Ilona’s work as a stylist has graced the pages of some of the world’s most reputable titles - Vogue, RUSSH, Harper’s Bazaar to name a few - and really transcends in one of my most favourite publications, Unconditional Magazine, that she produces with collaborative partner Alexandra Natif. Further to Ilona’s enduring charm is Matteau, her sleek and sophisticated swimwear line designed for the contemporary woman. Here, Ilona gives a glimpse into her chic New York life, the things she does every day to nourish her body from within and the one thing every woman should own. MGx
What is your star sign?
Capricorn. Very much a Capricorn.
What do you do?
I’m a stylist, Co-founder of Matteau Swim and fashion director of Unconditional Magazine.
Who or what inspires you most?
The world around me
What do your mornings look like?
I have coffee in bed with my husband. It's a ritual we really make sure we keep. Even if I have a really early call time, we try to take the time together otherwise it's go go go and we work late and then you don’t get time to connect. Then I normally go and work out either at a class or the gym in my building. Breakfast is normally avocado on toast, maybe a cup of earl grey tea if I need a little more pick me up. Then emails emails emails emails. Then more emails emails emails. Honestly, if you want to contact me call me on the phone or send me a letter in the mail. I'm also a Capricorn so very diligent on my emails as much as I can be.
What’s the last thing that you do before going to sleep?
Give my husband a hug and a kiss. And probably check my phone.
What does your skin care regime involve?
I cleanse with AESOP Parsley Seed Face Wash, followed by Cosmedix Affirm serum, NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate. Then I apply Actinica SPF. At night, cleanse and then Biologique Recherche P50 followed by Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum and CHANEL La Solution 10.
What are the three skincare products you can’t be without?
Aesop Parsley Seed face wash
What are your daily makeup essentials?
RMS uncover up, RMS living luminizer and an eyelash curler.
Favourite body products?
Kiehl's creme de corps! The best body moisturizer invented.
What regular treatments do you have to maintain your complexion? How do you maintain your skin whilst travelling?
I come and see Melanie any chance I can! That's normally 3-4 times a year which is definitely not enough but I feel like I work harder to maintain my skin between because I know then next treatment is a few months down the road.
I try to drink as much water as humanly possible and use a lot of moisturizer when traveling. Dehydration really affects me when I’ve been on planes and I’m tired and not getting enough sleep.
What does your diet look like on a day to day basis? Do you take any supplements?
I’m a vegetarian so I tend to automatically eat relatively healthy. Every meal I try and eat as many different varieties of vegetables I can. Dinner at home is mostly stir fry or curry we make from scratch. I want to know that everything I am eating is nourishing and working for me in someway.
I try to have 1 - 2 days with The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder. I am a big believer that everything in the body comes from gut health, so pre and probiotics and a good diet really work.
Do you have a regular exercise regimen?
I do Pilates, SLT or lift weights 4/5 times a week if I am in NY and on a semi regular schedule. I travel ALOT for work so it can be really hard to keep regimes going, but I do everything I can to keep moving when I travel, and even with early call times I try to do a 20 min weight session in the hotel gym. A little goes a long way so I really try to be strict about it.
What was your first memory of beauty?
My mother has always been my bench mark. She has the most amazing taste and style and has a very low key approach to beauty. She has used Rosewater and glycerin as a moisturizer for her entire adult life and she is over 70 now and has the best skin you have ever seen.
Do you have a secret beauty tip that you can share?
I love to do the Aztec Clay mask with apple cider every couple of weeks - it really cleans things out and makes you glow!
Who is your ultimate beauty icon and why?
I just shot Lauren Hutton for the cover of Unconditional and I have to say she has always been and will continue to be my number one beauty icon. Her taste, style and attitude to life are why she still looks so good at 74. You can tell she is a woman who has aged in love and positivity because it's all over her face. I am a big believer in that. You can see when people age with stress and negativity, it affects all of their cells and they age faster and you can sense the tension in their face. Lauren is just radiant and cool and easy going and has truly lived a life of travel, empowerment and positivity and I want to make sure I take that on board as my number one beauty tip from her.
What’s the one thing that all women should own?
A sense of adventure!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
8 hours sleep! I have been listening to a lot of podcasts on sleep lately and how losing just one hour can affect your mood, metabolism, food intake. Sleep is really the best beauty secret we can all access for free!
Do you prefer:
Tea or coffee?
Heels or flats?
Books or movies?
Summer or winter?
Sweet or savoury?
Shoes or bags?
At the moment I am:
Listening to… Neil Young’s TRANS album
Indulging in… Hopefully reading my book on my roof this afternoon in the sun (with a hat and sunscreen!) + also HU Kitchen raw vegan chocolate. If you know you know =)
Dying for… a European holiday
Missing… my Family in Australia
Most happy when… I’m with my loved ones in the sunshine