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      Want to join the ranks of Balmain’s Fashion Army? Well, now you can. Sort of.

      Net-A-Porter has partnered with Balmain Paris to be the first online platform to launch the Balmain Paris Hair Couture line to the global market.

      The range was designed by Nabil Harlow, Balmain’s recently appointed Master Hair Designer, who has styled the manes of Naomi Campbell, Jessica Stam and Kendall Jenner (yeah, no biggie!).

      Of the range, Harlow says, “Balmain gave me the line I was dreaming of as a hair stylist – complete, efficient, and elegant and with a beautiful fragrance that everyone adores. It gives an incredible texture to the hair, which makes it perfect to work on and to create any style I want.”

      The 10-product collection includes two types of shampoo and conditioner (for moisture and volume), plus a repair mask, leave-in-conditioning spray, argan elixir and a hair perfume.

      Our pick? The Texturizing Salt Spray – it creates beachy waves (minus the crunch and plus the holiday fragrance). Just spritz, style and go.

      Prices start at $40 and you can shop online at Net-A-Porter now.

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      [L to R]: Balmain Paris Hair Couture Volume ShampooBalmain Paris Hair Couture Volume Conditioner.

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      [L to R]: Balmain Paris Hair Couture Leave-In Conditioning SprayBalmain Paris Hair Couture Texturizing Salt SprayBalmain Paris Hair Couture Repair Mask.



      When Chrissy Teigan posts a selfie on Instagram giving praise to her hair colourist, well, we take notice.

      Enter Tracey Cunningham, the celebrity hair stylist who is responsible for colouring everyone’s hair from John Legend’s muse to Khloe Kardashian, Lily Aldridge, Jennifer Lopez and Emma Stone (that red, though…).

      But, like any artist will tell you, they’re only as good as their tools. Tracey’s must-have? Olaplex – a colour conditioning treatment, which comes in three phases: No. 1 (mixed in with dye by your colourist), No. 2 (applied post-colour at the basin by your colourist) and No. 3 (applied by yourself at home once or twice a week).

      Whether you visit the salon for some bad ass balayage, a root touch up or a full head of bleach, your colourist should be using Olaplex. End of. Not only because people like Tracey Cunningham swear by it (and have the Instagrams to prove it), but because it works.

      But first, the science: Olaplex is an additive that removes the bad reaction oxygen has with broken sulphite bonds in chemically treated hair that leads to breakage. Got that? Okay, good.

      The truth is Olaplex has had something of an immediate and addictive effect on the industry. It’s damn right sending hair stylists into a tizz – they just can’t get enough of it. In fact, a couple of months after launching in Australia, it’s already in thousands of salons (plus another 150, 000 and counting in the US).

      And, unlike some other at-home conditioners, don’t be so quick to dismiss No. 3. It’s loaded with the same active ingredient as both the No.1 and No. 2 and this enables you to repair and maintain hair in between services as it continues to link bonds within the hair. We can assure you it’s not an afterthought.

      After saturating your strands with No 3 for ten minutes once a week (we recommend Sunday evening pamper sessions), prepare yourself for a wave of compliments. Hair becomes silky, smooth and colour remains vibrant and fresh. The shine itself is enough to take someone out in the eye.

      So, what is the company’s main source of publicity? Instagram. If brands like Olaplex and Frank Bod have taught us anything, it’s to NEVER knock the power of a selfie.

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      Body Skin


      Chapped lips? Dry eye lids? Flaky scalp? Blemishes and break outs?

      As winter settles in Down Under, the battle for healthy skin begins: biting winds, steamy showers, dipping temps, and drying indoor heat can suck the life right out of your skin and hair.

      To keep your complexion hydrated, there are certain products you should introduce into your beauty regimen and some that you should put on pause.

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      Dehydrated skin cells turn over more slowly, causing a buildup of dead skin, which hinders light reflection. Circulation also gets sluggish — and just like that, your glow is gone and fine lines look more pronounced.

      SOOTHING SOLUTION: Bolster your beauty from the inside out by drinking lots of water and loading up on omega-3s (essential fatty acids found in foods such as salmon and walnuts).

      Your daily skin regimen should start with a milky, oil cleanser (try: SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil) which contains fewer stripping surfactants than gel formulas do. And, follow with a cream or balm instead of a lotion. They’re richer and better at holding water in the skin. Look for those that contain emollients (nut butters or oils), humectants (hyaluronic acid or glycerin) and antioxidants (green tea or niacinamide). We like Natio Skin Brightening Face Balm. These richer face creams insulate the skin, which is key when you’re constantly going between the cold outside and the drying heat indoors.

      Still feeling the chill? Add two drops of face oil – like Rosehip by Essano Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – and mix into your foundation. Your base will not only glide onto the skin but keep your face hydrated for hours. Winning.


      If we were to personify winter worn hair, we’d probably describe it as dull, depressed, and apathetic. Plus, we know the side effects of dry hair (static cling, anyone?) make it extra hard to manage.

      SOOTHING SOLUTION: Conditioner, conditioner, conditioner. Yes, silicones will lock down the outer cuticle layer and seal in moisture, however, if you prefer a silicone and sulfphate-free formula try L’Orèal Paris HairExpertise SuperSleek Smoothing & Taming Conditioner. Another option is to warm 2-3 drops of argan oil (try: OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco) in the palms of your hands and smooth over ends while hair is still damp. Your mane will be full of shine post blow-dry. Cha-ching.

      3. DRY SCALP

      White flakes falling from an August sky: glorious. White flakes falling from a dry scalp: gross. Itching and flakes can be symptoms of both dandruff (a condition caused by a yeast-like fungus) and dry scalp (run-of-the-mill dry skin).

      SOOTHING SOLUTION: Try a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. If they don’t soothe your scalp after a week, use an intensive-care product, such as Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask. (Part your hair down the middle and apply the mask to your exposed scalp. Make a new part every half inch and massage the oil in as you go, until your scalp is saturated. Wash after 15 minutes.) If flakes still persist, you have dandruff. Switch to a medicated shampoo containing pyrithione zinc (the active ingredient in Kiehl’s Scalp Purifying Pyrithione Zinc Dandruff Shampoo). It will kill the fungus, and stop the itching and flakes in their tracks. Take that, dry scalp!


      COLD CURSER: Too many hot showers and not enough body cream can make your skin resemble a desert. Sure, it might seem all too hard to moisturise on a cold winter’s morning but remember: arms and legs have fewer oil glands, so they tend to be drier and scalier than other parts, especially in the winter. If you’re going to moisturise your face, then the extra fifteen seconds spent moisturising your bod won’t kill you.

      SOOTHING SOLUTION: Milk does you good — inside and out. The natural fats and lactic acid in moo juice can soften skin, lightly exfoliate, and soothe irritation. Draw yourself a nourishing bath by adding two cups of milk to warm (not hot) water. Soak for about 15 minutes, pat skin dry, and apply a milk-and-honey cream to boost the benefits (try David Jones Milk & Honey Cream).

      Tell us, what’s your skin saviour during winter?

      Any products you can’t live without?


      Body Skin


      Got bumpy skin? Uneven? Cellulite? Well, you’re not alone, friends.

      To slough off scaly skin, all you need is a few bucks for a dry body brush.

      This old beauty hack from way back (we’re talking ancient times!) is proven to be one of the most effective ways of stimulating healthy skin renewal but it’s often sorely overlooked.

      Not only does dry body brushing stimulate the connective tissue attached to the capillaries sitting under the skin, improving circulation travelling to the heart but it also assists the lymphatic flow around the body, helping to rid your body of toxins. What’s more with brushing done daily, skin can become visibly smoother and more radiant. It even works wonders on diminishing cellulite.

      So, is there an art to the technique?

      Here’s exactly how to do it:


      Use long, sweeping strokes upwards applying a gentle pressure with your brush. Never press so hard it feels sore — dry brushing should always be a pleasant experience!


      Begin by brushing the soles of your feet using a light pressure.


      Work up the front and back of legs in long upward strokes toward the heart and major lymph nodes in the body, such as the groin, armpits and base of neck.


      Continue on to arms and hands then work in circles on the stomach and back.


      Finish with an energising neck and scalp brush then jump in the shower.


      Try to alternate shower temperatures from hot to cold. This will further invigorate skin and bring more blood to its outer layers and expel more of the toxins that break down its connective tissues, which ultimately leads to cellulite.


      To finish, massage all over with a good quality body moisturiser like Dr. Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Cream.

      After each body brush, spray brush bristles with ModelsPrefer Brush Cleaner. Regularly cleaning your brush will prolong the brush life, optimise brush performance and most importantly, reduce risk of bacterial infection on the skin. A lot of dead skin is sloughed off when dry brushing, so it is essential to get rid of those nasties by washing your brush once a week with hot soapy water and leave in the sun to dry or a well ventilated area.

      Remember: Always use a plant bristle body brush (try: Aromatherapy Associates Body Brush or Manicure Dry Body Brush). Plant bristles from coconut husks or cactus provide the best exfoliation and stimulation for your skin. They are the highest quality, long lasting and don’t scratch.

      Tell us, do you use a dry body brush?

      Which one do you recommend?

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      Listen up – oils aren’t just for cooking, massages, political leverage, or JLo music videos anymore.

      In fact, one might venture as far as to say that oils – particularly argan oil – are having a moment.

      As a deep conditioner and hair treatment, there’s no doubt that argan oil reigns supreme. It smells cool and exotic, but doesn’t clash with other products when there’s just a hint of it in your hair. How do you ask? Well, argan oil is extremely lightweight, hydrating and has long-lasting effects– making it the perfect strand styler.

      And, as if you didn’t need more reasons to love argan oil, we’ve rounded up another five:


      Those who happen to be genetically-blessed with a mane like Gisele (lucky you!) can enjoy the effects of argan either post-shower or pre-styling. But if your hair irks on the thinner side, an argan oil-infused hair care regimen like NAK Aromas Smooth Shampoo and NAK Aromas Conditioner can be your best friend (and frizz’s worst enemy).


      Suffer from dandruff? Spray an argan oil like NAK Aromas Aroma Oil Spray onto the roots and massage it really well into the scalp. Those pesky flakes will disappear in days. Want a more intensive hair treatment? Spray it through the ends and wrap in a hot towel. Leave for 20 minutes before shampooing as normal. Afterwards, your hair will be soothed, hydrated, nourished and protected. Promise.


      We love a product that not only works but that is good for you. Argan oil, which is packed full with Omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid, delivers anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antioxidant, and moisturising properties to both the skin and hair. It also contains Omega-9 unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin A. Together, these two super properties help stimulate hair and nail growth. Winning.


      At the end of a long day, add a few drops of argan oil into a hot bath and soak up the natural goodness. Glass of wine optional.


      Argan oil is the ultimate frizz fighter. Warmed between hands and finger combed through the ends, NAK Aromas Smooth Straightening Creme will tame even the most curly and unruly hair.

      Tell us, do you use argan oil?

      What’s your favourite use for it?


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      Health Travel


      What does an island paradise, an outback oasis and a boutique country house have in common?

      They are home to some of Australia’s most exclusive retreats and day spas from around the country and offer a calming respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life – without the hassle of booking an arduous long haul flight home. 

      Inspired by relaxation, luxury and the vast wilderness we fondly call our backyard, we have rounded up eight of the best retreats and day spas Down Under. All you need to do now is pick the location and book a weekend away…

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      Interviews Style


      Last week, I spoke to the gorgeous team at MyDomaine and they asked me what it takes to become a lady boss.

      Here, I’ve listed what I believe is required to create a successful business:


      It takes a lot of courage to start your own business. In fact, it can be downright terrifying! It’s no secret that there’s a lot of risk involved. But, if starting your own business or brand is something you find yourself thinking about at every moment, morning and night, then you owe it to yourself to try. It sounds corny but when taking a leap of faith, it’s imperative to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. My boyfriend Mathew told me this short and sweet sentiment the night before I resigned from my dream job as Beauty Editor at InStyle Magazine Australia to throw it all in and work on full-time – it was a defining moment for me. Author J.K Rowling once said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” Remember that, people.


      Only the foolish expect to have it at all, all at once. Don’t fall into that trap – you will need to practice patience. In Australia, where I live, 80% of small businesses fail within the first two years because they either don’t understand how social media works to support business; or they go too hard, too fast. Take your time. Learn. Accept that success takes time, diligence and extremely long hours. Working 17 hour days, 7 days a week, can be a common occurrence for me but if you love your job, it’ll never feel like “work”.


      When the devil of self-doubt starts knocking on your door – and if you are a human being from Planet Earth, they will – then realise that you and only you have your company’s best interest at heart. You developed a business because you saw a need in the marketplace. Others, while helpful or equally as passionate, may not have the same vision as you. If anyone tries to get you to move in a direction that doesn’t feel right, DON’T DO IT. Your intuition isn’t some form of wizard magic – it’s real. Listen to it. It often comes in the form of reoccurring dreams or, for me, throat-tightening and stomach-wrenching sensations. Always, always listen to your gut. Usually, it’s right – and if it’s not, it results in a lesson learned.


      Another defining moment for me was knowing I had to spend a huge amount of my life savings on my business and online publication. I knew I simply had to in order to make Gritty Pretty work as a legitimate digital publishing business. But, it wasn’t until my boyfriend (who is my soundboard) told me, to stop thinking of it as ‘spending’ and think of it as ‘investing’ that I developed a newfound confidence in my business. In saying that, you certainly do need smarts when it comes to finance. For most businesses, cash flow is a weak point. If you can manage your business expenses well, it should make cash flow easier to handle.


      If your business encompasses employees, remember a good leader doesn’t micro manage – they know their own strengths and weaknesses and therefore they know how to delegate. If you’re all working towards the same goal, then be conscious of the fact that you’re only as good as the people around you. This is something I constantly remind myself of. Remember this notion when hiring, too.

      In this world, we’re all part of the sisterhood and I believe nothing connects us more so than our perception of beauty – however you define it. In business in particular, we need more women supporting women.

      Discover more of my tips on MyDomaine here.

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      You’ve had a long day at work, you missed your bus or you spent thirty minutes too many stuck in traffic… All you want to do is get home, jump in a relaxing hot shower and wash your hair.

      You walk into the bathroom, push play on Spotify’s ‘Totally Worn Out’ playlist, and before you know it soap suds are flying and you’re hitting the high notes on your favourite Taylor Swift song (yeah, we know you secretly have one!).

      But, have you ever wondered what exactly makes up all that soap?

      Enter SULPHATES.

      Today, sulphates are still far and away the number one ingredient used in hair care products. According to Google Trends, sulphate-free shampoo began to rise in 2010 and has been on a steady increase since. But, as with everything, there are pros and cons. When a product claims to be “sulphate-free,” it’s typically free of one of three compounds: Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), or Ammonium Laureth Sulphate (ALS).

      Sulphates are surfactants, which are made up of a mixture of molecules that can attract both water and oil. This unique property allows soaps, shampoos, and body washes to separate dirt and oil from your skin or hair and then allow the water you rinse it with to carry it off your body and down the drain.

      While there is no proven evidence that sulphates cause cancer, there are studies that prove sulphates can indeed be irritating, particularly on sensitive or eczema-prone skin.

      So what can you expect from switching to a sulphate-free shampoo? A higher price tag, to start, as most supermarket store brands don’t yet produce products without sulphates.

      L’Orèal Paris, however, is an exception.

      The brand has just released their new Hair Expertise range – fronted by model, mother and businesswoman, Megan Gale [pictured below] – which includes EverStrong Strengthening & Repairing for damaged hair, UltraRich Nourishing & Taming for dry hair, PureColour Radiant Colour & Volume for coloured, fine/flat hair, PureColour Radiant Colour & Moisture for coloured, dry hair and SuperSleek Smoothing & Taming for frizzy hair – all for less than $15.95 a pop.

      “I’ve always had a healthy approach to my lifestyle,” Gale told Gritty Pretty. “I eat well, I exercise regularly and I look after myself. But, since becoming a mum and especially when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, I was very mindful of anything I put on or near my body,” she says recounting a time whilst pregnant, she had started the engine of her car and kept running in and out of the house. She says she definitively stopped and thought to herself, “What are these fumes doing to my baby?”

      Gale says, “When you’re pregnant, you’re in charge of growing a human so I did become quite pedantic about a few things and anything that might connect with my baby or breast milk,” she says. Adding, “Even now, if I know I’m going to be holding [River] a lot during the day, I won’t wear perfume because I don’t want it rubbing on his beautiful fresh, baby skin.”

      But, when it comes to sulphate-free hair care, it’s not just pregnant women or mothers who should be considering what they put onto their scalp and strands.

      As Gale so perfectly puts it: “If you can use a product that doesn’t contain nasties but still gives a great result, then why not?”

      Tell us, do you use a sulphate-free shampoo?

      What one do you recommend?

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      One of the greatest joys of my job is collaborating with like-minded creatives.

      One of those über talented creatives (who also happens to be one of my friends and now my office buddy) is Sara Donaldson – the immaculately-dressed force behind fashion blog powerhouse, Harper & Harley.

      With Sara now sitting just two desks beside me, we decided to team up and create a beauty post that combined both of our skills – Sara’s being her recent foray in photography (and a love of all things minimal) and mine being swatch styling (more on that later…). Throw in a ’90s R&B playlist and a bit of Snapchat and we have the perfect recipe for a creative, productive and fun afternoon full of laughs.

      On hand capturing this was the crew from Fashion Bloggers, hit reality TV series on the E! network. The wonderful team came into our office to film the reality of what goes into creating a blog post – from coming up with a concept (hello Pinterest!) to the creative execution and the written follow up.

      Hopefully, last night’s episode gave you a bit more insight into the world of creating digital content; and the importance of creating something original.

      With Sydney recently experiencing it’s coldest day on record this year, Sara and I were discussing our dislike for winter. While both of us tend to prefer a natural makeup look, we sought to come up with an edit of the best bronzers and highlighters to give you a gorgeous glow – in the dead of winter.

      Bronzers, in particular, have become somewhat of a ‘ride or die’ product. Some women are happy to forgo mascara if their skin has warmth and depth. And, I dig that. A lot. When it comes to finding the right bronzer for you, it’s important to consider different textures and formulas. If your skin tends to be dry, a liquid or cream bronzer can be better for you – it’ll melt into the skin beautifully without leaving a powdery residue that can, for some, look ageing.

      Whenever I’m testing products, I always play with them – pouring them out onto the back of my hand or onto white paper. Swatching, a technique I mentioned earlier, is something I learned (after years of practice) during my days as a magazine beauty editor. You know those perfectly imperfect spills of lotion, lipstick or nail polish that you would see on a magazine page? Yeah, I used to do those. Fun, right!? While it might seem easy, last night’s episode shows that there is definitely an art to swatching and getting something that is essentially messy to look neat, again, takes plenty of practice. It’s a lot of fun and one of my favourite parts of the job (except when I’m forced to crush up an $80 bronzer – now that hurts!).

      Switching gears to application and it’s best to think of bronzer as a shading product – it should sit along the hollows underneath your cheeks. This will give the appearance of more defined cheekbones. It can also be cleverly used to contour your nose. Personally, I prefer to wear it along my cheeks and where the sun would naturally kiss my face – along the hairline and jawline.

      While bronzer will undoubtedly make you look like you’ve been on holiday during winter, there are other forms of glow-makers to consider such as illuminator and highlighter.

      The perfect compliment to any bronzer, these glow-wonders reflect light, making your skin look radiant. Not sure how to use them? Simply dust or dab them onto the high points of your face: upper cheekbones, brow bones, the bridge of your nose and your Cupid’s bow (above your top lip).


      Don’t forget to watch Fashion Bloggers tonight at 9:30pm on E!.

      You can also watch the episodes a week after they air on E! online.


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      [L to R]:

      Fragrance Interviews


      To the untrained eye, Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot looks like a girlie girl, but in real life, she’s actually a bad ass.

      In 2004, Gadot was crowned Miss Israel. Unbeknownst to many, in the same year, she was conscripted in the Israeli Defense Forces. “Serving in the Israeli army means giving up your freedom for two years,” she says wearing a sleeveless black leather dress, which hugs in all the right places, perched on a blue velvet chesterfield lounge talking exclusively to Gritty Pretty at Berlin’s Soho House.

      “In an ideal world, I wish Israelis didn’t have to serve in the IDF and that people could live peacefully in a harmonic way [in Israel, serving in the army is mandatory]. But, if I can take anything from my experience of being in the army, it would be that it taught me the values of discipline and to give respect to the responsibilities that I have.”

      Add to the fact that Gadot is a self-proclaimed tomboy who, as the daughter of a gymnastic teacher mother, grew up regularly doing sports – “I never think of sport as a chore – it’s a joy” – and who drove a Ducati until she became a mum to daughter Alma, 4. Sure, she counts pilates as her go-to workout (she continued doing classes 2-3 times a week while pregnant) but she also admits to also having her simple beauty routine down pat; relying on drinking water daily, slathering Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream on just about everything, a bespoke moisturiser crafted by a one-named wonder in her home country known simply as Giselle and finally, a couple of coats of her favourite Careline Bold Mascara.

      Gadot, who needs no introduction as a veteran of the Fast & Furious series (yes, that famous scene in which she seamlessly jumps from a moving motorbike to a speeding Jeep was actually her!), recently landed the role of Amazonian superhero Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside Ben Affleck and Amy Adams [expected to hit the big screen in 2016].

      Calling her latest gig and also working with Kate Winslet in Triple 9 as her “biggest career highlights”, another equal of her success is her reveal as the new face Gucci Bamboo, the new fragrance for women.” I feel very privileged to be apart of such a major fashion house like Gucci. It’s a huge thing for me and I’m really proud of it,” says the 30-year-old brunette beauty. Adding, “My family and I have always big fans of the brand,” admitting her first fashion memory is of her mother’s Gucci handbags and shoes. “I distinctly remember the Gucci logo on some of her pieces.”

      The new fragrance, which is a complex blend of orange blossom, Casablanca lily and ylang ylang, is designed to be worn by the modern woman. In other words, all of us. “It’s very fresh and very floral but also has a touch of sweetness to it,” says Gadot. “It’s young, sexy and yet it is still sophisticated and elegant.”

      Nowadays, Gadot admits, “As women, we are expected to be perfect workers, mothers, wives and daughters – it’s a lot to accomplish all of these things. We are expected to be smart and sophisticated and able to juggle what we have to.” She’s also aware there’s an archaic mentality that if you’re good at your job, you aren’t a good mother and if you’re a good mother, then you aren’t good at your job. “This simply isn’t the case,” she says boldly. “We can absolutely be powerful and feminine at the same time. We, as females, can be strong and delicate.”

      In the Gucci Bamboo video campaign directed by Fabien Baron and lensed by Mert & Marcus, Gadot’s on camera skills were tested with two days spent shooting the stills campaign and another four filming the commercial.

      Her military service came in handy when asked to wield a fencing sword. Her 12 years as a dancer pay off as she moves effortlessly across a ballroom floor and she even plays the piano naked (as one does when your core is toned from finding your balance on a stand up paddleboard in the middle of the ocean).

      When it comes to acting, “I’m very open-minded but I really enjoy portraying strong, independent woman,” said Gadot. “When you go to the movies, [it’s always] the upset, heartbroken girl who’s waiting to be saved by a guy. In real life, that’s not the way it is!” Damn straight.

      Fast-forward to present day, and we’d agree with you that it appears the actress has it all. Humbly admitting, “I’m very grateful.” But, in truth, it’s her husband [Israeli businessman, Yaron Varsano] and her daughter who are her life’s greatest achievements. “Alma made everything every in my life so much clearer.” Asked if she could give her just one piece of advice to take her through life, Gadot replied, “I would tell my daughter to find her self confidence from within and to do what’s best for her and not what is expected of her.” Now, that’s bad ass.

      To shop Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum, click here.

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      Bridal beauty can be confusing business, am I right?!

      Let’s run through the list: Do you apply your own make-up or hire an artist? When do you get a spray tan? And, how many shades of Hawaiian Glow is considered “appropriate”? Should you buy a new perfume or wear one your future husband already loves? Oh, and more importantly, how do you ensure your skin is pimple-free on the big day?

      Whether your big day is approaching or you have the honour of being a bridesmaid at a wedding, you want to look like the very best version of yourself.

      “Preparation is key,” says makeup artist, Caitlin Miller. “It should start weeks before your wedding.”

      Here, Miller weighs in on what appointments you need to book, when you need to do it and what products are going to be your best friend.


      Six months out from your wedding, book an appointment with an eyebrow professional. Unless you’re Brooke Shields and blessed with brows à la Blue Lagoon, they will most likely ask you to grow them out so they can reshape from there. “It’s a scary thought, I know, but its worth the wait,” says Miller. Remember, “Brows lift and frame your face.”


      Twelve weeks out, start having regular skin treatments so your skin is G.L.O.W.I.N.G on the big day. Your skin operates on a 28-day cycle so if you have a facial one month out, it’s likely you won’t see a huge difference. Instead, we recommend a course of nine Omnilux sessions for ‘Wow-She’s-Absolutely-Freaking-Glowing’ results.


      If you are planning on booking a makeup artist for your wedding, it’s a good idea to have a trial four weeks beforehand. “This way you can test the products they use, discuss looks and amend the small things you wish to change before the day,” advises Miller. Equally, if you are doing your own makeup on your big day, it’s also a good idea to book in with a makeup artist for a quick lesson on eyeshadow blending techniques and how to make your base last from the ceremony to the dance floor. Miller also says, “Watch a few YouTube tutorials, which offer step-by-step lessons.” Lisa Eldridge’s channel is a favourite.


      Now is the time to have a spray tan, manicure and pedicure. Soft pinks and neutrals make for a classic nail colour (which you won’t regret looking back 30 years from now). Also, if you’re fair skinned, don’t be tempted by the extremely dark shades. While you might look as if you’ve spent a week in Waikiki, remember, you want to look like your beautiful, natural self.


      When it comes to the morning of (pause: EXCITING!) and getting ready with your bridal party, it’s important to stop, appreciate and enjoy the experience – this is your wedding day so enjoy every second. “In the morning, avoid harsh face scrubs so your skin doesn’t become red or inflamed,” says Miller. ” You can, however, use a lip scrub to prepare your lips for a smooth application of lip colour.” Once it’s time to apply makeup, Miller recommends avoiding any cosmetics with glitter. “It will bounce off your photographer’s camera – making you look oily in photos instead of glowy.” Instead, choose a pearl-based illuminator and only use small amounts on the high points of the face. Also, primer is your best friend. “A primer is what will really set your makeup and make it last all night long.” Miller also advises focusing your makeup around your best facial features. “Your groom should be able to recognise you when you walk down the aisle,” she says. Adding, “A good makeup artist should be able to enhance your features, and hide any blemishes in a natural, flawless way.”


      For your big day, waterproof mascara is a must; so too is lip liner. After drinking champagne, kissing, and eating all day long, you will find your lip colour every where else bar your lips. “By applying a lip liner first, your lipstick wont bleed or smudge as much as it would without,” says Miller, who also recommends applying lip liner all over the lips – not just along the rim. While you might be tempted to pop a powder into your bridesmaid’s clutch, think twice. “The biggest mistake brides make is carrying a powder around with them for easy application,” says Miller. “Loose or compact powders are great when makeup is fresh, however, after hours of dancing and perspiring, applying a powder over sweaty makeup can cause your skin to look dry and clumpy.” Instead, Miller advises grabbing a tissue or blotting paper and lightly dabbing on the areas that look shiny.

      Tell us, have you recently got married?

      What were your beauty essentials? Share them below.

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      There’s no doubt about it – fragrance leaves a lasting impression.

      In fact, perfume is so intrinsic with our olfactory (our sense of smell) that certain fragrances can bind themselves to memory.

      Tell me, have you ever smelt the faintest whiff of something familiar and suddenly been transported to a specific time and place; your mother’s kitchen, a childhood holiday, a young love or even your wedding day? Yeah, that’s the power of perfume and your olfactory.

      In fact, anything capable of triggering such powerful memories is also capable of creating and preserving bonds. This is precisely why fragrance is not to be underestimated.

      One fashion house who truly understands the significance of scent is Gucci and none more so than with Gucci Bamboo, the new fragrance for her.

      Like bamboo — the iconic motif of the brand which came to be after the unveiling of Gucci’s bamboo handbags in 1947 and, now, the inspiration behind this new scent — this particular fragrance is complex, full of vitality and has many different sides.

      Fronted by Gal Gadot, actress and future on-screen Wonder Woman, this modern perfume is housed within a diamond glass Art Deco-style bottle and silver bamboo-shaped cap. At first, it bursts open with sparkling orange blossom, Casablanca lily and ylang ylang. Soon after, it evolves into rich complexity before grounding itself into a base that lingers of sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla and grey amber accords.

      So, whether you prefer lavender over lime or woods instead of wisteria, one thing is for sure… Gucci Bamboo is the new fragrance every woman should own.

      To shop Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum, click here.

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