Any clean beauty devotee will tell you: building an all-natural routine is a process. We’re all looking to clean up our act and reduce exposure to mostly unregulated and potentially creepy beauty ingredients, but when it comes to lipstick and eye cream, there’s no use in a ‘clean’ version if it’s not high-functioning. We’d rather go bare-faced than use a clean, but disappointing product — and that’s where finding a good curation of products can really help.
Actress Naomi Watts has had her own journey on the beauty front. After quite a bit of initial skepticism, Naomi eventually found brands like Marie Veronique and Joanna Vargas (perhaps the perks of working with great makeup artists?) that changed her tune. Partnering with two of her closest friends, Naomi is now in the clean beauty business herself with ONDA, an online retailer with it’s own shops in London, Sydney and New York.
We asked the down-to-earth beauty maven (who is actually British, mind you, and not Australian!) to break down her beauty obsessions, lessons and hopes for the future of the industry here…
Which products first turned you on to clean beauty?
Some of the earliest clean products I used were Joanna Vargas’ Rejuvenating Serum and Daily Hydrating Moisturizer; and Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk. I also was a big convert with Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum – that one is a game changer!
Growing up, were you a soap and water kind of girl? Or did you use *all* the products?
Definitely soap and water. Never had the money for much beyond Oil of Olay!
Why does clean beauty matter to you? What do you like to tell the uninitiated or skeptical?
I started off a bit of a skeptic myself. I always thought that if it didn’t hurt, it probably wouldn’t work! Once I started trying things, I saw not only real efficacy, but a solid shift in my overly sensitive skin. Knowing that there are no harmful ingredients makes so much sense. It’s important to be aware of not only what you’re putting in your body, but on your body too. I think switching to clean products can seem daunting, but finding a balance is the best way to go about it. I’d suggest choosing one or two products to try and slowly make changes according to what works best for you. There’s an undeniable pull toward health and wellbeing, so removing non-toxic products just makes sense.
Do you think brands will make the big changes needed for safer products? Or do you seen changes happening that you think are promising?
We’ve already seen a lot of big and small brands making changes to move toward cleaner, safer products. There’s no doubt that the beauty industry is heading in this direction. Pretty much anyone who is launching these days is going to have to really consider how they approach things in a non-toxic way. There is a movement to make changes to existing laws regulating the beauty industry, so I can’t imagine that things won’t keep moving in a better direction.
Lets talk skincare, what are a few of your go-tos and why?
I love the whole Barbara Sturm line. She’s really created something wonderful for sensitive skin. I love her face cream in particular – DBS Face Cream Rich. I also love Saint Jane The C Drops. The formulation is particularly useful for me as I have sensitive skin, so I take care with Vitamin C serums. Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum is beautiful for daily nourishment and I use the Goop Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator for when I want to exfoliate and brighten my skin.
Whats your go-to look for a photo shoot when you have some say. Are you a blush person? a Mascara obsessee?
I’m definitely a blush person, and I love a good lipstick. BeautyCounter does great selection of colors. My go-to products otherwise are BeautyCounter Dew Skin, which has a good SPF, RMS concealer and a BeautyCounter eyebrow pencil.
What do you think the biggest issues are for consumers around clean beauty – green washing, effectiveness or education? What do you wish more consumers knew?
Education is key. People are likely to be skeptical just as I was, so you have to be willing to research and experiment. There’s now a broad enough range of clean beauty products out there, that people can find a way to switch out their existing products without it being too much of a monumental task. But ultimately, consumers need to be able to trust the source, which is why at ONDA, we vet and test all the products we stock, so that out customers know anything they buy from us is safe, effective and transparent.