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      It feels like it was only yesterday…

      Standing in front of her Tasmanian oak vanity in her bedroom, my mother cloaked in towels – one around her body and another wrapped around her head like a turban – she would apply moisturiser all over. There wasn’t one inch of her skin that she hadn’t meticulously and gently nourished with cream.

      Her process, which took place every morning, was somewhat religious and to a daughter’s bright eyes, somewhat romantic. Every morning, my mother followed the same skincare routine and bathed in the 10 or so minutes that were hers and hers alone (I’m sure caring for two young daughters and a husband will do that to you).

      I remember running my eyes (and tiny fingers) across open jewellery boxes, Elizabeth Arden Red Door eau de parfum and many different beauty products covered in Japanese or Korean writing I couldn’t understand, which sat on her doily-covered vanity. Doilies, mum? Really?

      At the time, I was young (maybe 8 or 9) but thanks to my Filipino-born mother (who emigrated to Australia at the age of 29 after being pen pals with my father for a few years – cute!), I began to understand the importance of caring for one’s skin and one’s self. Those morning rituals spread out over past decades are evidence. Now aged 57, my beautiful mother looks as if she’s in her late 40’s. And, me? I’m not young anymore but I do practice what I was taught.

      My first real brush with high-quality, efficacious skincare came at the age of 17. I was studying in my final year at high school (side note: I was a massive nerd, who truly believed the be-all and end-all lied with my final exams – FYI, it doesn’t, kids!). At the time, hormones and stress prompted the type of teen acne that makes you quiver. You know, the deep purple-red, inflamed type of pimples that makes you mutter the words “ouch” without even realising you’ve said it out loud. Yeah, I had that!

      At the risk of being screamed at to get out of a room by her sullen, rebellious daughter for absolutely no apparent reason (sorry ma!), my mother gave me a half-used bottled of her SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. The bottle, which she would have friends and family bring home for her from Asia, was covered in Japanese writing. Most would’ve assumed it was fancy drinking water distilled in a Japanese onsen but through the lessons learned from my mother, I began soaking a cotton pad with the Essence – known affectionately as “miracle water” – and patted it gently onto my pimple-covered face. Combined with a gentle pH balancing cleanser, a spot treatment (which was, in retrospect, waaaaay too harsh for any teen’s skin and a long way from where product technology thankfully is today) and a Dove tinted moisturiser, after two weeks, my skin began to clear.

      Within a month, I no longer had skin that made you say “ouch”. I had skin that began attracting compliments from friends. “What are you using?” people would ask. “Where can I get some of that stuff?”

      Within three months, my complexion wasn’t just clear; it was glowing.

      At 18 years of age and at the end of my battle with bitching hormones and stupid school stress, I had come out of the fight scathed with a couple of war scars. Truthfully, they were minor but they were visibly there on my cheeks. To you, they might’ve seemed insignificant but to a teenage girl, they were giant craters that could’ve been seen on the moon. Since that day, I have used SK-II Facial Treatment Essence every single morning and every single night and the scars have since disappeared (along with the lousy high school boyfriend – thank God!).

      Ten years on, my entire skin care routine (which ranges through from cream cleanser, essence and serum to eye cream, day cream and treatment mask) is entirely SK-II. Those 10 minutes to myself each morning is where I mentally open and close the “tabs” in my brain ahead of my busy day as editor and publisher of Gritty Pretty.

      It’s the time when I can give myself – and my skin – a moment of peace. Like mother, like daughter.

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      If BB, CC and even DD creams are the foundation-meets-moisturiser-meets-SPF lovechild of the cosmetics and skin care world, then their latest incarnation — freed from the tube and housed in snap-lock, mirrored compacts — is the result of said lovechild growing up, getting a job, and joining the real (and super busy) world.

      We’ve told you about the rising trend of cushion foundations in the past and now we’re chiming on about their endless benefits yet again. But, with good reason.

      A history class refresher: Cushion compacts pushed onto the scene about six years ago, and have since been a huge hit on the foundation market and spawned parallel products — especially in South Korea (the epicentre of where many beauty trends are born).

      Lancôme Miracle Cushion, which is an award-winning cushion compact (hello gold at the 2016 Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence de la Beauté International Awards), wields a sponge saturated with medium coverage liquid foundation that releases very controlled quantities. When you apply the hydrating formula with the included antibacterial puff (smartly housed in a separate inner compartment, so it doesn’t contaminate or dry out the foundation sealed below), the results are more luminous than cakey.

      Contains SPF 23 and available in 10 shades which are practically impossible to spill, the coverage itself is sheer and consistent — freckles show through, pimples and redness do not. You can build this foundation, too, but Gritty Pretty’s editor & publisher Eleanor Pendleton [pictured in the video below] stopped at one layer because the coverage was so complete. Instead, subtle touch-ups under the eyes and on the go throughout the day were favoured.

      Quick. Fresh. Portable. Now, that’s speaking our language.

      Have you tried a cushion foundation yet? Which one do you recommend?

      Lancôme Miracle Cushion, starting from $60; available here.

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      Gucci has a new offering for fall.

      No, it’s not the “bourgeois Renaissance”-inspired garments, the Mary Jane’s adorned with black blows or the brazen red coats splattered with the work of graffiti artist GucciGhost (real name Trevor Andrew) which, under the direction of Alessandro Michele, were seen at Milan Fashion Week recently.

      Rather, this week Gucci went in the opposite direction with its new addition to its fragrance family, Gucci Guilty.

      A light, sparkling interpretation of the classic Guilty women’s and men’s fragrances, Gucci Guilty Eau breaks away from tradition (we love brands that break the rules!) by way of a cool eau de toilette, conveying a more delicate, romantic attitude.

      The new fragrance for her, which is reminiscent of steamy waters from onsens, subtly opens with a warm aquatic accord and sweet lychee. At the heart, is creamy lilac (Gucci Guilty’s floral signature) but it’s been tinged with wild strawberry, while the musky base emulates the sultriness of bare skin.

      Since the juice is an eau de toilette, you needn’t fear that you will send the entire dance floor gasping for air. This is a sexy fragrance that encourages admirers to lean in for a better whiff — exactly what we want in a perfume, right?

      Decked out in head to toe gold packaging, Gucci Guilty and its new addition Eau is indeed the OG.

      Gucci Guilty Eau, $99/50ml, available at David Jones and Myer.

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      Makeup Style


      A Note from the Editor –

      When your publication is based on aspirational beauty – not inspirational alone – coming up with enigmatic and awe-inspiring cover girls is no easy feat. Then, Australian Victoria’s Secret supermodel Shanina Shaik flies into town. Born and raised in Melbourne and of Pakistani, Saudi Arabian and Lithuanian decent (what a mix!), her 17-year successful career which includes fronting magazine covers and campaigns for Harper’s BAZAAR, Kookaï and Just Jeans made Shaik the obvious choice for Gritty Pretty Magazine’s Autumn issue.

      Based in New York City and having jetted into Sydney last month to walk in MYER’s AW 16 runway show, when I first met Shaik, one thing was apparent: she was glowing. And, it’s easy to see why; admitting she’s smitten in love becoming recently engaged to fiancé, DJ Ruckus in December. Arriving at our cover shoot at Sydney’s Mona Vista house in Darling Point – the day after her 25th birthday – Shaik told contributing beauty journalist Sarah Brooks-Wilson, “We just get along and have so much in common… We live in the moment.”

      Adding to the growing list of incredible women – including Phoebe Tonkin, Jessica Hart and Lara Worthington – this most recent editorial (photographed by the talented Ted O’Donnell) is yet another moment of what Gritty Pretty stands for: celebrating great women, multicultural beauty, entrepreneurial females in business and arming you, our precious readers, with the hair, makeup and skin techniques, tools and trends required to empower yourself. This has always been – and always will be – a vital part of Gritty Pretty’s DNA and what we are most proud of.

      This issue’s line-up includes ZOEVA founder, Zoe Boikou; the enticing new fragrances for fall, how to wear pink and eye liner responsibly (and separately), and a roster of some of the most luxurious beauty spas in Paris. The next 60-plus pages should serve as a reminder to nurture the time we give ourselves. Invest in quality skin care, have fun with makeup and select scents that embody your personality. Remember: life is short. Buy the lipstick.

      Please let me know what you think of the issue: 

      – Eleanor Pendleton, Editor & Publisher, Gritty Pretty Magazine


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      Photography: Ted O’Donnell

      Styling: Marina Afonina

      Makeup: Liz Kelsh for MaxFactor

      Hair: Sam Overton for TRESemmé

      Video: Thomas Stockwell



      What goes up must come down, and what’s put on must come off.

      Ask any dermatologist, skincare guru or Gritty Pretty beauty editor, “What’s the golden rule for complexion?” And, they’ll all agree — it’s makeup removal.

      Whether you’re wearing a couple of coats of mascara or a full-face of makeup, it’s imperative that you take it all off at the end of the day. Even those of you with flawless skin (Miranda Kerr, I’m looking at you!) still need to cleanse your face at night.

      For those who follow Gritty Pretty on Snapchat (@grittypretty), you’ll know my days both begin and end with Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Cleansing Water. And, it seems it’s the same for many other women around the world too – including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and legendary makeup artist, Tom Pecheux – with 1 bottle sold every 3 seconds. Not bad, eh?

      While micellar cleanings waters are now as common as, well, water, Bioderma’s Sensibio H20 is The Mother of Them All. Quite literally, being the first, it birthed the micellar trend.

      In the mid-90s, French dermatologists (the best kind of derms) were confronted with an increasing amount of sensitive skin cases. At the time, there was no suitable cleansing product. Bioderma recognised this and, in 1995, created the first ever non-rinse cleansing/make-up removing water specifically designed for sensitive skin. GENIUS.

      A few years back, I was lucky enough to travel to France to see how Bioderma’s miracle makeup remover is made. Let me tell you – nothing gets me more more excited that seeing hundreds of those clear and pink bottles on a conveyor belt being poured to the top with this precious holy water.


      Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Cleansing Water gets its name from the science behind the product: it’s made up of ‘micelles’, which are tiny oil molecules suspended in water.

      Instead of being made of a foaming solution that may contain harsh chemicals and soaps, micellar waters are very different. Those tiny micelles grab on to all of the unwanted particles clinging to your face and literally dissolve them.

      There’s no need to use a wash cloth to rub your face which may cause irritation. There’s no need to even rinse! Simply soak a cotton pad with the water and wipe it all over. Even waterproof mascara and the richest red lipstick is melted away.


      To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this iconic product, Bioderma wants to throw a par-tay IN FRANCE with YOU!

      Win 5 days in Paris and the South of France (travel dates: Monday 30th May and Friday 3rd June 2016). First stop is Cannes – the playground of the rich and famous. You’ll then visit the French countryside in Provence and stop over at the Bioderma Factory for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see first-hand how Bioderma products are made (seriously, it’s very cool). On the way home, you’ll visit Paris – the mecca of those drool-worthy French pharmacies – where you can also stuff yourself with baguettes and cheese (surely, it would be rude not to?).

      To enter, simply click here and upload a 1-2-minute video covering one of the following topics:

      1. How do you include Bioderma H2O in your skincare routine?
      2. How would you explain the concept of micellar water to someone who doesn’t know what it is
      3. How has Bioderma H2O changed your skincare routine?

      Video entries close April 30th 2016 and the winner will be announced on May 6th 2016 (and you guessed it, yours truly – Eleanor Pendleton – is one of the key judges!).

      This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, beauty lovers.

      Go on, ENTER NOW!

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      Ever dreamed of visiting Tokyo? Kimono make it happen.

      Gritty Pretty recently travelled to Japan’s capital city – for the unveiling of Gucci Guilty Eau’s new fragrance for him & her – to give you the lowdown, firsthand.

      The verdict? Eccentric, bizarre and organised chaos; Tokyo is a brain blast of culture shock and delightful neon-coloured discovery.

      Add grand-slam design, dining and fashion and you’ll soon find yourself having the most fascinating and fun adventures possible – with your clothes on. Onsen not.

      This is your essential destination intel…

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      [Top: Izz Q Designs Javier Black Silky Tee]

      [Beauty Note: Gucci Audacious Lipstick in Ardor]


      Weather: There are four distinct seasons: March – May is cherry blossom-ravishing,  June – September is hot and wet, October – November is mild, and December – February more bone-chilling than Donald Trump’s toupée.

      Transport: The subway seems like a terrifying rabbit warren at first (yeah, we admit we got lost – but it’s part of the fun, is it not?), but it’s also cheap, clean, efficient, goes everywhere and is well signed in English. At best, every train line is colour coded. Taxis cost more than Sydney and stop anywhere, but drivers often don’t speak English.

      Getting Around: In Japan, the address system is basically meaningless, so use landmarks or get your concierge to call ahead to your destination and arrange maps if need be. Also, Google Maps is your friend. Always.

      Cash is King: Many modern establishments in Japan accept credit cards, however, keeping cash on you is a smart move. Trust us.

      Tipping: Just don’t do it – the Japanese have been known to literally run down the street after you to return your tip. A smile and polite bow will do very nicely.

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      [Top: TY-LR The Maria Ivory Knit Top, Pants: Viktoria + Woods]


      The Hub: Grungy youth mecca Shibuya is growing up. Enter Loft – seven levels of everything to suit your lifestyle from stationary and home wares to watches and tech accessories. Posh shopping and dining destination Hikarie is a new hot spot and the venerable Marui department store has been transformed into a Modi flagship (hello wacky Japanese beauty products!) while Shibuya 109, however, could easily be skipped. Think an indoor flea market with rave music blaring from in each store. Yeah, nah.

      Events: There’s always something seasonal on. Spring is cherry blossom viewing parties, summer has fireworks festivals, autumn is prime time for Japanese gardens and foliage, and winter has special light-bright illuminations of major landmarks. Plus, sumo matches in January, May and September. Lock that trip down.

      Local Showdown: Reserved Tokyoites don’t get feisty over much. In fact, they’re the friendliest of folk and will often stop and offer you directions if you look a little lost, dazed or confused. But, locals do love their ramen. A lot. Disparage the noodles and you could get a ladle of hot soup to your lap. Who are we kidding? You wouldn’t do that. Noodle refill, anyone? Yes, that noodle refills are a thing.

      Alcohol Etiquette: Nothing screams Tina Tourist like toasting a round with “chin chin”. The local lingo for cheers is kanpai! Oh, and FYI Japanese businessmen love to drink. Just look out for the drunk guy heading home on the subway on a Sunday morning. Makes for light entertainment.

      Back to the Future: Don’t leave without making a vending machine purchase. Situated on just about every street corner, these convenient units are stocked with everything from sweets, hot coffee and green tea to books and video games. Some even stock hot ramen soup. Just remember: eating and drinking on the go is a cultural no-no. Plus, you won’t see public bins anywhere. Got rubbish? Stash it in your bag and dispose of it when you get back to your hotel instead. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

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      [Top: TY-LR The Maria Ivory Knit Top]

      [Beauty Note: Gucci Opulent Mascara in Iconic Black]

      MUST SEE

      The Shrine: Step off Harujuku subway station and you’ll find Meiji Shrine – a short, pleasant walk set amongst 200-acres of trees. A stark contrast from the frenetic Harujuku shops, crepe cafes and Hello Kitty stores, Meiji Shrine is set behind a 12 metre torii entrance gate made of 1,500-year-old cypress. Worth doing: write your wishes on little pieces of paper and tie them onto the prayer wall. Pay a visit on a Sunday morning and you might be lucky to witness a traditional wedding procession (or two) through the courtyard.

      Holy Harujuku: The epicentre of subculture, Harujuku is so damn cool. Young Japanese kids display their individualistic expression, contradicting traditional culture. Worth checking out: Takeshita Dori Street – a 500m street full of Harujuku girls, teeny boppers and shops.

      Getting High: ¥3,000 yen for a crowded observation deck at Skytree? Yeah, nah. Same goes for Tokyo Tower. Instead, get a picture perfect view from Roppongi Hills. You’re welcome.

      Robot Cafe: Fitted out at a cost of ¥10 billion, Robot restaurant looks like something straight out of Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, all migraine-inducing neon, video screens and mirrors. Cover charge is ¥7,000 ($80 AUD): the drink menu only extends as far as canned beer, chu-hai and bottled tea, sold at the kind of prices you’d expect at a baseball game. But, you aren’t paying for food or drink here but rather for a show. When the 90 minute show starts, at first, customers seem a little too gob-smacked to know what to do, but by the end they are all waving their glowsticks like it’s a rave. Give it a chance and keep an open mind.

      The Monster Mash: Tokyo is the city of kook and Monster Cafe is an explosion of wonder (or WTF) on the senses. There are numerous themed sections of the cafe: a “mushroom disco”, the “milk stand” featuring a giant bunny drinking milk from a baby’s bottle, the “bar experiment” where you sit underneath a giant jellyfish to drink and a “mel-tea room” decked with oversized macaroons and drooling lips. So weird. So worth seeing.

      Meeooow: Chances are if you visit Tokyo, you’ll hear about cat or rabbit cafes. But Tokyo is the kind of city that always needs something new, which is why the new trend is owls. It’s, well, what you imagine. Sipping on matcha green tea with your favourite furry or feathered friends pawing (or clawing) over you. Try Temari no Ouchi for felines or Akiba Fukurou for owls. An experience for serious animal lovers. Otherwise, it’s kinda creepy.

      Ramen for One: Going with a group for a bite to eat? The idea at here at Ichiran Ramen, Shibuya, is redundant. Favoured by solo travellers – and groups, just for the fun – to order, you first have to put money into one of the two vending machine and then select the ramen you’d like (just go off the pictures). You’re given a number which corresponds with a solo cubicle. After you take your seat, your ramen is presented under the flap and you eat your food (loudly – it’s polite in Japan) in your private booth. We recommend going around 11:30AM for lunch otherwise you’ll wait up to 45 minutes in line. Put simply, it’s the best ramen you’ll ever eat.

      Cross It Off The List: You can’t go to Tokyo without visiting Shibuya Crossing otherwise known as Scramble Crossing. Around half a million people cross Shibuya’s famous intersection every day. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box. The best time to go though is at night when you stop in the middle, look up and be surrounded with lights.

      Daikan-Yama Come Back For More: More hip than Harujuku. With its artsy scene and abundance of quirky boutiques, Daikanyama is basically the Brooklyn of central Tokyo. Daikanyama T-Site, a modern bookstore featuring a lounge, cafe, and upscale convenience store, is worth a visit. Anywhere is, to be honest. But, the best part of Daikanyama though is getting lost. Wandering through the alleyways, visiting boutiques, trying the tea and taking in the architecture. A firm fav.

      New York, New York? Anyone who visits Tokyo needs their Lost in Translation moment. Make like we did and head to the top of The Park Hyatt and sip on a cocktail at the New York Bar. The view is one way to make you feel small. Standalone highlights? The live music.

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      [Top: Izz Q Designs Javier Black Silky Tee, Pants: Frame Denim Le High Waisted Jeans]

      Have you been to Tokyo?

      What are your must-see recommendations? Leave your travel tips below.



      If the man in your life is anything like mine, it’s likely you’ve caught him—on more than one occasion—about to slather a handful of your favourite (expensive) night cream onto his third-day bearded skin.

      Or that brand new shampoo and conditioner? Or that face mask you save only for special occasions? Or that perfume your mum bought you? OK, maybe not that one. But, on a serious note though, we’ve been there.

      The good news is that with so many beauty products now tailored specifically to men, there’s no excuse for him to keep dipping into your beauty arsenal.

      This story will either prompt the man in your life to realise there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little dude-primping or inspire you to purchase him a few essentials you know he’ll love.

      Either way, I’ve enlisted my other half (Mathew Wilson) to showcase the best and most straightforward products your guy will ever need… Goodbye pash rash!

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      Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub

      A favourite among male folk, Kiehl’s cleverly created a mens-only range so he can stop dipping into yours. This Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub contains apricot kernel oil to soften skin and caffeine to reduce the appearance of puffiness; and it’s designed for all skin types. In fact, you might find yourself stealing some of this for your own. Go on then!

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      Original Mineral C Paste

      Tell him to use his head. After all, we don’t doubt that it’s good lookin’ but a little tender loving care never goes astray. Next date night, have him pop this lightweight hair paste through his strands. Made in Australia and infused with yummy coconut oil, not only will Original Mineral C Paste leave his hair look lustrous, it’ll smell pretty damn good too.

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      Label.M Max Wax

      What does this bad boy do? It’s used to thicken your man’s hair and give the ultimate hold. Who this bad boy is for? Men with all hair types (even thick, coarse, wavy hair) that want a strong hold but still with shine. How should he should use it? Take a 20 cent sized piece of Label.M Max Wax – as pictured – and work through the hands (this helps warm and soften the product) and evenly distribute throughout the hair with fingers. Work through using a comb, if he fancies.

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      Giorgio Armani Eau de Nuit Eau de Toilette

      Fortunately, one product he can’t really borrow—bar a few exceptions—is your perfume, so he should definitely have one of his own. Giorgio Armani Eau de Nuit strikes the perfect balance between ruggedly masculine and classically charming, with crisp citrus notes of Italian bergamot, a hint of warm Brazilian tonka bean and a dry down of heady tobacco. In a word: sexy.


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      Planning a weekend away?

      Whether it be a romantic getaway, a fun family trip, or even an overnight glamping affair, when you’re going on a road trip there are some essentials you need to pack. Spotify playlist: optional.

      These 8 quick, simple and multi-functional essentials will have you looking and feeling your best – even when you’re miles away from your bathroom – so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your trip.

      SK-II Mid Night Miracle Essence
      Whether you’re escaping to shred some snow or blissing out on a secluded tropical beach, keeping fresh can improve your spirits and assure your fellow traveler (and the locals) won’t be scared off. Featuring skin-cooling technology, and a shine-free finish (winning), SK-II Mid Night Miracle Essence is the perfect pick-me-up on the go. Instant skin rejuvenation occurs by way of this cooling menthol-infused spray, which combines high levels of Pitera. It’s so good, you’ll buy one and go back for two. Or three. Or four.

      Grown Alchemist Hydra-Hand Sanitiser
      Travelling can see you exposed to all sorts of new experiences: Instagram-worthy sunsets, life-changing meals and becoming overly-friendly with germs (yes, bad bacteria). To keep your mits clean, try your hand (#sorrynotsorry) at this natural hand sanitiser. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, this handbag must-have will simultaneously clean and protect your hands from premature ageing. Genius.

      Sea 2 Skin Active Hydration Mask
      Rather than weighing down your bags with heavy oversized beauty products (yep, we’ve all done that!), instead opt for lightweight, travel-friendly options like this hydrating face mask. Encased in this handy pouch is a lightweight leave-on lotion, packed full of the good stuff; rich sea botanicals, marine collagen, hyaluronic acid and rosehip oil to deeply nourish your complexion and leave it with a radiant glow.

      Uriage Thermal Micellar Water Wipes
      At less than $10 a pop, these face cleansing wipes, which harness the same genius technology as micellar cleansing water, are a must-have for your luggage, car or gym bag. Utilising the power of micelles to draw makeup and impurities away from the skin, your skin will be left feeling clean, hydrated and fresh. Let’s be honest – wipes are good for anything.

      Ayu Souq Perfume Oil 
      A luminous floral – mixing sacred oils to a form a heady and addictive scent – this perfume oil is petite and perfect for the road. It’s formulated with a base of organic jojoba and traditional Ayurvedic herbs to keep you grounded, which is especially handy during moments of high stress such as getting lost with directions. It’s important to note: A little goes a long way but when you wear this, expect the compliments to flood in from friends and strangers alike. We bet our lives on it.

      Mukti Botanique Shampoo & Conditioner
      Leave your bulk shampoo and conditioner at home and try this newly formulated teeny tiny shampoo and conditioner instead. This duo will comfortably give you at least five washes whilst restoring shine, body & bounce. Bloody brilliant.

      TONI &GUY Cleanse Dry Shampoo
      Newsflash: Dirt, dust and good ol’ air conditioning pumping through air planes and car vents can have a dire effect on your hair. Keep ’em clean with a dry shampoo on hand. We like this one because it doesn’t leave a powdery residue.

      Lumia Travel Candle
      Add a sense of comfort and a touch of luxury to any space you may encounter on your travels with this travel tin candle. Infused with delicious fragrance oils, this little piece of home is a surefire must-have for your carry on.

      Planning a trip soon?

      Tell us, what are your road trip beauty essentials?

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      Charlotte [Tilbury]. Pat [McGrath]. Tom [Pecheux]. Val [Garland].

      You know them by first name. They are the queens and kings of makeup. Now, YOU could be one of the greats!

      Calling all beauty lovers; amateur and professional makeup artists. L’Oréal Paris Australia has launched the first-ever nation-wide search for its new Makeup Director with the competition, Makeup Designer Contest.

      Throughout February, L’Oréal Paris Australia invites all budding makeup artistsboth new and experiencedto submit their entry online for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join L’Oréal Paris’ dream team of makeup designers on a coveted one-year contract as the new Makeup Director for the brand. Incredible, right?!

      The top 10 entrants who make it to the finale will stand centre stage at the hottest beauty event of the year, showcasing their looks in front of an esteemed jury of industry experts – our very own Gritty Pretty editor, Eleanor Pendleton; makeup artist and YouTube sensation Heidi Hamoud; official retail partner Priceline Pharmacy cosmetics buyer Emma Hogan; and Lauren Young, marketing director for L’Oréal Paris Australia.

      The winner will be announced at the Melbourne event on March 23rd 2016.

      How to enter

      Entering is easy: Design your own ‘L’Oréal Paris Look of 2016’ – a modern makeup look that embodies the creativity, artistry and elegance of L’Oréal Paris.

      Film your how-to video (no longer than 3 minutes), upload to YouTube (remember: your channel must be public) and submit your entry at

      The top 10 finalists will be selected based on creativity, personality and technical skill.

      Entries close February 28th 2016.

      The prize

      The winner will take out a $80,000 prize-package including a one-year contract as the Makeup Director for L’Oréal Paris Australia, over $5,000 worth of L’Oréal Paris products and a $5,000 Priceline Pharmacy gift card. Not bad for a dream job, eh?

      Two runners-up will also receive over $5,000 worth of L’Oréal Paris Products and a $1,000 Priceline Pharmacy gift card.

      Well, what are you waiting for? Click here to enter now.





      Despite how many times I tell you face oils are the best thing ever, maybe you feel hesitant to splurge on something that you’ve been told your whole life is essentially the root of all evil/skin problems.

      I get it. It’s a little weird. It feels counterintuitive, even.

      SK-II gets it too, which is why I’m excited to finally share with you the new skincare product I’ve been testing for the past three months and subsequently, I now can’t live without.

      Enter SK-II Facial Treatment Oil – a luxurious face oil which is ultra lightweight (for an oil) and actually helps to regulate the skin’s overproduction of sebum. Yes, really. The idea that oil makes skin oilier is a beauty myth.

      It’s true: face oils are a piping hot topic of late and there’s a reason why sales of liquid gold they have more than tripled in the past five years, according to The NPD Group, and the internet (including this digital beauty editor) has nearly exploded with excitement about the slick substance.

      Why I personally can’t get enough of this precious elixir in particular is because it’s incredible lightweight and soothes skin imperfections caused by a variety of environmental stressors, such as pollution including pollen, UV rays, and extreme dehydration caused by summer heat, winter chill and air conditioning. While SK-II claims changes are generally visible within two weeks, I noticed my skin became more hydrated, radiant and supple within 7 days.

      How does it work? SK-II Facial Treatment Oil combines the power of Pitera (the natural hero ingredient of all SK-II products particularly SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which is made up of 90% Pitera) along with six healing oils  – olive, jojoba, avocado, riceterol ester, rice bran, and squalane – mixed into a perfect golden ratio.

      When it comes to applying face oils, just remember your mum’s favourite ol’ adage: “Everything in moderation”. Because it turns out mum’s right (when is she not?), even where oils are concerned. Many people don’t realise how concentrated most oils are and tend to over-apply. SK-II Facial Treatment Oil is designed to be shaken properly before every use and 5 drops should be sufficient for the face and neck.

      My beauty tip? Mix 2-3 drops of SK-II Facial Treatment Oil to your liquid foundation – like I did for this shoot at the AMAN in Tokyo, Japan – for a luminous, glowing complexion.

      Buy here.

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      Fragrance Interviews


      If you don’t know his name, you’ll almost certainly recognise his work: starring in the iconic 2006 advertising campaign for Dolce & Gabbana’s bestselling fragrance, Light Blue.

      The image saw him spread-eagled on a boat in Capri, wearing nothing but pair of white trunks, resulting in a moniker: ‘The White Pants Man.’ Yeah, you remember now, huh?

      Almost a decade later and when he still isn’t serving as Dolce & Gabbana’s muse, the 35-year-old, 6ft 3in Essex boy, dubbed ‘Dagenham Dave’ after Morrisey’s 1995 hit, is jetting round the world, building a global million dollar brand and spearheading his own charity, Blue Steel Appeal – an organisation which directly supports Red Nose Day.

      More recently, the British cavalier signed a design contract with Marks & Spencer for his own loungewear line, David Gandy for Autograph; has written columns for the likes of GQ, Vogue and The Telegraph; and even found himself endorsing Johnnie Walker’s $250-a-bottle Blue Label whisky. As for his knee weakening effect on women, well, just check his Facebook wall. Sorry to disappoint – he’s happily taken.

      Up close, the gentleman who is comparable to a modern day James Bond, is suited up, perfectly stubbled, well-chiselled and radiating an Amalfi Coast tan. The reason for our meeting at Sydney’s Park Hyatt Hotel? To talk about the launch of the second campaign for Light Blue, which involved flying (back) to Capri to this time have bikini-clad Italian model Bianca Balti wrapped around his waist for a morning.

      It’s a tough life but someone has to do it. Ladies, meet that someone. Meet David Gandy.

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      Gritty Pretty: Your ‘Light Blue‘ campaign for Dolce & Gabbana is undeniably iconic. What do you remember about the shoot?

      David Gandy: I remember everything about that day! I was 26 at the time. It was something I had always wanted to do – I always dreamed of creating an iconic image. I’ve always thought Levis created these iconic images that anyone – from anywhere around the world – could recognise and that was what I really wanted to achieve. I remember I was in Milan walking for Dolce & Gabbana when my agent called me and said they were talking to P&G [Procter & Gamble] about a new fragrance by the brand. I asked my agent when was it to be shot and they said in two days! I walked the show in Milan and then jumped on the next flight out. I remember going to a fitting for Dolce [& Gabbana] and thinking I might need a tan for this shoot as I was told it was going to be shot on the beach so I quickly dashed to the park for an hour to get a bit of a tan. I was hugely excited when I was told I would be going to Naples, Italy. I didn’t know anyone there – I was completely on my own. The next morning after arriving, I met Mario [Testino] around 5:30AM. That was a big moment meeting Mario Testino – one of the greatest photographers that has ever lived. We jumped on speed boats and headed over to Capri where I was able to smell the fragrance for the first time. Now, every moment I smell that fragrance, it takes me back to Capri. It was a lovely one day shoot. A year later, the incredible crew and I returned to Capri to shoot the campaign video – which dramatically was right after I had smashed my face driving a car. I had black eyes, a broken nose, everything. It was all good in the end though [laughs].

      GP: Did you know that campaign would go on to become so memorable?

      DG: When we saw the shots throughout the course of the day, we certainly knew it would going to be special. It was very different for its time. And, when something is very different, it either goes very wrong or very right. That’s the genius behind Mario Testino and Dolce & Gabbana. To have that kind of foresight to completely change the fragrance and beauty industry, I was very much in the right place at the right time. When I started in the modelling industry, it was all about the androgynous, thin male models. Genetically, I was never going to be that so I went the other direction by building more of a masculine physique and at that time, there weren’t many big masculine models that they needed for this particular campaign brief so in my way, it was a good call. To be part of it, it was truly amazing. I owe a lot to Dolce & Gabbana and Mario for booking me for that campaign.

      GP: There are a lot of female models – Cindy, Christy, Naomi and Kate and more recently, Cara, Kendall and Gigi – who are recognisable by both face and name. Why do you think that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to male models? 

      DG: With Instagram, it’s a whole other ball game now. To be honest, it’s not a question I can really answer. Back in the 90s, I don’t think it wasn’t as accepted as it was such a female dominated industry. It’s much more accepted nowadays as I think young men may aspire to be a model whereas before, they didn’t. They more so fell into it. Back then, no male model really took it to that next level and after 2006 and the success of the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue campaign, that was when I started thinking, okay, where am I taking this now. I made a conscious business decision to work on my brand as a model. I believe to be successful in an industry such as modelling, you have to be different. You only had to look at beautiful women like Christy [Turlington], Cindy Crawford or Kate Moss and you knew them by name. Any campaign they appeared in, they instantly added a prestige to that brand immediately whereas you might recognise a few of the male models but you certainly wouldn’t know them by name. So, I decided to look at my career and see what else I could deliver. Over time, brands began booking sports and film stars to appear in campaigns so I started to look to that and see that as a model, you need to have your own brand. It was difficult at the time because I’m quite shy and introverted and people couldn’t quite understand why I started doing press interviews but I knew being pushed outside of my comfort zone was my way of working towards something bigger. As soon as that Dolce & Gabbana campaign dropped, I became recognisable overnight – it was very, very strange. That thrust into the media had to be controlled and I knew I had to protect my brand and my image otherwise my career would be very short lived and I wouldn’t be sitting here in Australia right now.

      GP: How does that make you feel when you are recognised and stopped by people on the street?

      DG: It’s completely surreal. At that time, social media wasn’t really present. People would literally stop me and say, “You’re that guy in the white pants.” After a while, that had to change [laughs]. But really, it’s an absolute pleasure when people come up and have a chat. People are very lovely.

      GP: With a career spanning over 15 years, what do you think is the biggest misconception about the modelling world?

      DG: There’s too many. We could be here for hours. I think for male models, I think people compare them to Zoolander. There’s this notion that, because you’re a male model, you’re thick and unintelligent. Sure, some guys live up to that – that exists within any industry – but personally I look at clever guys like Nicolas Malleville who is an old school model and has gone off to own five hotels around the world. Other men have gone off to buy rights in UFC fighting and they’ve used what they earned out of modelling in a clever and viable way. Years ago, they probably had to because the money then wasn’t what it is now. As I’ve gotten older, I have started my own production company and invested in both small companies and film projects. I’m also a big car enthusiast and enjoy writing regularly for GQ and other numerous publications. This career has definitely opened my life up to more opportunities than just modelling.

      GP: Australian men can be quite masculine and perhaps not as into grooming as others. Tell us, what’s your approach?

      DG: There’s nothing worse when you walk past someone in the street and they’ve doused themselves in fragrance. I like to mix it up based on seasons. In the winter, I take more care of my skin so it doesn’t become dry and dehydrated and I also wear a deeper, musky cologne. In the summer, I like to keep it light and fresh. I feel a bit naked without leaving the house without cologne – it’s a bit like walking out the door without your watch. Don’t get me wrong – men don’t have to do too much. I’m not a big metro-sexual who says let’s pluck eye brows and go for facials but there are a few things like an exfoliator, serum and moisturiser that is all you really need to use. I would also tell men don’t be scared of it or afraid to spend some money – investing in your skin is just as important as your diet or exercise routine.

      GP: We’ve got to ask – when do you think a woman looks at her most beautiful?

      DG: In the morning, when you wake up next to her.

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      Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Eau de Toilette, available at David Jones.

      Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette, available at David Jones.



      Generally, makeup palettes are a bit like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — you really never know what you’re going to get and there’s almost always one shade that you never touch.

      However, that’s certainly not the case with these five pretty new palettes. Each offering wearable and versatile hues to be worn on lips, cheeks and eyes, despite being at the luxury tip of the scale, there’s no denying an investment like this is more cost effective than buying multiple single shades. 

      So while you’re updating everything else in your closet, grab one of these 5 new summer eyeshadow palettes.

      You’re welcome.

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      Dior Prêt-A-Porter Nude Palette, available at David Jones

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      YSL Kiss & Love Edition Complete Make-Up Palette, available at David Jones

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      CHANEL Blush Harmony in Sunkiss Ribbon, available at David Jones

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      NARS NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette, available at MECCA

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      Chantecaille Eye & Cheek Palette in Le Magnolia, available at MECCA