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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The ultimate Tassie road trip you never knew you needed
Tassie is small enough to conquer in an extra long weekend but big enough to support all the incredible farm-to-table eateries, small-batch distilleries and eye-popping nature that it’s become known for. The best way to get there is by ship – Spirit of Tasmania, to be exact. The reason? Taking your own car to traverse this stunning isle means you can explore more than just the big cities. So take a break from Hobart and explore the rest of Tasmania, where the number of gorgeous things you’ll see and experience is bonkers high.
The George on Collins is launching two tasting menus from ex-MasterChef Khanh Ong
Once upon a time, there was the power lunch – a meal where high rollers took their wheeling and dealing out into restaurants around the city. The George on Collins has revamped the idea with a focus on the time it takes to get the most out of your meal in what they’re calling the Hour of Power. Designed to show off the flavour-packed creations of their new partner – MasterChef 2018 contestant and DJ, Khanh Ong – two new “feed me” menus will be available for lunch and dinner from Tuesday–Friday and Saturday evenings starting June 4. Photograph: Supplied There is the Little Hanoi for $42pp, where Khanh selects favourite dishes for you from the extensive Vietnamese menu. Think Bo La Lot, grilled beef and betel leaf skewers, lamb cutlets with tamarind and millionaire eggplant with Vietnamese mint and sesame dressing. If you’re feeling a little hungrier, and have a little more time on your hands, option two is rightfully named the Big Saigon. For $58 per person, feast on more of the menu with a few sweet treats thrown in. Expect banana parfait and chocolate mousse, or ricotta, pineapple and jackfruit spring rolls with ginger syrup and green peppercorn ice cream. Whether it's a swift, satisfying lunch meeting or you want to get in a quick dinner before a show or night on the town, it’s going to be a fuss-free choice. Photograph: Supplied Ong, whose infectious smile and passion for Asian cuisine made him a viewer favourite in the MasterChef kitchen last year, has revitalised
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo was established in 1985 by Princess Caroline of Hanover (in accordance with her mother, Grace of Monaco’s wishes) and has since become one of the world’s most exciting ballet companies. “For a ballet company, they’re so different to what we do, but they’re really creating ballet of the 21st century,” the Australian Ballet's artistic director David McAllister says. The Australian Ballet has invited the company to Melbourne with this new, critically acclaimed take on Swan Lake, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot. His production is dark, sexy and features costumes by Winter Olympics designer Philippe Guillotel. “As Jean-Christophe always does, he approaches it from a very contemporary angle,” McAllister says. “It’s the same Swan Lake story – the white swan versus the black swan – but in this production they’re played by different people.”
Every circus is set up basically the same, right? You take one big top (preferably red and white striped), add a stage for the performers, some seats for the audience and maybe some barriers to separate the two. Circus Oz isn’t one for doing things like everyone else though. Circus Oz is shaking up the rules of circus with Wunderage: an immersive new show with no seats and no barriers between you and the performers. In Wunderage the audience isn’t just watching the show passively from the sidelines – instead they see it unfold all around them. Through mind-boggling physical feats, humour and an inspiring live score, Wunderage treads a tightrope (literally and figuratively) between who we are and who we might become. Step into the performance space and discover a room filled with giant blue boulders and tightropes up to four metres high. The performers move freely throughout the space – it’s hard to predict where they’ll appear next as they effortlessly ride bicycles on highwires, do handstands on teetering towers and flip, twist and somersault off precarious platforms. Try to keep calm as the acrobats twirl majestically in aerial slings and clamber up and down Chinese poles. The show is a collaboration with Brisbane performance art group Company2, who have infused it with the group’s sense of poetic theatricality, humour and fondness for pushing boundaries. Wunderage is a playful, heart-warming show that explores the desire for people to be something they are not. Wun