Five Minutes With: Fairlings Founders Michael & Masa

Here at THE ECO EDIT, we love discovering fresh, thoughtful, and ethical new businesses that are governed not only by a stylish brand vision, but also a strong moral compass and sense of responsibility to consumers and the environment. Fairlings readily meets each and every one of these criteria with its dedication to the best products and sustainable business practices.

Operating as an online essentials store that curates fair trade, vegan, organic and eco-friendly products, Fairlings was created in 2015 by Canberra-based husband and wife team Michael and Masa. Frustrated with a lack of high quality and ethical cosmetics, toiletries and day-to-day essential items in one centralised place, Michael and Masa decided to take matters into their own hands.

Here the minimalism-loving entrepreneurs reveal what prompted them to launch Fairlings, and what guiding principles they follow in their daily business practices.

THE ECO EDIT: What led you to open an online store?

Michael & Masa: As ethical minimalists ourselves, we have very high standards when making purchasing decisions. Inevitably we grew tired of wasting our time and money testing a bunch of natural products from a dozen different shops until we finally found one that worked.

It’s the combination of performance and ethics that is hard to come by. That’s why we created Fairlings – to help eliminate that decision fatigue and enable our customers to shop freely with a clear conscious. We do all the hard work for you through our selection process.

Why are natural and ethical cosmetics important to you both?

Natural products are extremely important to us because the general public aren’t aware of the toxic and unethical nature of mainstream products. The big brands are solely interested in increasing their profit margins and as a result, they do damage to the environment, animals, workers and our health.

We’re living in an exciting time where we have courageous and passionate entrepreneurs who a making amazing products that are as close to nature as possible. We feel like we have an obligation to make people aware of these alternatives and hopefully shift the demand of ethical everyday essentials.

You prefer to stock just one of each type of product – why is this?

Again, as minimalists, we hate clutter – especially mental clutter. What we found when we were trying to buy products at health food stores was the pain of deciding between 11 different natural deodorants. Masa is an obsessive label reader and it was excruciating process to decide which product to buy.

Ultimately, we didn’t want to buy a product that didn’t perform. We all know that feeling right? You’re in two minds of whether to push through and use it anyway (even though you don’t want to), or leave it to collect dust on your shelf, creating more clutter in the house. Other alternatives include throwing it out, or re-gifting the products to friends – none of these options seems like the right thing.

We thought it would be so much easier if the stores put their best foot forward and stocked what they thought was the best brand in a particular product category. We didn’t see that model anywhere, so we decided to start it ourselves.

A lot of retailers claim that they curate the best natural products but they still stock multiple brands per category, which mind you doesn’t always end up the healthier option. We’ve taken a more polarising approach by attempting to stock only the best.

Sure, there’s a risk of perhaps not being suitable for everyone, but it’s a risk we are willing to take in order to create a more pleasurable and simpler shopping experience for our customers.

Who the Fairlings customer is, and what are they looking for?

At the extreme end of the spectrum, our customers are minimalist vegans. We’re talking about the hardcore label readers who don’t want to create any excess waste or clutter in their lives. Our goal is to serve the strictest of customers and this is what we initially set out to do.

What we’re finding however is a large chunk of our customer base are women who are realising the harm that their current products are doing to their bodies and the environment. They’ve recently started their natural product journey and are finding what combinations work best for them.

They look at our products and read about what we do, and feel like they are in safe hands. They don’t have to read every ingredient and double check the products for safety. These customers used to have the perception that natural products are nice in theory, but they wonder, “do they actually perform?” We aim to debunk this myth and shift the paradigm with our handpicked range.

How does minimalism fit into your lives, and why is it important to you?

Minimalism to us means keeping what you deem as essential and eliminating the rest. We were mentally weighed down and overwhelmed with life. Minimalism was an outlet for us to detox our minds.

We started by decluttering our physical environment. We soon realised that minimalism is much more than decluttering your house – it’s a mindset. You start looking at your calendar, your inbox, your friendships, your mode of transport, pretty much everything, differently.

The question of, “is this essential?” aids of all our decisions. And it’s extremely liberating. The combination of minimalism and veganism has heightened our level of consciousness like we could never of imagined. It’s through this lens that we are now able to live a fulfilling, purpose-driven lifestyle each and every day.

What are some of your top Fairlings product picks?

It will be hard to pick only a few, as we love everything! Truly, that’s why we stock them. But if we had to pick our personal favourites as well as the ones that our customers are loving, here they are:

1. Mukti Hydrating Cleansing Lotion, $54.95

The best quality cleanser we’ve come across. It not only keeps your skin feeling clean, soft and nourished, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry like many other cleansers.

fairlings mukti

2. Vanessa Megan Organic Blood Orange Foaming Hand & Body Wash, $54.95

We love the 2-in-1 aspect of this product, both a hand wash and body wash. Smells AMAZING, leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. This was one of the trickier items to find that was reasonably priced, felt great and contained quality ingredients.

fairlings vanessa megan

3. The Divine Company Organic Peppermint Tooth Mousse, $19.95

Probably our favourite product. Cleans your teeth without the nasties! Has a wonderful flavour but an interesting texture because there is no plastic particles like most conventional toothpastes have.

fairlings divine company

4. One Seed Organic Perfume Sample Set, $37

A perfect gift or a great way to try a few different scents before committing to a bigger bottle. Organic perfume is a must if you love perfumes, conventional ones are super toxic!

fairlings one seed

5. Moonrise Creek Organic Vegan Mascara, $29.95

A beautiful vegan, organic and handmade thick mascara that will last you all day.

fairlings moonrise creek

What’s next for Fairlings?

Our focus for 2017 is simple. Continue to find and work with amazing brands and build a community around our products and ethos.

More specifically, it’s our goal to bring on at least one new brand a month and to develop our community through our Ambassador Program.

We’re currently testing a brand that makes certified organic house cleaning products. This has been extremely hard to come by, especially in Australia, so we’re excited about that!

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Five of The Best Natural & Organic Summer Lip Colours

Sparkling sunshine and clear blue skies demand punchy, popping lip colour that matches the intensity and vibrancy of the season. Here we reveal five of our favourite natural and organic summer lip colours that will ensure your pout looks on point all day long and well into those hot, humid summer nights.

1. INDAH Vegan Cheek & Lip Tint in Sparkle Rose

If you’re looking for a pretty summer staple, this sweet pink tint from INDAH is the way to go. It applies like a lip balm, feels like a nourishing treatment, and has the lasting power of a tint.

Infused with coconut oil, certified organic rose geranium, sweet almond oil and avocado oil, this vegan lip tint softens and hydrates to leave your lips feeling buttery soft and ultra-kissable.

indah lip and cheek tint

2. Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Zinfandel

Nothing says summer like a zesty pop of orange on your pout, and this long-wearing shade of electric coral is sure to put you in the mood for partying on those long, hot nights.

This matte lip colour applies with the precision of a pencil thanks to it’s crayon-like applicator, while the ultra-concentrated colour stays put courtesy of clever micronised pigment.

bite beauty high pigment lip pencil zinfandel

3. Karen Murrell Lipstick in True Love

Nothing beats a punchy red lip for maximum drama, and Karen Murrell’s gorgeous shade ‘True Love’ is the perfect choice for any scarlet lip lover.

This gorgeous blue-based red contains zero nasties – just natural ingredients like avocado and evening primrose oil to ensure a smooth application and long-lasting colour.

karen murrell lipstick true love

4. Antipodes Lipstick in Boom Rock Bronze

A rich bronze-nude lipstick is a makeup staple during the summer months, and Antipodes Lipstick in Boom Rock Bronze is one of the most luxurious we’ve tried.

This healthy, toxin-free lipstick is infused with nutrient-rich avocado oil which helps keep your pout feeling plump, smooth and hydrated all day long.

antipodes lipstick boom rock bronze

5. Au Naturale Lip & Cheek Tint in Pink Punch

Don’t be scared by how bright this looks in the tub – this vibrant cool-toned pink is super wearable, with the subtle purple undertones adding a truly unique touch.

This multi-tasking vegan lip and cheek tint has a gorgeous texture that glides on like silk to create a stunning pop of colour, while also nourishing your cheeks and lips with jojoba, avocado, and pomegranate.

To apply, simply dab a little product onto your lips with a clean fingertip and blend. You can also apply it to the apples of cheeks for a pretty, natural-looking flush.

au natural lip and cheek tint

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Survive Silly Season With These Five Beauty Essentials

The festive season is well and truly upon us, and with it comes a barrage of parties, catch-ups, stressful deadlines and endless commitments. And while the family-related meltdowns and champagne headaches that are bound to accompany silly season might prove overwhelming, you can still manage look pretty as a picture with a little help from these five beauty essentials…

1. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

The festive season is incredibly hectic, so a timesaving multi-tasker like Kjaer Weis’ beautiful Cream Blush is a godsend at this time of year.

This little stunner gives your complexion a healthy-looking flush and also hydrates your skin with nourishing ingredients like jojoba and rosehip oil.

There are plenty of colours to choose from, but if you’re looking for a universally flattering hue, we suggest the gorgeous shade ‘Blossoming’ (pictured below).

Simply dab a little cream onto your lips and blend into the apples of your cheeks and you’re good to go.

kjaer-weis-cream-blush-blossoming

2. Lily Lolo Pedal To The Metal Eyeshadow Palette

No party look is complete without a smoky eye, and Lily Lolo’s Eyeshadow Palette in Pedal To The Metal is your ticket to captivatingly pretty peepers.

This dazzling mineral makeup palette features eight highly pigmented metallic eyeshadows that blend together beautifully.

There are soft browns and shimmery beiges for a subtle effect, along with dark grey and black for dramatically shimmering lids.

Nab yourself one of these beauties quick though, because it’s limited edition and bound to sell out before silly season is over.

lily-lolo-pedal-to-the-metal-eyeshadow-palette

3. Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Brightening Exfoliator

Your skin can tend to look dull and lifeless when life gets busy and your diet slips, so a brightening exfoliant like this beauty from Vanessa Megan is a fantastic solution.

Combining the pure organic ingredients with natural actives from yoghurt, grapefruit and rice enzymes, this clever exfoliant helps your skin look smoother, brighter and more even-toned in an instant.

Simply pour a little powder onto your palm, and blend with water to form a paste before applying to your skin.

With its gentle yet effective formula, your can use it every second day as an exfoliant, or twice a week as an intensely active brightening mask.

vanessa-megan-prebioticc-brightening-exfoliator

4. WOTNOT Facial Wipes Dry/Sensitive Skin

If you find yourself out partying late at night this silly season, or are simply exhausted after a busy and stressful year, properly cleansing your skin before bed will be right at the bottom of your to-do list.

Thankfully WOTNOT Facial Wipes are here to make your life just that little bit easier – simply pop a pack next to your bed and you can cleanse your mug quickly before getting some much-needed shut-eye.

WOTNOT sell a selection of facial wipes, but we highly recommend the variety developed for dry and sensitive skin.

They’re enriched with all natural ingredients including certified organic aloe vera, sweet almond oil and rosehip oil to restore lost moisture, calm inflammation, and leave your skin feeling clean, smooth, supple and glowing.

wotnot-facial-wipes-dry-sensitive-skin

5. Madara SOS Hydra Recharge Cream

Pair a hot Aussie summer with non-stop partying, sugary foods and booze galore, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for cranky, stressed-out skin.

Replenish lost moisture with Madara’s intensely hydrating SOS Hydra Recharge Cream. This lush moisturiser reduced the look of fine lines and plumps up your complexion for a supple, youthful-looking skin.

This clever cream helps combat the signs of ageing with a cocktail of active ingredients including antioxidant-rich Northern Baltic peony, nourishing linseed, and plumping hyaluronic acid.

madara-sos-hydra-recharge-cream

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Five Minutes With: Endota Spa’s Melanie Gleeson

With over 90 day spas operating across the country, endota spa is one of Australia’s biggest beauty industry success stories. We spoke to founder and CEO Melanie Gleeson to discover what prompted her to enter world of natural beauty and wellness, and what’s in store next for the beloved franchise.

THE ECO EDIT: What led you to create your own day spa, and what was your vision for endota?

Melanie: After spending some time overseas working as an au pair after school, I came back home to manage a small day spa in Eltham. This foray into the industry helped hone my business skills, and ignited my passion and drive to open my own day spa.

I saw firsthand, a physical and emotional change in women from when they entered the spa to when they left. I knew I needed to be a part of this in a bigger way. The endota spa story began in 2000 when as a 26-year-old I took a risk and followed a dream and left behind the security of a full-time job.

My vision and passion was and still is to help women be their best, so they can live their best life. The ethos of the brand was fuelled by my personal belief in the power of positive sharing and inspiring others to reconnect.

The Mornington Peninsula where I grew up was the inspiration for endota spa. The Mornington Peninsula is a place of light expanse and stunning natural beauty inspired by the energising properties of the sun and calming effect of the water.

Every endota spa aims to transport the client to a similarly euphoric space that ignites calm, invites relaxation and rejuvenates the spirit.

Did the fast growth and popularity of endota surprise you? 

I opened one of the first day spas on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia, at a time when few people even knew what a spa was – and fewer recognised the importance of investing in wellbeing.

Fast forward to today and there are now almost 100 spas across the country, and endota spa is Australia’s leading day spa. We employ 1000 people, 90% of whom are women, and 500,000 people visit our spas annually.

I often have to pinch myself and acknowledge how far endota spa has come. I am humbled by the growth and feel so blessed to be doing what I love, and to have people walk away after a treatment physically and emotionally replenished.

What do you believe are some of the key reasons for endota’s success?

We all lead such busy lives and are consumed constantly by noise. Social media, computer, TV, radio, the internet and smart phones…we are always connected to a device. We encourage our clients to leave their everyday stresses behind and turn off their phones.

A spa is one of the very few places left where this is required.

I think people – especially women – crave this time to replenish their energy levels, mental wellbeing and physical health. And while I don’t believe enough women make their health a priority, more and more are starting to realise they should.

endota spa interior melanie gleeson

Many women struggle to put their own needs first and therefore rarely pamper themselves with a spa treatment. Why do you think women should place more value on ‘me-time’?

Wellness is good for the soul, and as women we are so busy running around looking after everyone else that we often forget ourselves. But in order to be able to provide the best for others, or give our undivided attention to our children, work, family or friends, we need to take time out for ourselves.

When women arrive at the spa their tension and stress is palpable. Their shoulders are raised and their body tense. When they leave, their shoulders are relaxed and down.

Wellness is good for the soul…

The key message we want to communicate to women is that visiting a spa shouldn’t be considered a luxury treat; it should be a healthy habit. A part of a woman’s wellness routine, like a yoga class, or going for a walk; a massage is relaxation for the mind, body and soul.

It recharges you and makes you feel good about yourself from the inside out.

Along with its beautiful spa treatments, endota is known for its natural beauty products. How did you go about creating your skincare and body care range?

endota spa OrganicsTM was first launched in 2006 and has gained a loyal customer base. After nearly 10 years in the market we decided it was time to review and reformulate the range to harness the latest developments in the scientific skincare industry.

Last September the range was relaunched, combining the best of science with the power of nature. This offers consumers a range of certified organic and natural products that address skin concerns unique to Australians – dehydration, pigmentation and ageing.

The inspiration for launching an organic and natural skincare range ties back into the brand’s ethos. It was important for us to ensure that this heritage range used the very best in Australian native ingredients to help enhance and protect skin. Even back in 2006 when we first launched the Organics range, we believed in the power of using nature for healing.

We use native Australian ingredients, called the endota spa Bio-Active Plant Complex. It contains three exotic Australian rainforest fruits: Davidson Plum, Lilly Pilly and Lemon Aspen, which help to moisturise, rejuvenate and protect the skin by delivering a boost of naturally occurring Vitamin C.

We believe in the healing power of nature…

We are lucky to have such a powerful range of natural ingredients here in Australia that are highly effective and won’t harm skin.

We work with a skincare laboratory and leading pharmaceutical chemists to help develop and test our products. These experts specialise in premium, holistic, natural and organic ingredients and they have helped create a range of skincare formulations that address Australian skin concerns.

Each of the products has been certified as either natural or organic by the ACO and COSMOS and contains; no parabens, mineral oils, sulphates, SLS/SLES, PEGS, synthetic fragrances and dyes, GMO’s or silicones and is proudly not tested on animals.

There are a total of 33 endota spa OrganicsTM products for the face and body in the range today.

What is your favourite endota skincare product at the moment, and what do you love about it?

My absolute favourite bathroom essential is our endota spa OrganicsTM Coconut and Grapefruit Melting Body Balm. It contains natural rapidly absorbed oils and butters to deeply nourish and provide an intense moisture boost. This is perfect for summer when my skin gets particularly dry.

melanie gleeson - her favourite endota product

My favourite product from our face range is the Multi Vitamin Treatment Oil, which is high in anti-ageing properties and deeply hydrates skin to smooth fine lines. I apply this oil morning and night under the Nourish & Repair Night Cream for a noticeably smoother complexion.

Do you have any exciting new product launches or developments in the works that you can share with us?  

This is such an exciting time for endota spa. We are going through a growth phase and have a number of new initiatives, products, treatments and franchises opening.

We have just launched two brand new treatments to our menu, which is really exciting. The first is our New Age Light Therapy Facial which uses LED light to deeply hydrate and stimulate cell regeneration by boosting collagen and elastin production. It is non-invasive, like all our treatments, but it delivers instant results.

We have also created a new signature massage named the Deep Recovery Massage. This treatment uses jade stones, which are believed to help facilitate self-healing. We will be adding more exclusive treatments to our menu next year as well, so stay tuned!

After many years of research and development we launched our first cosmetics line in July this year. The premise behind the range is about enhancing your natural beauty – not covering it. We use native ingredients in the range such as Kakadu Plum so that it applies like makeup but treats like skincare.

We have also just launched an anti-ageing skincare range, NEW AGETM elements; that contains potent ingredients to treat skin concerns associated with ageing, such as loss of collagen, dehydration, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. We have worked with skincare specialists from Italy and Australia to develop this range and will be adding to it with more products next year.

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10 Eco-Chic Gift Ideas For People You Love

With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to get those festive season pressies wrapped and under the tree. But if you’re stuck for gift ideas, don’t fret! We’ve put together a list of gorgeous natural beauty products, kits and treatments that will ensure you’re in everyone’s good books.

1. Madara Happy Skin Essentials Pack

This cute little kit from holistic skincare brand Madara is the perfect treat for all skin types. Featuring Madara’s award winning Micellar Cleansing Water and their innovative Oil-To-Milk Exfoliating Scrub, this set would put a smile on anyone’s dial.

gift ideas madara

2. Lily Lolo Iconic Eye Collection

Who wouldn’t want pretty peepers for Christmas? The Lily Lolo Iconic Eye Collection features the brand’s cult favourite Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette along with a must-have Black Eye Pencil Natural Mascara for long, fluttery jet-black lashes.

lily-lolo-iconic-eye-collection

3. Frank Body Babe Island Kit

Perfect for the gal (or guy) who likes to have silky smooth and tropically scented skin, Frank Body’s cute-as-a-button Babe Island Kit includes a delectable Coconut Coffee Scrub and lush Coconut Body Balm.

gift ideas frank body

4. Endota Spa Gift Voucher

Handing out one of these beauties will make you a firm favourite this Christmas. You can select from a range of treatment options when ordering a gift voucher – we highly recommend Endota’s New Age Light Therapy Facial, which combines active natural skincare with the latest LED technology for gorgeous, glowing skin.

endota-spa-gift-voucher

5. Pai Instant Calm Discovery Collection

This beautiful skincare pack is the perfect gift for people with sensitive skin. This exquisite kit features Pai’s Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic, Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, plus an organic muslin cloth.

pai-skincare-instant-calm-discovery-collection

6. Inika Limited Edition Discover Kit

This lovely kit is the perfect pressie for a friend or relative who is keen to try mineral makeup. The set includes some of Inika’s hero products including their Certified Organic Pure Primer, Certified Organic Liquid foundation, Certified Organic BB Cream, Mineral Foundation, plus a Kabuki Brush.

gift ideas inika

7. Acorelle Absolute Tiare Eau de Parfum

This heavenly scent will make for an enchanting gift this Christmas. The fresh floral fragrance features top notes of orange and tangerine, a heart of ylang ylang, jasmine and tiare, and a sensual base of vanilla.

acorelle-absolute-tiare-perfume

8. Vanessa Megan VM Men Citrus & Spice Natural Cologne

Any self-respecting bloke who takes pride in his appearance and grooming habits will appreciate this crisp cologne. With a warm, spicy blend of mandarin, patchouli and clove, this chic scent is uplifting, alluring, and 100% natural.

vanessa-megan-men-citrus-spice-cologne

9. The Beauty Chef Cookbook

Looking for great gift ideas for the domestic goddesses and green juice junkies in your life? They’ll adore this beautifully photographed cookbook that’s jam-packed with delicious, nutritious, and complexion-enhancing meal ideas. With over 150 gluten-free, dairy-free recipes, this clever cookbook promotes gut health and boosts beauty from the inside out.

gift ideas the beauty chef

10. Essano Limitless Luxuries Pack

Containing an array of beauty boosting plant extracts and natural ingredients like rosehip and Argan oil, New Zealand brand Essano is a truly gorgeous range that captures nature’s essence. This affordable travel bag includes Essano’s cult favourite micellar water, moisturiser, eye cream, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.

essano-limitless-luxuries-gift-ideas

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10 Eco-Chic Beauty Buys Under $10

Cheap Organic Beauty Products. Impossible?

While toxin-free cosmetics are a beautiful, safe and healthy option, they rarely come cheap. This is often due to the nature of the ingredients used, and the costs associated with manufacturing organic products. But thankfully going green doesn’t always have to cost a fortune, as these natural cosmetics and cheap organic beauty products go to show.

1. EcoCare Organic Apple & Honey Facial Cleansing Wipes, $8.99

ecocare face wipes

Ideal for oily and combination skin, these refreshing face wipes will leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and supple. With crisp apple, luscious honey, and antioxidant-rich green tea, these certified organic cotton wipes nourish and soothe while they cleanse.

2. Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Lavender Soap, $7.95

dr bronners soap

With a soothing blend lavender and lavandin oils, this castile soap bar will calm the mind while it cleanses your body. Lovingly created with fair trade ingredients and organic hemp oil, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry or tight. The product is also 100% biodegradable and features 100% post-consumer recycled packaging. 

3. Sukin Cream Cleanser, $9.95

sukin cream cleanser

This gentle cream cleanser contains a beautiful blend of essential oils and botanical extracts to remove makeup and grime as it nourishes the skin. The sulphate free formula features lush ingredients like rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, and nettle to leave skin feeling clean and refreshed.

4. Vanessa Megan Lip Balm, $9.95 

vanessa megan lip balm

With nourishing certified organic shea butter, cocoa butter and bees wax, this lush balm soothes and hydrates dry, chapped lips. The clever formula seals in moisture and protects your lips from the elements, to ensure your pout looks gorgeous all year round.

5. Essano Gentle Facial Cleansing Micellar Water, $5.99

essano micellar water

If you haven’t experienced the magic that is micellar water, this product is a gorgeous and ultra-affordable way to try it out. Active micellar water molecules latch onto makeup, dirt and impurities on your skin, and gently remove them to leave your face feeling cleansed and refreshed. The formula supports your skin’s natural pH balance, and soothes with certified organic rosehip oil and aloe vera.

6. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer, $9.95

burts-bees-lip-shimmer

Give your lips a subtle touch of colour and a gorgeous glossy sheen with this nifty conditioning lip balm. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers come in a range of flattering colours and are made from 100% natural ingredients. This bad boy will keep your kisser hydrated and happy throughout the day with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, strawberry and apricot seed oil, and soothing rosemary.

7. Comvita Natural Whitening Toothpaste, $9.95

comvita toothpaste

This natural toothpaste alternative helps brighten your smile while also cleaning and your teeth. The formula doesn’t contain any nasty chemical bleaches or harsh abrasives – instead baking soda gently polishes and whitens teeth while essential oils freshen your breath naturally. Xylitol, a natural substance found in birch trees, helps prevent stain build-up with regular brushing.

8. PearlBar Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush, $8.95

pearlbar charcoal toothbrush

The perfect accompaniment to natural toothpaste, this 100% biodegradable toothbrush is an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic toothbrushes. The bristles are infused with charcoal, which acts as a natural cleaning, absorbing and antibacterial agent. As well as effectively cleaning your teeth, charcoal also acts as a natural tooth whitener.

9. 100% Pure Bright Eyes Eye Mask, $9.95

100-per-cent-pure-bright-eyes-eye-mask

If you suffer from puffy eyes and dark circles, give this natural eye mask a whirl. Made with organic aloe, plant cellulose, and green coffee, this clever mask helps to de-puff and brighten tired eyes. The hydrating natural formula will gradually absorb into you skin, and it feels incredibly cooling and refreshing on the delicate eye area.

10. LAVANILA Mini Rollerball Fragrance, $10 

lavanila rollerball

For a crisp $10 you can trial LAVANILA’s range of delectable natural scents, which combine warm Madagascar vanilla with pure essential oils. Choose from Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, Vanilla Lavender, Fresh Vanilla Lemon, and Vanilla Grapefruit.

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Five Minutes With: Beautiful Because Founder Nina Weston

Hailing from picturesque Cornwall in the UK, businesswoman and entrepreneur Nina Weston moved to Australia in 2010 and founded her ever-expanding eco-chic online boutique Beautiful Because in 2013.

Boasting a stunning array of certified organic, natural and toxin-free beauty brands, the store’s fan base grew rapidly thanks to its and unrivalled customer service, which includes complimentary samples and generous reward points.

Here Nina divulges her insights into the natural beauty industry, and shares the story behind her success.

EE: What first sparked your interest in natural beauty?

Nina: I’ve always loved boutique and handcrafted brands, but it wasn’t until I did a makeup artistry course that I really started to question the ingredients listed on the boxes of the mainstream products in my kit.

After years of trying every brand I possibly could in search of the holy grail of beauty, I woke up to the reality that most are tarred with the same toxic brush – and there was no turning back! I no longer wanted to use these products on myself, let alone apply them to others.

How did the idea to create Beautiful Because come about?

In a nutshell, I feel strongly that we shouldn’t have to fear toxins in our skincare and cosmetics, and I became frustrated by mainstream players in the industry falsely marketing themselves – often through celebrity-endorsed campaigns. Upon making the switch to support more ethical, cruelty-free brands myself, I was delighted to discover so many here in Australia with really effective, all-natural formulas.

I woke up to the reality that most beauty products are tarred with the same toxic brush.

I felt compelled to create an educational platform to showcase the finest, together and in one place, and help raise awareness that going green doesn’t mean a compromise on performance. Beautiful Because started as a passionate hobby between jobs, but I soon discovered there was little time for anything else!

Has the swift success and growth of Beautiful Because taken you by surprise, and why?

Yes and no. Natural and organic beauty is growing as an industry, yet I never expected the store to become so popular so quickly. I am very grateful for our loyal and savvy customers who are beautiful because they choose healthy and kind beauty.

What’s been the most challenging part of running your own business?

Expanding the shop while keeping the personalised service our customers love. Juggling many roles in the one day; from helping my staff pack orders on busy mornings, to advising customers, liaising with brands, creative and promotional tasks, etc, etc! Taking work home is all too easy when it’s your own business and sometimes it can be hard to switch off.

And what’s been the most rewarding part?

Working with like-minded people and helping to make a positive difference – be it small – to the lives of our customers and the wider world. It feels good to advocate for brands that are beautiful from the core, and I feel privileged to do so.

What are your top five natural beauty must-haves for summer?

In addition to one of our natural sunscreens (which is of course a must for that strong Australian sun), I will definitely be using the following products this summer:

1. Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

I love this because it works – even in the summer heat. I’m also a fan of its refreshing floral scent.

Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

2. Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

This mineral tint blurs the line between makeup and skincare. It provides great antioxidant protection with a beautiful flawless tint to boot.

Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

3. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

This is a real treat for skin in need of some extra TLC this summer. A highly nourishing and nutrient rich balm, it envelops skin in a cooling wave of azure blue goodness.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

4. Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

I adore this ethical lippie brand that proves eco-friendly beauty can be luxurious. My fave shade is Devotion, which gives your that perfect “my lips but better” natural look.

Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

5. INDAH Coconut Oil To Go

Coconut oil is the minimalist’s multitasking beauty essential. It gives you glowing skin and strong healthy hair, and it doesn’t get purer than INDAH’s cold-pressed extra virgin oil that comes in funky portable packaging – making it superb for using on-the-go.

INDAH Coconut Oil To Go

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The Dirty Dozen: 12 Common Toxins Found In Beauty Products

While there are countless artificial ingredients and toxic nasties hiding in most mainstream beauty products, there are 12 in particular that give cause for major concern.

Often referred to as The Dirty Dozen, these ingredients and chemicals have been shown to be highly questionable with potentially devastating health implications.

Grab a pen and paper and familiarise yourself with these common toxins so that you can steer clear of them next time you’re shopping for cosmetics and toiletries.

1. PARABENS

Found in basically every mainstream beauty product you can get your mitts on, parabens (which usually appear on the ingredients list with prefixes like Butyl, Isobutyl, Propyl, Methyl, Ethyl etc.) are artificial preservatives that are added to products to help prevent bacteria and mould growth.

Parabens are a concern because they can mimic our own natural hormones, which can lead to endocrine disruption; a condition which has been linked to some types of cancer. Parabens have also been associated with skin irritation, dermatitis, rosacea, increased sun damage, headaches and dizziness.

2. ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE

If that department store beauty product you’re testing has even the slightest hint of a scent to it, chances are it’s loaded with synthetic fragrance. Usually listed as ‘parfum,’ or ‘fragrance,’ on the ingredients label, an artificial fragrance can have dozens – even hundreds – of ingredients.

It’s impossible to know exactly what chemicals have been used to create that specific scent, because beauty companies aren’t legally required to reveal their fragrance compositions. Artificial and synthetic fragrances have been linked to headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, nausea and endocrine disruption.

3. PHTHALATES

Found in some of the most popular beauty products on the market (including perfumes, nail polishes, and hairsprays), common phthalates include Diethyl Phthalate and Dibutyl Phthalate.

Phthalates are a type of plasticising chemical that’s used to make a product’s texture more spreadable or pliable, or alternatively to make a product adhere to the skin.

Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and they have been linked to lung, kidney and liver damage, and can potentially cause birth defects as well.

4. SLS & SLES

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) are found in products that lather up (think shampoo, foaming cleansers, body wash, liquid soap, bubble bath and even toothpaste) and are a type of foaming agent.

They are incredibly harsh ingredients and can often be found in industrial cleaning products like engine degreasers. Both SLS and SLES irritate the skin by stripping away it’s natural protective barrier, and have also been linked to allergies, eye problems, and hair growth issues.

5. TRICLOSAN

An antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, Triclosan is added to common toiletries like hand soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, hand sanitiser, and cosmetics.

While the idea of a germ-fighting additive might not sound bad in theory, Triclosan has been linked to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (known as ‘superbugs’) and also ends up in our water systems where it can affect the aquatic environment.

In addition, Triclosan has also been linked to endocrine disruption which can lead to serious medical conditions.

6. PETROLEUM & MINERAL OIL

Petroleum and petroleum-derived substances including mineral oil and paraffin are commonly found in lip balms, lipsticks, lip glosses, body oils, moisturisers, body balms, hair gels and conditioners.

Petroleum is a type of petrochemical that’s derived from crude oil, and it can cause a wide array of skin problems as it coats and clogs your pores and leaves a slick barrier on top of the skin.

In addition to preventing the skin from ‘breathing,’ petroleum, mineral oil and paraffin can also be contaminated with all kinds of toxins and impurities.

7. FORMALDEHYDE

Listed on the ingredients label as Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Quaternium, DMDM Hydantoin, Nitropropane, Bronopol, Oxaldehyde and Glyoxal, Formaldehyde is commonly found in nail polishes and hair straightening treatments.

It’s been banned from use in cosmetics in some countries and is a known carcinogen that has been linked to lung disease (including lung cancer), lymphoma and leukaemia.

It makes it’s way into the body through fume inhalation, and can cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, and has the potential to accumulate in the body which can lead to toxicity.

8. HYDROQUINONE

Also known as Quinol, Benzene and Diol, Hydroquinone inhibits melanin production and can be found in some skin lightening creams and anti-pigmentation products like brightening serums and skin whitening treatments.

It has been banned in some countries, and the FDA has stated that Hydroquinone may be carcinogenic, as studies have linked it to the development of tumours and leukaemia. It has also been linked to skin sensitivity and increased sun damage, skin irritation and organ toxicity.

9. MERCURY 

While it’s not commonly found in Australian-made beauty products, mercury can be lurking in certain mascaras, acne treatments and skin creams, along with ear and eye drops.

It will be listed on the ingredients label as Calomel, Mercurous Chloride, Thimerosal, Merthiolate, Mercurio, or Mercuric.

Mercury exposure can lead to mercury poisoning, symptoms of which can include tremors, numbness and tingling, irritability and depression, memory problems, vision and hearing problems, and organ damage – including brain damage.

10. PROPYLENE GLYCOL

You’ll find this anti-freeze solvent in brake and hydraulic fluids, along with some of the most common personal care and toiletry products like deodorant, baby wipes, toothpaste, moisturisers, shampoo, and run-of-the-mill cosmetics.

Propylene Glycol has the potential to cause serious health issues, including central nervous system disruption and organ damage. It has also been linked to hives, eczema, and allergic reactions.

11. COAL TAR DYES

Used primarily as a colouring agent in hair dyes and makeup, and also an active ingredient in some anti-dandruff shampoos, coal tar dyes will appear in the ingredients list with names like Aminophenol, Phenylenediamine and Diaminobenzene.

Coal tar dyes are known to be carcinogenic, and in some instances might also be contaminated with toxic heavy metals. In addition to this, coal tar dyes have also been shown to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.

12. BHA & BHT

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants, which are added to cosmetics like lipstick, moisturiser, and even baby products like nappy creams to extend the product’s shelf life.

They are suspected carcinogens and they also have the potential to cause endocrine disruption and have the potential to cause thyroid, kidney, and liver issues.

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