When it comes to dream girls, Ilona Hamer is it. There’s no shortage of interesting babes on Instagram, but Ilona stands out as being someone you instantly wish you were pals with — she’s smart, funny, talented and always surrounds herself with a crew of similarly astute and creative women.

When she’s not acting as the Fashion Director for Unconditional Mag and Contributing Fashion Editor at RUSSH or contributing to Space-Matters.com, the multidimensional legend is improving our summers tenfold by making the actual perfect swimsuits over at Matteau. Talk about accomplished.

Ilona also knows how to summer. She’s a pro at inducing those FOMO feels with an infinite well of images feat. her lounging next to crystal clear waters or having a wine with her mates. But enough of the shameless #gushing. We asked the low-key beauty to provide us with her top travel tips — books, beauty, podcasts, music, you name it — and she came back with the goods. Let her help you be better at travelling/life below.

What are your summer beauty essentials?

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Glossier Green Galaxy Mask for a refresh — especially the day I get home!

Aesop Primrose face cream

F Miller face oil

– Le Tan Coconut sunscreen

– Fragrance : L’ombre Dans L’eau by Diptyque and Fracas by Robert Piguet

– A fresh pedicure with a clear or very light nude shade — I only ever get one coat on my toes.

– I love keeping my nails polish free when I am in Australia. I find they are the healthiest and strongest when I am swimming and in the sun everyday.

– A fresh cut by Paloma from Oscar Oscar who has been cutting my hair since we were both 15.


What can’t you travel without?

Bose noise cancelling headphones

Aesop face mist for the flight

– A Chanel bag for any occasion

– A Matteau bikini because as someone once told me: “You never regret a swim”


What's your holiday style like?

– For the beach: Matteau bikinis, linen shirts, Levi’s shorts and Havaianas — that’s pretty much it everyday.

– For evenings: I just got the best Albus Lumen dress from Marina; I didn’t take off from the moment I got it. I also love Toteme for effortless holiday dressing and nothing beats a loose black pant (I love Christopher Esber’s satin bias trousers) with a white shirt tied at the waist and finished with a great pair of sandals. We are working on the essential beach-to-bar pieces for Matteau, so watch this space!


What's your utimate holiday playlist?

“I love you, always forever” by Donna Lewis

“Luven me” by Nelly

“Dance” by ESG

“I want your sex” by George Michael

“My Sentiment” by Universal Togetherness Band


And holiday reading list?

My guilty pleasure this trip was Liane Morairty! She is an Australian author so even though they are very indulgent easy reads, I didnt feel so bad devouring The Husbands Secret and Truly Madly Guilty while on the beach! I started reading her last summer with Big Little Lies, What Alice forgot and then The Hypnotists Love Story — I really have read them all, its my not so little secret now I guess. 


What are your holiday beauty shortcuts? And what are your go-to holiday apps?

After the beach if I am going out I always keep body and face moisturiser in the car so after a shower at the beach, I can get ready in a flash. Another trick I love is if my hair is a little unruly from the salt, I slick it back in a low bun with a little sunscreen on my hands for shine and control.

 The only app other than the usuals that I use everyday is the Podcast app. I caught up on This American Life and Radio Lab which I love for human interest — the last episode ‘Transformers’ had such a wonderful love story about a 90-year old-woman and her new 60-year-old blind boyfriend.  I also have a crazy fascination with true crime, so I just finished the last season of Sword & Scale and I just started ‘In The Dark’ about one of the most famous child abductions in America. I really am a dork at heart.


Photos, Ilona Hamer. Words, Madeleine Woon.