Having taught herself as a teenager to make candles in the kitchen, Almira Armstrong honoured one of her earliest loves with the debut of Lumira. A collection of fine home and personal fragrances, it is now stocked in high end beauty havens around the world, including Bergdorf Goodman and Selfridges. Almira opened up her stylish Sydney home to us and told us about her belief in Charlotte Tilbury skincare, her daily work uniform, her obsession with SPF and her favourite cookbook.
“I’ve had a love affair with fragrance for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of playing with Mum’s bottles of perfume.
After university, a career in marketing kept me in creative circles and offered the valuable opportunity to live and work overseas, but becoming a mum prompted me to rethink the path ahead. I eventually decided to pursue my dream of creating products, which allows me to indulge my passions for scent, design and travel, and so in September 2013 Lumira was born.
I would say my style is casual chic, as I never know what my day will involve.
Most days I am quite hands on with the business, so I’m usually in my favourite Frame jeans with a white tee, and then a black blazer that can take me into meetings when needed.
I really enjoy the flexibility my work gives me, but my favourite part of my work is the interaction with clients and customers. Bringing a personal touch is important, both to me as a person and to the brand. Getting to share the story of each fragrance inspires my whole creative process.
I am a beauty minimalist, though I do adore products and enjoy taking care of my skin. I always aim for minimal coverage with a glow.
I rely on Dermalogica Vitamin C serum and Prisma Protect Moisturiser for the day. While I like to keep my skin relatively makeup free, I do use the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20. It’s super lightweight, though it is buildable if I feel like I need a little extra coverage. I also really like that it includes SPF 20, as I’m one of those people that religiously wears sunscreen, even indoors. I finish off with Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish and Filmstar Bronze and Glow. I keep it pretty simple on the makeup front, but find it hard to leave the house without mascara! I usually opt for the YSL mascara, for both the quality and the packaging.
I have a few favourite products for my night time routine.
I cleanse using Charlotte Tilbury’s Goddess Cleansing Ritual. It’s a two-step process that makes your skin feel really clean. I then use the Royal Fern Anti-Aging Eye Cream and either Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon or Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream.
I think it’s important to keep to a regime for your skin and to try to make the time to relax.
Good skin for me starts from the inside out, so hydration is absolutely key. When I was growing up, my mum always said, “if there is one thing you do everyday, make sure it’s moisturising”. I don’t think I have missed a day since first hearing that. I’m glad I followed that advice!
I regularly visit Jocelyn Petroni for a facial or a quick Omnilux session. I like visiting The Langham Spa for a little indulgence. I also like going for long walks or doing a workout at F45 Training. When I travel, having a massage when I arrive is great to relax after a long haul flight.
Some of my favourite things to eat are lots of fruit and vegetables so you will always see salads on our table.
We will then add a protein to the meal and keep them quite healthy. A book I recommend is Simple by Ottolenghi, as it has lots of fresh foods with a Mediterranean twist. I am also a big fan of The Beauty Chef, and their Collagen elixir is a part of my daily routine.
I have embraced getting older.
I think you get more beautiful with age and I genuinely feel beautiful everyday. I am grateful to have my husband and kids tell me that all the time (and I’m especially grateful on the bad days!)”