We know how important it is to our customers to be more ingredient conscious when it comes to their beauty products. So, in honour of this month’s theme of Feeling Good we thought it was a great time to catch up with two of our favourite women in beauty – Clare and Rebecca Hopkins, the co-founders and sisters behind the natural skincare brand Balance Me. Read on to find out about their career highlights, what it’s really like to work with family, and their holy grail skincare products…
Tell us the story behind Balance Me. What inspired you both to start your own brand?
We wanted to create a natural brand with solutions-driven skincare that worked for our families and ourselves and to share this with everyone else. We both had worked in high-powered corporate jobs, then retrained in yoga and reflexology respectively. Balance Me allowed us to use our knowledge and experience of the skincare and wellness industry as well as fill a gap in the market at the time for credible natural skincare that delivered real results.
What’s been your major ‘pinch me!’ moment or career highlight so far?
There have been many moments that we remind ourselves of when things don’t always go according to plan and winning awards is always a highlight. In 2013 the cosmetic industry awarded us ‘Best British Brand’ and only last week we won an ‘A’ list Beauty Directors Award and award winning actress Helen McCrory told the audience that she was already a fan of the brand, loved how beautiful our products smelt and that she has been buying our products for herself and her family for quite some time! It is moments like these that we cherish. On a completely different note, when Sainsbury’s contacted us earlier this year and asked to take us into over 500 of their stores this year when they launched a new natural category we took a moment to pinch ourselves as well!
What’s the best thing about working together?
We’re sisters and we totally trust each other. We have very different skills that complement each other. Clare is the ‘publisher’ and I am the ‘editor’ in our business relationship. It’s a true family business and even our parents play a role. They travel extensively around the UK and are always tidying Balance Me shelves and sending us photos from stores that they’ve visited that stock Balance Me!
And what do you find the most rewarding aspect of your job?
When customers, or friends or members of our family tell us that one of our products has really changed their skin. The efficacy of our products is something we are extremely proud of and it makes all the love, sweat and tears really pay off. It reminds us why we started this natural skincare company in the first place. We know one of Birchbox customers’ favourite Balance Me products is our Congested Skin Serum. It gave Penny, the Birchbox UK Social Media Manager, added confidence in the run up to her wedding!
If you could use just one Balance Me product for the rest of your lives, what product would it be?
Rebecca: Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm is my desert island product. It contains gently polishing oatmeal to ensure a five minute facial massage as well as removing all traces of the day’s make-up.
Clare: Wonder Eye Cream is my daily must. I have used eye creams from a very young age and was very exacting in the product brief for our Wonder Eye Cream. It contains super plumping Hyaluronic Acid which delivers such intense hydration. The cucumber and witch hazel combination cools, de-puffs and is the only eye cream that doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes.
What Balance Me product or ritual would you recommend for an instant pick-me-up for someone feeling less than their best?
Our Radiance Face Mask is a 3 in 1 wonder product that will give anyone an instant glow. The mask contains Kaolin clay to draw out impurities, and an AHA Fruit Acid Complex which gently exfoliates the skin with enzymes. The mask also contains Ground Walnut Shell Powder to give a light physical exfoliation without any nasty micro beads. Your skin will look so much brighter and feel much smoother after using it once or twice a weeks. Just couple with a hot bath for the ultimate relaxation ritual!
Our October theme is Feeling Good. When you’re not working, how do you enjoy winding down looking after yourself?
Relaxing is really about spending time with the family. I go to Yoga with my eldest daughter and we go bike riding as a family. Getting fresh air and spending time with them is the best remedy! It sounds a bit cliché but a warm bath and a magazine also does the trick if I’ve had a long day or long week! We called the brand ‘Balance Me’ for a reason!
Any exciting plans in the pipeline…?
We have just launched our new Hyaluronic Plumping Mist, a multi-use product that gives an instant shot of soothing hydration. We have lots more exciting new products in development for 2018, so watch this space. We are launching in Sainsbury’s in November which is super exciting. We appreciate how busy everyone is in today’s fast-paced world and retailing skincare alongside food and drink allows our natural, results-focused skincare to be more readily available to a wider audience.