Hi friend!


And welcome to Ciao Amica – which by some stupendous coincidence also happens to directly translate to “hi friend”. And since, I’ve already so arrogantly decided that we’re going to be friends, I should probably introduce myself.


I’m Sarah but my friends call me Tarca, because it’s my last name and us Aussies aren’t known for our creativity. I’m a Capricorn with Pisces rising and Aquarius moon, which means I appear stable  but am prone to the occasional crazy whim. Like say, quitting my magazine editing job after 15 years to go travelling…”somewhere overseas”.

Which is how this all began. My boyfriend (another Capricorn) and I left our jobs, donated all our stuff and headed off with a one way ticket and no plan except to do life differently. To explore, to learn, to work wherever our laptops landed, to eat the world… and to drink a  million Aperol Spritzes (success!). Perhaps we’d even make some friends along the way.  A year and a half later we still have no plans and we’re still learning – but now we’re sharing those learnings with you, my internet friends!


Which brings me to this site. Man, has it been a long time coming. Two years of “I’ll get to it”, “I’m too busy”, “let me just finish this gelato first” until I finally decided to put my words out there for all the world to see. I’m no stranger to published work either, I just hadn’t published any under my own name. In my former life I worked in magazines for 15 years, starting at Cosmopolitan Magazine. I then moved on to the fantastical, passionate world of teens as Beauty Editor, then Editor of Girlfriend Magazine (where I stayed for nine years) before sashaying back to beauty as Beauty Director of Marie Claire.


And then I decided “enough with the free facials already! This pampering must stop!” And I embraced a makeup free life forever. Ha! As if. To this day my backpack is still 40 per cent beauty products. But, anyway, back to the blog. I’ve always been the person who my friends come to for advice, whether it’s my thoughts on a beauty product, a book recommendation, where to eat, or whether they could pull off white ankle boots. And I think that’s because I always give them the honest truth. I’m allergic to bullshit, which in some circles (“my friends”) is seen as an only mildly annoying quality. And the more I travelled, the more I realised I had to share… so here it is.


Ciao Amica is the culmination of everything I love, know, sort-of know and want to share. Stories, recommendations, advice – stuff I’ve learned from my years working in beauty, my current travel life and also from being the person who always makes mistakes (but mostly learns from them). Also, it has useful things! Like cultural quirks and language nuances, and more importantly, interesting and inspiring people I’ve met and/or insta-stalked and obsessed over along the way.  It’s all the stuff you talk to your friends about, and it’s also where I answer my real life friends questions too. It’s a good friday session with your best mates. That’s what we’re about.


Ciao Amica is best served with a side of wine and a hefty cheese platter. I hope you enjoy it as much as you do the wine. If not, at least you’ll be drunk, so I’ll consider that a win.


Sarah x


P.S.  This little blog baby would not have been possible without the help/ graphic genius of my amica, Sandy Dao. She is not only a superb human being, she also has offensive amounts of talent which she kindly lent to me for my logo and general site prettiness. I would give her my first born, but sadly that’s already been promised to Phil . Instead you will have my eternal gratitude, which is not as noisy as a first born anyway. I am ridiculously lucky to have people like you in my life.  So, thank you, my friend.