Vanisha's Guide: Where to go in Canberra if... | HerCanberra

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Vanisha’s Guide: Where to go in Canberra if…

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You’re in desperate need of a haircut. Or some expert makeup. Or a fabulous outfit. And you have no idea where to go. What do you do? Where do you head? Here are my picks for those important times! Here’s where to go in Canberra if…

Your hair needs attention! 

I would head right over to Rare Hair over at the Lonsdale Street Traders. Pat has done my hair in the past and I have been thrilled with the result. I went to Rare Hair because I was impressed with their philosophy – they work with the natural fall and movement of the hair – manageable and highly wearable styles, never overly structured or contrived.

the essentials

Who: Rare Hair
Where: 12/27 Lonsdale Street, Lonsdale Street Traders, Braddon
Call: 0499 977 273

You need an up-do!

For more styling issues/needs I go to Next Hair (the sister salon to Rare Hair). Next is on Mort street, almost directly behind Rare Hair, and is owned and operated by Adam Noble, an icon in the Australian hair industry. It’s not uncommon to see Adam at the salon, which I always find reassuring, though all the stylists are professional and really listen to you.

I had my hair for FashFest done by Claire, she managed to put my wispy, not-quite-shoulder-length hair UP! And Eddie styled my hair for the Help From The Underground Show (pictured). Whilst we tried something edgy and new (for me), he made sure I was comfortable.

the essentials

Who: Next Hair
Where:34 Mort Street, Braddon
Contact: 02 6249 7711

I need some make-up put on!

I started wearing Chanel make-up as a teenager and it’s only been in the past 18 months that I’ve replaced almost all my Chanel products with Napoleon Perdis ones. I think that the product is important but so is the customer service. I loathe going to the Chanel counter – I’m not very good with make-up and need help getting it on properly – so having somewhere that’s friendly and comfortable to go to is important for me.


It was by chance that I decided to give the Napoleon Perdis store at Canberra Centre a try, and I was very impressed. The ladies were thorough, kind and very professional. I now get all my make-up done there. Sign up for the loyalty program – double points on Wednesdays! And the make-up application ($80) is fully redeemable.

the essentials

Who: Napoleon Perdis
Where: Shop P10.5, Level 1, Canberra Centre
Contact: 02 6262 7511

You’re in need of some pampering!

I’ve been going to Trisensa Massage & Luxury Spa since they opened their doors in Kingston. The spa is family run, but more importantly, it’s run by women who enjoy the pampering and luxury that a spa experience should entail.

There is great attention to detail at Trisensa – from their ridiculously comfortable pyjamas to the way their massage beds are presented with multiple layers of soft, clean towels; from the perfect temperature which they are happy to adjust to reach your perfect temperature to the easy wheelchair access and disability friendly bathroom and layout.

Currently the spa only offers massage services, but keep an eye on their website to see when their waxing and facial services resume. I wasn’t a fan on the Thai massage until I started going to Trisensa – now I refuse to try anything else!

the essentials

Who: Trisensa Massage & Luxury Spa
Where: Shop 3/27 Kennedy Street, Kingston.
Contact: 02 6161 3918

You’re in need of an outfit – pronto! 

Two stores that you must absolutely have on your go to list are CBR Collective and Department of the Exterior. Both stores stock clothes by Canberra designers.

I often get overwhelmed if there is too much going on in a store. I’m rarely able to shop effectively in places like Myer or David Jones, but I do love boutique style stores, and both of these fit the bill.

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My favorites at CBR Collective are M&TM (Mec and the Maid) and Sofia Polak.

the essentials

Who: CBR Collective
Where: Shop DF 16 Canberra Centre
Contact: 0467 676 027

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My favorites at Department of the Exterior are 4Minutes33 and Edition.

the essentials

Who: Department of the Exterior
Where: Shop 2, Ground Floor, Manuka Court, 11-17 Bougainville St, Manuka
Contact: 02 6239 4225

You’re in need of an outfit for a special occasion and have time to get something custom made!

Now, the thing about Canberra fashion since FashFest is that local designers have become a lot more visible. I feel like the fashion scene is truly buzzing – the designers are excited and people who love clothes are excited. If you’ve seen a look that you love or have an idea that you’d like to talk through, it would definitely be a good idea to talk to a local designer about creating a custom piece for you.

Here are my picks

4Minutes33 – I love these girls (Gemma and Francesca) and their clothes, and although they don’t do men’s clothing, they’re making a little something something for my husband! Contact 4Minutes33

aperiodic – I went nuts about a particular dress I saw on the catwalk and had one of my model friends introduce me to the designer, Stephanie Cooper. I then convinced her that she definitely needed to make that dress for me. Contact Stephanie

Mec and the Maid – You’ll be able to see Sara’s clothes over at CBR Collective and online I have tops, dresses, and a poncho from her label and now she’s making me something else (to complete my collection, I suppose!) Contact Sara

Whilst the above three are designers I already have pieces from there are also others that I would absolutely love to get custom made pieces from. Two in particular: Sofia Polak (brides-to-be, take  note) and Alice Sutton of EditionContact Sofia | Contact Alice

You need to pick up bits and pieces!

I tend to do most of my gift shopping at Shop Handmade but it’s also a place I love stocking up on accessories. I can’t ever just ‘pop into’ Handmade, it’s one of those stores where I need to take my time and not be rushed, there’s just too much gorgeousness in there.

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the essentials

Who: Shop Handmade
Where: 20 Allara Street, City Walk Blvd
Contact: 02 6156 3274

I also love Box at Lonsdale Street Traders – they have the most interesting collection of accessories and clothing. And you can pick up Samsøe Φ Samsøe and I Love Ugly clothing there too!

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the essentials

Who:Box
Where: 27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Contact: 0499 988 540

Where do you get your fashion fix? 

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