The Modern Muse Magazine - April Issue

Page 1

THE MODERN MUSE Thought-Provoking Articles Issue 7 April 2024 MAGAZINE Inspiring Profiles Literature Recommendations Fashion Health and Wellness Advice Reviews The Beauty Within

Editor & Founder

Lauren is a Melbourne-based teacher and writer who loves to immerse herself in the latest trends and conversations, seamlessly blending her love for writing with the pulse of contemporary culture. Her unique perspective and eloquent voice make her a compelling storyteller who bridges the gap between the written word and the world's vibrant news of today. And thus, The Modern Muse Magazine was born; a go-to guide for all things relevant in today's society.

With an Australian focus, she and her team bring you the latest news and topics that shape today's zeitgeist. We delve into issues that matter to you and create a spotlight for topics we know you are going to love and connect with.

As a Modern Muse is someone who is up to date on current events and trends that shape our social media and news cycle, we believe our magazine is the perfect way to stay "in the know".

So, join us to stay informed, inspired and to become the ultimate Modern Muse.

In the spirit of reconciliation, The Modern Muse Magazine acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Intro Thought-Provoking Article| The Inclusive Beauty Movement 04 Inspiring Profile| Meet Nina Gajic Book Review| The Work by Bri Lee Restaurant and Activity Recommendations| Top 5 Beauty Inspired April Recs 09 13 15 35 Small Business Highlight| Passion for Fashion Product Review| Dársy Skincare’s Sweet Facial Oil Partnerships| Kylie’s Professional & Empowering Beauty Fashion & Style| Three Beauty Inspired Looks Advice Column| He Told Me He Loved Me but Then Ghosted Me Health and Wellness| The Clean Beauty Movement 18 23 26 32 37
Table of Contents

Thought-Provoking Article

The Inclusive Beauty Movement

How it is redefining our perceptions of beauty

I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t conscious of my appearance. Despite how this may sound at first, this was never fuelled by vanity or narcissism. Frankly, I feel you’d be hard-pressed to find a young girl or woman who isn’t.

Call it a product of growing up in the rag mag era of the 2000s or reaching my teens in the era of flawlessly filtered selfies, but the idea of beauty has always

been pervasive. It’s not like I particularly want to care about my appearance all the time. In fact, life would probably be a whole lot easier if I didn’t. But for women, we are expected to care.

From the moment we reach a certain age, we begin to discover just how central our looks are to the world we live in. We learn that beauty affords a level of power and privilege, yet also brings


vulnerability. We inevitably spend our childhood donning plastic princess shoes and dollar-store eyeshadow, our teens caking on foundation to hide our pores, and our adulthood just trying to look younger.

We have been conditioned into believing that beauty is something we should always covet, but only in secrecy because it must be inherently effortless. Yet if we do achieve beauty, we should never acknowledge it because that would be egotistical. Beauty is an enigma that we have never quite been able to pin down, yet it rules almost everything around us.

It's an exhausting chase, trying to capture this elusive concept that evolves faster than it can be defined. For most of us, beauty feels like an exclusive club that will never quite be attainable. But it’s a chase that may be finally coming to an end, with the rise of the inclusive beauty movement redefining the way we perceive beauty.

The History of Beauty

In the historical sense, beauty has always centred around the viewer. A beautiful woman had to be pleasing to look at, prioritising her physical appearance and the enjoyment of the viewer.

In ancient civilisations, the complexity of beauty standards was reflected through art. The first depiction of the female figure was the Venus of Willendorf, a Paleolithic sculpture of a woman with

exaggerated features carved more than 20,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks depicted full-figured women with fair skin, while the Egyptians coveted thinly muscular bodies with narrow hips. Fast forward to the 2000s, and new beauty standards have come and gone faster than we could ever keep track of. The turn of the 21st century ushered in arguably one of the most toxic times in beauty, with magazines promoting unhealthy diet ‘secrets’ and splashing celebrities across the front cover the moment they gained any weight. The beauty standards at this time excluded anyone without Eurocentric features and extremely thin bodies, treating bodies as if they were fashion trends.

The Rise of the Inclusive Beauty Movement

Thankfully, the tides are turning now in how society perceives beauty. In the past few years, we’ve played witness to an unprecedented shift in perceptions which has set us on the path to dismantling traditional beauty standards altogether.

Though it may come as a surprise to some, the inclusive beauty movement has been credited to none other than singer and businesswoman Rihanna. The 2017 launch of her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, sparked a global shift in how we define beauty as a society. Her brand was the first to launch a foundation line consisting of 40 individual shades which allowed previously excluded women of colour to find their perfect match.


While this seemed like a groundbreaking concept at the time, in hindsight it is now baffling that it took this long. Fenty Beauty’s shade range instantly shot to popularity, ticking over the $100 million in sales mark after just 40 days on the market. The brand’s impact transcended sales though, bringing about the inclusive beauty movement.

The Importance of Inner Beauty

The inclusive beauty movement seeks to redefine beauty altogether, celebrating diversity and recognising that everyone possesses a unique beauty regardless of characteristics such as age, gender, or ethnicity. Perhaps the biggest difference in this new idea of beauty, however, is the emphasis on inner beauty. While physical appearance has always dominated beauty standards, this new wave of thinking places an individual’s personality and qualities at the forefront like never before. This holistic approach to beauty has also extended to the beauty industry, with makeup now seen as a form of self-expression. Rather than being perceived as a way to cover up imperfections and conform to beauty standards, makeup has become a way to wear your personality on the outside.

Inclusive Beauty Brands

The shift towards inclusive beauty has been momentous for the beauty industry, encouraging a complete overhaul of industry and advertising practices. The success of Fenty Beauty has inspired many brands to follow suit,

improving their product lines to ensure that these are accessible, cater to a wide range of needs, and encourage users to feel at home in their own skin.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite brands that have embraced the inclusive beauty movement.

Rare Beauty

Launched by fellow singer Selena

Gomez in 2020, the makeup line has been praised for its accessible packaging which features a rounded top for ease of opening and a flat side to prevent it from rolling. The singer was diagnosed with lupus earlier in her career which can result in chronic inflammation, and designed the packaging to her preferences which allows her to use the products during flare-ups.


Beauty’s flat packaging and round lids cater for individuals with dexterity challenges

Milk Makeup

Created by vegan makeup brand Milk Makeup, the Blur The Lines campaign sought to de-gender makeup and beauty completely. The 2017 campaign featured models of various gender expressions and discussed how challenging gender norms could pave the way for a more inclusive society.

Mented Cosmetics

Black-owned and founded, Mented Cosmetics was created to allow people of all complexions to find their perfect shade match. The brand encourages celebrating your natural skin tone through its range of pigmented products.

Basma Beauty

Basma Beauty founder Basma Hameed suffered third-degree burns as an infant, turning to makeup in her youth to feel more confident. Dissatisfied with the quality and variety of products, she developed Basma Beauty with unique skin journeys in mind and the mission to inspire the same confidence in her customers.

Glossy Boys

This nail polish brand shot to fame after appearing on Shark Tank to promote a line of nail polish pens created especially for boys and men, who have historically been excluded from the beauty space altogether. Founded by Lucas Lane at just thirteen years old, true inclusivity is what Glossy Boys is all about.

Milk Makeup - Blur The Lines campaign Mented Cosmetics - inclusive foundations Glossy Boys - nail polish pens for boys

Look Fabulous Forever

While traditional beauty ideals have revolved around youth, Look Fabulous Forever seeks to shatter stigmas around aging. The brand develops products specifically for older women and caters to the unique needs of mature skin.

Live Tinted

Created by South-Asian beauty entrepreneur Deepica Mutyala, Live Tinted is best known for its line of Huestick colour-correcting sticks. The brand’s products are specifically formulated for correcting dark circles, a feature commonly associated with South-Asian skin.

Live Tinted- colour corrector for SouthAsian Skin

Meet Nina Gajic

“To me, beauty within transcends mere physical appearances and encompasses qualities such as kindness, empathy, compassion, and inner strength.”

Meet Nina Gajic, founder of Skin Virtue. This journey has been quite a ride for Nina, from going back to university to pursue her dream career to a cancer diagnosis. Let’s explore Nina's journey and learn about why she is the true definition of The Beauty Within via her “kindness, empathy compassion and inner strength”.

Q: What inspired you to found Skin Virtue with your partner, Gary?

A: As an Aussie born in the 1970s, I grew up believing my skin needed to be squeaky clean. This led me to overwashing my face several times a day which eventually saw a years-long battle with constantly irritated and sensitive skin. It eventually got so bad that even water that was not completely pure could cause me to break out in hives. I went to numerous dermatologists and even got desensitised.

After exhausting traditional dermatological solutions without success, I had what I think of as an epiphany – the key lay in strengthening my skin's natural barrier, which is your skin’s bodyguard – keeping moisture in and protecting it from external irritants, bacteria, allergens, and damage.

I could not find any products specifically

Inspiring Profile

for sensitive skin on the market, so I decided to investigate and produce them myself! With the support of my partner Gary, I did more than 10 years of research, testing and re-testing – l even returned to university to study an undergraduate degree and become a cosmetic chemist. And then, Skin Virtue was born.

Q: Skin Virtue supports the Breast Cancer Foundation. What led you to that decision?

A: Skin Virtue was launched and going well. Gary and I were so excited about its progress and how many people we were helping – the feedback was incredible! But then, at 44, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our daughter Natalija was only 4, and my world felt, and still does like I am no longer in control.

It feels like it is in the hands of my medical team and there are good days and bad days. When you are diagnosed with cancer, it changes you in every way, it is like a before and after.

My cancer was very small when I was diagnosed, 1 cm, so everyone was optimistic. In the one month from diagnosis to surgery, my cancer grew to 2.6 cm. It was a grade 3, which meant it went from optimistic to being called “mixed” and “the sinister kind” by my surgeon and oncologist. The characteristics of my cancer meant I had to have chemo and radiation and take hormone blockers for the next 7 years.

Something that stood out to me is that having cancer is a very lonely path. You can have a supportive family and friends and a great team, but you are in it alone. Cancer is in your body, and in your thoughts, you are having the treatments and trying to get through it to survive.

The thing that really gets me about cancer is that there are no guarantees, no magic pill or wand and the absolute hardest part for me is when I go down that rabbit hole, I think about not being here for my now 6year-old daughter.

Nina with her daughter Natalija and Husband Gary

I have caught myself planning in my head for a worst-case scenario. Do I buy birthday cards and write them all now, do I send her emails with little stories and


photos attached, what belongings of mine should I wrap up to give her for her birthdays, who do I ask to oversee this…. and so forth.

Cancer is tough and shit!

So, for anyone who has gone through cancer, is going through cancer, has a loved one going through cancer, or anyone who has had loss due to cancer, I see you and I feel your pain.

Through Skin Virtue I am dedicated to supporting The National Breast Cancer Foundation in their efforts to achieve zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.

That would be an amazing achievement! Currently, we donate portions of our sales to the cause, and I am hoping to ramp it up and partner with them in the coming year to help raise more money and awareness.

Q: Your mission is to help women take better care of their skin. Tell me more.

A: Busy women do not prioritise their health or their skincare as they are busy looking after kids, working, and socialising, and many young women just buy makeup to try to cover up skin problems.

Aussie women really need to focus on their health and the health of their skin by creating a night-time skincare routine before bed. I want to help empower women everywhere to properly protect,

and be comfortable in the skin they were born with, no matter how problematic it might be.

When I was a teenager having breakouts, I would cancel plans to go out and just stay home – I was miserable. Bad skin can be so debilitating and isolating for teenagers, and no one needs to experience that.

Q: Why do Skin Virtue’s products cater specifically for people with sensitive skin and allergies?

A: I found there was not anything on the market that truly catered for people with sensitive skin and allergies. Believe me, I have tried everything!

So, I developed an extensive range of cosmeceutical products, designed to bolster the skin's barrier, support skin stem cell longevity, and address specific skin concerns with clinical ingredients.

All our products contain antioxidants, with specific products targeted to different skin types, conditions, and ages by helping the skin repair and reinforce its own natural protections so moisture within is preserved while harmful bacteria are kept away.

Our products are non-comedogenic, antiirritating and anti-allergen, making them the perfect choice for those with particular skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. They are designed to minimise the risk of clogged pores, irritation, and allergic reactions.


Q: What does The Beauty Within mean to you?

A: To me, "The Beauty Within" transcends mere physical appearances and encompasses qualities such as kindness, empathy, compassion, and inner strength. It's a reflection of inner alignment and authenticity, a way of living in harmony with your values and making choices by following your moral and personal standards. I believe true beauty emanates from your innate nature.

Q: What do you do to ensure beauty both on the inside and out?

A: I prioritise a holistic lifestyle approach that includes maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, mental wellness practices, skincare, hydration, quality sleep, self-expression, kindness, continuous learning, and giving back to the community. This approach nurtures

my inner and outer beauty, fostering my overall wellbeing and happiness.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give for people to keep their skin healthy?

A: Sun protection is non-negotiable, especially for sensitive skin prone to reactions. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF50, a must-have skincare essential, as it shields your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide offer gentle protection, ensuring effective skincare without causing irritation. It is also handy to know that if the UV index is anything above 2, you will need to use sunscreen.

Q: Do you have any other skincare tips for our readers?

A: Skin types are genetically determined and many women do not understand how to identify their type which can make it confusing when choosing products. So, my tip is to get to know your skin type before you make any purchases!

Skin Virtue is divided into three ranges of products targeting different skin types: the Super Clear Collection is for oily, or combination skin; Pure Nourish is for “normal” and dry skin and Future Advanced is for all skin types but targets ageing skin concerns. By identifying your skin type and using the appropriate products, your skin will be thanking you!

Learn more about Nina and Skin Virtue here.

Nina with the Skin Virtue Future Advanced Line Filler

Book Review

The Work

I became mesmerised by Bri Lee’s writing a few years ago when I read her memoir, Eggshell Skull, so as you can expect, I was thrilled to hear she was making her debut in fiction with The Work. Through the novel, Lee takes us deep into the world of contemporary art as we are introduced to Lally, a successful New York gallery owner, and Pat, a Sydney scholarship student who has entered into the antique dealership scene. When their worlds collide while Pat is travelling to New York for work, they form an instant connection and try to navigate a relationship with an ocean between them, all while chasing their own ambitions.

Lee knows how to capture an audience with her writing. The Work is the type of book that leaves you craving more after each chapter, making it easy to devour in just a few sittings (which is quite the fete given it sits at almost 400 pages).

On top of compelling writing, Lee’s intelligence shines through as she tackles big themes of privilege, entitlement, misogyny, power and the tension between art and capitalism. While they are complex issues to explore, her presentation of these ideas doesn’t feel at all showy or intimidating but comes across as accessible to the reader. I found Lee’s exploration of class really impressive, drawing out the juxtaposition between Lally and Pat’s backgrounds, and the distance Pat puts between himself and his family to feel as though he belongs in this new world he’s entering.

11. Review from An Open Bookshelf The Modern Muse’s favourite Bookstagram

Coming into a book with sky-high expectations is always a little dangerous and while you can see there is a lot I enjoyed and admired about The Work, I wasn’t left feeling wholly satisfied. I didn’t quite gel with Lally and Pat as characters, I struggled to understand them as individuals and as a couple and to understand Lee’s perception of them. Lee knows how to write good smut and there was no lack of physical chemistry between Lally and Pat, but through much of the novel, that felt like the depth of the relationship (apart from their interest in art). As we near the end of the story, there are moments where I could see the emotional intimacy begin to develop, but my investment in their relationship had already begun to wane.

As individuals, Lally and Pat make questionable decisions and feel morally grey as characters. While this is glaringly obvious in parts, there are more subtle depictions of this, such as the ‘locker room talk’ that often came through in Pat’s interactions with his male friends. These are the types of characters I find really interesting and enjoy the analysis that often comes with them, but I felt the unpacking of some of their behaviour was either absent or diluted. I craved more nuance, more selfawareness, and more reflection, which led to the end of the novel feeling too unresolved.

While I felt as though my own expectations let me down a little going into The Work, it’s undeniably a very impressive piece of debut fiction. It’s already making waves in the Australian

book community, even before its release in April, not to mention the stream of accolades and praise from highly notable authors as you open the book. So, I think it’s fair to assume this will be the BIG Australian release of the year that will have everyone talking, and you’ll want to be a part of those conversations.


Purchase a pre-order copy of The Work by Bri Lee here

Gifted by Allen & Unwin. The publication date is 3 April 2024.


Restaurant and Activity Recommendations

Top 5 April Recs

Beauty Inspired

When we first hear the word beauty, it’s easy to get swept up in the superficial connotations. However, the concept of beauty is so much more than this and reflects how we are within. This means that true beauty is encompassed by how we take care of ourselves, nurture our mind, body and soul, act and contribute to the community around us.

So here are our top 5 healthy and soulful restaurant and activity recommendations that will fill your cup and tap into your beauty within.

Free to Feed

Founded in 2015, Free to Feed is a nonfor-profit social enterprise that creates employment opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers through the creation of shared food experiences. Book a cooking class with participants from all walks of life and countries with rich culinary histories. Free to Feed has distributed over $1.4 million in employment wages to people seeking asylum and refugees in the Melbourne community, which is an amazing achievement so book a cooking class, listen to their stories, form treasured connections, support a worthy cause and learn a new dish or two! Book here


Image Credit: Free to Feed

Glam Theory 02

Who said paint & sip only applies to artwork on a canvas? Treat yourself and your friends to a basic two-hour makeup course in Heathmont, as you sip in style and enjoy a grazing platter. Founder Eliza Madeline and her team of qualified makeup artists will have you looking and feeling your best as you cruise through the (often daunting) world of makeup. The best part? You are the canvas and get to leave looking your absolute best! May we suggest booking a night out after or perhaps seeing a special someone… Classes are $85 (makeup is supplied! and can be booked here


The Lume’s Sound Bath Meditation

Take a moment to detox from life’s daily hustle and bustle with a sound bath meditation at The Lume. Be guided through your meditation by crystal singing bowls and gentle percussion played by sound therapists. This class will require no movement, mental energy, or physical effort and is therefore a great class for those short on energy, mobility and in need of a mental refresh. Each class also has a nature-inspired theme which can be discovered via the booking session. Classes can be booked online for $35 however it is limited in availability and therefore we recommend booking in advance. There are also Yoga and Pilates classes on offer. Explore your options and book here

Image Credit: Makeup Theory Image Credit: The Lume

Small Graces 04

Going local is currently something of a trend. However, Small Graces’ founders Diego Portilla and Rebecca Howell have always been committed to using local, ethically sourced ingredients and produce that has undergone nominal processing. With most vegetables being sourced from Central Victoria’s Goornong, eggs from Victoria’s Burd Eggs and bread from Seddon’s Sourdough Kitchen, you can rest assured that this food is truly healthy, nourishing and feeds the soul, not just the stomach. Check out their Instagram here

Heal Thyself Co.

According to Heal Thyself Co., ‘Food was made not only to help us survive but also to thrive.’ This Yarraville café serves happiness and health on a plate, by using high-quality, organic produce and committing to sustainability where possible. Enjoy satisfying treats such as fried tofu bowls, smokey corn fritters and antiox acai bowls; they’re not simply items to complete your daily meal plan, but food for thought and your wellness. Do yourself a favour and book a table for breakfast or lunch here.

05 Image Credit: Small Graces
Image Credit: Heal Thyself Co.

Passion for Fashion

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Ekaterina, founder of Passion for Fashion- one of the fastest-growing rental marketplaces in Australia. Here’s what she had to say about all things fashion and beauty.

Q: Who are you and what is Passion for Fashion?

A: Hello, my name is Ekaterina Richardson and I am a Gold Coast businesswoman and leading digital marketer. I am also the Founder of Passion for Fashion, an online fashion rental and resale platform launched in 2023 and is now transforming the way we consume fashion.

Passion for Fashion offers women their dream wardrobe, filled with a curated collection of designer clothes and accessories provided by our network of lenders and are available to rent at a fraction of the cost of buying from a boutique.

Why pay a high price for an outfit you might wear only once? The appeal and value of Passion for Fashion is that we are bringing a designer fashion experience to women everywhere.

Since its launch, Passion for Fashion has grown immensely. We have gone from ranging 70 items to now more than 2700 designer pieces and accessories – and it continues to rise. Our relationship with customers, lenders and brands/brand ambassadors is also expanding. We have also recently launched our resale facility and introduced ID verification for even more secure bookings through the Passion for Fashion platform. Throughout this process, Passion for Fashion has become one of Australia's fastestgrowing rental marketplaces whilst actively promoting a more sustainable future in fashion via a “buy less, reuse more” approach to the sharing economy.

Small Business
Ekaterina Richardson

Q: How does Passion for Fashion strive to make clients feel beautiful and confident in the dresses they choose to rent?

A: We want our customers to look great and feel great and we achieve this in several ways, such as:

High-Quality Selection: Curating a collection of high-quality dresses from reputable designers ensures our clients can access stylish, well-made garments that inspire confidence and project individual beauty.

Variety: By offering a diverse range of dress styles – from casual to formal –clients can find options that suit their tastes, preferences and occasions.

Inclusive Sizing: Providing dresses in a wide range of sizes means clients of all body types can find options that fit well and make them feel beautiful and confident.

Transparent Policies: Transparency about Passion for Fashion’s rental policies – including return procedures, damage fees, and cleaning processes –assures clients that they are renting from a reputable and trustworthy brand.

Empowering Messaging: The incorporation of empowering messaging into our marketing materials and communications can inspire clients to feel confident and beautiful in their chosen dresses – regardless of size, shape or occasion.

Community Engagement: Building a community of renters enables clients to share their experiences, provide styling tips, and offer support that in turn fosters a sense of belonging and value.

Q: How do you promote inclusivity and cater to women of all body shapes and sizes?

A: Fashion brands can play a significant role in how women feel in their clothes. At Passion for Fashion, we seek to enhance this process by prioritising inclusivity, diversity, empowerment in designs, meaningful marketing and an overall approach that understands what fashion means to women, and what women want from fashion.

We offer a wide range of sizes catering to diverse body types which can make women feel acknowledged and valued, regardless of their shape or size.

We also provide personalised styling services that help women express their individuality through looks that resonate with their style and preferences.

Moreover, as a brand, Passion for Fashion incorporates empowering messages into our marketing campaigns, complementing branding initiatives that inspire women to embrace their uniqueness and feel confident in expressing their personal style.

Q: Empowerment is a key aspect of your business. How do you go


beyond just providing dresses and contribute to empowering women?

A: As mentioned before, we offer an extensive range of sizes to ensure that women of all body types can find dresses that fit them perfectly. Our team also provides personalised fit assistance to help clients feel confident and comfortable regardless of their size or shape.

Passion for Fashion also proudly supports organisations that help women and girls through the promotion of gender equity, education and women's rights. Furthermore, $1 from every rental goes to Baby Give Back, a local non-profit providing essential baby items and support to families in need.

By aligning with causes that resonate with shared values, Passion for Fashion and our clients come together to make a positive impact in our communities.

Q: In the fashion industry, there are societal pressures regarding body image. How do you actively challenge and address these pressures to create a more positive environment for your clients?

A: As a fashion business, we are acutely aware of the societal pressures surrounding body image. Accordingly, we are committed to challenging and addressing these pressures, and to creating a more positive environment for our clients through:

Inclusive Sizing: We offer a wide range of sizes to ensure that women of all body types can find dresses that fit them comfortably and flatteringly. By providing options for every body shape, we challenge the narrow standards of beauty often perpetuated by the fashion industry.

Diverse Representation: We prioritise diversity and representation in our marketing campaigns by featuring models of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. By showcasing the beauty of real women, we challenge traditional beauty norms and celebrate the uniqueness of every individual.

Empowering Messaging: This is fundamental to our branding and communications by promoting self-love, confidence and authenticity. Through affirmation and positive reinforcement, we encourage our clients to embrace their bodies and celebrate their individuality.

Passion for Fashion’s fit assistance services

Educational Resources: We provide educational resources on body positivity, self-care and mental health, enabling our clients to cultivate a positive relationship with their bodies and to prioritise their well-being. Through such guidance and support, we help our clients build, sustain and apply resilience and confidence to navigate the pressures of societal beauty standards.

Q: How do you engage with your customers to understand their diverse needs and preferences, ensuring that everyone feels valued and represented?

A: Engaging with our customers to understand their diverse needs and preferences is essential for ensuring every Passion for Fashion client feels valued and represented. Here are some of the strategies we use:

Surveys and Feedback Forms: We regularly solicit feedback from our

customers, asking about their experiences, preferences and ideas for improvement. By actively seeking input from our diverse customer base, we gain valuable insights to influence and inform the services we provide.

Social Media Interaction: We maintain an active social media presence, engaging with our customers through comments, messages and polls. Through these interactions, we gain a better understanding of our customers’ interests, concerns and feedback.

Fashion for Passion engages with their followers to determine their interests

Personalised Communication: We personalise our customer communication based on their past interactions, preferences and purchase history. By tailoring our messages to


individual needs and interests, we demonstrate that we value and respect each customer as a unique individual.

Strategic Collaborations: We work closely with influencers, advocates and community leaders. By amplifying their diverse perspectives and voices, and by leveraging their platforms, Passion for Fashion can reach a broader audience and gain insights from different communities.

Q: What’s next for Passion for Fashion?

A: Initial success and growth confirm the demand for Passion for Fashion. I am so delighted at how warmly we have been received by the community and fashion industry. However, we are far from complacent.

Our goal is to build upon this wonderful start by continuing to grow our customer, industry and product base, sharing our environmental philosophy, and becoming the most user-friendly rental platform in the marketplace.

App development looms as a crucial part of this objective, with the technical advances available today presenting exciting opportunities. We are already working on the introduction of AI to assist customers with size selection, as well as revamping our back end for lenders.

Other works in progress include integration with Australia Post to make our delivery/collection service even

more efficient and convenient. We are also looking to establish a Loyalty Program and to grow our partner network to 80 lenders.

Finally, we have been so busy since starting Passion for Fashion that we have not actually had time for a launch event. We look forward to doing that this year.

Learn more about Passion for Fashion or rent a dress here.


Dársy Skincare's Sweet Facial Oil

The Ultimate Natural Elixir for Radiant Skin

Gone are the days of updating your entire day and night routine to incorporate a new skincare product. Enter Dársy- a testament to the power of natural ingredients that complement any skincare routine to promote radiant and healthy skin. Let’s explore.

About Dársy

Founded by Tereza and Kate, Dársy is more than just a beauty brand—it's a testament to the power of simplicity and efficacy in skincare. With a mission to create clean beauty products without compromising on effectiveness, Tereza and Kate have created a line of natural products that seamlessly complement any skincare regimen. What makes us love Dársy even more, is their philosophy: to take the pressure off the quest for flawless skin whilst providing natural skincare that empowers individuals to embrace their natural beauty confidently.

Product Review

The Essence of Clean Beauty

Dársy stands out for its commitment to clean beauty in an industry often cluttered with complex formulations and questionable ingredients. Their products are crafted with only natural ingredients, free from filler oils, synthetic fragrances, and harmful additives. Each formulation is meticulously curated in Melbourne to deliver visible results without compromising your skin’s health.

Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil: A Closer Look

At the heart of Dársy’s collection lies the Sweet Facial Oil—a luxurious elixir designed to nourish, hydrate, and rejuvenate the skin. Packed with a blend of premium botanical oils, this facial oil offers a holistic skincare approach and complements any existing skincare routine. With ingredients such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil and lavender oil which are rich in antioxidants, omegas, vitamins and fatty acids, your skin will be left feeling hydrated, plump, and supple.

“Packed with a blend of premium botanical oils, this facial oil offers a holistic skincare approach and complements any existing skincare routine.”

Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil

Our Thoughts on Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil

After incorporating Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil into our daily routine, we were truly impressed by the results. Not only did it impart an immediate radiance to our skin, but it also left it feeling deeply nourished and hydrated throughout the day. Did we also mention how amazing it smells? Think day spa pampering! The oil is surprisingly lightweight and absorbs effortlessly making it perfect for both morning and evening application.

We found that just a few drops were sufficient to cover the entire face and neck, making it a cost-effective investment in our skincare regimen (we


even tried mixing the oil into our moisturiser, which worked well too!).

What truly stood out to us was its versatility—suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Its clean and soothing ingredients ensure that even the most delicate skin types can benefit from its rejuvenating properties (we tried and tested it on eczema as well).

Whether used as a standalone treatment or layered with other skincare products, Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil has become an indispensable part of our daily self-care ritual!

Dársy’s Sweet Facial Oil is a testament to the brand's commitment to simplicity and effectiveness in skincare. With minimal (and natural) ingredients and a big impact, this oil is your new best friend for glowy, hydrated and radiant skin.

Learn more about Dársy or get your hands on the Sweet Facial Oil, here.


Kylie’s Professional

Redefining the art of natural beauty

With over 30 years of experience in the ever-evolving beauty industry, Kylie Eustace has left an indelible mark as a professional makeup artist and hairdresser. Her journey from working with prestigious publications like Vogue, Queensland Brides, Cove Magazine and Fashion Weekly, to becoming the proud owner of her own makeup brand, Kylie is a force to be reckoned with in the hair and makeup industry.

Driven by a passion for clean beauty and a commitment to addressing skin sensitivities, Kylie embarked on a mission to create makeup products that are not only high-performing but also gentle on the skin. This vision led to the inception of Kylie's Professional, a brand synonymous with certified, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan makeup.

Kylie's entrance into the world of clean beauty was deeply personal. Struggling with her own skin issues and sensitivities, she recognised the need for makeup formulations that prioritise skin health without compromising on quality or performance.


Drawing on her extensive expertise and industry insights, Kylie curated a range of natural products that not only cater to professionals but also resonate with conscientious consumers seeking ethical alternatives.

Working with her own range of clean beauty products is a common occurrence for Kylie. “I am stubbornly unwilling to use anything on my clients that I wouldn’t use on myself,” says Kylie. “I believe in knowing exactly what is in the products I am using and the high quality and safety of them has made a big difference to the quality of my makeup application and confidence in dealing with all skin types and problems.”

The accolades speak volumes about the impact of Kylie's Professional on the beauty landscape. With over 78 awards to its name, including the prestigious

Best Makeup Brand Asia and Pacific Makeup Artist Guild awards in 2020 and the Best Makeup Brand International 2023 in the beauty shortlist awards, Kylie's brand has garnered widespread acclaim for its formulations and commitment to clean beauty. Her most recent awards can’t be ignored, with Kylie winning the Beauty Shortlist Awards for 2024 for seven of her products- a phenomenal achievement!

Kylie and her team at Byron Bay International Fashion Festival
Kylie’s Professional Mineral Goddess Eyeshadow. Shop here

Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Kylie's talent as a makeup artist has been recognised on numerous platforms. She has been a finalist in the Australian Beauty Industry Makeup Artist of the Year Awards for three consecutive years (2014-2016) and was also honoured as a finalist in the Australian Hair Fashion Awards for Makeup Artist of the Year in 2016.

Kylie’s multifaceted skillset, creativity, and dedication to clean, professional makeup, have allowed her to reach unthinkable limits and it is an honour to feature her in our “The Beauty Within’ issue of The Modern Muse Magazine.

Learn more about Kylie or purchase her award-winning makeup products here

Kylie’s Professional Mineral Goddess Cheek & Lip Cream. Shop here.


Empowering Beauty

Our one-stop shop for all things beauty and wellness

Nestled in Melbourne’s East, Empowering Beauty is a skin and beauty clinic, aiming to push the boundaries of traditional concepts of beauty. Since its establishment in 2019, the clinic has been on a mission to redefine beauty by empowering women to embrace and enhance their natural beauty. With a passion and dedication for empowerment, they have created a space where beauty thrives, and each client experiences a journey of selfdiscovery and confidence.

Inspiration Behind the Name

Empowering Beauty was born out of a realisation of a market void in skin and body contouring, coupled with a desire to reshape the narrative around beauty. Departing from conventional standards, the clinic revolves around empowerment and self-care. Empowering Beauty has set a new benchmark for nurturing and inclusive beauty standards by prioritising holistic wellbeing over mere aesthetics. This approach resonates


deeply with clients seeking transformative yet affirming experiences, making the name "Empowering Beauty" a beacon of embracing and enhancing natural beauty.

How Does the Clinic Empower Beauty?

Empowering Beauty is a one-stop shop that offers a myriad of services tailored to enhance both inner and outer beauty:

Specialised Facial Services:

Empowering Beauty’s specialised facials offer tailored solutions for diverse skin concerns, including acne, pigmentation, eczema, melasma, and beyond. From rejuvenating peels to nourishing masks, each treatment is meticulously crafted to address individual needs and restore skin health. The clinic also offers a curated selection of clinical skincare products, ensuring comprehensive care both in and out of the treatment room.

Empowering Head Spa:

Empowering Beauty’s new Head Spa service invites you to indulge in a transformative experience tailored to your needs. Relax with a weighted jade stone eye mask and invigorating scalp massage, extending to the neck and décolletage. Feel tensions melt away as you emerge refreshed, revitalised, and empowered from within.

Body Contouring and Transformations:

Whether you're seeking to sculpt your body or undergo a complete transformation, Empowering Beauty offers personalised body contouring treatments to target stubborn fat, whilst toning and sculpting your body allowing you to look and feel confident.


Packages = savings! Explore Empowering Beauty’s range of packages designed to pamper and rejuvenate, offering a holistic approach to beauty and wellness. Whether you are preparing for your wedding, travels or in need of a relaxation retreat, Empowering Beauty is your one-stop shop. They also offer monthly packages so be sure to keep an eye on their Instagram for announcements!

Beauty Bar:

Get ready for your next event with Empowering Beauty’s beauty bar services, including lashes, brows, spray tans, and makeup application. No need to waste time travelling to multiple salons as Empowering Beauty has it all when it comes to helping you feel beautiful, confident, and radiant.


How Does Empowering Beauty Promote ‘The Beauty Within’?

At Empowering Beauty, promoting 'The Beauty Within' is at the core of everything they do. Their myriad of services accentuates the natural beauty of clients, providing a holistic experience that extends beyond the treatment room. From the moment you step through their doors, the girls are dedicated to ensuring comfort and satisfaction, through their kind and nurturing personalities and skills to enhance your natural beauty. Their goal is to help you feel confident, radiant, and empowered, both inside and out and they truly do a remarkable job at doing so.

Learn more about Empowering Beauty, book your appointment today and discover the true meaning of Empowering Beauty here. You can use the code HELLO20 to receive $20 off any full-priced service over $50.

Thank you to Empowering Beauty for bringing our April issue of The Modern Muse Magazine to life.


Fashion & Style

Look One

Pretty in Pink

Embrace your inner princess with this Selkie style dress from Zimmerman, the perfect pink addition that will make you feel like a princess! Pair it with a pink clutch from Oloa Berg, strappy heels from Tony Bianco, and rose gold jewellery, for the ultimate Carrie Bradshaw vibes.

Styled by Innasya Mackenzie
The Modern Muse's Resident Stylist

Look Two

Pilates and Coffee Anyone?

The Beauty Within is all about prioritising health and wellness and what better way to do so than with a pilates class! You can't go wrong with a seamless matching leggings and crop set and Stax is our go-to. To feel extra cute, uplevel your fit with a knit bolero, leg warmers and of course grip socks and you are ready for pilates and coffee!


Look Three

Pamper Day

Treating yourself with a couple of beauty appointments is the ultimate form of self-care. Do so in this cute and comfy set from Sheike, Alias Mae slides and of course, gold jewellery to complete the look. Add a pair of black sunglasses in your Ganni black shoulder bag in case you look a bit crazy after your appointments... don't worry, we’ve all been there before!



‘He told me he loved me but then ghosted me ’

I matched with this guy on Hinge about three months ago and we have been on a couple of dates since. I really like him and I feel like we have a great connection.

Although we never really spoke about being exclusive, it appeared that we were on the same wavelength because we were talking all the time and spending a considerable time at each other's houses.

Last week, he took me out to dinner and told me that he was falling in love with me. I was really happy because I hadn’t connected like this with someone in such a long time. I told him I was beginning to feel the same way. He stayed the night at my house but in the morning, he started acting really weird and kept leaving my bedroom to go to the bathroom… with his phone. He went home in the afternoon and we made plans for the next day.

The next morning, I texted him to confirm our plans but I didn’t hear back from him. I texted him again the following day and got no response. I could see he was active on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s been a week now and I still haven’t heard from him. I don’t understand why he would ghost me when he literally professed his love for me the week before. Part of me also feels worried that he might be going through something, but I can’t know for certain unless he returns my texts and calls.

Am I overreacting?

20. Advice from Amber Sargeant The Modern Muse's Resident Psychologist
Advice Column


Hey there friend,

Firstly, I completely understand why you would feel upset by this situation. It sounds like something you were beginning to feel really invested in. That feeling when you first meet someone and you connect can be electric, and allconsuming.

I also completely understand why you would feel like the feeling was reciprocated. Spending a lot of time together, going on dates… It sounds like the start of something special. Especially since he has clearly told you how he feels. It makes sense if he has said to you that he is falling in love with you, that you would believe he is falling in love with you.

All of that said, there is never a way for us to predict or control someone else’s behaviour, or to read his thoughts and intentions. Life would be a lot easier if I could answer this question with “Oh, that’s an easy one. He’s making these choices because of XYZ…” but I can’t, because I (sadly) can’t read minds either.

I know situations like this are so tough, and I’d get it if you said you felt hurt, betrayed and confused. These feelings would not be an over-reaction

regardless of the reason he has stopped contacting you, because no matter the circumstances, you do not deserve to be treated this way. You could be right, and he could be going through something completely out of his control. But what he can control is how he treats you, and letting you know what’s going on or that he needs to take space.

The only thing you can do now is lean into what you can control- your own actions. Maybe he is going through something, maybe he’s not. I want you to think about who you would like to show up as a person in the face of this, and what that person would do. Would they send a final message to check in and embrace compassion? Would they choose self-respect and set a boundary for themselves not to accept this treatment from anyone? What you do next is ultimately up to you, and I’m sure whatever you choose will be the right choice for you as long as it’s true to your values.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information given in this article is general in nature and does not constitute psychological treatment. For tailored support, please ensure you reach out to a registered psychologist. In the case of an emergency, please contact LIFELINE (13 11 14) or call 000.


Health and Wellness

The Clean Beauty Movement

Clean beauty isn't just having a moment. It's changing the game.

I’m from a beauty era where Nutrimetics parties were in, everybody and their dog was following the 3-step Clinique routine, and not using a toner was a sin against the skin gods. We were, daily, inhaling all the goodies locked inside spray deodorant cans and the ethics of animal cruelty was just coming to the forefront. Beauty products screaming from the rooftops that they were free of parabens,

sulphates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances were virtually unheard of.

Here I was slathering my hair in products like Garnier Fructis and Herbal Essences thinking I was being environmentally friendly because it had ‘fruit and flowers’ in it, also the women in the commercials came out of pristine sparkling waterfalls and so, der.


It wasn’t until the COVID lockdowns that I really started to think about the impacts of the products I was using. Because I wasn’t wearing makeup daily, then removing it with product and then putting more product on my skin to balance out everything I had just stripped from it, my skin was looking and feeling better than ever. Less fine lines, fewer pimples and so much brighter. Cue a deep dive into what I was actually letting my skin absorb…and it wasn’t pretty.

I haven’t been alone in thinking this, more and more consumers are weighing in on the Clean Beauty Movement, a movement that is seeing the collective taking a deeper look at an industry that has been notorious for selling harmful products and turning a blind eye.

The Clean Beauty Movement isn’t just about throwing away products that are tested on animals and swapping to products that are free from nasties, as while that is a huge part of the movement and is a step in the right direction, the impact of environmental factors also needs to be part of the conversation. We need to make sure that as consumers, we’re shaping the industry and holding those in charge accountable.

Say what you will about the health and wellness influencers, but they have done some heavy groundwork to pave the way for what’s acceptable from clean beauty brands and putting them on blast if they don’t measure up. Aren’t we sick and tired of putting junk on our faces, bodies and hair while paying through the nose for it?

It can be a little overwhelming at first, but here is what you can look out for when navigating the clean beauty space.


Take a gander at the ingredient lists, and look out for specific chemicals and additives on the label. Ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances are often associated with skin irritation and long-term health concerns including the development of cancers, DNA damage, endocrine disruption and can even promote fertility issues.

Opting for products that are free from these harmful substances can help maintain skin health while aligning with clean beauty principles. Yuka is a fantastic (and free!) app that allows you to scan the barcode of your favourite beauty products in exchange for a breakdown of ingredients, whether they are harmful and their adjoining health impacts. It will also give the product an overall health rating and offer alternative safe and clean products that do the job just as well, if not better.


Be careful, don’t fall into the same trap I did with my hair care. Brands are notorious for using misleading marketing tactics (aka Greenwashing) to portray their products as clean while still containing questionable ingredients (I see you Garnier). Researching brands and familiarising yourself with reputable


certifications, such as Australian Certified Organic, Cruelty-Free Accredited or Made Safe, can help distinguish genuinely clean products from those that merely claim to be.


Sustainable packaging materials, such as glass, aluminium, or recyclable plastics, can significantly reduce environmental impact compared to single-use plastics or excessive packaging. Look for brands that prioritise minimal and eco-friendly packaging solutions, such as refillable containers or biodegradable materials. Additionally, consider the overall lifecycle of the product's packaging, including its recyclability and potential for reuse or repurposing.


Holding brands accountable for their clean beauty claims is essential for maintaining transparency and integrity within the industry. Look for brands that are committed to transparency and provide detailed information about their sourcing practices, manufacturing processes, and ingredient choices. Seek out brands that support independent testing to validate their clean beauty claims. Engaging with brands through social media and customer feedback can also encourage greater accountability and make sure you support those businesses.

You don’t have to throw out all your products at once and start fresh, no guilttripping here! We’ve collated a few Australian-based clean beauty products to

add to your list next time you run out.

Biologi Bk Rejuvenation Eye Serum

This eye serum by Biologi is formulated with potent botanical extracts, including Davidson plum, finger lime, and Kangaroo Paw. It is renowned for its ability to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines around the delicate eye area. Biologi prioritises sustainability by sourcing ingredients ethically and utilising recyclable packaging.

Eco Tan Face Tan Water

Fan of fake tan but hate all of the icky ingredients that go with it? Eco Tan's Face Tan Water offers a natural-looking, sunkissed glow without exposure to harmful UV rays. Made with organic and natural ingredients such as aloe vera, rose geranium, and chamomile, this selftanning water hydrates and nourishes the skin while promoting an even complexion. Eco Tan is committed to sustainability, with all products certified organic by the

Bk Vitamin C Face & Eye Serum. Shop here

Organic Food Chain. This product also comes in a sustainable package made out of sugar cane.

INIKA Organic Long Lash Vegan Mascara

INIKA's Organic Long Lash Mascara lengthens and defines lashes while nourishing them with ingredients like carnauba wax and vitamin E. This vegan and cruelty-free mascara delivers intense colour without clumping or smudging. INIKA prioritises sustainability by using recyclable packaging and sourcing organic ingredients whenever possible.

Evo The Therapist Hydrating Shampoo

This shampoo embodies the essence of clean beauty, offering a nourishing solution for hair in need of hydration and care. Enriched with natural ingredients such as argan oil, this shampoo provides deep moisturisation without compromising on purity. Free from sulphates and parabens, it gently cleanses the hair and scalp, leaving behind only the goodness of nature. With a focus on sustainability and efficacy, The Therapist delivers a luxurious experience that rejuvenates hair while upholding clean beauty principles.

Kind-ly's 100% Natural Deodorant Wipes

Kind-ly's 100% Natural Deodorant Wipes offer clean beauty and freshness on the go. Made with natural ingredients like essential oils and aloe vera, they provide

Face Tan Water. Shop here
INIKA Organic Long Lash Mascara. Shop here The Therapist Hydrating Shampoo. Shop here.

long-lasting odour protection without harsh chemicals. Gentle on sensitive skin, these wipes deliver impressive results with a subtle, invigorating scent. Kind-ly's commitment to transparency and sustainability makes it a trusted choice for clean beauty enthusiasts.

Of course, it would be amiss of us to end our list there but we would have to turn this article into a thesis! The moral of the Clean Beauty story is that it's time to start prioritising your health through clean beauty products. This doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience, be an active consumer by considering our tips above. There are thousands of Australian-made clean beauty products out there that deserve a lot of love and attention and with a bit of research, you could be supporting a worthy business whilst taking care of your health. So, be mindful, be aware and help change the industry to one we, and the plant, deserve.

100% Natural Deodorant Wipes. Shop here.



Do you

Thank you for reading our magazine! You are officially the ultimate Modern Muse. Thank you! CONTACT US email: IG: themodernmusemagazine TikTok: themodernmusemagazine
guidance? Our advice
is here for you. DM or email us your questions and let us help
you a business or writer and want to work with us? DM us or send us an email!
any feedback? We are all ears! Send us a DM or email.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.