While working to bring Summer Stories to life - an all-natural shampoo and conditioner line with Australian bush ingredients (lemon myrtle! Quandong! Kangaroo apple!) - I became so aware of all the other great indie Australian beauty and wellness brands blossoming on the world’s largest island-smallest continent. Here, some of my favourites from an A-beauty exploration...
Image: Instagram @kitty.spencer
Brisbane-based Molly Dunkle bakes her own lipstick. You read that right. She mixes and pours her limited-edition lipsticks into moulds, sets them and sells each numbered batch through boutiques and online. Molly also has a line of hand-blended foundations and a dewy face oil for mornings or evenings.
Originally famed for their award-winning Australian Cream clay masks, the ingredients in Minenssey’s Absolute Serums read like a bush fantasy: flannel flower, snake vine and strawberry gum. They’ve just launched their hydrating skincare range, which is rich in the brand’s signature flannel flower as well as probiotic ACB yoghurt dermal respiratory factor (the skin microbiome is a big talking point at the moment FYI).
Sarah Ryan works from a storefront in her hometown of Quandialla, New South Wales, population 200. She mixes candles (her lemon eucalyptus and citronella camping candle is a favourite) and small beeswax lip balms from pure local beeswax in the most desirable sliding lid tins. Oh, and she has a delicious goat’s milk hand-wash with eucalyptus and lemon.
While predominantly a home fragrance brand, we’re still taking this range of scented candles into the A-Beauty fold just because their homegrown scents sound intoxicating: gumnut blossom, boronia and frangipani. Plus, we can’t get enough of images of their highlands shedquarters on their Instagram.
Started by two Sydney-based sisters, Lama Perin and Jumana Hammouda, they have created three bath salts – Clarity, Purity and Luminosity – made from pure Australian clays. They’ve also cleverly perfected the body care gift set with me-time package essentials of bath salts, candles and body oil.
Is there anything more Australian than wanting to avoid the blistering, blinding sun? Enter Melbourne-based Ultra Violette with a promise to future-proof your face. They have three different sunscreens – a lightweight SPF 50, SPF 30 mineral sunscreen, and a SPF 50 primer/moisturiser/sunscreen – that will protect you from the ageing elements.
Created by Sunshine Coast mother Ellen Newman, the endless list of applications for The Great State speaks to the gentleness and efficacy of this all-over body balm. Made from cold-pressed grape seed, avocado and jojoba oils, The Great State can be used on nappy rash, chapped elbows, toes and lips. Plus, when you finish using The Great State, you’re left with a reusable screw-top tin for sewing supplies, stationery, coins – anything really.