It’s lovely to have you on ‘The Wellness Edit’ Lynda - thank you for taking the time to join us & to talk about yourself and your business.
Lynda, tell us a bit about yourself, your background and how your journey into the world of Green-Beauty began?
I trained as a news journalist before moving in to travel-PR and marketing. I’ve been lucky enough to live, work or play on 5 continents following my passion. I now focus on sustainable tourism development, consultancy and content creation for artisan food and beauty brands. To me, everything is connected. So when I travel, discovering the local culture, food, beauty secrets are all part of it. I love connecting the dots and forecasting future trends before they happen.
Long before the term “green-beauty” even existed, I was into natural-beauty. On my travels I would often discover amazing products made with natural ingredients in beautiful packaging that wasn’t available in the UK. And also due to having allergies, I became a geek about ingredients, which forced me to learn about which ones were harmful, and what a brilliant biochemist Mother Nature is.
'Wonderlusting' was founded a decade ago to share the best green beauty that I’d discovered. I’ve collaborated with the Soil Association, Formula Botanica and various magazines over the years and have been a judge for leading natural beauty awards including Psychologies Magazine, Natural-Health-Beauty-Awards and the Beauty Shortlist Awards.
When I started there was hardly anybody talking about green/clean beauty and certainly not newspapers and magazines. I’ve always been a massive cheerleader for small brands, because I think that’s where the magic happens.
There’s so much innovation and creativity…...which eventually gets copied by the mass market. It’s been brilliant seeing the growth of green and indie beauty and knowing that I’ve played a tiny part.
Tell us about the Wellness aspects of your business and how you incorporate Wellness and being green into your own daily life?
I stopped working in an office several years ago to improve my wellbeing. When I wake up, before looking at my phone or emails, the first thing I do is get dressed and go out for a walk. Seeing beautiful nature fills me with joy which really helps to lift my mood before I have to tackle the day’s to-do list.
I spend my work days looking at screens and consuming huge amounts of news and social media so I force myself to digital-detox at least one day a week. I met someone who worked for a social media platform who told me that they hire psychologists to find out how to make them addictive! Social media can be overwhelming and have a real impact on mental health so it’s important to give your brain a break.
I am that weirdo who truly loves green smoothies and fruit and veg so they are incorporated in what I eat daily - I share that over at @wonderlustingkitchen Also I love pizza and crisps - balanced diet and all!
Overall I try and appreciate the little things, stay grateful and to count my blessings. What and how we think rules everything.
As more and more people are looking for transparency with ingredients in their skin/body care products along with their food choices - what are your thoughts on the Vegan beauty movement & plant based eating?
I’m all for people making mindful choices about what they consume. In the Western World, more plant based eating can make a massive difference to health and the planet. I have mixed feelings about the amount of ‘veganwashing’ as some brands are just using vegan as a big marketing badge and using it to hide other problematic petroleum-based ingredients and packaging.
How did you became a Beauty Awards judge and what does it entail for you?
Becoming a judge is not something I ever actively aspired to. It just kinda happened! I was told that my product reviews were honest and BS-free plus I’ve got a good nose for spotting the best products first. There are many brands and products that I’ve featured, then two years later they’re featured in Vogue or a swanky department store.
For the actual judging process, I am a total geek with an excel chart and testing schedule, scrutinising every detail. The winners have to be the absolute best. The thought of somebody spending their hard earned cash on buying something I recommend weighs heavily with me. I don’t ever mention the products I’m judging to stay completely impartial.
Do you have any tips for female entrepreneur’s starting out in the blogging business?
Unlike all the social media platforms, your blog is the one part of the internet that you fully own. There’s no algorithm hiding your content or deciding to force you to create videos. Write about things that are of genuine interest to you and I suggest taking time to plan out your topics.
What have been the biggest challenges to your work during the various lockdowns?
Most of my work is in the travel industry which has suffered the worst year in its history with travel coming to a complete standstill and borders closing. So much has been out of our control. Holidays are not just about getting a nice tan and instaworthy shots, so many lives have been affected. People separated from loved ones. Tourism has a mostly female work force so I worry about the impact it’s had in many destinations that rely on tourism.
With beauty, I work with a number of overseas brands and with the challenges of Brexit alongside the Pandemic it’s been tricky!
Learning to pivot and control my itchy feet!
What are your future plans and how do you see yourself and your work evolving?
There is so much confusing and or misleading information out there. Green-beauty is awesome and a joy to use, not just about avoiding toxins. So finding a way to cut through that is something I’m working on.
I like to end with 6 quick fire questions…!
What makes you happy?
Sunshine and flowers
Last book you read?
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
What are you curious about right now?
I’m trying to understand blockchain. I think it is going to revolutionise transparency in all the products we buy.
Favourite way to relax?
Moving - dancing, walking, kickboxing
Right now I’m obsessed with the smell of fresh pomelo
Favourite 360 Botanics product?
Purity Cleansing Oil
Thank’s so much Lynda - It’s been a pleasure hearing about your personal journey, lifestyle & Green-Beauty-Blog!