Here at Beauticate we’ve been ruminating on banishing a certain overused beauty term, and replacing it with the emphatically more energising ‘pro-ageing’. It was perfect timing, then, to get to chat with Shaynna Blaze, interior designer and judge on The Block, about her thoughts on keeping well (and yes, looking well) at every age. Even if most of us don’t have the unforgiving glare of an HD camera to contend with, her tips for staying happy and sane – including during Melbourne’s lockdown – are well worth your time, regardless of your age.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

“It’s funny you mention the term pro-ageing, as I was just thinking the other day about the phrase ‘ageing gracefully’ and how, even though it’s designed to be positive, it still pushes you into yet another category – having to justify how you choose to present yourself as you get older.  

I prefer to own where I am in time, and consider my age a privilege. We can’t continue living and stop ageing, so instead we have to take the best bits of it to keep growing into the best person possible.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I was more worried about my lines, and how I would be perceived because of them, when I first started on TV in my forties than I am now.

Now I know I am there because of my personality (and with it my facial expressions!): it makes me who I am and if I mess with my ability to show that, then I lose my authenticity. I do see pictures of myself sometimes and know that because of high definition filming and the amount of makeup I have to wear for it that my face looks a lot more ‘aged’ on screen than it does in real life. However, I don’t see that day to day, which is good! I focus on my health, and that is what is more important. I know that my lines have come from a life of so much love and laughter, as well as some pain, and I am good with that.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

It’s worth knowing that it’s not as though ageing only makes your physical appearance worse.

I grew up with the biggest, roundest face and I hated it, but once you hit 30 the definition starts to take shape and these high cheekbones finally appeared. So I have to say I am happier with high cheek bones than a round head!

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

Women my age need to know that, as beauty consumers, we have the power of our money and our experience, and that we are no longer in a time where women older than 35 need to be shamed into feeling they are no longer visible.  

Plus, we aren’t stupid; a picture of a 20-year-old talking about fine lines and wrinkles means nothing to us. It’s one of the reasons I was attracted to working with Neostrata: that they wanted to work with someone my age! I also love the simplicity of their routines, and how you can travel (whenever we are able to do that again!) with just a minimum amount of product.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I quite like seeing what can be done myself at home, without having to visit a salon.

I have always done neck exercises (a warning – these aren’t a good look to do in public) and love now adding in Neostrata’s neck cream, as I feel this is an area that really gets overlooked in our day to day routines. Over time I have learned the benefit of massaging your face when you are doing your own treatments, rather than just quickly throwing the creams on and hoping for the best. Microneedling tools do help to get the ingredients in there, and I really want to get my own LED light therapy device to work on skin elasticity and pigmentation.

A VIGNETTE DESIGNED BY SHAYNA. IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I think anything my kids take from me about beauty, grooming, and wellness is probably more a case of seeing what I do and what works, rather than me insisting they follow any certain rules or advice.  

Although of course the number one thing when they were little was always having sunscreen and a hat, which they had both at home and at school. My daughter and I often spoil ourselves and go to a day spa together, which my son has zero interest in, but both my kids are focused on their physical and mental health, which I think is a beauty tip on its own.

A SPACE DESIGNED BY SHANNA. IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I take care of myself through yoga, meditation, celery juice, smoothies, and eating a mostly vegan diet.

It takes a lot of work to stay healthy and commit to these routines, but when you are extremely pushed to the limit physically by your job and your environment, you either flourish or burn. I know I have burned out a few times, and a lot of those were when I wasn’t able to make time for my own basics like movement and good food.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I think the hardest part of lockdown has been having the finish line constantly moved.  

You get yourself set up for certain a timeline and you are ready to get out and get going, but then it changes again, so you have to really work on your mindset. I have kept up certain parts of my routine, like yoga and walking my very active border collie, and added in moments of mediation during the day to help keep my mind focused and clear.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

I think people might be surprised to know that I’m actually a very private person.

I might be in the public eye and on social media for my job, but when I’m at home it is my time. The more I see how people can overexpose themselves, the more I see how important it is to keep my private time just for me, my family, and friends. For instance, at the weekend, I love nothing more than to sit with a big pot of tea and read and read and read. I also really enjoy being social with those closest to me: walking with good friends and then solving the world’s problems over breakfast for a couple of hours. Really, anything that puts a smile on my face is my favourite way to relax.”

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SHAYNNABLAZE

Interview and story by Zoe Briggs. Main image via Instagram @shaynnablaze.

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