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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Pai Skincare: Organic Products for Sensitive Skin

Sarah Brown is the inspiring lady behind Pai Skincare, a favourite organic skincare brand of the Hollywood set - I caught up with her to discover what makes her tick, and why Simon Pegg would be her ideal customer. With lovely illustrations.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Danielle Lloyd and Konnie Huq, treatment illustrated by Lisa Stannard

Olivia Rubin’s show was to be held at Jalouse in Hanover Square – a place I’d hear of but never actually ventured in to. It was to be my last womenswear show (although I didn’t know it at the time, page such is life!) and after a long, grueling day I needed a big drink. Luckily, these were on hand.

Outside, glamorous ladies and gents queued to get in, all throwing their tickets into the air, shouting the names of their publications or various relationships with Olivia. When I finally got inside, the Only Way is Essex girl group Lola were being ravished by a pack of pervy photographers screaming their names. To my left was Danielle Lloyd, an intriguing shade of orange; to my right, Jason Gardiner sat in a booth surrounded by a harem of orange honeyz. Konnie Huq was there. What the hell was going on? I was completely baffled. We’d featured Olivia in the past – I adored her artists-inspired collection, but I had no idea she had such an, erm, orange following.


Illustration by Fritha Strickland

There were no seats available – the show was to take place on a precarious plinth around the main area of the club, with guests littered around the plinth in sunken seats. I positioned myself by a wall and necked a cocktail. Whilst waiting for the show to start, I Twittered and checked my emails, slightly aware of somebody standing next to me but not looking up to notice. Hilariously, it was contributor Lauren, who had been stood there for a good ten minutes without either of us realising. This is the kind of thing that happens to your brain during fashion week. I could have been stood next to Naomi Campbell and wouldn’t have noticed (not that Lauren isn’t gorgeous herself).


Illustration by Michelle Urval Nyrén

The show began to rapturous applause, with the first model coming out from behind a make-shift backstage area right behind where I was standing. It was difficult to know where to look, and I missed the first few outfits due to glaring at the audience and being mesmerised by Jalouse’s crystal ceiling.

Olivia has quickly risen up the fashion ranks with her playful, vibrant prints using a whole load of inspiration. This time was no exception – brick patterns, speech bubbles, floral prints on silk and animal prints were all on display under the glittery lights. The shapes and cuts seemed a little more sophisticated this time around – Olivia’s staple playful dresses were still there in vibrant colours, but the addition of figure-hugging jersey tops and cropped trousers added a new, demure look. Lace details had been added to some pieces, sexing them up a little. Jersey and silks had been married for great effect. Sexy translucent shirts worn over lace underwear add even more kink to this fab collection.


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan


Illustration by Madi Illustrates

Many of the pieces featured wrap-around details that flatter the figure – not that any of these hot models needed any flattering, but I imagine that sweeping necklines and pinched waists can be pulled off by even the most Rubenesque figure. Longer, almost floor-length numbers with vibrant graphic patterns closed the show – the final walkthrough leaving me on edge as these glamorous girls in vertiginous heels swaggered around the raised plinth.


One of the Only Way Is Essex birds, illustrated by Lisa Stannard

After the show, me and Amelia enjoyed a cocktail or two and had a bit of a gossip, keeping one eye on the attendees. We stood near the official photo point, me with my camera around my neck – one of the guests asked if I could take her picture. She didn’t ask why I was taking pictures or which publication I was from, she just wanted her photograph taken. Well, why not? Here she is – I hope she sees it (and likes it, obv).

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Lisa and Michelle’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Danielle Lloyd and Konnie Huq, illustrated by Lisa Stannard

Olivia Rubin’s show was to be held at Jalouse in Hanover Square – a place I’d hear of but never actually ventured in to. It was to be my last womenswear show (although I didn’t know it at the time, such is life!) and after a long, grueling day I needed a big drink. Luckily, these were on hand.

Outside, glamorous ladies and gents queued to get in, all throwing their tickets into the air, shouting the names of their publications or various relationships with Olivia. When I finally got inside, the Only Way is Essex girl group Lola were being ravished by a pack of pervy photographers screaming their names. To my left was Danielle Lloyd, an intriguing shade of orange; to my right, Jason Gardiner sat in a booth surrounded by a harem of orange honeyz. Konnie Huq was there. What the hell was going on? I was completely baffled. We’d featured Olivia in the past – I adored her artists-inspired collection, but I had no idea she had such an, erm, orange following.


Illustration by Fritha Strickland

There were no seats available – the show was to take place on a precarious plinth around the main area of the club, with guests littered around the plinth in sunken seats. I positioned myself by a wall and necked a cocktail. Whilst waiting for the show to start, I Twittered and checked my emails, slightly aware of somebody standing next to me but not looking up to notice. Hilariously, it was contributor Lauren, who had been stood there for a good ten minutes without either of us realising. This is the kind of thing that happens to your brain during fashion week. I could have been stood next to Naomi Campbell and wouldn’t have noticed (not that Lauren isn’t gorgeous herself).


Illustration by Michelle Urval Nyrén

The show began to rapturous applause, with the first model coming out from behind a make-shift backstage area right behind where I was standing. It was difficult to know where to look, and I missed the first few outfits due to glaring at the audience and being mesmerised by Jalouse’s crystal ceiling.

Olivia has quickly risen up the fashion ranks with her playful, vibrant prints using a whole load of inspiration. This time was no exception – brick patterns, speech bubbles, floral prints on silk and animal prints were all on display under the glittery lights. The shapes and cuts seemed a little more sophisticated this time around – Olivia’s staple playful dresses were still there in vibrant colours, but the addition of figure-hugging jersey tops and cropped trousers added a new, demure look. Lace details had been added to some pieces, sexing them up a little. Jersey and silks had been married for great effect. Sexy translucent shirts worn over lace underwear add even more kink to this fab collection.


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan


Illustration by Madi Illustrates


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Many of the pieces featured wrap-around details that flatter the figure – not that any of these hot models needed any flattering, but I imagine that sweeping necklines and pinched waists can be pulled off by even the most Rubenesque figure. Longer, almost floor-length numbers with vibrant graphic patterns closed the show – the final walkthrough leaving me on edge as these glamorous girls in vertiginous heels swaggered around the raised plinth.


One of the Only Way Is Essex birds, illustrated by Lisa Stannard

After the show, me and Amelia enjoyed a cocktail or two and had a bit of a gossip, keeping one eye on the attendees. We stood near the official photo point, me with my camera around my neck – one of the guests asked if I could take her picture. She didn’t ask why I was taking pictures or which publication I was from, she just wanted her photograph taken. Well, why not? Here she is – I hope she sees it (and likes it, obv).

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Lisa and Michelle’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Danielle Lloyd and Konnie Huq, troche illustrated by Lisa Stannard

Olivia Rubin’s show was to be held at Jalouse in Hanover Square – a place I’d hear of but never actually ventured in to. It was to be my last womenswear show (although I didn’t know it at the time, symptoms such is life!) and after a long, stuff grueling day I needed a big drink. Luckily, these were on hand.

Outside, glamorous ladies and gents queued to get in, all throwing their tickets into the air, shouting the names of their publications or various relationships with Olivia. When I finally got inside, the Only Way is Essex girl group Lola were being ravished by a pack of pervy photographers screaming their names. To my left was Danielle Lloyd, an intriguing shade of orange; to my right, Jason Gardiner sat in a booth surrounded by a harem of orange honeyz. Konnie Huq was there. What the hell was going on? I was completely baffled. We’d featured Olivia in the past – I adored her artists-inspired collection, but I had no idea she had such an, erm, orange following.


Illustration by Fritha Strickland

There were no seats available – the show was to take place on a precarious plinth around the main area of the club, with guests littered around the plinth in sunken seats. I positioned myself by a wall and necked a cocktail. Whilst waiting for the show to start, I Twittered and checked my emails, slightly aware of somebody standing next to me but not looking up to notice. Hilariously, it was contributor Lauren, who had been stood there for a good ten minutes without either of us realising. This is the kind of thing that happens to your brain during fashion week. I could have been stood next to Naomi Campbell and wouldn’t have noticed (not that Lauren isn’t gorgeous herself).


Illustration by Michelle Urval Nyrén

The show began to rapturous applause, with the first model coming out from behind a make-shift backstage area right behind where I was standing. It was difficult to know where to look, and I missed the first few outfits due to glaring at the audience and being mesmerised by Jalouse’s crystal ceiling.

Olivia has quickly risen up the fashion ranks with her playful, vibrant prints using a whole load of inspiration. This time was no exception – brick patterns, speech bubbles, floral prints on silk and animal prints were all on display under the glittery lights. The shapes and cuts seemed a little more sophisticated this time around – Olivia’s staple playful dresses were still there in vibrant colours, but the addition of figure-hugging jersey tops and cropped trousers added a new, demure look. Lace details had been added to some pieces, sexing them up a little. Jersey and silks had been married for great effect. Sexy translucent shirts worn over lace underwear add even more kink to this fab collection.


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan


Illustration by Madi Illustrates


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Many of the pieces featured wrap-around details that flatter the figure – not that any of these hot models needed any flattering, but I imagine that sweeping necklines and pinched waists can be pulled off by even the most Rubenesque figure. Longer, almost floor-length numbers with vibrant graphic patterns closed the show – the final walkthrough leaving me on edge as these glamorous girls in vertiginous heels swaggered around the raised plinth.


One of the Only Way Is Essex birds, illustrated by Lisa Stannard

After the show, me and Amelia enjoyed a cocktail or two and had a bit of a gossip, keeping one eye on the attendees. We stood near the official photo point, me with my camera around my neck – one of the guests asked if I could take her picture. She didn’t ask why I was taking pictures or which publication I was from, she just wanted her photograph taken. Well, why not? Here she is – I hope she sees it (and likes it, obv).

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Lisa and Michelle’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
Sarah Brown Pai by Danielle Shepherd
Sarah Brown of Pai Skincare by Danielle Shepherd.

I’ve been a big fan of Pai Skincare for some time – and it seems I am not the only one. This small ethical beauty brand has quickly garnered a huge celebrity following that includes the likes of Natalie Portman. All products are certified organic and formulated in house by inspiring founder Sarah Brown. I asked her to answer a few questions:

You were inspired to start Pai Skincare after suffering from your own skin allergies. What were you doing previously and how did you set about creating the brand? ??
I was previously PR Manager for E & J Gallo Wines. ??The inspiration for Pai came from my personal battles with difficult skin and my disillusionment with the lack of transparency in the natural beauty sector. ??I came to the task with the mindset of a frustrated customer and fixed all the things that bothered me about the other products I’d tried on my aggravated skin and rejected. ??I’d always harboured ambitions to develop my own brand – there is something profoundly rewarding about creating something meaningful from nothing but your own hard work!???

Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream
Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream.

And how does it differ from other beauty skincare brands on the market???
The complete Pai range is certified organic by the Soil Association and is designed specifically for people with sensitive skin. ??We formulate all our own products, approved so we’re experts on ingredients and don’t compromise by adding irritating chemicals or alcohol. All the manufacturing is done in-house as well. So many other natural brands use contract manufacturers to formulate and make their products, so I think they don’t have the same connection with their products as we do at Pai.?? We also list all ingredients in plain English so you know exactly what’s in the bottle. We’re still the only beauty brand to do this. Most ingredient lists appear in the obligatory Latin, which we don’t think is particularly reader-friendly!???

Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream bottle
Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream bottle.

What have you learnt along the way and what has been the hardest part of setting up your own business???
Stick to your principles, don’t compromise and keep striving for perfection. ??The hardest part has been lack of money – the recession hit just when some investment would have been useful to get things moving. However, it has meant that Pai has been profitable from day one and it is really satisfying to have built both a brand and a business.

Ilustration by Erica Sharp
Illustration by Erica Sharp.

???Where do you source your ingredients from??
We try and source the majority of our ingredients from Europe to keep our moisturiser miles to a minimum. Some of the more unusual plant extracts do come from further afield.

????One of your latest products is the wonderfully named Fragonia and Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream. Why did you decide to formulate it with these ingredients, and how did you find out about their properties?
??We designed this therapeutic cream for particularly dry, sensitive and chapped hands. ??Fragonia is an exciting new ingredient from Australia that is similar to Tea Tree oil. It has the same anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties but without the irritation. It is far kinder on the skin and has a softer, sweeter aroma. ??Sea Buckthorn is bursting with anti-oxidants and carotenoids which nourish and regenerate damaged skin.?? What’s clever about this product is that it absorbs instantly. My central aim was to create a cream that packed a punch (from a skin conditioning perspective) but without leaving the usual greasiness you get with hand creams. I like to apply a hand cream and be able to hold a pen afterwards!???

Pai Skincare by Abigail Daker
Pai Skincare by Abigail Daker.

Your website is really clean and easy to use. How important are online sales to you???
Pretty important – it helps to give us a voice and international distribution in markets where we don’t a have physical store presence.?? We built the website ourselves to keep costs down, and manage it all in-house. We have just opened our US West Coast warehouse to make delivery a bit quicker for our fast-growing US customer-base.???

You’ve had a lot of high profile celebrity endorsement – why do you think this is (apart from your brand obviously being very good)? Do you have a high profile marketing strategy, or is it merely word of mouth?
??I think it’s a combination of marketing, word of mouth and a bit of good fortune. We have a number of make-up artists who swear by our products so word has spread quickly in Hollywood and Pai is now a regular fixture on a lot of film sets. Our Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream is a great base for make-up.???

Pai Skin Care by Karolina Burdon
Pai Skin Care by Karolina Burdon.

Which celebrity would you most like to be using Pai Skincare in the future, and if they were reading this blog now how would you persuade them?
??Natalie Portman has recently declared herself a fan of our products – particularly our Chamomile & Rosehip Cream – so for me it doesn’t get much better than that. ??Kristen Scott Thomas would be a great customer to have – she seems suitably discerning. And Simon Pegg because he’d be a fun ambassador for the brand… and real men need organic skincare too.  
?
?Why is a good night’s sleep in the dark so important? ?
Total darkness stimulates the brain’s sleep chemical, melatonin. So results in a higher quality of undisturbed sleep.  

???You keep a wonderful blog – how is this important in promoting the brand and keeping in touch with what customers think and want??
My blog is really important as it gives me the chance to talk about wider skin health rather than just plug my products. I write about all sorts – from why chocolate really does give you spots to natural remedies for cold sores. Anything that interests me, and that I think (or rather hope) might be interesting to others too.

Pai by Gilly Rochester
Pai by Gilly Rochester.

???What retail outlets can people buy Pai Skincare in???
We’re stocked in a number of specialist beauty and health food chains throughout the UK e.g. the lovely CONTENT in Marylebone and Whole Foods Market. People can also buy online from our website – www.paiskincare.com.???

What is keeping you busiest at the moment, and what new ideas or products are you working on???
Ideas for new products always keeps me busy. We have some great new products in the pipeline – keep an eye on our website for more details soon. Or check out our Facebook page – for a little sneak preview.??   

Don’t forget to check in with Sarah’s wonderful blog – there are some real pearls of wisdom on there, especially if you suffer from skin problems.

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