From mineral-infused skincare to precious metal eyeshadows, natural elements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK beauty world, but other countries have been harnessing their power for centuries. One woman who is bringing south-east-Asian inspired skincare to the UK is Katherine Quist – CEO of Elixier London Beauty. Our writer Jenna caught up with Katherine to find out more about her transition from choreographer to skincare entrepreneur and the real benefits of gold-infused beauty…
JC: After reading more about your brand, it was awesome to see you took inspiration from South East Asian beauty culture. What is it about their beauty culture that inspired you?
KQ: My previous career as a dancer and choreographer took me to Southeast Asia from the age of 19 where I fell in love with the region’s culture and history. On my rare days off, I would wander the streets and take note of all of the naturally beautiful women. I became fascinated with their skincare regimes and what they were putting on their faces. They seemed so much more advanced, forward-thinking and experimental in terms of the ingredients they were using and I found myself becoming truly inspired. Asian women are meticulous about their skin and the more I started learning about their way of life and balance, I knew they were doing something different to the West and also their ethos, diet and attitude of life show in their face and I wanted to eliminate that for myself. I began experimenting with Asian skincare product and given the nature of my work at the tie with all the heavy stage makeup and lighting I was delighted I could make my skin feel cleaner, more healthy and glowing, even after a long day of rehearsals, sweating and pore-clogging stage makeup. Basically, I was hooked!
JC: I definitely share your love of discovering new beauty products! Can you tell us more about your background before founding Elixier?
KQ: I trained at The Legat School of Ballet then went on to become a professional dancer and choreographer and then later dance teacher touring all over the world. I returned to the UK 18 months after my daughter who was born in Bangkok. I worked as a professional trainer for vocational dance and musical theatre students in London’s leading vocational schools and the West End but felt it was time for a change. I then decided to study Interior Design once my daughter was 16 years old and qualified as a professional interior designer training at The National Design Academy. I am passionate about design and aesthetics.
JC: We’ve seen and heard about the benefits of Gold in beauty serums – what is it about this luxury product that benefits skin?
KQ: Since gold doesn’t corrode when exposed to the elements or submerged in water it is a well-known antioxidant.Other antioxidants that your body needs are vitamin A and vitamin C.
Whenever the oxidation process damages your healthy skin cells, the collagen breaks down and looses elastin. This is the major cause of wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of ageing. It is antioxidants that slow this process down and stop this damage from happening. This is what makes Gold the best antioxidant out there. When you combine gold with other antioxidants it makes them more effective at a molecular level. That is why our serum is packed with vitamins, nutrition your skin loves. Simply put, this beauty serum is able to penetrate at the skin’s lower dermis levels, thus protecting new cells and encouraging collagen’s growth.\
JC: Elixier’s 24 karat gold beauty serum really is a gorgeous product, can you see yourself branching out into other skin care products in the future?
KQ: Yes, I am now in the early stages of working with my laboratory to develop a cleanser, toner and night cream. All enriched with 24K Gold as well as many other incredible ingredients and I am moving back out to Asia this summer to be closer to research facilities and the development process. I have some prototypes now but it’s a matter of cost and building the business steadily as I am funding this project entirely alone and want to walk before I can run or end up in debt.
JC: We see that you sell your serum exclusively via your website – if you were to begin selling in stores, do you have a dream stockist in mind?
KQ: I think this product is ideal for a middle eastern clientele as well as women worldwide who appreciate something new so the obvious choice would be Harrods, Harvey Nichols as well as other incredible luxury department stores but with Brexit and Elixier London Beauty being a new brand they would be talking on an unknown at a time of economic uncertainty and from what I gather they like a full range or a good history of sales. I think their customers would love this product but getting buyers from these places to even reply to you is not easy.
JC: Who would be your dream influencer/celebrity to work with?
KQ: Karen Bradey as she’s an amazing businesswoman, as for influencers? I am still on the lookout. The Kardashian’s would love this product and I think also the Pixiwoo sisters would but again, when you are new it’s a case of knocking and knocking on doors. Also many have their own brands now so it’s tough.
JC: Can you tell us about a recent ‘Girl Boss’ moment?
KQ: I have been featured in Vogue UK in both March and April’s editions which was pretty amazing as they contacted me. I have also been featured in The Natural Beauty Magazine twice due to the natural and ethical creation of my product. Finally…I am waiting to hear if I have been shortlisted for The Natural International Beauty Awards which take place in July. Elixier London’s 24K Gold Beaty Serum has been entered into two categories
1) Best New Beauty Product of The Year
2) Best Beauty Serum
Watch this space!
JC: What has been the hardest part of running your own cosmetics business?
KQ: When you create a product from scratch it takes over every aspect of your life and you live, sleep and breath it. I am a one man band so it’s tough as getting the break into the market is challenging but even if I go through a phase of feeling “Is this worth it?” I give myself a good talking to and get on with it. It can be a lonely journey as every decision big and small is on your shoulders so you never sleep soundly! I believe in my product and am living proof at 41 years old that this serum can completely change your skin. My customers love it and it works, the hard part is telling the world!
JC: What’s in the pipeline for 2019?
KQ: As I mentioned earlier, the development of other products to the range and making Elixier London Beauty a trusted and respected brand which is proud of its humble beginnings! To work in the beauty industry you have to have balls of steel but in my case “balls of gold!”
To discover more about the benefits of gold and to purchase Elixier London’s 24karat Gold Beauty Serum, visit https://exilierlondonbeauty.com. For more skincare inspiration, you can also visit Elixier London on Instagram.