Sustainable, Ethical Beauty
Here at löfte we recently shot our first campaign, which was incredibly exciting! Of course however, it was so important to us that we ensured that sustainability and ethical practices were involved at every step.
When we were put in touch with Sjaniel, or makeup artist, we knew it was the perfect match. Sjaniel uses only sustainable, ethical products to ensure a holistic approach to her work. It was so interesting learning about her journey and what she has discovered along the way... so much so that we wanted to share some of that knowledge with you! Read our interview with the wonderful Sjaniel below...
It was so interesting discussing the correlation between your health, well-being and beauty. When did you yourself realise the correlation or was it always obvious to you?
It certainly wasn’t always obvious to me, I had been doing makeup since I was 20 and following a health journey for 10 years before I really made that connection at the age of 34. Realising, while studying Nutritional Therapy, that our skin is our body’s largest organ and literally constantly sending messages to and protecting our internal body was like a light bulb moment about how important healthy beauty products are. I believe that there was a massive realisation about the importance of food provenance a decade ago and people started realising that the finer details of your food really matters and this realisation is slowly filtering into the beauty industry.
Can you tell us a little bit more about our journey to becoming a nutritional therapist? How has this impacted your life and career?
I started my 3 year Nutritional Therapy course in 2012 after being ‘inexplicably’ unwell and burnt out for a year. With correct diagnoses after finding the right practitioner, I had a somewhat miraculous turnaround in a short amount of time through the correct diet (specific to my needs at the time) and that spurred me on to become a qualified practitioner myself. I did not realise then that my knowledge in nutrition would overlap with beauty, but the more I learned and interacted with women with skin issues and looking for better makeup alternatives, I realised that it is completely interconnected. After having my son 3 years ago, I stopped practicing as a nutritional therapist because I needed the time to be at home with him, at that time I started focusing more on doing makeup again and I found my groove within the wellness industry as a makeup artist for other conscious brands and people but also as a consultant and product expert for those wanting to make positive changes for themselves.
Are there any common misconceptions or mistakes that you find people make regarding their health and beauty?
I think that many people who’ve had few or no health problems or skin issues for most of their lives, take it for granted that they simply feel or look healthy naturally and don’t fully appreciate the impact of hammering your body with bad food, alcohol, bad sleep and bad products and environment can do to you over time. The majority of people who develop sudden skin issues and immune reactions to beauty products or food do so out of the blue in their mid-thirties and above and it takes them by surprise. Of course there is a whole host of young people suffering from these types of issues that believe it’s simply just the way they are and not realising that everything you put into or onto your body has some sort of residual impact over time. If you can figure out what your unhealthy habits and triggers are, you can literally change your quality of life for the better - don’t ever ignore what your body is trying to tell you and don’t doubt the power of nature’s ability to utilise good nutrition to serve you well.
What advice or first steps would you advise to someone who wants to become healthier?
The number one thing is to simplify. Cut right back down to basics - in both food and skincare. With food you are looking to get back down to single ingredient foods and avoid what we in nutrition like to refer to as ‘food products’ - ideally you want to eat freshly prepared whole foods and not manufactured packaged products - that will change your health dramatically and if you can do that 70% of the time it is an achievable lifestyle. With beauty I always focus on skin health first, makeup - especially natural makeup - needs healthy skin and I believe that in most cases there are simply too many products involved. You need an amazing, gentle (non-foaming) cleanser, a good hydrating serum or moisturiser and a nourishing face oil. That’s it. Only once your skin is happy and healthy do I suggest adding in more variety.
Why is sustainability and cruelty free so important to you?
I think of myself as a holistic makeup artist and that falls within the ‘conscious beauty’ industry - this means that thinking about the impact of everything you use from it’s source to it’s afterlife. People automatically think about the treatment of animals or packaging used, but it’s so much more complex than that. Are the ingredients being used made from petro-chemicals that ultimately destroy the environment and animal habitats? Are the people farming and producing the ingredients and products being treated fairly? Are the manufacturers only interested in making a profit and not being honest about the cheap ingredients and fillers they are using?
More than ever we need to be educated about the products we buy because our earth’s resources are finite and so are our bodies’.
The makeup industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and growing all the time. Is it easy to shop for sustainable, ethical makeup? What are your favourite beauty brands and products?
Beauty is huge and conscious beauty is growing at an exponential rate - big brands have already cottoned on and are marketing with these sustainable ideas in mind. As consumers we are definitely more aware and that is a good thing, but we do need to take it upon ourselves to really investigate the claims products make the same way we do with food. It’s very easy for any company to tell you about all the amazing organic or plant based ingredients (often as little as 1% of the total product) in their product and then still fill it with a myriad of cheap synthetic fillers.
The industry has come such a long way in the last 5 years, I would say for the most part you can find anything you want for your day to day beauty and makeup needs in natural beauty products (expect perhaps truly waterproof mascara). The selections and formulations are improving all the time and I believe many look better on skin over all.
As far as favourites goes, there are so many brands I love and use and I don’t think that any one single brand has a perfect offering, so I mix and match favourite items from different brands. For those starting out however I would recommend looking at makeup brands like HIRO, rms beauty, ILIA Beauty, INIKA, Absolution Cosmetics, Zao and Kjaer Weis to name the most popular ones.
This is why I offer one on one consultations with anyone wanting to change to natural makeup brands as I will put together a tailored list of products based on your needs and preferences with regards to textures, colours and efficacy - it can certainly be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin...