Fashion Week Australia is the most important event of the year for many designers, media, tastemakers and buyers. It's also notoriously harsh on the complexions of a great number of its attendees. Between early morning starts, late (late) finishes, and copious amounts of coffee and Champagne, it's little wonder Sydney's elite feel the need to turn to experts to keep their skin looking good. For individuals who wear many hats relevant to the event, like Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley (see: co-owner of The Undone, INF / Network member and influencer), fashion week is busier than you can imagine.
In Donaldson's case, however, a hectic schedule doesn't translate to blemishes, dark circles or irritation. (Us, jealous?) To find out why, we reached out to the beauty guru for insider intel on how she preps her skin, the appointments she considers essential, and which supplements "really make a difference".
Keep scrolling for our exclusive mini Q&A.
Byrdie Australia: How do you prepare your skin ahead of fashion week?
Sara Donaldson: I’m not doing anything too different, as I believe you should look after your skin all the time, but I am upping hydration with rosehip oil and SK-II Facial Treatment Masks ($28). I’ll also be sticking to my usual internal beauty regime, a morning glass of The Beauty Chef's Glow Powder ($60) mixed into water. (It really makes a difference.) As my summer glow has well and truly worn off, I might also do a DIY light tan with The Base ($41), after a good scrub session with Frank Body ($17).
B: Are there any appointments you see as essential in the lead-up?
SD: I planned it so that I had my hair done a month out, as my it takes me a few weeks to relax into a new cut. I also got my brows done last week, and a pedi is crucial. I don’t think I’ll have time for a facial, but that’s life.
B: How do you plan your beauty looks each fashion week?
SD: You shouldn’t look like you’re putting on a show during the week, you should look like yourself but perhaps with an extra 10 minutes allocated on top of your usual five to show you care. I like to go for a natural, glowing look with a good brow. Hair out or pulled back is usually my biggest decision.
B: Do you tend to stick to a beauty “uniform” or will you be shaking things up?
SD: I’ll be keeping to my signature healthy, glowy look, but perhaps I’ll go for a statement lip on one or two days—it depends on the outfit and how I feel that morning.
B: What nail colour will you be wearing during the week?
SD: I’ll either go completely natural with no polish at all, or wear The Nail Lab's Harper ($50 in a set of 3). It's my favourite natural shade.
B: Which items do you always have in your handbag during fashion week, no matter what?
SD: BareMinerals Complete Coverage Serum Concealer ($30), Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream ($28), a fragrance (Le Labo Thé Noir 29 or Jo Malone Whisky & Cedarwood, $98), whatever lipstick I’m wearing that day, and almonds. (Cliché as it sounds, you really need snacks on hand as your schedule may not always allow for a lunch break.)
B: What’s one beauty product you think people would be surprised to know you love?
SD: Swisspers Facial Cleansing Wipes ($7). Simple and efficient.