Lorna Veale is the founder of No Secrets Beauty, a brand that was born out of frustration with the beauty industry. In 2010, her GP suggested that she consult a private doctor who specialised in complementary and holistic medicine. The results were life-changing.
It was this personal experience that inspired her to launch her brand and spread the word to the masses that no hidden nasties in your skincare products was the way to go.
Here, she tells us more about a day in her life, her plans for the future and more…
You went through a very personal experience which lead you to launching the company. Through that you must have helped a lot of other women overcome similar issues from using your products. What has been your biggest success story to date?
I would say being here at all. The journey from visualising your brand and products to then holding them in your hand, seeing them on a shelf for sale and, of course, actually using them, is a significant achievement in itself. We were also thrilled to receive a Beauty Shortlist Editor’s Choice Award for our Hand Cleanser and to have been shortlisted for our Shower Creams in the Free From Skincare Awards in 2019.
You’re passionate about honesty in beauty, why is this important to you?
When I was advised by my Dr to remove a long list of ingredients from my world, I was faced with the task of self-education and intense label reading. I discovered that claims on the front of bottles, or within advertising campaigns, are not always necessarily backed up by what is in the product. This lack of clarity really niggled me. It also became clear that if e.g. a shower gel didn’t include Phenoxyethanol, it did not mean that you could be confident that other items in a range didn’t. It is easy to read a food label and recognise E-numbers, but cosmetics products have to legally be labelled using the INCI system whereby Latin and chemical names are used. This makes it incredibly difficult for consumers to make decisions.
Once you have been advised to avoid ingredients that can disrupt your hormones, significantly dry out your skin, deplete your immune system etc… it is hard to turn back. It is also hard that the majority of items in any beauty hall, or chemist, contain these ingredients and we are all oblivious to these facts, drawn in by amazing synthetic fragrances and perhaps unable to think that large organisations could be filling bottles with cheap ingredients.
You can often taste the difference when eating a more expensive food item. However, it seems the same isn’t true in beauty. Whether something costs £1 or £50 is not always an indicator that kinder, more wholesome, ingredients are used.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
My husband and I both principally work from home. We have school age children, so the day begins with sorting them out and the school run. We are fortunate to live on the edge of a town, but in a converted agricultural barn and surrounded by farmland, so every day I try and take a walk for about 30mins – often while on the phone or ideally listening to audio books, which I love. I spend a lot of time on emails, social media and pulling together all the aspects of product formulation, packaging design and photography. Having started this business in 2018, the e-commerce route to market was our chosen place to start. Therefore we are constantly learning about e-marketing and how to find our customers.
If I have time in the evenings, I try to relax watching Monty Don or a good crime drama!
Who is your ideal customer?
Our customer wants to use something that looks, feels and smells amazing but most importantly has no hidden nasties.
How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
Life is so busy, that I sometimes feel the shower or bath is the only place where you can get five minutes to yourself. We use the maximum amount of essential oils permissible in our products, so that the smell is gorgeous, but more importantly, one can benefit from the powerful healing properties and can support ones emotional balance. I hope that people can really breathe in the oils that nature gives us and switch off; perhaps be transported to a favourite holiday destination and leave their bathroom ready for the day or for a wonderful night’s sleep.
Are you planning on extending the range in future, if so, how?
We have one new product that will be available soon on our website. It’s a delicious Body Jelly – this is our take on Body Oil, except we’ve set it with sugar, like a jam, so that the bottle doesn’t end up constantly sticky. Suitable for hands and body, it melts into a therapeutic oil as you massage it in and, of course, smells glorious.
We have a couple of other things up our sleeve, but don’t want to say too much at this stage, except they are very exciting and we will launch those via our newsletter!
How much does social media play a role in your business?
Not having our own retail premises, we approach choosing images to share on social media as you would think about dressing a window, or pulling together a little display for a shelf. We use social media to talk about who we are and what we do. To share things that inspire us, things we love and are important to us.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
With hindsight, we wouldn’t have placed our first products in plastic packaging. We chose – what we felt – was the best option at the time which was recyclable plastic – but of course now we all know differently.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
This year we are going to India and joining an organised tour around Rajasthan, before going to Goa for some beach time. I had wanted to go to India years ago and have various travel guides that I’ve collected over the years in preparation for this trip.
What are your plans for the brand in 2020?
We are really excited about extending our range, hopefully introducing a more masculine scent too, and devising ways to encourage people to give No Secrets a try. Anyone who smells our products, says ‘wow, that smells like a spa’, but we realise it is difficult for people to make such a decision on-line without having that sensory experience.
Tell us your favourite quote to read when you are lacking inspiration…
All truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third it is accepted as self-evident.
19th Century Philosopher
This quote inspires you to keep carrying on and trying to get the message out there.
We all want quiet. We all want beauty … We all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently.
Octavia Hill, 1883, Co-founder of the National Trust
This quote is really helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed by various things.
For any one aspiring to launch a company in the beauty industry, what advice would you offer?
Patience and perseverance. I hadn’t appreciated the time it takes to develop, test and produce a range. I think it’s great to learn from other inspiring women. From Jacqueline Gold’s appearance on Desert Island Discs, I took the phrase ‘courage comes before confidence’.
Where can people find out more?