los Angeles, CA specializing in aesthetics: injectables, lasers and skincare. She was recently awarded the Top 100 Injectors in America designation for 2019-2020 voted on by patients and fellow peers in the industry. She is a national speaker for PCA Skin and an educator for medical school programs. Sari specializes in a natural aesthetic and is renowned by her patients for her emphasis on the individualized patient experience and her less is more approach.

    What can patients do at home to stave off fine lines and wrinkles without in-office treatments such as lasers or botox? There is no replacement for in-office treatments such as lasers or neuromodulator injections (botox/dysport), but there are at-home treatments than can help until aesthetic offices reopen. Typically, neuromodulators like botox or dysport are injected into muscles to reduce the muscle’s movements, and therefore reducing the lines those repeated muscle movements cause. An at-home option is to use a topical neuropeptide. This will work similarly to a neuromodulator like botox to reduce the movements on the skin surface causing fine lines. I personally use and love PCA Skin Exlinea. You can also couple this with the use of a retinol, topical vitamin A, which will increase cell turnover and aid in reduction of fine lines, pores, age spots and more. There are many retinols on the market and they are not one size fits all. The key with retinol is to start slow and be patient as it can take 4-6 weeks to see the effects.

    What can patients do to combat acne during these stressful times? First and foremost, be sure to wash your face morning and night. While our normal schedules have shifted, it is highly likely our normal skincare routines have gone out the window. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Also, add in washing your face right after you exercise even if you don’t shower right away. Look for powerful anti-acne ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid in your skincare products. If the world of skincare is overwhelming to you, I am offering virtual skincare consultations to help counsel patients appropriately and get them on a good skincare routine.

    A lot of people are breaking out due to mask wearing. What can we do? By wearing a mask for an hour at the grocery store or a 12 hour shift at the hospital, the mask is trapping air, moisture and heat, leading to inflammation, irritation and acne breakouts. Avoid wearing makeup if you know you are leaving your house and will be wearing a mask as that will only add to clogged pores and congestion. If wearing a mask for extended periods, try taking it off periodically, if safe, like in a private restroom, and wash your face. During this time you can also apply salicylic acid spot treatments to those dreaded acne zones and then replace your mask. At least you have a powerful ingredient helping combat the congestion occurring inside the mask while you go about your day. If you are not a frontline worker, try to opt for a cotton breathable face covering and wash with a fragrance free detergent to avoid irritation.

    What safety measures will need to be in place when aesthetic offices reopen? Aesthetic offices are seeing a shift in the way they conduct business. Most offices have been closed for 5-6 weeks and may be closed for at least 3-4 more weeks. Telemedicine or virtual consultations have become increasingly popular and are likely here to stay. For in-person visits when the time comes, it will be common for patients to be prescreened before their appointments, to arrive in masks, have their temperatures checked at the doors and to come to their appointments solo (rather than with a friend or family members). It is also likely offices will not see as many patients each day and will need to stagger the volume of people coming through their doors, so wait times to get on the schedule may be slightly longer. I also think virtual consultations will be here to stay. There is a good amount we can cover prior to the appointment date, and it is wise to decrease the time spent in face to face interactions. If everything has been covered virtually, then you can just get to business when it is time for the appointment!

    Are you taking virtual consultations? Yes! While I cannot inject or perform lasers at the moment, I can conduct a consultation virtually to discuss your aesthetic goals and come up with a treatment plan for when the office reopens. I can also provide a comprehensive skincare plan and ship products to you!

    You can find Sari Hoban on Instagram @goseesari or her site

    Please remember that medical information provided by Sari Hoban, PA-C, in the absence of a visit with a health care professional, must be considered as an educational service only. The information should not be relied upon as a medical consultation. This mechanism is not designed to replace a physician’s independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. 

  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Links I Love

    Who would have thought the majority of us would have so much time to ourselves; to be productive or simply chill, without the need to wear a watch or keep track of the time (and days!). While it’s a weird time, it’s also allowing us to place a pause button on life and for that, I am ever so grateful.

    Here are some interesting links I’ve found recently, which I hope you too enjoy:

  • InBeauty

    Skin Treatments You Can Do At Home While Isolating

    This is such a tricky and unsettling time we are currently facing, and I hope that if you are reading this – you are safe and well with loved ones nearby (or at least, electronically!). While I understand the enormity of this situation, I am also aware that we each need a little distraction from our reality and in turn, focus on self care.

    With this in mind, I spoke with Lisa Schmelzkopf, founder of Schmelzkopf Cosmetics to learn about some skincare treatments you can do yourself, at home!

    With a strong focus on Medical Grade and Certified Organic products and 16 years’ experience as a skin therapist, Lisa has earned a reputation for professionalism, skill and unwavering determination to supply only the very best, safest and most advanced products and services.

    Hi Lisa! While at home isolating, what beauty treatments can we safely perform? “The trick when it comes to performing your own facial treatment at home is making sure you’re using the correct skin care regime, for your skin type. There’s nothing worse than using a serum or a mask that is formulated specifically for anti-ageing, while you might have mature skin, but with breakouts that need to be addressed. The whole idea behind performing our home facial is to maintain the level of skin achieved from your skin care professional.”

    Lisa shares that the following treatments we can perform at home includes skin peels, which work to encourage cell turnover, even out skin tones, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and to help with breakouts. Lisa advises her clients to begin with the all natural Resurfacing Peel, applying once or twice a week for best results.

    The Schmelzkopf Resurfacing Peel removes dead skin cells and produces instant skin softening. It eliminates the outermost layer of the dead cells to give a fresher, brighter and younger-looking skin.

    The peel is highly effective and has minimum irritability on the skin leaving minimal redness and no severe skin burn.  The peel is a non-irritant with an alkaline PH of 2 with instant results that continue with use.

    If you’d like to start with products you already have, then consider the below guide from Lisa as gospel – in the Classic Skin Facial. The Classic Skin Facial will ensure your maintaining a healthy skin throughout this lockdown, and then once this period ends, you’re able then to continue with the advanced skin treatments with your choice of skin professional.

    Lisa’s classic facial routine includes:

    • Double cleansing to ensure no build-up or clogging
    • Exfoliating 1 – 2 per week, via either a manual exfoliant or natural skin peel
    • Serum or treatment oil  to combat any skin issues like acne, saggy skin or pigmentation and ageing skin
    • Treatment mask once a week, leave this on for 15min and take off with a hot flannel
    • Apply your eye cream or gel, moisturizer and of course SPF!

    Schmelzkopf Cosmetics offer two different kits, in the D.I.Y.Home Facial Anti-Ageing Edition with everything you need to maintain a healthy, hydrated skin, or for those with acne and/or oily prone skin types, there is also the D.I.Y. Home Facial Anti-Bacterial Edition.

    Before we start, what should we be mindful of when DIY-ing it? Before you get too slap happy (me!!), Lisa shares the following information to remember:

    • Over stimulating: Be aware of what you’re putting onto your skin. Try to stay away from harsh chemicals found in some skin care, as they can cause your skin to become sensitive and dry.
    • Oily skins: Stay away from different forms of alcohol or peroxides, as over time, this will begin to dry your skin out and while you think its working; it can actually make your sebaceous glands become over- active and in return produce more oil!
    • Sensitive skins: Avoid artificial fragrances, as they have a tendency to flare up any inflammation, redness and increase sensitivity.
    • Over exfoliating: Sometimes when our skin is feeling clogged, flaky or dry, we feel the need to want to exfoliate as much as we can, but by doing this more then twice a week, we can actually over stimulate our skin causing small breakouts, especially around your chin.

    What services are you offering whilst in lockdown, any virtual services? We are offering complimentary skin consultations via Face Time, over the phone or simply by email if this is your preference, at Schmelzkopf Cosmetics and Centella clinics. We can then ensure we are educating our clients in the correct choice of skin care and by explaining clearly how they need to use skin care and treatments over the phone.”

    What are you doing to stay safe and sane while isolating, and how are you pampering yourself? Share with me in the comments!

  • InBeauty

    This Aussie Natural Beauty Brand Makes Superfood Serums

    We all know that our skin is the largest organ in your body and it can absorb anything it touches. So, if you’re layering yourself in parabens, talc, sulphates, chemicals and other scary ingredients, you’re going to see it. Thank goodness we have Raww Cosmetics, who are on a mission to bring their customers the very best in hydrating, moisturising skincare, by cutting the toxic crap and only including the cleanest, freshest ingredients in their selection of cleansers, toners, moisturisers and serums. Ingredients like nourishing Avocado Oil, moisturising Coconut Water and tightening Acai Berry keep the toxins out and the hydration in.

    Raww is the only superfood-infused, Australian made and owned cosmetics and skincare brand, meaning their products contain only the latest and finest-quality superfood ingredients and natural actives for the health-conscious consumer. Raww’s promise to consumers is to deliver high quality and effective skincare and makeup, with a large part of their range being COSMOS Certified Natural and all of their products being Cruelty-Free Certified.

    Australian Certified Organic is the first Asia-Pacific based certifier accredited under the COSMetics Organic and natural Standard (COSMOS) as an approved certifier for Organic and Natural cosmetics as well as cosmetics raw materials, following an accreditation process through the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS).

    If you’re new to the brand, my suggestion is to start with serums, as while it’s a small step within your skincare routine, it’s one that really packs a punch.

    Serums work hard by absorbing into the skin, rather than sitting on the surface like moisturisers, and penetrating from a deeper level. Whether you have sensitive or irritated skin, acne prone, dull, dry and/or dehydrated skin, Raww has a serum for you!

    Let’s look at some natural serums on offer from Raww:

    • Recover-ME Face Oil to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin with Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil and Grape Seed Oil.
    • Smooth-ME Fine Line Serum to brighten the skin with Vitamin C from Kakadu Plum, and help fight the first signs of ageing with the natural power of Acai Berry.
    • Light Beam Radiance Serum to make the skin glow with natural fruit acids from Mango, Papaya and Pineapple that gently exfoliate and renew the top layer of the skin.
    • Dew Drops Hydrating Serum, supercharged with a concentration of superfoods including WildBerry Harvest™ (clinically proven for intense hydration), and Nori Extract to lock in moisture all day.

    Serums are best applied to damp skin after cleanser and toner, and before moisturisers or oils. Use a serum both morning and evening for best results – remember, consistency is the key to healthy skin!

    Be sure to browse Raww Cosmetics’ website and shop online, or try their natural and effective skincare in-store. Raww offers free standard shipping over $60 and to receive 10% off your first order, simply subscribe to their newsletter – it couldn’t be easier. Also consider becoming a member to receive all their special offers before anyone else hears about it – you won’t miss a thing I promise!

    Here’s to making 2020 your healthiest year – and skin – yet!

  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Erin Cook, Beauty Director at Gritty Pretty

    Gritty Pretty is one of my favourite digital beauty magazines, and with Eleanor Pendleton at the helm – it’s no surprise why. Every time a new issue alert arrives, I push everything to the side and immediately dive in. Erin Cook is the resident Beauty Director who I’ve followed on Instagram from what seems like forever now, and I was thrilled when she accepted my offer to feature in this series on my blog – I mean, Erin knows beauty and knows it well. I always make a point of reading her articles (a recent favourite here) and if truth be told, I might stalk her on the regular to keep myself up to date. That out of the way; let’s chat makeup, skincare and beauty with Erin Cook!

    Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? Growing up, my number one true love was magazines. I was obsessed with the beauty, fashion and pop culture pages of Total Girl and then Dolly and Girlfriend before graduating to Cosmo, Cleo, Nylon, Yen and Frankie. For a long time, I loved fashion and beauty equally but beauty obviously won out – I think that’s because I always felt a little excluded from fashion. I grew up in a small town where I didn’t have the money or the resources to really delve into the world of fashion. (This is before online shopping.) Whereas beauty on the other hand… It was easy to walk into Priceline and pick up the hot new $15 eyeshadow palette from Revlon and try my hand at Cosmo’s latest smokey eye tutorial. Was it pretty? Absolutely not. But it was accessible to me.

    What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? Hoo boy! I hate to choose between my children but I think everyone secretly has a favourite child. (Mum, dad, if you’re reading this – it’s me, right?) I douse my skin in hyaluronic acid day and night. It’s so great for drawing moisture to the surface of your skin, making it look and feel super plump and super juicy. Bonus points if the hyaluronic acid-based serum has some niacinamide in it to calm my skin when it’s pissed off because I tried a new product that claimed it was going to change my life. Speaking of hydrating, squalane is so good(!) and I think we’re going to see more and more of it! Where hyaluronic acid is more of a surface hydrator, squalane can delve a little deeper for longer lasting hydration. Great for my dehydrated skin.

    Retinol is almost unparalleled when it comes to anti-ageing and creating smooth skin and small pores. Almost every dermatologist I’ve interviewed swears by it and they’re the real experts here. I get really cute hormonal acne on my chin once a month that I’ve just come to accept and treat as I go. For these guys, I love a salicylic acid spot treatment. Salicylic acid is the business for pimples – it’s anti-inflammatory and unclogs pores and calms redness and just try it already.

    What are your favourite beauty treatments? I’m not loyal by any means but the top spot at the moment goes to HydraFacial! HydraFacial is the Real Deal – and you can find it at skin clinics all over Australia which is great. It exfoliates, sucks all of the gunk out of your pores and then infuses a bunch of potent antioxidants (tailored to you) back into your skin. There’s no down time and you walk on out of there with skin that is noticeably glowy. Where’s the lie? I don’t like any treatments that are too extreme. Anything that requires downtime or involves layers of skin shedding off my face isn’t for me. I want to treat my skin nice and keep my skin barrier intact.

    In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? As a journalist, I want to speak to the experts that are well respected and at the top of their game. To become a dermatologist requires many years of study at a university level, same goes for scientists and cosmetic chemists. However, there are some very knowledgeable skin therapists out there too. I look at academic credentials and experience before reaching out to experts.

    What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? You do you! If you’re going to do it, go somewhere reputable. I don’t have anything in my face at the moment.

    What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? I’m obsessed with CHANEL makeup – their global makeup artist Lucia Pica is so cool and makes me want to work on my makeup stills. I just ordered MegaBabe deodorant online this morning because apparently it’s a natural deodorant that actually works. Time will tell! Treatment-wise, I really want to get a bit woo woo and get a super relaxing facial, preferably with crystals involved. Mostly for my brain but if it helps my skin too – great!

    What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I love Porter and Vogue UK at the moment – they’re similar in that they offer super high-end visuals with in-depth reporting on topics that haven’t already been done to death. As for websites, I’m into Into The Gloss, The Violet Files (part of Violet Grey), Man Repeller, Goop (with a grain of salt), The Cut, Byrdie, The Coveteur and The Strategist. Violette (Estee Lauder’s global makeup artist) is the coolest person on YouTube in my opinion! As for podcasts, Fat Mascara are my OG beauty podcast (I feel like I know them at this stage). I’ve just started listening to Allure’s beauty podcast, Goop Beauty Closet is worth a listen too – plus, The Glossy Beauty Podcast and The Beauty Brains.

  • InBeauty

    Who Says Vegan Beauty Has to Break The Bank?

    Once considered a luxury and often with a high price tag, vegan beauty is now accessible to all thanks to affordable certified vegan brands. One of the most popular vegan makeup brands is DB Cosmetics, making vegan beauty accessible to budget and environmentally conscious makeup enthusiasts alike since 2006.


    The word vegan means the ‘using or containing of no animal products’ and DB Cosmetics is proudly 100% committed to creating certified cruelty-free and certified vegan products. All DB colour cosmetics that contain beeswax or lanolin are vegan. It’s worth noting that beeswax or lanolin can be derived from animals or made synthetically, but DB Cosmetics contain only 100% synthetic beeswax and synthetic lanolin.

    In fact, in addition to being Vegan certified with The Vegan Society, DB Cosmetics is also proud to be certified Cruelty-Free with Australia’s Choose Cruelty Free Organisation. This means that none of the products or product ingredients have ever been tested on animals by staff, by anyone on their behalf, by their suppliers or anyone on their behalf.


    Their best-selling vegan foundation, the Natural Ground Minerals Foundation, has fantastic reviews and it’s little wonder why, as it’s formulated with Poly-Peptides to help plump and firm your skin, Sericite Mica to help your skin look and feel silky soft and Super fruit Pomegranate Extract to help the skin retain its moisture and brightness. The built-in grinder works to delicately shave the unique formula, transforming from pressed to loose, resulting in less mess and a fresh, flawless finish every time. Not to mention the added bonus of a natural SPF to help protect skin against UVA and UVB damage – an extra security layer in Australian weather!

    If you also enjoy wearing a primer underneath your base, try the Rise and Prime Illuminating Primer for maximum glow, thanks to the light reflecting pigments within working to illuminate your best features all day long.

    The best affordable vegan mascara is definitely the Absolute Lash Mascara; a water resistant tubing formula mascara, with lash fibres to add length and volume to lashes without smudging, clumping or flaking. Take your look from day to night with an extra layer or two of mascara and a swipe of the shimmer eye shades from the Coco Loco Eye See You Eyeshadow Palette.

    Also worthy of an addition to your cruelty-free makeup kit is The Lavish Lip Gloss, which boasts a long lasting shine and pigmented colours, without the stickiness of a conventional lipgloss. The gloss is available in 17 different shades, so you’re guaranteed to find your perfect colour – plus maybe a few extra as a treat to yourself?

    Pop on over and browse DB Cosmetics’ website to shop online, or try their natural and effective makeup in-store today!

  • InBeauty

    My Experience with ESK – Evidence Skincare Retinal Serums

    Considered the gold standard in skincare as the most studied anti-ageing ingredient, retinoic acid, the compound used in prescription grade vitamin A, is admired for its ability to stimulate cell turnover and increase collagen production for fewer lines and wrinkles, smoother skin texture, and reduced acne and pustular rosacea. As retinol’s two-stage conversion process has been shown to be 20 times less potent than its prescription counterpart, scientific literature is now heralding retinal, retinol’s successor, as a more efficacious and better tolerated retinoid.

    Since I’ve been using ESK – Evidence Skincare Ultimate A and A+ products for the last 8-10 weeks, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to take the time to understand this ingredient, while providing you with a full rundown of my thoughts and review.

    What is Retinal? 

    Sometimes known as retinaldehyde, retinal is the third stage in the retinoic acid conversion process and performs closest to prescription retinoic acid at combating the physical signs of ageing. Converted by specialised enzymes that exist within the skin, retinal is more effective than any other form of non-prescription vitamin A and is ideal for most skin types, including sensitive, due to its high tolerability and minimal irritation. In fact, retinal has been clinically proven to be the superior cosmeceutical retinoid when compared to retinol and retinyl esters; and was even concluded in one study to be equally as effective as prescription retinoic acid at reversing the effects of photoageing.

    Pioneering the beauty industry with their evidence-based approach to skincare formulations, ESK – Evidence Skincare, introduces two varying strengths of retinal-based evening face serums, Ultimate A (0.06%) and Ultimate A+ (0.1%), as an effective, tolerable and scientifically-proven method of promoting new collagen production, combating acne and rosacea, and reducing the visual appearance of pigmentation, skin discolouration and unwanted skin texture.

    Combining glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid, to enhance the bioavailability of the retinal and improve skin exfoliation for increased cell turnover, Ultimate A and Ultimate A+ also contains vitamin B3 (niacinamide) to help visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, even skin tone, remedy skin dullness, and improve skin barrier function by strengthening the epidermal surface from future environmental assault.

    Formulated to be used of an evening, Ultimate A and Ultimate A+ can be used by all skin types, including those prone to sensitivity, but should always be used in conjunction with an SPF during daylight hours to protect skin cells from UV-induced trauma. All Vitamin A derivatives, including retinol and retinal, should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

    I have found the over the past almost three months my skin has improved dramatically, with redness decreased and the overall texture of my skin much smoother. I find the evenings I apply Ultimate A + (which is roughly every second night), my skin appears much glowier than usual in the morning and smoother visually. I did have a few weeks when I first started using this product where my skin would break out in tiny pimples in a few random places but after about 8 weeks or so, this ceased and now any old blemishes appear much less visible and without that aggressive looking redness.

    While the jars of Ultimate A and A+ look small, you really only need a tiny bit of product of an evening and I’ve been using one of each for almost three months now, and both are still no empty!

    Speaking of, here are my before and after pictures – please be kind, it’s a little nerve raking sharing these into the world!

    To learn more about Vitamin A and ESK’s retinal-based products, I sat down with co-founder Ginni Mansberg one-on-one to finally understand this often-confusing ingredient once and for all. Let’s jump into it…

    For someone who is new to retinoids, what is the best way to incorporate vitamin A product(s) into one’s skincare regimen in order to reduce any possible irritations?

    I’d say; use Retinal and dive straight in! Vitamin A doesn’t need to be irritating and Retinal, the form of Vitamin A we use in ESK (Evidence Skincare), isn’t. On the other hand, the two most commonly used forms of Vitamin A, prescription Vitamin A and Retinol, usually are very irritating. We use Retinal (or Retinaldehyde) in our skincare because it is highly effective but very rarely results in sensitivity. In our experience less than 1 in 2,500 people have sensitivity to Retinal. What is amazing to me is that – despite the evidence pointing to the superiority of Retinal, there are hardly any products on the market using it. And of the few products that use Retinal they are usually combined with Retinol or are unstable.

    There are so many OTC and prescription retinoid products available on the market. What should customers avoid?

    • Vitamin A in a day product: UV light breaks down Vitamin A. At best that renders it less effective, but there are concerns (particularly for Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate), that exposure to UV may create unstable particles known as free radicals, which can be harmful to the skin and possibly accelerate skin aging.
    • Retinyl Palmitate: There is no good evidence for it.
    • Retinol: While there is evidence for it, the conversion of Retinol to Retinal and then to Retinoic acid (the form of Vitamin A that is active in the skin) is inefficient and varies from person to person. That means that it needs to be used at high concentrations which often irritate. What’s worse, for some people, it will not be effective and yet still irritate the skin- the worst of all worlds.

    ESK Evidence Skincare uses Retinal, a superior alternative to Retinol. What are some of the benefits users will see when migrating over to Retinal after using Retinol?

    If you switch, you can expect fewer wrinkle and fine lines and greater skin elasticity, brighter skin, more even skin tone and where relevant, effective treatment of Acne. You may well also see less irritation. So many Retinol users get irritation and either need to use it sparingly or at lower concentrations (around 0.3 or 0.5%). Given that Retinol is estimated to be 20 times less effective than Retinal, that means users need to be using 2% Retinol to get the same effect as 0.1% Retinal (the higher of our two concentrations). For users who have Rosacea (estimated at up to 10% of the Australian population), most would not have been able to tolerate Retinol, so using Retinal is a game changer. It not only has evidence for managing the symptoms of Rosacea but users get the aging benefits thrown in too!!

    And now for the caveat. There are no studies comparing the use of Retinol directly with Retinal, so all we have is feedback from our customers – and when they do report to us we don’t know the concentration of Retinol they were using.

    As we discussed above, Vitamin A should be avoided by pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding. What should these customers use for anti-ageing during this time?

    It’s not only Vitamin A which shouldn’t be used when pregnant, but salicylic acid too… which is a nuisance, because breakout and pigmentation are two things often associated with pregnancy – two things that these ingredients manage quite well. The best evidence-based ingredients suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mums are:

    • Vitamin B3 (a great “allrounder”) with evidence for aging and pigmentation and also assisting in the management of acne (and Rosacea).
    • Alpha Hydroxy (Glycolic and Lactic) acids which exfoliate the skin keeping it smooth and bright, they also help reduce the risk of breakout

    The others that have a role in more limited circumstances are:

    • 4-n-B which is a great depigmentation agent and safe for mums to use, although it is quite slow acting; and
    • Vitamin C, which can help with pigmentation, but its real strength is antiaging, particularly for older sun-damaged skin (something which isn’t overly common with pregnant and breastfeeding mums). Beware many Vitamin C formulations do increase the risk of breakout…

    Once skin acclimatises to retinoids, what other products can customers use in addition to further meet their anti-ageing needs?

    Given that Retinal is so well tolerated, there really isn’t very much need to wait! The other really good evidence-based ingredients for anti-aging are;

    • This is going to sound very boring but using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (ie. also has UVA protection) every day should be the cornerstone of every anti-aging regime. UVA – the sun’s premature aging rays are consistent throughout the daylight hours and over the entire year plus they penetrate through glass (think driving, or commuting to work).
    • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – particularly helpful for repairing and protecting sun damaged skin.
    • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) – a great allrounder with evidence for assisting in the management of pigmentation, aging, acne, rosacea and eczema.
    • Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acid) – they not only exfoliate making skin smoother and more lustrous, but also stimulate skin cell turnover and increase the effectiveness of Retinal.
    • Salicylic acid – in addition to having evidence for shrinking pores, is also useful for oily or acne prone skin; and
    • 4-N-Butylresorcinol – more than a mouthful, it is a targeted de-pigmentation agent and has good evidence. It is effective, safe for long term use and well tolerated (it just takes a few months to start working).

    What other ESK products work particularly well with the Ultimate A/A+ range?

    The Smooth Serum (Glycolic and lactic acid serum) works really well with it. And for all but the most sensitive skin (which may experience sensitivity when using it), it will exfoliate the skin and also increase the effectiveness of the Retinal in the Ultimate A and A+. So those products pair very well. The feedback we have on the Zinc Shade (our Zinc based broad-spectrum day product) has been fantastic and the fact that most people use it as a primer is a big drawcard.

    The other products that pair well depend on the skin type and condition. So for rosacea, it would be the B Quenched (to be used in the morning). For very sensitive, oily or breakout prone skin the B Calm would be a great pairing and for older more sun damaged skin, the Reverse C Serum would be a great addition.

    Dr. Ginni Mansberg is the co-founder of ESK- Evidence Skincare. She is a practising GP, television presenter, and author. Dr. Ginni is best known for her frequent appearances on Seven’s Sunrise and The Morning Show, and as the co-host of Embarrassing Bodies Down Under.

  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Carrie Barber, Contributing Editor of Violet Grey

    Carrie Barber is a freelance Creative Director who caught my eye some time ago on Instagram, thanks to her effortlessly stylish French-girl hair (read her haircut story) and eyebrows that are the closest thing to perfection I’m yet to see. As well as contributing to Violey Grey (the industries beauty edit), Carrie has worked with  brands including Glossier, The RealReal, Sephora and Augustinus Bader – so there’s no surprise that I wanted to ask Carrie all the beauty questions.

    Warning – skin goals ahead …

    • Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there?I have always been interested in makeup, throughout middle school I was adamant about wearing four shades of blue eyeshadow, but my Mom was always very natural with a routine of drinking a lot of water and wearing sunscreen.  I didn’t get obsessed with beauty until I worked at Sephora right after graduating college. Once I started, I was hooked and it felt like where I was always meant to be. As I have gotten older, and been in the industry for almost a decade, I am now more obsessed with skincare and wear less makeup every day.
    • What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why?  For me, it’s about the product texture and how it finishes on the skin. That being said, I want my products to work so I look for a high percentage of active ingredients. Currently I use two hydrating products in the morning, SkinMedica HA5 and Biologique’s SERUM AMNIOTIQUE with Dr Sturm Face Cream and Sun Drops. At night I use U Beauty’s Resurfacing Compound and La Mer Creme de La Mer. If I wear makeup it’s Westman Atelier or Koh Gen Do.
    • What are your favourite beauty treatments? My favorite treatment to get is Lymphatic drainage at Ricari Studios. It’s like a two for one: it detoxes your body and feels like a massage. Its so relaxing, I fall asleep every time. For facials I see Camille Fields or Biba in Los Angeles.
    • In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? Honestly, I trust my beauty editor friends the most. They are the most skeptical and have seen it all, so if they really like someone, they mean it. I think its important to find someone who you connect with and that takes care of you, regardless of their celebrity or social following.
    • What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc?  I personally have done both, and am really happy with the results. This isn’t everyone’s opinion but I think wait as long as you can to do either, and keep it conservative. Make sure you see someone with the right credentials, fillers is not a place to be thrifty.
    • What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment?  I really really want to see Joomee Song.
    • What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube?  I will always and forever read Into The Gloss. My favorite magazine is Self Service Magazine. My favorite instagram is @cyndlekomarovski and I am not much a YouTuber but love watching Katie Jane Hughes do makeup.

  • InBeauty

    How to Combat Five Common Brow Concerns

    We all strive for the perfect brows that shape and frame our face, however with trends coming in and out of fashion it can be confusing as to what style will work. First thin was in, then full brows were best. So how do you really know which is right look?

    Well, the truth is – stay away from trends and choose a timeless brow that works for your face shape. The best and only way to style your brows is dictated by what brow look will suit your facial features, and what brow challenges you may be struggling with.

    There is nothing unnatural about wanting a perfectly shaped brow to enhance your natural beauty. Perfectly shaped brows are the most youthful, refreshing and uplifting feature to awaken your inner glamazon! We all have a brow issue that we would like to correct, and even in the absence of major brow concerns, we’re all still looking for definition and lift to create a stunning look for every occasion.

    To help de-code common brow concerns, I caught up with Brow Expert Carolyn Fox, Founder of leading Australian cosmetics brand Garbo & Kelly, to provide us with insider solutions to combat five common brow issues.


    Eyes Wide Apart

    If you have wide-set eyes, then it’s likely your brows look slightly short, lack shape or start too far apart. Always measure where your brow should start and finish for perfect balance.

    To correct this, try a Garbo & Kelly Brow Guide stencil to see exactly where the shape is lacking. A Brow Guide will reveal the best place to start, in order to create and fill your perfect shape. It is really important to measure where your brow should start and finish for perfect balance.

    Once you’ve found the right shape for your face, use a Brow Perfection Pencil to lengthen and create more definition. Then finish with a Brow Powder for density. If you are after a more intense fashion look, use a smudge-proof Brow Pomade over the top of your Brow Powder.

    Unruly Brows

    Don’t feel your brows are too unruly to bother with, when tamed and trimmed they will completely transform your face and to go from bushy to breathtaking. In saying this, flirty feathered brows are very fresh, fun and youthful, the key is what suits your features and personality.

    It’s important to create some definition and shape to your unruly brow and this is easily achieved with the right tools and know how. A Brow Pencil can help create definition, while a Brow Gel will help tame and add shape to the overall look of the brow.

    To add softness and tone of colour to your brow, opt for a Brow Powder to lightly fill in your pre-shaped brow.

    Thin Brows

    This is a very common problem usually caused by over-tweezing or simple genetics. To create shape and structure firstly use a Brow Perfection Pencil to add coverage and definition, then use a Brow Powder to create fullness. To achieve additional coverage for an evening look, try a smudge-proof Brow Pomade and Brows On Point pencil for fast, full bodied brows.

    When combating a thin brow for the first time we recommend starting with a subtle look in the beginning, and eventually build up to a bolder look.

    For a 3D effect, use the Garbo & Kelly Master of Illumination highlighter kit for a lifting of the brow and opening of the eye! Use the matte wells for extra cover and definition around the brows and shimmer to pop and enhance your arch and cheek bones.

    Straight Brows

    To correct straight brows, you’ll need to lengthen the eyebrow tail which will help create the arch and finish the brow. Use a Garbo & Kelly Brow Perfection Pencil or Brows on Point to lengthen the tail. Also use a Brow Powder and/or Brow Pomade over the top of the pencil work to achieve fullness.

    You will be amazed at how simply lengthening your eyebrow tail will create a perfectly elegant arch. You will need to finish the tail at the side of the nose and corner of the eye.

    The highest point of the eyebrow should be above the iris, build the perfect arch in your brow by using Garbo & Kelly Brow Perfection Pencil to achieve this look. Lengthen the tails and define the backs of the tails to create the illusion of stronger arch.

    For extra lift add highlighter to the brow bone from the Garbo & Kelly Master of Illumination highlighter kit and use the matte wells to clean up and define around the brow.

    Sparse Patchy Brows

    The key requirement to update a sparse or patchy brow, is to fill in inconsistent gaps and growth patterns to create more volume and fullness.

    To start you need to fill the gaps using Brow Perfection Pencil or Brows on Point pencil depending how large the gaps to create even coverage. Then use Brow Powder over the top to fill and blend for perfect consistency. Define along the brow with Brow Perfection pencil and personalise your tails for the perfect arch. If desired dd Brow Pomade for full coverage finish and if needed, lightly trim any excess length from your brows using Garbo & Kelly brow scissors.

    To go from work to ‘wow’ try adding a coat of tinted Brow Gel This will help liven any sun-bleached or grey hairs. Finish this look with a kiss of highlight from the Garbo & Kelly Master of Illumination highlighter kit, use the matte wells to clean up and define around the brow which will lift and open the eye!

    Whatever your issue, Garbo & Kelly has the product solution for creating beautiful head turning brows.

  • InBeauty

    Have Fine Hair? These Are The Hair Hacks to Know in 2020

    While some things never change – old Hollywood glamour hair, anyone? – a new year is a great time to switch up things for a fresh new look. I was lucky enough to secure some time recently with Stephanie Gelston, Education Director for Paul Mitchell Haircare, who shared five easy ways those with naturally fine locks can update their locks in twentytwenty!

     ‘A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.’ – Coco Chanel


    (via @DD&Co)

    HACK 1: Get creative with your colour

    Colour is a fantastic way to transform thin hair. Face framing foil highlights will add texture to both light and dark hair, and the variation in colour tone gives the appearance of extra body and volume.

    “When you lighten the natural hair colour you swell the outer layer of the hair and lighten the natural pigment, the end result will be lighter hair that feels thicker and fuller” says Stephanie Gelston, Education Director for Paul Mitchell Haircare.

    But beware, too much lightening can damage the hair and cause breakage resulting in even thinner hair than before you started. So always consult a professional to create your colour.


     HACK 2: Lose your length 

    When it comes to creating volume for fine hair long lengths can be the enemy, highlighting the lack of natural volume in the hair.

    “Opting for a shorter style instantly creates the illusion of volume and body.  That doesn’t mean you have to chop your hair into a super short pixie cut, mid length styles such as a long bob are the perfect way to add natural volume and body” explains Stephanie.

    Pro Tip: If you are attached to your long locks then incorporate layering to your style. Shorter layers through the top will help increase volume.

    HACK 3: Add texture

    Whether you are rocking choppy layers, beach waves or soft curls, incorporating texture into your style will instantly boost the hair’s volume.

    Styling Tips:  Blow-dry your hair upside down to create maximum volume. Then using a curling iron lightly curl hair in alternating directions to create soft natural waves.

    Say no to a straight part. Try a zig zag patterned part to create the illusion of more volume and to lift the hair from the scalp.


     HACK 4: Pump up the volume

    Investing in professional hair care and styling products specifically designed for fine hair is a must when volume is your end goal.

    Fine hair has a different set of needs to normal or thick hair and professional volumising products are designed to gently cleanse hair whilst boosting body and maximising bounce and shine.

    “Adding volume to fine hair is all about lifting the hair strands to sit higher off the scalp. This is where root-lifting products come into play. They are specifically designed to lift the hair off the scalp and create volume from the roots.  So, pairing a good quality root-lifter back with a volumising shampoo and conditioner is the perfect way to pump up your volume,” explains Stephanie.

    WARNING: Be careful not to overload fine hair with product. An excess amount of styling product will weigh fine hair down, leaving it limp and lifeless. The golden rule is less is more.


    HACK 5: Protect fine strands

    It’s a simple fact that fine hair breaks more easily than thicker, so protecting it during styling is a must. Reducing use of heat tools, using a heat protection spray and keeping hair well hydrated all help maintain your hairs condition and minimise breakage.

    Suggests Stephanie, “If you have fine hair it’s time to ditch your straightener. Your styling kit should comprise of a professional quality blow dryer, round brushes and a curling iron that doesn’t clamp the hair.  Creating volume is all about building hair up not flatten it down and clamping or straighten the hair only makes it skinnier and flatter.”

    A curling iron that allows you to wrap the hair around the wand barrel is the ideal styling tool for fine hair. Just ensure it has a temperature setting that allows you to choose the heat level.


    trico.lab Good Hair Vitamins, 56 capsules (8 weeks supply), RRP $39.95

    Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press, 200ml, RRP $26.00

  • InBeauty, Interview

    5 Minutes with Allison McNamara, of MARA Beauty

    Allison McNamara is a TV host, digital influencer and founder of the clean algae skincare line, MARA Beauty. She drummed up the idea for MARA on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey and began developing the brand which launched February 2018 with one hero product – MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil. MARA quickly developed a cult beauty following with the brand now sold worldwide through the likes of Credo Beauty, Blue Mercury and Cult Beauty. With three gorgeous products now available, including the just launched Chia + Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil, Allison – and MARA –  are ones to know.

    I’ve been using the Universal Face Oil and Algae Retinol Face Oil for a few months now, and can honestly say they are simply the best oils I’ve ever used on my skin, period. Not only is my skin the softest and supplest it has ever been, it’s simply so hydrated and I cannot remember the last time I had dry or scaly patches anywhere on my face or neck.  These oils play nicely with makeup too, I haven’t noticed any slipperiness or pilling from my makeup and I haven’t used a primer in months. The glow is real, people.

    Allison was lovely enough to recently answer a few questions via email recently, and I can vouch that she is just as gorgeous inside and she is out. And that skin, I mean …. scroll down for all the deets!

    • Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? I grew up with my dad working in beauty and was always surrounded by products for as long as I can remember. My love of beauty definitely stems from spending hours on commercial sets as an early teen and having access to so many skincare products at such a young age. I was always the kid bringing face masks to the slumber party even before I was 10 🙂 I knew early on I wanted to do something in the field I just wasn’t sure what. After years of writing and talking about fashion and beauty, I decided to go out on my own and create MARA.
    • What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why?  Retinol! Not only is it the most studied skincare ingredient, it’s truly incredible for overall skin health, texture, radiance and clarity. I have been using retinol for almost two decades and swear by it to maintain the overall look and texture of my skin. SPF is also a big one. Runner up would be Vitamin C, I love it in the AM for brightening the complexion.
    • What are your favourite beauty treatments? I love facials, especially with LED light therapy, micro currents and even facial cupping. I also love micro needling although I have only done it twice.
    • In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? For dermatologists, I have been seeing Dr Fincher for years in Beverly Hills. His partner Dr Moy is also incredibly knowledgeable as is Dr. Nancy Samolitis who co-owns Facile. For therapists, Sonya Dakar is incredible. I also see Emma Goodman at Skin Worship, Cynthia Marie Franco and Jacy B Skincare.
    • What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? I love it! I do it very moderately and have been getting treatments since my early 20s. I never like to look frozen–I do it to soften the forehead lines I developed in my late teens. I see PA Sari Hoban at Westside Aesthetics. I have never done fillers but am totally for them if they make you feel more confident.
    • What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? Oh that’s a tough one! I’m always open to trying the latest and greatest laser.
    • What products can we expect to see from MARA Beauty going forward? We just launched our Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil which I am so excited about! We will continue to launch a few more products this year, I can’t share what we’re working on just yet!
    • What is your favourite beauty magazine; and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I love Byrdie Beauty, Vogue, and Allure for beauty content. I also read everything Jessica Yarbrough writes, she is so knowledgeable about clean beauty and I always learn something new from her content. For podcasts, I listen to Goop religiously. I also listen to Gloss Angeles and Hello Beauty podcasts and so many more.

  • InBeauty

    Toss Your Foundation and Use This Instead

    I feel like it’s been coming for some time now, but I believe foundation is officially on its way out. With BB creams, CC creams and the like now so readily available, containing more benefits than ever before, I’m calling it – twentytwenty will the year I’ll toss out my foundations, especially now that Foundation No More BB Cream dropped!

    Award-winning skincare brand Skin Physics have just launched their first colour range with the new Foundation No More BB Cream; an anti-ageing, multi-action, full coverage BB Cream with SPF30+ that perfects skin complexion by evening out skin tone, covering blemishes and reducing the look of pores. The lightweight formula glides across the skin for a ‘barely there feel that won’t crease or crack throughout the day.

    Foundation No More BB Cream features a hyaluronic acid gel-film to instantly hydrate skin, combined with an anti-wrinkle peptide that helps to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines. The addition of UVA & UVB filters provides essential protection with every wear, without an oily or heavy coverage nor a white cast. Additionally, rosehip oil and green tea extracts provide antioxidant protection, while the chamomile extract reduces redness and soothes skin.

    Basically, you cannot go wrong with a product like this when it comes in shade different shades, you’ll be able to mix up your perfection potion quickly and easily. I’m currently wearing Nude with a drop of Pearl and it’s gorgeous. Glowey and bright without being shiny, I’m able to use this as a base with just a touch of bronzer, cream blush and a tinted balm for an effortlessly put together look.

    Available online through Skin Physics and instore at various Priceline & Priceline Pharmacies.

    What else do you think we will see happen trend-wise in 2020? Tell me in the comments!

  • InBeauty

    5 Minutes with Christina Kassi

    If you’re a lover of skincare or beauty in general, I have no doubt that you’ve come across @christina.kassi on Instagram, or may even be following her already. Christina the creator of some of the most beautiful imagery I’ve ever seen, many of which are re-posted on high profile channels constantly. Between working full time, creating images for social media and regularly uploading to her Youtube channel (my personal favourite video), Christina is also a contributor to Kourtney Kardashian’s website Poosh.

    Scroll down to spend five minutes with the beauty that is Christina Kassi!

    • Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? My mom was always into beauty treatments and perfume. I loved perfume from a very early age and would always sample my mom’s collection! I didn’t start exploring skincare specifically until much later. I was about 21 when I first purchased skincare.
    • What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? I love hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, niacinamide, and other antioxidants. I think these are the most effective and well-researched ingredients that make a skincare product worth it.
    • What are your favourite beauty treatments? I love using my Ziip nano- and micro-current device! It’s been such a treat to incorporate in my routine. I also love Biologique Recherche facials, although I can’t get those as often!
    • In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? I think a synergy of both is what I prefer. I think estheticians are more inclined to target skin issues that are considered minor to doctors. Doctors tend to want to address more intense issues. I love the advice my estheticians give to me because they can truly analyze my skin and know what condition it’s in and what type of products I need during that period. Doctors don’t go into depth in that aspect.
    • What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? That was going to be my next point on doctors! I love going to them for my botox and fillers haha! I have done and love botox, although I know some people get it done too often, I think for me once or twice a year is enough. I like to do 1 syringe of hyaluronic acid filler along my nasolabial lines, and what’s leftover on my lips. It’s really a minuscule amount and it’s undetectable! I love it when doctors do them in a way where it makes you look just fresher and younger, but not different at all!
    • What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? I’d be open to having IPL done! Currently, I’m doing microneedling treatments for my deeper acne scarring and uneven texture.
    • What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I don’t have a favorite beauty magazine, I don’t think we have beauty magazine’s here in the US? I love reading Violet Grey blogs and interviews though! I also love Violette_Fr’s youtube channel. On Instagram, I’m always surrounded by my fellow beauty content creators that constantly inspire me!