Welcome to Take Note – a weekly rolodex of all the best in skin, wellness, and makeup from industry insiders. Each week, we’ll profile one woman who’s privy to beauty, covering everything from recommendations to routines. Today we’re chatting with Olympia Valance, actress, model, Splash Vodka founder and (as the universe would have it) complete beauty buff.
Olympia is a girl after our own heart – from a bath-and-vino bedtime routine to her favorite $7 hand cream, she’s someone that’s happy to divulge the inner workings of her routine without reservation (which is probably why Neutrogena tapped her as the face of its brand new brightening skincare franchise).
Read (and shop) our chat with Olympia below.
GRAZIA: What does your morning skincare routine look like?
Olympia: I always wash my face. I particularly love Liberty Belle’s Braveheart Cleanser and Aspect’s Gentle Clean Facial Cleanser. If I haven’t slept well or I’ve had a few too many wines the night before (isolation, am I right), I’ll also rub an ice cube under my eyes and over my cheeks to reduce that morning puffiness. My friend recently got me back onto toner which I hadn’t used since I was a teenager! I’m trying Ole Henriksen Dark Spot Toner. I’ll follow this with a serum. Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Serum is particularly good in the morning because it assists with that glowy, smooth, skin we’re all chasing. I then mix my facial cream (Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream) with a pump of Drunk Elephant Sunshine Drops which gives a subtly sunkissed look (without the actual sun). If I know I’m going to be outside I’ll also add some sunscreen into this concoction too.
GRAZIA: And evening?
Olympia: I’m an avid bath lover, so I like to end my day relaxing in the tub. The steam and heat help to soften my pores and remove the day. Given the amount of time we all currently have at home, it’s a really nice way to show yourself some care and peace as well. Three nights a week I begin my routine with a glass of red wine and a deep exfoliation. For the past month I’ve been test-driving Neutrogena Bright Boost Micro Face Polish which I’m LOVING. At night I go heavier to really hydrate my skin while I’m sleeping. I’ll usually mix a couple of drops of facial oil (I love Go-To Face Hero and Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil) into my face cream (Neutrogena’s Bright Boost Gel Cream).
GRAZIA: If you were heading to a deserted island, what three products would make the cut?
Olympia: Well definitely a sunscreen. I would also want a really great exfoliant because I’m guessing it’s going to be hot and grimy and a tad sweaty. And at night, a lovely gel facial cream (Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream) – hydrating but not too heavy in the heat.
GRAZIA: Favorite SPF formula?
Olympia: I’ve recently started using Supergoop! which is great. It can be tough to find a sunscreen that isn’t too thick or greasy and doesn’t feel like it’s suffocating your skin. I’ve used Ultra Violette in the past which is also fantastic.
GRAZIA: Best treatment out there?
Olympia: I love a mask! The Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Mask is great. I apply and keep on overnight. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is also an excellent, super-hydrating option. If you’re after an actual sheet mask, you can’t go past SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask. Go-To Transformazing mask is also exactly that: transformazing. There is a facial massage how-to article on Goop which is super helpful if you’re new to the concept, which guides you through step by step for you to try at home with a sheet mask.
GRAZIA: Skincare cheap thrill?
Olympia: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. I have no idea why I have been spending so much money on expensive hand creams when this is legitimately, hands down (pun intended) the best you’ll ever get.
GRAZIA: And splurge?
Olympia: Crème De La Mer. I gift this to myself when I know I have a big event coming up. It’s such a treat.
GRAZIA: What’s your go-to method for treating a pimple, fast?
Olympia: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – magic in a bottle!
GRAZIA: Who is your makeup muse?
Olympia: JLo. She’s definitely having a moment right now, but she’s been a moment for me forever. She will always be a glam reference when I’m prepping for red carpets or events.
GRAZIA: Holy grail foundation?
GRAZIA: And most used lip color?
Olympia: Mecca Max Glitterbug.
GRAZIA: Best ever mascara?
GRAZIA: How do you shape and fill your brows?
Olympia: I have naturally bushy brows so I can be quite imperfect when I’m filling them in. I use Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Brow Pencil and start from the inside of my brows and work out. Also, don’t neglect the tail of the brow! This will lengthen and open up your entire eye area.
GRAZIA: Signature fragrance?
Olympia: Le Labo The Noir 29.
GRAZIA: What does your vacation makeup kit look like?
Olympia: I’m super minimal when I go away. At the very most, it will be MAC Face & Body, a little bronzer (Nars Laguna) and a lick of mascara. If I’m feeling fancy, I may add a highlighter.
GRAZIA: Quirkiest makeup trick you can share?
Olympia: Sticky tape on the edges of your eyes to get the perfect winged liquid eyeliner. But you need to do this prior to your base going on, or you’ll pull all your foundation off!
GRAZIA: Favorite shampoo and conditioner duo?
Olympia: Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore.
GRAZIA: Can’t live without styling product?
Olympia: Eleven I Want Body Texture Spray. It’s an easy way to up your hair game with minimal effort – I swear by it.
GRAZIA: Hair tool you can’t live without?
Olympia: My GHD straightener and my hair detangling comb. I keep it in the shower to brush my conditioner through.
GRAZIA: Who cuts and colors your hair?
Olympia: Lauren Mackellar. She has just returned from a long stint in L.A. where she worked with a number of incredible clients (I’m going to name drop because she’s too humble to do it herself: Kylie Cosmetics, Dua Lipa and Alicia Keys’ music videos, the list goes ON) to open her own salon in Melbourne. She is the best of the best at what she does, and also truly one of the most lovely genuine souls you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.
GRAZIA: Celebrity dream hair?
Olympia: Shay Mitchell has very good hair. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is also a dream hair/beauty muse.
GRAZIA: In a sentence, what’s your approach to wellness?
Olympia: Balance is key. Life is short, so take care of yourself, love yourself and enjoy yourself.
GRAZIA: Do you have a food philosophy?
Olympia: Again, I’m a big fan of balance. I’m Greek so I’ve been raised to really love and enjoy my food. I do also know what makes me feel great, and what makes me feel not so great. So Monday to Friday I try and eat pretty clean, and I use weekends to indulge a little more, visit my favorite restaurants and have a few margaritas.
GRAZIA: What are some common meals in your food repertoire?
Olympia: I’ll start my day with a coffee, usually an almond latte, along with some eggs and avocado on toast. Lunch will depend on my schedule, so if I’m on set I’ll usually have something from catering (along the lines of some meat, veggies and/or salad and rice). Dinner might be a chicken and vegetable soup or some lamb and veggies. I know red meat isn’t for everyone, but my body really loves it. Very likely a bi-product of that Greek heritage! I had my food intolerances tested a little while back so I try and avoid dairy, garlic and onion.
GRAZIA: In what ways do you like to move your body?
Olympia: I love to walk. I try and reach 10,000 – 15,000 steps a day. It’s also such a great way to catch up with friends. I’ll grab a coffee and do a few laps around the Botanical Gardens debrief on the week with someone. On a normal week when we aren’t self-isolating, I try and see my trainer Ryan Wilson 2-3 times. I really encourage people to experiment and find the type of training that works for their bodies… something they enjoy and can therefore maintain. For me, this is strength training and heavy weights.
GRAZIA: Final meal?
Olympia: Please do not judge me, but my answer to this is quite possibly Nandos. My fancier answer would be some sort of sashimi. Actually, can I just have both? Paired with a margarita.
GRAZIA: Any supplements you take regularly?
Olympia: I’m not a big supplement person, mainly because I forget to take them! If I’m feeling run down I also swear by ArmaForce, particularly in the Melbourne winter which can be pretty brutal on my immune system.
GRAZIA: What tricks do you put in place to ensure you get a good night’s sleep?
Olympia: Try and eat dinner nice and early so your body has a chance to digest and settle before hopping into bed. A nice hot bath and a glass of red wine also do a mighty fine job.
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