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Up close and personal with Ashton Wood

2018 was the year of change for Ashton Wood. After a trip to Bali with friends Cartia Mallan and Ariana Whittingham, Ashton decided to come back to Australia and shake things up a bit. Throwing herself into the world of Instagram and YouTube full-time – Ashton quit her job, moved to Sydney, and broke up with her then-boyfriend.

The next 12 months has seen her flying back and forth from Sydney to the Gold Coast for various brand collaborations – as well as multiple trips to Bali, LA and New York, plus a stint in the Bahamas and Miami. And then there’s a new boyfriend on the scene. Let’s just say that Ashton is pretty happy with her life choices over the past year.

But while all the events and travel has been fun, one thing it has done is play havoc with her skin – which made her the perfect candidate to test out the Murad Blemish Control Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 and the Outsmart Blemish Clarifying Treatment. The Clarifying Treatment is a lightweight gel serum clinically proven to reduce overall blemishes in just 1 week and the Blemish Control Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 reduces shine by balancing oil throughout the day as well as reducing new breakouts from forming.

With Ashton’s sister Cori Wood an up-and-coming influencer (and definitely one to watch out for in 2019!), we thought it would be interesting to also get Cori in on trialling out the Murad range. With Ashton returning to the Gold Coast after a recent trip to the US, the Husskie team headed to Queensland to catch up with the sisters and check out the results for ourselves – as well as find out from Ashton a little bit more about life behind-the-feed…

I feel like 2018 has been a big year for you. Can you tell me a bit about it?
At the start of the year I went to Bali and had a moment of realisation I thought: ‘What am I doing with my life? I’m 24 years old and I’m not doing what I want to do. Why not?!’ My friends Cartia [Mallan] and Josh [Heuston] pretty much both then pep-talked me, they were like: “You need to quit your job! You need to just dive into it [influencing] full-time. Just give it a go and if it doesn’t work out, you can go back to your admin reception job”. So I came back from Bali and I manifested all this stuff I put out into the universe all these things I wanted, like I want to be going on influencer trips, I want to get to 100K this year. I quit my job, moved to Sydney, and moved in with Cartia. At the start I had a 3 month contract with IMG working on Fashion Week doing their social media, and after I finished up there, I then went into influencing full-time. Companies would reach out to me through email or Instagram and I would start charging for posts and that was my only source of income. I started going on a couple of influencer trips and I started growing from there. Now I’m trying to plan what I can do with my platform to help people and to create a business down the track.

Quitting your job and moving to Sydney are two pretty big life changes. Were you living in Queensland before that?
Yep, I grew up in Queensland. I lived in Sydney back in 2015 for about a year and a half. I was working at Mecca as a makeup artist and I was at university full-time studying journalism. It all just got a bit too much that first time in Sydney and I just wanted to move back home. I’d moved there with a boyfriend and we’d broken up and it was just too expensive to live alone. I returned to Queensland and thought I’d go back to Sydney when the time was right. I transferred to Mecca in Queensland, but then I got over the makeup industry I’d been in it for a while and just didn’t want to be in retail anymore. I then decided to apply for Hi Smile and I worked for them for about 8 months. That was probably my favourite company I’ve ever worked for they were so great, but that’s where I resigned from because I just really wanted to give a good crack at what I actually wanted to do.

Did you ever do any work in journalism?
I worked for Channel 7 the first time I lived in Sydney I did interning on Sunrise. I was like: “You know what, this is cool… but it’s not really.” It’s not what you think it is. I didn’t want to be interrogating people for information and I wasn’t that interested in doing the news anymore. I got into journalism because I wanted to do TV presenting and wanted to get into that – but now that social media has come along, I can TV present on my own channel!

You’ve been travelling a lot recently…
I have! Not only internationally, but also domestically. I’ve been flying to and from Sydney a lot because just before I moved to Sydney, I started seeing Will [Schmarr] who I’m with now and he’s on the Gold Coast. We’re doing long distance for a little bit so constantly going back and forth between the Gold Coast and Sydney. I’ve also been to Bali two or three times this year, I’ve done three trips to LA and New York this year, and then I went to the Bahamas and Miami.

All that travel yet your skin still looks amazing. Can you walk me through your regular skincare routine?
I think it’s really important to wash your face twice a day. I wash it when I first wake up in the morning with a cleanser and then I moisturise. At night time, I do the exact same. It’s pretty simple – I don’t have a million different steps. Just cleanse, moisturise and then exfoliate three times a week – and then when I have flare-ups and pimples, I’ll use the Murad Outsmart Blemish Clarifying Treatment on an everyday basis. If my skin is fine, I’ll still use it once or twice a week just to keep the pimples at bay.

On the subject of Murad, what was it about the products that drew you to them?
This year for the first time I’ve experienced a little bit of problematic skin due to being social and drinking at events as well as a change in my diet. Obviously when you’re at an event, there’s drinking and pastries and cakes, and then afterwards I’m more likely to want to get hot chips. Also when you’re dating someone, I feel like you splurge a lot more. You go out for pizza and pasta and then you get dessert after, or you’ll have red wine with dinner so I pretty much started getting problematic skin on my cheek and chin area. The Murad products have definitely been really good at targeting pimples and blemishes and keeping those away. Also in summer, my skin is a lot shinier and it’s so important to wear sunscreen so the Blemish Control Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 is the perfect two-in-one. It’s basically mattifying your skin, keeping the shine away, while also protecting your skin from the sun. It’s perfect under makeup, it seems to make your makeup last longer as well.

I know you’ve just talked about splurging, but is being healthy generally important to you?
Definitely, just because of your quality of life. I find if you’re healthier and happier then you can accomplish more things. If you’re physically and mentally happy which are as equally important I just feel like your quality of life is much better. You’re able to travel, you’re clear minded, you have healthier relationships… every aspect in life is just better.

What sort of things you do to stay healthy?
I don’t really eat much sugar. My sugar comes through my fruit mainly I love fruit. But I do love vegan chocolates…

Are you vegan?
I’m not, but I don’t really have dairy. I’ll have cheese, which I’m trying to phase out, but I don’t really have much other dairy. I find that milk chocolate is the main cause of when I started getting pimples. But I’m trying to avoid sugar and processed foods. I’m pescetarian so I don’t eat red meat and you can’t really go to fast food places, you’re very limited on your processed crappy food, which is good! I find that I just function better when I’m eating fruit and vegetables and fresh fish and foods like that. And I think it tastes better! I mean, I do love a good pizza and pasta, don’t get me wrong my cheat meals are Italian! but I mainly eat clean because I like the taste and it makes me feel better.

Just before we go, I do have to ask how you a few questions about some of your more famous friendships… How did you and Cartia first come to be friends?
We’d been following each other on Instagram for years, but then we actually met at one of Cody Simpson’s parties. I use to be friends with Cody and I was at the party on the dancefloor and I turned around and saw her and was like “I know you!” and she was like: “I know you too!” and then we worked out that we followed each other! I moved to Sydney shortly after that and Cartia was still in school and she would come visit me all the time just to hang out. We became really close from that. Then I moved back to Queensland and she moved to Sydney but then at the start of this year she was like: “Come live with me in Sydney. You need to be in Sydney. Come get amongst it!” so then I moved in with Cartia and we became roommates.

And what about the Mathers sisters, how did you become friends with them?
We’ve been family friends since we were little. Our mums are really good friends and we all went to the same primary school and high school. Cori was best friends with Olivia [Mathers] throughout high school and then Issy [Isabelle Mathers] and I became really good friends this year. There’s quite an age gap between us I’m six years older than Issy, but we get along really well. We use to catch up and speak every now and then but this year we really clicked and started getting along which is really cool.

With you and Cori, we’ve only seen her pop into your feed recently… have you two always got along?
We’re starting to become really good friends. We went through a weird stage where we would fight over clothes and that sort of stuff. Our personalities are quite different, so I think we clashed for many years, but now that we’re getting a bit older and I’ve moved back to the Gold Coast we’re hanging out and becoming really close. We’ve become friends, not just sisters! No-one even knew I had a sister, but I’ve actually got two. I’ve got a younger one as well who’s 17. She’s got a different last name because we have different dads, but she’s super cute.

What’s the age gap between all of you?
I’m 8 years older than Vanessa who’s the youngest. Cori and I are 2 and a half years apart. I’m the eldest.

One quick last question… What does 2019 look like for you?
I’m so excited! Will and I are planning to go to Coachella and then move to Italy for a little bit. We have one of our friend’s weddings in Paris in June, so we’ll fly to Paris for the wedding. And then Cartia is going to be in Europe as well so we’re going to meet up with her and Josh and do Sail Croatia and Greece for her birthday. Will also wants to take me to Serbia for a little bit because he lived there. I’ll still do my job over there still do all my Instagram and YouTube, but just be based in Europe for about 3-6 months. We’ll see…

All images feature Ashton Wood and Cori Wood using the Murad Blemish Control Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 and the Outsmart Blemish Clarifying Treatment. Blemish Control Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 is a non-comedogenic moisturiser that immediately mattifies and controls oil for up to 8 hours. It provides powerful UVA/UVB sun protection without blocking pores and helps to restore balance by removing excess oil. The OutSmart Blemish Clarifying Treatment is clinically proven to clear skin of blemish-causing bacteria, oiliness and blackheads while minimising dryness and irritation.

Article created in partnership with Murad Australia. All images taken by Husskie Press.

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