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beauty advice


What you should know about skincare during pregnancy

8th October, 2020

During her pregnancy, Trish Maharaj had difficulty finding the kind of skincare she was after—something that was all-natural, Australian and safe for her baby and kind to her skin. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. As a cosmetic chemist and nutritionist, she decided to create her own skincare range that specifically catered to expecting mums and Madré Australia was born. Here, she chats about what you need to know about caring for your skin as a mum-to-be, including how to deal with stretch marks and the non-negotiables of your routine. .

What are some of the key concerns when it comes to skincare products and pregnancy?

“People tend to be concerned about two major factors – he ingredients they are using on their skin and whether there are any harmful ingredients that are best to be avoided for their safety of their unborn child, as well as the way their body is going to change over the course of their pregnancy and how to best manage that.” 

Are there any ingredients that are best avoided?

“Given there is so much misinformation out there, my best advice for women trying to fall pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding is to speak to your healthcare professional. In saying that, there are ingredients that we have come to know that are best avoided during pregnancy. People are best to use products that are not only free from harmful toxins, but also endocrine disruptors known as carcinogens which can include ingredients (often found in skincare) such as retinols, Vitamin A and AHAs/BHAs.”

What are some beneficial skincare ingredients that expecting mums can look to incorporate into their routine?

Celery Stem Cells – “These are great for emerging white marks and scars on skin.” 

Organic Shea and Cocoa Butters – “Rich in fatty acids, these butters have been touted for their ability to hydrate, nourish the skin and improve elasticity. The fat in cocoa butter forms a protective barrier that allows the skin to hold in moisture. It is also rich in natural plan compounds called phytochemicals that help to fade scarring on the skin and minimise stretch marks.” 

Virgin Grade Plant Oils – “A variety of plant oils is key to ensure there is a variety of omega 3, 6 & 9’s. I love sacha inchi oil, evening primrose oil and marula oil. Look for virgin grades as these are unrefined and less processed and therefore retain its antioxidant profile. Our Madré Boob Balm for example, contains a variety of fancy essential fatty acids, omegas, vitamins & minerals from various oils to nourish dry skin.” 

Bajuchiol & Azelaic acid – “These acids are a great natural alternative for those suffering from pregnancy acne as typical solutions such as Retinol, Salicylic Acid & Benzol Peroxide aren’t safe for pregnancy skin. These acids will not only help kill the bacteria that causes acne and keep pores clean but can also help brighten dark spots from pregnancy-induced melasma.”

We know that often stretch marks during pregnancy is hereditary but what are some ways expecting mums can help minimise them?

“Although stretch marks are a pretty obvious side effect of pregnancy, that still doesn’t make them any less annoying! You can be proactive by using a combination of ingredients that will help with collagen growth, its organisation which is key in repairing the stretch mark/scar if they have formed, alongside ingredients that help with elasticity and hydration of the skin. Doing this as your skin expands will certainly assist in helping the skin stretch as you grow. 

Our Madré Belly Mask has been created specifically to assist with this for both pregnancy and postpartum bellies. It contains those pregnancy skin loving ingredients like Celery Cells, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter which will help promote collagen organisation, growth and repair. 

I would also recommend increasing cell turnover on areas that a prone to stretch marks such as the belly, butt, breasts and thighs via a physical exfoliant/scrub. Look for spherical shaped scrubbing agents such as jojoba, carnauba and coconut based exfoliants. Sugar or walnut based scrubs scratch the surface of the skin and this can lead to further irritated skin during pregnancy.” 

What are some of the non-negotiables when it comes to skincare during pregnancy? 

“As your skin starts to expand to accommodate the human who’s taken up residency inside your stomach, it can lose a lot of its moisture. This can lead to the skin feeling quite itchy, dry and flaky. Use a great moisturiser or oil with a wide array of essential fatty acids and Omegas. Also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, which helps keep skin hydrated. 

Sun protection is absolutely essential! Mineral sunscreens are generally the safest options for pregnant women, so make sure you track down ones that have zinc oxide in the ingredients list. Also, physical sun protection like hats and umbrellas at the beach are key.”

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Beauty essentials for your gym bag

29th September, 2016


Karlie Kloss in workout mode. Pic: @karliekloss

When it comes to packing a beauty kit for your gym bag it pays to keep it to just the essentials so you’re not lugging around your entire bathroom cabinet. So, what are the things that you will really, really need? Add these 10 things to your list the next time you pack your bag.

Dry shampoo

For those times when you just don’t have time for a shower a spritz of dry shampoo will do the trick. Not only does it absorb sweat it will even give your locks a volume boost.


This is a no-brainer of course! No one likes to deal with the odour post-workout so a mini can of deodorant in your bag is well worth packing.


It goes without saying that packing a towel in your gym bag is key. If you really want to up the style stakes this is a great option.

Cleansing wipes

Doing a hardcore workout with makeup on is a serious beauty no-no. Just think of your poor clogged pores! Be sure to always have cleansing wipes in your bag to ensure that you can give your face a good cleanse before training.

Hair ties

There is nothing worse than rocking up to the gym only to find your hair tie has gone M.I.A. To avoid this dilemma keep a packet in your bag so you always have spares.


It goes without saying that staying hydrated is important during exercise. Why not upgrade from your standard plastic bottle and pack yourself a more durable option.

Blotting sponge

If you’ve got to contend with an oil slick after each training session then pack one of these in your bag. They’re great for mopping up shine and doing a quick refresh.

Tinted moisturiser

If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to re-do your makeup a swipe of tinted moisturiser will have you looking presentable in no time.


A quick swipe of mascara after a heaving training session will ensure you’re ready to tackle the outside world.

Tinted lip balm

In a pinch, this can double as a cheek stain so it’s a great 2-for-1 product to keep in your bag. Just a little coat of lip balm will help you look polished.


Beauty, Date with Kate

DATE WITH KATE: Zoë Foster Blake

25th September, 2016

Zoë Foster Blake  is an Australian author, beauty editor and owner of skincare range Go-To Skin Care. She is also an associate producer of The Wrong Girl, a new television series show based on her best-selling novel. Foster Blake and her husband, 2Day FM co-host and comedian Hamish Blake, are proud parents of their two-year-old son, Sonny. Foster Blake, 36, chatted to me about how her novel transformed into a television show, her top beauty tips, and how she “sort of broke my body” having her first child.

What have you been up to?

I have a few projects. Amazinger Face [her book], I just got that out and pushed that baby out to sea, and I’ve also got The Wrong Girl [TV show] … Jess Marais is the star and we’ve got a brilliant cast.

Tell me about The Wrong Girl. 

[It] was my last novel I pulled out just before [the birth of my son] Sonny and it got picked up to be made into a TV show … Jess Marais is the lead and Hamish is in it … It has every chance to be a really excellent show. It’s about Lily who works in breakfast TV as a producer and this handsome new chef comes in and it is a love triangle. It’s a female-centric story about a career girl. The love story is there, but it’s secondary to her career and her life and her hiccups and her learnings.

Did you ever imagine that your novel would be made into a TV show? When I was younger, 25/26, I was like, “Well, this book has to be a TV show.” I was so arrogant and I just was like, “It’s obvious.” It never happened, of course [so I] let that go. I was like, “It’s a small country, small industry, there is not a very high chance of happening.” So when I got the call that they were interested in optioning it out, I was like, “Kidding?”

You never put it forward to the producers? 

No, so the producers, they also did Love Child and House Husbands and The Code and they were looking for a fresh, romantic drama, comedy drama and they chose The Wrong Girl.

Have you been hands-on in the TV process?

I am an associate producer, so I sat in on story meetings with the writers and we would just spitball ideas and come up with lots of narratives. Obviously there’s a lot more to a TV show than just a book … I think adaptations are a bit tricky for the screenwriters because they’re worried about upsetting the author. But from day one I’m like, “This is amazing, I love it.”

What is a day in your life? 

It varies, depending on whether I have Sonny or whether I have a workday … I like being at home while Sonny is young, so that I can see him through the day and have a cuddle … [At] 6:30pm when [Hamish] comes home, then he does bath, bottle, bed and I get some work done and do dinner. We have dinner together, a glass of wine and then we watch our [TV] shows.

Tell me about your new book Amazinger Face.

Amazinger Face is excellent, but … [the original book, Amazing Face] came out five years ago, so … some of it was out of date, in terms of products … [and] I’ve changed my opinion on some things, more specifically [why] physical sunscreen is so much better than chemical [sunscreen] … Also I’ve had a baby and there is pregnancy beauty I can talk about now.

What would be your No. 1 beauty tip?

Something that you get the most amount of impact for the smallest amount of effort, and to me that’s lipstick! But really, even before that, have good skin and you can wear less make-up. So, splurge on a professional treatment … once a month and then you can just basically use the basics – sunscreen, moisturiser, exfoliation and face oil.

Is there one beauty product that will never go out of fashion?

Lipstick is always in, whether it’s matte, creamy, glossy and so on. I think [eye] liners [have had] too good a rap for too long. I think it’s very unflattering on most women. Black liner around the eye makes your eyes look smaller. I think you should reassess, if you’re a really big black liner user, maybe even just doing the top line, not lower, or try a brown or a plum or even a navy.

What has been your career path to get to where you are today?

It was pretty conventional in some ways. I came up through the magazine ranks, from kids mags to teen to women’s to high fashion, and then I left and went digital, in beauty … I went all the way to get into freelancing … and had written five books or something by then … With Go-To, it was a bit of serendipity but ultimately I sort of thought, “Just put blinkers on. Don’t think about all those other great skin care products and just do what you wish you could do”.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your own business?

Not being able to switch off. You do get to work from home and work your own hours, but you never really turn off. I’ve got an amazing team, but I sort of am involved in every aspect of the business.

Did you ever imagine it would be this successful?

No! I never thought I would be a businesswoman in that sense … I love being creative director, but my favourite bit is the copy. I just want to do the copy and the marketing and at this point we’re still so small that I’ve got a hand in everything.

How do you juggle everything?

It is a juggle … My main thing is just to only do one thing at that time and try and be good at that … In the mornings, I don’t turn [my phone] on till 9, trying to just be with [Sonny] because he is only going to be small for a minute and then he won’t want to play with me!

Is Hamish a hands-on dad?

Yes, he is really involved and engaged and invested and I love this generation of fathers. We’re really lucky because they’re around, which is a big thing. [Hamish] is running his own career … He is full-time on air at the moment, but his career is the kind that could be vastly different from one year to the next … It keeps things exciting. But he is so conscious of being with Sonny and having quality time.

What’s the best thing about motherhood for you?

Well, the love and having a family, going from two to three is special and you feel like a little team … I think it brings more meaning to your life, but not just in terms of the child, but what you do outside of that. So, if I’m going to work on a project, then it has to be pretty good to take me away from Sonny.

Do you have plans to grow your family?

Yes … we want at least another kid, but I was always going to leave quite a gap between the two. I also sort of broke my body with Sonny … I’m still sore even sitting here talking to you because [of] my hip … So I want to get my body super-fit and tight, not tight but like core strength, so that it doesn’t break again … And also, I think as a career woman, I have to go, “Well, when does it fit right?” Last time I did this shitty job [at timing] – I had a book and a skin-care line and then a baby! …. It was terrible timing … It’s a lot of things to consider because it’s not just [the birth], it’s two years of your life. It’s the pregnancy, birth, it’s the breast-feeding … It’s all of that. So, I take it seriously.

Who do you look up to and admire?

I really like funny women. I’m drawn to women like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer. They’re writers, they’re producers, they’re actresses. They’re brilliant, funny, excellent women.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

It’s my mum’s. It always still rings in my head: “What you think about, you’ll bring about.” So you have to be really mindful of what you think. It’s easier said than done and it works both ways.

The Wrong Girl premieres on Wednesday, September 28, at 8.30pm on Channel 10. 



WE WENT TO The Meat & Wine Co.

WE ATE Marinated chicken pieces with a mild Portuguese spice blend; Argentinean spiced chicken breast, supreme-cut and pan roasted. Served with a thyme, garlic and shallot puree, sautéed greens, new potatoes, garlic stems and chimichurri; Sautéed broccolini with pan roasted almonds and cultured butter.

WE DRANK Mineral water

ZOË WORE Rodeo Show and Céline.


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Are you using this beauty gadget?

11th August, 2016

Myer Acler 5

Eyelash curlers have been around for eons but they’re still seriously one of the best ways to get an amazing curl every single day. I’ve got one in my beauty kit and I can’t live without it and most makeup artists I’ve worked with always have one on hand.

If you’ve not yet used one I highly suggest you do! I know some people tend to avoid using them because a) they look like they’d be complicated to use and b) they look like they’d inflict some serious damage on your lashes if not in the right hands! However I can definitely confirm they’re neither. In fact, they’re super simple to operate. Promise.

For those who are going to venture into eyelash curler territory for the first time the first step is to open the curler and press down gently at the base of your eyelid where your lashes start and slowly “walk” it out along the length of your lashes just pressing down lightly as you go. This will give you a great curl and the effect really opens up your eyes. Whatever you do avoid just clamping down at the base as this can leave you with a harsh curl as opposed to a natural finish. Once done apply mascara liberally and you’re ready to go!

I’ve rounded up a few great eyelash curlers below (I use one by Shu Uemura, but there are plenty of great options out there) so you can get your curl on at home.