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      Pedal To The Metal: How To Nail Metallic Makeup

      Holographic, super sonic – how metallic makeup makes the girls (and guys) go loco.

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      Low Intensity

      Senior Artist for M.A.C Australia, Nicole Thompson praises the metallic lip that can be used on all areas the face: eyes, cheeks and lips. “It makes metallics as user-friendly as possible,” she says.

      Gritty Pretty Loves: M.A.C Cosmetics Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Metallic Rose ($42)

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      Mid Intensity

      For lips that jump off the page (here’s one we prepared earlier #smugface), start with a metallic cream base, dab and set with metallic eyeshadow, then add gloss on top for one “metallic sandwich” that will not budge.

      Gritty Pretty Loves: Maybelline Colour Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick in Copper Spark ($12), CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Camelia ($41)

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      High Intensity

      Contrary to popular belief, a bold eye and lip can play nice together. Use colours from the same shade family and build every feature up slowly. “At the end of the day, it’s makeup so if you don’t like it, just wash it off!”, declares Thompson.

      Gritty Pretty Loves: Smashbox Always On Metallic Matte Liquid Lipstick in Maneater ($38), Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Tulip Twin ($38)

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      This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of Gritty Pretty Magazine.


      The Hype Around Australian Skincare Brand RATIONALE, Explained

      Have you heard about RATIONALE? Sure you have.

      The crazy-popular Australian cult skincare line has literally stalked every beauty conversation I’ve had with experts and editors in the last year. Often followed with testimonials like “I’ve been converted” and “Now it’s all I use” and lamentations of running out because the products are, er, quite an investment… it has left me wondering exactly what’s so special about RATIONALE?

      Over the last month, I put the skincare’s signature $915 total “Essential Six” regimen to the test and here’s why it’s different to most other skincare products we’ve used:


      The homegrown cosmeceutical skincare label turned 25 last year, and is still formulated and manufactured in Australia. That ought to give you a pang of patriotism. Founder and formulator, Richard Parker, continues to work with leading Australian medical dermatologists to develop RATIONALE, which shouldn’t be taken for granted. In 2016, RATIONALE appointed Shamini Rajarethnam. Having joined the brand as marketing and digital coordinator in 2012, Rajarethnam’s is a success story of rising through the ranks–just four years later she would be promoted to CEO making her one of Australia’s youngest female CEOs at 32-years-old.


      You won’t find RATIONALE touting the most retinol or the highest dosage of vitamin C. Its formulations contain skin-identical vitamins, minerals and enzymes that work in synergy with the skin, and Parker says his “essential six” represents a complete topical skincare plan, without need for anything else. Personally, I’m all for single-ingredient booster serums and higher dosage treatment products to deal with a rash, pimple, sensitised skin and seasonal changes. RATIONALE, however, suggests sticking to their brand’s “essential six”, especially in the beginning to regulate the skin.

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      We organised our first skin consultation at Rationale’s Mosman flagship store. It costs $75 inclusive of superior diagnostic skin imaging, RATIONALE facial treatment, and tailored product recommendations. Alternatively, there’s the $150 DNArray Medical Consultation, which we wish we’d done! It includes all of the above, plus an insightful DNA test via cheek swap that reveals genetic and allergy information about your skin.


      I was instructed to use the creamy RATIONALE ProCeramide Cleanser once a day; their stance is also anti-foam to prevent stripping the skin. This felt strange to start but is a massive time saver and the product doubles as a mask, which is my favourite way to use it.

      5. $$$

      RATIONALE has a reputation for being expensive. Still not as expensive as your last Net-a-Porter order, and this actually goes into your skin (which yes, is your body’s largest living organ). The serums will set you back at least $150, a cleanser $92 and the “essential six” rings in at a cool $915. Notwithstanding the cost, a lot of women and men happily–and repeatedly–hand over their money because, if you believe the hype, once you’ve used it, there is no going back.

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      VOGUE Australia’s Senior Beauty Editor Remy Rippon tests products on a daily basis yet she counts the Beautiful Skin Superfluid as her go-to. The Base founder Lara Worthington is a fan of the Catalyst Cleanser, which she uses to double cleanse everyday. TV News Presenter Sylvia Jeffreys uses the PhotoDynamic Day Cream, Proceramide Cleanser and Super Antioxidant Serum whilst Australian actresses Rose Byrne is a devotee of the entire range and Pia Miller loves the Immunologist Serum, the B3-T Superfluid Sunscreen SPF50+, Proceramide Cleanser, as well as the Catalyst Cleanser and Gelcreme.


      If there’s only ONE thing you takeaway, Parker hopes that it’s RATIONALE’s forte as a sun-damage skincare solution. “RATIONALE leads the world in understanding and addressing the major cause of skin ageing, the sun. We know more about the prevention and treatment of sun damage than anyone else on earth,” he says. The sunscreens are all SPF 50+ and super fluid, which takes getting used to–spillage and all. But, it’s so lightweight you feel obliged to use more. A flawless sun protection system, which gave me exactly zero breakouts. That’s right, ZERO. Keeper!


      Full disclosure, I was only able to use RATIONALE ProCeramide Cleanser, Immunologist Serum, Immunologist UltraCreme and B3-T Superfluid Sunscreen 50+ because I was recovering from acid burn after using too many chemical exfoliants and had rashes on my cheeks like a newborn (#beautyeditorproblems). Let me be a lesson for us all. However, after a month on RATIONALE, my skin barrier is a little stronger but alas, no skincare miracles to speak of. I purged hard and fast in the first week, but using the Catalyst Serum as a spot treatment brings blemishes to a head overnight. Admittedly, I am not the prime candidate for RATIONALE since I have relatively minimal pigmentation and anti-ageing is thankfully not a concern yet, but definitely give it a try in your mid-to-late 30s (when you have the salary to keep the habit), and you’re on a mission to find a reliable, results-driven skincare regime.

      Tell us, have you tried the RATIONALE Essential Six regime? Which products would you be most keen to get your hands on?

      We now have a Facebook group! Here, we share beauty tips, wellness hacks and get to interact with each other (in real time)! Click here to join the Gritty Pretty Gang on Facebook.

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      Makeup Nails

      The Top Nail Salons in Sydney

      Never underestimate the power of a manicure.

      For what you pay, getting your nails ‘did’ is one of the most worthwhile beauty treatments, returning high dividends in both the compliments and mood-lifting department.

      FACT: A bit of cuticle care and colour is the quickest way to make yourself instantly look polished and put-together even when you’re not feeling so flash.

      We continue our enabling by leaving this most-useful list of the best nail salons in Sydney, right here where you can see it. Your move.


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      Jocelyn Petroni

      Situated in the chic, tree-lined suburb of Woollahra in Sydney’s east is Jocelyn Petroni, the eponymous beauty space of one of the country’s most celebrated facialists and sought-after skin experts. What you might not know is that Petroni is equally adept at nails – appointed CHANEL’s official nail expert in Australia in 2015. Go to her the highest-calibre manicure, knowledge beyond compare, a second-to-none team and the latest season CHANEL Le Vernis nail shades before they even hit counters.


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      The Parlour Room

      It’s been over six years since Natalie Papadopoulos opened the doors of her Clovelly beauty space, The Parlour Room. Since then, it’s established itself as a go-to destination for excellent manicures among other beauty treatments and is frequented by high-profile personalities and locals alike. The seriously Insta-worthy salon has recently been expanded to accommodate its growing customer base, including a dedicated Nail Lounge that can accommodate group bookings — perfect for your next girls’ day out!


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      Le Laque Boutique

      Le Laque Boutique is a something of a local secret and a memorable discovery for those that come from outside of town. Located in gentrified Wolli Creek in Sydney’s south, among bustling modern apartments, this boutique nail salon offers a reprieve from the daily grind. With dangerously comfortable armchairs fit for King Louis, high-quality salon-grade polishes, 10 years of experience in the nail game, and a professional team called “the best in the biz” by loyal clientele, finding it difficult to leave this place is totally normal.


      Purely Polished

      Founder and CEO of Purely Polished Iman Davamoni launched her business after finding it difficult to attend—and make time for—beauty appointments as a busy first-time mother. Since its conception, Purely Polished has grown from being a mobile manicure and pedicure business, to now servicing birthday parties, corporate events, and more. Designed to give you a professional, salon-quality nail treatment in the comfort of your own home or even, we can personally vouch for the divine Deluxe Pedicure. Relaxation at its absolute best.


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      Skye Mcintyre

      Sought-after nail stylist Skye Mcintyre received A LOT of love when we posted our call out for Sydney’s Top Nail Salons. The self-made talent is an official CND Shellac Nail Education Ambassador with a career spanning Fashion Week, magazine editorials, celebrity clientele as well as running her own business – a quaint nail studio in Sydney’s western suburb of Penrith. Many of her clients travel the distance to see her because they simply don’t trust their nails in anyone else’s hands. If that doesn’t speak volumes, we don’t know what does.



      If organic beauty is your thing, look no further than Bondi’s Biotyspa for your next mani-pedi. Opened just three years ago by Parisienne Deborah Thomas and her partner Charles, this French day spa has speedily built quite the cult following, including noted Australian beauty Annabella Barber (who, quite frankly, has the skin of which dreams are made). With their treatment menu focussing on eco-friendly, vegan and organic treatments from facials, massages to brows and lashes, their approach to nails is no different; using Bio Sculpture Gel and Australian’s own Kester Black (both of which use non-toxic chemicals) to create natural, elegant-looking nails. What else would you expect from the French?


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      Have you been to any of these salons?

      Tell us, where do YOU think the best nail salons in Sydney are?


      A Beauty Editor’s Guide To Sydney’s Top Facials For Instantly Glowing Skin

      As beauty editors, one of the most common questions we get asked is, “Where can I get a good facial?”.

      This is asked with the intention of wanting to see a dramatic difference instantly, and we know just the places. But before we reveal all, please know that having a face after a facial that glows like one of Mariah Carey’s diamonds is fleeting. Yes, even a diamond needs polishing, which is exactly how you should think of a facial. In short, upkeep and at-home maintenance is required.

      Without further ado, here are the places we consider Sydney’s best at turning up skin’s glow factor:


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      Treatment: Pro30, $60 for 30 minutes; or Pro60, $120 for 60 minutes.

      Known for their in-depth face mapping analysis, Dermalogica offer the most dependable skin experts on short notice. As of 2018, they’ve also revamped the way they give facial treatments with their new Pro30 and Pro60 menu (the number refers to the length of the facial). Each step of your treatment is bespoke so whether you get a peel, a LED light treatment or an intensive massage is at the discretion of the expert. It simply takes out the guesswork of asking for what you think you want so the expert can give you what you need.

      BOOK NOW


      Treatment: The Heart Chakra Facial, $280-380 for 60 minutes (add Omnilux for $60).

      Ask any beauty editor, makeup artist or model where to get the best facial in Sydney and watch them namedrop Jocelyn Petroni. Words like “transcendent” and “out of body experience” inevitably follow. It’s a big reputation, but you realise after at least two visits (the first one you might not be able to stay completely awake for) that it’s completely warranted. You get the full makeover here: deep cleanse, exfoliation, steam and extraction, mask, moisture – and while it’s soaking in, brace yourself for the most blissful, knot-removing neck, shoulder, décolletage and upper back massage you’re ever going to get with a facial anywhere. The point of difference is Petroni’s technique and all the skin artisans under her tutelage are incredibly knowledgable and expertly-trained. The facials are bespoke and use a customised mix of Bioderma, Ultraceuticals or Sodashi and the post-facial glow is ridiculously good.

      BOOK NOW



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      Treatment: Dermalux LED Light Therapy, $100 (or $60 added on to any facial).

      There’s a lot of LED light machines out there – Omnilux, Healite, just to name the two most popular. Dermalux is another, and it’s point of difference is that it gives you all three light modalities (blue, red and white) in one hit, giving you the visible brightening and plumping effect of the white, the antibacterial effect of the blue and the healing affect of the red without having to come back a week later. Epic, right?!

      BOOK NOW


      Treatment: Pure Renewal Treatment, $290 for 90 minutes.

      Want to forget you’re in Sydney for a couple of hours and leave looking live you’ve been to a health retreat? Nicole Manning, Director of ONDA Beauty Australia, recommends the Pure Renewal Facial, which combines all your usual facial jazz of a deep cleanse and exfoliation—utilising Sodashi’s heavenly skincare products—but also an enzyme peel and LED Light Therapy for seriously glowing skin. You’ll feel like your floating on Cloud 9—and that’s before, during and after the treatment.

      BOOK NOW

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      Treatment: Facial Sculpting, $380 for 90 minutes.

      We’ve already reviewed Fumi Yamamoto’s cheekbone-enhancing, face-slimming facial here. Even with the facials we’ve had since, this one is still a standout because it’s so damn different. The focus here isn’t products, Yamamoto keeps what she uses concealed (though we spied SK-II and Equal Beauty). Instead, she pays attention to the internal and through a series of lymphatic drainage and cranial work massages, encourages the body and skin to detoxify and release. The superficial, visible effects we saw were whiter eyes, bigger eyes, a subtle pronunciation of our jaw and and cheekbones, and a healthy ‘glow’ after one treatment. It’s a lot of money to fork out, but if you can, DO IT.

      BOOK NOW


      Treatment: Custom Skin Health Facial, $390 for 90 minutes.

      Melanie Grant has an industry reputation for results – and also fixing up skin fails made by other people.  She’s the queen of bright, glassy skin with clientele like Phoebe Tonkin, Nicole Warne and Lara Worthington to name a few. While the ultimate treatment is a bespoke clinical facial with Melanie (only go if you’re ready to invest and commit to your skin health, repeat visits may likely be required), the Custom Skin Health, Camera-Ready or Brightening facials all place strongly as contenders for total rejuvenation and brightness that’ll last more than just a day.

      BOOK NOW

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      Treatment: The Goddess facial $165 for 90 minutes.

      There are people who are experienced and passionate about skin–and then there is Joanna Newham, Sydney’s Northern Beaches’ answer to having good skin. Newham, who approaches her treatments with honesty, integrity and with a clear message “we are all going to age, but lets age gracefully, with skin that glows through our lines and expressions”, offers seriously relaxing facials (using a mix of both organic à la Sodashi and active chemical skincare such as PRIORI, HydroPeptide and Elizabeth Arden Pro) that don’t just have you nodding off to sleep but also treat acne, rosacea, pigmentation and ageing whilst you’re in a state of pure bliss. Add an Omnilux light treatment on top of your facial and your glow will last for days. TIP: There is a seriously long wait list to see Joanna Newham so book in now to treat yourself in six months time – you’ll be thanking yourself, we promise!

      BOOK NOW


      Treatment: Intense Radiance facial, $140-$154 for 45 minutes or New Age Light Therapy facial, $170-$187 for 60 minutes.

      For ease of access, try Endota Spa to turn up your glow in a day’s notice. Here, any facial that gives your face access to their LED light machine is what you’re after. Their device is unique in that it actually sits directly on top of your skin so there’s not light obstruction or diffusion. Go for the Intense Radiance Facial if you’re in need of a good exfoliation (it’ll literally take off the top layer of dead skin gunk) with a 10% Glycolic Peel. If you’re already on the acids at home, avoid going overboard by opting for a New Age Light Therapy facial, which features a Pure Collagen Booster Mask and the trusty LED lights.

      BOOK NOW

      Do you live in Sydney?

      Where do you recommend for a great facial? Share your recommendations below.

      Health Skin

      The Essential Pantry Items For Great Skin

      Behind every healthy glow is an even healthier gut.

      The message is loud, wholesome, and clear: eating well and feeding your body nutritious foods sustains good skin. Once you’re using the right products, increasing your intake of “good food” is the final frontier (if it wasn’t your very first act).

      To find out exactly what “good food” means exactly, we asked Australia’s favouri to share which two pantry basics are essential to make skin great again, or you know, better than it already is.


      “To get the perfect model skin the number one nutrient is water, filtered water, lots of it. Have it between 3 and 4 litres a day. The second best nutrient is cucumber. Cucumber fights fluid retention, hydrates and brightens the skin. Combine that with spirulina and the glow is created.”

      Ricardo Riskalla, Sydney-Based Celebrity Trainer.


      “I love to add apple cider vinegar to my water and sip it throughout the day. Not only does it alkalise the body, support good gut bacteria and aid in digestion, it’s also super cleansing. The JS Health team and I are also obsessed with tahini! It goes with everything, sweet and savoury and is so delish. Tahini is loaded with vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron & magnesium plus Essential Fatty Acids that help fight oxygenation and free-radicals. Tahini helps keep skin clear and hair & nails strong.”

      Jess Sepel, Founder of JS Health Program.


      Probiotic foods like sauerkraut for example, are rich in nutrients and probiotics to feed your skin from within as well as help balance gut health. Cabbage, kale, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are super rich in sulphur compounds that help detoxify the skin so it is lovely and clear and radiant. They are also bursting with beauty-giving nutrients.”

      Carla Oates, Naturopath and founder of The Beauty Chef.


      “Fatty fish are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Zinc and Vitamin E, which reduce inflammation in the body and are necessary for maintaining healthy skin. Our favourite type of fatty fish is Wild Salmon, which we like to eat at least a few times per week. Salmon is also one of our favourite sources of high quality protein, which is important to us as women who lift weights, as it helps develop, maintain and repair muscle, as well as keeps our skin looking and feeling healthy.

      Avocados are also excellent as they are high in healthy fats and a good source of Vitamin E and C, which are all important for keeping our skin healthy, moisturised and springy. We like to have half an avocado every couple of days, including avocado oil for some cooking. As if we need another excuse to have avo on toast, but they are also a good source of fibre, which helps keep our gut healthy.”

      Diana Johnson and Felicia Oreb, Co-Founders of Base Body Babes.


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      Bridal Beauty: Jade Cottee

      A wedding is the perfect excuse to splurge on your skin, but we get that it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of treatments and not a lot of time. That’s where Gritty Pretty’s Bridal Beauty section comes in – a destination dedicated to word-of-mouth bridal beauty tips from those in the know.

      In this edition, we’re taking you behind the pre-wedding beauty routine of Jade Cottee (née Healy), new mum and Commercial Editor at the Australian incarnations of POPSUGAR, Who What Wear, Byrdie and MyDomaine. Cottee, recently married her partner [Lachlan Cottee] earlier this year at the grand Hopewood House, Bowral.

      Prepare to take notes and fall in love with this bride, her young family and that Inbal Dror dress.


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      “I already had a pretty good routine (I’m a skincare obsessee!), however I enlisted the help of Jocelyn Petroni and Dr Jeremy Cumpston about six months prior for a customised plan.”


      “Writing this down makes it seem a little OTT, but why wouldn’t I use the wedding as an excuse to treat myself to perfect skin? My ongoing concerns are oiliness, congestion and some leftover acne scars from when I was a naughty teenager and picked my face. To target the boxcar scars on my cheeks, I had two rounds of PRP Dermastamp with Dr Jeremy, six weeks apart. It didn’t completely remove the scarring, but it certainly made my pores smaller!

      I saw Jocelyn for facials every six weeks. She combines reiki and meditation with her individualised treatments. My skin has never felt cleaner! In addition to regular facials, she recommended I add the Ultraceuticals Ultra MD Brightening Serum to my existing at-home routine, to keep my pores as clear as possible. I used Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser, Bioderma Sensibio Micellar, The Jojoba Company 100% Jojoba Oil, Alpha H Liquid Gold and Skinceuticals C E Ferulic religiously, in addition to mineral sunscreen from Mecca, Ultraceuticals and Bioderma (I couldn’t commit to just one as I like them all too much).

      As the wedding drew closer, I had two sessions of microdermabrasion, and Omnilux light therapy twice a week — I believe Omni is a must-have for brides. Plus, lying under the light for 20 minutes is HEAVEN.


      “I’d get more sleep! (With a baby that was basically impossible… but one can dream.) I also wouldn’t trial a new moisturiser a few days before the wedding. I broke out — after having perfect skin for weeks it was very stressful (#firstworldproblem). I also would have used some form of retinol if I wasn’t breastfeeding!”


      “I don’t think “wedding beauty” should be any different from regular beauty — as a bride, you should still look like yourself, albeit the most gorgeous, glowy version of you.”


      Jasmin Lo. She’s a star! She nailed the brief — I wanted to look like me, just prettier. This broke down into super light Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (so my skin looked like skin), strategically placed lashes, rosy cheeks and lips. I’m obsessed with brows, so I made sure I had regular appointments with the girls at Kristin Fisher Eyebrows in the lead up, and Jasmin could use a light hand to fill them in on the day.”


      “I had regular cuts by Anthony Nader [at RAW Salon], then Sarah Johnson styled it on the day. Again, I wanted it to look like my hair… if I had the skills to make it look perfectly tousled — with just the right amount of volume. I didn’t want anything stiff or too “bridal”, and I think my hair looked better as the night wore on — messy, a bit sweaty (!) but very undone and chic.”


      Tarte Butter Lipstick in ‘Pink Peony, covered by Lanolips Tinted Balm in Rhubarb. It was my natural lip colour on steroids.”


      “Oh man – I’m embarrassed to admit I bought three fragrances because I couldn’t decide! I ended up wearing ALTAIA Don’t Cry For Me during the ceremony (it paired beautifully with the fragrance white flowers we were married under), then Mohave Ghost by Byredo for the reception. Lachlan wore Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford, which he started wearing a few months before the wedding. I’m always reminded of the planning and day when I smell him!”


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      Laura Mercier Leaves The Australian Market

      What’s worse than your favourite beauty product being discontinued? When your favourite beauty brand exits the country, that’s what!

      Our precious Laura Mercier, makers the best tinted moisturisers, have announced their departure from Aussie shelves after June 30, 2018. So now you have under eight weeks to stock up. Godspeed.

      Laura Mercier was acquired by Shiseido Companies in 2016, and in an official statement posted on their Facebook last month, the cult makeup brand says that their new move is part of a strategy for a global brand transformation.

      “…It is with great sadness that we announce the brand has made the difficult decision to exit the Australian Market. Up until 30 June 2018, we will continue to provide your favourite products & services at David Jones, Sephora and From July 1st onwards, the Laura Mercier product range will not be directly available for sale in Australia however our amazing artists will assist you with any of your needs until that time.”

      These are the products we strongly suggest you stockpile before they’re gone for good:

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      Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer

      SHOP NOW


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      Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

      SHOP NOW

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      Laura Mercier Highlighter in ‘Indiscretion’

      SHOP NOW


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      Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer

      SHOP NOW


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      Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder

      SHOP NOW



      What are your favourite Laura Mercier products?


      #Throwback Bridal Beauty:
      Jules Sebastian

      A wedding is the perfect excuse to splurge on your skin, but it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of treatments and not a lot of time. That’s why Gritty Pretty’s introduced Bridal Beauty, our new section dedicated to word-of-mouth bridal beauty tips from those in the know.

      In this edition of Bridal Beauty, we’re throwing it back to the wedding of stylist and YouTube host, Jules Sebastian and musician, Guy Sebastian. The ultra talented couple of had been together for eight years before tying the knot in a beautiful ceremony at St Patrick’s Estate in Manly. They celebrate their ten-year wedding anniversary in a few weeks (congratulations, guys!) and here, Jules shares her beauty routine from the big day…


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      My wedding skin prep…

      “We got engaged and married within five months so I didn’t have much time to prep! My skin is generally well behaved so it was my normal skin care routine as per usual up until the day. I didn’t want to go through anything new just in case.”

      My skincare regime…

      “I cleansed, toned, and moisturised every morning and evening. A mask once a week and a gentle scrub a couple times a week, too.”

      I would change…

      “I might have gone for a facial or skin peel refresh in the weeks leading up. Preparations were fairly hectic, so a little pamper and a lay down could have done the world of good!”

      My wedding inspiration…

      “It came from online and in magazines. I love following beauty experts on Instagram as they always have really different and interesting tips to try. I am an ambassador for Voeu skincare and I have learnt so much about what ingredients go into products and how everybody’s skin is so unique to them. I have a true understanding now that skin is the canvas and everything else goes on top looks good because of that canvas.”

      My makeup artist…

      “My friend Maria Gabriel from Makeup Store Australia did my makeup for my wedding day. The brief was ‘I want to look like the better version of myself’. Ha! My day to day look is very natural, simple and not too over the top when it comes to makeup. I wanted to still feel like myself on my wedding day, but just the very best, most pretty, photographable version!”

      My hair stylist…

      “My friend Lores Giglio did my hair. I found my perfect wedding hair example in a hair magazine at the train station on the way to work one morning. I was cutting it very fine with my wedding hair, but I knew when I saw it I would know that’s what I wanted. Poor Lores had to literally build the look on top of my head! It’s hard to explain but it was a beautiful creation held together with 4000 bobby pins. I also had a little head band at the front for a little extra something. I still love my wedding hair 10 years later…”

      My lipstick…

      “It was Makeup Store shade in ‘Pretty. It’s a little bit pink, a little bit brown and a little bit sheer. It was perfect.”

      My fragrance…

      “I wore Chloé, and I actually can’t remember what Guy wore – he owns (no joke) about 100 colognes so it could have been anything!”


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      Buy Mum This Fine Fragrance – You’ll Be Her Favourite Child

      We’re not saying skip the bouquet this Mother’s Day. We’re saying buy the fine fragrance as well…

      Our top pick for mum this year is one of the five exquisite scents crafted by Sydney floristry institution, Grandiflora. In chronological order, there’s Sandrine (2013), Michel (2013), Madagascan Jasmine (2015), Queen Of The Night (2016) and their latest, Boronia (2017) based on the Australian native bush flower (more on these later).

      We’re singling out this collection for a few good reasons. First, the Aussie connection. Grandiflora (the florist) opened in 1995 on Macleay Street in Potts Point, Sydney – founded by Saskia Havekes, a proudly Australian creative who’s received international acclaim for her work. The florist itself is an enchanting cave of exotic and local florals and foliage as high as the eye can see. No visit to Sydney is complete without it and we’d strongly recommend taking mum here to buy her gift, if you can.

      Another reason? Its niche-ness. Not yet worn by all the regular mums, only the cool mums. These scents smell unique and even if you mum isn’t a fan of department store perfumes, she’ll likely love these. Last but not least, the price point is a steal at $145 for 50ml, considering the top quality ingredients and international talent behind each juice.

      And that’s not even us being biased. #Unsponsored. For some real bias, we asked Havekes to share the Grandiflora Fragrance story, explain why the scents are so unique and which one you should pick for your mama. Go on, rise the ranks of favourite child and make mum proud. Happy shopping!



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      GRITTY PRETTY: What is a fine fragrance?

      SASKIA HAVEKES:  The quality of the ingredients – where they have been sourced and distilled, how much they cost – makes a fine fragrance. It is all those high-end components. Our very first batch had oils from France but we put it in its bottle here in Australia. Now we work with people in France who have been doing it for centuries and work with high-end brands to put it all together.

      Beauty Editor’s note: Grandiflora’s fragrances are Eau de Parfum (EDP) fine fragrances. Havekes explains: “It’s usually over 12% of oil for an EDP, anything less is an Eau de Toilette (EDT) or cologne.”

      GP: Why did you choose to make a fine fragrance instead of say, a perfume oil?

      SH: I think with an oil I would’ve found it really hard to make that look like a strong range. I had a look at things like the KAI oil roll-on, but I didn’t think it sat with Grandiflora’s image and how we package [our flowers] or put our grandness into the world. We like to make quite a strong statement and I thought as beautiful as a perfume oil is, it wan’t as punchy enough, strong enough, or determined enough.

      GP: How did you meet all these amazing international perfumers and start production?

      SH: Michael Edwards (renowned Fragrance Historian and Founder of Fragrances Of The World, the world’s largest resource for classifying perfumes) has been a huge key. We would not have known where to start without him. I met him through a client at the florist and it was really speaking to this one lady about the fragrance of the Grandiflora Magnolia, which I have always been obsessed with, telling her how one day I’d love to make a perfume around this, that she told me she had a friend called Michael Edwards.

      GP: As you do.

      SH: [Laughs] She said, “Oh yes, I know him and I’m sure he’s been in the shop before and I can put you in contact with him”. I was really nervous to call and wondered if he’d call me back. He did get back to me and was so lovely and helpful and saw it an immediate fit to introduce me to Sandrine [Videault, perfumer].

      He introduced me to her and the fragrances have really gone from strength to strength since then. There is no one in the world like him and his knowledge of fragrances, and he just keeps an eye on us. Every now and then we’ll have dinner too and he’ll come up with suggestions.


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      GP: Is there a bit of you in every scent? How?

      SH: It’s more my connection with the flower and my perception than my personality per se. So my directive [to the perfumer] is what I think is beautiful about the particular flower in terms of smell and the visual aspect. Also what surrounds the flower, its environment, is important to me. For example, with Queen of The Night (QOTN), I talked about the scent being very Ozonic, very dry and deserty.

      GP: Which is your favourite scent in the range?

      SH: Sandrine is my favourite, but I also love Boronia too. It’s very botanical and smells like the shop. A lot of florists really respond to that one.


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      The very first Grandiflora fragrance is a tribute to Havekes’ favourite flower, the Magnolia Grandiflora, through her lens. Named after the late Sandrine Videault, who composed the beautiful crisp, floral scent, it captures the flower at first bloom and is perfect for a mum who’s an early riser (by choice) and would rather spend her days outdoors than in.


      In our opinion, Sandrine and Michel should really be purchased together for the  complete life of the Magnolia Grandiflora. The latter is composed by perfumer Michel Roudnitska, inspired by the Magnolia tree of his youth at full bloom and vibrant. It took him 40 years to perfect and he generously gifted a vial to Havekes in tribute of their late friend Sandrine. Rich, engaging, at her prime – remind you of anyone?


      Also formulated by Michel Roudnitska, this is a classic floral fragrance of true Jasmine. Triggering nostalgic for most people and beloved by mum’s, it’s a safe choice if you’re unsure which to get. Funnily enough, it smells of green bananas and has been imbued with a subtle smokiness. Now we’ve told you, you won’t be able to miss it.


      If your mum’s a bit of a character, try this one-of-a-kind perfume by Betrand Duchaufour. Based off the transient night flowering cactus, Selenicereus Grandiflorus, affectionately known as Queen of the Night, the Central American-native orchid cactus blooms for a couple of hours once a year. ONCE A YEAR, people! Fun fact: the last couple of years, its bloom has coincided with Mardi Gras.


      The follow-up scent by Duchaufour for Grandiflora is this comforting and heart-warming perfume for the true blue Aussie mama. With notes of cognac, black tea and warm resins settling into a base of suede, dry woods and caramel, this fragrance re-creates the richness of the native Australian Boronia and is our top pick this Mother’s Day.


      Which Grandiflora fine fragrance will you buy mum?

      Visit Grandiflora at 12 MacLeay St, Potts Point NSW.

      Don’t worry if you’re from out of town, they’re available to buy online as well!

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      Makeup Skin


      Coachella, Splendour, Glastonbury, Falls…

      Right now, it seems like the hottest ticket around is a music festival ticket. But if you’ve ever been to one you’ll know they’re a little wearing on your skin. Not that you’d care when Beyonce’s performing in front of you for two hours, but all that travelling, being outdoors 24/7 in dry heat, daytime drinking, holiday diet and relegation of personal hygiene to the lowest priority does not good skin make.

      We asked Australia’s top beauty vloggers and influencers (off the back of a whirlwind trip to Coachella) to share some practical tips on dealing with a music festival breakout so you know exactly how to handle that kind of skin drama if it happens to you.


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      Your skin breaks out the first day of Coachella. Tell us what you do to manage it?

      Firstly, I leave it alone! Trying to squeeze it only makes it worse. Other than that, I’d just follow my normal routine of concealer, foundation then powder to try and mask it. Breakouts happen and no one else will even notice it!

      For music festival first-timers, can you share your top 5 beauty essentials?

      1. Nude By Nature Mineral Cover Foundation
      2. Nude By Nature Allure Defining Mascara
      3. MECCA Lip De Luscious SPF 25
      4. Benefit ka- BROW
      5. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Fluid Sunscreen

      What beauty product would it be a rookie mistake to bring to a music festival?

      Perfume. There are so many people around in such a confined space that you won’t even be able to smell or notice it!


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      Your skin breaks out the first day of Coachella. Tell us what you do to manage it?

      Pray to the heavens that it goes away and then cry while applying 5 layers of foundation and concealer! In all seriousness, I would usually just give my skin a rest and wait for it to settle, everyone gets breakouts – the Neutrogena Pod Masks are super convenient on-the-go, and then use light mineral makeup over the top.

      For Coachella first-timers, can you share your top 5 beauty essentials?

      1. Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick – I use it all over the body!
      2. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen
      3. Aside from those, I think a good lip balm is all you need to top it off.

      What beauty product would it be a rookie mistake to bring to a music festival?

      Don’t bring anything too heavy or bulky because you’ll have to carry it around all day. The less you take, the better!

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      LI-CHI PAN


      Your skin breaks out the first day of Coachella. Tell us what you do to manage it?

      I would first cleanse the area using cold water, apply a toner (if you have one handy), then a face mask to reduce inflammation. Remove and skin should be calm and gloss!

      For music festival first-timers, can you share your top 5 beauty essentials?

      1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
      2. Nude By Nature Flawless Foundation
      3. Clinique Self Face Tinted Lotion
      4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Face Mask
      5. Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

      What beauty product would it be a rookie mistake to bring to a music festival?

      When travelling to festivals, I find that bringing one or two lip colours is enough as you can alternate between the three days.


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      Your skin breaks out the first day of Coachella. Tell us what you do to manage it?

      Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water. I would use my Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, as it’s my go-to when my skin starts to break out.

      For music festival first-timers, can you share your top 5 beauty essentials to bring?

      1. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc
      2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Foundation
      3. Dior Addict Lip Glow
      4. M.A.C Brow Set
      5. Tom Ford The Ultimate Bronzer

      What beauty product would it be a rookie mistake to bring to a music festival? Why?

      I would most likely say hand cream – which is crazy for me as I never leave the house without a hand cream in my bag. It’s so dusty in the desert, the dust just sticks to your hands, so I would replace hand cream with hand sanitiser.


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      Your skin breaks out the first day of Coachella. Tell us exactly what do you do to manage it?

      This always happens to me when I go away! I like to bring a two-in-one mask and cleanser such as the Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Mask and Cleanser to keep my skin super clean after makeup and then spot treat any blemishes. I also like to have a small bottle of tea tree oil on hand. It’s a natural antiseptic and soothes breakouts like a dream for me.

      For music festival first-timers, can you share your top 5 beauty essentials?

      1. Neutrogena Sheer Dry Touch Face and Body SPF
      2. By Terry Balm de Rose
      3. M.A.C Studio Fix Powder
      4. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Face Wipes
      5. Nude by Nature Flawless Foundation

      What beauty product would it be a rookie mistake to bring to a music festival?

      Ditch the eyelashes curlers and bag of 100 eye makeup brushes. It’s a waste of time and space! Bring a capsule makeup bag of multi-functional products that can be applied with fingers.


      Tell us, are you lucky enough to be attending Coachella this year?

      Which are your festival beauty essentials?



      What is it with women and braids?

      We’ve never met a braid we didn’t like, but they aren’t exactly an everyday style after your teens – unless you’re Beyoncé. (This needs to change, but more on that later.)

      Braids are a lot like romantic comedies. They seem complicated, but most abide by the same format. If you know how to braid, the possibilities are endless. We could look at a milkmaid or boxer braid over and over and never tire and an intricate plot always incites more praise.

      Seems to us the only reason why we don’t wear our hair this way more often is because there is no real occasion that calls for it. So we’ve enlisted award-winning hair stylist, Anthony Nader, to come up with five styles and tell us exactly where, when and how you can bring them out –

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      What would you call this braid?

      A relaxed or ‘undone’ fish tail braid.

      Where would you wear this?

      Any event where the dress code is smart casual or a photo of you might end up on Instagram.

      Top tips for this style?

      Slick hair tight into a low pony just below your crown to start the fishtail braid. When you get to the end, secure with a plastic tie and pull the braid apart gently so it appears soft and ethereal.


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      What would you call this braid?

      Bohemian braids.

      Where could you wear it?

      A weekend get-together, music or arts festival or when you’re on holiday. This one’s as low maintenance as they come.

      Top tips for this style?

      The more haphazard and random in size your plaits, the more natural it will look. For this shoot, I braided approximately 15 different sized braids throughout the model’s hair. Another tip is to keep braids tight and clean so they look intentional so it doesn’t vibe too Bob Marley-esque.


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      What would you call this style?

      Bubble braids.

      Where could you wear this braid?

      To a bridal shower, milestone birthday party or a more laid-back wedding.

      Top tips for this style?

      There is no need to braid all the way down to the ends for this style, introduce your ribbon anywhere in the braid and wrap it around the end of each section and tie in a knot. The style doesn’t need to be symmetrical, but it should feel and look balanced.


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      What would you call this braid?

      Classic fishtail braid.

      Where could you wear this?

      Try this on a Monday when you want to make more of an effort, or bring it out on a casual Friday at work. It’s also good for date nights and basically anytime you want to present yourself as someone who’s got life sorted.

      Top tips for this style?

      Brush the pony smooth before you start. Use a shine spray for extra glam before and/or after you start the fishtail braid.


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      What would you call this braid?

      Lemonade Braid (and yes, you can thank Beyoncé for this one).

      Where would a woman wear this?

      Take this style to a concert or themed-party, whenever you’re feeling a little bit extra.

      Top tips for this style?

      Can I tell you that I cheated on this look? I actually went to a wig shop and got synthetic hair pieces (cheap as chips!) and plated about ten of them the night before so I could glue them on with a special hair glue also from the wig shop. I slicked the hair back first into a low bun first, then applied the glue in dots along the braid and positioned them in the curved shape. You can create whatever shape you wish. After we shot this image, I peeled off the braids without a trace of glue in sight and brushed out the models hair without one tear from her! It took me 20 minutes max to put together.


      Tell us, how often do you wear braids?

      Would you consider adding one of these to you repertoire?

      Hair Skin


      As beauty editors, we get to trial A LOT of beauty products.

      Hey, someone’s gotta do it. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      To be completely honest, a lot of what we test passes as mediocre. The beauty market is a competitive – and repetitive – space so it takes something remarkable to stand out. And when we do find something that impresses us, it’s worth sharing.

      100% unsponsored, 100% tested by us, 100% recommended, read our team’s picks below:

      Want more beauty editor top picks? You can find them here.


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      ARCONA Blemish Lotion Repair [AM], $77 & ARCONA Blemish Lotion Repair [PM], $77
      “My struggle with adult acne is long and well-documented so I’ve tried a lot of products – few that work long-term. These do! Carefully formulated with the optimum dosages of salicylic and lactic acids, witch haze, tea tree and jojoba oils (all ingredients acne-sufferers will be well-versed in), I apply these lotion-exfoliant hybrids as a last step in my skincare routine. The PM formula contains retinol and is a great entry point product for a first-time retinol user but still not safe for pregnant women, sorry! When I was actively breaking out, both the AM and PM treatments helped reduce the redness and rage of my acne, but I noticed best results when I was on the road to recovery. It sped up healing and kept new spots at bay. Continued use makes skin looked new, fresh, healthy and glow-y. Shoutout to Chelsea @ SEPHORA Australia for the excellent recommendation. Godsend.” – Wendy, Beauty Editor

      Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick, $61
      “Shopping around for a new highlighter? Lookie here. Hourglass specialise in this category and their latest and greatest is the creamy, velvety Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick. Top points for staying power and pigment. It also makes an office-appropriate eyeshadow – I’m all about the Rose Gold shade.” Wendy, Beauty Editor


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      Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Skin Rehydration Serum, $79
      “I’ve been testing several hydration serums for an upcoming story, and this leads the pack. There’s a few reasons why. Firstly, it has added pro-vitamin B5, an anti-inflammatory that helps with healing dehydrated and sensitive skin. Secondly, I like the viscous consistency, it doesn’t evaporate completely leaving behind a little residue that feels a seal, which I personally like. Last but not least, the results. When I stopped using it to test other hydrating serums, I noticed a difference almost immediately to the plumpness and health of my skin.” – Wendy, Beauty Editor

      BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne, $40
      “The Agave Lip Mask is an absolute life saver. It instantly took my lips from being dry to soft and refreshed. I even love that it came with a bit of tint because I could then wear it out whilst still caring for my lips. They’ve never been softer.” – Lauren, Art Director


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      Playa Everyday Shampoo, $46
      “Playa is a new haircare brand hailing from Venice Beach, LA that’s launched into MECCA. At first, I was worried about the size of the bottle, it’s only 225mL, which is nothing because I go through shampoo like I go through petrol. Thankfully, the tiniest amount goes a long way (I use about 10 cents worth on two different sections of my scalp) and it foams up as soon as there’s any kind of friction. The consistency of the shampoo reminds me of gel or sap, which sounds strange but adds to its au naturale appeal. It’s high in Coconut Water, Aloe Vera Extract and Sugar Beet Extract and smells freshly squeezed. SLS and paraben-free and colour safe, I’d rate this shampoo higher than its conditioner counterpart – and that’s saying something.” – Wendy, Beauty Editor


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      IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer, $35
      “If you’re a fan of the eternally sold-out IT Cosmetics Your Face But Better CC Cream, you’ll love this concealer equally. It’s best used for its intended purpose – to cover up spots and pigmentation rather than under eyes and rivals my all-time favourites, NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Too Faced Born This Way Concealer.” – Wendy, Beauty Editor

      Go-To Skincare Transformazing Mask (6 Pack), $45
      “The mask is saturated with thick serum so I felt I was getting a good dose of product. There was even more product remaining in the sachet which was great to use and apply to the neck. I loved that the mask has slits in it which made it easy to wrap around my face and I felt it had better coverage than others I’ve tried in the past. Afterwards, I felt very refreshed and my skin glowed. A day later and my skin still has a glow and feels hydrated. You get six masks for $45, which works out to be $7.50 a pop. WORTH IT!” – Lauren, Art Director


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      Tell us, what have you tried this month and loved?

      What would you like us to review next month?