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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!

  • 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,, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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, 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, 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, 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, Interview, Lifestyle, Travel

    The Who, What and Where of Paris, France

    Paris is such an iconic destination and whilst I’m yet to visit just yet, I’ve enlisted two lovely women who are frequent visitors to share their experiences of what they hear, see and do to allow us to live vicariously through them. Meet Jill Healy-Quintard, a specialist in the Mind/Body connection, and Charlotte Ravet, LUXit Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist, for all the inspiration and #travelgoals!

    [ Charlotte & Jill ]


    Jill: “I have been travelling between France and Australia for 20+ years and lived in the south as well and have noted since we are all only separated by perhaps missing a twitter, youtube update or a post on Facebook, that the fashion throughout the world, particularly with Gen X has become global rather than limited to a specific city or country, although each place tweak their own uniqueness. In Paris in the fashion districts and the tourist districts there will always be people dressed typically Parisienne style, but the young people could be from any country eg. in the hip hop music and dance scene the fashion is totally global and that is from Zimbabwe to Croatia and everywhere in between. My family and friends in Paris love our Australian style, but I do note that the women members of my family young and older tend to wear more make-up and are never seen without make-up or very coiffed hair. The perfume is much stronger and the shoes have a definite very good and well groomed style, if they are not wearing trainers and workout gear.”

    Charlotte: “The typical French uniform is usually a good leather jacket, slim jeans, a nice top, messy bun or loose hair and for the most adventurous a classic red lipstick. If you want to learn more about the Parisian look you could definitely look Ines de la Fressange’s book: Parisian chic. A “bible” for any French women full of tips, places to go, and best looks to wear. So French, so chic!”

    A big fashion trend in Paris those last years is the effortless style, to achieve this, there is the secret “rule of three”.

    Charlotte: “You never to do the three things at the same time: hair, makeup, clothes. You always have to leave one. For example, if you are going to a dressed up party and wear a cocktail dress with high heels, you can do your makeup but will drop the hair. Or look like you haven’t done much and opt for a “bed hair” style. If you have your hair and makeup properly done you will probably wear flat shoes. I never feel overdressed or too sexy in Australia but going out in Paris I always do more fashion details, instead of a full glamour look. A stylish handbags and a nice pair of shoes will always be noticed!”


    Charlotte: “I always stock skin care going to France; Bioderma, Avene and La Roche Posay  are brands I always trust. I also buy a cream at the chemist call “Ialuset”. This cream is 100% hyaluronic acid and usually used for burns and ulcers on the skin. But it also does miracles if you apply before sleeping to plump your skin before a big day or after a peeling treatment. *This is just a tip and this is not the actual prescription for this cream, so I would recommend a patch test before use in case of reaction, as no prescription are required.”

    Jill: “I have relatives and friends in and around Paris and the South of France. My sister in law, who has recently moved from Paris to Cannes, is totally the opposite of the ‘How to Look Parisian Wherever You Are’ and speaking of, my Paris based sister in law found the article in a newspaper and said sadly that women are beginning to copy the Kardashian look.  Far too much botox and filler. My daughter said to me last year when visiting our relatives, that women in Cannes look the same- not just natives but tourists as well though. It is sad to see many of the gorgeous young girls smoking, although they certainly have the stunning French look, tres cool, while lying with their partner/lover/friends on the grass of the Place des Vosges (one of my favourite places in the Marais in the 4th) and just chatting or reading or embracing.

    “In the early 2000’s the way French women in my classes kept their weight down was to smoke, drink coffee and have 1 meal a day if any at all…….which is the real truth of Why French Women Don’t Get Fat!”

    Madame Quintard (my mother in law) and her sister were the invisible menders of incredible fabrics for all the designers in the exclusive Place Vendome, which (before bulk cheap clothing) was the center of Paris fashion in the 1st and she even had a dress made for our daughter by Chanel for her baptism in Paris. I always saw her as the epitome of Parisienne French. She never went out without having spent a long time grooming and always had everything immaculate, including her house.”

    Charlotte: French women are actually not wearing this much makeup, the French are more into skincare and hair care. A beautiful natural skin and silky hair will be the first step in the beauty routine. We like to see the skin under the makeup and are big fan of the “no makeup look”. Liner, highlights and false lashes are not a big thing in Paris, sorry!”


    Charlotte: “When I travel to Paris there is a few beauty places to never miss! Firstly, the huge Sephora in Champs Elysees. It’s definitely a beauty temple where I can spend hours looking at all the latest beauty products. If you go during the sales, products can be discounted up to 70%!

    For the luxury places, Guerlain which is next door to Sephora has one of the most beautiful perfumes and beauty shop, and don’t forget to stop by Laduree for a delicious macaron across the street! On the side of my classic Chanel N 5, I choose my parfum form Martin Margiela at Galeries Lafayette, the scents are very unique and delicate. For the professional makeup artists, there are two places to not miss; 1. Mac cosmetics rue des Saints-Peres, a professional Mac store with an extensive range of products, and 2. Maqpro, le maquillage professionel, a professional makeup store with a thousand choice of colours and textures. The company is family owned and products are made in France using luxury ingredients, and they also offer a range of convenient palettes and customisable products to suit all professional artists.”

    Jill Healy-Quintard is an Australian married to a Frenchman from Paris, and has trained and worked for more than 30 years in fitness and wellness for the body and the mind. Whilst running a range of exercise classes for her clients, she also writes for her fitness and wellness blog.

    Charlotte Ravet is an elite makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Her expertise spans bridal, editorial, beauty, commercials & celebrities alongside training, and if you’re interested in booking Charlotte to visit you for a service you can book at

  • InInterview, Skin

    Winter Tanning Advice

    Guest Post | Winter Tanning Q&A with Tannè By Meegan | Organic Mobile Tanner

    Because it’s cold and no one feels like leaving the house, winter tanning can feel oh-so hard. But it can give you such a hit of confidence that makes heading out on those chilly nights so much easier and sexier! Besides, you only need a jacket to get inside of where you’re going to…

    Professional tanner Meegan is here to chat with us about tanning during the cooler months and read on for a special tanning offer!

    Winter Tans3

    Hi Meegan! Tell us, why do your clients get a winter tan? 

    Getting a spray tan is a great way to satisfy your craving for a sun-kissed glow during the bleakest of winter days.

    Winter is the ideal time for a subtle golden glow and perfect for a that winter special occasion outfit that shows a bit more skin than the usual North Face jacket and scarf – I’m sure you know what I mean!

    By indulging in a winter tan, you can love the way you look all year long. Just by adding a subtle hint of colour to your skin can be just what you need to boost your confidence and give your winter wardrobe or winter special occasion a radiant face lift.

    Okay Meegan, Summer v Winter tanning shades?

    You definitely need to adjust your summer colour shade to a few shades lighter. 

    Try to match a shade that suits your natural skin colour and aim to just darken the ‘white glow’ off. Tannè By Meegan uses the VANi-T product range, which is a beautiful natural organic product and can be customised to any skin colour.

    What about tanning dehydrated winter skin though? 

    Maintaining a natural-looking tan during the colder months is easier than you think. Since you would be working with lighter colour palettes, you can stop worrying about uneven fading which could be more noticeable in summer. Because you need to exfoliate and moisturise to get even coverage, spray tanning in the winter with a refined organic tan can actually make it easier to keep your skin healthy and hydrated!

    Winter Tans2

    Tanning tips for any occasion

    * Everyone knows it is a cardinal sin not exfoliate in the lead up to your spray tan but I also recommend that you enjoy your manicure and pedicure in the days preceding your tan – you don’t want to soak off your newly applied colour!
    * When using the Vani-T Rapid Self Tan you can shower in as little as two hours and be on your merry way with the perfect sunkissed glow.

    * Messy spray tanned sheets are now a thing of the past!

    * If your spray tan is for a special occasion, like a wedding, then make sure you do a test run at least a month out to make sure you’re happy with the shade. Book in 48 hours before the event as a rapid tan takes 24 hours for the colour to fully develop.

    * Put on a white singlet 48 hours later and see your colour against the white – and naturally, a selfie is required.

    Winter Tans

    For further information on the much loved Vani-T brand, visit

    For future note, Meegan hopes to be the inventor of a real hot air spray tan machine so watch this space!

    Tanne by Meegan

    Mobile Service and Salon Location | 89 Little Page Street Albert Park Melbourne, Victoria

    0407 550 272 |

    instagram: @tannèbymeegan


  • InFeatures, Interview, Lifestyle

    Feature | Amy Molloy

    Contributing editor to my all-time favourite magazine Amy Molloy is the latest fabulous and inspirational women to be interviewed here at Why Hello Beauty.

    Amy writes in such a relaxed and conversational manner that initially enticed me to google her after a previous edition of The Collective and find more articles that she had written. Since then, I’ve discovered Amy has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life and The Sunday Times so it’s safe to say the girl is big news. Read on for my chat with the gal herself!

    Hi Amy, thanks for chatting to Why Hello Beauty! What inspired you to want to become a journalist?

    I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write – whether it was writing cutesy poems for my parents as a kid or keeping an angst-ridden journal as a teenager. Aside from a brief period when I decided I wanted to study fashion design at university (even though I can barely sew on a button), I thankfully did a side step onto a fashion journalism degree. The rest is history…

    I’m such a huge fan of The Collective magazine and that’s actually how I found you – how did that collaboration occur?

    I was a fan before I was a contributor. I started reading the magazine from about issue three and found the articles so inspiring. I particularly loved how they weren’t afraid of dedicating three or four of five pages to one article topic. In an era of 200 word blogs and 140 letter Tweets, some Editors are scared to run long articles because they worry readers don’t have the attention span, but The Collective delve deep into subjects. I knew I wanted to be part of the community they were creating, so I reached out to Lisa [Messenger]. Eighteen months on, I say that we’re creative soul mates, because collaborating together is such a dream!

    10557402_613340968784283_6158991275774434628_nWhat advice do you have for those who wish to follow in your footsteps?

    Accept you might have to start out writing about subject that you’re not really passionate about. The first article I ever had published was a news piece about a Priest complaining about how his cemetery kept being vandalised. I also spent months writing a gardening column for a daily newspaper. But, although I had no interest in these subjects, they taught me key skills about writing, editing and working with publicists.  I’m so grateful now that I’m freelance and can choose what story angles to pursue, but it’s been an interesting road to get here!

    Who are you girl crushin’ on right now, Amy?

    I recently interviewed Lauren Mulberry, the lead singer of The Churches for a magazine and walked away from the interview with so much respect for her. I also just interviewed an amazing woman for the front cover of The Collective’s October issue. I can’t say who it is yet but watch this space!

    What three makeup products could you not live without?

    I just returned from 4 months travelling around South America (whilst still working, thanks to the wonders of my iPad) and living out of a backpack completely changed the must-haves in my beauty bag. Because my fiancé and I are far more likely to sleep in a hammock in the wilderness than a hotel, I try to make sure my beauty essentials are environmentally friendly. I always carry GAIA biodegradable baby wipes, a pot of coconut oil for my face and hair, and ECO tan sunscreen. I lost my husband to skin cancer when I was 21, so I’m very vigilant about sun protection.

    And lastly, what’s your signature lipstick shade?

    I  have to admit, it’s rare I wear colour these days as I often just double up coconut oil as lip salve. But I recently discovered Burt’s Bees Lip Crayons and bought every shade in the range (sorry, not sorry!).

    Thank you Amy for spending a few minutes with WHB, it’s great to get to know you more! Oh and I recently received a pink Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon so I totes get you there! 😉

    Happy hump day all!

  • InBeauty, Features, Interview, Make Up

    Feature | Alex Fevola of Runway Room

    Alex Fevola has been involved within the media and high profile events for years now so when I heard that she had created her own makeup range Runway Room, I was not surprised but also really excited! To have the experience of playing with makeup and especially makeup on camera for such a period of time would be an amazing stepping stone to creating what Alex believes is the ultimate professional make-up line. The complete Runway Room line includes cosmetics such as primer, base, concealer, powder, eye shadows, mascaras, false lashes, lipliner, lipsticks and lipgloss along with application tools for a complete one-stop shop! I was recently given the opportunity to quiz Alex a little about all things Runway Room and makeup with our chat listed below.

    Hi Alex, thank you for spending a few minutes with Why Hello Beauty! After owning your own Runway Room salon/ makeup bars, was the next logical step a Runway Room makeup collection? Yes, having worked with many brands over my 18 years as a MUA, I had always dreamed of creating my own line. It seemed like the logical step, as there wasn’t a professional, affordable, Australian Made cosmetic line available. I hoped to provide other salons with our ‘concept’ and our affordable and professional products. I felt a lot of cosmetic companies make it hard for small businesses to stock cosmetics as the opening packages are super expensive and the minimum monthly orders are hard for smaller salons to achieve. This stops a lot of smaller salons  from offering this service and products. I hope to be the more affordable alternative and will support and encourage them to expand their business but do not put minimum orders pressure them in any way.

    Did you know exactly what line of makeup you wanted to create, after years of being in the public eyes? My brand has been inspired by many other brands but the one thing I was sure of, was I wanted to manufacture in Australia.

    I simply adore the Runway Room packaging, simple yet eye catching! Was that your main aim? Yes, I wanted a fresh and unique look for the range, most other brands are black or dark and I wanted our products to stand out.  The white and fluro stands out from the rest and certainly makes it easier to find in the bottom of your handbag!

    What is your favourite product of the range? Its hard to say but I wear Face Base everyday along with Power Lash Mascara and Lip Prep. I am extremely proud of our Lip Range, especially our lipsticks, the payoff is amazing, rich pigments and long lasting creamy formulas. We have had so many professionals rave about our lippies so I would say they would have to be up the top of my favourites list.

    Best haircare tip you’ve discovered or been given? Use Olaplex with your colour treatments, it is new technology and simply amazing! No breakage and  strengthens the hair with every colour.

    How important is social media to Runway Room and yourself personally? Extremely important. I think every business should utilize social media to help grow their brand. Especially in this industry, people find a lot of hair and make-up inspo from Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs etc.

    What’s next for the remainder of 2015 and 2016? Well, we are in the process of establishing a flagship store in Adelaide and the Runway Room Academy. We will also be opening more salons / academies across Australia with Sydney firmly in our sights! The main goal is to grow the brand and gain bigger distribution for Runway Room, focusing on boutique salons and suitable stockists and of course, our online Store. We also are investing a lot of time into growing our consultants / direct selling team across Australia. We are in discussions with two international distributors in both USA and China, hopefully we will be international in the future!

    ~ Quick questions ~

    Lipgloss or Lipstick?

    For my clients, lipstick.

    For me personally, usually gloss.

    Matte or Shimmer?


    Today Show or Sunrise?

    Im definitely a Sunrise Girl, I watch it every morning!

    Thanks Alex once again for the opportunity to chat, the list of beautiful and inspirational women that I’ve interviewed on this platform is more than I could ever have imagined. Be sure to keep an eye on my social media and blog for my Runway Room product reviews, I’ll keep ’em coming!

    Have a lovely weekend,

  • InFeatures, Interview, Make Up

    Q&A with Shelley Sullivan, CEO of Modelco Cosmetics

    *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.

    What a year 2015 has been. Connecting with so many inspirational, motivated and successful women has continually pushed me forward and getting my hustle on. To add to the already long list of fabulous featured women, today I’m sharing my recent Q&A with Shelley Sullivan. For many, Shelley needs no introduction as the Founder and CEO of well-known cosmetic brand ModelCo Cosmetics!

    Shelley says of Modelco: “We’ve learnt that beauty doesn’t have to be hard. At ModelCo we create products for women who want to look and feel their best whilst enjoying a busy lifestyle. That’s what ModelCo is about – achievable, every day glamour”. From the launch and to the consequent complete sell-out of TURBO LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler in 2002, the brand has reached new heights with the newest product lash+line, a revoluntary mascara and eyeliner in one – which was recently reviewed here at Why Hello Beauty!

    ModelCo Cosmetics are sold worldwide and has been featured in global publications such as VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, marie claire and Instyle. Shelley recently took a few minutes to chat to WHB and I’ve shared it all below!

    Hi Shelley, thanks for taking a few minutes to chat with me – it’s such an honour! Where did the idea of ModelCo come from, do you have a background in beauty? “Owning my own modelling agency I experienced firsthand the limitations of innovative beauty products and the lack of accessibility professional makeup artists had to premium products. When I first started ModelCo there were only two products, LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler and then TAN Airbrush in a Can, I certainly didn’t realise at the time that I was starting my own beauty company. What started as a pet project turned into a global brand before I knew it. I had an innate desire to create products that help women to look and feel more glamourous and help simplify their beauty routines”.

    What was/is the biggest challenge with creating such a high profile cosmetics business? “I think international expansion was challenging. It sounds glamorous but I have learnt not to expand too quickly. It is far more strategic to conquer one market at a time”.

    What’s been your biggest achievement so far? I notice you were recently featured in the Collective, I’m such a huge fan of the popular magazine! “My most notable career achievement was when the idea for Tan Airbrush in a Can hit me. I just knew there had to be a smarter and more user friendly way for women to self-tan and had often thought about the idea of marrying self-tan and a spray can. I knew that if I could create way to a product that put an end to stained hands and uneven coverage that it would be a success! When TAN Airbrush in Can – the world’s first aerosol ‘tan in a can’ self-tanning product hit the market it truly changed the way that woman self – tanned, delivering professional results with the convenience of an at-home application. To this date, one unit of Tan in a Can is sold every 36 seconds worldwide.

    Another career achievement would have to be signing, hosting and shooting Rosie Huntington–Whiteley for ModelCo in 2013 and then again in 2014. I am a believer in organic partnerships, so it was important and gratifying to know how much Rosie loved and identified with our products”.

    How important is social media for ModelCo and yourself as the CEO? “It is hugely important. I am constantly thinking about our consumer and trying to understand what she wants. I am across her social media channels so that I can best determine which products she wishes she had in her beauty cupboard that I can then deliver!

    ModelCo has a specialist digital and social media in-house team responsible for driving traffic to the ModelCo website and engaging with our customers on all levels. ModelCo’s rapidly expanding social media following has allowed us to build a strong, modern brand identity that engages with our customers and community 24/7, a focus with is a critical priority for our brand.

    My personal social media allows me to share ModelCo brand news and allow followers a glimpse into my life which I think it key to building a brand rapport and relationship with customers”.

    Do you have any exciting new product launches coming up Shelley? “We have just launched our new self-tanning products for Summer 2015/16. I am very proud of the new ModelCo One Hour Tan Mousse and ModelCo Exfoliate Double Sided Body Wipes. We are working on a contouring range which will be released early next year”.

    Do you have a favourite ModelCo product, can you pick just one? I have to say mine is the new Lash+Line, it’s certainly a revolutionary time and space saving product! 
    “I have to say Tan Airbrush in a Can will always have a special place in my heart! But I definitely agree with you on Lash and Line – I love a bold eye and the 2-in-1 feature is genius!”.

    Thank you so much Shelley for the Q&A feature, I always have had a soft spot for ModelCo due to the stunning packaging equally luxurious cosmetics but now you have a fan in me for life! Cannot wait to see what else is released in the months to come!

  • InFeatures, Interview

    Q&A with Katrina Lawrence

    As I was growing up reading magazines, I found there was always one beauty editor / beauty blogger I found myself drawn to and keeping an eye on. I followed Katrina Lawrence closely for years on, which was one of Australia’s first beauty blogs until it closed down, which I still think of fondly years later. Katrina was also a huge inspiration to me when I started Why Hello Beauty and started a lot of my ideas for me.

    Late last year I found an article of Katrina’s in Elle’s Australian magazine and completely fangirled on the lounge! I then reached out to Katrina via social media and to my complete and utter shock, she kindly replied and answered a few questions for me and my readers, which just meant the world to me.

    Katrina truly is a completely beauty-full woman, thank you for chatting to little ol’ Emily, a gal who truly looks up to you!

    Yasemin Trollope with Katrina Lawrence

    [Yasemin Trollope with Katrina Lawrence]

    What are you up to currently Katrina? So much has changed since the days!
    “Gosh, so much! When I was running my site, there were only a few beauty titles in the online space and barely any bloggers. Hardly any beauty brand advertised online which made it all seem like a labour of love as opposed to a venture with serious business potential. And social media was virtually unheard of. I’ve gone back to work in the digital space since closing– editing and blogging here and there – so I keep a finger in that particular pie. But currently I’m beauty editor of the French luxury fashion magazine, L’Officiel, which launches in Australia late this year; I also write the new beauty page in The Sunday Telegraph.”

    What is your current skincare regime? 

    “As I write this, the Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask is smothered over my face. I’m a sucker for masks. Clay, mud, cream, cloth, enzyme … I pop one on whenever I get the chance. In terms of my regular go-tos, right now my daily routine is: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, Prevage Advanced Anti-Aging Serum, Josie Maran Argan Oil and – for daytime – some kind of tinted moisturiser. At the moment, it’s either the Mecca Cosmetica one, or a Dr Jart+, which is launching at Sydney Sephora in December.”

    What is your favourite lipstick? 

    “Two words: Tom Ford. Such a swoon-worthy range of shades and a formulation that’s so lush on lips. They’re expensive but I like to think you can justify them for the amazing cost-per-wear – as you use every last pigment.”

    Favourite shampoo and conditioner? 

    “Anything from Kérastase Paris is a treat. Same with Christophe Robin and David Mallet. It’s all about the Frenchies for me. Must have something with my obsession with Parisiennes’ effortlessly cool hair.”

    Two products you couldn’t live without? 

    Lanolips 101. Nothing else keeps my lips in such soft and flake-free shape. And perfume. I don’t feel complete if I leave the house without a spritz of two. I’m currently loving Narciso.”

    What beauty websites do you follow? 

    “I often flick through the beauty sections of magazine websites such as Allure, the Vogues and Elle US. I also look up and Into the Gloss fairly regularly, and subscribe to Women’s Wear Daily.”

    Who is your beauty idol? 

    “Brigitte Bardot. The hair, the eyes, the lips, oh the everything … she gets a bad rap for her sun-damaged skin. But, hey, she’s 80! I just see a woman who has loved and lived to the hilt (and who did so in a time when nobody knew how evil UV rays can be) and who has worked tirelessly for animal rights. That’s the definition of beautiful for me.”

    Who is your beauty idol? Share with me in the comments, I’d love to know!

  • InBeauty, Interview

    Meet | Kelley Baker Brows

    I adore brows. Eyebrows are my addiction, always looking for the next best thing in brows and tips and tricks.

    When I decided to grow out my brows about nine months ago, I sought out the help of @rocan on instagram and also came across Kelley Baker Brows, a US based eyebrow goddess with salons in Venice Beach and Beverley Hills. Recently I made contact with Kelley Baker’s salon and have been conversing with Marjohn who is Kelley’s PA. Marjohn ever-so-kindly provided me with some information on the KBB brand for you all to find out a little bit about Kelley Baker Brows.

    Kelley Baker Brows


    But first, my history with Kelley Baker Brows:

    After discovering KBB on instagram and watching all the videos uploaded, I quickly purchased a highlighter and highlighter brush during a mega sale for, I think around $30US (which included shipping from the US). When the products arrived, they came in the cutest package with a sweet sticker which I loved!

    I have since never used another eyebrow brush on myself since then. As I’m a pencil girl so each morning all I use is my Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil, apply the highlight and use the brush to carve out and define the shape I just created. Too easy!

    Now let’s find out more about Kelley Baker Brows salons. I’ll let Marjohn take over now!


    Kelley started out in the Beauty Industry doing makeup. She has been doing makeup for over 20 years and has been doing brows for over 10 years. Ever since she was in high school, she has been doing everyone’s makeup. She never really paid attention in high school, except for in art class. That was the only class she really excelled in. Because of this, Kelley always knew from a young age that she wanted to go into the beauty industry. After high school she decided to attend beauty school. And there in beauty school, she was introduced to the eyebrow world, which is why she is where she is now. She learned everything you needed to know about brows and makeup and it became her career. Kelley is a Virgo and a perfectionist, so getting a clean and crisp brow line comes so naturally to her!


    In Beverly Hills we have staff member Anthony (IG: anthonyandrewsbhbrows) and in Venice we have Vanessa (IG: VCfacebeauty) and Mersedeh (IG: mersedeh_). Kelley works across both locations. Also between the two locations we have a salon manager, whose name is Cynthia (IG: iheartcynochoa) and two other receptionists, Marjohn (IG: marrrjj) and John who go back and forth between the two salons. All of the Brow Divas hold an esthetician license, so you know that you are in capable and experienced hands!


    Kelley has her own line of products which have recently been launched. The products include our brow powders in two shades, blonde and brown; our highlighter pencil (my favorite); our two brushes, the highlighter brush and the angled brush; a sharpener; brow gel; tweezers and two lip glosses.

    Kelley Baker Brows

    The two powders are the two most universal powders you could use. The blonde powder is typically used on people with very light hair and red heads. The brown powders can be used on anyone with any shade of brown in their hair. We use to powders to fill in any sparse areas of the brow.

    The double sided angled brush is an angled brush on one end and a spooly on the other. This brush is used to apply the brow powder and to brush the brow hair up and soften powder if it is applied to harsh.

    The highlighter pencil is very creamy and Kelley and our team use use it on every single one of their clients. We use the highlighter pencil to really give the brow a defined and crisp look .

    The highlighter brush is the brush we use to blend out the highlighter pencil. It is flat ended and very dense to help create a clean line. The brow gel is used to set the brows and keep hair in place. The sharpener is for the highlighter pencil. We find that other sharpeners aren’t big enough for the highlighter pencil. We also now stock two KBB lip glosses. Sweetie Pie and Barbie. Sweetie Pie (below)is the perfect baby pink, and Barbie is a sparkly gloss.


    Kelley has many videos and pictures on instagram to help anyone achieve the perfect brow. We also have a number of videos on our website:


    If you are in the US, you can find Kelley Baker Brows in their two locations.Our Beverly Hills location is located at the Lasky Clinic: 201 S Lasky Drive. Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Our Venice location is located at 1636 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.


    Thank you SO much Marjohn, I can’t wait till my next trip to LA as I know where my first stop will be!