Finding a serene oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Sydney can sometimes feel like an impossible task. So, when Sigourney discovered a stunning coastal gem - Salt at Shoal Bay - the Beauticate team were more than happy to drive three hours up north to enjoy it. It was not only the perfect getaway to unwind, but also provided an exquisite backdrop to shoot two exciting new projects. Beauticate writer Kristina assisted on the shoot and gave her bird's eye view of the resort - plus, a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on at a photoshoot...

Day 1

Our beach house is nestled in an idyllic location overlooking Shoal Bay. Painted an immaculate white, the waterfront property exudes an immediate wow factor. But the real magic begins when we set foot inside. The ambience is a salve for the anxious soul – there’s classical music playing, and a divine scent lingers in the air. The first thing that strikes me about the house is the minimalist luxe aesthetic – the sunny abode is spacious and bright, with vivid white walls punctuated by refined rustic details.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SALTATSHOALBAY
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SALTATSHOALBAY

Cool boho décor adds some neutral flair – think plush tassel rugs and wooden furnishings, along with dried plants held in ceramic and terracotta vases. An adventurous edge threads itself throughout the house in the form of timber ladders – blurring the line between the outdoors and indoors.

The windows are constructed so that only lush green foliage is visible through the frames, with all man-made development hidden from sight. Despite the understated elegance of the house, the structural design adds a traditional feel – from panelled walls to indoor fireplaces, it’s colonial sophistication at its finest.

A coastal charm aesthetic is infused throughout the four rooms, with each bedroom embellished with nautical anchors. Boho accents continue to make an appearance, from Aztec print pillows, to earthy adornments such as natural reeds, grasses, and eucalyptus branches. Sleeping is blissful in queen sized beds, complete with 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets. I fall asleep almost immediately, feeling like royalty – hold my crown, please.

The team – Alice (photographer), Patrick (videographer), Kat (hair and makeup artist), Sigourney and I head down to Zenith Beach to shoot something special for Chanel. The product we’re focusing on is a silky skin tint, Les Beiges Eau de Teint, with an innovative formula: composed of 75% water, the pigment is encapsulated within micro-droplets that resemble sand particles. So it was only fitting that the stunning Pacific Ocean was chosen as the backdrop.

Zenith Beach is enchanting, with its endless horizons of turquoise water and creamy sand. Alice shoots up a storm and I peep behind her camera and find that every shot is screensaver worthy. Meanwhile, powerhouse videographer Patrick gets a playful surprise when he flies his drone across the azure blue waters: his camera captures a school of sting rays.

As night falls, I sit on the porch and notice how the moonlit sky adds a deep glimmer to the usually pale turquoise waters. The surroundings really are one of kind. The porch features lush foliage and comfortable rattan egg chairs – adding to the calm, zero-stress feel of the house.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SALTATSHOALBAY

Day 2

The Salt at Shoal Bay accommodation is composed of three self-contained areas, each with their own kitchen, rooms and terrace. Today we’re shooting an exciting project for Weleda in another part of the property. This area is just as dazzling and lofty, with the ceiling to floor window providing golden, sun-drenched lighting – perfect for our shoot.

I spy Alice working her magic, photographing the dazzling interiors, and Kat touching up Sigourney’s makeup – a glowing island goddess look, I tell her. Powerhouse videographer Patrick films Sig slicing antioxidant-rich food in the glossy white kitchen. The concept? To highlight the nutritional benefits of the ingredients infused in Weleda’s products (you can find the finished result here). Then we move to shoot in the bathroom, to film Sigourney’s day and night skincare routine. The elegant marble bathroom is as sleek as it is chic. With luminous interiors, the bathroom emanates a natural candlelit glow.

Our next destination is nearby local Gary Revell’s thriving garden/farm hybrid, boasting a rainbow assortment of vibrant herbs, veggies and fruit, where Patrick films Sigourney picking organic produce. And the highlight of the shoot? Meeting a family of adorable guinea pigs Gary raises on the farm. We all clamour to stroke the fluffy animals, and even catch a glimpse of baby guinea pigs – cue the oohing and aahing.

For our last dinner, we eat on the private terrace, enjoying the beautiful evening air. Kat, the hair and make-up artist, cooks up a scrumptious storm, complete with origami napkins, set beautifully on the raw oak table. Alfresco dining was delightful, but we quickly head inside, light up the indoor fireplace and snuggle on the cosy sofa to watch Married At First Sight.

The lovely Maddie from Port Dermal drops off some gorgeous skincare offerings for us – we can’t wait to try the vegan range, as we’ve heard rave reviews.

Despite our early morning departure, Sigourney and Patrick manage to pack in some last minute filming before we bid farewell to the property. The waterfront property put our team in an instant holiday mood. As we leave, I know what the whole team is thinking: “this was wonderful, but now reality awaits.”

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SALTATSHOALBAY

Story by Kristina Zhou, photography by Alice Mahran, hair and makeup by Katrina Raftery.

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