After years of working in the beauty industry, Nina Weston decided to reconcile her desire to live healthily and sustainably with her love for luxurious makeup and skincare – so in 2013, she founded BeautifulBecause.com.au, an online eco chic store and guide stocking the finest natural beauty brands from Australia and beyond. We caught up with Nina to discover the story and inspiration behind her business and her top tips for environmentally conscious beauty …
What inspired you to start Beautiful Because?
Working in the beauty industry, I spent years trying every brand I possibly could before realising that most are tarred with the same toxic brush. I strongly believe we shouldn’t have to fear the chemicals in our skincare and became frustrated by the major players caring little about the end user or the processes involved in manufacturing their products (be it environmental impact, animal testing, etc.). Natural brands tend to take a holistic approach to their formulas and consider the effects of their products both on one’s health and the planet; it’s this that led me to go green. I made it my mission to find sophisticated brands I could wholeheartedly advocate, and, impressed by how the products felt and performed on my skin, I decided to use my online experience to create an educational platform for them. Beautiful Because stands for beauty that’s better – cleaner on so many levels.
How has the business evolved since its early days?
Quickly! We only launched in summer 2013 and have a loyal and growing customer base who love our personalised service, which includes complimentary samples and exclusive offers, as well as advice we share through our Green Beauty Guide. One of the challenges I’ve faced is scaling the business while keeping the personal touch. Having launched with Australian natural brands, we are now starting to stock the finest natural brands from across the world. We’re always looking for opportunities to help our customers and streamline their online shopping experience, making it easy and enjoyable.
What does the expression ‘natural beauty’ mean to you?
To me, ‘natural beauty’ symbolises being comfortable in your own skin – growing old-gracefully, embracing your laughter lines and letting your inner beauty show. It’s being beautiful from the inside out by taking a holistic approach to life, being kind to others and the earth. It’s choosing beauty conscious products created with care and integrity.
How do you go about choosing the certified organic, natural and non-toxic brands that you stock?
They must have style and substance – be sophisticated, effective, eco-friendly and cruelty-free. There are so many exceptional brands in the natural beauty sphere right now, and one of the challenges I face is choosing the very best. I look at what leading eco makeup artists, facialists and beauty writers across the world are embracing and listen to what my customers want. When it comes to skincare, I choose brands that have pure and potent ingredients, and when it comes to makeup, I choose those that are easy to apply and give great results – I like cosmetics that blur the line between makeup and skincare. We try everything before we buy, and so can our customers (free samples with every order!).
What are some of your most popular products? Can you tell us what particular products or beauty tips you swear by?
At the moment, natural deodorant, mascara, bb cream and sunscreen are big hits at Beautiful Because, but it’s often seasonal. I am always trying new brands, but like to wear a lightweight, skin-protecting moisturiser as a makeup base by day and use a potent antioxidant serum to treat my skin by night. I also love multi-tasking skin oils such as coconut, rosehip and argan. One of my top beauty tips is to cleanse well and give yourself a mini-facial each day. I recommend removing eye makeup with jojoba oil before using a gentle cream cleanser and muslin cloth – it’s a ritual and not a chore! Cleansing thoroughly helps keep skin clear, healthy and radiant and optimises the efficacy of ingredients. When it comes to makeup, I don’t like to leave the house without wearing my Inika liquid foundation and Ere Perez eyebrow pencil!
Why do you think it’s important for us to choose brands that are kind to the earth as well as to our bodies?
One of the reasons I said goodbye to the mainstream beauty industry was because I became disheartened by the sheer materialism of it: the amount of unnecessary products we use, waste and throw away, with non-eco packaging filling our landfills and even our waterways (the microbeads found in conventional personal care products are a common example of this). Natural ingredients come from the earth, which we must nurture for generations to come. Brands that really care will use biodegradable packaging, support sustainable farming practices and give something back if they can, to green charities or causes. Organic farming use methods that conserve our soil and water and minimise our overall impact on the environment. It feels good to use brands that care for the planet as well as our skin.
What are your top tips for the environmentally conscious beauty shopper?
When shopping for eco beauty, remember less really is more. I strongly advise simplifying your beauty regimen when detoxifying it – not only is it liberating realising how little you actually need, but using fewer products and multitasking them saves time, money and lowers your carbon footprint. Without the synthetic preservatives, natural products have a shorter shelf life, too. Be aware of greenwashing, which is when a brand claims to be eco-friendly through costly marketing, instead of implementing business practices that minimise environmental impact (such as recyclable packaging). Packaging can also be deceptive, with some products appearing to be natural/organic when in fact they contain only a small percentage of such ingredients. Always check the ingredients and look for organic and cruelty-free certifications.
Stay up to date with the latest offers and advice by signing up for the Beautiful Because newsletter: beautifulbecause.com.au/join-newsletter.