One of the biggest bloggers in the world, the gorgeous Nicole Warne, aka Gary Pepper Girl isn’t short of an offer to front a campaign. She’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Lancome. She’s a regular on street style websites around the world, and whenever she posts a photo on her Instagram which boast over 744k followers, she is inundated with hundreds of likes in a matter of minutes.
So when we heard she was one of five Australian’s to front a new campaign called Pretty Shady, which aims to stop skin cancer one summer at a time, we were keen to find out what it was all about.
Lisa Teh (LT): Congratulations on your new role as the one of the ambassadors for Pretty Shady. Why did you decide to be involved with such an important campaign?
Nicole Warne (NW): Thank you! As someone who was very active and spent a lot of time at the beach when I was in high school, I know how easy it is to get caught up with the Australian beach lifestyle. “My sunscreen is too oily”, “My sunscreen makes me too white when I go swimming” or “I’m running late, just leave the umbrella behind” were common excuses amongst my friends. I wanted to be a part of the Pretty Shady campaign because I feel the next generation needs to be more aware of the long-term dangers involved with having a tan. There’s nothing fashionable about having a tan, and I’m hoping by creating more awareness we can help prevent skin cancer within Australia.
LT: Two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer sometime during their life. How would you go about spreading the word about sun protection to your friends, particularly as there is such a culture of lying in the sun and tanning in Australia?
NW: When I found out that two out of three people, especially your friends, will be diagnosed with skin cancer once in their lifetime that really put it into perspective just how serious this issue is. For me, I find the most affective way to spread the word is to know the cold hard facts. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with melanoma being the most common form of skin cancer in the younger population. People think your diagnosed with melanoma when you’re older, but you can in fact get it when you’re younger too. When I tell my friends these facts I can see the panic run across their face. There’s power in knowledge, and I feel if everyone does their part by sharing these facts with their loved ones we really can make a difference.
LT: Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. It’s a scary stat. How do you work sun protection into your everyday beauty routine?
NW: I’m very active as I live near the beach or I’m traveling for work. I always take little precautions that make a big difference, like always wearing a hat and glasses when I’m outside (even if it’s overcast), seeking shade when I’m shooting outside or having a moisturiser that has SP15+ sunscreen protection. You can have the best of both worlds, you just need to be smart about it.
Image by Luke Shadbolt for Gary Pepper Girl
LT: Being sun-smart doesn’t mean you have to look unstylish. What tips do you have for styling a fashionable sun-smart outfit?
NW: That’s exactly right, protecting your skin doesn’t mean sacrificing your style. Following summer trends is one thing, but being healthy and taking good care of your skin will keep you looking great for years to come. A wide-brimmed hat, UV protected glasses, a cotton (or cheesecloth is actually my favourite) shirt that covers your shoulders paired with sandals and shorts is my go-to outfit when I’m outside in our Australian summer. Casual, comfortable but most of all – clever!
LT: How would you describe your summer style?
NW: My summer style is about being casual, comfortable and chic. A maxi dress goes a long way during summer, which you can wear with sandals during the day or heels during the night. I love thin button down white shirts with a pair of shorts and anything striped. The nautical look is so classic. I feel it suits every age, shape and colour.
LT: What is your favourite summer memory?
NW: My favourite summer memories would be going camping at Treachery with my girlfriends when we were in high school. I’m such a low maintenance girl, so I love going camping and fishing and getting back to the basics. I feel it keeps me grounded by being able to appreciate the simple thing in life like food, water and a bed.
LT: What songs will be on your playlist this summer?
NW: I can’t stop listening to Beyonce – honestly, who can’t? It’s been my anthem for this summer season. Lorde is also on repeat.
LT: What are your plans for this Australian summer?
I always spend the Australian summer visiting my family for Christmas in Tasmania, whom I only get to see once or twice a year. The UV rays in Tasmania are quite high so even though it’s cooler down there, I still have to take precautions to protect my skin!
Image by Luke Shadbolt for Gary Pepper Girl
Visit the Pretty Shady website to find out more about this important campaign, and check out the Pretty Shady campaign video featuring Nicole, and the other Pretty Shady ambassadors Anthony Lister, Gossling, Corbin Harris and Ellie-Jean Coffey.
Visit Gary Pepper Girl to see more of Nicole’s work.
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