Wendy Nowell-Usticke of botanical beauty brand Corbin Rd explains what “slow beauty” means to her.
Minimal should be the norm, not the exception.
I’ve done my time with fast beauty, as so many of us have by the time we reach our wiser decades! We’ve been raised against the backdrop of a beauty industry that has bombarded us with a separate product for every ailment, and a treatment for every age. I embraced it wholly, until I was forced to stop. My skin was overloaded with products that stripped it of its natural resilience and left me with a raft of skin issues that I knew I needed to resolve in the most gentle and natural way possible.
So, I created Corbin Rd. as a love song to a simpler time and a way for me to embrace natural skincare and good clean beauty.
It’s named after my idyllic childhood home – a quiet road in rural Hawke’s Bay, where I was surrounded by rolling hills, busy birdlife and free-ranging animals. My sisters and I spent our days outside on the farm roaming in the sun and down by the creek. Back then, life was simple.
Fast forward 30 years and I was operating at speed like so many of us do; hectic work schedules, frantic days and a social life of moderate excess. I lived in Japan, I lived in the US, I raced about at pace. And while I made it through, my skin didn’t. I’ll admit it – my adult years were spent trying any skincare product that promised me the complexion of a cover model, and I didn’t do things by halves! The result was irritated, inflamed and stressed skin that needed a break and the chance to breathe.
Corbin Rd. approaches beauty like the slow fashion movement; buy what you need, choose quality and opt for less waste. The simplified skincare system uses clean beauty ingredients that are kind to skin and kind to our planet, achieving healthy, strong and radiant skin, no matter what your age. I remember feeling so liberated when it occurred to me that I could do so much more for my skin with so much less – a de-cluttered routine of a balm, a cloth and an oil – and quality tools to get our clean ingredients to work well.
My five principals of slow beauty are as follows:
It’s about decluttering your daily routine and freeing your skin from the overwhelm of numerous skincare steps and bombardment of beauty products.
Choose clean beauty
Selecting ingredients that are good for our skin, that are sourced sustainably and better for the planet.
Opting for powerful, premium and effective ingredients, and avoiding the wastage of constantly trying the next best thing.
Fewer products in your home reduces the mental load and says yes to a simpler lifestyle.
Packaging that can be reused, refilled or recycled, and beauty tools that last a lifetime.
As for my skin, I’ve seen a transformation since embracing this new world of simple, natural, and clean. I’ve researched the ancient art of gua sha, which is a tool that gets skin moving, stimulates blood flow, reduces scar tissue and lifts the face. No needles, no knives – just some oil and a little time, moving slowly around the face to create gorgeous skin.
Minimal should be the norm. I firmly believe that.