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Style Curator Eleanor Pendleton

Eleanor Pendleton is an Australian beauty and style icon, and founder of the highly regarded beauty and lifestyle publication Gritty Pretty. We sat down with Eleanor to hear how her love for beauty and style began, the importance of natural ingredients and why sun protection is the most crucial step in any skin health regime

You are such a powerful influencer in the Australian beauty industry. Where and how did your love for beauty and skin care all about?
I fell into the beauty industry as a university student. I was studying journalism whilst interning at Cosmopolitan magazine and assisting then-beauty editor, Zoë Foster Blake. It was during that time that I fell in love with all that comes with the industry: the science, the experts, the creativity, the artistry

What do you look for in skin care and why do you love using natural ingredients?
As a beauty journalist, first and foremost I’m looking for efficacy. I’m looking for products that deliver on what they claim. When we edit, we consistently have our readers at the forefront – their needs, their wants. We take a product into editorial consideration and decide whether it will be published on based on its formula, its texture, its smell and its packaging. There are some standout natural ingredients – such as jojoba oil – that mimic the skin so we pay attention to those and the quantity of them within a product

You grew up in Northern NSW on the coast, has the beach always been a big part of your life and what is your favourite to go in Australia?
Yes, I grew up at the beach. The ocean has been a part of my life since birth – if I’m away from the ocean for too long, I begin to feel unsettled. Growing up on the NSW Central Coast and now living with my husband on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the beach is where I feel home. There is nothing better than just jumping into the ocean, the Australian sun shining down on you and breathing in that salty air

If you didn’t live in Sydney where would you choose and why?
I have travelled all over the world but coming back to Sydney always feels like home. If I had to live anywhere else in Australia, I’d live further north near Palm Beach – it’s like being on holiday every day there. Plus, it’s just a short ferry ride to the Central Coast where my husband I have family who live there

How would you describe your style?
Nonchalant yet structured, relaxed yet polished

What does your daily skincare regime look like?
Being a beauty editor, my skin is one of my greatest passions. I love taking care of it – from the inside and out. I consider my skin part of my health – just like I exercise regularly and eat healthily, I look after my skin every morning and night.
Every morning, I will cleanse with a gentle foam cleanser before applying a treatment lotion. Next, I use a pigment inhibitor (which looks and feels like a serum) to target pigmentation. Then, I apply a deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid serum followed by an eye cream, face cream and finally, SPF 30 or 50. At night, I’ll switch out my face cream for a deeply nourishing face oil or overnight mask

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to skin care?
For me personally, it’s about finding a product that works for my skin especially. We all have different skin types and skin concerns so some products may work better for others but when I do find a product that my skin responds particularly well to then I will stick to it

How important is sun protection to you and how do you protect yourself?
Sun protection is a part of every Australian’s daily life – and if it isn’t, it should be. We can use the most sophisticated, technologically advanced skin care in the world but it still wouldn’t improve your skin if you didn’t use an SPF 30+ or 50+. I’m of Filipino-Australian decent so my half-Asian skin is prone to pigmentation, which is perhaps why I’m religious when it comes to applying a standalone sunscreen every day (using a foundation or tinted moisturiser with added SPF is not enough)

What do you look for in a sunscreen and why would you choose natural?
As I get older, I’m becoming more environmentally aware. I care about this Earth and what future generations will get to see and enjoy of it so I try to make small decisions regularly to help benefit the environment. One of those was moving away from my previous sunscreen (which was a chemical sunscreen, which contained oxybenzone) and instead switching for a natural (physical) sunscreen. Oxybenzone can damage coral reefs, bleaching them when you wear them and dive into the ocean. Because of that, I refuse to wear a sunscreen that contains it as an ingredient. As a beauty editor, I’m constantly looking for natural formula sunscreens but ones that aren’t too thick and leave a ghosting effect, clog pores or sit unevenly under makeup

Do you always use an SPF 50+ on your face?
Every day – even during winter

How does your skin care regimen change from summer to winter?
It changes dramatically. I switch to richer creams and oils during winter and keep lightweight gels reserved for summer, when my skin can become oilier

What is your favourite Hunter Lab natural tool?
Hunter Lab’s Lip Ammo is a handbag and travel essential of mine. I love that it’s all natural and contains shea butter, macadamia oil and sweet almond oil to hydrate lips. I did have a bottle of the Peptide Anti-Ageing Elixir, which I enjoyed using but my husband quickly nabbed that one and uses it regularly. The sleek, matte black packaging makes it perfect as a gender neutral skin care product so it’s perfect for both women and men

See more of the beauty icon at @eleanorpendleton 

Style Curator Eleanor Pendleton