If there’s anyone in the beauty business who knows what it’s like to control skin confused by climate, it’s most likely Shamini Rajarethnam, the CEO of Australian skincare brand RATIONALE which is also known as the one which produces what both its press and customers call efficacious products that are cosmetically elegant.
Hailing from Singapore (UV damage!), currently based in Melbourne (dryness, inflammation, and sensitivity!), and of course, travelling across the globe to spread the good word about the brand (the list goes on!), you can attribute Rajarethnam’s incredible skin—glowing, tight, and of course, free of makeup—to RATIONALE’s products.
But in this interview, she lists down some ways she finds joy in the every day of things, activities to do in Melbourne, and of course, her steps to travel proofing a skincare routine with the best-of from the Australian brand.
1. A cream product that works well even in tropical climates.
I love the new #2 The Light Crème ($207) that we have as it’s a really beautiful product that was formulated with a tropical climate in mind. Coming from Australia, so much of the state is dry which means that nourishing your skin is really important.
This is a light creme that focuses on nourishing and rejuvenating the skin while protecting it from the environment. It’s my current favourite hydrator.
2. A sunscreen that works across all cities, climates, and countries.
I do love our #3 Tinted Serum SPF50+ ($197) and I was actually part of the process of formulating it with the team. It took over two years to get the last five per cent of it right which were the aesthetics of it. The best sunscreen is one that people will use and this one is super light, spreads well, and has beautiful coverage.
I do think it works well layered or worn on its own too and it’s really one of those cult products we have.
3. A mask that instantly promises glowing skin.
The original #1 The Mask ($229) ! For me, it’s so democratic in its use as it works on any skin type because it’s formulated with beautiful B-group vitamins like niacinamide and panthenol which helps with everything from inflammation to a damaged barrier.
It also gives you an instant glow and honestly, it’s the OG for our brand and I keep coming back to it whenever I travel.
4. The best restaurant to people-watch in Melbourne.
I love to go to Gimlet at Cavendish House which is within the central business district and is run by Andrew McConnell who is one of the most renowned chefs in Melbourne. The restaurant also has an open concept and no matter where you sit, you can have a full view of the room which includes the bar in the middle.
It’s not super chichi but instead, is the kind of place where you can come in for a relaxing drink after a day out or for a really nice, chill night out. The fashion you might see too at Gimlet is worth watching but you don’t necessarily have to dress up.
5. The best place for a relaxing dinner in Melbourne.
My personal favourite is Marion Wine Bar which is another restaurant by Andrew McConnell! It is in Fitzroy which is a nice and calm area just a little out of the central business district and is great for people watching as well.
The food is amazing but you have to start with the flatbread as they’ve now added a whipped anchovy dip that is so good. Can you imagine how amazing the rest of the course will be if the starter is already so delicious?
6. The best place to experience life as a Melbournite.
The best time to visit Melbourne is in January for two weeks during Summer as the Australians put on the Australian Open where the whole city comes alive. Half the population is still on holiday, the days are really long as the sun doesn’t set till 9.30pm and the weather is more stable.
As for the place, it’ll be The Rod Laver Arena where the tournament is held because it’s in the middle of the central business district so people tend to go for a drink before heading over or catch an early dinner. The tournament itself is so fun-filled as it’s called the Grand Slam and that’s one of the best times to enjoy Melbourne.
Australians love summer and the season really brings out the happiness in them.
7. The best beach to get away to in Melbourne.
The beaches within the Mornington Peninsula like Sorrento are beautiful but to be honest, I don’t like going into the water as it’s so cold. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Singaporean though! [laughs]
However, if you enjoy swimming, head over to New South Wales. Everybody tells me it’s refreshing but I don’t understand why they’ll want to freeze! [laughs again]
8. The best tip for applying any skincare product post-cleansing.
After you cleanse, the most important thing is to layer your serums because they have to work the hardest to reach the deeper layers of your skin. Next, lock it in with a good hydrator so that you can ensure you’re reaping the full benefits of all that goodness.
9. The best podcast to help her get inspired.
I commute to work every day and don’t laugh, but I love listening to Titting About by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. It’s so funny because it’s like listening to two of your inebriated aunties talking about the most random of stuff at dinner. We’re always listening to information and trying to better ourselves with it so it’s fun to listen to things that make us laugh and remind that us to imbue more joy into our lives.
Another podcast I love is Wisdom From the Top by Guy Raz who usually does How I Built This. I have some really good snippets from his interviews and they’re about people that have radically transformed businesses.
One of them was about Peter Cuneo who took over Marvel when it was struggling and how he turned it into a megawatt studio. Interestingly, he was once a military man so it’s interesting to see the two extremes.
10. A product that she thinks will break the internet soon.
Definitely, the Beautiful Skin Superfluid SPF30 ($121)! It has the Zinc Fusion technology of our #3 Tinted Serum so again, knowing how long it took to develop and formulate a product like this and birthing it gives it a huge purpose.
It’s not just a beauty product but instead, a sun-protecting skincare one that follows the Fitzpatrick theory of the skin which states that there are six types of skin that react differently to the sun. It’s why we’ve kept the product range to six shades for now and this amplifies what we mean by having beautiful skin.