Coolamon Scenic Drive lookout in byron hinterland

A day in Federal – Byron Bay Hinterland

Head for the hills

 

When we first moved to Byron Bay many moons ago, all we wanted to do was explore. So we jumped in our cars to head for the hills. It might sound like a cliché, but our reality looked like the stuff of our daydreams; waterfalls, swimming holes, quaint little villages with the yummiest wholefood and hunting for treasure in artisan stores were all on the agenda. And not much has changed. A trip to the hills is always a good idea, and we’d love to show you one of our favourite spots: Federal. So, whether you are a local or are reading this from the other side of the world, come and take our tour of this creative hub and natural wonderland.

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You’re about to be on ‘hills time’

 

You can’t deny that Byron Bay is almost magnetic in its beauty, but there is plenty to see just beyond the coast. Federal is an easy 23 km from Byron along the Coolamon Scenic Drive – and ‘scenic’ it is. Your first stop should be the lookout as you first turn on to Coolamon Scenic Drive. There are stunning 360-degree views of the coast, Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and lush rolling hills. Take a deep breath and relax. You’re about to be on ‘hills time’.

Coolamon Scenic Drive lookout in byron hinterland
view of the road at minyon falls lookout in byron hinterland australia

On the road to Federal

Drive through the winding hinterland roads with banks of wildflowers, corridors of trees, breathtaking views of the ocean and Byron Bay lighthouse and before long you will find yourself in Federal. It’s safe to say that this is not your typical country town. Artists looking for space to create, join families, hippies, baby boomer sea changers and everyone else you could imagine who have come for a more ‘country soul’ type lifestyle.

Doma Café for lunch

 

Stop in for lunch at Doma (3/6 Albert Street, Federal). Doma was opened by Japanese chefs Takayuki Kuramoto and Takashi Yaguchi in 2012 and is often described as a Japanese/Australian fusion. Everything here is good. You simply cannot make a mistake so pick a spot in the garden and enjoy. Don’t take our word for it though. This humble little café has even been very positively reviewed in the New York Times.

📍 Doma café – Federal
Colour – Florence nail polish

doma cafe outdoor terrace in federal byron hinterland

Time for a caffeine hit

 

Moonshine Roasters is a small, family-owned and operated roastery and espresso bar. They’ve been roasting in the hills for close to a decade and supply loads of the cafes in Byron Bay. Is it time for a coffee? Or a chai? Pop into their House of Shine (447 Federal Drive, Federal) to refuel before you get involved in some retail therapy.

📍 Moonshine Roasters – Federal
Colour – Peace nail polish

Moonshine cafe sign and outdoor terrace in Federal Byron Hinterland

Retail therapy, hills style

 

With its rustic tin walls and sky-high bush poles, The Hills Emporium (441 Federal Drive, Federal) would be worth a visit, even if it didn’t house the most covetable collections of artisan-made fashion and interiors. Owners Kaidee and Bulan make and source items that resonate with their ethical and sustainable ethos and all we can say is… “yes”.

📍 The Hills Emporium – Federal
Colour – Embrace nail polish

view of the hills emporium shop from outside in federal byron hinterland

Wild swimming under a spectacular waterfall

 

Is it time for a wander through the bush and perhaps a swim under a 104 metre tall waterfall? Yes, it is. Minyon Falls (Nightcap National Park) is a hop, skip and a jump from Federal but please take care on the roads; they can be slippery if there has been heavy rainfall. There is a lookout with the most glorious views from the top of the falls, as well as lots of micro walks in and around the national park. It’s possible (and wonderful) to swim at the base of the falls or in a pool further down. We all love a wild swim, but some things to remember are that rocks can be slippery and the winds can be wild if the falls are really pumping. The other thing to consider is sunscreen and bug spray – both can disastrously upset the balance of delicate ecosystems.

📍 Minyon Falls – Byron Bay Hinterland
Colour – Marble nail polish

Minyon falls lookout in Byron Bay Hinterland Australia

Federal, we love you

So that’s Federal. Not bad for a village with a population of 700. We hope you have a great day out!

orange and pastel yellow nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna with orange and yellow flowers in the background

Sienna FAQs – Part 1

Sienna is different to your typical nail polish, so we thought it might be a good idea to get into the nitty-gritty of how we do things. Whether you are new to Sienna or have been with us since the early days, allow us to present ‘Sienna FAQs – Part 1’.

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Why doesn’t Sienna use the X-free labelling system?

 

Nail polish has something of a dubious reputation when it comes to the ingredients list. A lot of conventional nail polish still contains some pretty dodgy stuff. Formaldehyde, anyone? Us neither.

When non-toxic nail polish arrived to support our health, planet and our manis, the X-free branding of nail polish was developed to show people the number of chemicals a polish is free from. But over time, this has turned into something of a marketing arms race. With no cosmetic governing body, the X-free labelling got out of hand very quickly, with some companies even including gluten in their ‘free from’ list. Please trust us when we say gluten has never been found in nail polish.

We decided to step back from the brouhaha and let our formula do all the talking. We are confident our polish is the cleanest AND will give you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the best. Please check our website for a full list of ingredients.

It is worth mentioning that Sienna polish has never contained Benzophenone-1, a known endocrine disrupter. Some of the polishes labelled X-free still include it in their formulas, so when in doubt, check the ingredients list.

orange and pastel yellow nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna with orange and yellow flowers in the background

Why doesn’t Sienna use glitter?

 

When washed down the drain, glitter breaks into smaller pieces and becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastics. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimetres in length, are found throughout the world’s oceans, ‘coating’ the water as a type of insulation and ingested by marine animals from plankton through to whales. It has been documented that when collected in their stomachs, glitter can cause seabirds to die of starvation. No thank you.

We still love a high impact shine though, (who doesn’t?) so we use a shimmer pigment made from crushed crystal. It’s a natural material which we source only from reputable manufacturers. The beauty of substituting crushed crystal for glitter is that we remove the plastic element and eliminate any potential for our nail polishes to contribute to the microplastics plague. As an added bonus, it adds durability to your manicure.

nude pink crystal shimmer Nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna

How long will a bottle of Sienna last?

 

Sienna will last as long as a conventional bottle of nail polish, which is around three years. As a point of difference, Sienna is bottled as it is produced to keep the polish fresh and the shelf life long. Pro tip: Instead of shaking a bottle of polish before you paint your nails, try rolling it between the palm of your hands. Nail techs assure us this will prevent air bubbles.

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How do I choose a colour to suit me?

 

How do you choose a colour when there are over 80 gorgeous shades of Sienna to choose from. Sigh. This is something of a champagne problem but we are here to help. Most people find they are attracted to a particular colour that sparks joy for them (Oh hi, Marie Kondo!) or that they continue to buy the same kind of colour again and again. If this is you, follow that instinct. And while there are so many trends when it comes to choosing a colour, here is some of the best-accepted wisdom if you need guidance.

  • Olive skin: Think tropical; orange, hot pink, coral and melon will look amazing. But so will browns, taupes and terracotta.
  • Fair skin: Your friends here are soft pinks and blue-toned berry colours.
  • Medium skin: Choose burgundies, plums and wine tones for the win. Orange and fuchsia will make your hands seem more tanned.
  • Dark skin: Reds, deep purple, blacks, bronze, green, almond and caramel based neutrals are all going to look terrific.

If all else fails, choose a nail polish in a similar shade to your best lipstick.

pink and nude nail polish hand swatch on fair and medium skin tone by sienna

Is nail polish safe for chemo patients?

 

Wearing nail polish through chemotherapy has a similar answer to wearing nail polish while pregnant. You need to be careful with everything you put in and on your body. Over the past five years, we have had different requests and heard different stories from people going through chemo. As (Sienna Founder), Danielle says:

“In all instances, you need to speak with your doctor first. There are many different therapies and everyone’s bodies and health are at such different stages that you need to get tailored information from your doctor. There are good news stories and it can make you feel good during these times so it’s worth asking the question. To anyone going through this, we hear you, we see you, we feel you.”

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What is breathable nail polish?

 

Cast your mind back to your high school biology class. Do remember your teacher talking about permeability, where water and air can pass through a surface without breaking it? The process is called osmosis and is similar to pouring water on a cloth and soaking everything underneath it. It’s not a process you can see with a naked eye, as it happens on a microscopic scale. Our formulas have been scientifically tested to prove oxygen and water can pass through the nail polish, touching your nail bed. This allows your nail bed to ‘breathe’ (which must be good for you!) and for people of Muslim faith, it allows water to pass through and cleanse the nail bed for wudu.

different blue nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna with white flowers and blue background

If you do have a question, please, by all means, send us an email and it will be our pleasure to answer it!

nude nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Sienna – First Made Safe Nail Polish

We are so thrilled to share with you that Sienna recently became the very first nail polish company globally to achieve Australian Certified Toxic-free, Made Safe and Allergy Certified certification from MADE SAFE®.

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Made Safe certification

 

At Sienna, it’s important for us to make a difference, and be conscious of the impact we have on the environment. In fact, it’s the very foundation of our business.  For us it means bringing you high-end nail polish informed by the latest research. It also means aligning ourselves with well-known organisations and gaining certifications so you can see we are true to our word and actively support what we believe in. We want to show you that we really do walk our talk.

black satin nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Who is Made Safe®

 

MADE SAFE® is Australia’s first nontoxic seal for everyday products. They have verified that every ingredient used in Sienna is safe from both a health and environmental perspective. We are committed to making sure all the ingredients in our products meet the Made Safe standards –  not just in our current lines, but in our future lines too.

 

‘Each ingredient will be scrutinized for contamination and examined for potential harm to humans and the environment to meet the highest level of health and safety possible with the best science of the day.’

light pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Made Safe wants to change the way everyday products are made

 

Made Safe wants to change the way everyday products are made, with a goal of eventually encouraging companies to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether. We are so proud to be part of the journey and to be recognised for all our work in bringing you a professional quality nail polish that meets the highest health and environmental standards.

Learn more about our work with people and the planet by visiting our certifications page.

light peach nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

7-free, 10-free, 12-free nail polish explained

Nail polish has something of a dubious reputation when it comes to the ingredients list. A lot of conventional nail polish still contains some pretty dodgy stuff. Formaldehyde, anyone? Us neither.

Organic mid-tone red nail polish bottle with timber cap by Sienna with baby's breath flower background

When non-toxic nail polish arrived to support our health, planet and our manis, the X-free branding of nail polish was developed to show people the number of chemicals a polish is free from. But over time, this has turned into something of a marketing arms race. With no cosmetic governing body, the X-free labelling got out of hand very quickly, with some companies even including animal products in their ‘free from’ list.

We decided to step back from the brouhaha and let our formula do all the talking. We are confident our polish is the cleanest AND will give you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the cleanest.

Sienna nail polish has always been free of Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Synthetic Camphor, Xylene and Benzophenone -1.

In the name of our commitment to full transparency, we list all the ingredients in our products on our FAQ’s.

It is worth mentioning that Sienna polish has never contained Benzophenone-1, a known endocrine disrupter. Some of the polishes labelled X-free still include it in their formulas, so when in doubt, check the ingredients list.

woman holding hand outside car window wearing blue nail polish by sienna

Naturally Byron – The New Summer Collection

blond woman holding hands to chest, wearing raspberry pink nail polish by sienna

A morning walk on the beach, a cafe with those we love, a view surrounded by mountains, life in unison with nature and the ocean … The essence of Byron Bay.

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This summer, we present you “Naturally Byron”, a collection in the colours of the beautiful Byron and all the joy it brings us. From the blue azure of Kombi to the vibrant peach of Joy, these 5 new crèmes are all inspired by a moment, an emotion, a memory lived in this unique town.

Blue Nail Polish hand swatch on man by sienna

Kombi – Azure blue crème

This azure blue is inspired by one of the greatest classic of Byron Bay: the Kombi. Want to go on a road trip? Explore the open road? Let yourself be carried away by this intense blue and go on the road, where the wind will take you.

pastel purple lily nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Bohemian – Soft lily purple crème

The delicacy of this soft lily represents the calm spirit and peace someone can feel watching at the ocean.

bright peach Nail Polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Joy – Vibrant peach crème

The smile of a child, his little hand in ours, as if we were alone in the world. Here’s Joy, a vibrant peach perfect for a sunny day full of happy moments.

Raspberry pink Nail Polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Goddess – Dark raspberry pink crème

It’s summer, bring out the goddess in you and let it shine! This dark raspberry will accompany your best outfits to celebrate in style.

Vermilion Red Nail Polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Passion – Intense Vermillion red crème

Here is a bright red as intense as the fire that burns in your heart when you are with the person you love.

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We are really excited to show you this new collection! Here is a colour chart for a comparison of the new nail polish alongside some of our current range, to find the perfect colours for your summer vacation!

colour comparison nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna
top shot of a 100% cotton beige pouch bag with gold dots by freeset global and kukukachu with flowers all around it

The Conscience Gift Bag

top shot of a 100% cotton beige pouch bag with gold dots by freeset global and kukukachu with flowers all around it

Our new Conscience Gift Bag has once again been made by the incredible women of the social enterprise, Freeset Global. This time around we wanted to have a unique ‘Sienna’ style print and so collaborated with the wonderful Kukukachu, a Byron Bay local, to create the perfect subtle design of our gold spots.

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Freeset Global

 

Freeset Global is a company created by Kerry and Annie Hilton in 2001. Just after moving to Kolkata, in India, they realised that most of the women who lived there were forced into prostitution by trafficking and poverty. They decided to create a sewing business to offer jobs to those women, and fight with them against the situation they were living in. It took patience and determination, but their efforts were rewarded and today, they work with more than 250 women, offering them and their families a brighter future.

Freeset Global commits to fair trade and eco-friendly practices and we are proud to work with such a company to create this lovely conscience gift bag. See everyone at work here.

The design

Alana owner of kukukachu design posing at her desk with all her patterns on the wall behind her

It was important for us to create a unique design to reflect our company and so we collaborated with an incredible local print designer, Alana, from Kukukachu studio. Her beautiful patterns and lovely personality inspired us to choose a soft gold spot pattern for our new bags. Check out her design process here.

 

 

 

Check out more designs

women hands showcasing their henna

The history of nail polish you never knew about!

The history of nail polish from ancient Chinese high society to Cleopatra

Nail polish as we know it has gone through quite the metamorphosis from Cleopatra’s days. With a rich history spanning back as far as ancient china- our little bottles of long-lasting colour are extremely new-world in comparison. The history of nail polish is something we previously have only touched a surface of, but there is over 5000 years of history to explore.

drawing of a chinese geisha

The history of nail polish begins in ancient China, in its earliest form it was worn by the rulers and those in high society as a symbol of their wealth and power. Early nail polish was a mixture of (definitely not vegan) beeswax, gelatin and egg white dyed with orchids or roses, that was left on the nails for a number of hours leaving a stain. Reds and blacks were very popular colours according to ancient manuscripts, as well as adding in metallic dust of silver and gold. Stained nails were such a symbol of the wealthy and powerful, it was a crime for anyone else to wear, can you believe it!

The techniques of the ancient Chinese then travelled across to India, Africa and the Middle East. Egyptians started colouring their nails with henna. Cleopatra used plant extracts to die her nails a deep blood red, and other mummified Pharaohs were found with henna stained nails. It was popular for women across India and Africa to dye their fingertips with henna as an adornment.

old nail lacquer poster

Nail polish didn’t make its way across into Europe until much later, arriving in the late 18th century with trade deals from India and the Middle east. It was still very much associated with the wealthy at this stage, until the first nail salon opened in the late 19th century in Paris.

Nail polish still hadn’t developed into its liquid form however. Powders and oils were rubbed into the nails and buffed away, leaving a soft pink colour, or a red for the brave! Princess de Faucigny-Lucinge was a style icon with her crimson nails.

collage of images of first nail salon in New York, her owner Mary Cobb and first Christian Dior nail polish poster.

It was only once nail polish travelled across to the US, that advances in nail technology like today’s offerings were developed. The first US nail salon was opened in Manhattan in 1878 by a woman called Mary Cobb. Her $1.25 buff and shine manicures set her up as a successful female entrepreneur- a girl boss even!

The invention of modern day nail polish wasn’t far off at this point in the vast history of nail polish. During World War 1, the US seized German chemical patents- leading to the release of Nitrocellulose onto the American market. The ingredient was then included in car paint in the 1920s, inspiring a French makeup artist Michelle Menard, who was working for the Charles Revson company at the time, to release the first liquid nail polish, essentially an off-shoot of car paint. The Charles Revson company was renamed as Revlon, and became the leader in the cosmetics industry, but not without reportedly having issues with the strong chemicals ruining their customer’s nails.

collage of posters for nail polish publicity

Nail technologies continued to advance throughout the 1950s with the arrival of nail wraps and acrylic nails. Acrylic nails were accidentally developed by a dentist. The materials used to fill cavities in teeth became false nails!

Fast forward to the current day, and there are endless options when it comes to the adornment of colour to our nails. There is a vast spectrum of products suited for every individual’s desires and aesthetic. At one end of the spectrum is peel-off nail polishes that last a few hours on the nails and the other end is acrylic nails, allowing clients whatever shape, length and colour they desire for several weeks without chipping, (though they contain a lot of chemicals to do so).

Where do we sit along the spectrum? We believe we have struck the perfect balance. Our nail polish is free of all the harmful ingredients that can negatively affect your health (think those that were found in the car-paint-esque formulations!) but with good application and care, can last you upwards of a week on the nail. The history of nail polish is 5000+ year tale, but one that is fascinating! We wonder which of our reds Cleopatra would have worn? Maybe Tempest or even Merlot?

medium skin model holding her finger in front of her lips and wearing nude crushed crystal nail polish by sienna

Why we’ve ditched the glitter for our Trailblazer Collection

medium skin model holding her finger in front of her lips and wearing nude crushed crystal nail polish by sienna

In the dreaming and planning stages of our most recent Trailblazer collection, we envisioned a collection of nude glitters that were neutral enough for day-to-day life, but with that high-shine impact to carry you through into the night! But one aspect of this vision didn’t sit well- glitter. We have always known that as a brand striving to be as eco-friendly and compliant with planet-saving practices as possible, including glitter in our colours wasn’t a positive move for Mother Earth.

When washed down the drain, glitter breaks into smaller pieces and becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastic. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimetres in length, are found throughout the world’s oceans, ‘coating’ the water as a type of insultation and ingested by marine animals from plankton through to whales. It has been documented that when collected in their stomachs, glitter can cause seabirds to die of starvation.

 

There are an estimated 51 trillion microplastic fragments in the world’s oceans- more than we can even fathom existing.

 

The physical impact of microplastics on the environment and wildlife is well documented- but the impacts on human health is yet to be determined. For you lovers of seafood- microplastics ingested by fish can then end up inside of humans when consuming seafood.

So how have we gotten rid of the glitter from our products but maintained the high-shine finish? A shimmer pigment called mica- a natural material derived from crushed crystal, sourced from only reputable manufacturers. The beauty of substituting out glitter for the crushed crystal, is that we remove the plastic element, removed any potential for our nail polishes to contribute to the microplastics war, but upped the shimmer factor AND adds durability to your manicure!

We are so proud of our Trailblazer collection. It has been a long time coming, but we needed to make it perfect, and we think we have done just that! Say goodbye to glitter, and hello to high impact shimmery nudes that are hard to resist!

different skin tone models wearing the same silk gold dress and wearing crushed crystal nail polish by sienna

The Trailblazer Collection- our 5 eco-friendly nude glitters

different skin tone models wearing the same silk gold dress and wearing crushed crystal nail polish by sienna

“For years I have been dreaming of this trailblazer collection teamed up with this shoot. It was one of the first collections I EVER wanted to do! And here it is; my proudest moment yet. I’ve done this for all of you, for all of us. Let me know what you think!” xx Danielle

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5 environmentally-friendly, nude shimmers for 5 different skin tones, all through the rainbow that is us, that is life.

 

The Trailblazer Collection is for Every Body, Every Mind and Every Soul. For too long there has been a lack of representation in all media so I wanted to work with women that have bodies just like me, my friends, my family and all of you. It’s so important for us to see ourselves.

As you’ve seen we have recently dropped the use of Glitter in our range because of the harmful effects it has on the oceans and our environment, so we wanted to show you it could be done another way. There’s no glitter in this range, though its hard to believe, its actually a crystal! A crushed up crystal rock to give that glittery shine.

We are all so proud of this shoot- created at Studio Tropico in Byron Bay by one of our favourite photographers with our favourite models from all over the world. And with the colours of the world. Nude enough to compliment your skin tone but with enough chunky flecks of gorgeous shimmer to shine when hit by the light.

We want to speak to you- to all of you.

top shot of breakfast plates with fruits, pancakes and graola in byron bay

The Sienna HQ list of best Byron Bay Breakfast

Heading to the Bay for the weekend? Looking for a local’s list of the best breakfast this (not so) sleepy little coastal town has to offer? We’ve asked around our Sienna HQ girls and listed together out go-to spots in town for the best coffees and amazing breakfasts that are sure to keep you nourished when you hit the waves!

folk cafe counter in byron bay
Folk

1/399 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay

Our menu pick: We venture to Folk so often it’s almost comical… but the turmeric latte never disappoints! Folk source the majority of their produce from their own garden, so the menu is always changing. You can’t look past a staple avocado on toast while you’re visiting though!

top view of acai bowl and coffee at combi cafe in byron bay
Combi

5b/21/25 Fletcher St, Byron Bay

Our Menu Pick: Combi always have amazing fresh juices ready for you to grab and go, and their vegan toasted sandwich is pack so full, you’ll be running on veggie power all day!

barista pouring milk in a coffee
The Topshop

65 Carlyle St, Byron Bay

Our menu pick: A little bit out of town, but the perfect Byron Bay breakfast location for a pit stop after your early morning surf. If you’re an Acai addict- The Top Shop is your go-to.

top view of avocado on toast from Bay Leaf restaurant in Byron Bay
Bayleaf

2A Marvell St, Byron Bay

Our menu pick: If you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, chances are you will have to wait a few minutes for a table, and for good reason… Bayleaf is just THAT good. We were delighted by their Matcha Rice Porridge on a recent visit- the perfect winter warmer.

The list of amazing Byron Bay Breakfast locations is never-ending these days… no matter where you choose to stop for the morning, you are more than likely to land on a winner.