THE IN-TRAY

Love actually: Creative couples on the beauty rituals they share

WITH V-DAY ON THE WAY, WE TOUCHED BASE WITH SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE CREATIVE COUPLES TO FIND OUT THEIR DATE NIGHT GO-TOS, SHARED BEAUTY RITUALS AND THE MEET-CUTES THAT BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Lindy Rama-Ellis, designer, and Adam Ellis, property developer

Which beauty products do you share?
Lindy: “We actually share and steal quite a bit. We share deodorant, I like to wear Adam’s fragrances and he steals my La Mer moisturiser.”

How did you meet?
Adam:
“We met through a mutual friend. It was at a time I really wasn’t interested in meeting anyone, but I finally said yes to a date and that was that. We’ve been together ever since.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Lindy:
“Adam said he noticed how I carried myself and the way I walked. I noticed Adam’s tattoos—I love a man with tattoos!”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Lindy: “We make sure we have regular date nights, often at a favourite restaurant in Bali like Matisse or La Lucciola.”

What is your couple song?
Lindy:
Old Pine by Ben Howard.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Lindy:
“Adam’s obsession is going to the barber, so when he does that, I book in for a cream bath at my favourite spa in Bali. They give the most incredible head m assages while they put a treatment in my hair.”

Katya Wachtel, editorial director at Broadsheet and Adam Wright-Smith, restaurateur at Half Acre

Which beauty products do you share?
Katya:
“Sunscreen (the stealing of this product goes both ways) and there's definitely been some stealth use of my good shampoo and conditioner.”
Adam: “She always steals my deodorant—it’s not even a nice one.”
Katya: “He's also always trying to steal my nice moisturiser, and often succeeds, and he's increasingly curious about my cleanser.”

How did you meet?
Katya:
“We first met in about 2001, at a friend's house in Melbourne. We were about 15 years old, and Adam was at the house because he was mates with my friend’s stepbrother. But it was a long time, more than a decade later, before our friendship ... blossomed.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Katya: “He was very aloof, which as a teenager translated to seeming very cool and nonchalant, and kind of enigmatic. He barely said hello, and was a bit of a beanpole, with a hat pulled down low over his eyes.”
Adam: “Her hair. It was big and long and curly.”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Adam:
“With the opening of our new restaurant we haven't had much time for date nights, so we've made sure that on Monday nights we’re at home together, and we’ll cook and then eat dinner at the table—not on the couch, and no TV.”
Katya: “Valentine’s Day isn't something we really celebrate, though Adam’s been good at little gestures or gifts over the years. Like last year he upgraded my regular Twinings chamomile tea to the T2 stuff, and another time he bought me flowers and made me breakfast in bed and I wrote him an acrostic poem.”

What is your couple song?
Katya:
“The big, main one is actually going to be our wedding song, so can't reveal. It's from the 80s and has an epic saxophone solo.”
Adam: “Also, Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem. It always reminds me of Katya and our memories of New York. Goodbye by Ulrich Schnauss is our roadtrip song.”
Katya: “And M83 by Midnight City. Another all-time sax part, and we saw them perform it live at Coachella just before the 'blossoming'.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Katya:
“I cleanse in the shower while Adam’s in there. Does that count? Post-shower, while I moisturise and apply serum, Adam slathers sunscreen all over his face and occasionally moisturises. So, our skincare ritual is something we do every morning together, even though Adam's process tends to be just one step.”

Liz Sunshine, street-style photographer and Dean Sunshine, street-art photographer

What beauty products do you share?
Liz: “Dean isn’t really into beauty. He's a blokey bloke, so sticks to the basics, but he always has a really nice organic shampoo, and super nourishing conditioner, which I am always stealing. At the moment he loves Playa, which is also perfect for my hair. We also both wear sunscreen religiously and there are about five tubes of Mecca Cosmetica sunscreen floating around our house and car at the moment, ready for either of us to grab at any time.”

How did you meet?
Dean
: “We met on a Sunday afternoon, at The Saint in St Kilda, 11 years ago. It's my favourite story, because she picked me up. We were sitting back to back and she tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'I know you, you’re really nice,' to which I replied ‘No, that can’t be me’ and turned back around. After another tap and persistent conversation, I realised she was right, we had one mutual friend and had met once before. She informed me she had just moved to Melbourne from Queensland and up until that time had yet to be taken out for dinner. I said 'Let me be the first' and the next week we went to Japanese and had a wonderful time.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Dean:
“She was sitting down when we met, so I only saw how tall she was when I picked her up for that first date. I remember thinking: no wonder no one has taken her out. I would have been too intimidated to ask her out if I’d seen how amazingly tall and gorgeous she was.”
Liz: “His hair, or how bouncy he is. Full of energy. Then there’s his charismatic storytelling, sometimes it’s hard to get a word in, but it's never boring.”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Liz:
“This is our twelfth Valentine's Day, and we haven't been out for dinner once. We love going out for dinner, but Valentine's Day is all about romantic dinners at home, a great bottle of wine or two and cooking together.”

What is your couple song?
Dean:
“When I met Liz, she liked all music, and probably still does, but I introduced her to funk, soul and jazz and have been educating her ever since. If you ask me, I would say our song is Feel the Same by Groove Armada or Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Liz:
“Life is pretty busy at our house, we’re parents and both working full-time. Our beauty rituals are few and far between I’m afraid. We have a very healthy lifestyle, considering our food habits, how much water we drink and how much we sleep. I love face masks and do them often, sometimes multiple times a week, while Dean doesn't really have any. Maybe he needs to spend some time in MECCA?”

Kate Ballis, fine-art photographer and Tom Blachford, interiors, architecture and aerial photographer

Which beauty products do you share?
Kate: “Hair conditioner, face masks, fragrances, hair brush!”

How did you meet?
Kate:
“We met at a paint party nine years ago. We were all sent a paint suit in the mail, and at the party we were handed tins of paint to throw all over people and the venue! I was blue, Tom was pink!”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Kate:
“I think we each thought the other was cute!”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Kate:
“We usually give each other a little present and have a romantic dinner at home.”

What is your couple song?
Tom:
Thinking of You by Sister Sledge. Our best mate played an acoustic version as we walked down the aisle on our wedding day and we love dancing to the original disco track.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Kate:
“Whenever it’s cold enough we take a bath. We fill it with Epsom salts, Himalayan rock salt, essential oils, flowers, and surround it with crystals and lots of candles. We also like our beauty sleep with eye masks.”

Ross Andrewartha, makeup directo r L’Oreal Australia, and Jack Loder, designer at The Laneway Group

Which beauty products do you share?
Ross: “I’m the makeup boy in our family, I think I wear enough makeup for the both of us. The product I can’t live without has to be YSL Touche Éclat. That said, I often find Jack stealing my moisturiser.”

How did you meet?
Jack:
“We met four years ago online, we spoke for six months before we met in person. We still can’t believe it.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Ross:
“I couldn’t get past Jack’s amazing green eyes, and of course his electric smile, it gets me every time.”
Jack: “The first thing I noticed when Ross opened the door was his sparkly choppers and eyebrows. He is so well-groomed. Next came the accent and his laugh, I was gone!”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Ross:
“We have negroni night! This requires making negronis and pasta from scratch and cooking up a little Italian feast!”

What is your couple song?
Ross:
Do You Want My Love by The Harpoons. We both belt out the lyrics with lots of enthusiasm and zero skill.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Ross:
“We only have two beauty rituals but they’re non-negotiables in our busy lives. First, Apply Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+ every morning! And second, Self-Care Sunday—it always helps to finish the week off with a mask. Depending on how our skin is feeling, we’ll jump between a few favourites including Lancôme Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask and Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment.”

Sarah Holloway and Nic Davidson co-founders of Matcha Maiden

Which beauty products do you share?
Sarah: “Nic is actually pretty on the ball with his skin, so I often end up having to share all my skin goodies. We both love exfoliators and masks as well as a good moisturiser and sunscreen. This summer, we've been fighting over Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+, it’s so glorious! We're pretty big on sun protection but not so much how it clogs pores and this is the first face-specific one we've tried. We both love it, so it’s always a fight who gets to use it first or who gets to use the last bits if it’s running out! Don't tell Nic I told you, but we also love to do a Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Sheet Mask together every now and then while we’re watching Netflix or unwinding from a big week.”

How did you meet?
Sarah:
“Not nearly as romantically as you'd think! We actually met in a nightclub, Baroq House, when Nic was running it almost 10 years ago now. He used to let me jump the queue but we didn't actually start talking properly until a few years after that when Facebook chat was just becoming a big thing. So, while we laugh now at the Tinders and Bumbles of the world, which didn't exist when we first started dating, we pretty much got together over the equivalent at the time. A good old Facebook chat, turned real life date, turned 10-year stint and now wedding later this year!”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Sarah:
“How many quirky coincidences there were in our past. I was born in South Korea but adopted into Australia and Nic's Mum was one of the very first Asians adopted into Australia. We both had pugs as our last dogs, his sister's name is Sarah Elizabeth, and my Mum's name is Elizabeth. Nic used to be an international athlete and I was a ballerina and we both had the same physio when we were very young (which we discovered when we ran into him at a party many years later). So many strange crossovers! I think we were also surprised at how compatibly curious our brains were—we didn’t expect each other to be so nerdy! But that came out pretty quickly in the conversations and continues to flourish today. Nerds for life.”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Sarah:
“We are big homebodies, so our favourite date nights are just takeaway nights with a good movie. But one of our favourite little traditions when we do venture out is a dinner date at Nobu, our favourite restaurant. We've been to a few around the world and always order the same thing. We also adore our golden retriever, Paul, so if it’s warm we’ll take him somewhere for the evening, like the beach.”

What is your couple song?
Sarah:
I'm Yours by Jason Mraz. I think I'll probably walk down the aisle to it!”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Sarah:
“We sometimes get facials together to help clear out the pores and give the skin a good boost. We travel a lot, so post-travel facials are a nice little ritual we do together. If we're feeling lazy, we'll just do some kind of clay mask at home and laugh hysterically at each other the whole time.”

Emily Abay, fashion photographer, and Ryan Hofland, model

Which beauty products do you share?
Emily:
“Ryan recently discovered my Dr. Dennis Gross Moisturiser and I was wondering why the cream was disappearing so quickly! He's been allocated his own moisturiser now, so he's not allowed to touch my tub. It’s banned.”

How did you meet?
Emily:
“We met early last year in Cape Town. I was there for an advertising job and we crossed paths at a restaurant on my day off. We got chatting and the conversation lasted until about 4am! Unfortunately, I had work at 8am that morning, otherwise we could have chatted for days on end.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Emily:
“Well, for me, I definitely noticed Ryan’s eyes first. I thought he looked like a sexy vampire. For Ryan, he says my hair and my bum. I must have been wearing pretty good jeans that day!”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Emily:
“This will be our first Valentine’s Day together, so it’s exciting to think that this is the first of our traditions that we’ll be making. I’m sure whatever we do will be quite chilled. Hopefully, we'll be in the same city! That will be a good first tradition to set.”

What is your couple song?
Emily:
Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont is winner for us.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Emily:
“Well Ryan doesn't let me watch or listen to him brush his teeth! He won't even be in the bathroom when I brush mine! But we do share the hairdryer. If I'm in the middle of blowdrying mine, I’ll usually pass it to him for five minutes once he’s out of the shower, so he can continue to get ready while I finish my hair.”

Kat Fury and Ben Arnold, co-founders of swimwear brand PALM

Which beauty products do you share?
Kat: “We are always stealing each other's things. What's mine is yours, right?! Ben is always stealing my Mecca To Save Face Superscreen and serums. On the other hand, I recently bought him Tam Dao by Diptyque for his birthday and I use it all the time. I try to use my own so we don't smell the same but it's incredible!”

How did you meet?
Kat:
“Ben and I first met through our mutual best friends (who are now about to get married) just over seven years ago while we were both holidaying in Sydney. We met at a bar in Kings Cross called Hugo's after many cocktails and tequilas. We hit it off instantly and stayed in touch after that night, but it wasn't until I moved to Bali myself in 2013 and went on a trip together to the Gili Islands that we feel completely in love. There was no going back after that.”

What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
Kat:
“He was funny, tall, dark and handsome! Very handsome! And he has cute British accent. He is also super intelligent, grounded and knowledgeable. He’s also someone I really look up to… I could go on!”
Ben: “I first noticed that Kat was ridiculously beautiful and really well dressed. Once we were introduced, I found out that she is curious, intelligent and great fun to be around.”

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?
Kat:
“We are lucky in Bali to eat out most nights, so every night is date night! For special occasions we like to take a trip somewhere low-key and relaxing. In Bali it's usually Ubud or Gili Meno. We don't really have a Valentines' Day tradition, we like to mix it up depending on where we are.”

What is your couple song?
Kat:
“We love to listen to soul and jazz. Especially the old stuff. Our favourite is Tell It Like It Is by Aaron Neville.”

What beauty rituals do you do together?
Kat:
“We regularly get massages and body scrubs together. If we spend a night in to watch a movie, sometimes Ben will let me put a face mask on him. I love to use BareMinerals Dirty Detox or Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask, followed by African Botanics Fleurs D'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil. We also both wear SPF50+ everyday.”

Words by Alexandra Whiting
February 2019

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