With so much going on in  the world, it can be all too easy  to dismiss a fun-loving person for lacking depth (or worse, for lacking empathy for the tough times others might be going through). Dismiss fashion stylist, author and philanthropist Jules Sebastian, though, as ‘just another content creator’, and you’re doing yourself a major disservice. For one, Jules has intimate knowledge of tough times – the founder of The Sebastian Foundation, which supports mental health for young people, lost her brother Andrew to suicide in 2008. For another, having fun matters – for kids and for all of us. Jules tells us why we need to prioritise the good times, even when doing so can be hard, and about the little pockets of joy she finds in the day to day, whether it’s her skincare routine, delicious food, or a night that calls for a pair of uncomfortable-yet-fabulous heels.

JULES’ HUSBAND GUY WITH THEIR TWO BOYS, HUDSON AND ARCHIE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

“My childhood was beautiful! I grew up in an Adelaide cul-de-sac where we all just got to be kids, riding around on our bikes all the time. 

I really had a very fun time as a child, and that has shaped me into the person I am now. I don’t have a lot of baggage from growing up; instead, I have a lot of happy memories, which is a hand I know many people don’t get dealt, and I am so grateful for it. Having that sort of childhood has shaped me as a mother, too, because I want my kids to have memories like I did, and I want them to have the opportunity to just be kids.

HUDSON AND ARCHIE (CLEARLY STRANGERS TO HAVING FUN)
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

I think one of the most important parts of being a parent is to be as present as humanly possible, whenever you can.

Something I have learned to particularly try to pay attention to is how they receive love. And to make sure they and you are having fun! There is a lot of pressure on kids to do well in school, to be doing sport and all of the activities, but there should also be a lot of room for them to play, to be outside and to hang out with their friends.  Fun is an important part of being a kid as well as being an adult, so I do try to not be too structured all the time (which is a hard thing for me!)

All those lessons parenting imparts are pretty true for all relationships, aren’t they? I think the key to the sort of relationship that Guy and I have is that we communicate. I mean, we talk about everything. We talk things through, we laugh, and we are very good friends as well as husband and wife.

MUM AND DAD, ALL DRESSED UP
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

When I think of challenging times in my life, honestly the very first one that comes to mind is pandemic home schooling. Wow. It has been so tough!  Although I know that, really, the most challenging period I have faced was losing my brother, right after Guy and I got married.

When it comes to grief, I have learned that it is a process that you must go through – there’s no real ways around it or ways to avoid it (no matter how hard you might want to try to!).  You do ultimately have to experience all of the stages and phases of it, so eventually I found myself deciding that I would be committed to all those phases, to feeling the feelings and moving through the process.  The biggest lesson one learns from experiencing that sort of grief is to cherish your loved ones every single day, because life is so very fragile.

Throughout my life, as well as in my career, I have always followed my curiousity, and that has led me down many creative paths. 

It started with fashion styling, which turned into working as an on-camera stylist, which led to my own interview series, called Tea With Jules. That series allowed me to write a book, Tea & Honesty, which led to building an online community and being able to make content around food and fashion and fun. I have no idea what’s next but I’m excited!

JULES TOASTING TO HER INCREDIBLE SPIRAL STAIRCASE
(AN ARCHITECTURAL FEAT OF THE SEBASTIAN HOME
PUBLISHED PUBLICLY FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE ON BEAUTICATE)

I love the work I am doing now, and by far the best aspect of it is getting to work with the people I do and the brands I get to partner with. They are the best.

I also revel in the fact that no two days are ever the same, which keeps me on my toes.

I think the hardest part is that weird feeling in my tummy that I still get, just as I did when I started out as a freelancer, which is that you never know when the next job will come.  It can be hard to ignore that nagging feeling that it could all end at any time!

I cleanse my face every morning and every night, which is something my mum instilled in me as a teenager.

In the morning, since I only ever a few moments given I am trying to get the boys out the door, I keep it simple. I cleanse, and then, since I am obsessed with serums and keeping my skin moisturised, I am all about the Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide24 Facial Serum and Cream. Just give me all the plump and bounce, please!

My evening routine is similar, although a couple of times a week I’ll add in a step there by popping on a sheet mask to give my skin the extra hydration it needs after a full day on the run. I love a sheet mask! My favourite at the moment is the Olay Luminous Niacinamide + Hyaluronic Sheet Mask which gives an instant boost of hydration. I can literally put it on my face and go about my business (or relax with Netflix) while giving my skin some major love at the same time. Win win!

I wouldn’t want to do any sort of regime that took a long time, but I do absolutely love the ritual of washing my face at night and putting on all my creams – it’s like a full stop to the day. 

Even in the mornings when I’m just putting everything on as quickly as possible, it makes me feel a bit special. Doing my skincare makes me feel like I’ve done a small, good thing for myself at the start and end of each day.

Mum always told me to look after my skin, and to make sure I washed my face morning and night.

She would really go out of her way to get me what I needed in my teenage years, which can be such a hard time with pimples, not to mention all of the things you’re dealing with as a teen.  It was important to her that I felt good about myself, and she certainly put in the effort and helped me as much as she could.

Now, I see Yvette Hayes at Pellis Medispa. I have been going to her for years, and she really understands my skin and knows what I want from my treatments; fresh, plump, clean and bright is my goal!

I have had some interesting eye shadow choices over the years, and some very regretful haircuts and spray tans. I mean, wow…

My go-to makeup look is foundation, concealer, brows, eyelash curler, mascara, bronzer, blush, and some lip balm or gloss to top it off. For everyday coverage, my old faithful MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation always does the trick! It’s so easy to use and always gives my skin a good glow – you can’t go wrong with that one.  More recently, as I’m transitioning out of lockdown times, I am loving the feel of a tinted moisturiser as a lighter day option.  NARS do a great one which is very easy to apply, and I like knowing that it’s protecting my skin at the same time as giving me some coverage. [Ed. note – NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser is marketed as containing SPF in the US, but hasn’t yet achieved official SPF recognition in the rigorous Australian testing system.] If I’m doing something special, then as well as the usual, I add some eyeshadow and eyeliner, and maybe a little lip colour, but that is a rarity!

When it comes to eyelashes, my day and night routine is exactly the same. Since I have hooded eyelids, I simply cannot live with my MCoBeauty Eyelash Curler – it’s my best friend!  I follow that up with the my all-time favourite mascara, ModelCo’s LashXtend Tubing Mascara. I’ve tried them all but can’t seem to get past this one.   To add something extra to my eyes for an evening look, my latest beauty hack is to use my bronzer as an eye shadow. It adds a sun kissed glow and eliminates the amount of products I have to have with me if I’m on the run.   I’ve also been trialling out cream liquid blushes, which I like as they can double as a lipstick as well. One little trick I have is whenever I put blush on, I smile and put it right on the apple of my cheeks.  Another little thing I like to do is regularly maintain my eyebrows, so it’s quicker and easier to fill them in every day.

I like to use scent to set the mood, whether it’s a fragrance for myself or a candle for my home.

The last thing I do before I walk out the door is spray some of my all-time favourite fragrance, Editions de Parfums by Frédéric Malle’s Portrait Of A Lady. I have been wearing this fragrance for years so it’s become quite special to me. I do sometimes mix it up with Gucci Flora, or for something special you can’t go past a Tom Ford fragrance, which are all so classic.

My beautiful long-time friend, Angela Ceberano, has launched what is now my favourite candle company, Marco & Co, based out of Melbourne. Each candle sets a calm, peaceful vibe in my home … and I need all of the calm and peace I can get these days! At the moment I am particularly loving the scent In The Stables.

I have fairly well-behaved hair, which usually does what it’s told! 

After I wash it, I spray it all over with Biolage’s All In One Coconut Infusion Spray. Then I blow dry, give it a quick curl with a tong and then add some texture spray or hair spray before I head out the door.

SPEAKING OF GOOD HAIR, MEET RONNIE, THE SEBASTIAN’S SPOODLE
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

Where do I start when talking about fashion – I love it so much!

Just give me a good fitting blazer, jeans, shirt, practical flats, and then a killer pump for evening (only if I’m feeling it!). I always say you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style, and it’s really important to me that I’m comfortable in what I wear – I’m a better human all day because of it.

To be honest, I really don’t feel any pressure to look or act a certain way because of the platform I have.

I truly believe that there is such a sense of freedom to be found when you’re finally comfortable being yourself.  I enjoy exercise (and did so especially during lockdown) but I also enjoy a treat and not feeling guilt about enjoying yummy food and drinks.  Everything in moderation, for sure!

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

The start of the day can hit us all hard, can’t it, but lately I have been trying to get out first thing for an early walk or Pilates class. There is something great about squeezing the exercise in before everyone else is awake, otherwise I find that day just gets away from me and I don’t end up doing it at all. 

We have a good home gym setup and I love to run, so I often get on the treadmill. I also like to do HIIT workouts via YouTube or various apps. I also love walking outside with Ronnie, our spoodle, or taking the kids out for a bike ride.

Also, I have found that the key to a good morning more generally is preparing the night before – school uniforms, notes in the diary, knowing whatever the kids have going on and being ready for it.   If I’m organised the night before, that helps me start the next day well.

I take care of myself by paying attention to the basics – lots of water, a good night’s sleep, and exercising when I can.  And of course, good food! 

Because we try to eat well, I keep it fairly simple with supplements. I take a multivitamin every day (I love the Nature’s Way Adult VitaGummies Hair, Skin and Nails, and the boys love the kids’ version, too!)  and most days I put some protein and collagen powder in my smoothies.

We try to eat pretty clean during the week, focusing on veggies and fruits, usually in big salads, and we all love curries. I always say I’m not a great cook, but I am a great recipe finder, haha.

I do enjoy when I have the time to really go for it in the kitchen, though, like on weekends if we’re having people over.  We both love to entertain – not only is spending time with ‘your people’ good for the soul, but I am all for eating clean during the week and then having fun on the weekends!

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

To getting older, I say, bring it on!

I’m fine with it. Actually, I like it! You know more than you once did, and you have learned some great lessons along the way. Thinking about it now, I realise that I have learned how to make better decisions, which has the overall effect of making life easier. Best of all, with age you figure out what is important, and, even more so, who is important, and then you stick with them until the end!”

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JULESSEBASTIAN

Story by Zoe Briggs. Imagery supplied by Jules Sebastian, and from Instagram @julessebastian.

Jules has paid partnerships with Olay, ModelCo and MCoBeauty.

If you or someone you know is struggling with your mental health, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact them online here

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