Monday, September 25, 2017

Review of Luk Beautifood Lipsticks and Interview With The Founder Cindy Luken

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back, and if you are new here, welcome πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Luk Beautifood lipsticks

Today I wanted to review something I touched on in my Summer 2017 Favourites post, beautiful lipsticks made from real food, aka Luk Beautifood. They came all the way from Australia, and I received Peach Melon, which is gorgeous Peach, and Chai Shimmer, which is equally lovely shimmery gold. You will see them swatched below, as well as my honest thoughts on them. All that, and the interview with the founder, Cindy Luken - I am so happy to present it to you!

But first let's look at LukBeautifood brand, shall we? 

This ethical, holistic & cruelty free brand makes their products in Australia with ethical buying in mind, as well as using recyclable materials. Their mission is to give every woman the opportunity to cultivate her natural beauty without compromising her health and wellbeing with outdated chemically formulated cosmetics and time consuming beauty practices.
The products are made with a potent mix of active foods that feed your skin with nutrients, hydration and protective antioxidants + anti-inflammatories while actively contributing to your health and wellbeing.
TOXIN FREE: They don’t use toxic ingredients that are known endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic or linked to cancer* including preservatives, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and fragrance.
100% NATURAL – they don’t use synthetic ingredients. At lΓΌk beautifood they make every effort we can to ensure our products leave the smallest footprint possible. Products are not tested on animals and are proudly made in Australia following the guidelines for COLIPA & TQM systems.
lΓΌk products are modern, multi-purpose and multisensory to create a super-nourishing, guilt-free and joyful experience every time.
* Evidence based research by EWG / Skin Deep, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

As I already mentioned, the products are made from food grade ingredients, meaning organic cold pressed oils, minerals, essential oils and so on. The lipsticks are gluten free, which gives more choice to those who have to avoid it (hooray or what?) and certainly do not contain any toxic ingredients in form of anything synthetic or petrochemical derived. They even come wrapped in a beautiful cloth which is meant to be recycled as a cleaning cloth. I find it too pretty to be using it that way, but I am not sure what I will do with it either, so for now they are sitting there waiting for my inspiration. And did I mention the lipsticks come in twelve shades? And that they've been featured in InStyle magazine?

LukBeautifood lipsticks

Shall we look at the ingredients?
Although they don't list ingredients for every single lipstick on their website, I poked around their blog and found a list of what they are made of, and here it is: beeswax (sorry my vegan readers), mineral, fruit and vegetable pigments, coconut, avocado, sesame seed oils and cocoa butter, as well as castor seed oil (no wonder they feel so moisturising), rosemary and some other essential oils and vitamin E. 

Swatches of LukBeautifood lipsticks Peach Melon and Chai Shimmer
What are my thoughts on them? Well, I must tell you that they don't resemble lipstick as we know it per se, they are more like lipstick-lip balm hybrid, meaning that if you want your lipstick to have that POW colour, then these might not be for you. They are very natural looking, and you have to layer them on to build up the colour, but then that's exactly why I love them - for the naturalness of them! Both in terms of nourishing natural ingredients, to how natural they look on the lips! I've mentioned this in my Summer 2017 Favourites post already, but I chose these two lipsticks over a ton of bright one I took away with me. You will feel nourishment from just one swipe. You will love those if you don't like traditional lipsticks and want your lips to look natural (hello, me!) Heck, you don't even need a mirror when applying these!

And now for the interview portion with the founder Cindy Luken. Enjoy!

πŸ’„ How did you become interested in natural and sustainable products?

That’s a great question as looking back, I’ve always lived a pretty simple and outdoorsy life and eaten healthy, nourishing foods. Interestingly. I’m drawn to well-designed items and make careful and thoughtful purchases to invest in and support the ‘maker’. My husband and I have been together for 25 years and discovering unique, beautifully designed products that are made with care and respect has taken us on an amazing journey of discovery.

I’ve never been a glossy magazine, mainstream media consumer influenced by what everyone else is doing. I have just lived from the heart - I have always found that mother nature is the most inspiring creator so let her beauty shine. From ingredients to form and function.

πŸ’„ What challenges have you faced in finding natural and eco friendly hair and skin products? I am guessing this led you to create your own line of products and opening an online shop, am I correct?

Like many others, I’ve had loads of challenges sourcing natural and eco friendly hair and skin products until now – there’s now so much choice! I’ve been lucky though, as in the late nineties I discovered the Darphin brand of skincare. It was fairly expensive then, and is still, but the simplicity and beauty of their aromatherapy philosophy has captivated me for nearly 20 years.

The products I use has changed slightly over the years as anything with water, such as moisturiser and cleanser, has chemical preservatives so I changed to Eminence Organics Jasmine & Tangerine moisturiser five years ago. Finding a replacement for the moisturiser took me a year of trialing 20 different products. After all these years, I still use the pure oils never morning – chamomile or tangerine and the purifying balm at night – I am addicted to it!

It’s a product that defines me, it’s my signature scent but better than this I am now a living case of what happens to your skin if you use clean beauty products, and eat healthy, for a long time! I turned 50 earlier this year.

Did the lead me to create my own line of products, well yes and no. I was actually looking for the ideal product to create my next business. My criteria included – must be ideal for selling online, be small so it can be shipped with free post (ie go via letter not parcel post), have a low cost of goods , have a potentially large customer base, be low risk (health wise) and, if possible tap into my skills of being a foodie/food scientist/ healthy lifestyle as I wholeheartedly believe that if you can apply your skills and passion to a product/ business then everything becomes easy to do.

By chance it was at the same time that I saw how lipstick was made whilst doing due diligence for a girlfriend looking at buying a beauty brand. It clicked that this could be ‘the product’. I looked up lipstick formulations and went ….hmm, I am a scientist and I can’t read or understand what the ingredient statement was saying. I deciphered it….and ah, waxes, oils, colours and flavours. Why on earth then are we not making lipstick from food using ingredients we can trust? It was 2006!

πŸ’„ What is the biggest challenge of starting and running your own company?

First is funding, working out what funds you need and where it will come from. Next is the challenge of having too many ideas and also too much to do when all of the business functions come from ‘you’ – IT, sales and marketing, financial, production, shipping and customer service. Getting your message into market is a universal challenge and what can take up the lion’s share of your time in the beginning. These challenges though bring the greatest rewards you can experience. The small wins feel like you’ve moved mountains! The big wins are incredibly satisfying.

πŸ’„ Have you always been eco conscious?

YES! As a kid I still remember going to a mud brick making lesson with my step-father and then building our own mud brick compost bin… that was more than 40 years ago! We put solar power in our house 25 years ago.

πŸ’„ What’s you long term vision for you and your brand?

For lΓΌk it’s to be seen as the brand that redefines what beauty means. For woman to embrace that natural beauty – the woman who lights up a room when she enters comes from being her true self. I want to show women that the recipe to natural beauty begins with nourishing your body and mind with healthy whole/clean food. Eating well and having a simple beauty routine is your skins best foundation and when you look good (glowing clear skin, healthy weight and vitality) you feel good.

For our product, it’s to make more makeup with food. The plan is to rollout to other categories, such as body and skincare and then go inside your body! Our products will continue to be loved and grow as a cult global beauty brand that has helped shape and redefine what beauty means by giving women confidence and choice.

πŸ’„ What does living a life of wellness mean to you?

1. Living in balance – work and play, family and me time, healthy whole food and morsels of deliciousness like a glass of wine with dinner every night.
2. Being conscious – of people, places and things.
3. Protecting precious resources - caring for our earth.
4. Nourishing & nurturing our bodies inside and out with natural, organic, clean, whole products.
5. Simplicity.
6. Exploration and discovery – feeding our minds.

πŸ’„ What makes you stand out in a sea of brands?

A fabulous product - lipstick made from food. A fresh perspective on an ancient concept. A team who believes and shares in the philosophy of natural beauty and most importantly, our community of Natural Beauties who embrace similar philosophies and who I learn so much from and share so much with in return.

πŸ’„ What are your top 3 favorite ingredients to work with?

Oh there are honestly are so many – but the ones I love and use daily are tangerine, camomile, to inhale and ingest, and oil (avocado and olive) to cleanse and feed my skin.

πŸ’„ What does your daily skin care regimen look like? What is your ideal "beauty wellbeing"?

As I was sharing earlier, in the late nineties when Jo Horgan commenced MECCA I discovered Daphin purifying balm aromatic. I also religiously use their camomile, tangerine and rose depending in the season and skin needs as well as Eminence Organics Jasmine & Tangerine moisturiser.

I use oil for pretty much everything else. I use avocado oil daily in the shower to cleanse, hydrate and soften my skin, it’s also a hero ingredient in my Lip Nourish base for the exact properties and benefits for lips. I also us olive oil to remove my 100% Pure black tea mascara.

πŸ’„ What changes and trends have you seen in the healthy beauty movement over the last few years?

The biggest is the sheer number of new brands. With the digital era, entry barriers to business have dropped. Now you can hang up your ‘for sale’ sign up on social media and start sharing and selling. Online courses and data rich sites help you create products, suppliers are a click away.

The healthy beauty movement is feeding off the healthy eating movement – we are at the tip of the iceberg in the beauty industry.

As for product, DIY is now a growing obsession as women pare back beauty. Anything that cleanses you inside and out is big news. The look – a healthy glow and clean smooth skin - epitomises natural beauty and living a healthy life. It shouts. I care for me.

πŸ’„ How can we be more conscious consumers to affect change in the beauty industry?

Two changes need to become ‘the norm’ for the conscious consumer to affect change in the beauty industry. Like all industries, it starts with challenging our consumer mind sets to ultimately change damaging consumerist practices. In response, the manufacturing practices will be challenged, eventually supplying in line with the demands of the conscious consumer.

The key all conscious consumers have is that they deeply understand the cheapest price is rarely the fairest price – on the ‘maker’ / producers or the environment. When on the journey, you can be easily overwhelmed with just how big the ‘change’ needs to be worldwide. Just know, the changes you make be it small or grand, all make a difference. At the least, if we all take self-responsibility and do what we can as we grow more conscious, that will continue to help this vital movement snowball.

Have you tried Luk lipsticks? What is your favourite? If not, what shade is calling your name? Please share with me, I would love to know.

So that is all for now, see you here again shortly. Please like and share my posts on social media, it really helps to get the green beauty word out - and you will forever have my gratitude! Follow me on my new blog Greenlifeindublin.comBloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube. (someday I will start making YouTube videos, promise!)

Lots of Love,


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