Beauty Treatments To Heal Summer Skin Breakouts & Make Your Skin Glow

heal breakouts summer skin glow
Did you go hard with the partying, drinking, merriment over New Years? I didn't. But nonetheless, here I am in this ridiculous 30 degrees and upward heat of Melbourne, not idling in air conditioned office space but happily trundling off to Hot Yoga or walking instead of taking the tram.

All of this has an impact on the skin. Fortunately, much research has proven that at any age, exercise strengthens and fortifies the skin from the very deepest layer of the dermis to essentially create "young", naturally radiant skin. There is a catch though - not all exercise is beneficial. Just like healthy food is good for you, even too much of it is...too much. So, while short bursts of high intensity training are good, doing over 45 minutes of intensive training on regular occasions will deplete the skin and body. Especially if that training is outdoors in the elements.

Some people like to get a manicure as their luxury treat-to-self but I'm much more into having my face kneaded with delicious smelling things or having all the nasties sucked right out of it with high powered machines. If it's going to make my skin clear and glowy, bring it on! I've done the hard work for you and tried and tested stuff. Here's the essential treatments in Melbourne and skincare to know now.
natural beauty therapist melbourne

Belinda Hughes is an award-winning organic beauty therapist. She is an absolute master face massager. I was sceptical, to be honest, the first time I saw her over a year ago. Could natural, organic skin products applied gently without a whole lot of high powered lights and lasers and harshness really impact my skin? Turns out, yes.
There's not many occasions when I'm totally bare-faced but after Belinda massaged and cleansed and masked me, my skin was so dewy and fresh and there was zero puffiness around my eyes: I felt absolutely confident with not a skerrick of concealer. I mean, for the rest of the day! I have a tendency to get spots after a facial too, but nothing. Total clarity and dewiness. The key is that Belinda doesn't apply the same treatment and products to everyone. She is an expert at analysing, suggesting and then making the magic happen. Her latest development is the Matcha Treatment. I have used a matcha face mask in the past and nothing tightens my skin like that fabulous green powder. It's like an antioxidant powerhouse. If you are conscientious of sustainable, ethical skincare and products and you have concerns around your skin, I cannot recommend Belinda enough. You can find her via her website, Facebook and Instagram.

claire francoise microhydrodermabrasion

If you have never had Microbrasion with the added benefit of water (hydrabrasion), you have never known the joy of a magic wand exfoliating all the dead skin cells and blockages right off your face, literally. It's fantastic. I have seen Claire for infrared laser and also for skin needling in the past. To meet Claire, with her radiant, clear skin and cut-glass cheekbones, is to know you are in expert hands. This is a woman who takes her skin, and your skin, very seriously. Microhydrabrasion is painless and quite relaxing. The skin is thoroughly cleansed before the wand is applied over the face. Two days later, my skin looks and feels 100% smoother. A few spots I had before the treatment have cleared up too.
Claire Francoise clinic is based on High Street, Prahran and fortunately, you're a simple walk from several amazing cafes, plus a great fruit and veggie store and a whole lot of vintage clothing places. What's not to love? Make a booking via the website, Facebook and Instagram.

makeup to get the glow

Time to glow. After the facial, the microdermabrasion, the skincare that is going to keep your pores clean and clear... that's when the makeup comes into play. As a teenager with terrible acne for a few years, I relied on makeup to conceal, cover, hide. Now, I respect that makeup can be used to enhance great skin and features. Rather than rely on makeup to hide, focus much more on skincare and establishing routines and a lifestyle that protect and nourish your skin. I always find that a diet rich in protein and exercise that is moderate without being excessive and tiresome is the best way to master a natural glow. I'm completely loving the lavender, fresh, pink-based tones right now. Could it be that Valentine's Day is approaching? Or just that I love a fresh, playful pink any time of the year?
Both.
Any excuse.
I'm loving the new MAC Next To Nothing foundation, which gives a sheer coverage so that your natural skin just looks smoother and more even with a dewy glow. If you've got a few post-hot-yoga spots (a small price to pay for enlightenment!) then dot on some MAC Studio Waterweight concealer.
Contour your cheeks (aim for the centre of the cheek, right under the pupil of each eye and brush upwards towards the top of the ear) with shades of blossom but keep a light touch. You want to look a little flushed, not as if you've been slapped. I am loving ZOEVA Blush Palette in Pink Spectrum. Try a combination of MAC Lavender Jade (purple/pink) with nude, coffee coloured ZOEVA Pure Lacquer in Strong Career.I like to use the darker shade as a base with a pop of deeper pink that allows the outline of beige to remain. 

Cat's Cult Beauty Brands


Valerie Gradury created Odacite skincare as a result of reinventing her lifestyle to eliminate as many toxins from her diet and environment as possible. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, she took stock and quit her job, qualified as a health and wellness coach, and began to blend potent plant oils for skin.In 2009, five years after she made the changes to her own lifestyle, Valerie launched the pure plant Serum Concentrates.
I have been using the Olesomes Time Release Creme, which is the base to add the oils to, allowing them to be absorbed by the skin more gradually (overnight).
My two picks (of the many oil blends available!) are Vital Glow Serum (Wild Carrot) and Radiance Effect (Green Tea + Lemongrass).
Both smell like heaven - you will not want to just apply once. The Wild Carrot has a sweetness that wraps you up in a hug and the lemongrass is a hit of fresh, tangy, zesty green. Radiance AND aromatherapy all in one. I'd also love to try the Hyperpigmentation Serum (Papaya + Geranium) and Elasticity Serum (Marula + Neroli).


Cruelty Free. Natural. Made in Australia.
Direct from the state that does the Big Pineapple, surfers, parking meter women in bikinis and crocodiles, comes a skincare range that is gorgeously packaged and really delivers. I’ve featured Rubifresh on the blog in the past. I still love it.
My particular picks are the cleansing gel and cleansing oil. Both smell citrus tangy and will cleanse gently so that you don't feel you just removed your makeup AND every cell of moisture in your body.
I swear by the cleansers and the face and body scrubs. I’m yet to try the Pigmentation Serum but I will be and I will report back. Stay tuned.


There's three "Series" for the Hylamide range, which allow you to use the basic Core range, the specialised Booster range and the Finisher range, designed to blur pores, increase radiance and photographic finish (if you're selfie inclined. I am not.)
These are intense serums and the high concentration of active ingredients means if you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to apply less product, less often.
I find the Vitamin C (Booster C25) is seriously skin texture nirvana, BUT it's super intense and I prefer to leave it on for two or three hours before bed and wash it off. If you regularly use vitamin C products, you might find you can leave it on all night without issue. I have no issue leaving Booster Radiance on and my recommendation would be to use this on face AND neck and chest to ensure you look radiant from forehead to chest rather than having that "I have been tanning in a turtleneck" look. I love the Low Molecular HA Rehydration Booster. Again, skin looks and feels smoother and I look MUCH less tired in the morning.




I'm new to the Elucent Whitening skincare range, but I'm loving it two weeks' in. This is not a bleach - the whitening refers to evening out any pigmentation caused by sun damage and hormonal imbalances. So, vitamin C, fruit extracts, vitamin E. saffron seed oil and Vitamin B are all combined in the cleanser, moisturisers, eye creams and exfoliators.
Clinical trials have shown improved and clearer skin at 12 weeks (96% respondents) and it's recommended that to see real, long lasting results, at least 3 months regular use should be committed to. Done!

Isa Brito - Brooklyn via Brazil: Handmade Herbal Skincare

Isa Brito is a photographer, herbalist and skin guru.

I first spotted her skincare line in a US magazine and when I went to do some research, I discovered photos that prove her skin is flawless. The beauty of natural products and Brazilian heritage!

Isa grew up in Minas Gerais Brazil, on a self sustained farm owned by her family.
Like so many brave and artistic souls before and after, Isa moved to New York in 1984 with barely any money or contacts. Not only did she build the photography collection that was exhibited as "Passengers"  but she also established Isa's Restoratives. This is an all natural, herbal and plant based beauty line that has a cult following in the US.
I also love that Isa is a music fiend - we are both digging The Weeknd and she's also a fan of James Blake, Blood Orange, Chilly Gonzales and Warpaint.
Determined that if I cannot buy Brazilian genes, I can at least invest in the skincare products and regime that Isa swears by. Mind you, she is also dedicated to eating organic, plant-based meals that are rich in antioxidants and quality protein. A balanced, plant-rich diet and high quality, natural products go a long way to giving you the glow. in all my email deletes i've freakin deleted isa brito! GODDAMN!
I absolutely love the Liquid Clay Cleanser - a blend of volcanic ash clay, french green clay, green tea, lavender and papaya enzymes has a cooling effect on the skin.
The blue beauty balm is a must too - honestly, I woke up with seriously glowing skin and in this humid, typical Melbourne weather and disrupted sleep, that's a miracle.
The Coconut Charcoal Face Mask draws out all the nasties while also nourishing with mineral, enzyme and natural oils of coconut. So hydrating and detoxifying. I totally recommend this on a Friday night or a Sunday night when you have to say goodbye to the day, the week, and start afresh.
I am double-timing that mask though! I am also adoring the Matcha Mask. As a matcha green tea drinker, I have experienced the desire to smear all that green, vitamin-infused goodness over my face. Now I can.
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Natural, Cruelty Free Makeup

It's very easy to overlook the nitty gritty details. But with so many choices in life, the power to make small ones that make YOU feel better and fit with your values are vital to living a mindful, conscientious life.
I'm not going to demand you drop all your favourite mascaras and lipsticks in the bin this minute and replace them, but if you're an animal lover, or even if you're exploring a vegan lifestyle, you can find makeup brands that are guaranteed to be Cruelty Free.
Choose Cruelty Free is an Australian organisation that lists makeup brands with a code for whether they are vegan, organic, good for sensitive skin and more.

The list includes a few of my favourite brands. For your benefit, I have picked my favourite 3 products from each. If you're new to them, get excited. You can feel good about your beauty buys and you'll radiate gorgeousness from inside AND outside!


Botani

Using pure plant extracts and all natural ingredients, Botani is a Melbourne-based beauty brand worth seeking out. Their products are targeted towards particular skin types, conditions and aim to treat and nourish.
I adore the scent - especially of the facial exfoliator. It smells like cinnamon and berry oatmeal cookies - try it.
Olive Skin Serum
Spirulina Salt Scrub
Exfoliating 2-in-1 Scrub & Mask



Rosehip by Essano

This perfectly pink packaged beauty brand is straight from New Zealand. They are eco certified and guarantee no nasties in the form of sulphates, parabens, silicones and so on. The added beauty of this brand is that it's totally budget friendly. You'll have money left over for super smoothies and shopping for yoga pants.
Rosehip Gentle Exfoliator

Botanical and mineral cosmetics designed to beautify and be gentle on the skin. Australian made. The packaging, again, is gorgeous. Simple and classy. You'll want to have this take pride of place in your makeup cabinet. I know you have one.
3-in-1 Pumpkin Enzyme Facial Polish
Mineral Bronzer in Beach Glow
Exotic8 Facial Oil (chia, black tea,pomegranate & peach)

Make UP Cosmetics

Not only cruelty free and eco friendly, but designed to love your skin. Mineral products are ideal for sensitive skin and ideal if you're prone to breakouts also. The colours are fabulous and super fresh. I love the highlighting mineral powder especially. Give me more gold!
Lipstick Spring Violet
Brow Gel Medium Brown
Highlighter Mineral Dust in Gold


The Good Oil on 3 Budget Buys for Banishing Blemishes, Laundry, Stress Free Sleep and Cleaning

It amazes me that not everyone has cottoned on to the wonders of this cheap, versatile supermarket buy. Eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender oil are all super cheap, potent, easily available, NATURAL and multi-use.
If you only choose one oil - eucalyptus is your friend. I have a bottle that has lasted 6 months. I use eucalytus oil:

  • to dab into my nostrils to prevent inflammation from dust pollens and cold/flu symptoms
  • added to saline solution for a nasal spray
  • dabbed on blemishes to reduce inflammation and blitz spots
  • added to floor cleaner
  • to wipe down bathroom surfaces
  • to wash gym clothing - out, out damn germs!
  • diluted as a spray for the yoga mat. Trust me.
Then there are two more that will go the distance. They have multiple uses and because they are so potent, you'll use only a tiny amount at a time. This is going to be magic for your budget and your health. I use lavender oil:
  • rubbed gently on my temples to relax
  • spritzed on my pillow and bedding before sleep to de-stres
  • added to boiling water for a facial steam (just hold a towel over your head!)
  • added to fragrance-free, basic moisturisers for scent and anti-inflammatory properties
  • massage oil for the muscles
Finally, though the smell takes me back to my teenage years, teatree oil dabbed on spots will blitz them. It's also great for cuts, abrasions and also for cleaning duties.

It's worth buying 3 at a time and saving around 15% - I order online at Bosisto's but these are also easily available at chemists, pharmacies and supermarkets.

The Best Herbal Facial in Australia

Like a sports massage for the face, Valli Shubere applies her adept fingers and palms to the face and kneads and caresses to reshape and release tension.
In her 30 years of treating the body with herbal medicine, and applying purely herbal based tonics to the face, Shubere has mastered her technique to the point of being in constant demand in Australia, America and Europe.

I discovered Valli when I asked the queen of celebrity facials in Sydney, Jocelyn Petroni, who she'd recommend in Melbourne. It was without hesitation that she gave me one name: Valli Shubere.

Valli operates from the Prahran Herbario clinic (222 Chapel Street). Downstairs is the store and this is where the herbal tonics for body and face are expertly concocted by herbalist of 37 years, Vito Cozza. Upstairs, the treatment room is warm, simple and welcoming.
Treatments are tailored - anything from 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on the needs and nature of the client. Valli sees many actors, models and presenters who are posing and pulling faces for hours daily. Her treatment is designed to release tension that can cause facial muscles to tense and cause anything from sinus blockages to undereye bags or tight jaws.

The Herbario Dispensary downstairs offers dry herbs, fluid extracts, herbal tablets, essential oils and nutritional supplements. A nutritional assessment can determine your needs.

I'm sworn to secrecy on the names of Melbourne models, actors and athletes who attend, but I can assure you there are some very fine faces who rely on Valli's massage and nutritional herbal expertise for their wellbeing and beauty.

Herbario website 
Book an appointment 

Superfoods for Super Skin


Every morning I make my green smoothie with green superfoods powder. Now I have a new routine also - detox for my face with a grainy cleanser full of vitamins and green goodness! I am loving Australian brand Sukin Super Greens facial scrub. Full of the goodness of kale, spirulina, chlorella and parsley and trust me, it smells gorgeously sweet and not horribly "healthfoody" at all.
Just to be sure I am absolutely super, I followo up with super green detoxifying Facial Recovery Serum - again full of goodness.
Did I mention Australian owned and made? Go team.
sukin is available at Priceline

A new label is the reason this brand caught my eye - while 7th Heaven is a new name, this is actually the renewal and rebirth of a long lived skincare brand. It is bigger, better and bolder than ever so I had to stock up on a few "weekly indulgence" facial masks. Particular formulas for particular concerns. Manuka honey is great for hydration, healing and moisturising. Berries are great for reinvigorating the skin and senses and there's also strawberry, apricot and tropical flavours. Totally recommend you spend the spare change on it - very budget friendly!
7th Heaven is available at Target and Woolworths

Do It Yourself Beauty At Home (Beauty On A Budget!)


Closer to counting your coins than your diamonds? I hear you. You don't need to make half your beauty and wellbeing appointments beyond your bathroom. Here's what you can and should be mastering at home!

Hair Colour. Ok - NOT if you have super blonde hair unnaturally or complex highlights happening. Put down the bleach immediately. However, if you are touching up the roots on a colour within 4 shades of your natural colour (I dye my hair 2 shades darker brown than natural) then save yourself an expensive salon visit and do it at home. I swear by no-mess, fast L'Oreal Sublime Mousse or Colour Preference in Brasilia. It is so easy to apply in mousse form and way less messy than the typical liquid formulas.

Facial. Sure, this is such an appealing luxury BUT you can apply a skin-specific masque at home and spend the waiting time dancing to lame 90s hits in your loungeroom. Can't do THAT at a salon can you? I love Elemis, Kiehl's, Sanctum and Nut'rir skincare ranges for their masque offerings. What you choose is dependent on what you want to target (acne, uneven skin tone, dryness, sensititivity and redness etc) so look at what the masque says it does. Not all products do the same thing!
I've also just discovered indeed labs exfoliator. It is awesome. A fine powder that works into a foam - you can use it alone or add it to your current cream cleanser for some added oomph. Cleansing before a masque is mandatory.

Sea Siren Buccaneer
OPI Chiffon My Mind
Mani/Pedi. Yes you can. It's practice. Make sure you paint the WHOLE nail and try to stay inside the lines. My favourites are OPI Chiffon My Mind for subtle, Orly Push The Limits for full-on fuschia, and Sea Siren Buccaneer or Pirate's Blood for dramatic bold shades. All are 5-free and cruelty free.



Contouring. Yes you can. Thanks to Into The Gloss for the insider guide to contouring by Kim Kardashian's makeup artist du jour, Mario Dedivanovic. Note that he FILLS THE BROWS to "frame the face". Such a quality tip! I dye my brows dark, dark brown. Skip the salon and use 1000 Hour Eyelash & Brow Kit (saves you $$$ and time).
Watch, learn, do.