With blooming jasmine bushes adding beauty to the air and a general lightening of the wardrobe, Spring also heralds the arrival of wedding season, a time of beauty and celebration. Whether you're blissfully betrothed, have a wedding invitation, or just looking for a seasonal beauty reboot, The Strand Arcade in Sydney offers a curated collection of boutique and artisanal brands ripe for the picking. This heritage-listed Victorian-style retail arcade is known for housing some of Australia's most renowned designers, making it a prime fashion destination However, The Strand is also a treasure trove for boutique beauty discoveries. In addition to cosmetic juggernaut Mecca Cosmetica are the covetable brands Aesop, Creed, and the venerable Santa Maria Novella, a centuries-old Italian pharmacy revered for its timeless formulations. Consider this your cheat sheet for Bridal and Spring Beauty: The Strand way. First things first. let’s head up to level one and highlight it to Mecca Cosmetica to sort out the bulk of your wedding aesthetic arsenal.


Bare skincare basics

Any special occasion beauty refresh should begin with a little spring skin cleaning. In the weeks leading up to the big event, commit to regular exfoliation.

To ensure you don’t irritate your precious dermis, skip traditional scrubs and opt for gentle AHA or lactic acids instead. Dr Dennis Gross Universal Daily Peel makes it super simple.

The AHA/BHA-infused wipes are the ideal formulation for daily use, so you don’t waste time thinking about whether you’re exfoliating too much or not enough.

Simply swipe on the peel pad each night and marvel as it sloughs off dull and dirty skin cells.

The second wipe neutralises the acid to prevent any irritation and ensures the skin is a receptive canvas for further actives

The next step after prep is always hydration. To ensure your skin is swimming in moisture, minus the grease or heaviness, add a hyaluronic acid serum to your daily routine.

It’s the most unassuming of the active world and slips neatly into any skincare routine without upsetting other products.

The Mecca Cosmetica Hyaluronic Acid Hydration serum is an accessibly priced option that ticks the hydration box quite nicely with 1.06% hyaluronic acid and hyaluronate along with niacinamide and aloe vera, it’s also soothing and brightening. 

Make glow a priority

For a high-wattage gleam that emanates from within, consider the transformative power of LED light therapy.

The Dr Gross Spectralite Faceware Pro offers dual settings—red light to invigorate collagen production and blue light to combat breakout-inducing bacteria: essential when you’re wedding-bound.

Yes, it is an investment, but what price do we put on flawless skin? This innovative device turbo-charges your skin’s radiance, perfect for anyone seeking an ethereal glow as they walk down the aisle.

Moisturization is a cornerstone of radiant skin, and few products exemplify this better than Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream.

Again, this one will set you back a bit, but if you can’t justify a little investment in the lead-up to your wedding, when can you?

This unctuous velvety cream contains the brand’s patented TFC8 complex of natural amino acids along with high-grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin.

It bestows a regal radiance on your skin, leaving it supple and illuminated. 

A slightly more affordable option but one that’s still very efficacious is Go-To’s Very Luxe Face Cream.

This delectable souffle is pumped full of ceramides, pink algae and vegan collagen to drench your skin with all-out-hydration faster than you can say bonbonierie.   

Shake up your makeup

Not in the mood to spend hours primping before a big event? Outsource your makeup application to the pros and book a glam makeup session at Mecca.

The $150 fee is fully redeemable on the product and you’ll also learn tips and techniques for applying the products to your own face. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, really.

Not sure what to spend the fee on?

Everyone needs an amazing foundation. One of Mecca’s bestsellers, and a beauty-editor cult buy to boot, is Nars Light Reflecting Foundation.

The lightweight fluid is a transformative canvas that captures and diffuses light, blending seamlessly with the skin so it looks like you’re wearing nothing—just say you were just born with perfectly flawless skin, and they’ll believe you.

While we’re in the Nars aisle, why not stock up on some of the brand’s famous blush powders? Apart from being essential fodder for any blushing bride, the two most famous shades also happen to be universally flattering.

Consider adding cheekily-named Orgasm or Deep Throat to your collection if you can keep a straight face long enough to try them on.

And, finally, the perfect lip colour for post-winter dry ravaged pouts comes care of Kosas. The Wet Lip Oil (Revealed is the most perfect nude pink) contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, and evening primrose oil to rejuvenate lips while you wear it.

It also has a generous color payoff, meaning it won’t need to be reapplied as often as they top up your drink at the wedding


On the ground floor amid the busy thoroughfare of beauty and style is The Strand’s most photographed and aesthetically pleasing store: Aesop.

Their minimalist packaging and deliciously botanical-scented skincare products are beauty essentials, perfect for the betrothed and their guests alike.

It’s also a mark of beauty that the products are unisex and genderless, making them ideal gifts for bridesmaids and kitchen teas.

Our picks? Aesop’s latest fragrance, Ouranon, sparkles with beauty notes of citrus Petitgrain and warm, spicy aromatics of chamomile and frankincense over an earthy base of myrrh, patchouli, and Tonka.

In a word: delicious. Or for something embodying the essence of beauty in a different way, try the beautiful  Kagerou Aromatique Incense with the chic Bronze Incense Holder designed for Aesop by Vogel Studio.


A few doors down from Aesop in the beauty quarter is Creed.

A true heritage brand. Founded in England in 1760, the House of Creed has a storied history of enhancing beauty, supplying the English Court with custom-tailored clothing, scented leather gloves, and commissioned fragrances.

It’s well worth stopping in and immersing yourself in the beauty of their iconic scents – make sure to experience Virgin Island Water, Fleurissimo (Grace Kelly wore it on her wedding day), and the cult men’s scent Aventus.

For a beauty refresh this spring, explore a new take on the classic Aventus Cologneit’s a sophisticated yet fresh blend that beautifies with notes of mandarin, pink peppercorn, and vetiver, and a smooth leathery balsamic base of styrax, birch, musk, and Tonka.

The latest Creed scent for her, Spring Flower, is a beauty must-try, mesmerizing with notes of jasmine and white flowers over a sensual ambergris and musk base, it perfectly encapsulates the essence of blooming romance and beauty.


Finally, you can’t go to The Strand without visiting the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.

This beauty institution was founded in 1221 by Dominican friars and is considered the oldest pharmacy in the world.

Their products are timeless and beautiful, and they will gain serious credibility from any beauty aficionado.

The vintage packaging also looks beautiful atop one’s bathroom counter.  

Our picks? The bath and body ranges are the ultimate in romance. Perfectly in keeping with our Spring theme, add the Rosa Gardenia Bath Gel and Fluid Cream to your collection.

These luxurious picks evoke the freshness of a garden in full bloom, enveloping you in a sensory experience that complements the beauty of the season. 

Artisanal brands like Mecca Cosmetica, Aesop, Creed and Santa Maria Novella converge within the hallowed walls of the historical Strand Arcade, offering a selection that resonates with the spirit of weddings and the rejuvenation of spring, making it an ideal destination for brides, grooms, and guests looking to embody the radiant beauty of the season.

To find out more head to Strand Arcade.

Story by Sigourney Cantelo. In Association with The Strand Arcade.

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