AM to PM with Sarah Tarca of gloss etc.

Posted by Melissa Pinder on

Meet Sarah Tarca - co-fouder of Gloss etc  -  Australia's go-to weekly beauty newsletter.

Give us your elevator pitch

Gloss etc is Australia’s first weekly beauty newsletter curated by two ex-Marie Claire beauty editors (hi! It me!) and my pal, Sherine Youssef. Designed like a glossy magazine page (because we’re print girls at heart), it’s an extension of the WhatsApp groups we have with our friends: no BS beauty advice, brutally-honest reviews, and recommendations we would (and do!) give to our mates.

What are you passionate about?

In no particular order: Hot chips, sunscreen, yoga, caffeine, my boys, writing, finding tea towels that actually dry the dishes (sexy content!), skincare that really works, sharing all the great stuff that actually works with as many people as possible and travel (remember that?). I’m a passionate person, I love hard. 

What do you love about beauty?

It’s fun, it feels good, and there’s something for everyone. From a journalist perspective, I love that it’s always innovating so there’s never a chance to get bored. Also, never underestimate the power of a red lipstick, I swear it’s the crappy-day antidote, nothing picks you up and makes you feel more confident/ in control/ polished than a good red lip. 

How would you define your approach to beauty and how has it changed over the years?

Skin first, everything else follows. Or, more specifically, sunscreen first: then everything else. There’s no point in spending big bucks on fancy makeup if you don’t protect and look after your skin. 

When I was a full-time inhabitant of mag-land I wore much more makeup. Now that I run my own business (in between juggling two chaotically beautiful boys) I don’t have the time for a full face every day so I invest more in my skin than ever before so at the very least it gives the illusion of health, sleep and general wellness (even if I’m running on minus sleep). 

What’s your best piece of self care or wellness advice?

Taking time out to do something kind for yourself is not a reward, it’s essential. I think as women (and mothers, especially) we’re too quick to put other people first and say we don’t have time. But taking some time out to do something that you love, whether it’s a yoga class, meditation, a quiet uninterrupted tea break or a simple face mask, that’s the stuff that fills your cup. I think of it as a gift to my whole family as well as myself, because when I’m recharged I’m a better mother, partner, and all-round human. 

What’s your relationship with tea?

We’ve been going steady for many years now, and I’m pretty sure it’s serious.

I think I love the ritual almost as much as the actual tea itself… it forces you to take the time and be present with it. I also love that unlike coffee culture there isn’t an “on-the-go” vibe with tea. You sit down and drink it, appreciate it, savour it.

What do you think about the current state of the beauty industry – are there any changes that are exciting to you or anything you’d like to see shift?

My natural state is excitement, so my heart rate is always raised about something. Lucky for me, there’s always something new and interesting in beauty. I’m excited to finally see the end of over-sculpted faces (RIP, contouring) and instead, see people embrace their own skin more, rather than masking it with heavy makeup (the new wave of minimalist skin tints play to this). I’m excited that people are focussing on skin health more and we have some awesome at-home innovation like LED masks – which has been a pleasant upside of all that at-home time. I’m loving the holistic view of beauty, that we’re looking at body health, gut health and the skin microbiome more; I’m loving the wave of zeitgeist brands that are de-gendering the beauty industry – there’s a lot to love. 

On the downside the whole “clean beauty”  greenwashing really irks me to no end. The “natural” beauty world is a (largely unregulated) minefield and there’s a lot of scaremongering going on. Natural isn’t always better, or even safer for you.  It’s just not that simple when it comes to beauty products. 

What’s your morning routine?

I have two boys (one and three) so the mornings always begin cute, with cuddles in bed and quickly spiral into feral because they must eat immediately and why are you not putting food in my mouth sooner, slave woman? My one-year-old will literally be biting my leg as I’m speed-making oats and I have to stave them off with pre-breakfast (usually a shared banana) because they can’t make it five minutes more. So by 7:30 I’m usually ready for bed again (LOL, I wish). I “start” my day with ingestibles (usually a marine collagen and The Beauty Chef Glow powder) and drink it while I’m making breakfast for the beasts, then we sit down to eat together. Always. Mealtimes are a special time and I find when we’re all eating together everyone is calmer and we enjoy the food and experience more (the boys love food).  My partner is an excellent barista so that’s followed by a coffee and a moment of calm, before the day (read: more chaos) unfolds. 

My beauty routine is usually done with at least one sidekick “helping” so it has to be fast: cleanser, vitamin C, moisturiser, sunscreen, bit of concealer/ skin tint, brows, mascara. If I have an event on or need to feel like I have my life together, I’ll add a red lip (Nars Audacious in Lana, always) because of its *magic* soul-repairing qualities. Then, I pack everything away that my toddler has dramatically thrown from the cupboard, and hustle them into clothes. Most days we start with a family walk somewhere which simmers the crazy down a bit. My partner and I work from home, in our own and joint businesses, so this also gives us a chance to talk and connect. It’s also probably the first time I exhale.

And then hunger-alarm strikes again.  

It’s chaotic and messy and loud and the greatest thing ever. 

Something that took you longer than expected to learn/master?

GHD curls. And by “took me longer” I mean I still can’t do it, even after 15 years as a beauty editor and having some of the world’s best hairdressers show me how. I’ve accepted defeat, I’m just a tong girl.

Best beauty tip?

Wear sunscreen. Really. Every other product is redundant if you don’t protect your skin every day.

What’s your night time routine?

After the nighttime bath/bed madness I usually exhale with a wine or a tea, and then sit down to work for the day. Neither of the boys are in childcare, so we’ve always worked around nap times. In my dream world I’d take a bath every night but in reality it’s more like once a week. Baths are my favourite thing in the world, I live for being a prune and the only temperature that is acceptable is “the sun”. I love to drop some body oil in it which not only scents the water but has you emerging like a sleek, slippery dolphin. 

But you didn’t ask me about my bath routine. My night  routine is far less sexy. After work, I do my wind down beauty routine: double cleanse, serum or AHA exfoliator, moisturiser, oil if my face needs it. I try to spend some time on my PM routine and make it a little ritual, especially the cleansing, by spending time massaging my face, because it just feels good after A DAY and I love the way my skin feels after a good clean. 

I try to get to bed early (9:30ish) and watch a bit of whatever we’re bingeing at the time. I use this time to give my hands a massage with hand cream (this was a Covid thing, my hands have been ruined by all the washing), and then I do run a gua sha or a roller over my face. I store a lot of stress in my jaw so I focus on this area, but really this has just become a little routine that I love to do while horizontal, whether my skin is getting amazing benefits I don’t even know, but it feels good so I’ll keep doing it 

If you had the attention of all the women in the world for a few minutes what would you want them to hear or see?

I think I’d just want to high five them all and tell them you’re doing great, even if you don’t feel like you are. We carry so much, juggle so many balls and even carry life inside us. We are incredible, and I feel grateful to be a woman.  

xoxo bb

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