Influencers have come into their own. For a while, there seemed to be a misunderstanding that, due to Instagram being the platform that catapulted their industry, it was all just about curating pretty images. But, their following has been a spring board for bonafide businesses, well beyond a carefully posed pic. Steph Claire Smith, 23 and Laura Henshaw, 24 who founded health and lifestyle program Keep It Cleaner (now, KIC), have done just that. Both coming from modelling backgrounds, the pressures to sustain a certain body type felt, frankly, not good enough. So, after writing a healthy recipe eBook 'Keep it Clean' they embarked on a quest to give young women a program promoting healthy living in mind and body, garnering a vast and dedicated following. Eschewing all assumptions that women can't work in harmony together, the two are genuine friends, business partners and a dual force to be reckoned with. We spoke with the two at Steph's home in Melbourne about the inspiration behind KIC, their personal views on true beauty and the beauty products they swear by...
"KIC came about because we wanted to use our reach in the most positive way…
…by creating something that helped girls and women feel better about themselves. It’s a health and wellness lifestyle program that’s a go-to platform for info and inspiration. It started as an idea by me to start an eBook with healthy recipes of mine and Laura's. The book evolved into the website and now the website is a program!
Modelling was something I was always interested in getting into…
… so I did a short modelling course and did a few test shoots. One of the photographers put my images up to Chadwicks (my agency) and they signed me! I definitely always wanted to model, I did it for a few years as a kid, but I never would've guessed that I would be co-running multiple health businesses. I love traveling the world, I love meeting new people every day and I love the excitement and spontaneity of it all. What I love most about KIC is being able to connect with all of these gorgeous girls who follow us and support us, we love that we can give back to them.
I love to experiment with makeup.
My mum doesn't wear makeup, so the only times I got to play with makeup was with my friends. Let's just say it took me a long time to realise what the right shade of foundation was for me... and that less is best on my face. Mum always told me I looked best without makeup, and she thought this about everyone. So she taught me to keep it minimal. She definitely pushed me into the routine of washing my makeup off every night before bed, and also drinking lots of water. I also use coconut oil as a makeup remover, it’s super moisturising.
In primary school I owned a lot of super sparkly and glossy lip glosses, that I would definitely over do…
… but now I’m definitely a minimalist! Less is more in my mind. I wake up, splash my face with water and chuck a layer of Clinique Moisture Surge and Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C. Once that soaks in I'll add Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, Clinique Flutter to Full Mascara and then Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel to keep the caterpillars tame. And If I'm looking for more coverage I'll wear Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and add Rodial blush. I love having my hourglass concealer on me in my handbag for touch ups, and some lip gloss or lip balm.
I get a facial called Dermasweep every 6-8 weeks at Liberty Belle skin center.
I love it! It really gives my pores a good clean out. I also get my nails done every couple of weeks. I have acrylics because I'm obsessed with nice nails, and unfortunately my natural nails were thin, weak and never long.
I don't dye my hair anymore…
… and I also rarely dry it with a hairdryer, I just let it dry naturally as often as I can. If I ever feel my ends are getting dry I like to put pure coconut oil on the ends and sleep on it, rinse it off in the morning, works a treat! To keep my colour looking fresh I use Fudge violet shampoo and conditioner one - two times a week.
I workout 5-6 times a week…
… and drink lots of water. I box 3-4 times a week with Will Tomlinson at Tribute boxing, Pilates at home or sometimes a reformer bed class once a week, and I love power walks! I also love the odd F45 class. I eat 70 per cent fresh and clean and the other 30 per cent of the time I treat myself to yummy foods I love. Love buckwheat porridge with berries and peanut butter in the morning. Avocado and eggs for lunch either on greens or GF toast. Fruit or a green smoothie in the afternoon for a snack and then dinner changes constantly. Love ending the day with peppermint tea and dark choc!"
“I started my law/business degree straight out of school…
… and picked up modelling on the side as my part time job (which I was very lucky to be able to do). I deferred uni for a semester to model overseas and was so used to studying at night I didn’t know what to do with my spare time, so I started a health blog and when I got home Steph and I decided to write the ebook together which was the start our KIC journey. It is everything we would possibly think of to help girls be the happiest, healthiest and most awesome versions of themselves.
For me feeling beautiful is all about feeling confident.
I feel the most confident around my loved ones, partner and close friends. My favourite feature is my smile - I like smiling because it makes people happy. I used to obsess over things when I was in high school but am now able to accept my body for what it is and I don’t want to change anything.
I don’t like the feeling of heavy products on my face.
I wake up, cleanse my face with my SkinMedica cleanser, apply my Aspect Vitamin B serum, Cosmedix Vitamin C cleanser, SkinMedica Rejuvenating Hydrator and then apply my Clinique Moisture Surge. If I don’t have anything on I will just stick to this but if I do have meetings, castings or something important I will put Mecca Max Primer to prime my skin (it has a gorgeous glow to it) and then combine Becca dewy foundation with Garnier BB Cream. I then apply blush with my Clinique chubby stick, Mecca Max bronzer, Benefit illuminator, Clear Brow Gel and then mascara. I love my Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow for a smokier eye, will also add a touch of concealer under my eye and sometimes wear a lippy (usually Clinique because I find them so easy to apply).
Growing up I thought all there was in the makeup world was mascara, bronzer and foundation…
… I have learned a lot since then. My biggest beauty influence is probably the makeup artists I love and follow on Instagram. I love Monica Gingold, Ania Milczarczyk and Max Made. They all do amazing makeup and I love watching their posts to see what products they are using at the moment. Using a brush to apply and blend my foundation makes the world of difference.
Running is my form of meditation.
I do a few HIIT sessions a week, boxing and run at least twice a week. I drink Kombucha and eat lots of fermented veggies for my gut health and have magnesium and Bear Immunity supplements every day. I have a smoothie in the morning, some type of lean protein and salad or veggies for lunch and something similar for dinner. I always crave something sweet after dinner and will have some of our KIC Rocky Road or Greek yoghurt and berries. I always make sure my meals have a good source of healthy fats and protein to keep me full."
Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith; Interview by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Neiyo Sun