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Want to get your natural and clean beauty products to Asia, but don’t want to go through animal testing? We have you covered.

This week on The Clean Hub podcast, we chat with Allie Rooke of Clean Beauty Asia on the best way to take your natural and clean beauty brand to Asia. Allie has extensive knowledge of the Asian Beauty market, with over 12 year’s experience in beauty marketing and general management, including China and Hong Kong.  She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and passionate about Chinese culture and consumer trends.

Allie also created one of our most popular masterclasses on how to break into the the asian beauty market. If you are a natural beauty founder and would like access to the course for free, just email us at info@thecleanhub.com and we will get you set up!

In this podcast, Allie answers a lot of the questions that our founders had about how best to enter the Asian beauty market. One of the MOST ASKED Questions that we got from our clean beauty founders was how best to enter the asian beauty on a budget.

Allie outlines it in 3 steps:

Start with a group in your local market

If you are looking to enter the Chinese market but don’t have much traction – invite Chinese from your local community or university to a get together. Give them free samples and talk a bit about your product. That can go for any country, including Korea or Japan.

Work on your key messages

Does your USP resonate with your potential Asian customers? If you are having a gathering this is the perfect opportunity to test out whether or not it will. Or, just have a coffee with a few of your potential customers and ask!

Push a star product

You can’t push a whole line. Really focus on one hero product. For example, in Korea it is not odd to have a 12-step skincare routine.  Push one product that you think would fit well within their routine.

But that’s not all! We also chat about:

  • The diversity of beauty culture within the various different countries in Asia
  • Chinese regulations within the beauty industry and ways around having to go through animal testing
  • Asian beauty macro trends
  • Working with influencers in Asia

Want to work with Allie? Check out her website Clean Beauty Asia here and drop her a line!

Are you a natural or clean beauty brand and wanting an hour of jam packed information on the asian beauty market? Just email us at info@thecleanhub.com and we will get you all set up!

Now on to the show!/

Raquel: Hi there everyone. Today we have one of my favourite people in the clean beauty industry, Allie Rooke of My Clean Cosmetics. So Allie has over twelve years of experience in beauty marketing and general management. Her knowledge of the Asian beauty landscape is vast having also lived in China and Hong Kong for over nine years. She is now using her extensive industry experience and regional expertise to help clean beauty brands grow in Asia through her consultancy Clean Beauty Asia. So I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about herself so thank you so much Allie for coming on our show today.

Allie: No Raquel thank you so much for having me.

Raquel: We are so excited to have you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself. I know I covered high level but can you tell us about yourself and your background?

Allie: Sure, so a bit about me. First of all, very basic. I’m British Australian. So I was born in the UK. And then I spent a bit of time in Australia. And then my adult life has basically been Asia. I decided to study Chinese at University. Mainly because I thought it would be great career-wise and I was curious. So I did it at University and then following University I went and lived in South West China. And that was a bit of a leap of faith. I didn’t really want to be surrounded by foreigners so I went somewhere more remote. I lived with a family and my Chinese obviously came along pretty quickly as you can imagine. And then fast-forward a few years to my first job. My first job was in Shanghai with Chanel in the beauty sector or in their beauty division. And then I spent the next four years really getting to know the Chinese consumer. I spent most of my time travelling around working with teams on the ground in the different areas around China. So not just in the cities I really got a good idea of the whole of China. And then after that I decided to go back to the UK for a few years for L’Oreal and then also Burberry laterally with their beauty division. And I was missing Asia so much. So I decided to go back to Asia and I went back with Burberry. They got me a regional role based in Hong Kong looking after North Asia so Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong were the main focuses. And I was there for two and a half years and I really loved it and learned a lot of things. Through that I had a long journey with infertility basically. So through that I found clean cosmetics. You know I had been working in the cosmetic industry for however long and I didn’t know about clean and natural products. I didn’t understand the harmful elements of what is in really mainstream products. So I fell in love with this industry and it completely changed my lifestyle. And that’s where the idea for my blog My Clean Cosmetics came. And that’s been really a journey this year of discovering what products…but now what I’m doing is I’m trying to…with my extensive experience in Asia, with my extensive experience with the beauty industry I really am trying to help natural beauty brands in Asia expand within Asia. So that is a rather long introduction to me.

Raquel: No, its all really, really good. So as you know, Allie did one of our masterclasses with The Clean Hub on the Asian beauty market. Or how to get your clean beauty brand to the Asian beauty market. And its been very popular. Can you tell us just really high level what are some of the things that we covered in that master class?

Allie: Yea so the master class was really to give people, as you said, a high level overview of the Asian market. The Asian market is huge and diverse so I’m not going into huge amounts of detail. So we really started off with a macro view of the size of the different markets. Which are the key markets, which ones are growing you know, faster than others. Also looking at the customer. So general Asian customer, specifically about what they are consuming, where they are consuming it, how they are consuming it. And then after that we go a bit more into sort of regulatory issues. Also looking at a general view of the different markets. Which markets require what from a regulatory perspective. It was obviously high level but to give you an idea of the differences between the markets. And then I do a bit more of a deep dive into China. So I think China is one that we can go on to talk about in more detail but its one a lot of people think is a sort of no-go area. But actually there are ways you can access it without animal testing.

Raquel: Right yea so that’s…everyone knows there is obviously animal testing that has to go in if you enter China. But Allie talks about there are different ways and avenues that do not include animal testing and which you can tap that market so…really really great information. And so can you actually tell us a bit more about that. What are some of the ways to sell products in China that don’t require animal testing?

Allie: Yea so I think it’s such an emotive topic. I mean anyone involved in the clean beauty world including myself is extremely against animal testing and China is one of the last bastions of animal testing unfortunately. But to clear it up, if you want to sell in physical retail in mainland China, you do have to go through regulatory process and animal testing. So that means, if you want to sell in a department store in Shanghai you would have to go through regulatory and animal testing. However there is a huge market in China that is called cross border e-commerce. And cross border e-commerce is where brands send, from outside China, directly to the end consumer. So they use a postal service or a career service then directly to the end consumer. And that doesn’t involve any regulatory.

Raquel: So a brand, like a natural beauty brand are holding their products on an e-commerce platform with drop-shipping. And then someone from, you know, China buys their product and then ship it directly and they don’t have to go through animal testing.

Allie: Yes, yes exactly. And the way that you do that are…you can do it as simply as that. It can be on the brands own website – just offer shipping to China, and then you can ship it directly. Also there are certain restrictions that we talk about in the webinar. You can look through that, and do feel free to comment if you have specific questions, in terms of the values amount. But you know, any product can be sent into China through cross border e-commerce completely legitimately from your website. Also dedicated platforms within China that do this. You might of all heard of Tmall for example. It is a huge e-commerce marketplace in China. They even have a Tmall global site completely dedicated to cross-border e-commerce. And so if you are able to work with Tmall global as a platform in China and no animal testing is required.

Raquel: Right okay, that is super helpful. And then, what I find really interesting is you chat the trends. Just the Asian beauty trends – makeup, mum/baby, green and natural. Could you chat us through really quickly makeup and mum and green and natural?

Allie: Yea I think they are the sort of forward macro trends within the beauty sector that we are seeing in Asia in general at the moment. So makeup is something that you know is not specific to clean at all. Across the whole industry it has really been booming. I think that’s really been driven by consumers becoming more sophisticated. You know skincare has always been a big part of markets. You know its still 65% of the total share of the beauty market in Asia. But makeup is growing at 14% across Asia. When you take out mature markets like Korea and Japan, you are looking at 25% in China. You know, a lot of growth there. People are becoming much more sophisticated about the products they are using so there is a lot of opportunity for makeup brands in Asia in general. And then the second one is mum and baby. So mum and baby is you know…I think most people listening to this will probably have heard through Western Media about the milk powder…the infamous milk powder scandal that happened in China years ago was a big issue and unfortunately there were a lot of children, you know very badly affected with the contamination. So there were a lot of issues around that. So their mum and baby is a sector interested in where the products are coming from, what the ingredients are, what are the properties of the ingredients. This is such a key….it’s booming anyway in general but it’s a key area with a lot of opportunity for natural and organic brands because there is such a story there that we can tell to the consumer and there is something that they are really looking for. And next one is green and natural. So those two link in nicely together. So green and natural. In Asia, green and natural is not as established as in the US, UK or Australia. There is definitely still in its early stages. But what is interesting, is that we are seeing that the consumers are becoming much more proactive about their health and wellness in general. You know, active wear…you know all of these things that proceeded the boom of clean cosmetics in the West is already well established in Asia. So we’ve got the foundations and we can see the trends from a general perspective. Green and natural is becoming more important. And again it is really about the ingredients. Provinence of the ingredients and its all about trust. Trusting the brands, trusting what they put into it. And again, natural products and natural brands have such a good opportunity.

Raquel: What sorts of brands do you see have the most trust with that market?

Allie: Well I mean I think initially, trust was bought but marketing campaigns. So you know, in the early 2000s with the big brands Chanel, Dior – you know they got trust because they are big and they are western. But now consumers are becoming much more, much more savvy about the brands, about the products, about what’s in them. And I think…also one thing that is very important about the end consumer is that they do a lot of research. They do so much more research than we do. You know they are very interested in reading up all about the products and the ingredients and the story. And they are very knowledgeable. That’s also an opportunity for us to really put their messaging out there and their stories because consumers are really interested.

Raquel: So there is makeup, mum and baby, green and natural are the general trends you see beauty moving in within the Asian beauty market. Another thing that came up was, if you are not ready to sell in China, what other options do you have that are open to you?

Allie: Yea I mean I think that I completely understand this question. It’s a very good question. Because China is a, you know it’s a big market. It’s an intimidating market. And it is certainly not an easy market. You need to be really committed. So I was thinking about this, and of course it depends on the size of the brands and the budget but some sort of general things that I would say is okay, first of all okay you can look at another market in Asia. You know a lot of people think of Hong Kong. You know, Hong Kong is close to China and there are Chinese that come into Hong Kong but it’s an easier market with no regulatory requirements. You know it is very accessible, a lot less languages used there. So something like that is also a possibility. That is also to say…and I do talk about this in the webinar, it is not to say that Hong Kong is easy because there are a lot of difficulties with them in retail – retail space and the cost of rent. So you know Hong Kong is a consideration but that’s one option. But another option that I think is quite good is to look at the Chinese consumer in your home market. So if you are in the UK or Australia, where are those Chinese consumers? First of all I’m talking about the people that live there. They could be students or they could just be overseas Chinese in the community. How do you connect with them? But they have a huge following. They have a huge influence, sorry, rather than following in China. They might even be sales agents – Diageo , which I talk a bit more about in the webinar where they actually buy products for friends and family back home and they send then back. But even the ones that are not, they still use we chat. They still talk about the brands that they like from the UK or from the market that they live in. So they are really powerful. Don’t underestimate them they are definitely really powerful. And the last one is the travelling consumer, who we all know the Chinese, they travel all over the world. In fact they make up 45% of the travel retail industry. And the next thing is Korea at 10%. The Chinese really are the ones when it comes to the travelling consumer. And you know, how do you connect with them? Well you know you can work with a hotel or a restaurant or you can do sampling. You know there are lots of ways that you can work to target the travelling consumers. Especially if you have a brand that is quintessential to the market that you live in. If you are something that is very British that has a lot of British ingredients in it, you can make that into part of their journey for example. You know there are lots of creative things, I won’t go into too much detail but there are definitely things that you can do to attract the traveling consumer as well.

Raquel: Awesome, that is so hopeful. And you talk about they are quite educated consumers and there are things that they use to kind of educate themselves such as the use of influencers. Can you tell us a little bit more about the influencer market and where you kind of see that going?

Allie: So any brand that comes into Asia will need to work with the influencer market. Its part of doing business here. You know, influencers are very powerful. And you know one thing that I talk about in the webinar is about how…even influencers have their own shops. So that’s a big trend at the moment. Especially in China. They’ve set up their own shops. There was a report the other day that estimated that influencer revenue in China, 20% of that is coming from their own shops now. So its really becoming a big channel.

Raquel: And its like pop-up shops like within a department store?

Allie: So they are all online. So it is within their online stores. So it might be cross border or it might be within China but they will all be online stores. There was one example of Becky Lee. She was one of the biggest influencers in China. She said when she first set up her shop she sold about £400,000 worth of products in four minutes.

Raquel: Okay. It’s nuts. Okay.

Allie: That’s just an example of the influencers. But the other thing I would say about the influencers is that they do differ from market to market. So the influencers in China are…you know they have this big business model…but Japan is very different for example. You don’t really get in Japan the really big influencers. There are a lot of littler influencers. Just because of the culture. In this culture you have people less likely to put themselves forward. Generally in Asia there’s more of a community rather than an individual sort of way of thinking. But Japan is specifically strong on this so. I remember Burberry working with influencers in Japan was very different in working with them in China. But it does exist and it is still very important. It’s just a different way in engaging with them.

Raquel: So that’s a good question. If a brand wanted to engage with an influencer what would you say is the best way to reach out to them? Or is there a different process versus how they do it here in the UK or the US?

Allie: Mostly there are agencies that work with these influencers. You know the influencers are big. It is unlikely that you will be able to talk to them directly. Most of them you have to work through agencies. And one thing that I did want to say is that because of the mention about collective culture versus individual, when you are working or thinking about working with influencers, you know you might want to work with lots of micro-influencers…actually in order to get that trust with that new brand in the beginning…you might need to work with a slightly bigger influencer to gain that trust before the micro-influencers are really willing to come on board. There is that…you have to gain a bit of trust within the influencer community before you can really start to focus on the micro-influencers, which actually might be a better long term strategy! But in the beginning you may have to have that sort of more established influencer say yes this brand is….yes I like this brand. And the others will be willing to follow.

Raquel: Right okay, well that is great advice. And so…we get this question a lot….you know everyone wants to get their products out…you know, make it international, but obviously they have a very limited budget. If you were wanting to enter the Asian market on a limited budget, what would you do?

Allie: I love this question but it is seriously a million dollar question. There are so many ways to do it and it will depend on your positioning and are you a premium brand or are you a lower end brand. But I think that the key thing is brand recognition. You can’t sell anything unless people know about you and to do this on a limited budget you need to be very targeted. You need to find your tribe essentially as such. A brands, small brands in the West will have exactly the same struggles. You need to find the people that are really interested in your brand. So first of all I would go back to what I said before. If you have very limited budget, look at the people from the market that you want to target in your home market. So if its China, look at the overseas Chinese in the UK and start targeting them. Invite them to a small event or sample to them. But treat them…you will want to think of a way that was particularly appealing to them. You know, start small…if you are in Bath, do it within Bath with the local student community. You know, start small. So that would be the first thing. And that’s not exclusive to China, you know there are lots of Koreans and Japanese and there are people from everywhere, everywhere. So I think that you can definitely use that as a first step or zero budget. And the second thing would be to really work on your key messages. I think that’s obviously really relevant to wherever you are in the world. But look at those key messages and work out whether they resonate to the key market that you are targeting. So the Chinese consumer, there are lots of specific things that you might think are relevant for them but talk to someone who knows. Have a phone interview with these overseas Chinese that are in your town. Give them some free products, get them to give you some feedback as to whether your message or your USP will resonate with them. Then the third thing would be – push a starter product. You can’t push a whole line. Really focus on the star product. And I think that’s obviously really generally relevant. But in Asia it is especially important because people use a pretty sophisticated…especially with skincare. They use a lot of different brands, different products. You know the famous 12-step routine when they are using so many different product. Focus on your star product and why they should use that. And once they start to incorporate that and once they start to talk about that, then they’ll start buying other things from you. Really focus on one product.

Raquel: That’s great advice. So very targeted…you know people that you are in contact with and also the product. Just so that you are not wasting a lot of time. Its like with any business. You should test..

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Have you ever wondered how to prioritise your makeup purchases for the coming season? Or what colors work with your skin and skin tone? Or even just how to correctly apply makeup? We have you covered.

In this episode of Clean Chat, Noleen  of Noleen Sliney Makeup helps us to choose all natural and organic makeup options that will invigorate our winter makeup routine as well as shoes us how to choose the best products – all for under $100.

Here’s how Noleen says you should prioritise your winter makeup purchases:

Foundation (estimated $30-$40)

Make sure that you find a foundation that gives your skin a dewy and hydrated look this winter. This can be found in light to medium weight foundations (mixed in with your moisturizer) or even just a foundation that gives a satin finish, for instance.

Check out some of our favourites below! If you would like to have a specific recommendation that works for you just let us know at info@thecleanhub.com and we will have Noleen help you find your best swaps and matches!

Blush/Blusher ($20-$30)

Cream foundations are best for your winter makeup routine because they don’t dry out the skin. For example, a clean beauty blush is important because it helps to nourish and hydrate the skin – but putting good ingredients back into your skin (instead of dehydrating them like a lot of mainstream brands). Be sure to apply it from the top of your cheekbone down.

Here are some examples of what we like:

If you would like a direct color match, email us at info@thecleanhub and we will help you out!

Lipstick ($20-$40)

A good all natural lipstick is important because it helps to nourish the lips and not dehydrate them. As an example, we have listed our favorite nourishing lipsticks and lip stains:

Want to know what colors work best for you? Try out Noleen’s lipstick challenge here.

Anything left over? 

Spend it on a neutral eye shadow! As Noleen says, everyone should have neutral shades in their makeup bag. Here are a few of our favourites:

If you are looking for clean beauty swaps or wondering what products would be best for your skin tone, Noleen can help you. Check out her tutorials and workbook below if you are looking for more information!

Book makeup courses and workshops with Noleen

Free natural and organic beauty guide

Video courses that help with foundation for your skin type and skin tone

stop wearing nudes shades and put in colour back into your lips – hydration and colour are important 

The post Top clean beauty makeup picks for the winter appeared first on The Clean Hub.

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We all love a bit of makeup on the right occasion. However, how many of us know exactly the right shade of red lipstick to wear or what type of foundation to wear in the winter? Noleen Sliney to the rescue!

You may remember Noleen from one of our first podcast episodes in which we chat about how to spot cruelty free products. You can check it out here. Noleen is a clean beauty makeup artist and blogger who is extremely well versed in what clean beauty products will work with our skin tone and give health back into our skin. So we were more than excited to have her on to tell us how to switch up your makeup routine in the winter time to give your face that beautiful dewy look!

Winter clean beauty concealers

This podcast episode is part one of two in which we take a deep dive into top clean beauty winter concealers. As Noleen mentions, using a liquid concealer instead of a powder helps to give your face that dewy look. Using a powder can often dry out our face or make it look matte. However if you are like Raquel from The Clean Hub and hate wearing concealers because you feel like they are too heavy, Noleen gives you two alternatives:

  • Mix your concealer with a bit of moisturiser before you apply it to your face to get more of a lightweight feel
  • If you would still like to use powder, try something with a pearly feel – like Hynt Beauty’s finshing powder! 

Noleen provides a 1:1 session for people to learn what are the best products to use for their skin as well as gives them an exact list of colour matches and products that would suit their specific needs. She also helps people learn how to apply the product, whether that is eyeliner or eyeshadow, to best fit their face profile! You can check out more of her services as well as her green beauty guide here!

Check out the episode and tune in next week to learn more winter beauty tips!

Raquel: Hi there and welcome to clean chat. I’m the host, Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out on thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto The Clean Chat podcast!

Hi there everyone and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on one of our favourite clean beauty bloggers Noleen Sliney to talk all about beauty. You may have remembered her as she helped us to distinguish the difference between cruelty free and non-cruelty free products. She’s a fabulous makeup artist that incorporates clean beauty brands into her regimen so we are so happy to have her on to talk about the changing of the seasons and what you should do with your beauty regimen so thank you so much Noleen!

Noleen: Thank you so much for having me Raquel and thank you so much for that introduction. I’m actually blushing here.

Raquel: No we are so excited to have you on. So Noleen was chatting with us about what to do with the changes of the seasons. But really quickly Noleen could you tell us really quickly about yourself and Noleen Sliney makeup?

Noleen: Sure, yes. So I’m Noleen and I’m from Dublin in Ireland and a green beauty blogger. And what I do is help and take away the overwhelm of choosing and applying beauty products and I teach you how to enhance your natural beauty in a simple and a beautiful way. And I also show you how to make the switch to natural and organic beauty products. So for me, it’s really about simplifying your beauty routine, and obviously also having a healthy beauty routine as well – which obviously incorporates the natural and organic beauty products as well.

Raquel: Okay and so today we are going to talk about what to do with the changing of the seasons. I brought my makeup bag. Hopefully you can help me out.

Noleen: Yes.

Raquel: So first why is it so important to transition your makeup when going from summer to fall to winter time.

Noleen: Okay yea that’s a great question. And I think a lot of people seem really concentrate on their skincare. And they think it’s oh just my skincare that I have to up my game on. But the same goes for your makeup. And the reason is…the number one reason is again to do with our skin. Because a lot of the time, in the summer time, we might be using products say for example that might be powder based products and they can be really great in the summer time when its really hot and humid. You know and maybe we are sweating a bit. And definitely powder products help – they help to mattify the skin. The problem is in the winter time you need less of the matte and more of the kind of dewy look. And that’s really where the makeup products will help you with that when you start to switch your products that are a bit more hydrating for example. That’s really going to help people fake that glow that we don’t necessarily have in the winter-time as much as we do in the summer.

Raquel: Okay so when you say glow. I have a highlighter. Do you mean something like this? Have you seen this?

Noleen: Um, no I haven’t seen that one actually yet but I’m going to have to check out this brand now. I always love new brands. That’s great because I can see that it’s a cream highlighter which is a really great thing to use in the wintertime. Absolutely, it’s the perfect one to use. I’m a big proponent of using highlighter. I think it’s a great product to you know, fake that glow. Umm, but there is much more that we can do as well. Highlighters are just one kind of products we can use to do that. But actually, it’s a lot simpler than that. It’s really just the products that you normally use every day like, your foundation for example is a really good one to kind of start making the switch to a more hydrating one in the winter-time. Because as I said, your skin kind of – it needs that extra kind of something. We are indoors a lot more so we are not getting the sunshine as much. You know the way I always kind of talk about it is, you want to fake that glow…like when you go on a walk in the woods somewhere or somewhere out in nature in the winter time or the autumn time and you come back and you have that gorgeous rosy glow to your skin. That’s kind of what you want to get. And you can really do something like that with yea highlighter, is a brilliant way to do that. But actually, like your foundation can really make a difference as well.

Raquel: And how do you do that using your foundation?

Noleen: Okay. So great question actually again. And what I suggest is, start moving away from powder products. So let’s say for example, you use a powder foundation. So like a mineral powder foundation or something. Well, I would highly recommend not using something like that in the winter-time because number one its not as hydrating because powder products don’t hydrate our skin. Powder products take away…for example in summer time we are using products to sort of take away that shine and counteract that sweat and stuff that we have. Whereas in the winter-time, I actually need more of that because we are going to take some of the moisture out. So like a liquid foundation for example, or a cream foundation even to get that sort of hydration. But also as well the coverage of foundation can make a difference as well. Again you know we need a bit more coverage this time of the year because we don’t have that lovely glow in the summer-time and we need to put something extra back into our skin. So when you are using something let’s say in the summer-time, just something like a tinted moisturiser or a bb cream or something like that, in the winter time its good to kind of step it up to something a bit more coverage like more kind of medium coverage. And it will still make your skin look lovely and natural, but its just evening out your skin tone just a little bit more because we do kind of need that a little bit more in the winter time and the colder months.

Raquel: Right, okay. You’re saying mostly like a more medium foundation to give you that dewy look. And not a lot of powder because that is what makes your skin look more dry.

Noleen: Exactly, exactly yea. And that’s why I recommend more so kind of medium coverage. I mean if you like a bit more coverage you can obviously go a bit more full-coverage. But what I suggest is something that’s like medium coverage but you know has more of that satiny but dewy look. Um, because that is what is really going to give that extra glow. Sometimes when you are using something that is a little too heavy, so like for example with full-coverage, it can look a bit too flat on your skin. Does that make sense?

Raquel: Matte, its like a more matte look on your face? Is that what you’re…

Noleen: Exactly! Look a little bit more matte. Exactly. Yes, yea…And it can look a little bit too heavy as well. So I guess you are kind of going for that goldilocks look you know. Obviously the light coverage foundations can be a little too light and they are not going to give you enough coverage. Umm, but the kind of full coverage ones look a little bit too much. So you want that kind of just right ones, the ones in the middle. That kind of medium coverage with the dewy satiny look to it. That kind of just still looks really natural and light on your skin, but has that little bit of extra glow to it that you kind of need. Does that make sense?

Raquel: That does make sense. Do you have any recommendations for any you know cruelty free brands, vegan, natural beauty brands um that have that coverage that you think would be helpful?

Noleen: Yea, there’s lots of them. Umm, so Hynt beauty they have a lovely actually foundation. Funny enough, theirs is a powder foundation. But actually, there was quite a dewy finish to that one so if you are someone that has oily skin that can still be a good one for you. Obviously when you have oily skin you still need to…like you still want a little bit of a matte finish. But, not too much. Whereas, I find that foundation has a really good in-between like oily skin. It has enough of the powder, you know the matte look to counteract that T-zone. Counteract the shine that you get there.

Raquel: I saw them at IBE actually.

Noleen: Oh did you! Oh yea the powder one. Velutto or something its called.

Raquel: I’m not sure. Yea….

Noleen: I think its called the Velutto powder actually. It’s really lovely. But you don’t have oily skin actually, you have dry skin is it?

Raquel: You see, this is good that we are talking about this because I actually have really oily skin. And What I’ve been doing is just…I use the same thing whether…and I’m going to switch this up but…but whether it is the winter or summer, all I do is I put on this uncovered thing.

Noleen: Is that the RMS one is it?

Raquel: And just looking at myself I look like I have dry skin and I don’t. I have very oily skin. And its making it look….how I’ve been trying to like give that glow is…I don’t really know what I’m doing. Is use a highlighter right here on my cheeks. So really this isn’t a great light. Maybe if I can turn this off. Let me see…oh you still can’t really…

Noleen: I can see it a little bit. Just a wee bit. Yea….

Raquel: I use like a blush. And then I use like a highlighter. So let me see if I can kind of…so a cream blush from Kjaer Weiss.

Noleen: Ohhh, I love their cream blush. I love everything from them if I’m being honest with you.

Raquel: Yea, so I put that on and then I put the highlighter her. But like you said, my face looks dry. You know…

Noleen: I hear this a lot…funny enough. I had a session with a girl yesterday. And we were talking about the same thing and she kept saying oh I just use the same thing all year around. And again she was using a powder foundation. Now she does have dry skin but the powder foundation she is using is drying it out even more. Do you know what I mean? But yea for you, yea definitely what you are doing with the highlighter is a good way to fake that glow and I love that it is a cream one as well. The powder ones, they can be very nice too but um…but sometimes the powder ones again….well it has a shimmer so its not completely matte. But again they are not so good for the skin. Depending of course on what type you are using. Like the natural and organic ones are a lot better because they have better ingredients in them and are not going to dry out your skin as much. But its still something you have to be careful of you know. But yea for you maybe try the Hynt beauty one if you do still want to use powder and you do still want to…and you do feel like its still a little bit drying and stuff like that. Definitely the ingredients in that one are so good so its definitely going to help with that but um. Perhaps for you if you do feel like your skin is dry especially as we come into the cold months. Like maybe you could try more of say a liquid foundation than matte. Or something that has more of a satin finish. Then like put a little bit of powder on your t-zone would be more than enough for you then for this time of the year. And then when the warmer weather comes you can go back to the powder foundation. Yea, because the satin ones they are kind of a mixture between the dewy look but also enough matte in them that it doesn’t look too oily on your skin. Does that make sense?

Raquel: Yea I will try that. The only thing I have to say is that I don’t like wearing concealer unless I have to…or, a wet concealer because I don’t like that feeling on my face. So that’s why I like the powder because I barely put any on. I think what I can do, and I don’t have it with me. I don’t have it with me. But I have a concealer and its really good to blend with like a cream. So you can put a really light amount on in your morning moisturiser to make it very light-weight. I’m going to try that.

Noleen: Again go back to the same brand, Hynt Beauty. Have you tried their concealers?

Raquel: I haven’t tried them. I mean I’ve tried them on my hand at IBE but I haven’t actually purchased one and used one. The brand I have…I forget I got it from Credo ages ago and I still have like the whole bottle because like I said I don’t like….but I agree I need to change my regimen. Now that I’ve talked to you!

Noleen: Exactly, its interesting isn’t it like. When you start hearing these things you start thinking oh maybe I should, maybe I should actually. But I think these beauty ones are amazing. Oh my god, every makeup artist I know uses them. They are super lightweight on the skin. But again get samples first before you try it just to see whether you like them or not because they do sort of have the same consistency. But honestly when they are on the skin you don’t feel them at all or even know you are wearing them. Just try it out first and see how you get on with them. And if you don’t like that one come back to me and I can recommend another one. So that’s what I do with the 1:1 sessions. It’s basically a session where we talk completely about you and for example a session we had yesterday but that’s exactly it we talk about stuff. I teach her how to apply the makeup. And then what I do is I send her a list of recommendations that are right for her like pretty much in everything. We are obviously talking about foundation mostly as I said. But I obviously send her some other stuff like skincare recommendations and eye shadow recommendations so yea That’s really what I do.

Raquel: How much does it cost?

Noleen: So its €179 and that’s for a two hour session. And before that I always send out like a questionnaire. Kind of to find out what’s your experience with makeup so far. Are you a beginner? Are you medium? I find out what you want to learn. Because it is tailored exactly to you. So we can say oh we can teach you smokey eyes but if that’s not what you want to learn there’s no point. So its really based on what the person wants to learn themselves. I also always ask them to send me photos of themselves and to send me photos of their products as well because its always interesting to see what products people are using. And sometimes some of the stuff they are using is okay. More often than not its not. More often than not it’s the wrong stuff like for you for example. Its often the case that people are using the wrong kind of foundation or the wrong shades. So I know in advance what they want to learn. After the two-hour session we literally come on Zoom. It’s recorded as well so you get the recording afterward and then I send all of the product recommendations in afterwards so that people can have a look at them and buy them if they want to. At least they know exactly what’s right for them. Do you know what I mean? They know what kind of shades are going to suit them. And that’s the advantage of doing the 1:1 session. You get…its not like okay say you do a call and you say okay I know what to look for but for these ones I’m like this is the exact shade for you. This is the foundation and this is the shade and its so much easier for people that way.

Raquel: I’ve always…Like I think that’s a really good service to give to people because I’ve always like am doing it on my own and you know….laughs…you go to like a Credo beauty or wherever and they are just trying to sell you their stuff. So you know it would be good to have a third party and actually you help them to learn how to apply everything.

Noleen: Exactly, you’re doing the right products for you because that is really important. And then the second step is how to apply them because again sometimes people even come to me and they do actually have some good products already, but they’ve no clue how to apply them. And its such a waste because when you finally do get good products that are right for you, well then if you don’t know how to apply them….it’s like having a great car and you don’t know how to drive the Porsche you know so. So its good to have them both specifically tailored to you. Because you can watch all of the YouTube videos in the world and there are so many YouTube videos out there. But often times its like winged eyeliner that’s a big one or even eye shadow. They are probably the two that really people struggle with the most. And they watch all these videos and they say oh I just can’t do it. I’m just not good at it. But I always say, well actually its not that you aren’t good at it. It’s just that the videos that you are watching…often times those people have like very different eye shapes to you do you know what I mean? Because of the way that eye shadow works on them doesn’t necessarily mean it works for your eye shape so its really important to know these things as well. And then once you do it’s about enhancing your beauty. It’s not like trying to copy someone else. It’s never going to look the same anyway. You know that’s why I really kind of feel…that’s why I wanted to offer this service. I was the same as you I was like, I would go into these stores and I had no idea. You know they would apply something on me and it might look great but I would go home and have no idea how to do it myself. Or even if what they did was right for me? You know, I was like I wish I had somebody that could teach me all of this. So first of all I do actually have a free natural and organic beauty guide as well so for anyone who is, you know someone that does actually want to transition to an autumn winter look, but actually to natural or organic products I actually have a guide there that will help you with that as well so if anybody would like to get their hands on the guide I would be more than happy to leave a link for that as well. But other things. I do actually have some online courses as well that I’ve actually put online in the last few weeks that actually help with foundation. So the very first one is all about foundation. And basically it teaches you literally everything you will ever need to know about foundation actually. So it teaches you how to find the right foundation for your skin type. How to find the right one for your skin tone as well. Literally, you were kind of mentioning there a bit earlier Raquel about how you go into Credo, Raquel, sometimes or some other beauty stores. You walk in and there are like hundreds of products and you are like…uhhh I have no idea what I’m looking for.

Raquel: Great, and I’ll also send links to her services. She basically did a really quick one on me. So that is awesome, I will be uploading that as well. Thank you Noleen for your time today and this has been really great information and I hope you all have a great day and check out Noleen’s website, her Instagram, and of course this video. I’m linking everything in. Thank you and have a great day. Viva clean beauty.

The post Winter Clean Beauty Tips with Noleen Sliney appeared first on The Clean Hub.

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I’m telling you, natural hair care is important. Why? Because as the organic hair care queen Tabitha James Kraan says, ‘everyone talks about using clean and natural beauty products on their skin, but no one talks about the toxic ingredients that are going straight into their scalp then bloodstream’. Toxic ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS), parabens, and many other ingredients can be found in mainstream hair care brands and its not really talked about, and kind of a problem. Well, we are talking about it on Clean Chat.

For most people it never occurs to them to be more aware about the ingredients that are being absorbed into the scalp. That is why it was great to chat with organic hair care specialist, Tabitha Jame Kraan, on the dynamics of the hair and how to keep it looking beautiful all-naturally. Tabitha has been on the organic hair care journey for over twenty years now and she has some fabulous tips and tricks that will keep your hair in top shape – all-naturally.

Check out our podcast (or youtube video if you prefer to learn more). In any case, here are some key takeaways:

Natural hair care is the best hair care (period).

It is not new news that your body absorbs natural things better than it does non-natural things. Think about it. We know that its better to eat less processed foods, we know your body needs water over any other drink, and we know that your body wants to absorb natural ingredients from the products you use as they are easier to get out of your system.

The same should go for your hair care. Your hair needs moisture and natural oils to stay healthy. Synthetic ingredients are only a quick fix and are not helping to keep your hair moisturised long term.

We recommend you check out Tabitha James Kraan’s all-natural and clean shampoo in amber rose (a best seller at PURE Beauty Zone’s 8 locations). Use code THECLEANHUB to get 10% off your first order!

Treat your scalp

Have you ever heard that the key to keeping your skin healthy is to keep it moisturised (not dry) to allow your natural oils to do its thing? It is only when your face is dry and lacking extra oils that forces your body to create excess oil – causing you to have oily and problematic skin.

Well my friends, the same goes for your scalp! All of these main stream hair care products that are full of toxic ingredients such as parabens and SLS are not only putting harmful ingredients straight into your blood stream (through your scalp), but they are also stripping it of its natural oils.

When you put natural oils back into your hair, your body accepts them and the oils are able to penetrate the hair to bring in moisture. This will allow your body to not feel like it needs to produce excess oil for your scalp which can lead to more work your body has to do (just adding extra stress and aging of the body).

Stimulate hair growth with natural ingredients

Did yo know that aloe vera and rosemary oil are some of the top all-natural ingredients known to stimulate hair growth. Did you know that you you can find them in Tabitha’s James Kraan’s clean shampoo and conditioner? Rosemary oil helps to stimulate the scalp, allowing the blood to circulate and ultimately helping to reduce thinning and balding spots. And aloe vera is packed full of minerals and vitamins like C, A and E. Aloe vera helps your body to not overproduce sebum, which allows your pores to not become clogged from excessive production.

Now on to the show!

Raquel: Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on the fabulous Tabitha James Kraan. She is founder of Tabitha James Kraan all-natural haircare. She is a wife, mother, hair-dresser, hair formulator and passionate about natural and organic hair care and much more. Um, I started using her hair care products, especially her dry shampoo years ago so I am so excited to have her on the podcast today. So thank you Tabitha for coming onto The Clean Chat

Tabitha: My pleasure.

Raquel: So excited to have you on. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you started Tabitha James hair care?

Tabitha: Yes, of course. Well, I always call myself a hair geek because I’m someone who is massively interested in what is the fabric that is hair. I like to kind of you know get into the nitty-gritty as it were…How the hair actually behaves with what we are doing to it in relation to the products that we use also in relation to the atmosphere and all of those things. Anything that can impact or change the hair I am interested in in a science-y way I suppose. Analysing and trying out different ways of changing that behaviour. And I’ve been an organic hair-dresser for twenty years already. When I first started doing that I was literally declared a nutter. You know everyone thought I was mad. What is organic hair-dressing? People would literally say to me….what do you mean? What is organic hair-dressing? What can that be? You know, back in 1999 it was not really a thing. And like I said, I’ve always been this sort of geeky person around hair. So for me, it was then also realizing as a hair dresser – I was actually pregnant in 1999 with our eldest son. And my midwife told me to stop colouring my hair which really stopped me in my tracks because I really thought I knew it all. I thought I knew everything there was to know about hair. Even at that point…even today nobody in the hairdressing industry talks about the absorption into the body. They still don’t talk about the fact that the chemicals used in our industry actually obviously the scalp being an open orifice into the bloodstream. This is one of the highest concentration of hair follicles on our whole body. One of the most dangerous places that we could put chemicals and yet it is still not a conversation in the industry. Which I find really shocking still. For me that started a whole other train of thought. Because I thought, gosh, well I can’t do that to my unborn child, but equally I can’t do that to other people. If I’m putting it on their bodies what’s the impact on them. How does that affect them? So yea, it was a big shift in my thinking.

Raquel: And how was that being the woman entrepreneur that you are. Did you find that kind of difficult to introduce that to your clients? Like you said, earlier everyone thought you were crazy. Did you find it more difficult because you were a woman?

Tabitha: Um yea, probably. Laughs. Its really interesting..I’ve been…I’ve owned my own salon since I was twenty-three years old. I’m now forty-nine years old. So I’ve been…

Raquel: You don’t look it by the way, you don’t look it.

Tabitha: Thank you very much. Thank you! I’ve been doing this for a very long time. And as a woman I have always done my own thing. I’ve always been a business woman – you know – for all of that time. I’ve always been thinking and looking at new ideas and growing what I’m doing. It didn’t ever occur to me that anything changed because I was male or female. The fact that…because I never worked in the corporate world. I’ve never had uncomfortable situations about being a woman. So I’m just doing my thing. And then just occasionally…so in a situation of maybe I’m in front of a bank manager or maybe I’m in front of somebody more official industry-wise…and people say to me, oh why are there not as many females in the top of the hairdressing industry? Well I kind of left the hairdressing industry because I went off and started another industry. You know, and pioneering everything out of the organic hair dressing industry. So and there aren’t many males alongside me. I am bumping into many more females around the world. And starting to get more males interested but its predominately still quite out there on my own. That’s a really interesting question…but I’m not sure I have much experience of it. Just going everybody, I’m just doing what I’m doing, loud and proud, and proud to be doing it as a female.

Raquel: Awesome. And as an organic hair-care formulator, how long did it take you to create your products and can you tell us a bit more about them.

Tabitha: Sure. So one side established that I didn’t want to be a traditional hair dresser anymore and I wanted to go organic. I…very early on I started working with raw ingredients because I quickly learned that the first product ranges I could find were really from health food stores. I couldn’t find anything commercially that was a full commercial hair care brand that was organic enough of what I was looking for at the time. So I could either find brands that compromise that. That you now talked the organic story or I could find products from health food stores that were truly organic. So what I started to do early on was work with raw ingredients and work with natural oils, making natural emulsions of my own that I could really tell the difference in the way that they behaved in the hair. My early learning I suppose was around that. The purer I got with the ingredients the better results I could get with the hair. So I think I’ve, I mean I’ve been talking about. I think…well I’ve been talking to people that have known me for a while recently and we were saying well we were having these conversations fifteen years ago now. So I would probably say from around fifteen years ago that’s when all of that first started. I started having the products formulated in a lab around six years ago. And that’s when I started to have them in my salon. So we had them in the salon for a good three years as a testing ground before we started selling them out on the open market.

Raquel: And they are fabulous. Could you tell us…so I would say my favourite product, as I said, is the dry shampoo. But you also have a four in one conditioner. What are the top ingredients in there and why do your customers love them so much?

Tabitha: The dry shampoo is all about helping with how do you…what do you do with your hair on the days that you are not washing it. So its amazing for volumising which I ‘m sure you’ve established. It’s my desert island product as well. I couldn’t live without it. Just had a little fix before I came on set here. For me it just gives me happier hair or more hair. I think the more that you use the fuller the hair goes and the sort of more you can get. And when your hair is oily and needing to be washed in between washes it totally does change the way it feels immediately. You can lose that itchy scalp any sort of oh my gosh I should have washed my hair this morning midway through the day. That just goes immediately when you put it in the scalp. Would you agree? Would you have that experience too when you use it?

Raquel: Definitely, definitely I love it.

Tabitha: It totally absorbs the oil and just lifts it. So it feels fabulous,

Raquel: And it…its such a relief to know. I mean, before this I used, you know cheap dry shampoo. And it had you know all kinds of chemicals in it. And you just wonder, you know, if you’re paying three dollars for a product or five dollars, what are they putting in there you know…it doesn’t make sense. And for me it works just as well or better and its natural. I don’t have to worry about like you said, things penetrating my scalp and then eventually getting into my blood stream.

Tabitha: Absolutely. It’s so effective how it works. We started with about thirty different natural powders. Because for me as a hair-dresser, I’m always asked about ingredients. And ingredients are of-course important. They are important for me because of the way they feel and the weight of them and the way they work in relation to the hair. When it comes to the dry shampoo its not about them as actives, I feel that in the hair dressing world there are many, many products that are talking all about ingredients that are supposed to miraculously change the way that your hair behaves. You know in a wash for example, if it were a shampoo for example then pro this….lalalalala you now all of these supposedly magical ingredients that are supposed to completely transform the hair. For me that’s just complete marketing rubbish. I don’t believe in that. I really don’t believe that that’s the way…hair as a fabric is totally behaves as a dry sponge. And how you affect that fabric is…what moisture is in the product and what moisture isn’t in the product. I would say are the two key elements to how products behave. So with the dry shampoo its about how the dry shampoo powders will sit into the hair. It’s about the effect they would have on the weight and its about how absorbent those powders are to take on the natural oils and take them up into the hair without clogging…without clogging up the scalp. Without feeling heavy or looking dull. Those are really the key factors to how that product functions. So as I say we started with thirty different powders and we tried lots and lots of different combinations until we go the weight absolutely right until it gave us the full-ness in the hair. It gave us the texture in the hair. And it gave us the right level of absorbency without having too much absorbency that it would then absorb moisture from the atmosphere and humidity. So it really was about playing scientifically with the way those two things behaved in relation to each other. Because its not….its is a powder that sits in amongst the hair. The ingredients really are not…it isn’t something that is going to actually change the hair. It is just going to affect the way it sits in the hair. When I talked about other products in my range you talked earlier about the 4:1 conditioner. That’s similar in a way in that again what I was really interested in as a hair geek was how this product was going to behave in the way that it sits into the hair and moisturizes it. Because if we think of our hair as a dry sponge, if its completely dried out, and it hasn’t gotten any moisture it in then as soon as you go into a humidity or moist atmosphere on a rainy day, for example. Then the first thing the hair is going to do is suck up that moisture. And if your hair is already wavy, or even if you had dead straight…the first thing that is going to happen is that it will change by the fact that it is getting wet. So if on the other hand that hair is really well moisturized, it’s concealed with a natural oil and in really good shape. Its got everything it needs. A full sponge in fact. Then it can’t ask for more from the atmosphere and therefore won’t change. So you’ve got your beautiful blow-dry. Your hair is really beautifully moisturized. You can go outside, not obviously in a getting it wet in the rain…but you’ve got an umbrella, the moisture in the atmosphere is not going to make your hair change. And that’s the bit that is really crucial in my philosophy and the way I think about hair. I believe what we’ve got to do most of all is recognise that this delicate fabric needs to be moisturised and protected first and foremost. It’s not about putting protein back into the hair to strengthen it, because actually that doesn’t ever work. It’s only a temporary fix. If we can get a good moisturising routine. And if we can seal the hair with oil…oil in hair for me is a really big deal and a very important part of hair care. Because we all remember stories that our grandparents maybe told us about the way they would brush their hair and this idea of sort of a hundred strokes a day of brushing those oils through the hair. Well what that was doing was really sealing and protecting the ends of the hair by moving the natural oil through the length. It’s the same with an animal’s coat. You know if we groom and brush we start to get a lovely shine and healthy coat in their case. With our hair, if we can put oil in our hair from root to tips – but a very, very fine amount of oil. So exactly the same as we would have that sort of acid mantle on our skin. You know if you look at your own hand and you see a slight sheen on your skin, but when you feel it, you don’t feel oil. That’s what we are talking about. That’s the natural oil we should have on our hair. And if we brushed our hair enough, we would have that natural seal on the hair. But the very fact that we use shampoos that are degreasants and are designed to remove all of the oil – its gone. So what we have left is this hair that is behaving like this empty shell. This dry sponge that then becomes really over-reactive to atmosphere. And that is one of the predominant problems with hair is that it is frizzy, fluffy, fly away, lank. You know all of these problems are caused by the fact that these hairs don’t have its protective layer in the first place. So I’m really big on putting that oil back. And then once that oil is there and you’ve sealed it – if it’s a natural oil, when you then moisturize your hair, it will then travel through the oil, it will then attach to then you know the spongey-ness of the hair inside. It will sit inside and it will be there to give the hair its natural weight and buoyancy and shine, sheen again. And we end up with happy, healthy hair that is behaving itself. If on the other hand those oils are synthetic, 1 you can’t penetrate them and if you try to moisturise your hair it won’t work because you’ve got this plastic layer of silicones that’s affecting your ability to change the hair. And two, when those silicones are in place they actually really weaken the hair from the inside so the hair becomes really more susceptible to breakage. Yea, and also those silicones in a synthetic product, one because they can’t travel through it, you’ve suddenly got hair that you actually can’t influence or improve. So that’s another reason why silicones on the hair become really, really bad. That’s not even to start to talk about what the impact on those silicones is on the planet.

Raquel: Yea, speaking of which…what are some of the ingredients…obviously when people use your products they don’t need to worry about these dirty ingredients but what are the dirty ingredients that are found in most mainstream hair care products?

Tabitha: I think we are all kind of clear on paraben-free, sulphate-free. You know we don’t want any petrochemicals in our products. We shouldn’t…we don’t want sulphates because they are so, so strong. I mean most sulphates are the same ingredients as industrial floor cleaner. And a lot of washing products – hair washing products, even baby washing products are really loaded with very strong sulphates. This is just really, really bad. We don’t want to….as a natural fibre we don’t want to keep stripping our hair. And we don’t want to have those chemicals anywhere near our body. And we definitely don’t want them washing down the plughole and into our water systems as well. The other big one that I am totally as I said…I just mentioned…silicones but I have a really problem with silicones. For me, these are such baddies and they really trash the hair for a starting point. But also we’ve got this huge problem. You know when we are talking about micro-beads in the sea um this is nano-particles, silicones and other plastics that are making their way. It’s not literally just the beads you might find in an exfoliator. It’s way, way more than that. And if you talk to scientists who are looking at what is actually in the water, these fine, fine particles that are making their way through our filtering systems and they are making their way into the seas. And its when those industrial chemicals are then getting flushed through, its when they come into contact with the big plastic islands that are floating around. It’s the combination of the two together that are so poisonous and so toxic for the seas. And I think we all have to take responsibility for that. It’s not just the plastic, we’ve got to be really conscious of the packaging. We’ve also got to be really conscious of the choices we are making which is why it is so wonderful why you are doing what you are doing, really highlighting the fact that you know clean beauty is really important. It really is important. Because as women we are not going to change our habits we still want to use product and our world’s work by the fact that we are using product – but we can do it in a good way. We can have it all now. And I think the thing is that we have got to really drill down those ingredients and make sure they are not sneaking into our products. Early on in my journey as an organic hair-dresser I really did establish that by changing to natural ingredients, the performance of the hair that the performance of the hair was beyond my wildest dreams. It was so much better. Because hair is a natural fibre, it is just so much happier when you use..

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How is my beauty pitch deck? Is my brand ready for investment? Where do I go when I’m looking to raise investment?

These are some of the buzzing questions we are often asked from our members and community at The Clean Hub. This is not an accident, as the natural and indie beauty industry has seen record growth in M&A and investment over the past few years. This week on Clean Chat, we were lucky enough to interview two significant fund managers (Jana Bakunina from Silvergate Investments and Manish Karani from Bran Investments), on what they would look for in a beauty brand before they invest. They both share tremendous industry knowledge in start-ups, beauty, as well as pitch decks and we were over the moon to have them on!

Jana founded Silvergate Investments earlier this year with Waheed Alli, (the founding Chairman of ASOS) to help women and minorities raise early stage investment. Manish works as the Investment Manager of Bran Investments, whom invest in green companies that show great social impact. You may have heard about the work they have done with the beauty brand, Optiat, at Pitch & Plant.

This Clean Chat podcast interview is packed with helpful tips and tricks that are a must know for all indie beauty brands looking to raise investment. From all of the tips and tricks we chat about, we’ve pulled out 3 key things that must be included in your beauty pitch deck.

An outstanding and relevant story

Your story is important for more than one reason. Firstly, your brand story is a way for consumers to resonate with your product. It allows a potential customer to get a better understanding of how your product/s would fit (and is needed) in their lives.  Secondly, your story attests to your ability to overcome challenges – something that investors see as a must needed attribute in an entrepreneur. It will also show investors that you have more than a financial interest, but a genuine vested interest in your business succeeding, ultimately allowing you to be more successful in the tough first few years.

Spend the money on growth

How do you plan to spend the money? Investors want to see that the majority of the money is going to help you to fill larger orders and grow market share. Be sure to include a plan on how you will be spending the money as well as your go-to-market strategy. You definitely want to also add some very specific KPIs that are relevant to your particular products and not the beauty industry as a whole. For example, if your products treat people with freckles in the US – how big is the freckle market in the US and how do you plan to tackle that market?

Stand out from the crowd

Investors see hundreds if not thousands of pitch decks in a short period of time. How do you make sure that yours gets noticed among the crowd? Try and think of an inventive way to get your brand noticed by the investor. Maybe make them a song?…okay maybe too much! But don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Jana from Silvergate Investments has also written a blog that covers how you can stand out in front of investors. You can check it out here!

Now on to the show!

Raquel: Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have a really hot topic in the beauty industry.  It’s talking all about investment in your beauty brand and I am so excited to have on our show today a couple of top industry experts to talk about their experience in investing in beauty brands and what they look for in a pitch deck. So first off, we have Manish from Bran Investments. You may have heard of Bran Investments, as they are one of the investors in pitch and plant. And we also have the fabulous Jana from Silvergate Investments. They invest in fast growing and scalable start-ups with great stories and innovative technology. And we really like them because they prioritise businesses led by brilliant women and or minority founders because such opportunities are overlooked and under-funded. So thank you both for coming onto the Clean Chat today, it’s a pleasure. So Manish, we’ll start with you. I gave you a small introduction but really quickly, can you tell me about yourself and Bran Investments?

Manish: Sure, thanks a lot first of all for having us. I’ve seen the previous speakers and they are all very exciting. I know a few of them. So, first of all, thanks a lot or having us. Umm, just a brief introduction on Bran Investments, so we are, I would say, a boutique family office. I again, I would suggest that we are very impact in what we invest in. We sort of do have two types of mandates. Our first mandate is sort of on the impact. And that obviously does fall under a lot of plant based businesses and in which the family that I represent have a keen liking and sharing capacity to sort of improve that across the world. And I think the second aspect is more on the education and health care space. Health care is something which the family know very well. And it’s something which we want to continue to focus on. And yes, of course we have done niche sort of events, plant based events, wit the likes of the vevolution. Um, where yes you rightly corrected, we did give some grants to Optiat and obviously we did a recent one where we gave the winners up to £100,000 across three businesses. So that’s us.

Raquel: Awesome, okay. And Jana, could you tell us a bit about yourself as well and Silvergate Investments?

 

Jana: Yea, sure. Well first of all thank you. You already made a great introduction. So thank you very much for that. In addition to that, I’d just say that we are a fairly new fund. We only launched in February of this year. And I think in addition to looking at companies which are backed by technology and really scalable, I would also say that we love consumer brands. So anything that is probably digital in native, compelling, really relevant and authentic. So it doesn’t have to be necessarily a tech business. It doesn’t have to be, you know, a market place or anything like that. We genuinely love consumer products because we understand them, and we, you know we think that consumers are excited about them. Which is why they…if done correctly they can grow and bring fantastic returns.

Raquel: Awesome! So Jana, based on that, have you invested or have you worked with any beauty brands in the past? And what sorts of things do you look for?

Jana: So we haven’t yet invested in beauty brands. But we…I have over the last six months or so come across a few really interesting and exciting brands. Also came across beauty brands which I wasn’t as excited about. And here is the thing, I think…you know I feel today, we already have a good understanding of what is good for us in terms of food to eat. And clearly, this translates into other areas…so beauty, skincare, hair care…And I think I would love to invest in a brand that really addresses that market. That really chimes with consumers today who are very savvy, very conscious, who like a brand which talks to them. And I think that the products that I have come across…so some of them…where perhaps very good products but perhaps the story was strong enough or the other way around. You know, the kind of idea to tell a story was great, but perhaps there wasn’t enough traction for us. It was simply too early. But I think that…you know for me, it has to be authentic, it has to tell a great story. It has to be relevant. I mean, I think these are kind of broadly the criteria. And then of course it depends on the, you know, the brand, the proposition itself.

Raquel: Right, so you mentioned traction. What sort of traction are you looking for from a company before you invest in them?

Jana: So we prefer to invest in something that has already kind of got going…if I were to phrase it this way. So we don’t invest on paper. So I would say, you know I don’t want to kind of give numbers you know I’m looking for certain sales figures. However, yes I do want to see sales, I do want to see you know, what the brand is doing. So for example if someone is saying, you know I’m sort of primarily doing direct to consumer sales, so I want to see that. If someone is saying, well I’m focusing on distribution via third parties, then I do want to see that they are, you know not just in some kind of one store in Brooklyn. But maybe they work with Ulta, or they have many different distributors who are you know reordering their stock. So I would probably want to see at least, kind of…you know, some good presence. So if we are talking about digital native brands, then I’m looking kind of the social media, the storytelling…and if I don’t see the presence there, but the product is great….for me something is missing. So there is…I don’t know if I’m supposed to be naming names of given examples, but lets just try to be generic. So I came across a hair care brand that was really exciting and it really started from the community that they managed to accumulate via Instagram, via YouTube videos where they launched a lot of how-to videos of how to look after that particular type of hair. You know and I could really see the engagement they have. And you know if they are telling me, if they came up with an example of you know we see a lot of repeat business so I actually want to see kind of those numbers. I want to see… because you know like sales tell you not just that the business is serious, you know like proper business, but it also tells you that the price is right for example, right? Because that is quite important. The you know, I want to know, kind of what’s your hero product? What sells well? Where are you going to expand? So you know, when I talk to brands like this, I can see that they already have nailed their product, their strategy, of course they will make mistakes, you know we all do. But I want them to have a clear path. To you know, how they go from a to b. What are they doing? You know, what are the points that are going to verify? But ultimately, you know… you asked me about traction. Yes, I do want to see sales. I want to see it growing.

Raquel : You want to see what their path is and if they have already strategized a path. And they are talking with retailers if that is their distribution model. Or that if they are D2C they are already starting with funnels, and that they have a plan. So would you say that…one of the problems I think is that a lot of brands want investment really early on. You would probably suggest that as a start-up, until you’ve hit a certain traction, you probably shouldn’t try to get investment with someone like yourself? First family and friends, and secondly go to someone such as yourself to work with. Would you suggest that?

Jana: Yes. I mean, you know…I know it is hard because it is a sort of chicken and egg isn’t it? Because on the one hand, sort of I want you to show growth, and on the other hand I’m not giving you money until you show me some growth. And you know you need to make some investment somewhere in order to put your product out there. But I think that, if done properly, you can really create a product line which is you know limited but effective. You know, are you say focusing on the basics? Are you focusing on something which is complimentary to a range of you know skincare, or makeup or hair care that is going to be a staple but your product will bring something extra. Then what you can do is really focus on that limited product range and then really try to make it work. So I came across another brand which is sort of natural skin care brand…loads of beautiful soaps, beautiful oils for skincare out of New York. And you know, before I knew it, they sort of did a massive rebrand. Which I didn’t think it was necessary. You know, you look at how do you spend that money? Because I know entrepreneurs bootstrap it, but so I want you to focus on the right things. So of course, the product is the number one thing. You can’t argue with that. But then in this day and age you want a story, you want a target to the right community. I don’t want your product to fit all. I mean, maybe it is ultimately. But I want you to find the right target customer. I want you to be able to speak their language, and I want you to show me that that proposition that you had. You know, you are saying….okay let’s make this up now. Oh my god I created a new skincare range using cannabis. You know, this is amazing, it does x , y,and z…here are the benefits. And you have, with your limited product range….I don’t know, maybe six products or something. You have created something that has really generated sales. Your first cohort of customers rave about you.  And you are ready for the kind of, you know, you are ready to scale. You now effectively are looking for investment to be able to fill in really big orders. You know, so you’re looking for…so you say to me, look this is all here. So what I need now is working capital. And that is something that I would love to back.

Raquel: Awesome, that is such a great and helpful answer. Thank you Jana. And one of the other questions I get a lot from beauty brands is what do I have in my pitch deck? And I’m sure you both get a lot of pitch decks. So I’ll start with you Manish. Could you tell me what you look for in a stand out pitch deck?

Manish: Sure. I think just to go back in though terms of Jana’s conversation I want to make just a few points on that.

Raquel: Sure.

Manish: Because you know, I think there are a lot of overlaps between us. A lot of the stuff she does say, it does work for us as well. What I think is really important for us, is actually…if we had a look at our actual entrepreneur base we have about twenty portfolio companies now. About fifty to sixty percentage of those have actually…and they have obviously raise investment from us….have a story, like Jana mentioned, they have a story to tell. They’ve often have started a business based on a personal experience that they have faced. I mean we’ve sort of invested in a restaurant business and one individual did set up a plant-based business and that was due to a food attack they had many years ago and they said actually I want to change the way that food is created and they became vegan and that’s why we have supported them. For us, it’s very important that…fine its great that someone sets up a business, however we find that if its personal or something that they have actually experienced, then during those tougher times….because a business is very difficult….maybe two, three, or five years down the line, if there is that personal drive, we see that those individuals will succeed to a greater extent than those that may have not had that personal experience. And so that is something in which, if you ask me about a turnover figure, then yes its great that they have a turnover figure and obviously they have proven the product or the service. But the way in which we traditionally work is, if we believe in the individual, because often individuals are the most important things, or partners or a great team…if they haven’t really hit those turnover figures yet, however we really believe in them and there is a personal story and they are projecting that story well, we often do a smaller investment at an earlier stage. And then say, look subject to you hitting certain targets then hopefully we can add value to that in terms of turnover in all of our networks and all of our other portfolio companies and investors as well, then we would always look to follow on. So we are quite unique I guess in that sense. But I think just to add, you know, and this kind of follows onto the next question. We do get a lot of pitch decks, but surprisingly enough, I haven’t really received anything within the beauty space to be honest.

Raquel: Oh really, okay.

Manish: Which is quite interesting. Uh, you know maybe I’m not doing my job really well (laughs). But no I haven’t received too much in the beauty space. I see more sort of technology, you know proc tech, and sort of medical tech, and a lot of consumer facing brands in the food and beverage industries. Things I have received in the beauty space is probably through sort of other intermediaries, such as crowdcube. Crowdcube and crowdfunding seems to be quite popular with the beauty brands. Maybe I’m wrong. Raquel, you would know that better than me. But that’s just what I wanted to add on that point.

Raquel: Okay that’s great thank you. And Jana, have you seen any beauty pitch decks or do you have any…what would you say would be a stand out pitch deck for a beauty brand? What are you looking for? I know we kind of discussed traction and team. But what are the must haves?

Jana: Yes I mean, so I do receive beauty pitch decks. And I you know, pitch decks from other industries. I think the formula here is kind of the same regardless of which industry you come from. It has to be pretty concise. It has to definitely explain very clearly what you do and why. I mean with consumer products it’s really simple. You know, this is no rocket science. I think I would expect, I mean definitely what Manish was saying about the strength of the entrepreneur. Of course, you know that is a must. And of course, even before I meet someone there has to be…and this is no particular order – there has to be page on the founder or founders, so that I understand, for example….can this person in future scale this? Can this person manage a team? I recently went to an event (laughs). People will probably guess which one it was, but it was basically, kind of a highly prominent pitch around in the industry. Where a lot of entrepreneurs were…so there were twenty -our entrepreneurs pitching, and the in-joke was that how many PhD and masters degrees people have? And my question is, this super clever laboratory people as I would like to call them, you know, can they manage a team? Can they be commercial? Can the pitch? I don’t know, maybe they can? So, so I would definitely like to see a slide or a couple of slides on the team, on the founder, so that I can get a background and experience does this person have? Even if it’s a first time entrepreneur. But how can that person really deliver the vision? So then, obviously everyone includes slides on the market and the market potential. And you know, that’s great. But that tends to be quite generic. So for example, one would say beauty market is x, I mean this is neither here nor there. You know, I would prefer something a bit more nuanced you know. If someone can find, for example, data on what is the, you know, organic beauty market or something…going back to my previous example, I have no idea how I came up with it by the way but you know (laughs)…the cannabis beauty market, or something. But you know, show some relevance. You know, if you are say, producing cosmetics only for people of colour for example, you know, well then try and sort of estimate that. Again, say if you are based in the states, let’s start with that market, because it’s not like you are going to pitch to people in Ghana on day one. So, it has to be sort of relevant. Everything you say, it has to be relevant. So what is the story, how are you going to get to the market, what is your magic ingredients, okay, what will make you stand out? And of course, you know, if we are talking about consumer products…so beauty, skincare, and hair care in this instance, I mean this is consumer marketing. So that pitch has to look beautiful as well as you know, be informative because you know, we are talking about the packaging for your products that kind of tells the story by itself. So, you know everything has to sort of be in line with that I think. Because it kind of, you know, its all those little details that I’m not taking in consciously, you know. I don’t have some sort of tick box exercise here. Subconsciously though, I’m taking everything in. The words, the style, the spelling mistakes? So that has to be….so I think something like the typography is a great example. So I was looking at something today. I don’t know if it’s a recent one but I just read it. You know, I was sent an article and it listed sixty female entrepreneurs and their businesses. Great. So I liked one of their businesses so I went to the link and I went to the website and you know, we are talking about a grown up product and yet they use that sort of funny girly font.

Raquel Mmmmm….

Jana:Which was kind of limiting I would say the potential of that product. So you know, the product was fantastic. Really innovative, because I wanted to know more about it out of the sixty businesses I clicked on maybe two different links. And yet, I went to this website and I felt that that doesn’t, that’s sort of, you know, it’s a bit girly. It sort of limits the potential…you know we still will probably get in touch with them but….So I  think its kind of, well you know I think there are so many sources of where you can do your relevant pitch books. So hopefully I when I’m focusing on the typography and founder background its just adding a bit something different which someone might want to think about.

Raquel: That’s great. And I think from a practical standpoint, do you want a very concise ten slides pitch deck and then maybe, you know, some additional information if you request it at first? Or how does that work? Do you find that sometimes you get a bit overload with information on a pitch deck?

Jana: Umm, so definitely I try not to have meetings until I really like something. I mean sometimes meetings just happen. Umm, but as a rule I would say that I look at the pitch deck…so if someone sort of sent me an email I will always say – do you have a pitch deck? So I’ll look at that. And that, yes, I think ten pages is great. I don’t need a hundred pages. But I think it has to, you know, it has to kind of definitely tell me: what is the product, you know what’s the potential with the market with the, you know, the story, how are you going to get there? What’s the strategy? And you know, any kind of the KPIs that are relevant. That help you know not just say…I’m trying to think of an example of a bad KPI. Something that is not really helping to tell a story, its something generic. But if you say to me, you know, well our kind of average price….so the price range for our products let’s say is $10-$30 and average order value from our website is $60, now I’m thinking this is incredible. That means that every buyer would buy at least two top valued products from you. Or perhaps the whole bundle of them. And that, that’s pretty exciting. Or, for example if you tell me something like – our average order value went up from $40 last year to $50 this year. You know, this is exciting so you know have you..

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Clean beauty blogging. Some people enjoy it, most people don’t, but statistics show that writing a blog for your clean beauty business is a strong in-bound marketing strategy. And as Colleen from Glossy Type mentions, now is the time as “the beauty space is the most saturated its ever been. “

But if you are like anyone we know, it is a full-on effort to get words to paper. And even more effort making it sound decent. Not to mention we are busy running businesses that we don’t often have time in our busy schedules to spend a few hours a week blogging.

No fear friends, our interview with the fabulous Colleen Welsch from Glossy Type  covers the do’s and don’ts of writing a blog and how to best maximise your time and money by DIYing it yourself for your natural or vegan beauty brand. So for you time-starved beauty brands out there – be sure to stick to these 3 blogging rules!

(For all of the do’s and dont’s, be sure to listen to our podcast below!). 

Start with Colleen’s 5-step keyword strategy process

Colleen spent 6 hours coming up with Glossy Type keyword strategy. I know, panic mode is coming in. But you don’t need to spend 6 hours. Start with 1-hour and test it out for a month. The point is that you should be spending the time up front on your keyword strategy process so that writing your blog actually gets noticed.

Here are Colleen’s first 3 steps:
  1. Make a list of over 100 questions and topics you think your audience would be interested in knowing more about
  2. Plug those into Google’s keyword planning tool and then filter by low competition only, and then sort it by most traffic to least traffic.
  3. Then copy and paste those key words into a separate spreadsheet (making a huge list)

(Check out the podcast for the full step by step process)

Content calendar, content calendar, content calendar

We know, (eyes roll)…another content calendar. But stick to it! This one is one of the best we have seen! Its much easier to write a blog when you are prepared and know what is going on content-wise in your business as well as know what key words you should be throwing into your blog.

Just join our Facebook Group Here to download the content calendar

300 words minimum

Why 300 words? Well, that is how many words your blog has to have minimum to be picked up by Google. But that’s not it says Colleen. “Now, search engines are favouring longer and longer posts, especially if you have a targeted key word and your look up what the number one ranking article is on that. And if its 2,000 words long, you need have 2,200 words.” That is why it is essential that you do the work up-front!

If you are curious, this blog is about 550 words.

Other Factors to consider

Writing a blog can be extremely time consuming, but a great way to get traffic to your site. It is totally possible to DIY it yourself – you can do it! To help you out we have collaborated with Colleen of Glossy Type to walk you through the process in our members club so that you can save yourself time and money! Members can access those steps here!

If you are wanting a bit of extra help, you can contact Colleen at Colleen@glossytype.com or visit her website: www.glossytype.com!

Now onto the show!

Raquel:Hello everyone and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have the fabulous Colleen Welsh. She’s going to be talking all about blogging for your beauty business. She put together a fabulous webinar for her company, Glossytpe. So we are so excited to hear more about it, as well as hear about Colleen herself.  So if you don’t mind Colleen, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started Glossytpe?

Colleen: Hi! Well, first of all thank you for having me. I’ve actually never been on a podcast before so this is very exciting. So the reason why I started Glossytype is because I’ve been blogging since 2009. And since in that time I’ve learned a lot about the ups and downs of blogging and all of the little things that you need to do that most people don’t know. And I began blogging professionally for other companies a few years ago, but there are a lot of start-ups out there that can’t afford to hire a professional blogger, so I’m providing education for those start-ups so they can learn to DIY their own blogs without paying for a professional blogger.

Raquel: Yes. She does a great job. So, an interesting fact about Colleen is that she is actually in Portugal right now. Do you enjoy being able to travel with your job?

Colleen: I do! This is actually my first big trip outside of the US, its longer than a week so. But I’m still learning a lot….um. It’s the first time I’ve lived outside of the United States so its pretty cool.

Raquel: Oh yea, okay. Yea, that is awesome. She said its ninety degrees and I’m here in Edinburgh and we are just happy its not raining. Hahah

Colleen: Hahah

Raquel: So back to business. So working with Glossytpe, and obviously you’ve worked with tons of beauty brands, have you found that there is one particular pain point that brands are coming to you with and how do you suggest to you know, solve that problem.

Colleen: I think that a lot of brands are looking to get more traffic to their website, and also to differentiate themselves from other beauty brands. The beauty space is the most saturated its ever been, so that is….I find that blogging is a great way to separate yourself from the pack. And, its also an amazing way to get traffic to your website. And I think more and more brands are beginning to realize that. They just don’t have the time to do it.

Raquel: Right, yea so it’s good to hire an expert. And one of the things that you cover in collaboration with the clean hub is SEO and exactly what should be in all of your blogs. Why do you feel that blogging for your business is so important? Like, you mentioned earlier. Why is it so important for your business?

Colleen: So, blogging is a great way…it’s a great inbound marketing strategy. So instead of paying for advertising, all you’re doing is putting content and having Google pick it up. And then the people who are searching for the kinds of problems that your product solves, they are going to find you through Google.

Raquel: Right. And how long would you say it takes for this inbound strategy….like how much time should people be expecting to finally see some results from blogging?

Colleen: That’s the thing. It takes about six months to really start seeing some results.

Raquel: Wow, okay…

Colleen: That could be tough. You will start seeing a boost in traffic probably within the first month but I would say six months until you are really going to start seeing the sales. Which makes it difficult for brands to want to commit to that.

Raquel: Yea, well exactly. So…hahaha I know how long it takes to write a blog and finding interesting content. How long would you say it takes a typical person to write a blog post? How long should they be spending on a blog?

Colleen: Well, it really depends. Your blogs need to be at least 300 words to be picked up by Google at all. But now, search engines are favouring longer and longer posts, especially if you have a targeted key word and you look up what the number one ranking article is on that. And if its 2,000 words long, you need to have, you know 2,200 words.

Raquel: Wow…

Colleen: So it really depends on the length of the blog post, how much research you need to do for the topic…and there’s topics that I don’t need to do any research for because I know all about so…that makes it super easy for me. That’s one great reason why, if you are a founder, it might be a good option for you to write the blog because no one knows about it better than you do. But a lot of people don’t have time for that. You’re going to spend at least an hour and a half on it, including all of the image sourcing, the uploading, the linking, all of the SEO stuff, but sometimes I spend up to three or four hours on one post, especially for my own site. Because there is so much, there are so many pieces that go with it, other than just the actual writing. You know, once you write the post, you publish it, then you want to send an email to your followers, and you will want to make some social media posts, and all of those are tied into blogging.

Raquel: So it’s quite a process…yea. Speaking of which, so you talk about all of the things that are important in a blog. What can listeners expect from your collaboration with The Clean Hub? What sort of topics do we cover?

Colleen: Oh yea, so we talk about like some great statistics on why you should have a blog if you’re thinking about it and you aren’t 100% convinced. Check that out, because its actually really shocking how much traffic you can get from your blog if you update it regularly. Also include all of the basics of getting started which includes how to think of post ideas. A lot of people have questions about how to create a content calendar, the basics of SEO, and we also talk about if you should write the blog, or if you should hire someone else, pros and cons of that, and also just the basics of how to write a really great blog post that people will actually want to read.

Raquel: Yes, definitely she goes into all that interesting stuff. And like you said, it’s not just about words on paper. Like there’s more of a bigger process involved in like making sure that your content is good SEO-wise, like she said earlier. You know, its over 300 words and it makes sense for that topic and its going to get picked up by Google. All of these topics….you nearly don’t want to waste your time, right? Writing a blog for hours when you aren’t doing the little bits that get it noticed anyway. Right?

Colleen: Yes, yes. Which is why doing your keyword research is so important, especially when you are getting started to make sure that you are focusing on the right keywords that’s going to get your audience to your site. I just developed a new content calendar for the next 6 months for my personal blog and I spent 6 hours on keyword research.

Raquel: Okayy…..hahah

Colleen: But….it will be worth it once I execute the plan because I have all these great keywords with low competition. I think I’m really going to see a boost in traffic.

Raquel: That’s good. And so could you give us some advice on keyword searching or how to go about doing that. Just…

Colleen: Yea.

Raquel: A quick overview.

Colleen: So I use Google adwords. They have a keyword planner tool. And I like to look for…first I like to make a list of a bunch of questions I think that my audience has and a bunch of topics that are related to my business. Then I plug those into the keyword tool and then I filter it by low competition only, and then sort it by most traffic to least traffic. And then I just start copying and pasting those keywords into a separate spreadsheet. And then I just make this huge list with the keyword and then the search volume ranking. Then I take that list and I group all the keywords together so that they are by theme. And then, haha this sounds crazy doesn’t it? This is what you have to do though…

Raquel: Yea…

Colleen: Based on the keywords that go together, then I will come up with blog topic ideas and then make sure to focus on whatever the highest-ranking keyword was for that theme in the post.

Raquel: That’s why it is super involved, okay…

Colleen: Hahahaha

Raquel: It’s not as easy as just sitting down and like typing out a couple of paragraphs about, you know, a new lipstick color or something. Is this…

Colleen: You can do that too.

 

Raquel:  Out of curiosity, asking for a friend…Is this something that you do for people as well as part of your service, or is it….

Colleen: Yea. .

Raquel: Okay. It’s part of the service, okay. You are saving money people! Okay.

Colleen: Yea, you are saving a lot of time.

Raquel: Yea a lot of time.

Colleen: And I can do it for you. Hahaha

Raquel: Definitely. And where do you get your post ideas from? So you do this from keyword research as well?

Colleen: Yes. So keyword research is a really great place to get started for your blog but it’s not the only place to get post ideas. So you can also go to your customer service channels and see what kinds of questions your customers are asking repeatedly and write blog posts to address them. So not only will you be helping your customer out and building trust with them, but you will also be saving time with customer service. Because if they can just Google something and find the answer, then they don’t need to call you. Or, you can just send them the link to the blog post like, this answers your question.

Raquel: Yea. So helpful. And do you have some examples of business that are doing a really great job in writing their blog and what is it that makes them stand out?

Colleen: So one, one business that is really crushing it is Dollar Shave Club.

Raquel: Okay.

Colleen: I mean I think everyone has seen their website. They literally sell razors, so what’s the difference between one razor and the other? I don’t know. But really what gives them the leg up on every body else is their content is so good. They have, I mean they have basically made a lifestyle website for men’s grooming just by selling dollar razors, which is incredible. So that is a really great example of how building out your content marketing strategy can really give you a leg up on the competition, especially in a commodity market like beauty.

Raquel: And you give some information as well, yup, as part of our webinar so check it out guys.

Colleen: Quite a few more examples of great blogs in there.

Raquel: Okay, perfect. And can you tell us a bit more about your services? What different type of services…is it just SEO, writing blogs, can you do packaging? How does that work?

Colleen: Yea, so I offer…my number one service is my blog management services. So that includes all of the keyword research, the content calendar, I write up and edit all of the blog posts, I find images for you, I upload everything, optimise it for Google and….it’s pretty much a set it and forget it thing. We have a couple conversations, I send you the post for approval. You just have a wonderful blog and you don’t have to do anything about it hahah. But if, you know, someone is not willing to commit to that or they are just looking for blog posts to supplement the work they are currently doing I also offer like single blog posts that you can just order. Additionally I do some digital marketing strategy as well, talking about email marketing. I spent many years as an email marketer for the beauty industry so…pretty familiar with that. Hahah and like a comprehensive digital marketing strategy as a whole with blogging as a part of it.

Raquel: Sounds awesome. Okay, and if people want…outside of The Clean Hub, check out her webinar with us. It talks all about these goodies and she has put together a PDF as well. Where can people get a hold of you and learn more about your services?

Colleen: So my website is Glossytype.com. So you can check it out there. Or email me at Colleen@glossytype.com. It’s C-O-L-L-E-E-N@glossytype.com. Or I just started an Instagram and its @theGlossytype.

Raquel: I’m following it now. So thank you so much Colleen for all of your information and giving us so much information on writing a blog. I know we’ve changed things ahah since watching your collaboration or webinar.

Colleen: Hahha

Raquel: And we are all just going to live vicariously through you as you are living out the best life and blogging around the world.

Colleen: Hahah yea.

Raquel: Alright well thank you Colleen for coming onto The Clean Chat today.

Colleen: Thank you very much.

 

Raquel: Yea, and we hope to have you on very soon. Um, alright everyone have a great day and vivacleanbeauty!

The post 3 Blogging Rules for your Clean Beauty Business appeared first on The Clean Hub.

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Our guest on Clean Chat this week is Maya Crothers, the founder of CircCell Skincare. As a brand who is currently transitioning its line to be exclusively clean,  Maya is the perfect guest to help us continue the open conversation we are creating with Clean Chat. 

MEET THE FOUNDER 

Maya Crothers describes herself as a accidental entrepreneur. With both an engineering degree and an MBA, Maya began her career based in the technical and analytical side of business. In her 30’s, Maya retired and her family relocated to the small town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In Jackson Hole there is not a great deal to do other than to be outside, enjoying nature. However, being constantly exposed to the wind and the sun took its toll on Maya’s skin and she struggled to find a product that could stand up to the harsh conditions (Maya even tried pouring olive oil all over her skin!). 

So, Maya decided to create her own skincare solution, a line of products that work under extreme conditions, that can travel from climate to climate, all while bringing an element of nature and elegance. Although worlds away from her previous career, Maya used her analytical background to her advantage and created CircCell, a fundamentally performance based skincare line. 

CIRCCELL AND THEIR TRANSITION TO CLEAN 

Like ‘organic’, ‘natural’ and ‘green’, ‘clean’ is a term which has no official standards or impartial organisation that both brands and consumers can turn to for guidance. As Maya said, “the definition of clean beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and thats the biggest challenge. Recently in the States, Credo Beauty has emerged as a leading voice in the clean beauty community. They hold the most stringent standards of what it is to be clean, and these are the guidelines that Maya has chosen to follow as CircCell transition to a clean brand. 

CircCell remains a fundamentally performance based brand, but as the beauty industry evolves, so will they. The dirty ingredients in cosmetics products are often the preservatives and stabilisers. These are the ingredients that are being switched out for clean alternatives, and Maya is working hard to ensure the performance of CircCells products is never compromised.  

IN THIS EPISODE 

In this episode we chat all about Maya’s inspiring journey from business and engineering to a beauty entrepreneur, an industry which isn’t as intimidating and challenging to break into as you might think! Maya talks about how welcoming and supportive the beauty community is and how its all about sharing our knowledge and experiences. 

We also loved Maya’s top beauty tip; just go outside! Taking some time to get some fresh air and clear your head is sometimes the best thing you can do for your self and your wellbeing. Finally, Maya notes the importance of doing your homework when entering into partnerships in all aspects of your business. Its far easier to enter into a partnership than to dissolve one, so it really is time well spent. 

Thanks again to Maya for being our guest on Clean Chat this week. We are really excited to see CircCell evolve along side the clean beauty movement. Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript… 

Raquel: Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. I’m the host, Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto the Clean Chat podcast…

Raquel:Hi there welcome to Clean Chat! Today we have the awesome Maya Crothers, founder of CircCell Skincare. So Maya has created CircCell as a skincare for the modern woman. The line is all about response to environmental changes and skincare challenges. They are currently on the move to clean beauty and we are here to talk about their journey. I’m so excited to have you on today Maya, thank you for coming on! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started CircCell Skincare?

Maya: Hi, I would be happy to. Firstly thank you so much for having me. I really love all of your podcasts and the clean beauty hub and what you guys are doing for beauty and the clean beauty space. I’m so excitd to be here.

Raquel:Thank you! We are so excited to have you on.

Maya: So, my journey into beauty was truly accidental. I like to say that I am an accidental entrepreneur. My background is in business, I have an engineering degree and also an MBA, so really I have worked mostly in business but really on the technical analytical side of business. So I am very comfortable with data and analysis and anything related to science. I retired when I was pregnant with my daughter, my second child, and then a few years later we decided to move the entire family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is a tiny little ski town  in the mountains. Very slow life, small town, it’s the kind of place where you walk into the grocery store and you know everybody. And there’s not a whole lot to do. You move to a place like Jackson Hole because you like the outside. So we don’t have you know lots of movie theatres and malls, and we don’t have places to go ride go karts, your entertainment is just that your outside. So it was just a lovely change for us and a great place to raise our children. One area that was a little bit difficult is what the move did to my skin. The environment in Jackson Hole is extreme so its really really dry all year round, high altitude so we are very close to the sun, were outside all the time so you know we are constantly exposed to the wind, sun, and for someone who had been a life long skincare junkie and had always prided herself on how great her skin looked, it really was difficult. And I could not find anything that could live up to those conditions. So I ended up doing things like just going to my pantry and pouring olive oil on my hands and putting it on my face, or you know using thick petroleum jelly’s. And so the things I ended up using, they just didn’t make sense and it definitely wasn’t the type of skincare regiment that I could take with me. It was spring break and we went to the beach in the Caribbean and Hawaii and now your in this really humid place, and you don’t just want to take a bottle of olive oil with you to out on your face when your somewhere humid! So I started thinking about a skincare line which was fundamentally performance based because I do have this analytical science background, that would work under these extreme conditions, but that would work elegantly. So I say that everything we create has to be hard working and elegant. And that can travel with me, because you know most women don’t stand still, we travel from climate to climate and from place to place. But I also live in this place where it is so beautiful and we live in nature everyday, so I want to everything to bring an element of nature. So I started to bring about this combination of performance and nature and a sort of luxury elegance component. And it first started out as a bobby, launched with one product. A year later we had two more products. So just over time it became a real business. It was not planned, especially kind of if you think about it, kind of in the second half of life. You know people don’t retire and move to this tiny town and say I’m going to have another career. So its interesting journey for me.

Raquel:That sounds awesome. And did you find it a challenge to break into the beauty industry when your previous career was so different?

Maya:So the challenge wasn’t breaking into the business, its actually a very welcoming and friendly business and right away it is very easy to meet everyone that you need to meet in all the different areas of the business. Right, so you need to meet formulators and distributors and you need to meet people on the marketing side and its very friendly, there are a lot of women in the business, we are all very supportive. Even you know the entrepreneurs I have met with competing brands, we share our knowledge and we tell each other, I just met with this buyer and she was amazing and I really think your brand would be good with them. So the challenge wasn’t necessarily getting into it. The challenge is that really there are so many beauty brands that how do you sort of get people to notice you. So I would say more than anything that’s the challenge.

Raquel:Getting people to notice. There is such a strong community but it is actually getting in front of the consumer base to get noticed.

Maya:Exactly, just because the consumer has so many options and there are so many brands that how do you differentiate yourself, rise above the fray. So I think that really is a key piece to success for a lot of brands.

Raquel:So your brand is now transitioning to a more clean beauty stance. What does clean mean to you?

Maya:So that’s a really good question. So really defining clean can be a challenge. So it may seem to the consumer that you know that clean is just some kind of category that you switch into like moving to a new zip code. You just kind of transition there and your in the zip code. But its really not. The definition of clean kind of is in the eye of the beholder. So that has been one of the challenges for us from the beginning. From the beginning we have just wanted to create really amazing products, the best that they could be, and delivered in the best way possible to the consumer. But you know how do you define clean, and who really is the leader in that movement so you can say yeh that’s the definition of clean that we are going to follow. You know this is the voice or this is the organisation that is saying what clean is so you can say, we meet these standards. So over the years there have been so many, hundreds of different opinions of what’s clean and what’s not clean. Everything from pretty much your just going to have to mash the avocado and put that straight on your face, you know there is some super stringent ideas of what is clean, to you know definitions of clean that maybe to us include some things that even if your liberal in that you don’t seem clean.

Raquel: Right.

Maya:So what we have tried to do is just individually with each product try to deliver the best technologies and the most sensible and reasonable way that we can. So you know we didn’t use parabens, and for a long time in place of parabens everybody was using phenoxyethanol. So we have four formulations that have phenoxyethanol because for years that was you know the thing to do. But now we are learning that phenoxyethanol is bad so of course we are formulating that out and by the end of the year, we will be phenoxyethanol free. So that’s just kind of explains to you some of the challenges, there is not any one standard where you can say I want to be clean and this is what I do. So its challenging for a brand. But what has happened recently in the beauty space, at least in the US is the rise of an organisation called Credo Beauty. So Credo Beauty is a started off as a brick and mortar store that sells what they consider clean brands, and they have their own standards of what clean means. And in order to be stocked in their stores you have to meet these standards. And of course they started off as one store, they are now 7 or 8. They are growing they have a website, they are a leader, a leading voice in the clean beauty movement. So we decided, okay its starting to look like there is one authority, so we are going to follow their standards. And so now we are changing what needs to change in our line, to follow their standards. So you know prior to that as a brand your just spinning your wheels. You know one voice says do this, so you do that, and another voice may say something contradictory, and its kind of hard with everything changing and evolving so quickly and with so many different ideas, to decide what to do. But with the rise of Credo Beauty we felt confident. So that’s why we are going through and reformulating what doesn’t fit their standards, to meet their standards, and we feel pretty confident in that definition of clean and selling that definition of clean to our customers.

Raquel:Right. So it feels like finally someone has put a stamp or a line in the sand saying this is what you know our community deems as natural or clean and then that’s the best way to fall forward with it.

Maya:Yes because they are really coming across as an authority, they are coming across as an authority. And maybe someday another authority that is not related to a company that might be more of  a not for profit. For example EWG has some clean standards and we actually meet their clean standards and have pretty much all along. But Credo is more stringent so we will follow Credo.

Raquel: Oh I wouldn’t of know that that Credo was more. I’m from the states as well and I am familiar with Credo and I didn’t realise they were more stringent that EWG, that’s interesting to know. Awesome. And so what is it that you want CircCell to transition in to as you move into a clean beauty brand?

Maya:We fundamentally will not change. We continue to want to be fundamentally performance based with a deep commitment to delivering health products and a commitment to incorporating nature into our formulations as well. So we continue to be that brand, that doesn’t change. What is evolving is kind of again the definition of clean. So I think that the fundamental message that we want to send to our customer is, we are a dynamic company and we do not stand still and as this definition of clean changes, and in many senses that definition is changing because the market is driving newer technologies that do things to replace what the ingredients that’s we don’t like do. So as those newer and better technologies come up, we are going to use them. So one thing that I really want to mention is that the technologies that we are switching out, don’t have anything to do with the performance side of our business. So for example we use medical grade gas carriers, we use tyrosinase inhibitors, not hydroquinone, ours is sources form daisy’s. We use antioxidants, we use peptides. So we are not having to change out any of these ingredients, none of them are dirty, they don’t have anything dirty in them. The things that actually end up being dirty are the things to preserve, to stabilise, to make sure formulations don’t separate, and because of the demand for cleaner ingredients, that side of the business is evolving. We can find cleaner replacements for those ingredients. So I want our customers to know that our performance based ingredients are the same, our products will still perform in the way that they performed. Its this other stuff that we are able to switch out as the industry evolves.

Raquel:Right, and this other stuff, would you say that it is obviously the most challenging part of the process? Because obviously you guys already incorporated natural ingredients that have helped for the performance, but the most difficult part is finding the stabilisers or finding these ingredients that can replace the other ingredients I guess. That’s the most challenging part.

Maya:It really doesn’t have anything to do with what your delivering to the customer. Its just kind of the glue that holds it all together. So particularly if your going to be a performance based brand, those ingredients, you know they can loose their efficacy over time if they are not formulated the right way, right? So not having the right stabiliser or the right preservative, doesn’t just mean that your product is going to grow mould, it just means that those very powerful performance based ingredients that you have put in there over time might not be as powerful. And that is not something that you would ever know as a customer right, because if it doesn’t start to smell bad, or change colour or grow mould, then you don’t realise it. But what is secretly happening is over time those ingredients are becoming less effective. So because of our commitment to performance, we want to make sure that everything is stabalised properly, and that everything, you know the first pump out of that airless jar is just as potent as the last pump. These are things that are particularly challenging for us. We just want to make sure to deliver a high performing product that stays a performing product though out its life.

Raquel:Yeh definitely. What can we expect from CircCell in the future?

Maya:So a continued dedication to innovation, products that really work, products that you really love and that you want to repurchase over and over again. So again just the fundamental elements in our DNA and we will continue to deliver that. And if I can just make one other comment about our ability to be performance based, so many other brands start out wanting to be natural or wanting to be clean and you know were going to perform, right, so with that kind of, and when they go to the formulator and they go we fundamentally want to be natural so then to that formulator there are a whole category of ingredients that are not going to be included. We kind of did it backwards, so we said we want to be performance based first, so let figure out what we need to be as performance based as possible, and then that’s a great first draft, you know formulator, but now all these ingredients, we don’t want them. So keep the performance part, but lets find a way to  make this formulation make sense that doesn’t include these ingredients. Kind of a very fine distinction, but it does change the level of performance that you deliver when you approach formulating that way instead of starting off wanting to be natural. Does that make sense?

Raquel:Yeh that definitely makes sense. And I can see the vision for that and why it is important to you and CircCell and your customers, and it sounds absolutely amazing. Can you tell us, obviously you mention before, you started CircCell as a need for your new environment. Can you tell us one of your top beauty tips for your customer or for anyone listening to Clean Chat?

Maya:Yes! For me because of where I live and because if our lifestyle, its really hard for me to think about beauty and to not think about nature. And being outside in nature everyday, taking a walk, or riding your bike or doing something more extreme, to me is my number one beauty tip. The fresh air and the exercise and that time, some times with a group of friends or  sometimes by yourself, clears your head, brings fresh air into your lungs. To me its almost a mood stabiliser and that’s my number one beauty tip. Go outside and be in nature everyday.

Raquel:Such a great idea and you have been a very inspiring business woman. Could you tell us one of your top business tips you give to a brand that’s looking to enter the industry?

Maya:Yeh, be very careful about who you partner with. You know early on make sure that you choose the right people. Partnerships are easy to make, can happen very quickly in a moment, but they are very difficult to unwind. So for example, switching manufactures is really hard, and you can say that about every single entity, support group that you work with. So really take the time upfront to make sure your finding the right partners. Ask for references, do your homework, talk to customers because that saves you a lot of time in the long run. Again save your time upfront so you don’t have to change your decision later.

Raquel:I think that is a great idea and no one has said that but it is so important because people don’t realise so much energy goes into, like you said its so easy to make a partnership but dissolving that partnership is such a challenging and time consuming and energy you know sucking task, so thanks for that. So last but not least, we talked about your plans for CircCell and your next moves, how can people get a hold of your products?

Maya: In the EU you can find us on

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MEET THE FOUNDER 

Wellness, gratitude and self care are conversations that are becoming more and more mainstream. But that wasn’t always the case. On Clean Chat this week, we talked to Laura McCann, one of the wonderful co-founders of Adoratherapy. Over the past 30 years as an entrepreneur, she has had experience in the fashion industry, in business consulting and coaching and digital marketing. I’m sure you will all agree that this demanding and fast paced working environment is a real challenge and Laura was looking for some simple tools to help her day to day. 

Not being an expert in essential oils herself, she met Adoratherapy co-founder and formulator, Adora Winquist who gave her some beautiful essential oil perfumes to try. Laura saw huge potential in the work Adora was doing and their relationship developed from a mentor and advisor, to an angel investor, to today where they are co-founders of the rebranded Adoratherapy. 

THE ADORATHERAPY PRODUCTS 

What we really love is the way Adoratherapy caters for those who don’t have the time to become an expert in essential oils, but still want to experience the benefits of using the oils in their inner beauty practices. Adoratherapy simplifies that process by creating these complicated blends for you, but naming them after exactly how you want to feel when using it. 

Adoratherapy carries 3 collections of mood boosts. The ‘Gal On The Go Mood Boost’ is a spray perfume for women with an active lifestyle, which includes scents such as awake, seductive and peaceful. The scents in the ‘Chakra Boost’ collection are roll ons intended to open up your chakras, with scents including vitality, joy and creativity. And finally the ‘Room Boost’ is for those times where you need a room of people to shift with you, with scents including serene, abundance and passion

IN THIS EPISODE 

In this episode we chat about the importance of self care and focusing on your own inner beauty – wearing a particular scent because of how it makes you feel, rather than the outer beauty of how you appear to others. Laura also gives a really important piece of advice for fellow founders or anyone listening who is thinking about starting their own entrepreneurial journey. Running your own business is not for the faint hearted and it is really a journey of personal exploration and transformation. 

Thanks again to Laura for being our guest on Clean Chat this week. Laura also took part in a Facebook Live session over in our group this week where she shared her experiences in seeking funding – click here join the group and check out Laura’s live session as well as tonnes of other helpful resources. Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript… 

Raquel: Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto the Clean Chat podcast.

Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on Laura, the founder of Adoratherapy. Adoratherapy is an all natural aromatherapy company and with Adoratherapy you can boost your mood anytime, anywhere, all naturally. So you can transform your mood in the moment by setting your intentions, through breath and connection with the limbic system, anchor new thoughts and see your mood transform and come to life. So I am very excited to hear more. Laura can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started Adoratherapy?

Laura:Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast today, I am so excited anytime I have the chance to talk about why I want to be in this particular business and not all the other things that I have done or could be doing. Its very exciting to me. I have been an entrepreneur for over the last 30 years, I started my first business when I was in my twenties. And I’m sure many of the other indie brand owners can relate to this but having a business is obviously extremely challenging and very demanding. And when I started my first business I was a young mother, I had kids, I lived in New York City, I had to commute. I worked in the fashion industry and very high paced, and it was like you know a real challenging time in my life. And I really never had the tools to help me in my day to day. When I started out yoga wasn’t big and gratitude wasn’t big and all these things that now are available to people around transformation and self care were really not the conversation that we had. So I was always looking for ways to shift how I felt because I didn’t always feel the way I wanted to feel and I met up with Adora Winquist, the chief formulator for Adoratherapy. And Adora is a healer and a aromatherapist and she had created these incredible, beautiful essential oil perfumes that were so lovely and so fantastic and she gave me a bunch of them. And we became friends and I was mentoring her and I was like ‘oh my gosh I totally love the idea of using these products in my daily ritual of beauty but I really have no idea how to, I don’t understand all the oils, I don’t understand what works with what’. So how do we take this which I get that if you are maybe more of a wellness consumer or someone who is really into natural products, you’ll go through the effort of figuring it out but me as a department store beauty customer or a Sephora customer, I was not getting it. We actually partnered to create Adoratherapy to really mainstream the conversation around how essential oils can be used in other things other than like a diffuser or as a therapeutic type of product, to augment and supplement the beauty practice and really focus on inner beauty, which to me is all about breath. I always found that I do not breathe, I am a shallow breather. I run on adrenaline and energy. And really taking that deep breath into my self is something that was always a challenge. And I found that this is really adding flavour to your water. If you breathe and you smell these beautiful, formulated, intentional oils that are designed for specific moods you can now actually take a different kind of breath and that use that throughout the day so when you need it most it is there for you.

Raquel:That is amazing. Actually I love that. And before you learned how to breathe, who taught you that sort of, what is the best way to breathe and how to go about using certain aromatherapy fragrances for that?

Laura:Well the first time I really found out I didn’t know how to breathe was when I went to do, its actually called rebirthing. It’s a breathing technique that allows you to breathe very deeply, kind of in a yoga breath and takes you through a process of going back through different things you might of experienced as a child that you need to clear. And I found that the breathing actually hurt and it burned and until I learnt how to breathe I really couldn’t do the yoga breathe or anything. But when I would do that I would get to a different stage. Then you know I learned over the years how to do more of a practice around meditation and breath and that breathing has developed. But in my day to day I don’t access it, its not easy for me to access. I get caught up in the moment. So you know when we tell people to breathe our products, first of all if your trying to breathe this way and your using the wrong formula or essential oil or perfume, your not going to have a great experience. Perfume isn’t meant to be breathed this way, it burns it has chemicals and additives. But an essential oil that is not diluted the right way can cause all types of irritation and sensitivity. So the magic is really in having the perfect blend that as you breathe it in is really adding to the breathe and because it might be jasmine or rose or gardenia or sandalwood or blends of different things its really going to take you to an experience you might have had. We all have these moments, I was reading something today, you know when you smell jasmine and you’ve travelled to India and it takes you back there, or you smell cinnamon it reminds you of the holidays. So the oils when they are really formulated the way Adora did it, they really do have the ability to anchor into a part of your brain and through breathe and adding intention which , I want to feel more like this, you actually have the ability to focus more on breath and it’s a powerful tool. So we call that scent with intent or perfume with purpose. Because its not just about outer beauty, spraying on and I come in a room and you smell me and you go, oh Laura you smell fantastic, I love what you’re wearing. its really about me putting it on, me breathing, me saying you know what right now I want to feel beautiful. So we have a product called beautiful, I put it on and I feel beautiful. Or my dog barks during an interview and I go oh my god I need to destress, let me put some tranquillity on (laughter)! All the products are either in my purse or in my vanity in the morning or I have them also in the office and I use them all the time to design the mood I want to be in.

Raquel:That is awesome. Scent with intent. And its funny that you mention that because I have always known that there were ways that you can use scent in good ways, like for example when I was in uni or my undergrad, when I was studying for a certain test they would say use a particular scent and you will remember it when you take the test. So study with a certain scent around you and then smell it right before you go into an exam and it will remind you. And its kind of doing that but with intention, positive intention which is an awesome idea.

Laura: Yeh and only oils are right for that intention. For instance, people that know this stuff and this wasn’t who I was, again its like I don’t know that lemon essential oils are great to you know trigger motivation. You know when we are sitting there looking at a formula and ingredients and saying how do you use this, okay great this is all about these certain benefits, but if you tell that benefit story in a certain way where it doesn’t make sense to someone who you know is at the beauty counter, trying to figure out what you want, you don’t have time to become an expert, okay so lets just call the product Motivation and motivation is all about shifting how you feel when your studying or taking on a new project and motivation, you know all of our products, we put an affirmation on the box, as like a starter affirmation, but of course you can find your own affirmation. So Motivation is empowered in all my experiences and we say it is for motivation, empowerment, success, energy and that has lemon, grapefruit and rosemary as the top notes. So we try to make it simple for the person using it and we have designed, so we have three collections. So one is a spray perfume and we have named it ‘The Gal On The Go Mood Boost’ and it is really for the woman who has an active lifestyle and the products there are seductive, beautiful, smart, balanced, inspired, awake, peaceful, these are all the moods women might want to feel during the day. This product is packaged in a beautiful box with illustrations that are very fashion and they are kind of dressed for those moods. Like our seductive girl has red hair and is wearing a biker jacket and our peaceful girl is all boho and purple and you know has peace jewellery on, and we make it easy – okay that’s what you want to feel, do that. And we also have ‘Chakra Boost’ collection which is really, its an oil so a rollerball, and that you apply to your chakras, and a lot of people don’t know what your chakra is, but a lot of people do yoga and they are like energy points in the body and when you work on them it will allow you to feel more in touch with yourself, and those are vitality, joy, motivation, creativity, so we really try and get all aspects of yourself. And then we said okay, sometimes what you need is the room to shift not just you, you need other people to shift too, so we have a ‘Room Boost’ collection with abundance, clearer way, which is like a smudge stick in a bottle, passion, blissful, serene. So we really are trying to create a collection of products that can be used throughout the day by someone to achieve all the different states that they want to be in and becomes leverage on themselves and a reminder to take care of yourself, to love your self which is why we play on the word Adoratherapy which is all about self care and self love and that ‘adore yourself’ tag line which is on all of our products, to really remind you that if you love yourself and really take care of yourself its like that story they say, like when the oxygen masks fall down on the plane, but yours on first. I always forget that, I’m always taking care of everybody else, but like no, take care of you and then you can take care of everybody else afterwards. And breathe, intention and the idea of manifesting and the essential oils which have their own benefits which are really wonderful ,all of that together its like to me this is a new beauty story. Its about inner beauty and not outer beauty.

Raquel:Awesome, I love that. So we have kind of touched on this in different ways. So you have the Mood Boost and then you have Chakra Boost. How are those different?

Laura:So a spray perfume, so someone who love perfume and wants to spray, that’s a great delivery for them. And then the Chakra Boost are rollerball, you cant spray, you know today, I don’t know if you have had this experience, I’ve certainly had it, like I cant wear perfume  anymore because people complain. My dad would say, don’t wear perfume around me it irritates me or you know you’ll get in an elevator and people will be like, or you will get in an elevator and smell that. I think the last time I was in New York I was in Bergdorf Goodman and I was in the perfume department because I wanted to check out all the packaging and everything and I literally had to leave because my chest was burning breathing in all the alcohol and whatever else that they put in perfume. So you know, spray is great but not always easy to use. Rollerball is great, you put it on yourself, you rub it in, you put your hands over your face and breathe it in deeply and you can also out it anywhere on your body because its got oil as a base so its great. And then the room sprays, really like a natural home fragrance. You know there are so many things today that you can buy on the market that are you know from low price to high price, from a candle to a diffuser, to you know the sticks you can do the incense. And all these things have positives and negatives, but essentially what you want is you don’t want smoke, you don’t want bacteria, if you use a diffuser you can get bacteria in your home, and your also just getting a small amount of that oil in your nose because its really just the smell that’s coming from the diffuser. And if you use room sprays and they say they are natural and organic check out that list, because there is a lot of stuff in there that is not really stuff you want to breathe in. And again that’s all about the room not you.

Raquel:Awesome that’s a great tip actually is that a lot of times these companies say that they are natural and they are not. What are some things that listeners could look out or so that they could know that things are truly natural?

Laura: Well anything that you cant say or pronounce (laughter), but really you know I know this is a great clean beauty conversation for us what clean means is really nothing you don’t need so making an essential oil product and mixing them for a spray delivery which usually requires something as a fixative is a very challenging thing from a chemistry perspective. And we made the decision that we are only going to use oil, our essential oils, water, so we use distilled water, and of course we have all made salad dressing right so when you try and mix water and oil, what happens? You get these globby things and it doesn’t mix very well. So in order to make that mix we have done a lot of research and we have found very clean emulsifiers that allow you to get the, you know the water and oils to really blend beautifully so you don’t get that cloudy thing going on or different colours and you don’t get the oil rising to the top and you have to shake it every time you use it. So we have made sure to use ingredients that are only on clean lists like Whole foods and Credo, where the customers are most stringent, looking to sell a completely clean product. And the only other thing with a water based solution is you do need a preservative. We only use something that is the most natural. And then dosing all of this so you still have the benefit is key. So for us, you know you cant eat our product, you can put it on your skin and you can breathe it in and nothing bad will happen. As a matter of fact the CEO of a very large distributor, who is one of our big customers called me this week and said, I’m in love with your product, I cant wear perfume anymore and I don’t like perfume it irritates me, and I am using every single one of your products and I am so excited. As a matter of fact she’s so excited that we are having a huge launch with this distributor in the next few months because of this. And that’s because of how clean our ingredients are.

Raquel:Sounds fabulous! We love the idea of the different Mood Boosts, Chakra Boosts and Room Boosts. And you can obviously have your own intentions towards whichever one you want. Speaking of which, could you tell us what is your best beauty tip for our listeners?

Laura:Oh boy! So I am a minimalist and I prefer to use only the most simple methods. So for me its sleep, eating right, getting the right amount of exercise. Those are the foundational tips. And then for myself I sometimes wear makeup but I don’t wear makeup much anymore and a cream on my face which is all natural and very healthy. So I don’t use nail polish anymore, I really try and stay away from different things. I’m over 50, I have started feeling those life changes, and everything could give me a reaction I want to stay away from. So clean beauty really is a lifestyle of making clean decisions in everything you do.

Raquel:And could you tell us out of al the different types of products that you carry, what is your most popular product and why you think it is that way?

 

Laura:I think our top product that people love is called Joy. And Joy is a roll on and it has gardenia, rose and jasmine and smells fantastic, is very florally and it opens up your heart chakra. And I think we are also bombarded by our lives, the media, by all this negativity and we often shut our hearts down as we feel too much, especially as women I think we feel everything and Joy allows you to really open your heart back up. But you are choosing to do it because you don’t just be open all the time anywhere, its really a choice. I think that’s why that..

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Our special guest on Clean Chat this week is logistics expert Rachel Whittaker, founder of Indie Beauty Delivers. Whenever we asked anyone from the beauty community if they knew an expert in logistics, they always said Rachel. We knew she would be the perfect match to collaborate with us by creating a webinar called ‘5 Top Tips To Help You Outsource Your Logistics’, and bringing so much value to our community of clean beauty founders through an interview on Clean Chat and a Facebook Live in our group ‘The Clean Hub Members Club’. 

A BIT ABOUT RACHELS BACKGROUND 

But first, a little bit about Rachel and how she founded Indie Beauty Delivers. Rachel has worked in the logistics sector for over 15 years. Before starting out on her own with Indie Beauty Delivers, she managed the domestic and international logistics for some really huge companies, giving her the opportunity to learn an awful lot. But her passion always stayed with smaller independent brands and brands who weren’t getting the same opportunities to benefit from a wealth of logistics knowledge and skills. So, over three years ago, Rachel quit her ‘corporate day job’ and began her journey with Indie Beauty Delivers. 

WHAT IS INDIE BEUATY DELIVERS? 

Rachel’s stand out service is the warehouse match. Rachel goes into detail about the full consultancy service she offers for free(!) in this episode of Clean Chat, but in short Rachel will help you find your perfect warehouse partner and be on hand every step of the way. 

IN THIS EPISODE…

In this episode of Clean Chat, we talk about the terrifying move from corporate to starting your own business, an awesome social media tip and why its so important for brands to be thinking about their logistics plan early on. Rachel also gives an insight into what you can expect from her webinar collaboration with us, ‘5 Top Tips To Help You Outsource Your Logistics’. The webinar includes valuable tips on when is the right time to outsource and how to find the perfect partner. If you are already a Clean Hub member, click here to check it out, and if you would like access to this webinar and tonnes more, learn more about out membership program here

Thanks again to Rachel for being our guest on Clean Chat this week and for being so great to work with on our webinar collaboration! Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript… 

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Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto the Clean Chat podcast…

Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat everybody. Today we have the wonderful Rachel Whittaker from Indie Beauty Delivers. Rachel has worked in the beauty industry for over 16 years and has helped so many indie beauty founder find the inspiration to grow their beauty business. We are so lucky and excited to have her share her insights with us on the ins and outs of logistics and when to outsource them, along with her warehouse match service. So we are going to dive into that today. But first Rachel, well first thank you very much for coming on Clean Chat, but can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started Indie Beauty Delivers.

Rachel:God yeh, well thank you very much for letting me be a part of its, its absolutely brilliant, So yeh the reason I started indie beauty Delivers was I guess because I worked with really big corporate beauty brands for a very long time, for around about 13 or 14 years. And I had been responsible for a lot of their international as well as domestic logistics and I really enjoyed that and learnt an awful lot. But part of that experience also got me involved in some of the more independent and start up brands. And I enjoyed working with them more is the honest truth (laughter), because I felt that the value that my skills and knowledge could add to their business was far more than working with those big corporate internationals who can afford to employ you know incredible people with incredible talent. I saw that there was a real opportunity and there were real opportunities missed and lost by the smaller brands and the more because they couldn’t access that level of knowledge. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know about the logistics side of their business. And I just thought that was a real place where I could add some value and you know I love independent business, I am fanatical about independent business, whether its beauty or anything else. So being able to work in that sector and really boost this massive growth of independent businesses at the moment was really really important to me. And I am luck enough to get the opportunity to give up the big day job (laughter) the corporate day job and launch my own business. I count myself very lucky in that.

Raquel:Awesome and can you tell us a little bit about Indie Beauty Delivers?

Rachel:Yeh so Indie Beauty Delivers, gosh, its my complete and utter passion. I have built it up over the last 3 and a half years now. And its really a community and I’m really proud of that. I work with beauty entrepreneurs from all over the world in lots of different ways through all the different aspects of the community. So there’s a Facebook group, there’s Instagram, there’s my weekly blogs, there’s the blogs that go on my website as well, plus the products I offer to brands. It’s really important that it’s a community and it’s a place where beauty entrepreneurs can come and hang out, ask questions and meet other beauty entrepreneurs, you know it’s a great place to be. And I thoroughly enjoy then being able to offer my sort of services and expertise to as many people as I possibly can through those channels.

Raquel:Awesome. And moving from a larger corporate company like you did, to starting your own business is a common path that a lot of beauty founders do. Can you tell us a little about your experience making that transition? And how do you motivate yourself, I know its tough (laughter).

Rachel: Yeh I know, your telling me! And this is one of the reasons I love working with the indie beauty entrepreneurs. People are actually on the same journey. Were on different levels of that journey and different stages of that journey but were all having to face that challenge of ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to leave my day job as I call it, my old job, my proper job and go into something new’. And it was totally terrifying, to be honest with you. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. I had an idea, I had a dream and I have had to teach myself and invest time and energy into teaching myself lots of different skills. And luckily there are things like social media marketing and blogging and thigs like that I absolutely loved it the moment I started doing it, so that’s good. Given that platform to, and I’m always saying this to the guys in the and the ladies that I work with, is that were so lucky to live in this world now where we have access to this incredible social media world, we can talk to people anywhere, and it costs us nothing apart from our energy and our enthusiasm. But we can build a business and I think we are really lucky to be around that now. So yes, it was a struggle, it was hard (laughter) but I have loved every minute of it but yeh I live and feel it and I understand what every body is going through out there, definitely.

Raquel:Yeh definitely. And I feel like social media is the hardest part and why? I know you said its free!

Rachel: And the other thing about it, you can just be yourself! People over complicate social media so much and I’m sure you see this. The more experience you have doing it the more  relaxed you get. And then you suddenly think, oh my gosh I’m more relaxed, I’m more natural, I’m more me, and its working better! So its just about, its free but it also allows you to just be yourself and just you know express yourself and your passion. So it’s a fabulous tool we have available definitely.

Raquel:Yeh definitely. So now lets talk about your exciting and fabulous collaboration with The Clean Hub. And we were so excited to work with you. Every time we asked somebody does anyone know an expert in logistics, everyone said Rachel Whittaker. Like I had to talk to her. So you know the ins and outs of logistics really well and you have a service, the warehouse matching service. Why do you think it is so important for small indie beauty brands to think about outsourcing their logistics early on?

Rachel:I think its fundamentally one of the key aspects that beauty brands need to build their business on. Because your ability to fulfil that customer journey and the ability to get your incredible products that you’ve invested your time developing and to get them out to your customers is actually one of, is probably the key point in your business. And whether that’s your own customers, sort of ecommerce customers, or whether that’s sort of big retailers that your working with or independent retailers, they are all your customers. So being able to have the infrastructure behind you that allows you to do your amazing products justice and also scale when you need to is really important. Which is why logistics are really important. Whether you outsource your logistics or whether you keep your logistic in house, I always say whether you do a Pai or a Paul, a Pai Skincare or a Paul Smith, they will, that’s going to be a choice that you have to make as a brand owner, and there’s no right or wrong in that. If you do choose to, the benefits of outsourcing I think, is you can then focus your skills down on what your really good at. Because its complicated and you will inevitably, if you decide to keep it in house, will have to recruit people with you in that function. You can’t do everything. So I think as a founder, you have to strategically look at where the best options are to outsource. And logistics is definitely one of those because you are buying in that expertise then and you are sort of bolting on a logistics team to your business at a much cheaper cost than employing one yourself.

Raquel:Yes, definitely. And can you tell our listeners an insight into what they can expect from the webinar.

Rachel:Oh yes the webinar! So in the webinar I go through my sort of 5, I would say they are my 5 top tips but each one probably contains a few, I always do that! So there are 5 top things that you really need to be thinking about if you are going to be outsourcing your logistics. So we are looking at sort of the benefits of outsourcing for instance. We are looking at sort of how you can start that process because when you think about it, you know you can say we’ve made up our mind, we are going to employ a warehouse or a third party to sort out all our logistics for us, let start to do that! But its like where do you start? You can’t just go and google, it doesn’t spit out the answer!

Raquel:I tried that (laughter)!

Rachel: So you get to lots of different information coming at you and its really hard to filter it through. So I give you top tips on maybe how to get started and how to make a move on that. And I talk about things that will help you make the decision and fine tune that process. Things like accreditations. Lots of warehouses have lots of accreditations so you know if you look for those you know your getting some kind of seal of quality. I’ve got a few bits on there, I’ve got tonnes of resources that I’ve left in there for you as well to just download. But it is really just giving you the essential things you need to help you out to make that decision to outsource and then how to go about doing that outsourcing.

Raquel:And what is one aspect that you find is the biggest challenge that beauty brands encounter? Or what would you see as the biggest challenge?

Rachel:Yeh, I mean there are a couple. One of the biggest challenges is that if you are entirely new to warehousing, and you know you may have come from another company and launched your own company so of had some experience of working with warehouses. But if you haven’t, you know this is the dream and the path that your going down and you haven’t had that experience it is like when you go into any other new industry. There is a whole new language and your not entirely sure what people are talking about or even what the words mean. And then people are giving you prices and you like what are they charging me for and how does that physically relate to what they do everyday. So it is just like entering into another world just like any industry. The people that work in that industry just yabber on because they’re used to things and they sometimes forget that sometimes maybe people aren’t at the same place. So I always say that the services that I provide in that area around warehousing and logistics, I’m like that interpreter between the world of logistics and the world of beauty because sometimes the logistics guys need a little bit of interpretation as well because they’re not up on the trends necessarily. They are very up on the logistics side. So I kind of act as that intermediary and help get to grips and understand what they are getting, what they should expect to get and what it should cost in real terms.

Raquel:Exactly, perfect. It’s going to be so helpful. And the information that you provide and the warehouse matching service, its based in the UK but you can help anyone in the world essentially find a UK warehouse?

Rachel: Yeh, yeh that’s right. So if you are here in the UK and looking for your first warehouse, or perhaps you’re a brand who is already established and your thinking I’m not in the right warehouse, then I can help you. If you’re an international brand, and your looking to do work with retailers or ecommerce clients over here in the UK or Europe then yeh I can help you to find the right place for that as well.

Raquel: Awesome and can you tell us about the customer journey for that. So you have learned all the do’s and don’ts, the benefit that Rachel has given to you and now you want to use the warehouse matching service. How does that work?

Rachel:Well you get in contact and basically it’s a full consultancy service for you. So its one of my favourites actually, its really great. It means that your sort of on your way. Brands come to me and say I want a warehouse or I want to change my warehouse and I say yes! It means your dreams are really coming true so that’s the best point for me. And what I do is I will spend some time with you talking about your brand because what’s really important when your are looking for a warehouse is that you understand yourself where your going. Because every warehouse is different and they have different services that they can offer you. So understanding whether you’re a brand that’s committing to a ecommerce, a direct to consumer model is really important. Maybe you are actually only going down the route of working with major high street retailers or department stores or maybe your doing a bit of both, or maybe your wanting to export in the future. So we do a really good piece of work together where we work out all those details. And we also look at your current volumes and your predicted volumes. And I will pull together for you a profile of your business and I will then take that out to the warehouses that fit your needs and I work with lots of different warehouses that are all very different with slightly different services. And I will go and sell you to that warehouse. Its really really important to remember that it is as much, you’ve got to impress those warehouses when you want to. And when you go out and do these, you must impress warehouses, especially when your and independent brand and you don’t have a lot of volume behind you, they will invest in you and be excited to work with these brands. But they need to see your passion and your energy and your plans and your knowledge and your professionalism. I’ll do all that with you. Then I will bring back the tariffs for you,  which is really really hard. So we will go through that and we will model up some costs so you have a rough idea of what your doing. And then we can choose which warehouses you want to go and visit and I will meet you at those warehouses. So I will come down and meet you for a tour, the warehouse shows us round and tells us what its all about. And then I keep working with you all the way through that process to help you make the decision and help you understand what we’ve talked about. And when you have made your decision I will help you to prepare to move your self to that warehouse. So I will literally hold your hand from start to finish through that process and make sure your in the right place long term not just right now.

Raquel:That sounds amazing (laughter)!

Rachel:It is, I love it!

Raquel: That is a great service. I think that, I will keep you in mind if ever that happens for me!

Rachel: Exactly>

Raquel:That’s an amazing service. Because what I think is funny about what you mentioned earlier is like what do you do when your looking to outsource, do you Google? I Googled and you just don’t know, it’s a whole different world. Yeh work with someone that knows. And this service is free or the initial consultation is free, right?

Rachel:Yeh if you’re a UK brand then the service is entirely free. I haven’t no charge on this at all, this is something that I offer free of charge. International brands there is a small charge because it is a tiny bit more complicated for you. But it’s a tiny tiny charge.

Raquel: That is amazing! Well thanks for people like you Rachel.

Rachel: Yeh, its important because I saw from my history of working in the industry for so long on the logistics side, its difficult for independent brands and start up brands to find the right warehouse and people who will invest in them. Because everyone is trying to make money and if you haven’t got any evidence of your volumes and stuff it can be really hard to outsource that kind of thing. So I work with warehouses as well, I do a lot of consultancy for them and help them understand all about what’s happening in indie beauty, where its going, who are the brands that are coming up, I do a lot of training with them. But it then just makes it the perfect match because your getting warehouses who are completely experienced in beauty, that already work with beauty brands, your buying in all that knowledge and I can just match you up. So it really is a great service.

Raquel:That is a great service. And we were really excited Rachel is doing a Facebook Live in our Facebook Group ‘The Clean Hub Members Club’, on Wednesday but it will stay in there forever so check that out. And where could people find more information on your services Rachel if they wanted to reach you?

Rachel:Yes you can go to my website which is

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Our guest on Clean Chat this week is the fabulous Flora, founder of Selia & Co. Selia & Co produces products that nourish your skin using ingredients in their purest and most potent forms. There are no signs of harsh chemicals, artificial preservatives, parabens or sulphates, because as Flora says, your skin deserves better than that. 

Flora started working on clean skincare products four years ago and officially launched Selia & Co last year. She was uniquely inspired by her two biggest passions; skincare and tea. Cleansing and moisturising our skin is considered daily maintenance and for most using face masks would be considered something extra. However, Flora’s family have always emphasised the importance of masking and the abilities it has to treat your skin. They even have a family tradition of masking together every week! 

Flora’s other passion is tea and its wonderful properties such as being filled with nutrients and antioxidants. Flora decided that she wanted to harness these properties in their most potent form so we can get the full benefits of its ingredients. Therefore, she created a range of face masks, each focusing on a different tea and each benefiting our skin in different ways. The Peppermint Green Tea Mask, for example, is a brightening mask which specifically targets dark spots and blemishes (along with having a divine and relaxing scent). Her other masks are the healing Lavender and Black Tea Mask and the exfoliating Rose and Rooibos Tea Mask

Another product from Selia & Co that I was really curious about was the Jasmine Green Tea Facial Steam. When I asked Flora, she opened my eyes to a whole new masking routine that I cant wait to try. Flora recommends that to get the most benefit from using your face masks and to help your skin absorb the formula, you should steam your face first! It really detoxes your skin and opens up your pores in preparation for applying the mask. 

Finally in this episode, Flora chats through her advice to fellow clean beauty founders, or anyone who is thinking about starting their own business. She says, despite the taboo in our culture, don’t be afraid to make mistakes because thats when you will learn the most. Also, for any venture that you undertake, make sure its your passion. Along with the good times, there will always be tough ones and being super passionate about what your doing will get you through them. 

Thanks again to Flora for being our guest on Clean Chat this week. I cant wait to try the new products you have coming out soon! Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript… 

Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat! I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto the Clean Chat podcast.

Raquel:Alright, hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on Flora from Selia & Co. Selia & Co’s products are as pure as they come and they use mother natures best resources to enhance your beauty and help without the compromise. The unlock the power of natural ingredients in their rawest form, working together with healing attributes of tea and clay to leave you with healthier and happier skin. So I’m so very excited to hear from Flora, so thank you Flora for coming on the show today. Can you tell us a little about your background and why you started Selia & Co?

Flora: Sure so, Selia& Co, the reason why I started it is just to follow two of my biggest passions. One of them is skincare as when I was young, the importance of masking is really big in my family. You know realising aside from the day to day maintenance, like moisturising, but the abilities of skin treatment and masking is huge so we actually do it as a family on a weekly basis.

Raquel:Wow okay.

Flora:And then my other passion is tea and growing up tea has a lot of, you know, as everyone knows a lot of powerful antioxidants and it strong in nutrients. However I don’t feel as though I have seen any skin products out there that are potent in the concentration for the skin to benefit from it. It mostly consists of a dilution and you really don’t get the full benefit of the ingredients. So that’s why I started the line which combines two of my passions; masking and tea.

Raquel:Awesome okay. So when did you transition to living a vegan, cleaner lifestyle?

Flora:The transition is continuous I feel because as we adapt into more products or lifestyle changes then we try to find more ways to do it. For me, I started noticing ingredients, harmful ingredients in commercial products about 5 years ago. I payed more attention to the label and ingredients lists, and get a little bit more frightened, because its just the potential harm is could cause your body, no one should put that on their skin at all, or use it. So I think for me I have transitioned more towards natural oils for cleansing purposes and moisturising, just because there’s just more pure and less dilution to it. But the transition is continuous though.

Raquel:Everyday yes, I feel like everyday I learn something new. And also there’s some products that you want to transition to but they don’t really have good options available, so I yeh.

Flora: Yeh I mean it’s a constant testing, you have to test something for a few weeks before its absolutely in your routine, so the continuous exploration.

Raquel: Yeh definitely. And so why is it important, I noticed that your brand is vegan, why is it important for you to start a vegan clean beauty brand?

Flora: So we are huge animal lovers and personally I think that animal based products doesn’t mean the ingredients are superior than plant passed products. You can get the same results if you really learn about the ingredients and give it time to shine basically. So I don’t think she should sacrifice anything that is a living being for our benefit. I don’t think that is right.

Raquel:Definitely. And so where does the name Selia & Co come from?

Flora: Ahm I love Greek Mythology and I actually named the company after Selina Goddess of the Moon.

Raquel: Ahh okay.

Flora:  So Selia is actually a variation of Selina that name just stuck with me so I named the company after it.

Raquel: Awesome. So when did you start the company?

Flora:Its quite the journey. I started the company about fours years ago, but I didn’t, I was working a job at the time, so it was a continuous learning process for me. But I didn’t launch until last year because

Raquel:Wow okay.

Flora:Yeh I didn’t launch until last year because of various things. I wasn’t quite happy with certain formulations and testing. And I just wanted to make sure it was perfect before I launched it. So my first line that I pushed out was 3 masks – I focused on green tea, black tea and rooibos tea.

Raquel: Green tea, black tea and rooibos tea.

Flora: Yeh.

Raquel:And how are they different, you know what are they meant to do for your skin?

Flora: So the first mask which is the peppermint green tea, which is our brightening mask. That really targets the softening of the dark spots and blemishes. So we use really minimal ingredients. Each product only has four ingredients, so each ingredient really has its time to shine. You’ll really get the benefit of it without any dilution. So the next mask is the lavender black tea mask which is our healing mask. The lavender naturally disinfects the pores to prevent further breakout but it also deep cleanses the pores as well its actually our finest formula.

Raquel: Wow okay. And then the rooibos. I never say that name right. Rooibos?

Floral:Oh rooibos?

Raquel: Oh is that how you say it? (laughter)

Flora:Well in the United States they say rooibos, but if you go to another place, you know its like tomato tomato.

Raquel:(laughter) I’ve made it up. I always see if I call it rooibos. Okay so.

Flora:So our rose and rooibos tea mask is actually our exfoliating mask. Rooibos tea has a natural dosage of alpha hydroxy acid which gently softens the dead skins cells and gently removes them for you without the abrasive scrubbing. And we also have organic rosehip there in the formula as well which is a non toxic version of Vitamin C. Its boosting and restoring for the skin.

Raquel: Nice. And you also have, what I find really interesting and am curious about is the jasmine tea facial steam. So what does that do for your skin and what are the components of that product?

Flora:So we actually get a lot of feedback from our customers and you know when I meet them in person they always ask me what should I do before a mask. So I always tell them, you know the best step to do is to really steam your face. To open up your pores, to really get the last bit of residue that maybe your cleanser missed and to purge your impurities before you put your mask on. So the green tea facial steam is actually the best way to detox, but it is also very hydrating with all the botanicals in there. So it has roses, lavender, calendula, camomile and orange peel as well. So it really helps boost the glow and boost the blood circulation to the skin. And right after you are done with the facial steam, then you move on with the mask which really helps your skin absorb the formula more.

Raquel:Right so its cleanse, make sure everything is out. And then you said detox with this steamer and it helps to make sure all the impurities are out and then put on the mask.

Flora: Yes correct.

Raquel:And then after that moisturise?

Flora: yeh afterwards we suggest you tone, use your toner and then moisturise.

Raquel: Nice okay. And so what are the, you kind of mentioned this before, but what are your favourite ingredients in these masks?

Flora:Well the tea itself. I think it’s the combination and thoughtfulness we out into the botanicals to combine it with. So for example the peppermint green tea formula, aside from just softening dark spots and targeting blemishes, the peppermint itself also helps to control excessive oil production for your skin so a lot of the tea masks actually have dual purposes aside from just blemishes or brightening. Because we are working with natural ingredients there’s never one benefit for one thing.

Raquel: Right.

Flora: So we always have, its like a multi benefit that you have.

Raquel:No it looks beautiful. And I am definitely going to try them. Definitely this green tea facial steam. And is this just, and this is just a question I have now from just talking to you about it. There are benefits to drinking tea, but obviously using the tea on your skin instead of drinking it has different benefits or is it just kind of similar? Is that a stupid question?

Flora: Oh not that’s not a stupid question. Well there are always ways to, I guess in the Chinese culture there’s always ways to say when you in take something there is a external absorption and an internal absorption. Because when you intake something on your skin you absorb differently, yeh you absorb differently. Yeh so that’s the concept we have in mind. So when your drinking it certainly detoxes your internal, you know it rids any internal toxins that you have. But when you apply it on your external, you know on your skin, then your skin gets detoxed as well.

Raquel:That’s awesome. Okay and my next question is so what is your best beauty tip?

Flora:Stay hydrated. Drink water but not just plain water. You know put some lemon in it and infuse it with fruits and some nutrients. Your body will absorb it better. Secondly, the next tip I have is SPF.

Raquel:SPF yeh.

Flora: It’s a must must must. And some people say a lower SPF, not saying go as high as 50 if your not going to go out, but maybe 15 or 20.

Raquel:Definitely. And what is your most popular Selia & Co skincare product and why?

Flora:Ahm my most popular right now is actually the peppermint green tea. One, is smells divine (laughter). We don’t use any artificial fragrances nor essential oils in it so its really dependent on the tea and the botanical for the aromatherapy and the relaxing sensation of it. So our peppermint green tea mask is the most popular. And its actually gentle on all skin types, it’s the mildest mildest mask.

Raquel:And how often should you be masking?

Flora:I would say at least 1-2 times a week. Just because you want to see a gradual improvement. You know week after week.

Raquel: Okay so I don’t mask enough. Okay and so you mentioned to you had this idea four years ago and you launched a year ago. Any words of advice for someone wanting to start a clean beauty brand. Is there anything you would have done differently?

Flora: I would have to say that don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a journey you know, that’s how we learn. I think we grow up in a culture where mistakes are so taboo that we don’t really learn from it or think about why we make the mistake. I think also just giving it time to listen to customers, you might be able to avoid most of the mistakes too.

Raquel:Yeh.

Flora:Yeh listen to your customers and don’t be afraid to make the mistakes and also make sure its really something you want to do. I have been asked this question several times and I always say, you now, make sure its your passion because in the long run, I mean with anything there is rough patches and smooth patches, and your passion will take you through the rough patches.

Raquel: Yeh definitely. I agree with you. So what so you see are the next steps for Selia & Co?

Flora:I’m going to have our new products launching later this month and next month. Yes so we are actually, aside from tea, we are going to extend into a little bit the ingredients in Chinese culture. We have our own in house infusions coming out in August.

Raquel: Nice.

Flora: Yeh so were very excited about that. And aside from that in a couple of weeks we are also going to be in CosmoProf in Vegas, we are excited to see and meet everyone.

Raquel:Very exciting. I cant wait to see the new products, the ones you have already are lovely. Where can people get a hold of your products or reach you if they wanted to?

Flora: So we are online right now. We have an online store. If you’re on the local market, please pay attention to our stockist list because we are working really hard to grow it. And we are also available in international markets right now. We are in Canada, were in Tasmania, Australia­­­ and Hong Kong. And we are actually seeing a lot of growth in Hong Kong so Asian customers stay tuned.

Raquel: Awesome, awesome. Okay well thank you so much Flora for coming on the show today. Its been so nice to hear about your brand and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Flora: Thank you.

Raquel: Yeh like I said we look forward to watching you grow. So thank you everyone to the Clean Chat and have a great day. Viva clean beauty.

Raquel:Thanks for listening to Clean Chat everyone. Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes. Chat soon and viva clean beauty.

The post Clean Chat – Top Masking Tips with Flora Leung, Founder of Selia & Co appeared first on The Clean Hub.

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