Friday, 8 May 2015

Aduna - Behind the brand

Aduna is an Africa-inspired health and beauty brand and social business. Aduna's products feature extraordinary and unique natural ingredients from across the continent. Here we catch up with co-founder Andrew Hunt. 

Aduna means ‘life’ or ‘world’ in Wolof – what one thing can’t you live without in your daily life?
The most important thing for me by far is to wake up every morning and be inspired about what I am doing with my life. As long as I have this, then the rest slots easily into place. And thankfully with Aduna, inspiration is never in short supply. 

How often do you get to go back and visit the African communities that Aduna work with?
Not enough. Ironically, since co-founding Aduna I have spent less time in Africa than ever before. However this year I have already been to Africa twice, which is amazing. When I arrive there I am often feeling like an iPhone on low battery, but after a week of being plugged back in, I come home fully charged.

Do you think that you will introduce more superfoods to your range?
Yes, in fact we have another amazing one coming in the next couple of months – African Super Cacao. This is the first cacao product with a health claim which has been proven and accepted by the European Food Safety Authority. It’s an amazing powder which is naturally high in flavanols and contributes to normal blood flow.  

What do you wish you’d known when you started?
We didn’t know very much when we started – it is a massive learning curve launching your own brand. Perhaps the most useful thing would have been the names and email addresses of all the buyers. 

Highlight from the last few years of your company?
We only launched two and half years ago but we already have some amazing highlights – getting into Liberty, our first piece in Vogue, being nominated for two Guardian Sustainable Business Awards. But by far the best thing about the Aduna experience so far has been the amazing people we have had the chance to meet and work with – ranging from our inspiring interns and communities in Ghana to our amazing friend and supporter Suzy Menkes, Editor of International Vogue. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?
The fact that I find it almost impossible to switch off from it at any time of day or night!

What is your favourite time of the day?
Early morning before the phone starts ringing and email pinging. 

Which cause would you fight for?
To Make Baobab Famous. This extraordinary African superfruit has the potential to be worth as much as a billion dollars to rural Africa, if only we can make it famous. This is a vision that inspires our whole team. And we are fighting for it every day.

Shop here for: Aduna

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

NEW Caudalie Mask Collection

This range of 4 targeted masks offers the perfect cocktail of treatments where vine extracts meet highly purifying clays, with exfoliating and nourishing ingredients for the ultimate skin-renewing ritual.

Inspired by Caudalie’s spa heritage, this Caudalie Mask collection is formulated to fulfil every skincare need. Each mask combines powerful active ingredients with indulgent textures, and each is formulated to target specific needs of each area of your face. Some of these masks are a re-launch but all come in the new packaging and with a better price point (before £19 for 50ml, now each costs £22 for 75mls). Here is our guide to each mask:

Result: Clears and revitalises the complexion
This clay-based mask helps detox and restore balance. The botanical formula of grapes, pink clay and naturally exfoliating papaya enzymes draw out impurities and tighten up pores, freshening and brightening skin.
Formula: 99.3% natural
How to use: Apply a fine layer and rinse away after 10 minutes.

Result: Intensely soothes and calms skin
This mask restores moisture levels to relieve tightness, reduces redness and increases softness thanks to vinolevure and the ultra-nourishing grapeseed oil (rich in restorative omega 6). It’s an ultra creamy, soothing formula that provides deep hydration thanks to an infusion of hyaluronic acid, known for its ability to retain water and plump out the skin.
Formula: 85.5% natural
How to use: Apply in a thick layer and leave for 10 minutes before wiping away any excess.

Result: Balances and helps clear blemishes
This one is ideal for skin with acne or blemishes. It’s full of naturally purifying ingredients and two types of clay, bentonite and kaolin, which absorb excess oil, decongest and soothe your skin. It cleans deeply, diminishes the appearance of pores and removes dead skin cells. Moreover, it can be used as a night-time acne spot treatment by applying a small amount onto affected areas.
Formula: 94% natural
How to use: Apply all over if you have oily skin, just to the T-zone or as a spot treatment. Wait for 10 minutes, then rinse away.

Result: An instant boost of radiance
This peel treatment tightens pores, renews skin texture and provides an immediate radiance. This effective mask helps cellular renewal with exfoliating glycolic acid and papaya extract while Viniferine works to brighten and even out skin tone and illuminating your complexion.
Formula: 87.5% natural
How to use: Apply in a thick layer avoiding the eye area, and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse away gently.

Shop here for: Caudalie Masks

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Intensae - Behind the Brand

INTENSAE is modern and luxurious with an edge: a range of high-performance nail lacquers using an exclusive 5-free formula and combining equal measures of work and play for a healthy yet indulgent lifestyle. Here we catch up with co-founders, Christian and James.

Where do you see your (brand/self) in 5 years?
Christian: Happy, independent and being able to share with others, same goes for the brand.
James: We will continue to develop INTENSAE with even more exciting and innovative products. It’s important we give back and remain committed to the creation of coveted products that remain healthy and safe to use.

What are your everyday beauty/wellbeing essentials?
Christian: I start the day with a hot water and lemon. It’s important to focus on the inside as well. Coconut oil is my all time favourite essential, I use it everyday. It’s good for my skin. Sometimes I even use it for my hair if it’s dry. I also love a nice bar of soap, preferably from an independent brand.
James: I have recently started making my own Kombucha tea as I am fascinated by the natural health benefits it offers. I make green juices using a cold press juicer and I also swear by hot water and lemon, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.

What’s your all time favourite Intensae colour?
Christian: My all time favourite colour is ‘Wednesday’.
James: This is difficult as they each mean so much to me. If I had to choose one I would say ‘Memo’ as it’s the perfect shade of red that suits many people and looks good in every season, ‘Memo’ is a classic and every woman should own at least one red nail lacquer.

What’s you one ‘do’ and one ‘don’t’ at work?
Christian: Being honest and humble; constantly pushing boundaries, even the small ones (everyone needs to start somewhere). What others think is none of my business and last but not least don’t be afraid of anything in life. I don’t really focus on the things I can’t do. Maybe there is one…don’t waste time.
James: Always be grateful, even for the challenges as they help us grow and never ever settle for mediocrity.

Your tip for work / life balance
Christian: In my opinion the best way to create balance is to be aware. I avoid negativity in order to stay focused and I listen to a lot of inspiring music. I highly recommend a little bit of fresh air once a day. Don’t do anything you don’t believe in.
James: To create balance I do what I love and this way I don’t need to define a separation between my work and free time. Saying that, one of the hardest things for me to do is relax and just be. This is something I am working on as it’s the peaceful time that produces the most productivity and creativity.

Favourite food
Christian: I love good food. Every country on this planet offers something I love. Simple recipes tend to amaze me. I’m definitely into fresh ingredients.
James: I also love food, this question alone makes me hungry. I like all food from different countries incorporating different cultures, especially Japanese, Vietnamese or Italian. I try to eat clean whenever I can but whatever it is I like it to be well made using the best quality ingredients and I follow a healthy/indulgent balance otherwise what’s the point?

What will you be doing this Summer and where will you be?
Christian: I will definitely work on the Fall/Winter colours but also on other personal projects.
I don’t really plan anymore but James and I want to do a little road trip through Italy soon, maybe next month. If you have any recommendations please get in touch.
But It’s not about where you are it’s about what you do.
James: I am looking forward to an Italian road trip. I want to eat too much, get a tan and see many beautiful things. We will be starting work on our winter colours for Christmas which seems completely wrong but needs must if we are to get everything perfect on time.

Shop here for: Intensae

Monday, 27 April 2015

Choose Your Ideal Bronzer Formula

There is one safe way to get that golden glow, and it's in your makeup bag: bronzer. Our natural mineral bronzers will give you a touch of light, or a deep golden tan without the toxins.

The key to getting that perfect glow is not just a great bronzer but correct application too. Bronzers should be used to look healthier and sun-kissed, not 'bronze’ or dark. For a natural tan, you should pick a colour that is only one shade darker than your natural skin colour. And if you're fair skinned, look for a sheer bronzer with peach tones. Avoid reds or browns if you're fair, because those shades will make you look orange. Our picks below will help you find the perfect bronzer:

If you prefer a compact
Formula: 100% natural minerals.
This all-natural mineral bronzer comes in a convenient compact case to instantly give your skin the sunkissed glow of a natural tan. Pricey - yes, but the 100% mineral formula is superb and performs like no other.

If you prefer loose minerals
Formula: 100% natural minerals.
This mineral bronzer adds a beautiful sun-kissed glow to your skin that looks and feels completely natural. It’s 100% natural and mineral, vegan and halal so ticks every box.

If you want a liquid formula
Formula: 100% natural. Biodynamic.
This liquid bronze-toned concentrate helps even out skin tones, diminish the appearance of imperfections, soften blemishes and give a sunkissed look. Like all Dr Hauschka products, the quality and performance are excellent and suitable for sensitive skin.

The 2-in-1 Bronzer and Self Tan
Formula: Vegan. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.
This moisturizing, natural bronzer and self-tanner can be used on face and body to create the ultimate sun-free, streak-free natural tan instantly. It’s hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

The ultra-convenient bronzer
Formula: 100% natural (70% natural, 30% organic). Gluten free.
Create sexy sun-free colour with this 100% natural bronzer, which gives a gorgeous fresh-from-the-beach glamour look to your face and body. The hand stick provides a quick and easy stick application with no tools needed, so it's great for travel!

On-the-go solution
Formula: 100% natural.
Designed for on-the-go beauties in mind, this unique, innovate product allows you to carry your entire makeup bag in one perfectly portable booklet containing bronzer, highlighter and blusher papiers. Flawlessness is now always at hand.

Want more bronzer options for healthy radiance?
Shop here for: natural and organic bronzers