For those that missed Zoe Foster Blake on her Queensland holiday, this is what we delved into when Go-To launched at Mecca Maxima in Wintergarden.
You have an incredible career as an editor and published author, what made you want to start your own beauty brand?
A fashion label asked me to create a makeup line for them, I started going down that path and it was when I asked what’s going into the products to which they responded you don’t need to worry about that just sign off on the packaging and I went hold on- if I was ever to do this I would have to know what goes in it and formulate it myself. Not long after that a friend suggested that I do it and it was always going to be skincare because by then I had written Amazing Face and had so much feedback on my blog and over the years of women being so confused by skincare and I thought it could be a lot easier and a lot more fun. Then 6 years later I saw a gap and wanted women to feel confident and competent using skin care amongst the scary French brands, hard-core doctor brands and pharmacy brands, there was nothing out there that was clean, we saw a niche and aimed for it.
With all your years in the beauty industry as a beauty editor how do you hone in on perspective when you are developing a product?
I tried all the products, as I worked at Cosmo, from pharmacy to super market and then I went to Harpers Bazaar where we had really luxe spa and salon brands and they are quite different too, so I felt like I knew the ingredients that worked and I knew the ones that were full of shit. I wanted to make a range of products that were very useful and products that were not going to let me down. I am a mum of two, I travel a lot and anything in my kit needs to work very hard. I think having a female formulator is very helpful and we work closely with skin feel and ethnicity of the products and that’s how it ends up in your hands, with a big team effort. If we are going to make you pay for it, it has to work and it has to be good.
All your products are natural and cruelty free what does that mean to you and your brand?
Cruelty free is a no brainer for me from day one I tested the products, it was always going to be me testing the products. More than half of the products are vegan too but we do have a beeswax and lanoline thing going on as they are such great ingredients so we are not completely vegan but we certainly lay that front of mind as it is a big deal. Australia and New Zealand have always been excellent in natural skincare something we have always done without thinking. In truth, we did it because we started out as a direct to consumer brand, well not any more but we were and if we are going to be making women buy our skincare online having never touched it, smelt it or played with it, if it irritates them I just couldn’t envision a world where this happened. So, we did this to make sure that the products would not annoy your skin and you could feel safe and trust us. The clean movement has since flared up but we just did it to make sure that you are not going to put something on your skin that is going to make it angry.
People with sensitive skin are enjoying the benefits of Go-To, is it because of the lack of nasties?
I didn’t foresee this and I didn’t think I must make a sensitive skin brand but I think that a lot of the products I used over the years that said they were for sensitive skin, I questioned why and how they got that label. For me it’s what you take out that counts and if you do have a sensitive skin type the less ingredients and the ones you can understand and know what they are the better to limit the outcome of your irritation. We feel very proud to be clean, we feel very safe. Rosacea and oily skin- you are our favourite type of customer. If you have bitchy skin, come to us!
Your products are all about layering, what’s the best way to layer?
Nowadays everyone is so knowledgeable and educated, when I was young there was no information. It’s common knowledge that you go thinnest to thickest, so you would cleanse and then apply your water based lotions and toners and then then move into serums that are light with small molecules and then oils and then creams or sunscreens. For us it would be Properly Clean, Exfoliating Swipeys twice a week at night time, Face Hero and then Zincredible. We are currently developing our high protection SPF which is soo important.
Winter skin, let’s talk about seasonal change?
Best Go-To face recipe is Face Hero, it’s our stand out its our superstar. If anyone is ever unsure about the brand, I always ask them to try Face Hero first it’s perfect for everybody’s skin! Be it too much sun, snow, wind or whatever has upset your skin and you just want to keep the glow. If you have oily skin, don’t fear the product, a lot of oily skin is deeply dehydrated and the skin keeps making more oil to compensate so you and your skin become unbalanced, Face Hero will nourish your skin to bring it back to normal. It’s a winner.
Best beauty advice you have learnt over your years in the industry?
As a beauty editor, you meet a lot of amazing people, the best advice I learnt is to teach my readers and audience that less is more, not to over exfoliate and not to over glycolic or retinol which is critical advice in our world right now. Always go easy with the products you use.
Do you think this is a great time for Australian Beauty?
It is the best ever and for Mecca! Mecca has always been the holy grail, it has always been luxurious and a little bit intimidating and special, now Mecca is leading the way with such highly educated staff and you feel like you are being talked to not talked at and I always leave with 10 extra products that I didn’t need, but I did need them that was the trick and it made my face better. It is a great time to empower the customer. Australian beauty is doing big things and we are so proud to be a part of Mecca!
Christie Sutherland has quickly become renowned as one of Queensland’s fashion authorities. Hailing from South Africa, Christie started her career at Bauer Magazines and her eye for detail and hard work quickly saw her ascend to becoming the youngest ever Editor of Style Magazines. Presiding over innumerable photo shoots with international brands, photographers and models has lead Christie into an exciting new phase of her career a freelance professional, becoming fashion ambassador for Treasury Brisbane through to styling Ralph Lauren’s national season launches to name a few. Always the consummate professional Christie is at home hosting events, styling shoots and producing cutting edge content.