Tuesday, August 16, 2022

What Do a Bridal Designer, Olympic Athlete & a Hospitality Legend Have in Common? Some Smart (& Not So Smart!) Decisions

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In partnership with Dermalogica

From having the guts to fall in love, through to following careers dreams and taking a chance on chaos, everyone’s ‘smartest decision’ is different (although if you were in your teens in the 2000’s we can all agree the body glitter and low-rise jeans has to be amongst the worst collectively).

Thanks to Dermalogica’s new Smart Response Serum, we spoke to three very different Kiwi icons – Olympian Sarah Cowley-Ross, bridal designer Trish Peng and hospitality personality Olivia Carter – about their best and worst decisions, their mantras for getting through life’s turns and tribulations and the secrets to their skincare regimes that help them present the best versions of themselves everyday.

Sarah Cowley-Ross – Olympic Heptathlete

Sarah Cowley-Ross (Image/ Supplied)

Looking back on your life, can you tell us what you think the smartest decision you ever made was, and why? 
To have the courage to allow myself fall in love with my husband! I was going through a tough period of self-doubt and self-sabotage. While I’m naturally a confident person I really had to do some self work to find myself again. Over time I realised I’d lost my courage, and when I make a deliberate decision to pursue self-acceptance it overflowed into all areas of my life. I found the freedom I guess I was desperately seeking.

How did it change your life?
I found love and a true partner in life = game changer! And when you choose courage over fear it puts you in a really great place. 

What was your worst?
Every time I’ve worn heels to an event and realising my precious feet aren’t big fans!

When it comes to your skin, what are your biggest concerns and how do you address them?
I spent my 20s living summer to summer as an athlete with not much sunscreen on, so I’ve had to consciously rethink my sunscreen use. I’m a sucker for invisible physical defence which is light on my skin when exercising but heavy on protection. Also as a mother I have one fair-skinned child and one with more melanin – it’s made me be more aware of protecting their beautiful delicate skin from both UV exposure and air pollutants. I look at skincare much differently now as a form of self-care as a mum juggling family and professional commitments. I love a Sunday night masque – my favourite is currently the Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant. It’s a smart move for you and your skin

Olivia Carter – Soul Bar Commercial and Events Manager

Oliva Carter (Image Supplied)

Looking back on your life, can you tell us what you think the smartest decision you ever made was, and why? 
Such a cliché but starting work at Soul – but also never being afraid of showing people my strengths. Not every job I’ve ever had has been my ideal job, but once you show your boss or teammates what your strengths are and that you have the potential to offer so much more, I truly believe the world is your oyster.

How did it change your life?
When I started at Soul I was at a point in my life where I was contemplating a change of career. I’d applied for a waitressing job there but in the meantime I had a job on reception in a media firm hoping to meet new people and start my new direction. Soul contacted me and said they thought they had a better suited position for me working in their office and events. I ummed and aahed but WOW, I am so glad I went back to what I love because I knew in my industry my ideal job was waiting for me, I just hadn’t found it yet. The job at Soul has morphed and changed course a few times (both good and bad) but I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

What was your worst?
Leaving Australia and family behind – I don’t think my Kiwi husband will ever let me go back! But in saying that 99% of everything else in my life is pretty much as I had dreamed it would be so I really cannot complain.

Do you have a mantra, motto or affirmation that gets you through the day or guides your decision making? 
It’s quite simple but always seems to put my mind at ease – ‘Every little thing you do is one less thing you have to do’. Being so busy can be really overwhelming at times and quite often I don’t know where to start! One day I just kind of started say this over and over in mind and it hit the spot. It really helps me to calm down and put my ‘head down, bum up’. Even if I cross the littlest thing off my list it makes me feel like I am achieving, and off I go. One of my girlfriends always says to me you will never finish that to do list, but I am determined that one day – hopefully whilst on holiday with her in early retirement – that I will be able to prove her wrong!

When it comes to your skin, what are your biggest concerns and how do you address them? 
All during my teens and early adulthood I had terrible acne – I actually went on Roaccutane at 30! Once I got this sorted I now understand that actually my skin is quite sensitive and it likes what it likes and doesn’t what it doesn’t! So now I stay with brands that work for me – keep any acne at bay, are not too oily and help rectify my pigmentation, and of course deal with the fine age lines that are now creeping in there. Dermalogica has agreed with my skin since day dot and now has become my religion. I have just started using the new Smart Response Serum – with fabulous results. It’s like a decadent dessert for your face but without any of the guilt! My skin feels super luxurious every time I use it and I love the feel of total perfection.

Trish Peng, Bridal Designer

Do you have a mantra, motto or affirmation that gets you through the day or guides your decision making? 
Find the joy, pursue with relentlessneess and keep going. Big fan of lists to help my decision making, and talking things over with trusted and valued whanau and friends.  

Trish Peng (Image Supplied)

Looking back on your life, can you tell us what you think the smartest decision you ever made was, and why?
I think it would be following my dreams and finding my passion in designing wedding dresses. The best decision for the business even though it was just before lockdown, would have been taking the plunge of opening my Auckland flagship store last year. I’m so blessed to have found a career that I love, so it doesn’t feel like I am working.

How did it change your life?
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t started my business as it’s shaped me into the person I am today.

What was your worst?
I try not to live with regrets but it would probably be in the beginning of my career where I started a ready to wear line of day to day clothing for women. I did about three seasons until my business mentor was like, ‘You can’t do it all, you need to focus on one thing and do it well’. I decided to focus on high-end wedding dresses and it’s been the best journey. 

Do you have a mantra, motto or affirmation that gets you through the day or guides your decision making?
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line

When it comes to your skin, what are your biggest concerns and how do you address them?
My skin is on the dry and sensitive side. I’ve been using the full Dermalogica range and have found a real difference. My favourite products are the new Smart Serum, Biolumin-c Eye Serum and the Skin Hydrating Mask. I also try to make time for a facial at Skintopia as much as I can.

Dermalogica Smart Response Serum, RRP $255. Available now, click here

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