Elixseri Portraits #1
We are delighted to introduce #ElixseriPortraits – a new series featuring entrepreneurs, business owners, experts in their fields – and most importantly, friends of the brand.
For our first portrait, we sat down with Suzanne Duckett – Founder of Onolla, author, journalist and editor – who for the last three decades has held the post of Health & Beauty Director at some of the most successful magazines in the world.
Based in the UK, her expertise goes beyond what’s packed inside the bottle – and spans into health & wellness, love, motherhood and sustainable living.
We’re proud to have partnered with Suzanne and Onolla, the consciously curated natural health & beauty marketplace and bricks & mortar shop – located in Barnes, London.
Did you always envision yourself starting your own company?
Yes because in between my numerous positions as Beauty Director of some of the most well-known magazines in the world, I always ended up doing a freelance stint where I would dig into my entrepreneurial spirit and skill set and write, consult and introduce. I have way too many ideas, contacts and passion for any boss to handle! Doing my own thing is the only way. However, partnerships and collaborations are also a big passion of mine because they require being nimble and flexible and working alongside others. This at the end of the day is what makes the world go round.
How do you keep a good work – life balance?
A strict diary and discipline in sticking to it. My planning centres around the needs of myself (meditating, exercising, eating good food, great sleep) my teenage daughter, husband, dogs and loved ones needs all come first. Then the work slots, tasks and commitments are brought in. Only specific work things, friends and family in need and things out of the blue will rock that schedule – which they do, often! But there is a good foundation in the first place so it can take it. I spent too many years doing it the other way around and it simply doesn’t work.
Who/what inspires you?
Nature. Every. Single. Day. Whatever day we have, no matter what happens, the sun rises in the morning and it sets in the night. The sun dries away the rain, the snow drops break frosty February ground and the tides ebb and flow. We are part of a genius masterpiece, we are living in a work of art. If that isn’t enough to inspire one to get up in the morning, whatever the night before brought or the morning ahead has in store, I don’t know what will.
What mantra do you live by?
I have two if I may!? The first, as per above, ‘Be more like nature’. If you are stuck, take your cue from the natural world
The second which I think I have overused with my husband and daughter because they repeat it back to me in a very loud, yes yes we know tone of voice when they know I am about to recite it. It is ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. It speaks for itself. Everything needs preparation no matter how insignificant. That preparation might simply be taking a few breaths before making a decision, or it could be doing all the research you possibly can before an interview or creating the canvas or the walls before painting. Whatever the commitment to the cause, preparation is intention in motion.
Facial or massage?
Oh this is tricky because a good facial can make your whole body feel like it was relaxed and released and a good massage can make your face look like it’s been touched. If I really had to name it, it would have to be massage because there are more good masseuses around than facialists in my opinion. I can’t bear it when a facial is a glorified marketing opportunity for a brand and I have left many a treatment room feeling like an iced cake!
Can you share any beauty secrets or tips?
Put mascara on looking down in a mirror rather than looking into a mirror with your chin up! This way you can see the roots of your lashes from underneath, can place your mascara wand right into them and pull the brush through, coating your lashes from the roots to the tips, making the most of them from root to tip.
If you don’t know what one is and how to use a gua sha, buy one and learn! They can depuff, lift and sculpt the face in the most natural, ritualistic manner.
What are your favourite Elixseri products?
Opening Act and Rescue Diver.
Opening Act resurfacing serum is perfect for detoxing skin and Rescue Diver is like a drink for the skin, it really does give your complexion an instant and long lasting hit of hydration. These are my hero Elixseri products, so much so we’ve done something about it…You’ll have to watch this space to find out what we’ve been up to!
What brands do you love?
Absolutely all the brands I have in Onolla. Onolla is like stepping into my dream bathroom cabinet! I basically bought everything for the store that I personally rate, love, know works brilliantly, is more eco, sustainable, natural ingredients free of the nasties, well formulated, has good science and that I would (and do) recommend to friends and family.
Of course my favourites are based on what is happening in nature so my current favourites for this time of the year are Olverum Body Polish because unlike most scrubs which are filled with microbeads, this one has fermented papaya enzyme, bamboo and pumice in it so you’re getting the physical and chemical exfoliants all in one. It’s a great way to slough off the winter coat and smells like a walk in a dewy forest in the twilight – brimming with Geranium, Eucalyptus and Bergamot Oil, it really is the ticket to feeling like you’ve shed a layer.
Coming out of hibernation after what feels like the longest winter, I’m wielding my Hayo’u Jade Beauty Restorer night and day at the moment to work out and tone up my lazy pillow face muscles.
I literally have been buying Hungary Mud by the bucket load for years! Rich in minerals this is 100% pure mineral mud from a protected, natural reserve, sun-dried and milled. It’s prescribed by Hungarian doctors to treat inflammatory conditions including joint and muscle pain. Use as a brightening face mask, soothing bath soak or to treat particular problem areas on the body.
What motivates you?