Meet the friends who want to help you feel comfortable in the skin you’re in.
Words Pamela McIntosh. Photography Sara Orme
Take a moment to reflect on your free-spirited, uninhibited ‘girl’ within. How old is she? What is it about this life stage that transports you to this moment of bliss?
“It’s a subconscious thing, but the answer is often a time in someone’s life when they felt free,” explains Sara Orme – a fashion/documentary photographer who, along with two long-term friends, has launched an all-age skincare brand. “It’s often a time of minimal responsibilities, a time when it’s all about them.”
It’s this sense of self and freedom that Orme, along with product developer Charlotte Devereux (of Egg Maternity) and businesswoman Philly Gebbie, want women to experience more often. So they created Girl Undiscovered – a lifestyle brand whose philosophy champions how beauty feels, rather than society’s (and our own) obsession with how beauty looks. The women have launched three naturally energising and ethically produced products that bestow their belief of acknowledging beauty – sans cosmetics – following Devereux’s concern of how many women feel the need to “cake their skin with make-up”.
“A year ago I was looking for products to treat my teenage daughter’s skin,” recalls Devereux. “While researching ancient skin rituals I came across Thanaka – a tree that Burmese woman grind into powder and hail as a skin healing and sun protection ingredient.” While Thanaka powder is available to purchase through bulk distributors, the trio felt uneasy with this approach because there is no way to know for sure of an ingredient’s process or origin. The friends journeyed to Myanmar, South East Asia, and with help from Action Aid were put in touch with a family who agreed to grow and grind Thanaka bark especially for them (and now you).
It was spilled by someone ex-British embassy that one of the last people to visit with the purpose of looking into obtaining Thanaka for its skin benefits was in the ‘90s and The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. Devereux brought home her beloved Thanaka and began experimenting. “I had my own little mixes, which I love. I’m like a mad ol’ witch,” she laughs. “But here we are now, with three products available to purchase online.”
With transparency being a key business pillar, additional core ingredients featured across the range were highly considered. Kanuka honey (not to be confused with Manuka) from Kawau Island for its help with rosacea and healing, and coconut oil sourced from a beautiful family in Bali – the country Gebbie has been residing in for the past 11 years, with her four adopted Balinese children.
The Girl Undiscovered family includes a Face Mask, a rich Elixir Oil, and a Cleansing Water – which promise to nourish, hydrate and cleanse. The brand boasts dreamy packaging and delightful surprises within their recyclable and reusable glass vessels, such as the calendula flower leaves naturally infusing into the oil, and the rose quartz and citrine crystals calmly diluting energy into the Cleansing Water. These special spiritual touches are what makes the brand unique. And it’s fitting, we think, because the things that really make us beautiful always come from within.