In­spired by her hus­band’s can­cer di­ag­no­sis, SINEAD BROOK

be­gan ex­ten­sive re­search into the chem­i­cal tox­ins in food and beauty prod­ucts. To­gether with her busi­ness part­ner FIONA BUCH­NER, they launched Lula Fox, an eco-friendly make-up prod­uct range.

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‘In 2013 my hus­band Henry was di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer, ex­actly two years af­ter I left cor­po­rate,’ Sinead ex­plains. She’d spent 12 years as a port­fo­lio man­ager and re­search an­a­lyst in the as­set man­age­ment in­dus­try be­fore tak­ing a gi­ant leap of faith and re­sign­ing from her job to fol­low her pas­sion to be­come a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher and makeup artist. ‘Henry’s ge­netic vari­a­tions showed weak­ness in methy­la­tion and detox­i­fi­ca­tion path­ways, so it was cru­cial to sup­port his bio­chem­istry and re­duce his ev­ery­day ex­po­sure to en­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins, as his body strug­gles to get rid of them on its own. I be­came acutely aware of the chem­i­cal tox­ins in ev­ery­day prod­ucts that dis­rupt your en­docrine sys­tem, from the food you eat to the cos­met­ics and beauty prod­ucts avail­able in the mar­ket. Be­ing a make-up artist I started ex­plor­ing all nat­u­ral brands and soon re­alised there were lim­ited op­tions in South Africa.’

Sinead and Fiona, who has a back­ground in mar­ket­ing, had known each other from their chil­dren’s school and got along very well. ‘I spent the last seven years of my cor­po­rate life at South African Tourism and when I left the cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment, I set up a small mar­ket­ing strat­egy con­sult­ing busi­ness, which I still run in tan­dem to Lula Fox,’ Fiona ex­plains.

‘My pas­sion is women in busi­ness and em­pow­er­ing women to reach their full po­ten­tial – in fam­ily life, health, mind, and ca­reer. When I left the cor­po­rate world I spent more time on ed­u­cat­ing my­self about health and well­ness. This led to an un­der­stand­ing of the im­pact chem­i­cals have on your health – in food, clean­ing prod­ucts, and even cos­met­ics. Sinead then men­tioned her idea of cre­at­ing a clean make-up range, and 18 months later (No­vem­ber 2016) Lula Fox was launched.’

They’ve used their unique but com­ple­men­tary skills to build a brand tar­geted at women who are con­scious of what they and their fam­i­lies are con­sum­ing. ‘The de­mand for our prod­uct from the con­scious con­sumer is grow­ing daily, for those in­ter­ested in be­ing kind to the planet and an­i­mals as well as their own bod­ies,’ says Sinead. Sadly, many com­pa­nies will never re­veal the full list of in­gre­di­ents that go into their prod­ucts, and only fo­cus on the good be­cause they want to pro­mote their brand. ‘So much “green­wash­ing” goes on by mar­keters who talk about the nat­u­ral el­e­ments of a prod­uct, while ig­nor­ing the harm­ful in­gre­di­ents and preser­va­tives. We strongly ad­vo­cate women be­com­ing la­bel read­ers so they know what they’re us­ing and are not “se­duced” by the mar­ket­ing speak,’ Fiona adds.

Be­cause of their strong eth­i­cal be­liefs in pro­vid­ing toxic-free prod­ucts, their make-up is tested thor­oughly be­fore hit­ting the shelves. ‘Be­fore we re­lease a new prod­uct line we un­dergo rig­or­ous test­ing to see it main­tains the cor­rect stan­dards. Our prod­uct de­vel­op­ment needs to ful­fil all three of these non­nego­tiable cri­te­ria: non­toxic, on trend and pro­fes­sional grade per­for­mance.

‘We have a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to em­power women to un­der­stand toxic in­gre­di­ents in cos­met­ics and how to avoid them, while of­fer­ing a safer high­per­form­ing prod­uct that can en­hance their per­sonal beauty. In this way they can im­prove their own health and that of their fam­i­lies, while boost­ing their self-es­teem in the process.’

De­mand for prod­ucts grows daily for those in­ter­ested in be­ing kind to them­selves, the planet and an­i­mals

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