We may admire French women for their laissez-faire beauty approach (no one can master “I woke up like this” hair quite like them), but when it comes to looking sun-kissed and beach-ready, we look to our sisters in a certain southern, warmer climate for inspiration—Australia, where else? Yes, Australian women, with their sea-salt hair and glowing skin, perfectly capture laid-back, idyllic summer beauty—and the fact they’re able to look that way year round only makes us more jealous of their sun goddess appeal.
To try and borrow some of their glow, we interviewed three Australian women—a model, beauty editor, and natural health guru—and asked them for their best beauty secrets. Because if we can’t have blue skies and balmy temps all year, at least we can try to look like we do. Keep scrolling for 10 beauty tricks Australian women swear by!
Who: Lara Bingle
What she does: Model, host, and founder of The Base
Her take on Australian beauty: “I think that what Australian women value most is what’s around them, whether it’s the fresh air or the ocean.”
Who: Sigourney Cantelo
What she does: Founder of beauty site Beauticate.com, former Vogue Australia Beauty & Health Director
Her take on Australian beauty: “Looking healthy—and even somewhat outdoorsy—is seriously high on our radar. Burnished luminous skin, bronzed limbs and tousled beach hair is always in.”
Who: Carla Oates
What she does: Health guru and founder of The Beauty Chef
Her take on Australian beauty: “In Australia we’re blessed with lots of sunshine and spend a lot of time outdoors. Because of this, we have to be skin smart and most of our moisturizers and makeup contains sunscreen. Australian women also have a holistic approach to beauty, so there’s also an emphasis on eating healthy and exercise.”
Facebook—The Beauty Chef
Keep scrolling for their beauty tips!
“A lot of my Aussie friends add a few drops of Eucalyptus or tee tree oil to their shampoo to hydrate their scalp,” Bingle tells us. Cantelo agrees, saying that tea tree oil is antibacterial and actually can double as a natural astringent to cure pimples. Another oil to stock up on? Almond oil—Bingle applies it all over herself after taking a cold shower. “It’s so good for the glandular system!” she says.
Strands feeling stringy? Oates says she uses uses apple cider in between her shampoo and condition regimen, because “it keeps the hair shiny and also balances the pH levels of the scalp.” (Click here for more DIY rinses that can help revive your hair color!)
This is a trick we’ve never heard before: Cantelo says she slices up beetroot and applies it to her lips and cheeks for a flush of color. Something to remember next time you’re chopping a salad, no?
In general, Australian women believe that natural ingredients can yield the best results. “In Australia, we have access to a great range of native flora and fauna, which are exceptional effective when used in natural beauty,” Oates says. “For example, [The Beauty Chef’s] Glow Powder contains Queen Garnet Plum from Australian state Queensland, which has high anthocyanin levels (a powerful antioxidant).” Cantelo swears by botanical ingredients too, favoring things like kakadu plum, eucalyptus, quandong, and lemon myrtle.
“They smell like a bushwalk through my childhood!” she says.
Next time you get a breakout, head towards your refrigerator. “Basil oils works well for clearing up pimples,” Cantelo says. “I learned this at the Gwinganna Health Retreat in Queesnland—they have a massive organic garden and told us to scrunch fresh basil leaves and apply it to blemishes. It works like a charm!”
To brighten and maintain a bright, blonde color, Cantelo says Australian women will use ingredients from their kitchen—chamomile tea and lemon juice, to name two. Also, to combat a greenish tint that comes from chlorine, Australian women will wash their hair with ketchup—yes, ketchup. Bingle, on the other hand, says mixing “bicarb soda” (or what we call baking soda) with a cleansing shampoo will get the green out of blonde hair in an instant. Whatever the method, we’re just glad we have our pantry stocked.
Out (or bored) of your daily exfoliator? Try DIY-ing your own, like Bingle does. “I combine yogurt and sea salt together to exfoliate,” she says. “It leaves my skin so soft.” Another plus? Yogurt is full of probiotics, which can also help your acne problem.
Ever wonder how Australian women get that just-emerged-from-the-sea texture to their hair? Well, turns out it’s because they really did just emerge from the sea. “In Australia, if you want to feel good, all you have to do is swim in the ocean and let your hair dry naturally and have a glass of water, and you look great,” Bingle says. Cantelo agrees, saying that a lot of Aussies believe that salt water can cure all ills: “It’s the panacea for acne, and the absolute best for achieving tousled beach hair,” she says.
“Some girls I know pour a liter of their local ocean into a spray bottle instead of buying commercial salt spray!” West coasters, take heed (and consider gifting this to non-coast dwelling friends).
2014 was the year of coconut oil, but lest you’ve chalked it up to a passing craze, remember this: Australian women love it and use it religiously still. Oates says she cleanses her face with NUI’s coconut oil, while Cantelo swears it’s the best body moisturizer and makeup remover. Need a refresher on all the ways you can use this fragrant oil? Click here for more ideas.
Which of these tips would you try? Sound off below!