Bare Blossom’s Blooming Business

When Brisbane lawyer Adriana Woolf, 35, discovered she had an autoimmune condition and needed to limit the amount of toxins and chemicals she used on her skin, due to the increased risk to her organs, her entrepreneurial instincts kicked in.

A huge make-up lover, Adriana (pictured) set to work researching make-up ranges on the market and, unable to find a complete range that was low-toxin and chemical-free, she decided to make her own. She launched her natural mineral makeup and cosmetics company, Bare Blossom, in March 2013 after recognising a gap in the market for pregnancy-safe and vegan cosmetics like hers.

Related: Do You Need To Revamp Your Skincare This Summer?

“Apart from having an endless array of make-up on hand, the best thing about running Bare Blossom is knowing that I am giving people a healthier alternative to what is on the market,” Adriana says.

“My mission has become educating the world about toxins in make-up and cosmetics and providing an alternative. I get extreme joy when Bare Blossom receives an email thanking us for providing a quality, toxin-free make-up line suitable for everyone from pregnant women to those with sensitive skin and autoimmune diseases. They are so happy that they can use make-up again.”

Now, with Bare Blossom ambassador, Miss World Queensland and model/presenter and producer Hailey Wilson (pictured) at the helm, Bare Blossom is a triumph of hard work and passion.

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With degrees in both psychology and law, Adriana works as a lawyer alongside her husband Shawn at their Brisbane law firm. Somehow, the busy businesswoman also finds time to run Bare Blossom, a small, family-run business, which is seeing healthy sales in its first year of trade.

With repeat customers from as far away as New Zealand and the UK, Adriana is dreaming big, with expansion plans in place for national and international stockists. After being diagnosed with secondary Raynaud’s which is why she must wear gloves and a connective tissue disorder, Adriana’s new business venture made her more aware of her health. “It has made me more aware the importance of looking after yourself and your body. I think it’s important that this translates into all aspects of our life, including cosmetics and make-up,” she says.

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“With an autoimmune illness, you have to deal with episodes (called flares) of being well and not being well – basically your body attacks you from the inside out.

“The hardest thing about this is constantly having to pay attention to your body and notice the early warning signs. If you don’t you end up having a flare that lasts for months at a time, which is exhausting.

“I find that extended periods of stress, not exercising and eating the “wrong” foods (specifically gluten and casein) will set my autoimmune system into overdrive. The main symptoms which I personally experience are joint pain, pins and needles and numbness in my hands and feet, as well as swelling of my fingers and feet. I also get psoriasis on my elbows, which I cover up with Bare Blossom!

“I think having a background in psychology has given me the understanding of the mental and emotional effects of not making time for your health and wellness.”

And in case you’re wondering what Adriana’s favourite Bare Blossom products are, she says she can’t live without the Mineral Foundation Powder, which has SPF15 and is gluten-free and vegan; Mineral Mascara, which has a rich colour and is long-lasting; and Mineral Lipstick, which gives lips a luscious feeling and glides on smoothly.

Bare Blossom beauty products do not contain any animal products or derivatives and common cosmetic nasties such as: bismuth oxychloride, ferric ferrocyanide, harsh chemicals, parabens, talc and more.

Visit www.bareblossom.com.au for more information and to order online.

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October 15, 2014

Issada Cosmetics’s Beautiful Future

Ever wondered how you build a beauty empire? You create something luxurious and unique, as in the case of Brisbane Issada Cosmetics CEO/founder Fiona Neale, who literally created her boutique beauty brand in her living room and now oversees a thriving business set for rapid national expansion.

Issada is unique in that it is skin-treating mineral make-up with professional pigment strength, on-trend colour collections, performance and finish. Equally loved by spa therapists and cosmetic surgeons for use after invasive treatments, and celebrity make-up artists for photo shoots, runway shows and film and TV projects, Issada has loyal devotees all over the country.

The cult brand began 12 years ago with a range of unique make-up brushes ergonomically engineered with solid aluminium handles which became a favourite with A-list celebrities including Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gisele Bundchen, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Watts, Kate Moss, Miranda Kerr and many more. Then, Fiona’s chance meeting with a make-up artist in London saw the brand transform. The businesswoman had just set up the first-class beauty lounge for Virgin Atlantic in London Heathrow Airport, then discovered the brushes and that they were made by a little-known brand in Brisbane, but only sold exclusively to make-up artists and not the public. Seeing the great growth potential there, Fiona purchased the brand, and transformed it into Issada Cosmetics, incorporating a full make-up range, in 2006.

So, what began as an underground cult brand has now grown to become the beauty brand of choice for beauty editors, celebrities and skin-conscious beauty consumers who want superior skin-treating makeup.

“I don’t think there’s another mineral make-up brand that can claim to cover both bases (pardon the pun) so comprehensively!” Fiona says. “Our products are made from pharmaceutical-grade minerals (the highest quality, with the most skin benefits) organic botanicals, collagen and peptides, using the latest technology from chemists around the globe – and every product is designed with an equal focus on skin health and pro-strength finish, performance and colour.”

Now, Issada is favoured by the casts of TV shows like Offspring and Home & Away, and is also widely used by Channel 7, 9 and 10 news teams and local celebrities such as The Veronicas, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Jessica Gomes, Carla Zampatti and more.

And the beauty brand’s next big step is its new distribution deal with beauty giant BLC Cosmetics which will see Issada’s current 250 Australian stockists likely double within a year.

“Choosing the perfect distribution partner who would share our vision was a lengthy selection process,” Fiona says. “BLC ticked all the boxes; they share our devotion to the salon and spa world, their luxury spa brands align with Issada, and they have an excellent reputation.”

The brand currently has two Brisbane flagship boutiques, with an eye on future interstate expansion there too. “It’s important for us to control our growth at a manageable rate,” Fiona says. “We have national and international enquiries flooding in daily, so for us it’s about solidifying one region at a time while remaining open to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“In terms of opening stores in other capital cities of Australia, it’s on our radar, but for right now we have our hands full with all of our amazing interstate stockists, more of whom are popping up by the day!

“Having started the brand in my living room, its surreal looking at the potential and the projections of the magnitude of growth our boutique brand could see very soon.”

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Visit www.issada.com

August 17, 2014