Kym Ellery knows what's good. She designs the pieces that meets all our wants; the sequin silver suit, the artful earrings, the perfectly tailored coat. And when it comes to beauty? Her name is somehow still synonymous with a blueberry facial. The best products for clear skin - she knows them. Which industry experts deliver the best results - they're her friends. And she's the kind of girl that knows balance is key, that yoga can be transformative, that natural wine and pasta make the best dinner party - and a blood red lip cures all.
What is your morning beauty routine?
I am a huge fan of skincare and also believe that good skin comes from within. It is important to have a clean and balanced diet, regular exercise and most importantly, be as positive as you can no matter the circumstance. It is a great moment now and always to try and practise that philosophy.
For my skin treatments I am lucky enough to have met skin guru Melanie Grant some years ago and thanks to her my skin has improved tenfold. Attending her clinic and following the skin care regime that she laid out for me has been such a nice journey. I am so, so grateful for her advice and we try new products regularly.
Throughout my life I have had combination skin and have tried lots of different products. These are the ones that I have found really work with my type of skin.
Each morning I cleanse with Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating cleanser, then apply iS Active Clinical serum for the daytime then over that I layer on Augustinus Bader Skincare cream which is a PPC Cellular Renewal cream. Lastly and most importantly, on top of my face cream I put on a 50+ sunscreen. My favourite brand is Actinica, it gives such a dewy glow and also looks good as a skin finish just on its own.
Having grown up in Australia and spending loads of time in the sun I really wish that somebody told me to wear sunscreen on my face every day. That sun damage is pretty difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
I don’t really wear much makeup on a daily basis unless, for example, I am appearing on Gracie Otto’s Small Town News Instagram Live show. So the normal daily routine is lashes, browns and lip balm then out the door.
My favourite mascara is by the Australian brand Model Co. It is amazing. By some sort of scientific miracle it does not run or flake and it is just so easy to wash off at the end of the day. I love it but it is impossible to find in France so I try to stock up whenever I am in Oz.
For my eyebrows I use a Bobbi Brown’s Perfectly Defined Long Wear Eyebrow pencil and over the top M.A.C.’s Brow Set Eyebrow gel in Clear. To finish I spritz my face and hair with David Mallet’s Fresh Eau de Concombre hyaluronic acid mist and then off I go for the day.
What is your night beauty routine?
In the evening I repeat my morning ritual with the addition of a very important extra step. My favourite French skincare brand Biologique Recherche have created what I think is a must have product; the P50 Balancing Exfoliators. They are active exfoliants and I apply it 3-4 times per week before bed as it can make your face a little red. I also use Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic serum first then for evening moisturisers I am a huge fan of the brand Valmont. I am OBSESSED with the V Shape Filling Eye balm and the Renewing Pack Face cream.
If my skin is particularly dry, instead of using moisturizer I will use the Cosmedix Rescue + Intense Hydrating balm & mask layered over the serum along with my favourite fashion accessory – my Melanie Grant white towel headband so my hair doesn’t get all greasy.
Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?
I am the Creative Director and founder of women’s luxury brand ELLERY.
I live in Paris however the ELLERY collections are produced in Italy. So this means that (pre pandemic) I spend (spent) a lot of time traveling between the two countries.
In Paris a typical day has me wake up, do yoga, meditate followed by heading off to work on foot. The ELLERY studio is around 30 minutes away and I love walking through the streets of Paris to start and finish the day. The light, the architecture, it is so energising for me.
After work I will meet friends for dinner and drinks or sometimes go to yoga or the cinema. I also love to cook and host my friends at home and my favourite dish to make is ‘cacio e pepe’, the Roman spaghetti dish served in a giant wheel of parmesan paired with a beautiful bottle of natural wine.
What is the supermarket/ drug store/ chemist beauty product(s) that you use and love?
When I was a teenager a makeup artist told me to use Cetaphil Cleansing soap on my face so now I always make sure I have a bottle in my bathroom for emergencies if I run out of my other products. It agrees really well with my skin and I love it as a simple and easy cleansing solution. I also love the French brand Nuxe’s Reve De Miel Honey Lip balm which is the best lip balm I’ve ever used; it is so creamy. I also always have on me a tube of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment it is so useful and French boys and girls go wild for it when they see me pull it out of my handbag.
What is your main form of beauty body maintenance? What products do you use on your body?
For the body I love Egyptian Magic. It Is an all-purpose skin cream and I love to put it on my lips, face, hands and my body. I also love the brand Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castille Soap and my favourite scent is Lavender. It is great for hand washing garments. Sometimes I use it in my hair as shampoo and I also use it on my body as soap. I moisturize my body with Aesop Concentrated Citrus Body balm. I absolutely love the smell, it is so hydrating and reminds me so much of of home.
How do you keep fit/ healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
I have two great loves: yoga and boxing. I have a French boxing trainer, a handsome one too! Forgive me for the cliché. *laughs
He and I train once a week and I love it because it really clears my head. I feel so positive afterwards and can understand completely why they say that exercise is a great treatment for mild depression; you feel so elated afterwards. Of course it also improves sleep and helps with general daily tension and the stresses of running a business. I think exercise should be an important part of everyone’s routine, especially now, health is key.
I also adore yoga. My favourite class in Paris is called Humble Warriors. My teacher Dani is one of the founders of the class and it is such a nice class to do. They play hip hop music in darkness to candlelight for the class and it is super, super cool. I took my team to a class with her one day and it was an amazing experience to do yoga together in a group. Some people who attended that day have been going every week since which makes me really happy to hear.
What cosmetic procedures/ professional treatments do you have as part of your beauty routine?
When I go to Sydney or Los Angeles, I visit Melanie Grant’s clinic and one of my favourite treatments is the ‘Clinical Red Light Facials’. My skin loves it. During the treatment, because of the bright light I feel like I am entering into a wormhole and travelling through time. It is quite a wild ride and I highly recommended it.
For my hair I attend the church of David Mallet in Paris and if I’m in Sydney I visit Paloma who is a dear, dear friend. Paloma did the hair direction for the very first Ellery show in 2007 so we go way back. I love what she does with my hair.
What do you do when your body needs to recover?
Post fashion week I can get a little run down. It is a very demanding time so afterwards I try to go somewhere where I can be close to nature and immersed in water. I love to be in water.
If I am in Paris and can’t find water, I go to the hammam Les Bains du Marais which is close to my home. There I have a scrub and a steam in the steam room and it is so relaxing. The ladies who do the hamman scrub are so fun and cute too. They always crack me up.
Each morning I also make sure I try and get some natural Vitamin C into my body by having lemon juice in hot water and also apple cider vinegar to aid my digestion. I am a big fan of echinacea also so I take that during the winter time to avoid catching a cold.
You’re tired/ hungover/ rundown: what is your beauty hack?
There is nothing that a red lip cannot solve. I adore wearing a classic red lip and if I’m tired, I find it lifts your whole face as well as energy. My favourite brand is the YSL Tattoo Matte stain in colour 12. It is great to layer over a matte lipstick base for lasting colour.
What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?
Eyebrows. Growing up in the 90s I had the unfortunate experience of over plucking my eyebrows. I successfully made them incredibly uneven and my mum was so annoyed at me. But looking back it was quite funny, little me with one short and one long brow. Ever since then I have been trying to balance them out, and unfortunately, I can’t do it without the help of my trusty eyebrow pencil.
Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?
Val Garland. She is the goddess of the make-up industry and has been the makeup director for ELLERY for almost all of our runway shows during Paris fashion week. Such a delightful human being and of course talented beyond words. [Garland] just gets it and I am always thrilled with the results. I am loving her Netflix show right now called ‘GLOW UP’. It is such a good time, a perfect way to end the day. Ding dong darling!
What is the best advice on beauty you’ve received?
Less is more. Except when more is more then just go for it.
What is the best advice on health you’ve received?
Naturopath and friend Bonnie Stedman from Natural Edge Health has given me great advice on how to eat and look after my body. A few years ago she put me on a cleanse that completely changed my digestion for the better. She also pointed me in the direction of some high potency vitamins which really improved my mood and energy levels. I am so grateful for the help she has given me. And I highly recommend her to anyone who has troubles with digestion or feels like they need more energy or just want to understand their bodies better.
What is the one product you can’t live without?
My Le Labo Santal 33 fragrance. It completely lifts my mood and leaves a trail wherever I go. The waiter in the café opposite my studio also really appreciates it. Although he does not know my name he still yells “ Ahh! Santal 33! Bravo!” whenever I walk in. Lol.