‘Anti-ageing’ is out, and natural-led beauty is in according to Mintel. Here’s a prime example of how holistic got hip in the beauty market…
Those old ‘lose weight quick’ and ‘turn back the clock’ sales straplines are apparently not cutting it in the health and beauty industries any longer; as Mintel research reveals that while traditional ‘anti-ageing’ skincare markets are seeing a decline, natural beauty is more popular than ever, especially if the ingredients used are wholesome ones we recognise. As we adopt more sustainable diets in every sense, so our beauty habits are following suit, with over 57% of 30,000 respondents in Nielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report stating that natural or organic ingredients were a key influence in purchasing decisions, with 69% willing to pay more for such products.
If you’re shelling out more, virtuous ingredients lists should be the baseline- shouldn’t the product be as slick, cool and beautiful to use as others displayed in your bathroom? Packaging needs to be functional and keep your precious potions stable, but there’s no reason that it can’t also be decorative, tell a story or reflect your sense of style. We’re not talking needless bells and whistles to rack up the price point, but product concept without a doubt plays a part as to whether or not we invest. Basically, to really break through into the mainstream, organic needs to be cool and creative, as well as caring.
‘Edgy and elegant’ brand La Eva, which launched this month, is aiming to achieve just that, with a collaborative approach that incorporates art, photography and craftsmanship into its brand values and presentation, in addition to the more commonly touted wellness. Of course wellbeing and the mind-body connection is a huge component of the organic, Soil Association certified botanical creams and washes, but the brand name, meaning ‘left of centre’ in Latin, as well as being the female name signifying ‘life’, indicates that they’re up to something a little different in their Oxfordshire workshop.
La Eva is a story about celebrating the independent spirit — about creating and connecting with others. It’s about being surprised by life and nature, their chemistry, and their potential.
It all started with traditional soap-making in a saw mill, where La Eva founder Louisa Canham experimented with raw natural ingredients and blends, which led onto tinkering with different recipes and formulations. Expanding beyond soap, she sold products at festivals and in Spitalfields market, building a loyal customer base. Given that layering and balancing scent and botanicals is quite the art, the coming on board of fine artist Rose-Marie Caldecott breathed a fresh and complimentary aesthetic into the brand, with Caldecott’s artwork being visually evocative of La Eva’s first products to launch, blush toned Roseum and duck-egg Blu washes and lotions. The labelling isn’t the only artistic outlet celebrated by La Eva, however, as photographers Despina Spyrou and Pete Seaward are also an integral part of studio life, capturing local and exotic vistas and poignant moments in both natural and the human environment. There’s more art and creativity afoot in the studio, which will soon be opening up to the public for organic beauty, art, photography, design and nature lovers alike to explore.
As for the products themselves, the two ‘ranges’ are centred on the idea of sensuality fused with purpose and beauty. Purpose, because they work, beauty, because just look at those apothecary style bottles, and sensuality in the aromatherapeutic work that has gone into creating the products. Roseum Wash , from £15, and Lotion , from £12.50, contains geranium, clove and petitgrain to both relax and uplift, while Blu Wash , from £15, and Lotion , from £12.50, is altogether more earthy and grounding, with cedarwood, vetivert and chamomile. Both turn the daily chore of washing and moisturising into more of a pleasure, and all products can be used on face, hands and body.
While the range is rather petite at the moment, we expect big things from founder Louisa and her team of rural creatives, and her vision for the brand is certainly a lot more profound than shoutier commercial alternatives:
“La Eva is inspired by organic beauty and a love of art. For me personally, this unfolding journey is one about experiencing life, with awareness, through our senses. It’s about appreciating pure beauty with a sense of depth. It’s a story about celebrating the independent spirit — about creating and connecting with others. It’s about being surprised by life and nature, their chemistry, and their potential. It’s about simplicity, complexity, and the choices that we make — which, sometimes, happen to be left of centre.”