So what does a glamorous former VOGUE beauty director's morning routine look like? Sigourney Cantelo, founder of beauty website beauticate talks us through how she starts her day...
Having worked in the beauty industry for many years at one of the world’s most famous fashion magazines before leaving to launch Beauticate, Cantelo knows a thing or two about how to kick start your day. Green juices, exercise, meditation – she’s tried it all. So what works? Well, it all starts with a good night’s sleep the night before. Her tips? Turn off the tech. If that fails, she tries a cup of warm milk with turmeric and honey. As for waking up for the day, a few laps in the local pool always helps her open her eyes. We caught up with stylish Cantelo to talk about her morning rituals, pregnancy and what’s in store for 2016 (hello new spa and salon directory!)…
Can you take us through your morning routine?
Mornings start with Max climbing into bed for cuddles before we sleepily stagger in to the kitchen to make breakfast. While he eats, we chat and I water the veggie garden while slurping some strong tea and crunching on some toast with vegemite and avocado (it’s been a major craving of this pregnancy!). On a virtuous day I might drop Max at daycare early and try and do a few laps at North Sydney Pool before starting work or on a day off we will go together. A more typical day sees me running late, eating toast in the car, dropping Max at daycare with only one shoe and doing a drive-by to Bay St Espresso for a caffeine IV. I’m lucky to work from home, so it’s a pretty flexible schedule, although I always start work by 9am.
What are your top tips for getting a good night’s sleep?
The tech detox thing is real – not looking at laptops, iPads and phones for an hour before bed makes such a huge difference. The blue LED light does something to your brainwaves and tells your body to wake up. If I’m really wound up, I’ll take a bath in Epsom salts and lavender oil, then cover myself in lavender-spiked body oils before using lavender pillow mist. It’s all about layering the fragrance – also my friend, who’s a flight attendant introduced me to this sleeping balm by Perfect Potion – it’s amazing. I rub some under my nose and on my temples. Another trick is to have a cup of warm milk with turmeric and honey (great for the immune system, too) or read a few pages of a semi-boring book!
What are your top six time management tips?
I think I struggle with time management sometimes, but here goes…
Close the emails when you’re trying to write.
Use any downtime wisely – I take my laptop into the bathroom and sit on the floor working while Max plays in the bath and do a lot of work calls on the way to and from daycare drop offs.
Learn to meditate! I am so much more productive when I squeeze a meditation in – it gives me a kind of laser focus, rather than jumping from task to task. I never thought I’d be able to do it, but after doing a course in Vedic Meditation course with Gary Gorrow I was meditating twice a day. It’s fallen by the wayside a bit since becoming a mum, but it’s a skill I’ll have forever.
Outsource anything you’re not good at or you hate. Cleaning is an obvious one. But in business it’s also essential – I have bookkeepers because I’m a disaster with numbers.
Try a food delivery service. We’ve recently started using The Cooks Grocer and it’s amazing – they plan, shop and deliver the ingredients for three of our meals a week. I love not having to figure out what to cook every night and it’s fresh, yummy and reasonably priced.
It sounds obvious but write a list. When you break all your tasks down and start working through it methodically it helps. I tend to scratch them onto random scraps of paper and loose them, but my husband has been trying to get me to use Anylist and Trello.
What has motherhood taught you?
So much! Patience. Perseverance. The art of the juggle. Most of all though I think it’s taught me the power of unconditional, unwavering and fiercely protective love.
Do you exercise?
I try. My motivation has all but disappeared since being pregnant, but I do laps at North Sydney Pool while my husband Damien takes Max to swimming lessons and I train once a week with my trainer Ricardo Riskalla. He focuses on really gentle, strengthening exercises. I also try to stretch regularly while watching TV – I also roll out my back with a foam roller and these rubber ball things by PowerTube Pro – they’re amazing, you can give yourself a massage by standing against a wall and rolling your back around with them and it really helps.
“ If I can find the time I’ll try and sit down and do 20 minutes of meditation before opening the laptop – it helps me focus more than a latte - but it takes a lot more discipline! ”
Can you tell us about your diet?
Again, I’ve been pretty free and easy since being pregnant – giving in to cravings and enjoying pasta, pizza, bread and chocolate where necessary (it’s always necessary…). I do love vegetables so to make up for my sins, I’ll try and have a meat free meal and really focus on salads, veggie stirfries and quinoa creations.
Sigourney wears Marysia bikini, $198.96.
How do you focus?
Meditation makes a huge difference. If I’m somewhere busy and have to write, I’ll put my earphones in and turn on an app called Brain Wave 32 Binaural Rhythms – it plays these crazy new age sounds at levels which apparently help your brain change gears – you can choose from a menu of things like “creativity boost”, “concentration” and “focused and alert”. It’s pretty wacky but it does seem to help. Classical music is nice too in that situation.
Do you ever procrastinate?
Don’t we all? My favourite way to procrastinate is to clean as I’ve convinced myself I can’t work in a messy office/house. Oh well – there are worse vices.
Why did you start Beauticate?
After 15 years of working as a beauty journalist I was spending more time online and less reading magazines. I couldn’t find a beauty website that was beautifully designed – clean and sophisticated, but which also made beauty accessible and achievable. I also knew that women love seeing inside the homes and beauty routines of other women, so I decided to profile inspiring women and shoot them in their homes (these became our WHO profiles). We’ve shot women like Miranda Kerr, Kym Ellery and Delta Goodrem and have poked around their beauty cabinets, wardrobes, pantries and makeup bags to discover exactly how they manage to look so polished and pulled together all the time. I then set about creating really straight forward HOW-TOs that demystify the sometimes complex world of beauty – everything from makeup how-to videos to healthy recipes and skincare, hair and style tips.
Excitingly, we have JUST launched a new part of the site, the GO-TOs, which is a spa and salon directory to the best beauty destinations in Australia. There was a real gap in the market for a credible and curated guide to the best places to go to get your hair done and your laser, nails, brows, waxing and spray tan as well as the most luxurious and gorgeous day spas. We are reviewing all the salons and spas to a professional, journalistic standard and featuring gorgeous images so you can research and book many of the treatments from your phone, and you can trust that you’ll have a good experience once you get there.
In association with Sleepmaker