Everyone can see the beauty industry is booming. Our desire to be camera-ready at all times means we’re buying 25 per cent more cosmetics than we did two years ago; most of us will happily outlay more cash on our hair colour than on our clothes; baby-faced personal trainers are earning six figures; and $400 facials are no longer deemed eye-wateringly expensive. Not only has social media created a generation of consumers constantly hungry for beauty content, it’s also making stars of the talent in the industry. Some have slaved to get where they are, but others, let’s face it, are overnight sensations buoyed by big Instragram numbers. That’s why, for our 20th anniversary issue, we decided to celebrate the true guns of the grooming game — those worthy of guru status. Sure, their client books are bulging with Oscar winners, supermodels and ‘nines’ motivated to become ‘10s’, but besides their technical talents, it’s an artistic eye and an empathetic nature that keep them ahead of the pack. Once we schlepped to Beverly Hills or Belgravia to seek out talent of this level; now women from Europe, Asia and the US are trekking here for fly-in, fly-out fabulosity. You may have to be patient to snare an appointment, but, as they say, good things come to those who wait.
Jocelyn Petroni, Skin expert
Twelve years ago, aged 26, Petroni opened her first salon in Paddington, Sydney, rubbing a lot of local industry people the wrong way (her words). “I was gung-ho-determined to be the next big thing,” she admits. But ambition needs talent to truly thrive, and going by the
breathtaking interiors of her new Woollahra, Sydney, space, it’s fair to assume Petroni has a rare gift that is reaping rewards. The 38-year-old’s skin signature is a dewy, luminous complexion, but what makes her a standout therapist is her infectious Zenlike demeanour. “I meditate daily and have practised Buddhism for 12 years,” she says. “You need to be compassionate to give so much in this job.” Miranda Kerr, Megan Gale, Delta Goodrem and Michelle Bridges are just a few of the high-profile names she treats, and clients spend on
average $1000 per visit for a facial, manicure and pedicure plus upgrades and products. If that’s not in your budget (or you can’t afford to chopper her to your country estate for the day, as one VIP visiting from LA did recently), steal her secrets: “Thirsty skin benefits from taking two tablespoons of omega-3 oil, like Udo’s, internally every day. And invest in one of the new mists that are more like hydrating serums. Shemana [Ritual] Face Serum is my favourite.”
Linda Jefferyes, Makeup artist
No one really comes close to this freelance makeup legend. Starting in London in the ’80s as a model, Jefferyes returned home with a passion for the industry. “I learnt about makeup on set watching other artists apply it to me … There was no course or apprenticeship back then — it was that easy,” she recounts. “When I came back to Australia, my old modelling agent asked me, ‘Well, what do you want to do now?’ and I told her I wanted to be a makeup artist, so she sent me out to get a kit together and booked me in for a job.” It’s been a steady ascent since, working on more magazine covers than she can count. Australian modelling’s darlings — Miranda, Abbey Lee and Gemma included — know her simply as ‘Linda’, likely bonding on one of the many location shoots they’ve done together. It takes more than legacy to stay relevant in the fickle fashion industry, and while she’s gifted in the art of ‘edgy glamour’ — the woman has an infinite visualreference library in her head; anyone who’s worked with Jefferyes knows personality counts most. Despite being the first point of call for actors and singers alike touring Down Under — recently, Aerin Lauder and LA band Haim booked her exclusively for their visits — she is humbled by the work. “I don’t think I’ve made it — I feel like I’m just beginning,” she says. If you don’t get the chance to see Linda, you can follow her advice and “always do your makeup in good light with a good mirror”. And add light: “Highlighters are the most important thing in a makeup bag. Add a little pure white under the eyes and on top of your cheekbones to freshen up your face.” lindajefferyes.com
Renya Xydis, Hairdresser
If there’s one word that sums up the hair powerhouse that is Renya Xydis, it’s ‘industrious’. While running a business portfolio including the impeccably decorated Valonz salon, Miss Frou Frou Beauty, Salon X and The Men’s Grooming Room, all in Sydney, Xydis concurrently manages a black book of celebrity clientele — think Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett and Toni Collette — while regularly working on some of the country’s top magazine titles.
“My first cover was Nicole Kidman on Bride to Be at the age of 16. Covers weren’t a big thing back then, so while my boss stayed in the salon making money, she would send me out to work on Cosmopolitan, Cleo … and that was my kick-start,” the bubbly hairdresser explains. After a brief hiatus to start a family, her next big break was in Paris, working behind the scenes at the Collette Dinnigan show under the direction of Sam McKnight. “I got re-educated,” Xydis recalls. “Back then, editorial wanted whatever hair was shown on the runways and I was right there, backstage watching Eugene [Souleiman] do it, so I’d go and do it for Harper’s BAZAAR. I was re-energised.” Her trademark sexy hair isn’t the only thing keeping loyal clients such as Kidman coming back. “You have to learn to listen and stay in the background,” she says.
Amy Jean, Brow guru
This petite, stiletto-clad blonde with the megawatt smile and enviable wardrobe is as sweet as pie. Having started in the brow business 15 years ago with “a dodgy chair, a wax pot and way too much enthusiasm”, Amy Jean has redefined brows as a standalone craft in Australia. Our millennial readers probably don’t remember a time, well before Cara Delevingne, when brows were an ‘add-on’ service. “I swooned on the ladies [at the salon] and had to convince them that [sculpting] eyebrows was a unique skill set!” Amy Jean recounts. Fast-forward through five years of working “seven days a week, 11 hours a day, with two interstate flights a week” to today, and Amy Jean has five salons in Australia as well as pop-up salons in Europe and the US, earning her the nickname ‘The Travelling Plucker’. Her clients range from Aussie A-listers such as Delta Goodrem and Dannii Minogue to international stars Naomi Campbell and “one of the Spice Girls”. They’re all looking for the same thing: scrupulous attention to detail. While Amy Jean’s simple wax has evolved into a full menu of services — she pioneered feather-touch tattoo in Australia — her motto has remained: “I truly believe no two faces or eyebrows are the same, so I hope to God I never have a stamp or a signature brow.”
Jaye Edwards, Colourist
You might call 28-year-old Edwards a ‘mane mogul’, as running five continuously booked-out Edwards and Co salons across the country is a full-time job. But forget rows of basins and chairs — the set-up here is far more liberating. Perched at his trademark communal tables, the fashion flock congregates, chatting or getting a few hours’ work done on the laptop. Edwards has designed the interiors to feel anti-salonlike. But as much as we love the concept of the Edwards and Co spaces, that’s not why Edwards is in this story. He’s also one of the most in-demand colourists in Australia right now, his signature being the “lived-in effect”, as he calls it. “It’s incredibly easy colour to maintain and grow out,” he explains. He’s worked with some of the biggest blonde beauties, such as Lara Worthington, whose balayage back in 2014 sparked a media frenzy. Colour trends may have moved on since then, but Edwards has many more advanced techniques up his sleeve. And the thing he’s most excited about now is the mega Sydney salon he’s in the throes of building, set to open in Surry Hills in May. Stay tuned.
Alexa Towersey, Personal trainer
A tumultuous childhood led this 38-year-old, Sydneybased PT to use fitness as her outlet, and in a weights room she underwent both a physical and mental transformation. The feeling of empowerment she gained was something she wanted to share with others, so when her diverse bunch of clients (from swimsuit models to rugby players) now front up to see her at her Darlinghurst base, 98 Gym, they not only get a killer workout, but also an education and a confidence boost to boot. Towersey has pep in her step 24/7, and this enthusiasm rubs off. Before you know it, you too are addicted to her favourite infrared sauna sessions, you’ve signed up to see her Pilates instructor, and maybe (slim chance, but possible) you’ll even ditch your skim lattes for long blacks on her advice. So what sets her apart from a zillion other trainers out there? The constant niggling. Every move is detail driven. “Lean back an inch! Knees out! Can you feel your glutes?” she badgers. Also, customisation is key. “You’ve got to give the client what they want, but it’s only years of experience that instils in you a confidence to also prescribe them what they need,” she says.
Dr David Jivan, Naturopath
What makes a woman leave her mansion in Beverly Hills and travel around the world to a small clinic in Kingsford, Sydney, every few months? David Jivan, that’s what. He is the natural-health guru with 30 years’ experience treating everyone from “mums and dads” to A-listers and royalty, now with his own dedicated segment on channel 7Two’s Sunday morning show The House of Wellness. So why all the hoo-ha? “When people come to me, they are entering a private sanctum. I’m a straight shooter, I’m empathetic … the rest just happens. … Never underestimate the reach of the bush telegraph,” says the iridologist, herb specialist and doctor of alternative medicine. “People talk about my herbs as being my powerhouse. That’s my passion.” This second-generation healer (he credits his father as his inspiration) values integrity above all else. “I’ve had patients try to spoil me with extravagant gifts. I’ve been offered to live on a yacht in the Caribbean and to stay in a European chateau with a Bugatti at my disposal. I don’t accept them.” Dr Jivan is one of those rare souls who lives to make the world a better place. While he helps women struggling to conceive, on a smaller scale, he’s guided tens of thousands of people to find wellness in their own way. Digestive issues, weight loss, exhaustion … television is just another portal for him to help. “Fifty years ago, when naturopaths were talking about gut health, people used to think we were mad. Today, every medical professional is talking about gut health. They’re writing books about it. … But do you ever see a naturopath out there promoting it?” So Dr Jivan crusades on.
Kirsten King, Pilates instructor
If you’ve spent any substantial period of time on Instagram lately, undoubtedly you would have encountered one of King’s clients. Elle Ferguson, Pip Edwards, Georgia Fowler and Nicole Warne each sought out the purist Pilates instructor for specific needs, be it to prepare for a Victoria’s Secret runway or recover from a shoulder injury. “Pilates is very specific — people come to you initially with an issue, which means they need to be taken care of, and through that journey of fixing an imbalance in their body they feel stronger and it becomes a form of exercise for them,” King says. Her studio, Fluidform, in Sydney’s Waterloo, has been open for 10 years now, and has a variety of equipment clients use for their own specific program set to their needs and “posture types”. The demand speaks for itself, with many clients driving for more than an hour each way to do one of her intimate classes, and others booking in for a full year’s worth of sessions every January. Lululemon approached her recently to create an exclusive capsule collection of Pilates gear sold at her studio. “We are as true to [inventor] Joseph Pilates’s concept without being a 1:1 offering. I felt that it just wasn’t accessible enough for people,” King says. For those who can’t make it to one of King’s classes, her advice is to find somewhere that can accommodate you, and commit to it. “With three sessions a week, within two to three months you’ll see a significant change in your body. Because all those big muscles, your prime movers, take a step back and your slow-twitch fibres (your stabilisers) really step up — they’re the muscles that create lines and shadows.”
Dr Joseph Hkeik, Cosmetic physician
If you’re walking past a grand Victorian terrace in Sydney’s Double Bay and there’s a suspicious figure lurking across the road, don’t call the cops. It’s a harmless pap hanging out for his money shot: perhaps male supermodel Jordan Barrett, TV host Darren Palmer — even an eastern suburbs socialite or tech tycoon will suffice. Privacy at All Saints Skin Clinic is paramount, however; thank God for hidden entrances and garage doors. The names flock here for facials and treatments, and to see cosmetic physician Joseph Hkeik, whose artistic approach to injectables has earned him world renown. Born in Lebanon with ambitions to be a sculptor, the softly spoken 51-year-old attracts patients who want to stay looking real, only better. It’s a talent he likens to being able to look at a puzzle and instantly know which piece is missing. “You’re recreating the past,” he says. “It’s not just administering an injection and waiting for something to happen. You also have to be restrained enough to not get carried away.” Hkeik’s patients are highly motivated perfectionists when it comes to their image, but he admits the ‘nines’ are hard work. “Often all that’s required is a tiny lift to bring back balance to that face. To do less — that’s harder.” Other attributes: he’s a great listener (“Your face is your most intimate space”); honest (“I must explain limitations”); and eloquent (“It takes skill to explain things”). But if Hkeik’s services’ prices and lack of proximity are prohibitive, he’s still got great advice. “Number
one, Australian women don’t protect their skin enough from the sun.” Two: don’t get bits and pieces done ad hoc, injection-wise, with no thought to scale. “Everyone’s inflating certain areas so they’re disproportionate to the rest of the face.” Three: if asking for Botox, stress you still want expression — don’t request frozen. “You’re not going to get bang for your buck. The doctor will just charge you more.” And four: be on the lookout for new fillers — he cites Teosyal RHA and Juvéderm Volite.
Dr Luke Cronin, Aesthetic dentist
Glamorous is probably the last adjective most people would use to describe a trip to their dentist. But, then, most people don’t have a dentist like Dr Cronin. For starters, many of his clients are international, jetting in for appointments from as far as Latvia. Billionaires, celebrities and people who just want the best all make the pilgrimage to his unassuming practice in North Sydney. “Word of mouth is pretty powerful, but we’re also very active on Instagram,” Dr Cronin says. (@QualityDental has almost 70,000 followers). Clients are picked up and transported via limousine, no less, put up in a luxury parkside hotel room and treated to dinner with the dentist himself before embarking on the Cronin aesthetic dentistry experience. Nonstop work — conceptualisation, creation and completion — means clients are reclined in their first-class seat homeward-bound with a new smile in a mere four days. We should mention at this point this service comes with a $30,000–40,000 price tag. There’s good reason for the hype. Dr Cronin specialises in a niche type of dentistry. Forget one-size-fits-all Hollywood megawatt smiles; Dr Cronin ‘designs’ teeth to fit a unique set of specifications. “I start with the outcome the client wants to achieve,” he explains — using digital mapping and models of porcelain veneers so they can see if it is in harmony with their face. “I’m not about imposing my style on somebody else. It’s a style that will suit a specific face … everything is tailored.”
Photography: Damian Bennett
Styling: Caroline Tran
Words by Eugenie Kelly & Anna Lavdaras for HARPER’S BAZAAR Australia