Taking time to consider our skin and self care routines has been one bright spot since the pandemic began. The time to reevaluate also sparked some serious growth in related industries, including in our own backyards. A large number of people have spent the time since considering a career pivot or moving forward with entrepreneurial ideas that have legs. The result? Exciting new options now available on both sides of the Tasman.
On a mission to inspire people to get as excited about SPF the way they did other skincare items, journalist and best-selling author Samantha Brett founded new SPF brand Naked Sundays earlier this year.
So committed to delivering products people genuinely loved and wanted to use, she established the brand without revealing she was at the helm. The idea was to build a community of authentically enthusiastic fans, an achievement that spurred the initial success of the line that includes both mineral and more traditional chemical formula sunscreen for face and body, each also offering significant hydrating and skin-supporting benefits.
The hype quickly grew, especially around the brand’s SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist that can be used to top up SPF throughout the day over makeup. It was the first product Brett had inspired by long hours outside as a news reporter, in a role that necessitated a full face of makeup.
“Millennials who had never even used sunscreen before began buying [the range] in bulk because not only did it work, it looked cool and they were keen to share it with their friends. They realised preventing signs of ageing was much cheaper, simpler and better than trying to reverse it all with expensive and invasive procedures later on.
Catching the attention of beauty megastore Mecca, the range is now even more accessible to Kiwis and Australians, available online and in Mecca stores as well as Naked Sundays website.
“I am passionate about eradicating this need for the next generation to rely on filters and Botox so we’ve made it our mission to make SPF cool, fun, simple, affordable and accessible.”
Move over collagen, make way for mushrooms. It’s the new global supplement boom gaining attention for its possible health, wellness and beauty benefits. Referred to as functional, or medicinal mushrooms, varieties such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps, shiitake and lion’s mane may offer numerous benefits beyond simple nutrition when consumed, in particular adaptogenic properties that could help the body effectively manage stress and improve general well being.
Mother Made, founded by former salad bar owner Emily Blanchett and top international model Jessica Clarke, hopes to lead the charge for the mushrooms’ adoption into daily routines- with the brand’s powdered mushroom blends able to be added to drinks and meals and capsules easily taken on the go.
The powders have a savoury, stock-type flavour when added to cooking, particularly useful for vegetarians. Other products are planned but the focus for now is making life easy for those with an overwhelmed schedule.
Mother Made’s website touts the mushrooms’ ability to variously support and promote gut and skin health, immunity, energy levels, physical performance, and cognitive function thanks to their containing beta (β)-glucan polysaccharides, a type of beneficial carbohydrate compounds, as well as ‘biologically active compounds, like terpenes, sterols, and peptidoglycans, that have shown to provide a range of health benefits’.
In terms of a beauty track record, Growth Bomb co-founder Blair James’ one is a good indication his new venture is set to be a success. James previously founded self-tanning range Bondi Sands in 2021, now a worldwide phenomenon. His new brand Growth Bomb is a haircare line that heroes yerba maté, a botanical native to South America. Conceived during lockdown in April last year, James, along with co-founder and fellow entrepreneur Hamish Buckley, had launched into stores just five months later.
“We stumbled across yerba maté when working on another brand,” explains James. “It has an amazing backstory dating back centuries. It inspired us to create a hair growth brand that uses natural ingredients to target scalp concerns. Most hair growth products focus on the hair itself, but in reality hair is dead just 2cm from the scalp. Growth Bomb interacts with the scalp at four crucial stages throughout the hair growth cycle.”
The initial shampoo, conditioner, treatment spray and serum have just been joined by a strengthening hair mask, AHA scalp exfoliant and scalp tonic that indicates the speed of expansion.
“It has been a whirlwind first year,” confirms Buckley. “We have had some incredible support from our launch retail partners Chemist Warehouse and Priceline who fully ranged the brand and enabled us to launch into around 800 doors. To follow this up we have already delivered new products with seven more on the way.”
Renaming an already successful brand can be a tricky move, and for Anihana creator Sophie Cooper it was akin to re-naming a child as they grew into a toddler. But the Kiwi founder of the bath and body care business previously known as Ahhh admits recently making the change to Anihana, used in honour of a Maori family name, has proven to be the right move. As the company expands internationally, trademark issues and other hiccups with the previous name gave way to a clear new vision for the line that was first established in 2018.
With a vibrant, playful approach to natural, sustainable beauty, Cooper is responsible for an ever-growing collection of luscious hair care bars, wash bars, solid moisturisers, bath bombs, bubble baths and more. Affordable and catering to the whole family, their bars are housed in packaging safe for home composting.
“I wanted to create products that allow everyone to enjoy those simple guilt free “me moments” that are crucial to our mental health, without using any harmful ingredients or unnecessary plastic, says Cooper. ”As my children grew so did my passion for sustainability and creating products that I was proud for them to use.” Along with creating new products the brand is in the process of seeking B Corp certification and is a key sponsor of The Mum’s Clique, a NZ charity supporting mothers throughout the country.
While we’re now very familiar with skincare that contains key active ingredients that can bring about real change in our skin, the beauty landscape in 1994 looked very different. That’s when Trish Winchester founded AST (Advanced Skin Technology) the parent company that developed Aspect and Aspect Dr, the incredibly respected cosmeceutical skincare lines beloved by skin professionals and consumers alike. For many it was their first encounter with active skincare and generally landed in the hands of consumers during a visit to a skin specialist or spa. Winchester sold out of that business five years ago thinking she was done with the industry. But that passion is hard to ignore. Earlier this year she launched a new line called Change Skincare. “So much in our world has changed since I started Aspect,” she explains. “Our skin has changed, the environment, technology, ingredients – practically everything! After some time off, I still felt there was a place in the market for a high quality cosmeceutical brand. We honed our focus on active ingredients that work without compromising quality.”
Acknowledging the number of skin challenges and conditions that exist – not to mention consumers’ texture preferences and lifestyle demands – the line launched with a number of different options in each category, including cleansers, moisturisers, exfoliants and serums.
“Our products have the highest available percentage of the highest quality active ingredients without being harmful to the skin and our formulation technology is the most current available,” Winchester says. Initial response had been enthusiastic, and the brand is already expanding. “We’ve had so many doors open up due to the mutual trust and loyalty between myself and various industry professionals. Consumers as well as professional clinics are ready for something new and different.”
They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and the same rings true of skincare, but Everblue’s serene packaging is convincing at the outset.
Not keen on taking things slow, the initial launch for the new Kiwi brand includes haircare, solid hair and body bars, body and hand wash and epsom salts.
Prompted by an IVF journey, founder Jade Hart says considering the products she was using daily made her want to seek out all-natural products.
“I found I was spending a lot of money and they were not really delivering the results I was after. That triggered the idea for everblue and I set out on a mission to create a brand that was clean, vegan, affordable and delivered phenomenal results.”
Hart, who has an extensive background in PR and marketing, linked up with fellow PR and operations expert Renee Lee and the two set about contracting top formulators to create the brand that has just launched into NZ supermarkets with Australia to follow shortly.
No product costs more than $15 and the range is separated into four collections, with dedicated scent and ingredient combinations intended to provide a sense of well-being. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on designing not only luxurious fragrances, but each collection has a special meaning that inspires our feel-good ethos and our business as a whole. For example our Empower collection contains extracts of peony, gardenia and cocoa butter and our Mindful collection contains extracts of elderberry, manuka and aloe vera.
“We are also really proud that everblue has been accepted to be an Advocacy Partner to UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand, a global organisation with a mission to ensure that all women and girls have equal opportunities.”