In my beauty bag: Nutritionist Danijela Unkovich

Danijela Unkovich is a nutritionist and blogs about food at

Danijela Unkovich is a nutritionist and blogs about food at

Nutritionist and food blogger Danijela Unkovich knows good skin comes from what you put in your body.

We caught up with her about why she loves skin oils and how you can use bronzer as eyeshadow. 

While you're at it, check her out at


I've always been really in to skincare – I've had a religious day/night cleanse and moisturise routine for years, and like doing a masque and exfoliate session each week.

I made a switch to natural products a while back and my skin has never been better. I rotate between my favourite brands, but really enjoy NZ's Trilogy, Tailor and Antipodes, and Australia's Kora Organics.

To remove make-up and cleanse, I use Tailor's cleansing oil. It's really effective at getting rid of every last inch of makeup.

In my beauty bag: Sarah Tanner of Greenleaf Organics
In my beauty bag: The Bachelor NZ's Matilda Rice
In my beauty bag: Jyoti Morningstar


For eye creams Antipodes does amazing rich formulas – I love their Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening eye cream, it smells like honey too.

I also really enjoy using facial oils. One of my holy grail products is Trilogy's rosehip oil, it's super nourishing and great at calming any skin sensitivity. I mix a little in with my moisturiser or apply it on its own.

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Facials are my favourite beauty treat - I always notice a difference in my skin afterwards. I love East Day Spa in Central Auckland and H & Co in Grey Lynn.

For good skin use sunscreen daily and make sure to always remove make-up before bed. But otherwise diet and lifestyle are the biggest determinants of how well my skin's looking - lots of veggies, especially greens, and nourishing fats (e.g. avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish like salmon), limiting inflammatory foods such as sugar, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep, all do wonders for the skin.


I first started using makeup as a teenager – I'd use a foundation over blemishes and that was about it. As the years have gone on I've gradually added to my routine, and now my daytime look is foundation, mascara, brows, and a little bronzer and blush.

The most amazing foundation I've used is by Inika Organics. It's an all-in-one foundation, concealer and powder, and gives the most flawless coverage. It's my absolute favourite, I've been using it for years and always regret when I stray.

For eyes I love anything by MAC, Benefit or Eye of Horus, which all do great eye brow pencils and mascara – no panda eyes. 

My favourite bronzer is TheBalm Bahama Mama. I use it on my cheekbones, and (my cheat's tip) dust it over my eyelids for a quick natural eye shadow.

In my handbag you'll find lots of lip balm and my favourite fragrance. My favourite lip balm is Hurraw. I always have a few floating around in my bag, desk, car or room. They're made with natural ingredients and all smell amazing – the cherry and chocolate scents are my favourites.


I'm super low maintenance with my hair. I love using Ecostore's shampoo and conditioners, and a hair oil when my hairs feeling a little dry.

The only real upkeep for my hair is straightening it once or twice a week, that's literally all I will ever do with it – my GHD is my tool of trade. Whenever I go to the hairdresser for a cut, I'll get a rich hair masque to try and help counter heat damage.


I love nice fancy nails, but never get them done. Mine are always kept short and if they have polish on them it'll usually be nude or clear. I help run a community gardening and cooking program at work, and love spending lots of time in the kitchen, so from a practicality point I prefer them shorter.

Whenever I paint them with bright colours I somehow always wind up chipping them within two minutes and it drives me mad.


I love the smell of vanilla and coconut, and Victoria's Secret does a body spray called Coconut Passion that's a perfect mix of both. It smells like palm trees and lollies.

I love Ecostore body butters, they're so luxuriously thick. I love slathering them on after a shower and exfoliate session, it gives you the smoothest softest skin ever.


What's one of the best ways of staying on top of your health and fitness goals? Meal prepping! Planning and preparing a portion of your meals each week will help ensure you've got nutritious meals on hand and ready to go - particularly handy on days you know you won't be able to get in the kitchen. Whether your pre-cutting veggies for quick and easy stirfrys, batch cooking meal bases (pasta sauce, meatballs, soups, curries...), cooking a little extra dinner each night to carry over to lunch the next day, whipping up giant salads or coleslaws for the next few'll all help keep you on track!👊 I've popped a meal prep guide for beginners over on the blog - head over if you'd like a read. P.s I'm three days into my 7 day detox! Today I felt a different in energy levels, especially into afternoon. Excited to see some more changes x #health #healthy #nutrition #nourish #mealprep #mealprepping #mealprepsunday #wholefoods #motivation #motivate #fitness #exercise #yum #yummy #healthyalways #vegetables

A photo posted by Danijela Unkovich (@healthyalways) on

I'm more of a shower then a bath person, but if I'm feeling a little tired or stressed I have a bath and go all out with candles and essential oils. My favourite to add is lavender, it's nice and relaxing before bed.

The lavender oil I am using right now if from a place in Croatia called Hvar, which is known as "the island of lavender" - I picked it up from my travels there a few months ago. I'll usually take a book to read in the bath, and keep topping up the water whenever it starts to get too cold.


I treat myself beauty wise through quality skincare products – I invest in the ones I love and find effective, and some that are probably not 100 per cent necessary but I just enjoy using, like masques or facial and body exfoliants.

My philosophy is to focus on the inside for beauty – eat well, sleep well, manage stress and drink enough water. That's when I see the biggest difference in how I look and feel, all beauty products aside.

Our skin is our largest organ, and one of its major roles is detoxification, and so it's very good at letting us know when we need to show ourselves a little more love through our diet and lifestyle choices. If we're not fuelling our bodies with the right nutrients, having too many late nights or are under a lot of stress, often our skin is the first place to take a hit.

Whenever I am flying I bring a super rich lip balm and facial moisturiser to help counter the dry cabin air, and then make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the flight. Also can't forget ear plugs and an eye mask to try and get some sleep. 

I love discovering new beauty products; I usually look online, in store or on social media. I really love supporting grassroots local companies – we're lucky to have so many amazing ones in New Zealand.


If I am feeling/looking tired I find mascara and a good eye cream works wonders. 

My tragic beauty mistakes from the past would be not matching my foundation properly and still using it – cringe.

I am not a fan of using harsh chemical products on the skin – I find they strip the skin and I like the idea of reducing synthetic chemicals as much as possible, especially if we're using them on our skin every day. I try to use more natural gentler products wherever possible.

If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of a beauty bugbear it would be acne – I suffered poor skin for years growing up and it was no fun.

 - Stuff

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