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Beauty

  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Links I Love

    Welcome to Links I Love, 2021 style!

    *Featured image courtesy of The Coveteur

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  • InBeauty

    Review | Embalm Skincare’s 3 Step Skincare Kit

    We are pretty lucky down here in Tassie – I mean, we have great seafood and wines and simply incredible views from so many beaches and mountains around the state, it’s almost silly. But we can now claim to be home of award-winning skincare brand Embalm Skincare, with Mel Driver at the helm.

    This brand was a passion project Mel says, as she “suffered severe allergic reactions to synthetic skincare products and was shocked to find that some of the ingredients I’ve been using on my skin were also used in commercial garage degreaser and brake fluid! I was horrified to discover that countless products targeting women with sensitive skin lacked ingredients that benefit, protect and preserve their skin. Armed with a Diploma in Organic Skincare Science, I decided to create a skincare range that’s honest and transparent – with no hidden ingredients. A range that is 100% natural, and hypoallergenic. A range that women could trust after years of being misled by false advertising of products that promised the world and failed to deliver.”

    I was lucky enough to be gifted the Complete 3 Step Skincare Kit which includes:

    • a konjac sponge and the Uplifting Cleanser, 
    • the Calming Toner,
    • and the Luxurious Face Moisturiser.

    This set promises to offer long lasting hydration, while reducing blemishes/redness and preventing new breakouts, and works to restore, revive and brighten skin. It’s also worth noting that Embalm are of course, PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free.

    I’ve been using this set for almost a month now and feel ready to share my informed opinions about this quiet but cult-worthy Tasmanian skincare range. If I had to pick one product to keep forever, it would be the konjac sponge (read: it’s such a game changer when cleansing the skin), closely followed by the Uplifting Cleanser. 

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    The sponge lathers up instantly and moves over the face effortlessly, without a tug or pull to be seen. It’s so gentle but so easy to get in the groves around the chin, nose, neck etc and is simply a joy to use. I’ve found using this of an evening (I don’t cleanse of a morning, I just don’t find my skin needs it – don’t come at me) my skin is clearer than ever, which I’ve put down to the effective nightly cleanse.

    The cleanser is black, which I’ve not seen before, but again foams up nicely, without the skin feeling tight or dry, and works in tandem with the sponge. The toner, which reminds me more of an essence than a traditional toner, is light and hydrating and allows the moisturiser to glide on smoothly. I will say though, as it’s still Summer in our part of the world, this moisturiser is enough on it’s own but I think for my skin, I’ll incorporate an oil in with the moisturiser throughout the Winter months – that is, unless it’s empty by then! 

    I’ve met Mel a few times now over the years, and I can truly vouch for her passion and drive to create beautiful, luxurious skincare that really works. The brand has won countless awards in the last few years, and it’s easy to see why when just three products can be so easy to use but produce amazing results. 

    Embalm Skincare be found online and at various stockists in both Tasmania and New South Wales. For new customers, Mel also offers the opportunity to try five samples of her natural skincare products for the perfect first experience, in the Skincare Trial Pack

    Do yourself a favour and get yourself some of these Embalm Skincare products today!

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  • InBeauty

    Beauty Hacks to Save you Time This Year

    I don’t know about you, but I feel that life gets busier and busier each and every year, and any bit of free time I do have – I want to savour it. So, with that in mind, we’ve collated some of the best time-saving beauty hacks to make your life just that bit easier of a morning and get you out of the door quicker!

    Consider laser hair removal

    Toss out your razor that has seen wayyyyy better days, as the benefits of hair removal lasers are seriously game changing. And why not save some coin while you are at it, as most clinics have specials where you can purchase a package of say 3 or 6 sessions at a discount. This part is especially great because your appointments are booked – that’s one less to thing worry about in the early morning rush around. 

    Invest in a proper skincare routine

    If you’re new to skincare or looking to upgrade your regime, consider booking in to see favourite skin clinician / aesthetician or dermatologist for a professional skin analysis. Not only will they put together a personal skincare plan with treatment options (including the best skincare brands for you), they’ll also recommend treatments to work alongside and in tandem with your particular skin type or the condition you wish to treat. 

    Consider products with dual purpose

    Make your skincare work even harder for you, by purchasing dual-purpose products like moisturisers with adequate built-in sun protection, or a cleanser that can also be used as a mask. A cheek stain can multitask as a lip tint, or even eyeshadow. Less products equals less in your cupboard, and of course translates to less impact on the environment. 

    DIY your own tinted moisturiser

    This hack is as simple as adding a few drops of foundation into your daily moisturiser, and viola! Remember to stay protected from the sun and always apply your appropriate SPF before your makeup application. 

    Turn your lipstick into your blush

    The best part about this one is we all usually have at least a few (or 7 in my case!) lipsticks floating around in handbags, so you can dab on a bit of colour to your cheeks while waiting for your train to arrive at the station. 

    Use your lip balm as a brow gel

    Lastly, if you are all out of brow gel or pomade, why not try using your clear lipbalm over unruly brows for a groomed look almost instantly. You can also use a clear mascara here too, take your pick!

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  • InBeauty, Interview

    An Expert Reveals How a Skincare Product is Really Formulated

    I’ve long been a skincare junkie, but never have I been exposed to the behind the scenes of creating a product – other than the odd podcast listening to brand founders. I find this all extremely interesting, so when I was introduced to the founder of Biologi, Ross Macdougald, I knew this was my chance to learn, and in turn share with you.

    Ross Macdougald is an Australian entrepreneur who is the founder of Biologi, phytoverse and Plant Extracts. As an experienced industry chemist, Ross is a on a mission is to prove through science that ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ can not only work, but are better than synthetic manmade chemicals.

    Born and educated in Sydney, Ross moved to Byron Bay to work with Thursday Plantation, and Southern Cross University. Throughout his career, Ross has developed over 300 products and formulated active ingredients for large cosmetic companies. Ross can be credited with many revolutionary formulations and active ingredients which are currently sold in many brands globally.

    Ross shares: “Depending on the brand, skincare products can be formulated in a range of different ways, using an array of different processes and ingredients. One of the key areas to get an understanding of skincare formulations is learning to decipher what is written on the label. Skincare labels are typically confusing and unfortunately can slightly misleading if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. What’s written on the label can help you to understand the key ingredients, along with the percentage levels in the formulation. That can be a good place to start if you want to get a better understanding of the formulation.”

    The key thing to note when it comes to understanding the structure of an ingredient list is the order that the ingredients come in. Typically, the first ingredient listed on the back of the pack is the ingredient that contains the highest concentration. All of the ingredients in concentrations of 1 per cent or more should be listed in descending order, typically starting from greatest amount to least amount present in the product. Ingredients in a concentration of less than 1% can be listed in any order. Ingredient labels can be confusing because brands don’t need to stipulate the percentages of each ingredient. This means that you can often find that the active ingredient comes in a really low concentrate (which won’t do much for the skin). Or worse, that the first ingredient on the label is water and other filler ingredients – meaning that your product is likely made up of ingredients that don’t actually do anything for the skin.”

    Marketing tactics are always a hot topic on Instagram – I always wonder if it’s real hype or just a bunch of influencers pooled together, to which Ross notes, “The other thing to be really aware of is knowing the difference between catchy taglines and marketing gimmicks that will often gloss over the questionable contents of cosmetics containers. A great example is taglines using ‘natural’ or ‘naturally-derived’ – this doesn’t necessarily conform to our traditional understanding of the word. Whilst the TGA regulates labelling of ingredients and therapeutic claims, marketing of skincare packaging is largely unregulated. This means manufacturers can use the word ‘natural’ or ‘pure’ and if it’s not the case, there is no consequence. Remember, that every single ingredient on the planet is derived from a natural source in some form. Even petrol once started as a natural ingredient – but you absolutely would not put that on your skin. It’s therefore up to you, and you alone, to cut through taglines and decipher the truth about the ingredients. 

    Some products can contain a whole host of ingredients so it can be hard to decipher what the percentages are of each ingredient. But as a general rule, if you’re buying a product for an active ingredient and it appears further down the ingredient list, chances are there really isn’t going to be much efficacy in that product. Sure, it might feel nice on the skin, but that’s often more of a placebo effect from the water and filler ingredients putting a film over the skin. I believe this is a big issue in the skincare industry because consumers aren’t being given all the facts. That’s one of the reasons why I created Biologi  – because I wanted consumers to be able to buy a brand that contained 100% active ingredients (compared to brands that usually only put around 2% active ingredients). The active ingredient in a product is the thing that works on the skin, so you need it to be in a high concentrate for it to do anything. Because we don’t add activating agents, stabilisers, emulsifiers or even water or fragrance to our product, we don’t dilute the potent plant-power of the plant serums, and all our products remain 100% active.”

    Things of note:

    • Some red flags are obviously water as the first ingredient (especially if the product is expensive!). You don’t want to be paying hundreds of dollars for a product that contains mostly water. Consumers often view water or aqua as hydrating and good for the skin, but the real reason that it’s in the product is so manufacturers can charge less making it more consumer friendly. Water also dilutes the activity of natural plant extracts leaving the work to be done solely by synthetics.
    • Another red flag is fragrance appearing towards the top of the list. Even natural fragrance such as essential oils can irritate delicate cells causing pain and discomfort. Fragrances are often made up of a myriad of irritant synthetics, but because ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ is considered the main ingredient, there’s no law requiring the fragrance ingredients are listed on your bottle. Another issue is that we don’t really know what that fragrance is and because some newer preservatives can be listed as a fragrance it can make the product look like it is preservative free when it’s not.
    • Another thing to be aware of is substitute ingredients that are replacing bad ingredients with other ingredients that are just as bad for the skin. Since parabens became a dirty word in Australia, paraben-free skincare is on the rise. Unfortunately, what the manufacturers don’t tell us is what they’re replacing parabens with. Benzyl alcohol and polyaminopropyl biguanide are common ingredients used to replace parabens as a preservative and they are not good for the skin. Other ingredients to avoid are synthetic irritants like Silcones, Glycols, ethanol, phenoxyethanol and acrylates which can cause damage to your skin and overall health.

    “The good ingredients to look out for are obviously 100% active pure plant extracts, because they’re the ingredients that work to repair, rejuvenate, hydrate, protect and nourish cells. Plant based ingredients are always a winner so long as they haven’t been manipulated with synthetics. There’s actually some amazing actives found in natural plant extracts which can sound bad but are actually good. Things like Tryptophan, Ferulic acid, Gallic acid, Tartaric acid, Quercetin – all these ingredients work wonders on the skin even though they can sound a little dubious. We just launched our 100% natural cleanser – Bc Refresh Cleanser – which is made of the single ingredient soap berry extract. Within that extract you can find things like Amino acids, Phenolic acids, Triterpene glycosides and amines – Again they can sound a little scary but these naturally occurring ingredients work in synergy to remove all traces of dirt without disturbing the skin’s natural oils and moisture essential for hydration.” – Ross

    Like me, if you’re not sure about a product formulation or a brand’s process, be sure to do your research on each ingredient, ask the brand directly, or feel free to reach out to the team at Biologi. Ross explained their brand promise at Biologi is to help consumers learn about the ingredients in everything they put on, and therefore in, their skin so they can make informed choices about their products!

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  • InBeauty, Hair

    It’s a New Year, Why Not Celebrate with New Hair?

    How exciting is a new year, especially after the year that was twenty twenty – right?! I have already booked an appointment at my hairdresser to chop off my old, dried ends and start this year with a fun bob – I mean, growing out my hair is so last year! 

    With that said, I recently reached out to Bex Gold, the founder of Department of Brands (which includes KYN, Bar None, Brite Organix and Spot Medic) who shared her opinion on 2021 hair trends – and thank goodness I am bang on trend with my shorter locks. Let’s jump into it!

    “Short hair is all the rage at the moment, especially short hair with loose waves. Achieving this look is incredibly easy with one key product in your routine – the Kyn Sea Salt Spray. It’s a non-drying spray that will moisturise while adding volume and emphasising loose curls.” – Bex

    “A ponytail is always the ultimate day-to-night look, however a textured ponytail gives you the extra added edge that’s on trend this upcoming season. Simply secure your hair in a ponytail and then use Kyn’s Texture Spray on your mid-lengths and ends and use a thin comb to tease it through. This will add volume and texture giving you a thicker and fuller look with extra shine.” – Bex

    “Everyone loves a statement look, and there’s no better statement to make than blunt bangs. The key to this style is ensuring that your hair is hydrated, moisturised and frizz-free. The Kyn Overnight Hair Mask is the perfect addition to your routine to achieve this look. It’s a repairing mask that restores both your scalp and your hair, moisturising while removing build-up and leaving you with silky hair free of any flyaways or frizz!” – Bex

    Which of these are your favourite, and what are you doing to your hair this year?

    Share with me in the comments!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Let’s Talk Sun Protection

    We all know why we need to wear SPF daily, and of course re-apply (hint: wearing sunscreen prevents premature aging from the skin and lowers your skin cancer risk) but preaching this message often in turns creates a lot of questions, especially in regards to skincare and application. To avoid any confusion, I asked the extremely knowledgeable team at much-loved clean beauty brand Grown Alchemist to answer all your burning (bad pun, sorry!) SPF related questions. 

    When in our skincare routine should we apply SPF, and do we apply to damp or dry skin?

    “We advise that our invisible and lightweight Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF30 should be applied on moisturised skin, which means it should be applied after your preferred moisturiser, and is the last step of your skincare routine.”

    As well as our face, where else should we be applying our sun protection?

    “Our body is our largest organ and therefore should be taken care of. We should be applying sunscreen to our face and body before we expose ourselves in the sun.


    The rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet (UV) rays presented in sunlight. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays play a role in skin cancer formation. Besides, the UVA rays penetrate more deeply into the skin and play a greater role in premature skin aging changes including wrinkle formation (photoaging). UVB rays are responsible for producing sunburn. The UVB rays also play the greatest role in causing skin cancers, including the deadly black mole form of skin cancer (malignant melanoma). However, there are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays. Therefore, in addition to protecting your skin from the effects of UVB rays, it is also just as important to protect from the damaging effects of the more numerous UVA rays. Sunscreen can help protect our skin from UVA/B rays, only when you choose the right one.”

    How often should we be applying SPF, during a normal day and/or a day at the beach?

    “We should avoid constant exposure to the sun for a prolonged period of time. Normal day or a day at the beach, it is recommended to wear sunscreen to protect your skin.“

    Is it possible to avoid our makeup piling when applied over SPF?

    “We recommend using a good primer to lock in your makeup so it doesn’t move around, Grown Alchemist Anti-Pollution Primer is the perfect to use after our Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF30. It creates a velvety texture that’s invisible on the skin and helps reduce the slight sheen from the sunscreen and holds the makeup longer.”

    Stay safe this silly season all, and remember to look after your beautiful skin!

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Meet Silvi, The World’s First Silk Pillowcase That Works to Prevent and Improve skin Whilst You Sleep

    I’ve long been a lover of sleeping on silk, beyond being the most luxurious rest of your life, there are some serious beauty benefits including; like being naturally hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types, reducing friction between your hair and pillowcases which in turn prevents split ends and breakage, and ensures blow outs last longer. 

    But new skincare brand Silvi has taken sleeping with silk one step further by creating a pillowcase treated with anti-bacterial silver ions, which naturally kills acne-causing bacteria and will help prevent:

    • Breakouts (pimples)
    • Dry or oily skin
    • Blackheads & whiteheads

    I spoke with founder, Ben, to learn more about why the addition is silver is so important, who said: “Antibacterial silver has been used for decades in the medical and cleaning industry as a safe way to stop odours and bacterial spread. Upon learning that our pillowcases are teeming with bacteria that are actually the underlying cause of most common acne/breakouts, we thought wouldn’t be great to take the same silver technology to the bedroom and combine it with the most beneficial fabric known to our skin: silk. It’s the first time this has ever been done. The result is what we believe (and our customers) to be the most comfortable pillow case that’s also the best for your skin and hair.”

    Ben explains that “the health benefits of silk far outweigh any other fabric on the market. This is because it’s dense with natural proteins, particularly sericin, which gives silk it’s skin regenerative and anti-ageing properties by promoting collagen production. Beyond that, it’s naturally hypoallergenic, so no waking up with stuffy noses and skin irritations – also fantastic for combating common acne and breakouts.”

    Silvi’s pillowcase and eye mask are made from 22 Momme 100% Mulberry silk (6A, the highest possible grading), which has been treated with anti-bacterial silver ions, reducing bacteria by 99.97%.

    “The benefits of silk and silver are really for everyone! Being 100% natural, no chemicals and safe, our silk not only results in cleaner, clearer skin, but it’s also great for your hair (reduces knots and split ends), improves skin collagen (perfect for fine lines and wrinkles) and fantastic for those with allergies – oh, and our silver helps eliminate odour! And if you’re a guy, who doesn’t like having less smelly sheets?” Ben, founder of Silvi.

    Silk in itself is a great material for acne sufferers and anybody with skin irritations as it’s naturally hypoallergenic. It’s also classed as a moisture wicking material, meaning the sweat build up that cotton pillowcases experience overnight doesn’t occur – and bacteria, dust mites and fungi LOVE this moist environment. Less nasties = cleaner, clearer skin.

    While I had Ben, I had to ask just how often should we really be washing our bedding, especially our pillowcases? He replied “Studies have shown that our pillowcases have over 1000x more bacteria than a toilet after just 3 days without washing! So, in reality, the ideal amount of washing is daily to prevent any of the bacteria, dust mites, and makeup/skincare remnants from potentially clogging our pores and causing breakouts. We know daily washing is extreme and even weekly washing of bedsheets often doesn’t get done, so the fact Silvi needs to be washed every 12-14 days makes it convenient as well as being an all-around better product.”

    Will you try Silvi, and do you use silk bedding? Share with me in the comments!

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  • InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Brittany Stewart, Beauty Podcaster

    I’ve been obsessed with podcasts, specifically beauty podcasts for years now and a high point of each week is episodes of Beauty Island. Beauty Island tells stories of memories sparked by beauty products, which is hosted by Brittany Stewart, and personal favourite episodes include interviews with Kathleen Hou, Paula Joye, Sarah Humphries, Stephanie Darling, Kristen Carriol and Lisa Patulny to name just a few!

    Brittany Stewart is an award-nominated beauty podcaster, journalist and copywriter. She’s the founder and host of award-nominated podcast, Beauty Island, and writes a regular beauty newsletter called It’s A Beauty! Her published work includes The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, news.com.au, Mamamia, Adore Beauty, The Australian, The Times (UK), Oz Hair and Beauty and Beauticate. Find her @britttanybeautybts.

    The questions that Brittany asks allow the listener to really get to know the interviewee, and it’s almost like listening to a conversation between friends who just happen to love lipstick and perfume as much as I do.

    With all of that said, I think you’re going to really enjoy this article so without further ado – enjoy!

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

    I think about this a lot because it’s partly what inspired my beauty podcast, Beauty Island, as I believe those early memories can really shape how we view and feel about beauty. For me, I can trace some of my earliest memories to my Mum. Unbiased view: she is one of the most stylish and glamorous people I know. She never leaves the house without her hair done and sporting a bright red lip. I remember sitting on her bed when I was little watching her get ready. She’d always use a YSL red lipstick (one of which I have kept for sentimental reasons!) and leave with a spritz of perfume – I think it was Chanel Chance. It really was a ritual.

    Since then, it’s really in the last decade that I’ve developed a passion for beauty that has turned me from a just a consumer into it becoming part of my career. I can be a bit of a magpie – ooh shiny! glitter! fancy packaging! – but I’ve become much more discerning in the last five years as I consider the other factors in beauty besides the material things, such as the cultural, environmental and mental implications of the wider industry. I love that the impact of makeup is instant, but I appreciate the science and research and power of skincare much more than I used to.

    What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why?

    I have quite dry skin so I love anything with hyaluronic acid as my skin responds really well to it. I’m also quite partial to chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs. They were also some of my first ‘proper’ ingredients in fancier skincare or that I really studied to understand why and how they worked or were suited to my skin, so it’s a bit of a soft spot, too. For anyone who’s a bit nervous or intimidated by all the talk of retinol and more aggressive acids, these are great entry level ingredients that make a noticeable difference.

    What are your favourite beauty treatments?

    I have long, curly hair so I love treating myself to a professional blowdry at places like The Blow. I love my curly hair, but it’s nice to sometimes have something a little sleeker. (Also I’m a sucker for a scalp massage.) If I had an endless budget (one day!) I’d never wash my hair myself! I don’t do it religiously but I do think a lash lift or eyelash extensions can feel truly transformative and save so much time in the morning. I’ve had them done a few times and could see myself getting addicted to them. Home-wise, I love a luxurious bath or shower using the ‘fancy’ products in my cupboard and doing a hair mask – Philip Kingsley Elasticizer does wonders for my hair.

    In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in?

    As a beauty journalist, I’m lucky enough to have spoken to hundreds of beauty experts over the years. Some of my go-tos who I’d trust my life with (or at least my skin!) include: 

    • Dermatologist Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan. Incredibly knowledgeable and always explains things in such an accessible way. Talking with her is like a lightbulb going off in your head.
    • Dermatologist Dr Leona Yip – again, makes complicated skin things seem much more understandable.
    • Melanie Grant – skin expert to the stars (for good reason!) and someone I love speaking to for stories. 
    • Michelle Wong (Labmuffin Beauty Science) – More of the science background but her facts only, no-bs reviews and explainers on all things skin are brilliant. 

    What are your thoughts on botox and fillers?

    It’s a really interesting one. I know so many people (who you might not expect/realise!) who get botox and fillers and I’ll admit; they look great. I’m firmly in the camp that you should be able to do what you want to your skin without judgement. Do what makes you feel good – and if that means getting botox or fillers, then good for you. But I think, particularly if you’re someone in the public eye, you have a bit of a responsibility to be open about it rather than claiming that the results are all down to Mother Nature or some miracle face cream. Because no topical product will achieve the same results as injectables. Despite what the label promises. But it can be so easy to forget that.  

    On a deeper level, however, I also know these desires to look a certain way don’t happen in a vacuum. And I do worry – and know from my own experience – how easy it can be to get caught up in thinking that there’s something wrong or needs fixing because you don’t look like that naturally. So I think the reason you’re doing it comes in to play as well. If you’re going to the right person (qualified, experienced etc) with the best results we shouldn’t really be able to tell – other than you look like you’ve had a week of eight hours sleep!

    Personally, I’m absolutely terrified of needles so I can’t see myself getting any for cosmetic reasons any time soon!

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

    Because we’ve been in lockdown, it’s been less about new things and more about having all the things I love again: a massage, a pedicure, a blowdry. I’m in Melbourne so hairdressers are all booked out for months – so I’m excited to finally get my hair cut and coloured again! 

    Of treatments I haven’t had before, I would love to try treatments at either Venustus in Sydney or Herbario in Melbourne. They’re both places my guests regularly rave about on Beauty Island. So Valli’s Signature Treatment at Herbario and a massage/treatment at Venustus are absolutely on my beauty bucket list!

    I’m also excited to try and focus more on innovative Australian-made brands. The other side of my job is copywriting and strategy for predominantly lifestyle brands so I’m always on the lookout for brands that are truly doing something new and exciting rather than a carbon copy of what already exists. 

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

    So many! I love the beauty content that people like Gemma Watts, Ali Whittle, Rowi Singh, Hannah English, and Flex Mami create on Instagram. Also Jessica Defino who’s a beauty reporter that really challenges the industry for a different lens on beauty.

    The only magazine I still buy regularly is British Vogue, but online I enjoy the beauty coverage by The Cut as it balances smarts with shiny things.

    For podcasts: Beauty Island, Glow Journal, All Bases Covered, That Beauty Podcast, Beauty IQ Uncensored, On Reflection with Funmi Fetto. A more recent discovery is Beauty Is Political – I love how and what they cover within the beauty sphere.

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Heal and Strengthen your Skin with Probiotics

    If you’re anything like me, you’ll know that probiotics in skincare is nothing new but esmi’s Probiotic Skin Mylck is. This silky moisturising lotion works to assist with healing and strengthening hyper sensitive skin, and can also boast being formulated with 100% Australian made probiotics.

    To learn more about this product I’ve been using for a little over a month now, I asked Meg Lovett, skin consultant at esmi Skin Minerals to share why this is a product you need to learn more about!

    Name: Meg Lovett
    Age: 36 (still feeling 25!)
    I’ve been working for esmi Skin Minerals for 2.5 wonderful years

    Meg, why are we now seeing probiotics in skincare products, and are these different to those found in the food/drinks we consume? “Our skin needs good bacteria to survive, and the abundance of bad bacteria can lead to skin issues such as redness, sensitivity or irritated/reactive skin. As such, applying probiotics topically is an excellent and vital part of your routine to ensure good bacteria takes over, and your barrier functions at optimal health!”

    A strong and functioning barrier is essential for skin health. Without it we can be exposed to UV and free radical damage (premature ageing) which can increase the risk of infection, and sensitive/reactive skin.

    When should this product be used, and where in your skincare routine? “Our Skin Mylck Probiotics are lightweight lotions used as your moisturiser, they can be applied after cleansing or layered with water based serums. Cleanse, apply serums, following with a pea size Skin Mylck– both AM & PM. *Never forgetting SPF in your morning routine! If your skin is quite dry/impaired and you do feel as though you need a little extra nourishment, you can also follow with a drop or two of your favourite Oil Based Skin Treat/moisturiser.”

    “Our Skin Mylcks contain Lysates which are a concentrated dose of probiotic function. They differ slightly to the strains which are ingested via oral powders, but nonetheless, work in perfect synergy with the skin when applied topically – and they don’t have to be refrigerated which is an extra bonus!

    Which skin types will benefit from this product and new range of products? “Any skin type can benefit from probiotics. Our Probiotic Skin Mylcks have been formulated specially for sensitive/reactive skin types, as well as acne, rosacea, dermatitis/eczema and help strengthen, repair and restore skin, promoting a healthy barrier function. They are also ideal for those who have damaged their skin from the overuse of active or harsh ingredients – most of us have been guilty of this, at one time or another! Probiotics will help the skin recover faster, increasing the skin’s good bacteria – eliminating the bad, allowing it to thrive and flourish.”

    For any advice or assistance, esmi’s Skin Service team is available to guide and answer questions you may have about any of their skin care products via chat or email at skin@esmi.com.au. It couldn’t be simpler!

    P.S – If you’re looking to treat your skincare obsessed best friend (or even yourself!) this Christmas, make sure you check out esmi’s Advent Calender, its incredible!

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  • InBeauty, Home Decor, Interview, Lifestyle

    5 Minutes with Amber Sargent, Beauty & Lifestyle Influencer

    While Amber Sargent is one of my newer people to follow on Instagram, she’s quickly cemented herself as a firm favourite with her cosy yet luxurious style – whether it be home, beauty or lifestyle content. Self-described as a twenty-something with a love for neutrals, beauty and interiors, Amber has a knack for curating the most gorgeous of Instagram feeds – seriously go check it out. And I don’t know how she does it, but she has inspired me so much this year, especially when it comes to her cooking – I’m a new convert to roasted cauliflower steaks!

    But you know I’m a big old beauty fanatic, so after I had watched yet another of her GRWM videos on Stories, I decided it was time to invite Amber to participate in my favourite blog series ‘5 Minutes With…’ to kick off the week with a bang!

    • Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? I remember first getting into beauty during my freshman year of college. I got my first macbook and started watching beauty tutorials religiously on youtube – mind you, this was back in 2009, so think Blair Fowler, aka Juicystar07 and Tanya Burr (my favorite at the time). I loved all the beauty chats, learning more about how to take care of my skin, and recreating tutorials in my bedroom. Been hooked ever since!
    • What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? I tend to be on the dryer side, so I love incorporating oils to help nourish my skin. One of my favorites is the Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil. It’s filled with oils that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants (noni, rosehip and pomegranate oils). Equally as important are exfoliating acids. I typically go for AHAs, like lactic and glycolic acids to help peel away dead skin and help with any texture and/or fine lines. Nourishment + regular exfoliation = happy glowing skin!
    • What are your favourite beauty treatments? I don’t get too crazy with beauty treatments (I’ve never even had my brows waxed!) but I love a good face and hair masking session in the bath. For my face I love a charcoal mask (Origins Clear Improvement is one of my favorites), and for hair, I love Olaplex and the Joico Moisture Recovery mask. Another tried and true beauty product is my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, it’s truly a skin saver. Got chapped lips, sun burns, dry skin? It’s a cure all! I have had one by my bedside since college, an oldie but a goodie.

    • With regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? I think many people can benefit from seeing a dermatologist, but my best advice is to do your research and be your own skin advocate. No one knows your skin like you do. So do your research, experiment with different ingredients, diets, read scientific articles online (they’re so many available these days!) to get a better understanding of what works for your skin.
    • What are your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? Although I haven’t dabbled in the botox and filler world myself, I know others who have and are extremely happy with their results. I like the idea of keeping your natural features, but if you feel the need to amp something up, why not! Do you!
    • What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? Just this week I started incorporating retinol into my routine. I’m about to turn thirty in less than six months, so figured it’d be a good time to start!
    • What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I’m a big fan of Into the Gloss, definitely my go-to online beauty magazine that I’ve read for years. I also love listening to the Him & Her podcast hosted by The Skinny Confidential, watching Sandra on youtube, and Dara Kaye on instagram! I love hearing their thoughts and product reviews across the mediums.

     

     

     

     

     

    *This post may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which assists to support and maintain my freelance writing and this website.

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  • InBeauty, Lifestyle

    Introducing Skincare For Use Post Cosmetic Injectable Treatments

    After many years of debating back and forth, last month I finally bit the bullet and popped into my local clinic for some new lips thanks to a little something called lip filler. Full disclaimer: it freaking hurt so much and I was bruised for almost a week BUT the results are so worth it. As you can see from my before and after, I had quite asymmetrical lips which have now been softly evened out and slightly plumped perfectly.

    Speaking of bruises, I wondered if there was something to assist with this and help care for my skin and of course once the bruising had subsided (Murphy’s Law, right), Arnicare was introduced to me – Australia’s first range of Arnica formulations designed for use post cosmetic injections.

    Arnicare was founded by two sisters Ashleigh and Sam Pomeranz who have over 15 years’ experience in the healthcare and business industries. Ashleigh is a nurse practioner and owner of Toxbar, an aesthetic medicine clinic, and De Tox Superfood Bar, a smoothie/açai bowl bar, both located in Geelong, AUS. Sam’s background is as a Nurse Manager of Cardiac Services at Alfred Health and most recently have transitioned into operating services management at Barwon Health in Geelong.

    Sam says: “Ashleigh was finding her clients always asked the same questions during consultations, ‘will I bruise?’ and ‘what can I do to minimise the appearance of bruising?’. Patients would then be referred onto a pharmacy for Arnica cream to use. Arnica has been used for centuries to minimise bruising, inflammation, decreased pain and as a general first aid tonic. Patients were achieving great results with their Arnica products however traditional Arnica creams contain a high proportion of menthol as they are traditionally used for pain relief or broader body bruising. But unfortunately the high amount of menthol is quite drying for the skin and the smell overwhelming when used on the face, so we were able to identify a gap in the market and develop Australia’s first range of Arnica formulations designed for use post cosmetic injectable procedures.”

    Furthermore, their Arnicare range contains a healing balm which is perfect for use on lips and cheeks, and a healing cream for use on face and broader body bruising, as well as customisable lip shaped icepacks. Sam says, “All of our range contains additives like curcuma longa extract to aid further in reducing inflammation, niacinamide to minimise fine lines and wrinkles along with hyaluronic acid to support hydration of the lips and skin post treatment. Arnicare was developed with aesthetic medicine in mind, however our healing cream can be utilised for any generalised bruising, and in fact a large proportion of our customers are from the circus industry.”

    If you are looking to nourish your skin after injectables, you will want to investigate these products!

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  • 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!

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  • 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,

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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?

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  • 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 …

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  • 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?https://www.tiktok.com/@themarabeauty_/video/6820118297661607173

    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!

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  • 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 www.goseesari.com.

    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. 

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  • 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:

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