Sydney's top beauty spots
Jetlag recovery Yoga with Skye Baird The first step to beauty is inner health and wellbeing, right? Right. Well, after my early start, red-eye flight and long drive in from Sydney airport, I was starting to get that slightly frazzled, furrowed-brow look. Or so I was told.
Thankfully, Skye Baird is waiting for me in the lobby of my hotel, The Darling, and leads me to a nearby park overlooking the harbour. We put down mats and indulge in an hour of downward facing dog and all sorts of other yoga moves. I might be in the middle of a city park but I don't feel in the least bit self-conscious. Afterwards, the furrow has noticeably relaxed and my mind is off the plane and well and truly in my surroundings. Baird offers one-on-one sessions for corporates and travellers and her sessions would be particularly useful after a long-haul flight. Best of all, she'll come to you.
Olfactory experience and makeup lesson at the Chanel Fragrance and Beauty Boutique, the Star, Darling Harbour
If you are planning a night out somewhere fancy during your Sydney escape, then you had better look - and smell - the part. This is where the Star's beautiful Chanel boutique can come in handy. Here you can be taken on a personalised trip through a range of scents to pick your favourite from the company's range of fragrances before being taught some very handy makeup tips. The fragrance experience is unlike anything I have tried and is the perfect way to find a perfume that exactly matches my favourite scents. The makeup is more than I normally would wear but I love the look - perfect for a glam night out in Sydney.
Eyebrows at Sharon-Lee, Paddington Sharon-Lee Hamilton Clarke is Australia's leading eyebrow artist, so what she doesn't know about eyebrows after 20 years' experience isn't worth knowing. As soon as I walk in the door of her Paddington boutique she has sussed what is wrong with my eyebrows (uneven and not long enough) and how to fix them. As befits the location and surroundings, this is not a typical beauty appointment - champagne and canapes are part of the service. This would be a great place to come with friends, just make sure to book well in advance.
Massage at the Spa at The Darling After a morning wandering the streets, spending probably too much money and generally acquainting myself with Sydney, the prospect of a massage is glorious. That it's in my hotel is even better. The Spa at The Darling has 16 private rooms, so your odds of getting a last-minute appointment are reasonably high. Believe me, if you can, you should. I opt for the hot stone massage. I'm led into a relaxation room to erase those harried memories of the city streets, before heading to the treatment room. This massage uses hot stones - in this case Australian produced granite - which apparently retain the heat longer. An hour later I walk out feeling like I am floating. thedarling.com.au/the-spa
Blow dry at Brad Ngata at The Ivy Sydney girls have quite fabulous hair and Christchurch-born Brad Ngata, great-grandson of Sir Apirana Ngata, who is featured on our $50 notes, can take some of the credit. Stars, celebs and beauty editors flock to his eponymous and truly gorgeous salon at The Ivy precinct off George St. In a private room, your hair will be washed using special products and techniques by leading Japanese brand Shu Uemura, before one of Ngata's team of award-winning stylists pulls out their brushes and hairdryers to create a killer blow-dry that lasts through the next round of eating, drinking and beyond.
Deluxe manicure at Miss Frou Frou Nail Bar, Paddington Famous faces such as Miranda Kerr, Cate Blanchett and Toni Collette have all experienced the magic of Miss Frou Frou, so why not join them? Indeed, this is no ordinary manicure. My hands are treated to a paraffin bath which relaxes your muscles, stimulates circulation and hydrates. My nails are then clipped, my cuticles shaped and I'm given a relaxing hand and forearm massage before my nails are painted a bright turquoise (there are scores of colours to choose from). And if you need a new outfit to match your nails, it's all at your doorstep thanks to Miss Frou Frou's location right in the heart of Paddington's best boutiques.
Sarah Harvey travelled with assistance from Destination New South Wales.
- Sunday Star Times