With 14 years as a beauty journalist under her belt, Sydneysider Sigourney Cantelo is one of Australia’s most highly regarded beauty and health experts, having previously worked as Beauty and Health Director at Vogue Australia. Sigourney now spearheads Beauticate, a sleek beauty website devoted to the WHOs and HOW-TOs of beauty (be prepared to bookmark, but don’t blame us if you get addicted!)
We recently caught up with the stylish beauty guru and mother to Max, 3 years, and Luella, two weeks, to get the low-down on everything from her guilty pleasure to the realities of being a mother- and of course, her beauty must-haves.
Meet Sigourney Cantelo
First three things I do when I wake up:
Cuddle Max; Beg him to go back to bed so we can sleep some more; stagger to the kitchen to make breakfast for him and a hot lemon water (on a good day) or a strong tea (on a not so good day).
Last thing I do at night:
Mist my pillow with lavender linen spray and read a few pages of a book to wind down.
Most people probably don’t know this about me, but:
I wasn’t sporty at all at school. I was a bit of a runt! Always sick with every bug that went around. Once I had my tonsils out in year 11 I began to feel better and actually enjoy exercise. Proof that you can always come to it later in life!
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received:
My mum always said to me, “if you change your attitude, you change your experience. Being happy or positive is a choice.”
Workout/exercise I’m currently obsessed with:
Swimming – it’s been so good while pregnant and feeling huge to feel weightless. I bought an underwater ipod shuffle and it changed everything – I used to get so bored swimming laps but with old school house and hip hop blaring I feel like I’m actually powering up and down the pool.
My beauty philosophy in two sentences:
Keep it simple. Make it easy.
Three must-have beauty products:
1) Coconut Oil – it’s an amazing all rounder – hydrating for skin and body, a great hair treatment, you can use it to cleanse, it’s antibacterial and cheap as chips.
2) Rosehip oil – it helps get rid of acne scars and sun spots and it’s a wonderful natural moisturiser.
3) Lash Extensions: They have changed my life – they open up the eyes and make you feel done 24/7 and mean I don’t have to worry about makeup when I’m busy/flat out/sleep deprived- it’s all about the lash technician you get – they need to make the shape right for you and keep them looking natural. I go to Love Those Lashes in Paddington.
The best thing about being a mum is:
The intensely fierce, unconditional love you have for you child, it’s the purest and most perfect emotion and motivation in the world. It keeps you going when you think you can go no more.
The hardest thing about being a mum is:
In the early days the sleep deprivation is torture and when they reach toddlerhood the tantrums and working out how to discipline them is a challenge. Every age and stage presents different hurdles!
One thing that no one tells you about pregnancy is:
It’s seriously unglamorous. I actually just made a YouTube video about the awkward truths of pregnancy – from skin tags to reflux – I would have loved to have known these things going into it!
The key to time management is:
Multi tasking! You may not do every job perfectly but that’s okay.
Best meal I’ve ever eaten:
When Damien and I were in Santorini we stumbled across a little family-run trattoria and the owners were preparing a squid ink pasta tortellini filled with seafood when we walked in. We watched them make it in front of us and then ate it with a simple tomato sauce. It was magic.
If sugar were a superfood, my diet would consist of:
I would live on a combination of Sea Salt and Caramel Twisted Frozen Yoghurt, Milo (straight from the tin), Soft Centred Chocolate Puddings, Cadbury Breakaway Biscuits and Dark Chocolate Tim Tams.
If I were a fruit or vegetable I’d be:
Sugar Snap Peas – Fresh, crunchy and sweet, they’re small but they pack a powerful nutritional punch.
I never leave home without:
My Beats by Dr Dre inner ear earphones (normal ones fall out of my ears!) that I use with my iPhone – it’s so important to use a hands free kit to minimise your exposure to radiation from your phone.
My favourite holiday destination is:
Italy – because of the food! I’d spend a few days on the Amalfi then head up to Lake Como – it’s breathtakingly beautiful.
My favourite emoji is:
I’m inspired by:
Max, my son – when things are manic or stressful with work, I can spend some time playing with him and it puts it all into perspective. Children have such a pure and simple view on the world.
My current mantra:
Live in the moment. Time is zooming by at a scary speed so I’m trying to appreciate the moment and be more mindful.
My pet peeve is:
Drivers who don’t wave to say thank you when I let them in. I always wave. Sometimes twice!