Welcome to GRAZIA’s guide to beauty: a monthly instalment of everything our beauty editor is testing, trying, and buying right now. From treatments, to new product, it’s a melange of all the best in skin, makeup, and wellness vetted by us (so you don’t have to). October is a month that sits somewhere between the summer and winter spectrum, so it’s often a good time to lighten up in terms of skincare and makeup, and work in a few wellness practices to help you beat any lingering winter sluggishness. From dry body brushing to dry shampoo (but not) and everything between, see below.
There’s no time like the present to get stuck back into a bit of group fitness to help you shift any winter-induced, would-rather-stay-indoors-for-24-hours-watching-Netflix type bingeing. And what better way to soften the blow than in a baby-pink studio streaming with natural light? Bodylove Pilates is a NYC institution that recently opened in Sydney’s Woollahra above the much-loved Luxe cafe. It offers reformer and mat classes at convenient time slots in a space that’s bright and chic. Because of the boutique nature, you’ll get plenty of individualise help from your instructor too. In a fortnight, I felt tighter and stronger. Help yourself to a herbal tea on the way out (or coffee downstairs – pick your poison).
Blame it on my Instagram feed, but I have recently transitioned from bare nail enthusiast to a fan of quirky nail art. Neon shades, subtle glitter, and negative space are all populating my IG saved folder, and after a trip to Paintbox Nails in NYC, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to get a similar vibe at home. OPI have recently launched a neon collection that’s great used to paint a reverse French mani (I use stencils from the chemist to keep it neat). Alternatively, Mavala do beautiful glitters that are foolproof to apply, and look relatively professional with a clear top coat.
Gua Sha is a form of facial massage typically done with a rose quartz or jade stone tool designed to de-puff, redefine facial contours, and promote lymphatic drainage. In the morning, it’s heaven after serums and before makeup application. If done properly, the face will look more defined and feel relaxed (great for those that clench during sleep). Keep your gua sha tool in the fridge on hot days for an added kick.
Kora Organics Rose Quartz Facial Sculptor, $75. SHOP NOW
Dry Body Brushing
Dry body brushing is one of my favourite non-physical ways to feel good physically. Find yourself a good, firm brush you can grip easily and starting from the feet, work your whole body in an upwards motion, always in the general direction of the heart. Focus on areas you feel need extra love (like the bum and thighs) too. It’s best to dry body brush in the morning before showering, and I like to follow up with a nourishing, herbaceous body oil or a thick cream like Bangn Body Firming Body Lotion. Immediately you’ll feel invigorated and smoother, but it does work long term to help firm up the appearance of skin. But to be perfectly honest, it’s the energising, rejuvenating benefits that keep me brushing consistently.
Beauty-focused supplements are in no short supply, but one that has had a lot of time in the sun as of late is collagen. While clinical evidence is incomplete, the testimonials are hard to ignore – my own included. Mukti Bioactive Collagen Booster is the latest one I’m trialling, andI feel as if I’ve noticed a subtle difference in my skin overall. Even with three long-haul, overseas return trips in the last two months, my skin has stayed relatively hydrated and bouncy (as opposed to sullen and crepey like it usually is). It’s a marine collagen powder base bolstered with ingestible hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, resveratrol, and prebiotic Jerusalem artichoke for skin health, as well as healthy digestion. It’s a little gritty due to minimal processing, but I find it’s okay to drink in a glass of water. Alternatively, it’s great in oats or a smoothie. My usual go-to Collagen brand, Vida Glow, is amazing if you don’t like drinking powders. It dissolves so well, and the unflavoured version is pretty much tasteless.
Mukti Bioactive Collagen Booster, $125. SHOP NOW
Lip gloss does not make for a good eye gloss. Despite people telling me otherwise, many a sticky eye lid have caused me to realise the sobering truth. Lip gloss is often thick, and can cause shadow to crease (badly) not to mention might contain ingredients not exactly suited to the eye area. On a recent trip into the Goop store in NYC, I bought the Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Dew (a clear gloss), and it’s perfection. Visibly glossy but not super tacky, it’s ace on a bare eye lid with bushy brows and lots of raspberry-coloured blush. Now I need to buy the cheek tints!
Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Dew, $50. SHOP NOW
Squeaky Clean Hair
Since cutting my hair into an even shorter, shoulder-grazing bob, I’m obsessed with creating airy texture and volume while eliminating grease. Summer is an especially trying time, but I’ve nailed down a hair routine that gives me two days before I need to wash again (my hair is fine and quite greasy). Once a week, I use Sisley’s Pre-Shampoo Purifying Mask, massaging it in to really deep clean. I’ve just started on Virtue Lab’s Recovery Shampoo as well. It’s free of all sulphates and parabens, so washes without stripping. I skip conditioner most days, but if I feel I need something, Christophe Robin’s Hydrating Melting Mask in the ends is my favourite. Generally, I’m not big on dry shampoo as I don’t like the chalky feel, but R+Co does a mist that’s essentially weightless. I spray it two or three times on second day hair and it’s refreshed but textured. If you take only one piece of intel from this, incorporate a pre-shampoo treatment or scrub into your routine for infinitely cleaner hair this summer. I promise.
Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo, $52. SHOP NOW
R+Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist, $39. SHOP NOW
Hair Rituel by Sisley Pre-Shampoo Purifying Mask, $120. SHOP NOW
Christophe Robin Hydrating Melting Mask, $48. SHOP NOW
Italian Face Cream
French brands can take a seat for one moment because Italian brand Santa Maria Novella currently has my heart. What started as herbs grown by a monastery in Firenze is now one of Italy’s chicest exports, with the brand serving up everything from face cream to fragrance. The Cream Idralia is a buttery, softly-scented face moisturiser loaded with emollient ingredients like avocado oil, jojoba, and vitamin e for baby-soft skin. It’s quite thick so it best suited for combination to drier skin.
Santa Maria Novella Crema Idralia, $123. SHOP NOW
Jelly Face Masks
Warm days often call for light skincare layers, but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on hydration. Clean beauty brand Trilogy gets this, thus have launched a hydrating but light-as-air jelly mask loaded with hyaluronic acid and Manuka honey. It’s got a beautiful, herby smell, and contains the brand’s signature rosehip oil, so you can expect hydration without shine. I wear mine while I cook dinner. Dreamy.
Trilogy Hydrating Jelly Mask, $32. SHOP NOW
A zingy mix of mandarin and Jasmin, Byredo’s Sundazed is a fresh, citrus-laced breath of fresh air. I’ll be using this daily from December onwards because I love a good summery fragrance theme.
Byredo Sundazed, $315. SHOP NOW