Trish
Hello listeners it’s Trish Hammond here from Transforming Bodies. And today I’m joined by the delightful Deb Farnworth-Wood. And we’re going to be talking about ISSADA, which is her new baby. So I don’t want to say too much about it. I’m gonna let Deb introduce it. But this is really exciting. It’s exciting for every woman, every man who uses skincare and wears cosmetics, because this stuff is the bomb. So welcome, Deb.

Deb
Hi, Trish. Thanks for having me on the show.

Trish
Thank you so much for being here today. So tell us ISSADA, What is it? How did it go about?

Deb
The makeup has been around for a very long time, about 14 years or so – maybe 15 now. It’s very much an organic cosmetic range of makeup with a high degree of minerals. It’s always been mineral based, it’s always been anti-talc. The range has beautiful, beautiful products. The key to that, is that each product contains only ingredients that are really good for the skin. So it’s makeup but better, because it’s got a skincare element as well. It was founded by a beautiful lady called Fiona Neal in 2006, and she has grown it into a great range.

In June this year, I bought the brand from Fiona, but she still works with the business as the general manager of the make-up company. In November, we’re launching a ISSADA Clinical Formula Skincare – and that’s actually what you can see the banner behind me, this is what this will look like.

Trish
Loving the packaging. I like the simplicity. And I like that. Yeah, I just love that’s my kind of thing. So tell us so cool. I’ll ask you about the makeup again in a second. But tell us about skincare. So how did you, you know what makes this different to what’s out there now?

Deb
We see a lot of skincare brands with one or two hero products that they sort of live or die by, and then the rest of the products could be quite average. Also a lot of skincare ranges are based upon, I suppose the personal needs or whims of their founder. So you’ll will hear stories of founders of skincare ranges, who had “ terrible acne” or Rosacea that they couldn’t fix so they developed a formula and a whole range becomes about the one problem. I’m very fortunate I’ve got very good skin so what I did was to develop a range based not upon my own whims but based on my experience of what clients actually need and will buy. My experience comes from my development and founding of a leading international aesthetic franchise of 60 clinics that treated millions of clients. In other words, it’s based on empirical knowledge about what people want rather than my personal whims.

Trish
How many products are you launching with in the range? Do we know that yet?

Deb
Yes. The range is launching with 20 retail products, and then we’ve got another two or three retail products that will be coming out just after Christmas with more in development. Plus we have a backroom range of 10 for professional use.

Trish
Great. So that means that you can go to your aesthetic clinic and actually have your treatments using the range. And then you can actually buy your take home range as well.

Deb
Yes, and we’ve taken that one step further. ISSADA is a brand used by makeup artists, beauty therapists, aesthetic clinics and spas. So we’ve developed a range where we have something for everyone. So businesses with highly trained diploma staff, then they all want the most active ingredients. But we’ve also developed some products which are more suitable for the spa and softer treatments. We’ve have also done this so that you can move through up the range with experience

Trish
Okay, so basically, like a beauty therapist can have the beauty therapy range, and then you may have a dermal therapist who uses a more active range. And then you’ve also got the range that you can take home.

Deb
Exactly.

Trish
Fantastic. That is so so exciting. I can’t wait for them. Now do we know roughly when that’s going to be available?

Deb
Strictly speaking, it should have launch in June this year but COVID hits so we had a few catastrophes along the way. The original manufacturer of the bottles, suddenly ceased production of cosmetic skincare bottles and went into producing only hand sanitiser bottles which they plan to do until 2021. At that time we were a good few months into that project and had to suddenly find a new manufacturers which delayed everything. We have finished manufacturing the products and the bottles should start arriving next week which means we will be ready to launch around mid November.

Trish
It seems to me that innovation is your number one priority but how do the make-up and skincare range tie together? Is good skin needed for makeup?

Deb
It is important. Even back in the days of my original clinic, before I launched the franchise, we had makeup in that clinic in fact that was how I met Fiona, through looking at makeup brands back then. It is so important, when you have a treatment, to make sure that the makeup you apply in the days that follow is suitable, and without nasty ingredients that are going to undermine the treatments that you’ve had done in clinic. But also the other way around – if you’ve got the best of makeup, and if you put it on shoddy skincare or bad skin, it’s never going to look great. So it is hand in hand. Absolutely.

Trish
And with the skincare, is age related? Is there a different range for the ages? Or skin types? Or how does that work?

Deb
It’s less about age and more about conditions and concerns. So for example, you can be quite young with severe melasma I recently met a girl who was no more than 23 and has been surfing since she was nine or ten. As a result she had just had several skin cancers removed from her face. So when you live in Australia, its not about age, its about skin condition. The whole range is condition based rather than age based. But obviously, it also follows that the older you are the more active ingredients you’re going to need.

Trish
Okay, awesome. So it will take you through from teen years through your 80s.

Deb
Yes, absolutely. Our acne range was developed for teenagers as we are now seeing younger and younger children presenting with acne but skin continues to need care right up until we are dead!

Trish
And I know something that’s really important to you is the environment. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Deb
Yes, My key concern is cruelty free – its never seemed right to test products on animals, particularly for something that’s a cosmetic gain to us. The range is cruelty free and we joke that we test on the humans because we care less about them than the animals – but believe me we are never short of volunteers for testing. I also want sustainability and as far as practically possible, use organic and natural ingredients. Our packaging is recyclable. We always have to consider though that sometimes we need ingredients with a bigger punch which is where the actives come in and by their nature they tend to be processed.

Trish
Yeah, but that’s so good. Because moving forward, I think that’s what people want, as well. They want to know that something’s been ethically sourced, and the recycling model is just a big one for me, I won’t buy anything nowadays, if it’s not recyclable . And the fact that you care about the animals. I love that.

Deb
Yeah, I mean, that’s been a hobby horse of mine for years and even before I was in this industry. For those that don’t know me, I’m 15 years now new to this industry and it isn’t where I started out. Even in the years prior to that, I was always anti causing harm to animals – I’m an absolute animal lover. Obviously, those ethics had to flow into my brand. In the original ISSADA makeup products, there were just one or two ingredients I wasn’t happy with so at the moment we are developing formulas that don’t have them in.

Trish
Yeah. Fantastic. And so tell us about the makeup? So we’ve talked about skincare, so tell us a bit about the makeup. I know, just from looking at the colours and the story that we’ve done it’s a massive range. Is there anything that it doesn’t have?

Deb
To be honest, yes, there are products we don’t have but the strength of the range is that Fiona was – and still is – pedantic about the quality of ingredients and the finished products. She has never had talc in the in her range -she has been talking about the dangers of talc for 15 years and has always been mineral based. The powders are beautiful – triple milled and there are powder, cream and liquid foundations to suit every skin from oily to dry skin. We have soft coverage as well as heavier coverage based on your preferences so the range meets all needs. The products actually come from all over the world, mostly Europe and Australia but Fiona made no compromises on quality – it was that simple, if a product want good enough it didn’t go into the range no matter what cost benefit or deal the supplier wanted to strike. I think that’s a great ethic.

Trish
Yes – and I think one of the things that really appeals to me about it as well is the fact that it’s also allows your skin to breathe. I was talking to a girlfriend a couple days ago and she actually never takes her makeup off – not ever. I know that’s unheard of. I can’t sleep If I don’t take my makeup off, but the fact is with Issada your skin can still breathe with the makeup on there.

Deb
I get it, the thing with minerals is they do allow your skin to breathe and they also allow sweat to escape through them too which means they are not trapping sebum and sweat beneath the surface. The comment about not taking your makeup off interestingly, I was guilty of that too until I moved to Australia and when I bought the original Australian Skin Clinic the girls used to say to me you need to take makeup off better because often arrive at work with yesterday’s mascara still intact. So it’s not as unheard of as you think. But that said I have mostly good skin. I’ve never had acne – my biggest problem that it’s so dry getting my makeup stay on it is an issue. I can’t use a powder foundation because it literally falls off. So 10 years since I first met Fiona, I’ve used ISSADA CC8 Foundation which is very light highly moisturising and hydrating and a beautiful texture.

Trish
Fantastic. And now where can we get this from? Where can we buy it?

Deb
ISSADA has actually got over 250 stockists, throughout Australia and of course we are online too at www isadda.com . There is a stockist finder on the website too so you can see and touch the product. The stockists provide a professional colour match for you and help with your selection of foundation – as you say we have many.

Trish
Yeah. And just to finish off, I know that some it’s not just about people becoming stockists because if they’re trained, they’re trained in how to use everything and how to apply. Can you tell us just a little bit about that? As a customer, I know that when I’m going to go and buy ISSADA from stockists because they’ve been trained in how to use it properly.

Deb
Exactly. We don’t just allow anyone to be a stockist they have to meet our profile. They must have a good ethical business, we want to see that they are a professional in business and not just playing on the sideline. All stockists have full training – two full days. One on products and that’s a day of theory. We also run master classes on things like smokey eyes and wing flicks as well.

Trish
Great. I’m so excited. I’m actually coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m going up to one of the studios to experience myself, – I’m so excited, I can’t wait. And I’ve got to say, it’s pretty exciting from where you’ve come from, to where you are and the direction that you’re headed. I’m excited to see how this unfolds because it’s one of the hardest things to launch a product range.

I love the packaging, because it’s kind of gender neutral as well.

Deb
Yes, it was really important for us to achieve gender neutral packaging. We do have a good male following – and even in makeup, we have quite a number of male clients. It was important for the skincare not to be all girly. It would have been easy to choose a pinnk theme – because its on point currently but we decided to go for something that was perhaps a bit more ageless and would last longer and not be horribly out of style in say two or three years time. Mainly because changing packaging is a huge process for any company. We’ve just gone through a logo change for the all the makeup (this is the new logo behind me) I think it is a fun look – do you?

Trish
Yes, something unique and new.

Deb
Yes the new logo has clear lines. One of the concerns I had was, how fast we can move the new logo into the stockists but I’ve actually been quite amazed how quickly its happening. Almost all of the stock is now in the rebranded logo.

Trish
Yep. And I love it. It’s not every day that the everyday person gets to hear about how a brand started or evolved or understands how you have to think about every little thing if you know what I mean? And when you hear that process, it’s just so exciting to hear and to see how the evolution has come about and the detail

Deb
Yes and it does take a team effort. It would be impossible to do this without a team. I’m so lucky, I have a team that has worked for me at various times before, so we know how we work and have the same expectation. Of course, because we have built a big brand together before we have the benefit of building on past experience too. Its been a huge project but we’ve had some fun. Covid didn’t beat us – even if it did slow us down – and we are all looking forward to an Xmas break!

Trish
I want to say thank you so much to Deb Farnworth-Wood for taking the time to introduce the Issada range to us today. Make sure you look out for it in your local stockists. Thank you so much, Deb.

Deb
Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about Issada.

Trish
Thank you. Bye

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