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EDITION 1 // OCTOBER 2013 // MARCH 2014

little BLACK




how to look your



Founder of Clear Complexions Clinics



// 12

Editor’s LETTER // 22

// 18 Inner Confidence is a magazine about vulnerability, courage and the power of self-belief. Exactly how does a registered nurse end up publishing a magazine all about confidence? Good question. I started the Clear Complexions Clinics eight years ago. Our nurses treat all manner of skin conditions from ageing to acne and every single one of our clients is inspirational to me. They have had the courage to articulate and face a personal insecurity; something about how they look that is affecting how they feel. To others, it is insignificant; a wrinkle or an age spot. Not ground shattering by any stretch of the imagination, but it is enough to make them pause a little longer at the mirror and wish it wasn’t there. I am privileged to be a part of that positive change and am witness every day to the power of nurturing yourself and taking charge of your own self confidence. Lives change, decisions are made and progress happens all on the back of being a little happier with how you look and what you offer the world. We have featured some truly amazing men and women in this edition. While they have all found success, they have faced similar adversities, challenges and doubts that plague all of us. What they have in common is the incredible impact they have on the self-confidence of others. They uplift and inspire. Enjoy their stories.

In this // ISSUE 2
















2 2


Advertising, Editorial and Subscription Inquiries Email

Suzie Hoitink Editor-in-chief

Post InnerConfidence HQ, 1/82 Thynne St, Bruce, ACT 2617 Call (02) 62518889


I often get asked what I regularly do for my skin to keep it healthy. Here are my secrets. I’m luckier than most because I have all the best skin care technology available at my fingertips. But in truth, life being what it is, I rarely get the chance to ‘treat’ myself. There are three things though, that I swear by for keeping my skin healthy and strong – Clear+Brilliant, Omnilux and medical grade skincare. Clear+Brilliant is a fractionated laser that resurfaces and stimulates collagen without the downtime. I love the reduction in pore size and the glow this treatment gives me a few days later. It is hard to get that from anything else. I use the Omnilux as often as I can. My clients have a treatment anywhere from weekly to monthly. We only have the medical Omnilux in the clinics as it truly delivers. I love it because it only takes 20 minutes, it’s inexpensive, and is easily the most pleasant way to stimulate collagen and elastin. It is absolutely addictive! Lastly, I feed my skin every day, replacing what the environment leaches out. I’m not talking about your everyday, over-the-counter skincare though. You are wasting your time and money, especially with the big name brands. On my skin, and my clients, I use medical grade cosmeceuticals only. Healthy skin is about getting the right treatments and the right skincare for each person, and each person has different needs. But when you get it right, you will see and feel your skin improve in as little as a week. Remarkable.

Dry, Dull Looking Skin? Find yourself using a heavier and heavier moisturiser? It’s actually an indication of poor skin health. The older we get, the drier our skin becomes. In our youth, our skin functions perfectly to keep hydrated and to maintain barrier protection. With UV exposure, lifestyle factors, and inevitable ageing, our skin loses its ability to maintain these functions. Our skin gets drier and more sensitive. How do you rectify this? Well, not by buying the heaviest duty moisturiser you can get your hands on. Hydration needs to come from within. After all, children don’t need a moisturiser. Replace what the skin is now missing. By adding antioxidants like Vitamin A, C and E to your skincare, you can re-stimulate the production of Hyaluronic acid, essential for ‘holding onto’ moisture in your skin. You can also reduce moisture loss by restoring the integrity of the skins barrier. Cleansers and toners strip the skin of essential ceremides and natural oils. Use emulsifying cleansers whenever possible and throw the toner away.


Lastly, get advice on what is right for you from someone who knows. Your thirsty skin will thank you for it.

Avocado 100 grams of Avocado will give you around 10% of your daily requirements of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that loves mopping up those free radicals that contribute to the ageing of your skin.


Almonds Rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, almonds are also a great source of plant-based protein, a building block for your skin cells. They are also a source of magnesium, a foil for the effects of stress hormones, which can make your skin age and exacerbate acne.

You ARE WHAT YOU eat! //

I get asked all the time if what you eat makes any difference to your skin and the answer is most definitely! What is it about our western diet that is so bad for our skin? Well, processed foods. They lack antioxidants and are full of sugars and bad fats. My advice – think huntergatherer! Here are the top five foods you should definitely incorporate into your diet:

Oily fish like salmon are not only a great source of protein, but are a source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential to nourish your skin, decrease clogged pores, and help with fine lines and wrinkles. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, omega3s can also help relieve skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.

Chocolate Dark chocolate has high potency antioxidants known as flavonols, which are great for younger looking skin. As high levels of sugar are not ideal, choose a 70% or higher dark chocolate with low sugar and if you limit yourself to a couple of squares a day, it’s fine. Thank the Lord!

Don’t Discount your Skin At this time of year all the discounters come out. I get calls from clients worried their friends are being sucked in by a ridiculously reduced price for a treatment from a discounting web site – and they are right to be concerned.

Kiwi Fruit Vitamin C is excellent for your skin’s collagen synthesis and is also an antioxidant which can help to protect and rejuvenate damaged skin. Kiwifruit is the leading source of this antioxidant, and also a fantastic source of that other antioxidant, vitamin E.

In most states of Australia, anyone can buy a laser and operate it without any experience or qualifications. Sadly I have seen and heard first hand the horror stories from clients who’ve come to me after going down the cheap and nasty route. Your face is not worth taking a gamble on. As a client you should have confidence in the abilities of the professional treating you. It should be an enjoyable, safe and empowering experience. And you should be delighted with the results. So if you’re ever tempted by a "great value" treatment, think about what it might really cost you!  INNER CONFIDENCE // 3

Confidence BOOSTERS //

Run! Running is my go-to for releasing tension and nervous energy. Plus the endorphin hit I get afterwards makes me feel like I can take on the world.

It’s normal to have doubts or insecurities, but there are many things we can do to rise above them. We asked some of our readers to share the things that they do to help them feel their best:

Anna, Red Hill

Yoga I work in a super competitive industry where you’ve got to be on top form to deflect some of the power plays that go on. My yoga class is what keeps me sane and feeling strong internally.

High heels It sounds shallow but when I put on a pair of ‘power heels’ I don’t just feel physically taller, but mentally taller too. Saying that, it’s taken me years to perfect the art of walking in them gracefully!

Kim, North Sydney

Jules, Surrey Hills

Dress for Success How I am dressed has a huge impact on my mood and confidence. If I’m wearing a nice outfit, have my hair styled and makeup on, I definitely feel better about myself. Bec, Five Dock

My girlfriends Every time I catch up with my friends, I come away feeling lighter, happier and better about myself. What’s not to love about that! Erin, Ainslie


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Feature // STORY

SHINING her LIGHT Suzie Hoitink, registered nurse and founder of the Clear Complexions Clinics, overcame chronic acne, hormonal pigmentation and insecurity; and now helps thousands do the same. 6 // INNER CONFIDENCE


There’s a quote that is pinned up on Suzie Hoitink’s wall. It’s a quote that has been attributed to Nelson Mandela, although it was actually written by author Marianne Williamson, and part of it states: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." The quote is a constant reminder to Suzie of how she managed to turn her life around so that she could “let her own light shine and give others permission to do the same.” And it’s a mantra she lives by daily. Once a sufferer of chronic acne, hormonal pigmentation and low self-esteem, Suzie embarked on a journey that has taken her to the point where she now possesses enviably clear and radiant skin. It is now her lifelong mission to help others reach that point. Armed with four award-winning clinics in Sydney and Canberra (and more on the way), a dedicated team of qualified nurses and doctors and the latest technology, Suzie empowers thousands of people to turn their own lives around, by making chronic skin disorders and conditions a thing of the past. Here we find out more about her personal journey, the demons she still faces, and how she is single-handedly raising the bar on skin care in Australia. It’s hard to believe you used to suffer from acne! Up until the age of 16, my skin was fine. But then I just broke out in chronic acne on my forehead and cheeks and it felt completely disfiguring. I used to hide behind really heavy makeup, a long fringe and wear my hair down. I was terrified of looking at people squarely in the eye and gradually the insecurity of it took over every aspect of my life. Then if that wasn’t enough, during the pregnancies of both my daughters, I developed acute hormonal pigmentation as well as the breakouts. How did you turn things around? I had tried everything – pills, creams, diets – but nothing worked. Then, while I was working as a nurse for a cosmetic surgeon, I came across technology that he was using as a sideline, to treat these conditions. And it worked! But it was only a sideline. And I thought, “There is no one out there dedicated to looking after the health


of your skin!” I did some research and found that there was a whole world of technology that was being developed that I’d never heard of. And that’s when I realised I had found my path.

with everything I do, I would tell myself before going on stage or doing an interview, “Make yourself proud.” Now I actually quite enjoy the whole process.

What gave you the confidence to set up your own business?

You and your husband, Alex, are both Directors of Clear Complexions. How does this impact your relationship?

Basically I was driven by my passion to address the fact that there were very few places in Australia or even the world, committed to treating the health of people’s skin. I knew how debilitating it was to suffer from skin conditions and I knew that I could make a dramatic difference to the lives of people who were experiencing the same. That determination, coupled with a strong work ethic, is what got me started.

“I was terrified of looking at people squarely in the eye and gradually the insecurity of it took over every aspect of my life.” What have been some of the hardest moments in establishing your business? When we opened our first clinic, both my daughters were very young and because the clinic just took off, I didn’t get to see them much in the first few years. Alex, my husband would bring them in at 8 o’clock so I could kiss them goodnight. Then I’d feel the weight of what I was doing and think, “I’m missing out on my children’s lives!” Obviously things are easier now but I still feel guilty if I have to miss out on some of their sporting or school events. Alex reassures me that what I am doing is showing our children that they can do or be anything they want. My girls are both teenagers now and are incredibly encouraging of what I do. They have friends who suffer from acne and they can see how what I do is making a huge difference to their confidence. I am also blessed that I run the clinics alongside my amazing husband; and both of us have extremely supportive families who help us out. Another hugely challenging part of what I do is public speaking. After living so long trying to hide from the world, I now step into the glare of the public eye on a regular basis. At first it was incredibly nerve wracking. But, as

When I first started out, Alex had his own business. But then we got to a stage when we hit tipping point and we realised that both of us needed to focus on Clear Complexions. The biggest saviour for our marriage has been having clearly defined roles: Alex works on the business; I work in it. We’ve known each other since I was 13 years old and are best friends. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are constantly strategising. The down side is that we never really switch off from it. We’re not great examples of having a work life balance. But the plus side is that as a couple we have the added power of being able to make big decisions and take big risks together. Having that mutual trust and support is unique. There’s no way I could do all this on my own. How do you cope with criticism and setbacks? We decided very early on that I should be the face of Clear Complexions rather than hiding behind a business name or logo. We did that to convey a message of honesty and accountability. With that comes the huge responsibility of ensuring that every individual who walks through our doors receives the best quality of care and treatment. Putting yourself out there can also make you a target for criticism. But because I’ve chosen to take on this role, I regard criticism and setbacks as an opportunity to do things differently and to learn and grow. Are you confident now? Yes, I would say I am confident now. But up until the age of about 35, my confidence was very much impacted by the state of my skin. There are still times when I have moments of insecurity and I can micro analyse things about myself that I don’t like. I think it’s in our nature as women. But because I have met so many inspirational people through the clinics and through our association with Lifeline, who have overcome real adversity, it gives me a healthy dose of perspective. In fact, my sixteen-year-old daughter, Grace, taught me about a catastrophe scale that she uses – ten being the worst thing you could possibly imagine. I use that a lot to get a reality check on what’s really important in life.

“We’ve known each other since I was 13 years old and are best friends.”

“Putting yourself out there can also make you a target for criticism. But because I’ve chosen to take on this role, I regard criticism and setbacks as an opportunity to do things differently and to learn and grow”

What do you love most about what you do? It sounds corny, but I really feel incredibly privileged to be part of the journey that people make in turning their lives around – whether it’s helping them overcome chronic skin conditions or warding off the signs of ageing. The amount of letters and phone calls we receive from clients telling us about the difference our treatments have made to their lives is what drives me everyday. Saying that, it’s also lovely to get industry recognition for all the hard work we put into raising the standards in this industry. What is the proudest moment in your journey?” Recently I was a National Finalist in the 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Awards – it was one

of the proudest moments in my career. The awards process was incredibly gruelling, so when I heard my name being read out I was just flooded with relief, disbelief and an immense feeling of gratitude to my team and everyone who has helped my business grow. You are an advocate for tighter industry legislation. Tell me about that? I’m an active advocate on best practice methods in an industry that has little to no effective legislation regulating the use of lasers and IPLs in Australia. In fact in all States except WA and QLD, if you can buy a laser, you can operate it, no experience or qualifications required! I find that incredibly alarming and have made it my mission to encourage other practices to follow our example by having only qualified and experienced nurses

with an IPL/Laser Safety Officers Certificate treating clients and an ongoing professional development program. I’m also sought out to speak at cosmetic conferences and beauty Expos throughout Australia. Whilst it’s incredibly time consuming, not to mention unnerving at times, I consider it to be a crucial part of my responsibility as an industry leader and find it incredibly fulfilling when I see changes finally being made. What would you say to your 16-year-old self? I’d tell her that she deserves to feel good about herself. It’s a message that I tell my clients everyday. Like it says in the speech that I have pinned on my wall, “Your playing small does not serve the world…we are all meant to shine.” 


Ef fe c t i n g C h a n g e ,

ONE DRESS at a time A group of women are gathered at a photographic studio in Sydney. Our editor, Suzie Hoitink, has invited them here to participate in the inaugural issue of Inner Confidence Magazine. The women are savvy and professional, but today they look like a group of girlfriends having a fun day out. The laughs are genuine, the sentiment authentic. One of the women is here with her two week old. The bub is passed around amongst them with a sense of casual but confident care. You could be forgiven for thinking they are lifelong friends, but in actual fact, the link they have with each other –the ”golden thread” that connects them–is Little Black Dress, the ‘netweaving’ organisation founded by Janine Garner that is changing the way women do business. 10 // INNER CONFIDENCE

There is perhaps no truer adage for a woman working her way up the corporate ladder than the one that proclaims it is lonely at the top. For LBD Group founder Janine Garner, it seemed that the higher she went and the more successful she became, the less she was able to connect with other women because, frankly, there were just less of them in similar situations. After eighteen years in the corporate world, and having three children along the way, Janine found that while she was in a position most women would envy – fabulous job, international travel, big fat salary and huge budgets – she was increasingly left with a feeling that there was something missing, and that thing was connection. This need to connect was the catalyst that drove her to found the Little Black Dress Group, a networking organisation for women in business that whilst only a little over two years old, seems to be growing at an exponential rate; and

ultimately morphing into a force for change in the corporate workplace with a mission to encourage society in general to regain some of its humanity. The first event started as a catch up amongst eight women – there was no talk of membership at that stage – and over the next few months, Janine found that more and more women kept connecting with her and expressing their interest in being involved. “ It started as a dinner with a group of women swapping ideas, and within a few months, I organised an event for thirty five women at Aria – that’s when I launched the membership”. By this stage, Janine found that the energy around this idea and the people it was attracting demanded serious consideration. “The business woman in me kicked in” she says. After some number crunching, she realised a couple of things: The first, that the business model had legs, and a vision to go global. And the second, that after eighteen years of working corporately, that there was something more fundamental that drove her; and that was an absolute passion to make a difference in the corporate world and stop the brain drain. “The knowledge and IP that is currently leaving corporate – incomparable women with knowledge and experience – is totally frightening,” she says. So what are the reasons for the brain drain? Why are women rejecting the ethos of corporate business, and is it to society’s detriment to ignore their insights? “Every week I meet women that are walking out of corporate, and the reasons are multiple,” she says. “They may have hit the glass ceiling in their chosen field, it may be the absolute inequality of pay, or the cost of childcare.”

The subtle change in recent times away from Little Black Dress in favour of the acronym LBDG is a sign that men are actively being encouraged to participate. “Little Black Dress was a strategic move. Initially, we had to make some noise in the marketplace, but there are a lot of male business leaders and corporates starting to approach, and consequently – literally in the last couple of months – the logo has evolved,” Janine says.

“To witness the camaraderie, the friendships, the genuine admiration that these women have for each other, is truly inspiring.” The scope for the inclusion of men in LBDG is at the heart of how this organisation has quickly evolved into a champion of change for families and for society as a whole. That said, Janine sees the value in harnessing women’s leadership skills as key to changing attitudes. She points to a Harvard study that has discovered the generation coming through are associating all the problems in the world – economic, political and environmental–with the males at the top, and that this same generation are associating female leaders as bringing “softer skills” to leadership. Those softer skills encompass traditional values that one may broadly term “feminine”. More

empathy, more humanity to business, more support and nurturing to name a few. Janine says she always wanted LBDG to be a place of comfort, support and strength to women from all sectors and industries – from corporate and entrepreneurial fields. ‘Too often at networking events, that is exactly what I found they were – “work”’ she says. ‘The whole ethos of LBDG is that any event you attend is both intimate and engaging on the one to one level; whether it is an exclusive dinner behind closed doors, or a business seminar with a challenging guest speaker – your voice is heard. Your opinion is taken into account. You are a part of the discussion. She feels that many women don’t know – because they have never been shown – how to support other women in business. And this is what lies at the heart of the LBDG way. To witness the camaraderie, the friendships, the genuine admiration that these women have for each other, is truly inspiring. There is no snide ‘well, she is only succeeding because of…’; instead there is a ‘what do you need help with?’ attitude which is truly refreshing. And this is what Garner wants to see expand as a new way of doing business – outside the walls of LBDG. ‘We need a new transparency and honesty in business – between women and men, to truly effect change. And this is one of the reasons why we have changed the name of the Little Black Dress Group to LBDG – because we are seeing wonderful male champions of change say “hey, we want in on this – we want to work with you to break that glass ceiling once and for all”. And if they are willing to walk the talk, then we should be willing to walk with them.’  INNER CONFIDENCE // 11


Facing //

Turning 40 is one of the key psychological milestones in a person’s life. We evaluate who we are and where we want to be going. It’s also a time when we start to notice the signs of ageing and feel compelled to do something about it. According to Suzie Hoitink, Founder of Clear Complexions Clinics, it would be ideal if we took care of our skin well before we hit the big Four O. But for the majority of us who leave it to the moment when life catches up in the form of changes to the tone, texture and strength of our skin, Suzie assures us that there is a plethora of fantastic treatments available to help minimise and prevent the signs of ageing.


Brown spots & marks


“Most clients in their forties come to me concerned with pigmentation, or brown spots and marks, that keep appearing on their skin,” explains Suzie. “Despite being vigilant in recent years about sun protection, the damage that was caused in their twenties and thirties due to sun exposure has already been done and will continue to surface.”

Initially, wrinkles are dynamic, meaning they are only visible when we move our face and form expression. But as the skin loses its elasticity, these wrinkles become static, or visible at rest. According to Suzie the wrinkles that bother clients most are between the brow (frown lines), around the eyes (crows feet) and on the forehead.

Using sophisticated imaging software, Suzie and her team are able to give clients a window into the future – albeit a shocking one.“When I saw what was lying underneath my skin’s surface, I felt terrified,” says Nicole, a client in her forties. “Obviously my skin is paying the price for my earlier neglect and the pigmentation is just getting worse.”

All of the above treatments will help to soften lines and slow the ageing process in the skin. For those wrinkles that appear when you form

On the upside there is an array of technologies and treatments to address these issues, but getting the right treatment plan is crucial in ensuring the best results. For pigmentation and capillary damage, one of the more common treatments is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). In experienced hands, IPL offers a quick, inexpensive solution that has little downtime. The downside though is that multiple treatments may be needed and, despite manufacturers’ claims, it does have an Ouch factor. Laser treatments are also effective for pigmentation and vascular damage. The 'new kids on the block' are fractionated lasers that resurface the skin, removing excess pigmentation and stimulating collagen and elastin. “It’s the perfect three-in-one treatment,” enthuses Suzie. “They do have about 4-6 days of social downtime, but if you can manage the time off, they’re worth every second as they yield superior results for tired skin.”If the downtime is an issue, Suzie recommends a new fractionated laser that is a less aggressive alternative. “It’s amazing for smoother, softer skin and minimizing pores. It’s usually performed in a series of 4-6 treatments,” she adds. “But even a one off treatment will give your skin a beautiful refresh, without the need to take time off.”

She believes the same for the use of dermal fillers too. “If volume loss is an issue, fillers can be used to restore some of that volume in cheeks and around the mouth. But please don’t be tempted to put too much in! Nothing is worse than a lady in her forties with 20 year old lips.” An exciting new procedure that Suzie says is yielding fabulous results in stimulating new collagen is Platelet Rich Plasma. This involves taking a small amount of blood from the client and spinning it in a centrifuge so that the collagen-stimulating platelets are separated. This is then re-injected in the areas that need rejuvenation. “It sounds terrifying,” laughs Suzie. “But I assure you it’s effective and only takes about an hour. It’s perfect for under the eyes where the thin skin deteriorates quickly as we get older. We can’t use lasers in that area for obvious reason, so this is the very best treatment to address that 'crepey' skin. It is also perfect to combine with fractionated lasers for superior results.”

“For those wrinkles that appear when you form expression, injectable anti-wrinkle treatments may be necessary. But…don’t go overboard.” expression, injectable anti-wrinkle treatments may be necessary. But Suzie has a word of caution here; don’t go overboard. “Time and time again I see women whose entire anti-ageing skin routine consists of injecting with Botulism toxin muscle relaxants. It’s not a good look. We are supposed to be able to move our faces, especially as we age. By all means, use injectables to soften, but it must be age specific. If you don’t address the other ageing in your skin such as texture and tone, you can end up looking strange and ‘done’.”

Sagging and tired-looking skin

Another tell-tale sign that our skin is getting older is the loss of thickness and elasticity of our skin. This results in loss of jawline definition and jowls. Skin tightening radio frequency treatments are perfect for reaching and stimulating that deep structural collagen. But if you are just looking for a treatment that will gently stimulate collagen and elastin and give your skin a few years back, then Suzie suggests LED technology, in particular, the Omnilux. “This very clever technology uses light on specific wavelengths to stimulate the collagen producing cells,” she explains. “It’s best used in a course of 10 treatments and is inexpensive and completely pain free.” Microdermabrasion and peels are still popular for mildly resurfacing the skin and are fantastic for treating congested or dull skin. Both these treatments are inexpensive, have no downtime and minimal side effects. “They don't offer dramatic results,” says Suzie, “but for those who may be looking to tread lightly and get their glow back, they are great.” ›


Skin Care When it comes to improving your skin and keeping it healthy when you are in your forties, start by looking at what’s in your bathroom cabinet. Products that contain vitamins C, A, E and B3 as well as Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids will help maintain cellular function and minimize environmental damage. Where can we get these? “Not in a department store, that's for sure,” says Suzie. “Cosmeceuticals are skincare products that contain the ideal strength of active ingredients necessary to make a visible difference and are available through medical skin clinics. Make sure you are professionally diagnosed with products suited to your skin. Get it right and your skin will reward your effort every day.” Whilst Suzie does believe that you get what you pay for, she points out that you won’t pay more than any of the cosmetic brands you’d find in a department store that simply don’t deliver.

and chest area and requires twice as many, if not more, treatments to get the same improvements as the face.” Suzie also warns about spraying perfume on our necks. “You know the reddish, brown marks that are appearing down the sides of your neck? Its called Poikiloderma and is exacerbated by spraying perfume as the perfume acts as a photosensitize (concentrating the suns rays), accelerating damage. It is really difficult to treat. My advice? Just spray it on the areas that never see the sun!”

“Make sure you are professionally diagnosed with products suited to your Skin Diagnosis skin. Get it right and Before taking any your skin will reward steps towards addressing the issues of your effort every day.” ageing, Suzie recom-

Suzie’s dos and don’ts Suzie’s biggest 'should do' for clients in their forties is to protect their skin from UV damage. “It’s a message we hear over and over again but it’s never too late to start. The sun rapidly ages our skin and the older we get, the less our skin is able to cope and protect itself. Remember your neck, chest and hands. Clients put sunscreen on their face but forget those other areas until it is too late. The skin is much thinner on the neck


mends that you educate yourself about the exact condition of your skin first, under the guidance of medical professionals. “New technologies and skincare innovations are continually emerging in the market,” she explains. “But before we can draw on these fantastic resources, we need to gain a thorough understanding of the extent of damage to your skin and the problems that are likely to arise in the future, before deciding on a specific course of action.” The Clear Complexion Clinic nurses conduct a thorough skin analysis of each client, including skin diagnostic imaging, before determining a treatment plan. This medical approach ensures the best care for your skin and the most successful results. For a consultation with a Clear Complexions nurse visit 

You deserve to have a Clear Complexion I know what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like to have your confidence affected by how you feel about your skin. After a long journey, I discovered ground-breaking technology that was able to restore my skin to its original health and appearance. And I can do the same for you. As a registered nurse, I head up a team of qualified doctors and nurses who utilise the latest technology to bring about dramatic results, in a safe and caring environment. So if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something bothering you about your skin, come and find out how we can help.

Suzie Hoitink, Founder Clear Complexions Clinics

A M O R E CO N F I D E N T YO U Balmain 2A Rowntree St. T 02 9555 7287

Bruce Cnr of Thynne & Watkin St. T 02 6251 8889

Erindale 1/43 Comrie St. T 02 6231 0003

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Th e R a t i on a l e of

RICHARD PARKER Richard Parker grew up on the south coast of New South Wales, and he saw firsthand the damaging effects of the Australian sun on skin. From an early age he was fascinated with skin, the science behind it and the confidence that great skin could bring. From a very early age, it was apparent to Richard Parker that he thought differently about the world from those around him. Richard’s parents always encouraged this non-conformity and his propensity to question everything. “I must have been a nightmare of a child,” he says, “but I believe I was born with the confidence to conceive a radical idea and ask: why not?” Richard says he has an unusual right-brain/left-brain balance. “I excelled at music and the language arts, but I also love and am equally at home in the scientific, empirical worlds of medicine and mathematics.” Richard says this created issues for him as a teenager, because he felt he really didn't belong to any group. “As I've grown older I've learned to embrace and revel in my two worlds,” he says. “There's nothing wrong with having two sets of friends!” Richard’s own skin problems–a combination of sun damage and a genetic predisposition to acne–fuelled his interest and ultimately became his motivation to embark on university studies in cosmetic chemistry and then to launch a high-performance skincare line. When Rationale started, it was as a small skincare consultancy business in Melbourne. Clients would bring in all their cosmetics and Richard would sort through it all and give them a short list of things to buy at a pharmacy. The concept was so successful that The Age newspaper wrote a story about them, several dermatologists read the article and made contact, asking Richard to take care of their patients. He started formulating products based on ‘cosmeceutical’ active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts. The results were so good that doctors and medical skincare professionals started pre-


scribing and stocking their products. At this point Rationale really took off and Richard realised that his company was pioneering a new channel of medical distribution.

tologic pharmacology, developing entirely new and original formulations that are 100% synchronised with the skin. “ We believe we've set a new industry benchmark,’” says Richard.

Richard is quick to point out that he is first and foremost a research scientist and that his entire company is founded on medical skincare principles. “The skincare industry is always looking for the next “big thing”. It usually involves rare

Richard believes that confidence really comes from competence. “Confidence and competence are linked. The harder you work, the more trial and error and learning you allow yourself to experience, the greater your confidence.” He does, however, acknowledge the link between external factors and ones own levels of inner confidence. “Good skin brings with it the gift of confidence", he says. “With tens of thousands of patients, I have observed that when their skin is healthy and glowing, they exude an inner beauty too. And great clothes help too. Life is too short for cheap shoes! So I believe that when you're really "together" on the inside, looking great can certainly enhance your confidence and quality of life. “

“With tens of thousands of patients, I have observed that when their skin is healthy and glowing, they exude an inner beauty too...” marine algae, endangered species, NASA etc. It’s all nonsense,” he says. “Above all else and all others, Rationale is an evidence-based, research driven company. We maintain our own R+D facility, located on-site in our Melbourne headquarters. The lab is where we develop and test all our new product ideas. It’s the difference between us and other skincare companies. It’s our credibility.” Last year, following two intensive years of groundbreaking research and development, Rationale unveiled what they enthusiastically call the future of skincare – Isotropic Formulations. Rationale has pioneered this concept in derma-

When it is mentioned to him that our editor Suzie refers to him as the Steve Jobs of Skincare, Richard is very flattered. “This is high praise indeed. He was a visionary and a pioneer.” He goes on to say that Apple became the most profitable company in the world on the basis of a handful of products - the iPhone, iPad and iPod. “The temptation to make more products must have been overwhelming, but Apple wisely focused its resources on creating these few exemplary devices that would become game changers. This is the focus that my team and I dedicate to the Rationale Essential Six. This is our skin paradigm changer. Steve Jobs was famously quoted as saying innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. This is a rule I live by.” 

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Confidence and competence are linked. The harder you work, the more trial and error and learning you allow yourself to experience, the greater your confidence.â&#x20AC;?


CIRCLE of L ove

A brain tumour, job cutbacks and the birth of her first child prompted Kate Sutton to follow her heart.

In a world where we’re all so time poor, rushing about from one thing to another, spending time away from those we love and sweating the small stuff, how do we keep reminding ourselves about what’s really important?

Today she wears a stunning jewel encrusted ring, pictured far right. She created it to celebrate ten years of business, ten years of marriage and her 40th birthday. Featuring jewels collected from her travels around the world with her family, each one representing a significant milestone in their lives, it’s her most meaningful design to date. Here Kate tells us how she has created a life that embraces the things she values most.

This question came to a head for Kate Sutton in 2003. A brush with death, the birth of her daughter and cutbacks to her job led her to rethink her life and pursue her one true passion: jewellery design. Ten years later, she heads up Uberkate, an online jewellery company specialising in stunning handmade personalised pieces that help remind the wearer about what really matters: families, friends and loved ones.

You discovered a brain tumour in your ‘20s. What happened?

Her signature piece, the Ubercircle, represents the endless flow of love between those people whose names are embossed in the precious metals. And it’s a concept that is resonating with people around the world from major celebrities to anyone wanting to wear a beautiful design of personal significance. 18 // INNER CONFIDENCE

I was working as a radio journalist at 2GB when I started to experience headaches and dizzy spells. Then one day I fainted and when I came to, I couldn’t understand what anyone around me was saying. They called an ambulance and that’s when they discovered a whacking great brain tumour. It’s benign, and they removed most of it through surgery. But it’s still there on the left hand side of my brain. So I have to be really careful. How did that experience impact you? It really undermined my confidence. I was terrified of the fact that I was different to

everyone else because I was walking around with a tumour on my brain. But my way of coping with the fear was to channel it into just trying harder in my career. I ended up producing for Channel Nine and even working in front of the camera as a presenter for Australia’s Most Wanted. It also prompted me to create my ‘signature piece’ the Ubercircle. I wanted to wear something that reminded me of what really mattered in life. Then friends and colleagues started asking me to create pieces for them and before long I was spending weekends and late nights making jewellery for a growing network of people. What made you take the leap into starting UberKate? The birth of my daughter made me contemplate my mortality on a deeper level – particularly in light of my brain tumour. Then the show that I’d been working on at Channel Nine got axed. It was one of those now or never moments. So all the money we’d saved for our first home, we poured into creating a website for Uberkate, at a time when the Australian market was very

sceptical about buying anything online. It was actually an advantage for us because we didn’t have other businesses snapping at our heels. We had a lot of time to grow and learn. Your husband Adam is a Director in the business? Yes. After about four years of doing it myself, we realised that UberKate offered both of us the potential to create a lifestyle that would fit in with our family. So Adam gave up his career in television and became Uberkate’s CFO. How is it working together?

What has been one of the highlights of your career? Last Christmas I was at a Sting concert at the Opera House with my best friend. Half way through the show we realised he was actually wearing one of my pieces as a cuff on stage. We both went nuts! To see a mega watt celebrity wearing my jewellery was definitely a highlight. How did you have the confidence to start your own business?

“I was terrified of the fact that I was different to everyone else because I was walking around with a tumour on my brain. But my way of coping with the fear was to channel it into just trying harder in my career.”

For us it works perfectly. He concentrates on the business growth and strategy, leaving me to do what I love which is to create. In terms of home life, Adam and I are interchangeable. We share school drop-offs and pick-ups and one of us is normally there for our kids in the afternoon. We have both made a conscious decision to take on less work so that we can enjoy our children. Plus we’ve learnt to outsource more. Bringing in the right people has been key to that and our team are like family. What do you love most about what you do?

The beauty about our designs is that they are an expression of love – so we get to hear the most incredible heart warming stories behind each piece. There’s rarely a day in our studio when we’re not crying as a result. Just the other day a group of women approached us who had a friend dying of cancer. They wanted us to make a piece for each of her children with a personal inscription from their mother. Something they could remember her by forever. It’s stories like that, that make what I do so incredibly fulfilling.

I grew up with both my parents telling me I could do anything or be anyone. I’ve always believed that and it still fuels my fire for taking risks. You can’t reach the levels you want to without taking risks. Are you born with confidence or do you learn it? You definitely learn it. There’s a saying ‘fake it till you make it’ and I've done so much of that over the years, even as a kid.

Growing up I was tall and geeky and had a big scar on my face, which really affected my internal confidence. I was constantly being teased for how I looked, but it just made me determined to try harder, even after having plastic surgery to remove the scar at 16. Are you confident now? Yes. I’ve just turned 40 and I am truly happy with who I am. There are still days when I experience self-doubt. Every time I release a new range, I go through ‘designer anxiety’. Will people like it? What will they think? But then I get great feedback. I’ve also learnt that no decision is a mistake. I can always look back at how I could do it better next time – without giving myself a hard time.

Five minute corner What's your go-to outfit for feeling confident?

For me it’s jewellery. If I’m wearing an amazing necklace or an arm full of bangles I feel great and project confidence. How do you like to unwind?

My girlfriends and a glass of wine either on the phone, via Skype or in a restaurant. I exercise as well but debriefing to my girlfriends is really important to me. Three things you could not do without to get you through the day:

Serious bling, my family and a wine/whine with a girlfriend at the end of the day.


It is the second day of trading at the new Kippax location of Heads Up, the not-for-profit boutique that specialises in headwear for women with medically induced hair loss. A woman in early middle age enters the store. Her shiny black hair is modern and funky. She has come to return a clipper set, and to make some adjustments to her new do. In actual fact, her new do is a wig; and her hair, falling out in clumps due to her chemotherapy treatment, has been cropped short. After being fussed over for a few minutes, her wig has had the necessary adjustments and she is good to go. She is Asian and English is her second language. On her way out, she tells the volunteer staff that her husband thinks the wig looks great, and that it makes her feel… she stops and thinks about the word to use, looking around as if to pluck it from the air. And then it comes to her. “Confident. It makes me feel confident.” For Founder and coordinator Sue Owen, reaching out to women who are undergoing often-invasive medical procedures, and helping them regain their confidence has become the focus of her life. Today she is sharing the shop floor with Marilyn, one of the volunteers, and both are tending to the needs of the various customers that have popped in. Both women are breast cancer survivors who met through the Bosom Buddies organisation and now seem to be the best of friends. They have a rapport and camaraderie of two women who have shared one of life’s most harrowing experiences and come out the other side, and they both project an easy manner and optimism that is rather infectious. The new shopfront is spacious and luxurious compared to the cramped space they recently vacated at Calvary Hospital’s Zita Mary building. “We got Heads Up going four years ago from a shared office” says Sue. “Originally we didn’t have much more than a bit of space at the volunteer managers office. We weren’t incorporated, didn’t even have a not-for-profit, but very quickly we did the launch. I was doing an interview with the CEO Ray Dennis on 666 Radio, and one of my girls was in the green room mouthing the words “the room, the room” to remind me to mention that we needed our own space. And so I pinned him down on radio to let him know we needed more space, and of course he was amazing. Very soon, a room was found for us at Calvary.”


Sue’s journey began in 2005 when she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She had lost all her hair and had decided that she wanted to cover her head, but to do something quirky and different that showcased her personality. “I wanted to cover my bald head, but also to make a statement,’ she says.” I always came into chemo with something different on my head. I was a girl of the 70s and I was used to tying scarves on my head–I had a knack for that. So when I got those daggy turbans, I would funk them up by putting scarves around them, or brooches, all sorts of things.” It got to the point that the breast care nurses would come down to see what Sue was wearing on her head whenever she turned up for her chemo, and other patients would ask her advice. “When I’d come into Oncology, some of the other ladies would ask ‘how did you do that?’ So I’d show them how I did it–sometimes I’d take them into the bathroom– and take whatever they had on and show them how. The next time they came in, they would have done it.” Although hats, wigs and scarves are a major focus of Heads Up, a gifting service that involves many of the volunteers and patients alike seems to have grown organically around the organisation “When I was going through chemo, I lost my brain–the chemo fog is a very real phenomenon. I wanted to keep busy, and I realised that other people want to keep busy. So we supply

wool in a nice basket, with knitting needles and instructions, and people can knit mindless squares,” says Sue. “It may be a patient, or it may be a carer sitting there for hours with a husband or a friend.” Those ‘mindless squares’ are then collected and handed over to Leddy, another volunteer who then crochets them together to make knee rugs. The knee rugs are then gifted to patients at oncology. “You can get very cold during chemo’” says Sue. Right on cue, Leddy walks through the door with a delivery of knee rugs. The rugs are beautiful. The mindless squares have been curated with a real eye for colour and expertly crocheted to deliver a surprisingly stylish end result. “There are a whole lot of women who want to help other women,” says Sue “and some of them are knitters.” A lot of the volunteers are cancer survivors or their loved ones, or women who have experienced hair loss through some other medical procedure. “When the ladies come in, often they’ve just been told they’re going to lose their hair, and that’s just another whammy on top of everything else. The biggest thing you need to have when you are doing this is empathy.” For her efforts, Sue was finalist in the Clear Complexions Women of Spirit Awards, and while she is humbled by the honour, her reward is the fact that she is making a difference to those women in need of support. 

“I was a girl of the 70s and I was used to tying scarves on my head–I had a knack for that.”



Why should having a baby be synonymous with having a style lobotomy?

Fashion Designer and mother of three shares why it’s important for Mummies to stay stylish.

It was a question that Lucie Trinco kept asking herself every time she’d see one of her stylish friends having to suffer the indignity of a hideous baby bag as soon as they became a mother. Seeing many of them also struggle with a general loss of self-identity and confidence as a result of being a new mother, she felt that something as simple as having a stylish nappy bag would make a big difference to how they felt. So, as a fashion designer and a woman planning to have a family, she decided to create Il Tutto. Meaning ‘everything' in Italian, Il Tutto is an exciting brand of designer nappy bags for the style conscious mother and can be found in over 250 stores across 15 countries including David Jones and Harrods. It’s also the baby bag of choice for celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, Dannii Minogue and Sarah Murdoch. Now, as the mother of three beautiful girls under five and a successful designer and business owner, Lucie is well placed to share her insights on how important it is for mothers to keep their sense of style, along with their sense of self: How important is it for mothers to retain a sense of style? When we become new mummies – particularly in the early days – we tend to get swamped by everything that is going on, and we lose sense of ourselves. Everything becomes about baby! And when you are feeling heavier than usual, and tired, and achey – it’s hard to think about looking fabulous. But I feel very strongly that if you let things slide, then a very important part of yourself gets lost, and it becomes very hard to get it back. I think if you succumb to the lure of the velour – those dreaded track pants – then you are doing yourself a massive disservice. It can be easy to think 'it doesn't matter' when it comes to what you are wearing. But if you make an effort to stay stylish, then it really does help you to also stay 'you' - and not just 'Mummy'. And it helps


you stay as sane as possible during what is a totally mad time in your life. My mother gave me a piece of advice a very long time ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me. “Darling”, she said, “always, always, put some lipstick on when you get up in the morning. It will make you feel dressed.” You’ve only just given birth (to your third daughter). How are you sticking to your style philosophy? I absolutely follow my gorgeous mum’s advice. Every morning, I smack my lipstick on with delight. It makes me feel good about myself. And I get dressed in something that is simple, but that makes me look as good as I can. Why? Because I am not just Lucie, proud mum; I am Lucie, a designer, a business owner, a wife and a woman. And I don’t want to lose that feeling!

What are some of the personal barriers/insecurities you've had to overcome to achieve what you have? The biggest challenge I experienced with running my own business was learning how to be an expert at everything. I’ve overcome that by surrounding myself with really good people. But I’m still constantly operating outside of my comfort zone. You have to in order to keep growing. Early on in my business, I had to pitch my business in front of 100 investors – all men in suits. It was a very intimidating situation but I’ve learnt to just bluff my way through.

“If you make an effort to stay stylish, then it really does help you to stay ‘you’ - and not just ‘Mummy’. And it helps you stay as sane as possible during what is a totally mad time in your life.”

How do you juggle running Il Tutto with a husband and family? It’s a continually evolving process but I manage with daycare, and my husband works European hours, so between the two of us we juggle. Plus having my own business means I can be flexible. I avoid peak hour traffic, I schedule meetings so it fits in with the family and I do everything I can to make my life easier. Saying that we moved house a few days before I gave birth. Crazy! But we all came through alive! What gave you the confidence to start your own business? I knew that there was a huge need for luxury baby bags and no one was filling that need. I was also at a point in my life when I wanted to have a family and my job as a designer at Oroton, which involved a lot of travel, wasn’t going to provide me with the lifestyle I wanted. I had three weeks off over Christmas and during that time; I researched the idea, drew up a business plan and came up with my first range of bags. The day I got back to work I resigned and six months later, Il Tutto was launched into the market. Both my parents had their own businesses, so I always had strong role models who encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Staying motivated is also hard when you work for yourself. After I had my second child I fell into a bit of a slump. But then someone invited me to a conference in Noosa and it was just what I needed to fire me up again. I think it’s natural to go through peaks and troughs. The trick is learning how to manage the troughs! What is one of the biggest highlights of your career? Seeing a photo in the Daily Telegraph of Cate Blanchett carrying a Mia bag in bright red, going to an Armani dinner at the Sydney Theatre Company. Il Tutto had only been in the market for six months and it was my first Oh My God moment. That photo opened up so many doors for me and from that point we launched into the UK and secured Harrods as a stockist for five years. Do you have a wingman - someone who's got your back and can pick up the slack when times get tough? For four years, I’ve been blessed with a fantastic Sales Manager, Clare, who helps me run Il Tutto. There is nothing she doesn't know about my business. She picks up the slack and enables me to balance my life. As for at home, we’re in the process of finding a nanny to help out! What would be your advice to anyone wanting to start a business? Do your research. Know the niche you're trying to break into and make sure you can fill it in the best possible way. Think outside the box and have the courage to take a leap of faith and just go for it.

Five minute corner: What's your go-to outfit for an important meeting or event?

Well I’ve just spent 9 months in maternity wear but I try and make it look like anything but maternity with leather trim leggings and a funky jacket. How do you like to unwind?

I like nothing better than meeting girlfriends for a leisurely breakfast on the weekend. That, to me, is heaven! Three things you could not do without to get you through the day:

Coffee, iPhone and a baby bag INNER CONFIDENCE // 23

a boost to your confidence INNER CONFIDENCE IS OFFERING ONE LUCKY READER THE ULTIMATE CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS: // A $1000 skincare gift voucher for any Clear Complexions Clinic. // A limited edition gift set featuring an Il Tutto leather coin purse and Uberkate necklace with floating pendants (in your choice of silver, yellow or rose gold plating) valued at $149. // A two year subscription to Inner Confidence Magazine.

TO ENTER visit and tell us in 40 words or less:

WHAT GIVES YOUR CONFIDENCE A BOOST? All short-listed submissions will be published in the next edition of Inner Confidence Magazine and the winner will be notified by phone. Entries close Friday 31 January 2014. For terms and conditions please visit


2013 // MARCH


EDITION 1 // OCTOBER 2013 // MARCH 2014

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Inner Confidence Magazine