A Day in The Life Of… The Grace Tales Editor Georgie Abay

While my children’s days are very set (I’ve always been huge on routines for kids), there’s not really a typical day for me with work, which I love as I tend to get bored if I’m doing the same thing day in and day out...

I’m usually up early. If I can, I’ll get up around 5am and work for an hour before the kids are up. It’s my most productive hour of the day. I’ll tackle tasks that I’ve put off. I’ll write. Answer emails. Post to social media. The world is quiet and it means I wake up to an air of calm (until my three-year-old rises and begins her various demands – she’s definitely the boss of me). To make the mornings run more smoothly, I’ve also started doing things like emptying the dishwasher at night so the kitchen is ready to go in the morning… the glamour of #mumlife!

I’ll have a quick shower and use a few products. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and tend to focus on great skincare. I’ve had to work much harder at my skin since I’ve had kids – sleep deprivation is so ageing...

I first discovered Dermalogica when my mum sent me off for my first facial when I was a teenager. She’s always taught me the importance of looking after your skin. The beautician used Dermalogica on my skin and I’ve been hooked on the brand ever since. I’ve inherited my mum’s sensitive skin and over the years, if I use the wrong product, I’ll get itching, burning, stinging and redness – they’re all the obvious signs of sensitive skin. So now I’m hooked on Dermalogica’s ultracalming range, which contains ultracalming complex, an exclusive complex clinically proven to control neurogenic and immunogenic inflammatory pathways that lead to skin sensitivity. They’re great for soothing my skin and calming any inflammation. I love using Dermalogica’s Skin Sensitivity Risk Index which looks at where you’re located (pollution, humidity, temperature) and then recommends a regime to suit your environment. Studies are showing that environmental triggers, even the very air we breathe, can actually sensitise our skin (sensitised skin from your environment is different from genetic sensitivity, or being born with sensitive skin).

Adding to the range, they recently launched two new products – the ultracalming barrier defense booster and the ultracalming calm water gel (this one is so lovely and cooling). Both products are great for women who are suffering from stressed or irritated skin (me!). The barrier defense booster is a concentrated oil booster soothes, nourishes and moisturises, restoring balance to the sensitive skin. Then the calm water gel works to hydrate dry, sensitive skin. It’s a really refreshing gel formula, which transforms into a fluid upon application.

I’ll have a coffee in the morning. I recently switched to decaf coffee as I was having two strong caffeinated morning coffees and found I was just getting too jittery...

Once the school dropoffs are done, I’m at my desk and am pretty ruthless with how I use my time. For me, it’s all about prioritising. I spend my days meeting with clients, working on content for the site with our fashion director Marisa Remond and business associate Jenny Guo or UK editor Claire Brayford, strategising the year ahead with our editor-at-large in Singapore Emily Armstrong and on photo shoots with creative talents like Julie Adams and Grace Alyssa Kyo. I’m lucky to work with so many incredible women – they’re far more than work colleagues, they’re great friends. I surround myself with positive women who lift me up and inspire me. I think this is key for any business owner.

I launched The Grace Tales over four years ago. I quit my dream job as the deputy editor of Vogue Australia to focus on the site full time...

I’ve never looked back and I don’t think you have to do the same thing your whole life. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. It’s exciting and scary but mostly exciting!

There have been ups and downs and running my own business. It’s all consuming, but so is working for a corporate or being a fulltime mum, so I don’t think there’s an easy route whichever way you go. I had no idea what a big journey I was embarking on when I became a mother. Everyone’s story is so different – we all juggle it differently. All I know is, it takes a village to raise children. We all need help. I’m proud that I’ve reinvented my career. I always thought I’d work in magazines forever. That was all I ever wanted. But motherhood changes everything, doesn’t it? I knew after my second child arrived that I needed to create a career that allowed me the flexibility to be at the school gate at 3pm, take them to ballet lessons and just be there for them. I couldn’t do those things with my old job.


After I get the girls from school, it’s either to an activity or home to wind down – at least that’s the idea...

I find the late afternoons the most challenging as we’re all tired and they tend to fight a lot towards the end of the day. Sibling fighting is the most challenging part of motherhood for me – it drives me crazy. It’s when I find it hardest to stay calm.

I think every mother finds it hard to always stay calm. And let’s be honest – we all have moments where we lose it. How do I stay calm? I exercise a few times a week. The gym is my happy place. I love Pilates and Barre Body and I have just started yoga again. And of course, a long shower followed by using Dermalogica’s ultracalming range. Then it’s the obvious things – breathing, meditation and of course reminding yourself that tomorrow is another day. Motherhood really isn’t easy, but we’re all in the same boat. No one thinks it’s a breeze.

My husband is the cook in our home. He cooks and I clean...

Once the kids are in bed (which tends to take forever and gets rather stressful!) we either watch tv or I’ll go to bed and read. I’ve stopped working at night – I did it for two years and it makes me too tired. So now, I’m making an effort to go to bed and read. I’ve just finished my dear friend Canna Campbell’s book The $1000 Project. Next, I’m reading 10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong And Free by Steve Biddulph. Raising girls in today’s selfie-obsessed world terrifies me. Angelina Jolie was interviewed by Elle USA this month: “I tell my daughters, ‘What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others. Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you. Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for.” It sums up exactly how I want to raise my girls.

Lights are out by around 10 pm (later if I do have a deadline and need to work) then up early to do it all over again.

Locate your nearest Dermalogica store here.

Photography and video: Grace Alyssa Kyo | In association with Dermalogica