Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Sarah from Summer Salt Body

Welcome back to Meet the Makers! This week we are chatting to Sarah from Summer Salt Body, and I couldn’t think of a better brand to interview in the weeks after arriving back from Hawaii (take me back!).

I met the lovely Sarah a few months back at a trade fair here in Melbourne. It was lovely getting to know and chat with Sarah, it felt like we were old friends even though we had only chatted on social media before meeting. Sarah established her brand, Summer Salt Body in 2014 and it is a Melbourne based brand.

Summer Salt Body creates skincare and beauty products that are natural and vegan, and that are utterly beautiful!

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R. Hi Sarah! Thank you for taking part in Meet the Makers, I know you have a bunch on your plate so I really appreciate it.

Walk us through how you decided to start Summer Salt Body!

S. I was working as a sales rep in the health food industry and became very inspired by the people I would meet everyday who all owned their own businesses. I am passionate about natural remedies and so started creating products and selling them at local markets. It grew from there as we gained stockists very quickly and after about a year I quit my job and took Summer Salt Body full-time.

R. That’s amazing you were able to grow the brand significantly in a year, what an achievement. As the business grows what does a typical day look like for you?

S. I head to the factory in the morning then make a start on emails/ orders/ invoices ect. The courier arrives to pick up all the orders for the morning then we start production of any product low in stock. We have a great little team who work so hard to get everything done.

R. I would think the most important thing in small business is having a supportive and capable team around you so it’s great to hear you have got that. 

What would you say is the biggest challenge in business?

S. Keeping up with everything all at once! As the business grows it becomes harder and harder to keep track of everything at the same time. That’s when you need to start employing people and delegating a lot of work which I find very hard to do.

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R. It’s a challenge isn’t it as you want to balance what you have, cash flow, staff, timeframes – the list goes on!

In business and in life, when a challenge or a tricky task occurs how do you tackle it?

S. There are always challenges in business. I try to step back from it and find a solution. It’s very easy to get swept up in a challenge and let it worry or stress you in some way. All you can do is accept it, find a solution and move forward.

When I find myself over thinking things I try to have a bath and a herbal tea surrounded by crystals, candles and relaxing music. Another thing that’s always good is to get back to nature. Take yourself to the beach and watch the waves roll in or go for a walk in the forest. You’ll always feel rejuvenated and you’ll realise the thing that was worrying you wasn’t really that bad at all.

R. Yes! I think removing yourself, by taking a step back helps immensely. It can help clear the head so you can think of a solution and move forward.

I mentioned above you focus on natural and vegan products, why is this important to your brand?

S. We only source the highest quality natural, vegan friendly & organic ingredients. It’s really important to us that we only use these types of plant-based ingredients in our products which all serve a purpose in nourishing the skin. Anything you put on your skin goes straight into your bloodstream so it’s extremely important to stay away from synthetic or toxic ingredients. This relates to everything you use.

R. This is why I love the products coming from Australian Makers, the awareness around what we put on our skin and how important it is to choose natural products. I love that consumers have access to these wonderful ingredients.

What’s next for Summer Salt Body?

S. We’ve been very busy creating new products in the lead up to Christmas this year! We have just launched a range of Face & Body Oils infused with 24K Gold, Wild Flowers and Crystals as well as crystal infused mists and Crystal Face & Body Rollers. I have a bit of an obsession with crystals so there may even be a few new crystal inspired products launching soon.

I’ve also had a lot of requests for mens and baby products so this will be something to think about in 2019.

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R. I absolutely love the Body Oil, I actually have it packed already for Hawaii. It smells like heaven!

What would you say to someone who is considering starting their own small business?

S. If you’re passionate about anything then just start! I always hear people saying that they want to start something but can’t because of this or that. For me this business started out as a hobby and I never dreamt it would be as big as it is today. You may need to juggle a new business with full-time work but if you just start and put time into it then it will grow and eventually you may be working for yourself full time instead!

R. Oh Sarah, it’s so true. I often say this to people, just start! I wish I had started years ago, but I could find a reason why. I look back and think, I should have just done it, made mistakes, learnt from them. It’s the only way!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

S. I am constantly inspired by the people around me. Wether it be other business owners, successful athletes or someone busking on the street. I absolutely love seeing people follow their passion and it really inspires me to be a better person myself.

R. Very true, inspiration is all around us. Our time here is so short, I love seeing those around me taking risks to get the life they want. 

What are your thoughts on purpose and gratitude?

S. I think it’s really important that everyone feels they have a purpose in life. I am really passionate about the things I believe in. I don’t know that I’ve found my purpose but I think it changes depending on what stage you are in your life. Right now I’ve got a little one year old girl and another baby due very soon. I just want to provide the best life I can for my little ones and give them lots of different experiences that this world has to offer.

I always try to remind myself of how lucky I am in this life. There are always things to be grateful for. I try to go to sleep each night with a thought of gratitude in mind. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting more or never being satisfied with what you have. This isn’t a bad thing as it keeps you motived to keep working hard but it’s definitely important to step back from time to time and appreciate what you’ve accomplished and what experiences you’ve gained. It’s not about material possessions and I really believe that less is more.

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R. It’s such a fine line with material possessions. I’m struggling with that a little at the moment as I head to Hawaii. I absolutely love Sephora, but do I really need the stuff I want to buy there? Would I be better doing a boat cruise or snorkelling adventure – it’s a tough one!

As it is #selfcaresunday, any self-care tips you would like to share?

S. Self care should be practised everyday and it can be as simple as accepting help from others when you need it instead of overextending yourself. It could even be simply appreciating your body for how amazing it really is rather than picking out all the things you don’t like about yourself. Self care doesn’t always mean taking a relaxing bath or treating yourself to a face mask. It’s about the way you treat and talk to yourself from day-to-day. Talk to yourself as you would a friend.

R. I like that, sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. I am going to make a note to talk to myself as a friend this week and consciously keep that a the front of my mind – thank you!

What is your go to skincare or makeup product?

S. Summer Salt Body! 🙂 I pretty much only use my own products or I create something that I’m looking for. I’m all about natural remedies so I’ll never put anything on my skin that is fake or toxic.

img_7726-e1540094115894.jpgR. Amazing! I wish I could just whip something up to suit whatever I needed for my skin. That’s an achievement in itself having those skills!

Thank you again for joining us Sarah, best of luck with the new Bub and the Christmas rush!!

You can read more about Sarah on the Summer Salt Body website located here www.summersaltbody.com and via Instagram here @summer__salt

Enjoy your Sunday lovelies!

Renee
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skincare

Product Review – Olive Oil Skincare Company

I love meeting new Australian brands and was introduced to Olive Oil Skincare Company  roughly a month ago when they were extremely kind and sent over 2 products for me to try and review for you all.

Olive Oil Skincare Company is located in Sydney, Australia and you can purchase their products via their website oliveoilskincare.com.au and in selected Priceline stores.

All products contain 100% Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and are free from additives, palm oil, sulphates, parabens and artificial fragrance. Where products are fragranced it is with 100% pure essential oils.

The Original Soothing Balm – $19.99 AUD

Generous in size, The Original Soothing Balm has just 2 ingredients – 100% Australian Olea Europea (olive) Fruit Oil and Sorbitan Olivate. Sorbitan Olivate is an emulsifying agent found in olive oil.

This multi-use balm is perfect for chapped lips, it’s been one of my main balms I’ve reached for since receiving it. I also use a generous amount on my cuticles and on my hands just before bed. This is extremely hydrating and provides a moisture boost to dry, chapped lips.

Other uses are chaffed skin such as nappy rash, dry elbows and heels.

Cleansing Oil – $24.99 AUD

Beautifully packaged with a handy dropper to provide just the right amount of oil, this Cleansing Oil is perfection! It is lightly scented with notes of Orange, Cedarwood and Bergamot essential oils.

The texture is a light oil which rubs easily into the skin and works to remove makeup effortlessly. When water is applied, it turns milky and easily washes off from the skin.
When using this to remove makeup, I like to cleanse twice with this to ensure all of my make up is removed.

My only feedback is I wish it was bigger! I really enjoy using it and will be repurchasing this!

I’ve enjoyed using both the Cleansing Oil and Soothing Balm so much. They are both two beautiful products made with pure Australian ingredients.

I’m looking forward to picking up the Face Wash next however right now I’m off to pop some of the Soothing Balm on my lips as they are a little chapped!

Enjoy!
Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Sydney Makers Meet Up

On Friday, I hosted a lovely lunch with some beautiful Sydney based beauty makers at the Grounds of Alexandria. When I say hosted, I really didn’t do much as the moment everyone arrived magic just happened. I loved that it was intimate enough that everyone got to chat with each other, that at one point Louella whipped out some products for a little demo and that there were so many smiles to be seen.

A special thank you to Davroe and Malie Organics for sending over some surprise goodies for the ladies! They loved them!

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The Grounds are a beautiful place to meet, there is so much to look at and to talk about. Kevin Bacon has left the building but they had the cutest little piggy in his place!

I loved seeing the spring blooms everywhere against the lush green backdrop – so beautiful!!

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Of course I started with a cocktail, it was called a Garden Pavlova – oh boy! It was so yummy with Gin and St Germain the free dried raspberry was a treat!

The Grounds also still had some left over Halloween decorations which was fun to see, I love the styling of this place. They know how to do events!

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After lunch we enjoyed some vegan ice-blocks which were perfect as it was so hot once the sprinkler system shut down! This was the tropical ice-block with kiwi, raspberry and blueberries!

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I thought for this Meet the Makers, it’s a day late – I’m on Hawaii time, I would recap the day and who came along to celebrate all things beauty!

The beautiful Makers included Louella from Kiss Ready Lips, Polly from Sage Cosmetics, Louise from Devine Oils, Sara from Mermaid Cove Organics and Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty. My Mum also came along.

All of these beautiful ladies have been so gracious with their time, taking part in my Meet the Makers series. So I thought for this week, we will also recap on their interviews!

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The Makers!

Starting with Sara, my was my first ever Meet the Maker interview. This beautiful lady has gone from strength to strength since opening her online store, Mermaid Cove Organics. Specialising in small-batch products from green beauty makers such as Herbs & Heart, Black Robin and Ili Skincare, Sara has now launched her own face oil range too. It was so lovely to finally meet in person!

You can read Sara’s Meet the Maker interview here.

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The beautiful Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty and I hit it off! We have built a lovely friendship online as Marisa is so supportive of all those around her. It felt like we had been friends or years.

Marisa specialises in the digital world, but blogs about beauty after hours. Just last week she launched her first e-book titled “A Bloggers Guide To Working With Brands and Agencies and is a perfect read for those new & old to the game. Marisa also runs Blogging Bootcamps, which sound amazing and something I need to take part in!

You can find Marisa’s Meet the Makers interview here.

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The beautiful Louella from Kiss Ready Lips and I have been friends now for close to a year. I met Louella at Finders Keepers Sydney, where she gave the most passionate demonstration of her products that feature Chia Seed oil.

Louella was kind enough to bring along some goodies for me to try, her new Skin Veil and the very stunning Glowing Dawn Body Oil. With a quick demonstration of the oil that left everyone in awe, friends you seriously you need to check this oil out – so shimmery!

You can find Louella’s Meet the Makers interview here.

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Beautiful Polly from Sage Cosmetics, it was so wonderful to meet you. Another soul that I’ve met, where it felt like we had been friends for ages. It was refreshing to speak with you so openly about life, motherhood, everything and anything.

I love what you and Lou are doing, running workshops to teach those how to make their own skincare products, I can’t wait to come along to one when I am in Sydney next.

You can read Polly & Lou’s Meet the Maker interview here.

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Now, the beautiful Miss Louise from Devine Oils and I did not get a photo together. How did I let this happen? Not happy Jan! Ha! It was beautiful to finally meet you Louise, such knowledge of the industry which I think is wonderful to share. I’m glad you were able to experience The Grounds, you will have to make it your new go-to place/

I also just realised I haven’t interviewed you for Meet the Makers! We will need to change that ASAP. Instead, you can read my review on the beautiful trial set from Devine Oils here.

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What I took away from the lunch, was how beautiful it was that I was able to be 100% myself. I was nervous to meet so many faces, what to say, do, act etc. The thoughts we all have when we meet new people, but I was instantly relaxed and happy.

I am so grateful to you all for joining me for lunch and sharing more about yourselves.

Truly grateful.

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Biome Skin Care

Biome is a truly gorgeous business doing some amazing things for planet earth. They sell a range of products from reusable coffee cups and straws to lunch boxes, skincare products and books.

All products listed on their website and in store are inline with their core values which I have copied below directly from the Biome website, it includes hyperlinks back to the Biome website. The strict set of core values are;

Source – www.biome.com.au

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Biome also has their own skincare range, which is where I come in! I was invited to try a selection of their products which was very kind but also very exciting! I LOVE the less is more movement – reduce, reuse, recycle!

The products all come in environmentally friendly glass packaging, which you can reuse (I’ve already got flower ideas for the 3-in-1 Skin Trio bottle).

The products are as pure as can be, they are palm oil free, cruelty free and vegan. No additives or preservatives are added and they do not contain any synthetic fragrance.

I selected the following products to review;

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Biome 100% Jojoba Oil 100ml – $22.95 AUD

I choose the Jojoba Oil as the benefits, such as acting as an antibacterial plus it is very mild, makes it perfect for the face. I picked this with removing my makeup (surprise surprise) in mind and I love that it is 100% pure.

I start by massaging the oil into my skin and around my eye area. Although this is non-greasy, I find it easiest to remove the oil from my skin with a damp cloth.

It is light on my skin and leaves it feeling smooth.

The Jojoba Oil is multi-use, you can also use this in your hair as a treatment, in the bath and also as a massage oil.

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Biome 3-in-1 Skin Trio Face Clay Normal – Seaweed, Green Clay & Spirulina – $39.95 AUD

Not only can you use the 3-in-1 Skin Trio as a mask on #selfcaresunday (or any day!), it can also be used as a cleanser when mixed with castile soap or as an exfoliator when mixed with a hydrosol.

I enjoy using this as part of my weekly masking session. I am obsessed with the ingredients! Seaweed provides nourishment, the Green & Yellow Clay draws out impurities while the Spirulina acts to stimulate the skin. Gentle pumice stone powder acts as an exfoliant. Plus it smells like the ocean – delicious.

Never let a clay mask dry completely as it will pull on your skin when you remove it. This is where one of the Biome Hydrosol’s come in handy! I love to spritz around 3 minutes into the mask with the Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile to provide moisture and added nutrients.

When the mask is removed with cool water (I prefer it), my skin is left feeling cool, refreshed and incredibly smooth. The ocean smell lingers but it is refreshing and not a bother.

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Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile – $27.95 AUD

What’s a hydrosol you ask? I have written about it before, it’s a fairly new term being used in Australian skincare. A hydrosol is where plants/flowers are steam distilled to create an infused floral water.

Aside from using the Hydrosol mid-mask, as mentioned above you can use this with the 3-in-1 Skin Trio to exfoliate the skin or even just to freshen your skin during the day. I enjoy the calming properties of chamomile, especially if I am feeling stressed!

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Biome Scrub + Soak Citrus Burst – $29.95 AUD

My favourite time of the week, is when I get to take a soak in the tub. Usually on a Sunday! The Scrub + Soak in Citrus Burst has been such a delight to use.

I start by sprinkling a little into the tub before I jump in, to let the Epsom salt blend into the water while Calendula and Chamomile flowers swirl around. Once I am in the tub, I place a little into my palm and massage into my skin. The inclusion of coconut sugar and oatmeal work to exfoliate the skin.

A citrus blend of essential oils works to lift my mood and makes me feel energised. So much energy in one bottle – I absolutely love it!

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In conclusion, I absolutely love the Biome range. Not only are the ingredients pure, natural, vegan and cruelty free when I use them I know I am leaving a positive footprint in the world with the sustainable packaging and naked ingredients.

I love the bright packaging that sits beautifully in the bathroom too – the photos don’t do the bright packaging justice!

For the full range, head over to http://www.biome.com.au or via Instagram at @biomestores

Let me know your thoughts if you have also used anything from the range!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – SEEH Skincare

Guys, you know I love an oil cleanser. They are my absolute favourite for removing my heavy makeup. Think waterproof eyeliner, mascara, lipstick. So when I saw the SEEH Skincare CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm in action on social media, I just knew I had to try it! I reached out to the very lovely Maker, Sophie to collaborate.

Sophie is a qualified Chemical Engineer with a passion for skin health, which is what led her on the path to creating SEEH Skincare. The range has been formulated with a bunch of Chemists in Sydney and are all natural, utilising Australian plants. SEEH Skincare also holds a PETA Certification.

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Sophie Emma Elizabeth Hanson, Maker. Photo credit – SEEH Skincare website

Currently there are two products in the range;

  • CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
  • SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish

The CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm can be used on its own as a daily cleanser with the addition of the SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish to remove dead skin cells.

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 CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm – $63.95 AUD

The Cleansing Balm is a massive 110g of solid goodness, with a little going a long way. As you work the balm into your skin you can see that it will start dissolving your makeup immediately. I love that I don’t need to work the balm into my skin which allows me to be gentle, especially around the eye area.

Lots of yummy oils have gone into this such as apricot seed oil, rosehip and olive oil. It smells absolutely divine, with the use of mandarin, orange, bergamot and lavender essential oils. It is an extremely light smell, and not overpowering.

As I mentioned above, even with regular use I can see this lasting quite sometime making it great value. I enjoy using this in the evening to remove my makeup, however this can be used both morning and night.

The SEEH Skincare website states this is suitable for all skin types especially those with sensitive or dry skin.

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SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish – $26.95 AUD

The Facial Polish is a combination of Apricot Seed & Rice powder and works in harmony to remove dead skin. The ingredients won’t harm the oceans and rivers as they are completely biodegradable.

The Exfoliating Facial Polish has been designed to be used with the Cleansing Balm. I placed a small amount of the Cleansing Balm into my palm then sprinkled the Facial Polish (only a little) over it. I then massage this into my skin in a circular motion.

The first time I used this, I was a tad too rough. I should have known better, I may have also sprinkled a little too much ha! So keep that in mind the first time you use this.

After using this, my skin feels clean and noticeably brighter. It doesn’t feel tight which I put down to the Cleansing Balm working it’s hydrating ways.

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I’ve enjoyed using both of these products, especially the Cleansing Balm as I struggle to find cleansers that are able to remove my makeup easily. I also love that this is a vegan, cruelty-free brand made in Australia.

SEEH Skincare is also involved in an amazing initiative where $1 from every purchase is donated to i=Change which provides services to assist with safe births, keeps girls in school, empowers migrants and more.

You can find the products here https://www.seehskincare.com and also via Instagram @seehskincare. Free shipping on orders over $75 and AfterPay available.

Have a wonderful week!
Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Be Fraiche

I was so excited when Helen reached out to me, through mutual introduction by our dear friend Louella from Kiss Ready Lips, and asked me to trial her Starter Kit.

I had met Helen at the 2017 Sydney Finders Keepers Market, where I was introduced to her line. The Happy Organic Girl was only 6 months young and I was still nervous to say who I was and what I was doing with my blog!

Helen was passionate, engaged and I loved hearing a little about the products. The Bean Scrub quickly drew my attention, alongside The Flower Face Cream.

Helen started Be Fraiche with her skin type in mind. Sensitive Combination skin. Struggling to find anything that worked for her, Helen took it upon herself to create a skincare line that would work but also be fun. She didn’t take this lightly either, working hard with study to increase her knowledge on the matter.

In 2015, Helen completed her Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation and Tutor Training (wow!). She also travelled to Grasse in France to learn perfumery.

What an inspiration!

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Helen has created the perfect sized Starter Kit for her Belle’s. Priced at $38 AUD, it includes everything you need to get a feel for the range.

The Starter Kit includes the following;

  • The Tea Cleanser, 50ml
  • Bean Face Scrub, 10ml
  • The Flower Face Cream, 10ml
  • Seed Face Oil, 5ml

Plus it comes in the cutest little bag that is perfect for travelling!

The Tea Cleanser
The Tea Cleanser comes in a handy pump bottle, and when pumped is a light weight foam. The Be Fraiche website mentions you can use this twice daily, I have enjoyed using it in the morning as I find it extremely refreshing.

The scent of citrus is welcoming (especially to help me wake up!).

I speak often that I require an oil based cleanser in the PM as I wear heavy make up but this would make a beautiful second cleanser.

The Bean Scrub
As I mentioned above, when I first met Helen, it was The Bean Scrub that drew me in. What was it? Was it actual beans – I was so intrigued!

Formulated with Japanese Adzuki beans which contain saponin, it works to remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin. This is a gentle exfoliator, which my skin loves.

I found that when I use this after The Tea Cleanser, my skin glows! My skin also doesn’t react due to the fineness of the scrub.

The Bean Scrub also uses Australian Pink Clay which works to draw out impurities.

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The Flower Face Cream
I am often too busy raving about my love of face oils (ha! never fear that will come after the next photo) that I often underestimate the power of a great face cream.

The Flower Face Cream isn’t mucking around either, it contains a bunch of ingredients  that work to soothe your skin such as rosehip and seabuckthorn (one of my faves).

Calendula is the perfect to addition that will help calm those with a little redness of the skin.

I found the Flower Face Cream light and that it easily melts into the skin. A little goes a long way, and while the Starter size is in a little pot, the full size is in a handy tube.

The Seed Face Oil
When I realised there was a face oil in the Starter pack, you should have seen my face light up! For the 100th time, yes I absolutely adore a good face oil.

Helen is onto something with the seabuckthorn fruit extract, this stuff is an absolute hero ingredient. This stuff will heal your skin, so perfect for those with sensitive skin or those with dry skin. Not only that, this has 8, yes 8 oils that work in harmony with your skin.

The scent isn’t strong, it smells very natural and earthy which I find pleasant. I use this in the evening alongside by Gua Sha tool as part of my facial massage routing – and I love it.

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I will note also, that all of the Be Fraiche products are made right here in Australia.

Our relationship has blossomed and I am so excited to meet Helen again in a couple of weeks, to talk more about her passion and goals for Be Fraiche. Thank you Helen for all of your support also!

Be sure to reach out to Helen via @befraicheskincare or via her website www.befraiche.com

Please let me know if you have any questions or who you would like to see next on the blog!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty

I am so so excited for today’s Meet the Makers! As Meet the Makers grows and develops it excites me to broaden the range of guests that I have on the series.

Today, we chat we a fellow Beauty Blogger, Marisa Robinson, who has been extremely supportive of not only myself but the wider Beauty Blogging community – gotta love that girl power!

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While I have (and will continue) building relationships in this industry, at times I have found it challenging to develop on those relationships. We are all moving through this life at an extremely fast pace so it is easy to get carried away in your own bubble.

Not with Marisa, she is always so engaging with myself and other followers and is even running a Beauty Blogging Challenge over on her website right now!

R. Good Morning and Happy Sunday! My favourite question first up, tell us, what lead you to starting your business?

M. I was always inspired by the bosses of the small businesses I worked for and the lives they were creating for themselves. My parents raised me with a really strong work ethic and I always gave 110%, but one day I started thinking ‘instead of making them (my bosses) rich, why couldn’t I work that hard for myself and live the amazing lives they were?‘.

It didn’t happen overnight, I was still working full-time when I launched my first business which was an online jewellery boutique selling collections from independent designers. I loved doing that and it was successful but unfortunately the timing in my life wasn’t right and I didn’t pursue it.

I continued to work full-time, all the while wishing I was doing my own thing, until about 4 years ago when I started freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist, studied makeup artistry and worked at a retail makeup counter just to be more hands on with makeup. I did wedding and occasion makeup for about 12-18 months before I realised that blogging was what was really filling up my cup and it made me feel so fulfilled that I was able to help other people by sharing my skills and knowledge.

Fast forward to today and I am still freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist while also being a Beauty Blogger and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

R. As I mentioned above, I absolutely love your presence I the beauty world, your passion and the fact you are so supportive of others. 

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t running your business?

M. Probably working for someone else and making their dreams a reality haha but I would like to say travelling the world or running an animal sanctuary.

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R. Running an animal sanctuary would be actual goals! We have an amazing one here in Melbourne called Edgars Mission, I will take you there when you visit Melbourne.
What does any given day look like for you?
M. I wake up (usually by my cat Bear) and check my emails and social media accounts. If I am seeing Digital Marketing clients I have breakfast get ready and head out to see them which may be all day or just for a few hours. I do a lot of my digital work remotely so I am lucky that I have the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime!
But when I am blogging or creating content I usually set myself up on my laptop and try to write a few blog posts or set up my camera and film some videos for YouTube. I don’t have a strict schedule and mix it up so no two days are the same.


R. I’ve found the beauty industry (like most industry’s) has it’s fair share of drama – with some influencers willing to “spill the tea” at any moment

How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?

M. I have been fairly lucky and not had to go through negativity in my blogging career but I have been faced with some difficult clients and strong personalities in my day jobs. It actually took a lot of internal work for me to realise that those people are generally more unhappy within themselves than they are with me but it can be hard to see that at the time.

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R. I completely agree, and while it can be challenging to make sense of, generally those that are making things difficult or causing trouble tend to be frustrated in themselves.
 

What’s next for Marisa Robinson Beauty?
M. I am excited to announce that I have launched a Beauty Blogging Bootcamp where I will teach budding bloggers how to successfully create a blog and turn their passion for beauty into profit.
R. When I heard you were launching the Beauty Blogging Bootcamp, I was so excited for you. What an absolute gift to those that are curious about the industry and want to learn how to make something from their social media!
Any specific tips for those wanting to start a business in beauty?
M. Find your niche. It is a very saturated market so you need to find a way to stand out and your unique point of view.
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R. Yes! Finding that niche is important, and also having a creative edge. I also think being your genuine self helps too!

I note that from January 2018, you ruled out using any products that were tested on animals and not cruelty free. How important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

M. I have been using more natural products lately, especially skincare, and I think it is super important to recognise what we are applying to our bodies. Just because something is applied topically doesn’t mean your skin isn’t absorbing it. People are so conscious about the food they are digesting but I think caring about what products you’re applying to your skin is equally as important.

As a Cruelty Free Beauty Blogger I am also very conscious of using products which aren’t tested on animals or sold into Mainland China where animal testing is a legal requirement.

R. Who has been the most influential person to you and your business?

M. It would definitely have to be one of my clients who I met through a previous job. When I told her I was going rogue she believed in me 110% and lined up a lot of the clients who I still work with to this day. She will never know how truly grateful I am for the support and the opportunities she has given me.

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R. Sometimes we just need a little push, a little motivation and a bit of support to help us take that next leap of faith.

Time for some reflection questions! What’s your favourite part of the day?

M. It would have to be the mornings. I have been waking up early (mainly because our fur baby Bear wants me to feed him hehe) and the sun just streams in through our windows and it makes me feel happy to be enjoying another day! I can’t say I am a morning person but waking up like this certainly makes my day 🙂

R. I love seeing Bear in your stories, he is the absolute cutest!

I often speak about purpose (another favourite question of mine) and what it means to someone. Do you think you have figured out your purpose?

M. I feel like teaching is my purpose. As a blogger I get to teach people about beauty, makeup and share my gift of makeup artistry. I get a lot of self-satisfaction from helping others and love watching them flourish and succeed which is definitely what has inspired me to start my Beauty Blogging Bootcamp too.

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R. This leads me onto gratitude, how do you practice this?

M. I like to take time out and give thanks to the universe for all the amazing people and opportunities I have in my life. I am polite and kind to everyone I meet, I smile at strangers and I try to support the people I love as much as I can.

R. Yes! It costs nothing to be kind. I couldn’t agree with you more!

Ok, walk us through your beauty routine, I’m super keen to know this one!

M. In the morning I always start by washing my face and spritzing it with a facial mist. It is an instant pick me up and super refreshing.

If I am having an off duty day, I just apply a tinted moisturiser or SPF but if I am putting on a face I generally go with the products I have listed in question 8. They are my go-tos and can take me from zero to one hundred in minutes!

In the evening I ALWAYS remove my makeup – that is a non negotiable. I then cleanse my skin (I am currently using one from DermaEnergy) and then apply my night cream/mask and eye cream. I love the Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream and Glow Lam Eye Serum.

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R. Haha! Make up off before bed is an absolute must! I admit, there are a few instances where I haven’t followed this rule and my skin has regretted it immensely in the morning.

What would you say are your go-to skincare or make up products?

M. I have so many! Here are my essentials:

– Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rosewater
– First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
– IT Cosmetics CC+ cream (I am currently trialing the matte and illuminating finish and I can’t quite pick which finish I love more!)
– Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
– Kat Von D Beauty Signature Brow Precision Pencil
– Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb


R. Finally, where is your favourite place in the world where you would travel back to, time and time again?

M. Definitely Bali. Not only because it a stones throw away and there is a spa or beach club on every corner, but because I love nothing more than booking a private villa, chilling in the pool and watching the clouds float by.

R. Oh Bali! Take me back, I’ve been twice and couldn’t agree more. One of the best places for a little downtime and relaxation!

Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us! I wish you the best of luck with your Beauty Blogging Challenge! I have no doubt it will be a success!

If you wish to connect with Marisa you can do so here – @marisarobinsonbeauty on Instagram or via her website http://marisarobinsonbeauty.com/

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Juliet from Mermaid Julisa

The lovely Juliet and I have followed each other for quite some time now and I was delighted when I realised we would both be at the same trade show back in August of this year.

I eagerly approached Julet, and she greeted me with a massive hug. I’m not the hugging type, and when I do it’s extremely awkward, however Juliet made me feel at ease. We chatted about her new range of nail polishes and a few things she has planned for Mermaid Julisa, and I was so excited for her. I just knew that she needed to be part of Meet the Makers!

Mermaid Julisa focusses on mindful beauty rituals, where you can take time to focus on yourself and give yourself a little self-love. Juliet has a range of toxic free nail polishes in the most amazing colours (Ariel & Ghost Cactus are stunning), acetone-free nail polish remover, crystal rollers and organic Tamanu skin oil.

Juliet’s website is a visual delight too, and makes me want to just dive into the ocean and become a mermaid! You can find her website here.

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R. A big hello to you from Melbourne all the way to sunny Queensland! You’ve had a few massive months since we met, with the trade show and then your overseas adventure. I should say welcome home!

I’d love to start with learning a little more about how Mermaid Julisa was born!

J. I used to suffer from symptoms of hormonal imbalances that have really affected my body and my mind. That prompted me to research about the potential hormone disruptors such as phlates that could be hiding in my skincare, beauty and personal care products.

I feel dedicated to overhaul my care routine with toxic free products and that was the most important decision I’ve made for myself. I pretty much could find alternatives to most products, while I felt there isn’t many choices of toxic free nail polish in the market that appeal to me. I’m attracted to bold, magical shimmers and glitters and I’m very adventurous with styling colours. Most natural cosmetics in the market offer the ordinary and nude palettes only. It’s inspired me to start my own range of non-toxic polish range with the most mermaidy, out of this world shimmery palettes! Also being a green beauty blogger myself before starting Julisa has helped me understand where my tribe is and how to cater to their needs.

R. You mentioned you struggled with symptoms of hormonal imbalances which is one of the reasons you turned to green beauty. Any tips for those also looking to make the switch to green beauty – where should they start?

J. Make a list of types of products you use most and start swapping out your most frequently used products first. Swapping your entire beauty and personal care collection could be expensive to do all at the same time. It took me around 9 months to completely overhaul mine. In the meantime, do your research online on sites such as EWG and Safe Cosmetics Australia – they certify brands that meet their clean ingredient standard (proud to share that Julisa is accredited by SCA). Also follow green beauty bloggers who do authentic reviews (hello @thehappyorganicgirlau!). Getting to read how other people rate the products is the best way to get a feel if those might suit you.

R. I mentioned above that you were in Melbourne with your new product range, with that stunning new packaging! Anything else in the works for Mermaid Julisa?

J. Too many! After launching our recent rebrand the next product range we want to expand is our beauty tools range. I’m currently playing with a few prototypes after my recent visit to our crystal suppliers and I can’t wait to share some sneak peeks on my Instagram! Of course, they’ll be non-invasive and working in line with holistic health practice.

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R. Oh yes! You are definitely leading the way with your crystal tools. The Rose Quartz Facial Massage Roller Wand is out of this world. I haven’t seen anything like it!

Often in business (and in life) we have to deal with negativity. What do you do to overcome these challenges?

J. First of all, I select my tribes and the type of energy I want to associate myself with. If I could sense negative energy I tend to stay away. But of course, unfortunately, negativity isn’t something that one can completely avoid. When that happens, I always try to stay calm and inspire the person to be positive as much as I can. I think setting your own mindset is really important, and I won’t let anyone else take my positivity away from me.

I feel that having clarity and a focused mind is the first step to any problem solving process. When I feel stressed out when faced with a challenge, I take a step back and have a short quiet moment to calm my nerves. I find that short meditation practice helps immensely, as well as conscious breathing exercise to clear my mind. Because nothing’s worse than creating another problem with a quick-fix type of solution that wasn’t being thought through properly under stress.

R. Mindset is incredibly important. I know, if I am in the wrong mindset I find it incredibly challenging to pull myself out from it. I generally need to remove myself from the situation and take some time out. 

Having been a beauty blogger, and now running your own small business, do you have any tips for those considering jumping into a Green Beauty business?

J. Start small & start now! There’s no better timing than right at the moment when you feel you have that million dollar idea. I’ve come across way too many people with brilliant ideas but their business plan was put off by their own excuses – whether not being able to let go of financial security of a stable job or just being passive about execution. For green beauty industry in particular, I feel that being authentic and knowledgeable is the key to attract your like-minded tribes.

R. Yes! That’s the best advice – start now. I often reflect on where The Happy Organic Girl would be if I had started sooner. I’m just glad I started!

Outside of Mermaid Julisa, what do you get up too in your downtime?

J. Making a switch to green beauty has really opened up a whole new aspect of life and hobbies for me. I’ve been practising yoga for around four years. I tried to head to my local studio twice a week despite my busy schedule.

I try to fit in some holiday travel as much as I can, sometimes by combining work and leisure trips. I love exploring off the beaten track destinations and places where I could marvel at natural wonders.

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R. I love that your business has changed other aspects of your daily life for the best! 

You mentioned you often try to combine work and travel, where is your favourite place in the world to travel too?

J. Vanuatu tops my list of wow-inducing destinations to lose myself. I spent a week on the remote Santos island. The meditative sound of lapping waves on the beach every morning is the best wake up call one could ask for!

R. That sounds absolutely divine, I can just hear the waves lapping on the beach!

Mermaid Julisa is all about mindful beauty, how do you practice self-care?

J. I try to take 10 minutes before bedtime for self-care. It could be a quick manicure session, self body massage, facial massage or soaking in warm bath. I try to switch off my phone so that I can be really mindful of the sensations and how I feel dedicating some precious self care time to myself.

Constantly reminding myself to be mindful about my own ways of thoughts and how my inner energy radiates. I’m trying to be more vocal and open about showing my affection for my loved ones.

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R. I might try the warm bath tip this week. I never really focus on the water as I am always so busy taking photos ha!

Lastly what is your go-to skincare or make up product?

J. I literally can’t live without my rose quartz gua sha. This pretty, non-invasive tool does so much to help with my puffiness (bye-bye marshmallow face!). Also for sinus relief on flights and relieving muscle tension around neck & shoulders. There are so many wellness benefits of gua sha and I feel I’ve just started with exploring more.

R. I absolutely love my Gua Sha tool, the way it curves to my face and the cooling feeling from the crystal is absolute bliss! 

Thank you so much for taking time out to be a part of Meet the Makers! 

J. Was so lovely meeting you Renee at Life In Style in Melbourne! Thanks for having me and I can’t wait to catch up!

R. I absolutely loved meeting you and the bond we have made!

If you are curious about Gua Sha, you can purchase the tool from Mermaid Julisa and shortly I will have available a walk through on how to practice Gua Sha! I can’t wait to share that with you also.

Happy days!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – The Face Oil Collection from Mermaid Cove Organics

Every now and then I meet these amazing Makers who I form this wonderful connection with. Sara from Mermaid Cove Organics is one of those Makers. I remember following her, even before her online store opened. I remember loving her username, Mermaid Cove Organics. It sounded so intriguing!

I was also lucky to feature Sara in my first ever Meet the Makers interview, which can be found here. It was all new to me, I was nervous if my interview series would work, would people like it but Sara was so kind and generous with her time – I’m extremely grateful for that!

Since then Sara and Mermaid Cove Organics has flourished, stocking some lovely small-batch products from brands such as Herbs and HeartWild Crafted Organics and now even her own line Mermaid Cove Organics.

The new range from Mermaid Cove Organics features 3 gorgeous face oils all blended & formulated by Sara herself. I was extremely lucky to sample the 3 oils before they went live and I was so impressed I wanted a full size right then and there!

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The 3 Blends are;

  • Ocean Glow Face Oil, beneficial for dry and sensitive skin- $51 AUD
  • Ocean Nectar Face Oil, beneficial for dry and mature skin – $57 AUD
  • Mermaid Face Oil, beneficial for combination, oily and acne-prone skin – $31 AUD

My absolute favourite is the Ocean Glow Face Oil, the beautiful Jasmine essential oil draws me in and transports me to a tropical island (mainly Hawaii, where I’ll be next month!). It also has German Chamomile Essential Oil which acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps with dryness. Jojoba and Chamomile act to add moisture back into the skin while also healing.

Ocean Nectar is perfect for mature-aged skin as it contains Primrose Oil which not only hydrates but also has high levels of antioxidants. The use of Carrot Seed Essential Oil promotes cellular repair, while Camellia Oil assists with collagen production.

One of the key ingredients I was extremely excited about in the Mermaid Face Oil was the Tamanu Oil. Indigenous to the Pacific Islands, Tamanu Oil has been used for centuries to help with skin tone and even those with oily skin. The inclusion of Grapeseed Oil further assists those with oily skin by helping with sebum production. It is beautifully scented with Lavender Essential Oil.

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Packaging of the Face Oils is luxe, presented in an easy to use pump bottle with gold lid it sits beautifully on the beauty shelf in the bathroom.

Application is easy, I like to apply 2 pumps in the evening once I have cleansed however this can be used in the morning too. I prefer to use it at night as I find it extremely calming with the inclusion of the essential oils. Allow the oil to enter the skin for 3-5 minutes before applying any further skincare products.

A really cool fact about Mermaid Cove Organics is that they are living and breathing their core value of sustainability by using Sendle to post out your purchases. Sendle is Australia’s first carbon neutral shipping company! Amazing!

Sara has offered a wonderful treat for you also, if you wish to try the new Face Oil range use code “thehappygirl10” at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Let me know how you like to incorporate face oils into your beauty routine!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kailah from MG Naturals

Good afternoon friends, and happy Sunday! I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. Did you watch the AFL Grand Final yesterday? I didn’t but I thought there would be many who are so decided to delay the posting of this week’s Meet the Makers!

Today we are chatting with Kailah from MG Naturals. I met Kailah close to a year ago in a Facebook group for business women, aptly called “Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine” which is a wonderful community of women supporting women!

MG Naturals is one of those brands I really love, creating wonderful make up & skincare products that are vegan, organic and 100% titanium dioxide free. Which is great news for your skin considering what we apply to our bodies is absorbed into it.

MG Naturals have a range of products from vegan brushes, foundation, bronzer to lipstick and mascara. Kailah also loves feedback and suggestions on future products, if you have a great idea you can contact her here.

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R. Welcome Kailah to Meet the Makers! It’s been wonderful watching the brand grow! Tell us, what made you decide to start MG Naturals?

K. Becoming a Mama led me to start my business, the MG actually stands for Mama Going Natural. Before my daughter was born I assumed that all products sold in stores must be safe, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sell them, right?! Boy was I shocked to find all the chemicals & toxins that were in products that my family used every single day.

I couldn’t find any makeup brands that I was 100% happy with, so out of necessity MG Naturals was born to create safe, natural products for my family & friends, it actually took off quite by accident! There was such a demand for safe, honest makeup!

R. I always wondered what the MG stood for! That is very cool! It’s amazing the demand for safe, green make up and skincare and I believe as Australian Makers we are leading the way in producing great quality green products!

How & why are organic ingredients important to your brand?

K. Organic natural ingredients are the cornerstone of our brand. If I won’t put an ingredient on my sweet babies skin I wouldn’t include it in our products. If we can’t make a product to our exacting standards of purity & safety then we just don’t make it.

We want people to know they can trust us, the green beauty sector can be a mine field of mis-information & green washing so we like to think we stand as a beacon for people to trust & believe in, they can safely order our products & know we don’t use any nasties, ever!

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R. Argh green washing is so common and it drives me mad! It’s true, as consumers we don’t have massive amounts of time to be reading through ingredient lists so you think you can trust what the packaging says – unfortunately it’s not always the case.

Are you currently working on anything or any new products about to launch?

K. We have so many new & exciting products in the pipeline. We are constantly testing out new formulations & playing with makeup. Formulating green makeup can take a lot longer as we try to recreate the look, feel & function of big brand makeup just without all the nasties. We have so many products in various stages of testing & production: a fuller coverage solid foundation, lip n cheek colour pots, a full coverage colour-correcting concealer palette, liquid eyeliner & we want to get into pressed powder products later in the year.

R. Oh the lip n cheek colour pots sound exciting – well it all does! I can see how the formulation process can take a little longer than traditional methods.

Do you have any tips for those who are wanting to move away from mainstream make up brands and into safe and vegan alternatives?

K. It can be expensive (but very worthwhile for your health) moving into green beauty & tossing out all your non-green makeup.

To make it easier on your wallet I recommend starting with your foundation or BB cream as these products are often used every day & are being absorbed into your skin. Then I’d look at your lip products as we inadvertently consume a lot of lipstick & lip balm overtime. Those would be the products I would worry about first & then everything else can be swapped out as they start to run out. But just changing those products alone will reduce the amount of toxins & chemicals your exposed to each day.

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R. It’s amazing just how much lip balm/stick we consume without even knowing it. I seem to go through so much of it, so ensuring what I use is natural is extremely important to me.

Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

K. I am inspired by my children, they are my greatest teachers. My eldest Aleena is zen, nothing much rattles her, so she reminds me not to sweat the small stuff. My toddler Lexi is bolshy & fearless & does not accept No for an answer, she inspires me to be brave & go after what I want. And our latest addition Baby Aubree is never-ending happy, she wakes up smiling and smiles her way through the day, she reminds me of the pure delight of being alive even when your seriously sleep deprived!!

R. That is so beautiful! They say that kids really are our greatest teachers. I’ve actually been trying to include more child-like play into my life. Things we did as kids that brought so much delight, like rolling down this massive hill at work. People were asking why I did it and I thought why not? It was actually so much fun and left me grinning from ear-to-ear!

What is your favourite part of the day?

K. My absolute favourite part of the day is working at my desk & watching my girls play on the fort in the backyard. Sometimes being a Mama & running a business can be a bit of a hard gig. But when I look at my girls, I know it’s all worthwhile because one day they will be wearing makeup &I don’t want any nasties on those precious little faces.

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R. Finally, as the Maker of such wonderful products, tell us – what does your beauty routine look like?

K. Being a Mama of three (with two being under two) my beauty routine is very parred back at the moment. Alone time in the bathroom is a foregone conclusion in our house so I have to get ready to face the world in a matter of minutes. I always start with our BB Cream in luminous light because that’s my moisturiser, sunscreen & makeup all in one. I then like to apply a few coats of our Organic Volume Mascara because I love lashes & then a swipe of our Wild Rose lipstick and I’m ready for the school run. I used to wear foundation but now that I have no time for skincare I have swapped to the BB as its my moisturiser, serum, sunscreen & makeup in one easy 30 second application (leaving me more time to apply my mascara!).

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R. Oh the ever precious mascara! I don’t know what I would do without it, I love it. Something so simple, that can make you look and feel like you’ve slept for a solid 12 hours – ha!

Thank you again for joining us Kailah. I’m excited for what’s on the horizon for you and will be keeping close eye on the lip and cheek pots!

You can find Kailah’s bright and cheery website here and also reach out to her on Instagram via @mgnaturals.

I’d also love to know who you would like to see interviewed next, feel free to let me know!

Have a wonderful week!

Renee
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