Brands We Love: Aveda

Organic cosmetics that are not tested on animals and manufactured following sustainable practices are quite common today (yeah!) but in 1978 almost no one, except for those in hippie communities, would care about it. So, when Horst Rechelbacher founded Aveda he started, even unintentionally, a major change in the beauty industry.

The name, which means everybody’s knowledge in Sanskrit, can also can be understood as an adaptation of Ayurveda, the traditional Indian Medicine that fascinated Horst during a trip to the country. Almost 40 years later, the brand keeps being a reference in natural formulas focused on wellness and body-mind balance. Aromatherapy concepts and botanicals like acacia, lavender, rose, camomile and mallow are the foundation for lotions, oils, moisturisers and shampoos with a good dose of organic ingredients. Even after the company was sold to the Estée Lauder Group, back in 1997, the manufacturing process hasn’t changed.

My first Aveda products were from the hair ranges (still my favourites), beginning with the Camomile Color Conditioner, then the Madder Root, for red hair. The Invati line, great for thickening fine or thinning hair, is another hit. In the skincare department, the Tourmaline range, as the name says, has tourmaline to brighten and leave the skin glowing.

Finally, if you have the chance, book an appointment at one of the brand’s salons or spas. The Aveda Institute in Holborn, here in London, is a place that I visit whenever I can to discover and buy new products or even to feel relaxed with those amazing smells. Such a delight…

My favourites

 

aveda-madderoot

Madder Root Color Conditioner 

aveda-camomile

Camomile Color Conditioner 

aveda-smooth

Smooth Infusion Trio (shampoo, condicionador, straightener) 

aveda-invati

Invati Duo (shampoo e condicionador) 

aveda-moisturizer

All Sensitive Moisturizer 

aveda-tourmaline

Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque 

aveda-radiance

Tourmaline Charged Radiance Fluid

aveda-green

Green Science Lifting Serum 

 

aveda-bodyoil

Beautifying Composition 

Icon: Veronica Lake

You may have never watched a movie starring Veronica Lake, but surely is aware of her famous hair. The wavy blond, side-parted do, covering one eye, is still synonymous of ‘Hollywood glamour’. A sultry classic.

Who’s Who: Sally Hershberger

You may not know who Sally Hershberger is but it is easy to recognize her signature cut: the shorter, layered shaggy, the most famous being Meg Ryan’s, in the 1990s. The ‘Sally Shag’ changed the career of this Kansas born, raised in California hairstylist who manages three salons (two in NYC, one in LA), a line of cosmetics, editorials, shows and was the inspiration behind Shane McCutcheon, from TV’s ‘The L Word’.

Sally was the first woman to achieve celebrity status in an industry dominated by male stars and was also one of the first to raise significantly the price of her cut – currently beyond 4 digits. Ironically, chance pushed her to the job, as she started as an assistant to stylist Arthur John and was in charge of Olivia Newton John’s hair during a tour. Shortly after, she met Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz and was doing Vogue and Vanity Fair covers.

The hair brand, Sally Hershberger 24K, is expanding bit a bit and can be found online and in stockists like Sephora and Nordstrom. You can also learn more about how to use them and get tips from Sally’s team at her YouTube channel.  Check it out!

Archetypes: The Every Person

The friend who is always there for us, the girl next door, the regular worker and the model citizen. All of them are images of ‘normal’ people whom we can identify with and the perfect translation of the Every Person archetype: a realistic, empathetic, no-fuss kind, always looking for companionship, since its basic desire is to connect with others.

However, in virtual communication times, meetings in real life are becoming rarer and social media offers this illusion of bonding as you would do in a local pub. Obviously, technology can’t replace human touch and we see more connected people but also more loneliness. To make it worse, the archetype is facing a conflict in today’s society because it represents the longing to fit in a world where we are constantly stimulated to stand out in the crowd and show our individuality. The rise of xenophobia and intolerance are not a coincidence. Yes, bullying is the Every Person’s shadow and the internet is the best place to incite it. That’s why rescuing the ability to unite people and strengthening the sense of community and equality may bring good opportunities for a company, branding wise.

On the other hand, working the archetype in the fashion industry can be extremely challenging without a very well planned strategy. Thing about GAP, a great example of the Every Person with its ‘basics for everyone’. Instead of intensifying the identity in order to differentiate itself from European fast-fashions, the company tried to change its essence and got lost in the process. Nevertheless, the archetype can work for brands willing to explore collaborative models, support local manufacturers or invest in a more ‘normcore’, less trendy style. It’s worth noting that the biggest opportunities appear when we understand what is behind the surface in terms of market and consumer needs and touch the emotional side. Once you get it, you no longer sell a simple product but create a real connection between brand and clients!

I Need a Break…

 

You know when your iPhone shows the Low Power Mode sign? That’s exactly what I’m going through right now, although I wasn’t supposed to feel like this at all. About a month ago, I presented Project M for a panel of industry professionals, at London College of Fashion. I got good feedbacks, made contacts and had everything to move forward. Except that I didn’t feel like. Maybe it was a sort of exhaustion after months of preparation, a post-Brexit hangover or a sensation that things slow down during summer as everyone is away on holiday (everyone but me! L).  Beyond these factors, I now see how I needed time to think about my life and career choices. So, I made a deal with myself to put the ‘to do list’ on hold for a while…

This time off was useful to reevaluate my objectives, to better understand my professional approach, where and how I want to go and, mainly, to cut me some slack. To understand that my internal judge only sets unreal goals that ultimately undermines my self-esteem has been very important. Another point: keep remembering past situations that apparently didn’t work and think things will always be like this. Really making an effort to let it go, which leads to realize the ‘here and now’ is all that matters. Essential to be less anxious, worried and to get rid of useless negative thoughts.

Above all, I needed this break to finally see that our attitude and our willing to make it happen do make a difference. I just need to make the first move and trust. Yes, maybe the first step is the hardest, but ironically it’s the simplest. The complicated part – studying, planning, creating a project – is done, now all it takes is to open the door and go…

Ps: writing this post motivated me to share more about career challenges, especially when you choose a ‘non-conventional’ one. I’m reading some books and discovering blogs that talk about it and soon will start to better explore the issue here.

Happy Second Anniversary, London!

London became my home exactly 2 years ago. A dream came true, a project cultivated for a long time that finally was turning into reality. A new beginning with new first timers, adaptation, discoveries.

During this period I went back to be a student, was an intern for the first time in my life, decided to go after the work I believe in (not without some stumbles), worked as a sales assistant to hold out while my career doesn’t take off. Made contacts, went to a bunch of networking events. Got clients. Saw an unthinkable Brexit happen and suddenly catch me wondering: “what if they kick us out”? Well, there are another 27 countries in the EU… But I don’t want to leave. Ever.

When I sat down to write this post, millions of emotions from these 731 days came back, and I realized how they, either good or bad, only make me more assured of the decision to move here, only make me see that I’m walking my way and not following everyone else in the road, and that everything is possible when we truly engage.

Yes, missing family and friends will always be an issue – technology helps a lot, and cultural differences will never go away – despite never feeling Brazilian I know I’ll never be English. But, when I look over the window and realize I live here (every now and then, for about 2 seconds I almost doubt it!), the feeling of fulfilment, accomplishment, a kind of victory overcomes anything.

Thank you for those challenging and amazing 2 years, London.

Love,
Mirela

Archetypes: The Magician

From Merlin to Harry Potter, Mary Poppins and Samantha in ‘Bewitched’, our obsession with everything magic comes from a long way. Nevertheless, the Magician archetype is much more than a supernatural figure with a pointy hat and a wand. It is associated with transformation, dreams and change as he believes that to make things happen we only need to rethink our attitudes. Yes, charisma and influence are two key aspects of the archetype and they are decisive to break the positive and negative sides, since its shadow can result in manipulation and a lot of selfishness.

To understand the application in branding terms, let’s focus on the definition of magic: something with the ability to affect our conscience and, consequently, our behaviour. Think about drinks like Red Bull and spirits in general, and beauty brands like Aveda and Kiehl’s created from the traditional use of herbs or apothecaries, or in those that promise to bring a spa to your home, like Clarins. All of them are embedded in feel-good sensations. And, of course, think how technology may help companies to promote themselves as Magicians by exploring apps, augmented reality, 3D etc. This even includes Pokemon Go (up to you to say if it is good or bad!).

In the fashion industry, wearable techs can be a feast for the archetype. Some examples of physical transformation agents would be clothes and accessories that moisturise the skin, warm or cool the body according to the outside temperature. A psychological/spiritual agent could include a change of colour following the wearer’s humour, helping him feel calmer or more active, and the use of gemstones or crystals to balance the mind and bring good vibrations.

The most important aspect of the Magician lies in the understanding of this connection between body and mind, and the ability to dream/imagine/create and put a plan in practice. You just need is a catalyst to bring them together. Those millions of motivational, self-help titles, gurus and influencers who swear can transform our lives in a matter of days, and all the wellness industry, from clean eating to fitness and all kinds of holistic therapies out there are the ultimate evidence of the market demand for the archetype. Remember: there will always be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.  Apparently, we need to rely on them more than ever!

Pleasure to Meet: Aerin

She was raised among cosmetics and fragrances and was the style director of her grandmother’s company for years. It was more than natural for Aerin Lauder to take inspiration from Estée Lauder and create a brand where makeup and fragrances have a key role. Launched in 2011, Aerin reflects the lifestyle of its founder, extending to accessories and home products. But of course, beauty is the core of the business and worth of your attention!

Built around Essentials that range from lips, cheeks and eyes palette, like the Weekend and Weekday Palettes, the Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks and the Rose Lip Conditioner, it offers smart and classic products, plus brushes and makeup cases. Meanwhile, the fragrance collections are embedded with references from her travels and childhood memories, like the Rose de Grasse, Tangier Vanille and Mediterranean Honeysuckle lines.

Trying any of the products instantly transports you to a stylish and glamourous world surrounded by flowers and pink tones. So, the next time you are at Selfridges or Harrods, go take a look and practice some serious escapism for a couple of minutes!

Wish list

aerin-beachcream

Beach Cream 

aerin-blush

Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks

aerin-palette

Weekday Palette

aerin-lip

Rose Lip Conditioner 

aerin-cream

Rose Hand & Body Cream 

Icon: Winona Ryder

She is back to our lives thanks to Netflix ‘Stranger Things’, but if you were around in the 1990s, know that Winona Ryder never actually left. A grunge Audrey Hepburn, so delicate and at the same time so rock’n roll, with short hair, flawless features and many variations of dark lipstick (from blood red to burgundy) is the ultimate icon. Like a certain tattoo attested, ‘Winona Forever’….

Dream Spas: Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Switzerland

Holidays in the Swiss Alps. You don’t need to wait for the winter to book a trip to the Tschuggen Grand Hotel and experience all the glamour of the region. To start with, you arrive in great style by boarding a futuristic train. Once there, enjoy the spa with indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, massage rooms, gym and a medical centre with dermatologists and nutritionists prepared to advise you about the best treatments.

Guests can choose among many options of facials, detox therapies, muscle relaxation, aromatherapy and thalassotherapy sessions, and the Tschuggen Massage, which combines 5 different massage techniques. You can also select special treatments using Clarins, Dermalogica or Sensai products. To make it even better, choose to have the therapies in a private suite. Remember: you are in Switzerland, so get into the luxury life!