Vanessa Gray is the radiant beauty behind Australian skincare brand, Vanessa Megan, that's quite simply, delicious "food for your skin." As new stockists of the brand, we couldn't wait to discover more about the process and inspiration involved in creating this high performing, certified organic range that's made with pure plant extracts, essential oils and lots of love.
In 2001, I was speaking with my best friend and we were talking about our skin. I asked Mel, “What should I put on my skin?" She replied, “Ness you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat." This was my lightbulb moment, where I just got the way skincare should be. So the very next day I went out in search of a completely chemical-free skin care range and decided, "If I can’t find it, I’ll make it!” hence my journey began.
Because of the statistics associated with the 101+ chemicals related to ingredients in skin care, I started looking for healthy natural alternatives. I knew we could achieve the same goal with even longer lasting results if we used ingredients that could be grown in our garden. My love for bio-chemistry started the minute I went out in search of a chemical-free skincare routine and I am now working with chemists and manufacturers with my ideas on where we can bring new initiative to completely natural products.
The Essential Blend Natural Perfume. It was my sister's birthday, I was a poor student and I knew she loved essential oils. So I whizzed up a concoction and sent it over to her. She loved it so much she wanted another bottle. I completely forgot the formula, I didn’t write it down, so I had to get her to send the bottle back for me to try to re-create. Luckily it passed the sister Essential Blend nose!
A career highlight would have to be recently when we received our Organic Certification from Australia’s leading organic certifier, ACO. This was a monumental moment and something we had been working for years to obtain. This is the seal of a real certified organic product and it is championed by so many customers as top shelf, reliable and 100% chemical free.
Nature's Elixir Face Oil (NEO) is a serious miracle worker while you sleep. The vitamins and minerals exceed those that are written on the box; it's laiden with the wonderful ‘lil guys. The main ingredients contain vitamins A,E,P & K. There is also zinc from pumpkin seed which is known to be fantastic for the skin and helps the other precious oils penetrate deeper into the skin's layers. This is the product that if you want to feel instant results, you will, overnight. The texture of your skin feels smoother, lighter, fluffier to you and your partner's touch. We have had many customers comment on how pigmentation has disappeared after using NEO, which laser couldn’t cure. It acts as a barrier to the elements, protecting your skin when you wear it under makeup, so pores won’t get blocked. And, last but by no means least, the colour of the oil is bronze, so if you don’t want to wear makeup, just pat a little onto your face for that dewy golden glow.
Most creams treating the above ailments contain cortisone, known to thin the skin. For these types of skin problems it is a quick relief, but as soon as you stop using it, the rash that every skin sufferer knows too well returns. We have tested our balm, which contains 100% certified organic ingredients on an array of skin sufferers such as hairdressers with chemical psoriasis on their hands, people with eczema and baby's suffering with nappy rash.
When we first gave them our balm to try, they were sceptical about using chemical-free. We asked each person to try the balm and come back to us in a week with their prognosis. Within 2 days we had our first response: “Oh my goodness, I seriously didn’t think this would work, but my psoriasis has almost completely cleared up and the itching has completely gone." (Abby Beeliar, W.A). Across the board our balm has and is working wonders, it is full of certified organic ingredients which help to heal, seal, protect, calm and rejuvenate extremely dry, brittle and sensitive skin.
I pretty much lock myself away in the lab and start blending. It is a long process, but my favourite, so it doesn’t seem long for me, in fact it is my favourite part of the job. Connecting the different layers and notes of scents and creating something that hasn’t been blended before.
Hmmm, how long do you have? The process in a nutshell requires every single ingredient in every single formula to be researched until you pretty much know where the plant sprouted from, through to where it was extracted and bottled. There are approximately 10 pages of data needed for each ingredient before it is passed or failed as a selection for your formula. This small process is why, I believe, the ACO are the best organic certifying body in Australia; they make it hard for the manufacturer, however, the customer has the peace of mind that every single ingredient chosen has passed rigorous testing to get it to this stage. If you don’t trust us, trust the Bud Logo Of Approval!
Oohhh, now you are testing me…. I have half a dozen I can’t leave home without, however if today you told me I could only take one product, it would have to be the ‘Mummy’s Tummy', since I am 5 months pregnant, I need this certified organic body oil to keep my skin scarless and stretchless!
Again, a toughy... Mandarin oil today. The high note of citrus with a hint of warmth makes my taste buds tingle.
People, places, an ailment, a question, a request. Oh inspiration never stops.
The season inspires my beauty routine and also how much time I ned to give to myself. If I am lacking in a bit of pampering, a good dose of NEO before bed may be all I need to feel back on top of things again.
Water, sleep, do what you love.
Greek yoghurt mask is fantastic for dry skin or skin with any red marks, thread veins, etc. Put a thin layer of greek yoghurt over your face in the morning, allow to dry, wash off, then see your face glow! Seriously one of natures most amazing natural face masks, try it to believe it!
Quinoa salad I have been making this for 5 years, before the quinoa craze came out and now it is a golden oldy fave among my friends and family. Get your quinoa salad ready for every barbie, warm night, or just your evening meal:
Yoga, walking, snorkelling.
Meditating. I learnt from my partner last year how to do Vedic meditation and it has changed my life. It's the best gift to yourself you could ever give. For more info check out silentsource.com.au
Self confidence xx
Find out more about Vanessa Megan at www.vanessamegan.com.au
By Nina Weston