Georgie Abay On Friendship, New Year Intentions & The Clarins Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté Cream She's Adding To Her Skincare Regime - The Grace Tales

Georgie Abay On Friendship, New Year Intentions & The Clarins Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté Cream She’s Adding To Her Skincare Regime



 It takes a village to raise a child. If I were to reflect on my journey as a mother, this rings truer than anything else. We all need help. We all need a village. We all need a friend who we can do a drive-by and drop off our kids for our hour while we regain our sanity...

We’ve all experienced the isolation that can come from becoming a mother for the first time. Those feelings of being disconnected from the rest of the world. For mothers, community is our lifeline. Creating a modern village is what makes us happy parents.

I met financial planner, best-selling author (her new book Mindful Money is out now) and founder of Sugar Mamma Canna Campbell many years ago. We actually went to school together, but being in different grades, we never connected. It wasn’t until years later, through a mutual friend, that we really got to know each other. Fast-forward 10 or so years and I couldn’t imagine life without her. We’ve been in the trenches together (we still are) and we’ve seen the best and worst of one another. We’ve watched one another start businesses, write books, have breakdowns over the stress of new motherhood and we’ve leaned on one another constantly. We’ve shared everything from skincare secrets to sleepless nights and more.


She’s also someone I turn to at the beginning of each year to inspire me. Whether it’s the fact that she gets up at 5am to get ahead of the day or that she rarely watches TV, is a minimalist, financially savvy and so much more, she never fails to motivate me to firm up my routine.

So to get motivated and kick off the year, I got together with Canna to talk New Year resolutions (disclaimer: I don’t make them), growing up with Clarins-obsessed mothers, friendship, motherhood and the one product we’re both adding to our skincare regime.

Despite not making New Year resolutions, at the beginning of each year, I think about my priorities and where I want to focus my energy. Health is always my number one priority (I’ve been going to Body Love Pilates in Woollahra for a couple of months now and it has been a game-changer). After attempting to go off sugar, my chocolate addiction is staying put, for now. Prioritising my village – my friends and family – is always another big focus (nothing forces you to prioritise what is important quite like motherhood). Spending time doing things I love – horse riding, reading, swimming in the sea – is also something I’ll prioritise. I want to spend less time on Instagram and more time living my life (instead of looking at others). And finally, as I get older (I’m 38 this year) looking after my skin is more important than ever. I’ve spent many years plying my face with creams, but it’s also now my neck and décolletage that is shouting out for love.

I think it was around the time I turned 30 that I first started to pay attention to anti-ageing ranges. Before then, like many girls in their 20s, I felt like I was invincible. Wrinkles weren’t on my radar. Until suddenly, there they were. Throughout my 30s, I’ve used renowned French beauty brand Clarins. I’d first discovered the brand as a teenager in my mother’s beauty cabinet and have been using it ever since (my mother won’t walk through Duty Free without grabbing me a Clarins serum). One of the things I love most about Clarins is that it’s a brand loved and shared by generations of women.


“ We’ve watched one another start businesses, write books, have breakdowns over the stress of new motherhood and we’ve leaned on one another constantly. We've shared everything from skincare secrets to sleepless nights and more ”

Just like Canna, my mother has always given me skincare advice – always wear suncream even on the back of your hands when you’re driving, eye cream is really worth it, and the best one, take care of your neck and décolletage. I ignored her, of course, and as usual, she was right.

Zoë Foster Blake, former beauty editor, skincare guru and GRACE magazine cover girl, famously said: “your face stops at your boobs”. It’s true – the delicate skin of the neck and décolletage requires the same intensive care that we apply to our faces, but it’s often overlooked. Not to mention, overexposed, as it takes the full force of the sun whenever we’re not dressed in a high neck.

Now, there’s lots of advice I wish I could give my younger self (don’t text him back! Wash your makeup off before you go to bed! Start a savings account!) but vain as it may seem, taking better care of my neck and décolletage would definitely make the list. The unfortunate reality is that by the time we start to see the effects of ageing, the ship has truly sailed on preventative measures.

Thankfully, the Clarins Extra-Firming range has a new star product in the mix: Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté. Billed as a treatment that ‘smooths and creates a lift-sculpt effect to visibly maintain the youthfulness of the neck and décolleté’, the plant-powered formula is designed to visibly minimise wrinkles, skin slackening, and age-related dark spots.


The skin of the neck and décolletage is fragile. With the constant movements of the head, the skin of the neck is stretched and creased throughout the day (especially if you’re tucking your chin in to stare down at your phone or computer screen for long periods – guilty!), encouraging wrinkles and lines to form more easily.

And while I always imagined ageing gracefully, the reality of coming face to face with pigmentation spots, wrinkles, skin sagging and altogether not-so-bouncy skin in the mirror was more confronting than I’d been prepared for. Any mother will confirm that motherhood accelerates ageing at an alarming rate. The combination of approximately 29,000 hours of lost sleep (an estimation, but probably not far off), non-existent time for self-care, and the added stress of tantrums, childcare fees and general mum-guilt, creates a perfect storm for ageing to really make itself at home on our faces.

Thanks, then, to the clever team at Clarins, who took inspiration from the movement of the sunflower stem (genius!) to develop Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté. Sunflower extracts in the formula improve the elasticity and firmness of the flexible neck and décolleté area, boosting the skin’s resistance to daily bending and rotating while protecting against harmful indoor and outdoor pollutants. The combination of anti-ageing powerhouse ingredients Kangaroo Flower and Organic Mitracarpus plant extracts helps smooth lines, firm, and lift. Organic Desert Date plant extract targets dark spots for a more even skin tone (goodbye, pregnancy pigmentation that never quite departed). And boasting a heavenly sounding combination of Organic Oat Sugars plant extract, Leaf of life and Shea oil, the melting cream formula applies with a lightweight and surprisingly non-oily finish.


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The Grace Tales founder Georgie Abay using Clarins Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté cream, $112


“ The combination of anti-ageing powerhouse ingredients Kangaroo Flower and Organic Mitracarpus plant extracts helps smooth lines, firm, and lift ”

So, together with Canna, I’ll be firming up my skincare range this year. Because as Nora Ephron writes in her collection of essays, I Feel Bad About My Neck: “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.” If only someone had told Nora about the Clarins Extra-Firming range. I also won’t be taking my village for granted. Because while friends enrich every stage of our life, friendships during motherhood are what keeps us sane, they’re what keeps our head above water.


Photography by Grace Alyssa Kyo | Additional reporting: Gemma Dawkins | In partnership with Clarins


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