Beauty in Melbourne
The Nail Art Shakedown
From likenesses of your favourite pet to burgers you've loved, you can get nearly anything painted on your digits these days. Nail art became popular in the ’80s and ’90s, but it was also super tacky (hello, claw hands). Luckily, things have progressed since then, and Melbourne has embraced the nail art revival, hard. But does one nail art salon hold the upper hand? For more pampering and primping, visit our guides to Melbourne's best massages and waxing salons.
The best cosmetic clinics in Melbourne
If there's one thing that anti-wrinkle injections, laser treatments, tattoo removal and chemical peels have in common, it's that you wouldn't want to put your faith in the wrong hands. We've searched the city to bring you the most reputable and bang-for-buck cosmetics clinics in Melbourne – now all you have to do is make an appointment. For more pampering ideas, try these top massage parlours and spas and bath houses.
The best waxing salons in Melbourne
Waxing is a delicate operation – you're dealing with sensitive areas and hot products, not to mention the fact that you don't want to be pencilling in your brows forever after because some overzealous beauty therapist went wax-happy on your face. It goes without saying that a good waxing establishment needs to be hygienic – that's a given, but diplomacy and skill are also essential. If you're in the need of some post-wax relaxation, you may want to visit one of our favourite bath houses and spas. Or maybe you just need a quiet beverage, in which case check out our guide to Melbourne's best bars.
Where to get pierced in Melbourne
Thinking of adding to your collection of stylish piercings? Finally ready to brave your first? Melbourne is full of body mod salons, but these are our favourites. If you love rocking a unique style, then check out our fave alternative fashion shops.
Wellbeing in Melbourne
Where to try hot yoga in Melbourne
What is it? Yoga, practiced in a room heated to 37-40°C. Usually it will be Bikram Yoga – that 90-minute, unvarying set of 26 postures – but there are studios popping up where you can also sweat through a little Hatha and Iyengar. You'll need to drink two litres of water before class and it will all end up on your towel. Bring a spare for showering, or rent one along with a mat, and wear as little clothing as possible. It sounds awful, why should I do it?Hot thighs! Better discipline! All of your skin sloughed off in a tidal wave of sweat! Some yogis claim Bikram doesn't have enough inversions and that the hot room makes you push dangerously beyond your natural flexibility. But the whole idea of yoga – any kind – is to have your own journey, and to work sympathetically with your body's abilities. So tell them to suck it. We like it hot because warmer muscles really are bendier muscles (so you can get your rear closer to your face), and because the sweat session leaves you as smooth and soft as a mango pancake. Also because we'd rate this on par with bear wrestling in terms of exercise extremity, yet we always feel some inner-peace despite the outer turmoil.
Amara Wellness Centre
Dr Zara Celik is passionate about holistic health and wellness, and believes that beauty is reflection of our inner wellbeing and health. She believes in organic, natural, non-invasive treatments that aims to improve wellbeing and health of individuals and makes them beautiful as a result. The rear of her Amara Wellness Centre in Brunswick is a hammam, providing a nurturing steam, massage and bathing ritual to Melbourne’s tired and weary, in time-honoured Turkish tradition. The front section is all about skin renewal and tightening, courtesy of the LPG Endermotherapie and Endermolift treatments. The hammam After a day of first-world problems I’m feeling pretty drained and not in any mood to be taking my clothes off. Thank god I’m here to do a job, because after three hours in this Sydney Road hammam, experiencing an authentic and wellness Turkish and Moroccan bathing ritual is now top of my advise-everyone-to-do list. Zara Celik, a chiropractic doctor, came to Australia from Turkey when she was 15 years old, and found she missed the ancient bathing rituals of her country. Determined to introduce the experience to a wider Australian audience, she toiled away on creating this beautiful hammam, decorated from top to bottom with intricate mosaic tiling (Zara looks a bit pale when we speculate on how long that must have taken). Each steam room has domed ceilings and heated marble slabs on which to lie. Customers strip down to a bikini – or shorts – and are joined in the ro
Have you ever felt truly, and absolutely, weightless? When staying afloat takes no effort at all, to the point that you begin to lose any sense of your own body? If you’ve visited the Dead Sea, then these feelings might be familiar. But add total darkness, silence and stillness into the equation and things start to get a little more… interesting. I find Beyond Rest in an alleyway just off Chapel Street, where I’m greeted by owners Nick and Ben Dunin. The space – clean, curved lines, low lighting and scented candles – imbues a sense of calm that the brothers have taken care to create using principles of 'sacred geometry' (patterns found in nature that make up all living things). I’m led through this temple of relaxation until I reach my private room, which is dominated by a huge, white tank, filled with 1000l of purified water and 500kg of Epsom salt and magnesium sulphate. The door locks behind me. I take a deep breath. Floatation tanks haven’t always enjoyed the best (or most accurate) reputation. The concept was developed in 1954 by American neurophysicist Dr John C Lilly, who was interested in the meditative effects of sensory deprivation achieved by floating in ‘isolation tanks’ (and, to be fair, by taking LSD). Dolphins were also involved; I’ll let you Google that one yourself. Floatation theory became popular in the ’70s, but took a downturn in the ’80s during the AIDS crisis, when public health fears caused public pools, spas and tanks to shut down. In the mainstrea
Natural beauty tips from Richie Angelo
A hardcore beauty regime feels like an efficient way to keep your skin in good nick, but when you can find some of the same ingredients in manufacturing processes – it can’t be good, right? Richie Angelo, an experienced beauty therapist and natural skincare expert, says no. Richie’s passion for natural and organic skin care coincided with her first pregnancy. First, she became more interested in what she was ingesting and later curious about what she was absorbing through her skin. Her journey led her to become an advocate for natural skin care – skin care made from naturally occurring ingredients as opposed to compounds made in a lab. Richie primarily uses Sodashi and MV Organic products, both of which are high performance Aussie brands that use only plant-derived ingredients and no synthetic chemicals – no parabens, petrochemicals, preservatives or fragrances. Richie shares some of her skin care wisdom with us. Tip #1: Your nan was right You’ve gotta be regular. “You need to poo daily,” Richie says. “A lot of skin issues, especially acne, happen because your body is not eliminating as it should. If you’re not having a daily poo, toxins get reabsorbed and expelled through the skin.” Tip #2: Don’t strip your skin It’s oddly satisfying to wash your face until it squeaks, but don’t do it. “If you use skin care that over-strips your skin you remove the natural oils that your skin is supposed to have and it creates a pretty chaotic chain reaction,” Richie explains. “A clean
Beauty and grooming for men
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Four fantastic shows to see at this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival
Melbourne International Arts Festival is back again in 2019, with a stellar line-up of shows, exhibitions and gigs between October 2 to 20. If you’re a festival first-timer the stacked list of performances can be daunting – and even long-time festival fans appreciate a hot tip. The list of theatre shows coming to the city is particularly strong, with everything from rock‘n’roll biographies to a hilarious mother-versus-son verbal sparring match getting a run. Here are four shows to put on your Melbourne International Arts Festival bucket list in 2019.
Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus
From September 21 to October 26 Hofbräuhaus Melbourne is throwing an authentic, Oktoberfest celebration right in the heart of Chinatown. This is the 51st year of Hofbräuhaus in Melbourne and the venue is throwing a huge opening party on September 21 (the same day as in Munich) to celebrate. The party kicks off at lunchtime on September 21 with the crowning of the new duke or duchess of Hofbräuhaus who will have the esteemed honour of tapping the first keg. Fancy yourself as Hofbräuhaus royalty? Anyone who books a table between noon and 3.30pm on the day goes into the draw. If you’re selected you’ll also receive a $300 Hofbräuhaus voucher and a ceramic Bavarian stein which will be filled free of charge every time you visit the venue (until Oktoberfest 2020). The venue is offering, besides the regular seven Bavarian Biers on tap, three special biers for the celebration; two Oktoberfest biers and a Bock bier (a strong German lager) plus traditional Oktoberfest food (think pork knuckle, sausages and crumbed-to-order schnitzel), Bavarian music, traditional dancers and feast platters to share with your freunde (friends). For group bookings you can even arrange packages including the popular ‘the real Oktoberfest’ package which for $65 per person gets you a bretzel, a stein of Bavarian bier, a nip of schnaps and a platter to share. Test your Oktoberfest spirit during lunchtime with a stein-carrying competition where the man and woman who can carry the most steins (without droppi
Sandwich Chefs have launched a delicious new menu
As any lunch fan will attest, making a good sandwich is an art unto itself. Only amateurs haphazardly slap a filling between some bread and call it lunch – sandwich artists, like those at Sandwich Chefs, take your midday sambos seriously by combining only the most delicious artisanal bread, cheeses and perfectly roasted meats. Sandwich Chefs have been slicing, spreading and assembling their magnificent sandwiches for more than 30 years, delighting diners with their deli-style sangers. After all that time, the titular chefs have learnt a thing or two about making sandwiches and are launching a brand new menu that showcases sandwiches from around the world. The tasty new range includes American sandwich favourites like the Cheesesteak, Cubano and New York’s favourite lunchtime treat, the Reuben (featuring 14-hour slow-roasted beef plus pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island Dressing). Love chicken? Try the Schnitzel Club (it comes with Australia’s favourite brunch item, smashed avo) or try Sandwich Chef’s gourmet bánh mì. Traditionalists will want to get around the 14-hour slow-roasted pork or beef rolls (served with apple sauce and/or gravy) or if you can’t decide you can always opt for a make-your-own sandwich. Plus to celebrate the shiny new range of sangas, Sandwich Chefs are giving away a trip to New York alongside lots of instant win prizes when you spend $9.90 or more in store.To find out more, visit the Sandwich Chefs website.
IKEA launches an Australian Slow TV channel
IKEA caused a bit of a stir in marketing circles a couple of years ago with its series of deliberately boring YouTube commercials. These included a teenager doing the dishes for five minutes, a couple on a couch kissing in front of a TV for eight, and some young people arm wrestling for six. The ads played in front of YouTube content and many people skipped them, but they also garnered a cult following of joyfully disbelieving fans. The ads were inspired by the Scandinavian trend of ‘Slow TV’ in which almost nothing happens – designed as an antidote to our over-stimulated lives (some cool examples of Slow TV screened on SBS last summer). Now, IKEA is using the phenomenon as a way of promoting their new 2020 catalogue. They have launched an Australian Slow TV channel live streaming the 14-day (336-hour) journey of its products in shipping containers on board a ship to Australia. The channel, which in perfect Nordic understatement IKEA says “does not aim to excite”, is narrated by Kent and Sara Eriksson, narrators of the original IKEA Sleep Podcast. The Swedes are reading from the new IKEA catalogue with the sound of waves gently crashing against the ship’s stern in the background. Sounds a bit – well, dull, right? And that’s exactly the point. IKEA say they want to help Australians get a good night’s sleep, and watching this YouTube channel may indeed have that exact effect. And if you’re inspired to go buy a new IKEA bed to do it on, well that’s entirely up to you. The c