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A for­mer lawyer, Welling­to­nian Sarah Ba­con, 46, is poised to launch her nat­u­ral oil-based skin­care range, Vel­letà. She tells Lee-Anne Dun­can that her Sun­days are full of rugby and re­gat­tas, with very lit­tle re­lax­ation, and haven’t fea­tured brunch for 17 years. If I’m lucky my Sun­days start a lit­tle later than my 6.30am week­days, but not much. The dog, Tommy, needs his walk up Seatoun’s ridge­line. It’s lovely to get out in the brac­ing wind, with a bit of sun, sea and heart-pump­ing ac­tion. There’s al­ways some­thing for Tommy to roll in and make the house smell dis­gust­ing, which he seems to en­joy enor­mously.

I’ve got three boys, so I haven’t been for Sun­day brunch since my el­dest was born. They’re re­ally sporty kids – they sail and play rugby – so Sun­days usu­ally in­volve some sort of sport­ing ac­tiv­ity.

In terms of Sun­day style, peo­ple tend to wear sail­ing clothes to re­gat­tas as many par­ents go on the wa­ter. I get sea­sick so I stay firmly on shore (I’d be no help to any­one on a boat). Hon­estly, style wise, I think I’m on the side of a rugby field, in a nice hat and jacket. Yes, maybe a puffer, but a stylish one!

I used to hav­ing a feel­ing of im­pend­ing doom on Sun­days when I was young – I must have hated school – but I don’t have that any more. Aside from go­ing to sport­ing events, I use my Sun­days to get or­gan­ised for the week. Like mak­ing sure there’s food for lunches, and wash­ing bed sheets – which I hate do­ing but love to lie in – and set­ting up my week’s ap­point­ments.

I’m a trustee of three not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions, and the founder of For­ward Gear, which do­nates cloth­ing to chil­dren in decile one schools. Sun­days are a great day to pack do­na­tions for those kids. I might also put on the face­mask from my Velettà range and walk around the house scar­ing my chil­dren.

My fan­tasy Sun­day would be to wake up in a dif­fer­ent coun­try. I get travel ob­ses­sions. At the mo­ment I can’t stop think­ing about Ja­pan and Morocco. I love the idea of wak­ing up in a riad, sur­rounded by or­ange trees, then go­ing to off to a souk.

I stopped be­ing a lawyer in 2011 af­ter 17 years in the same job. I’d just turned 40 and a friend said that’s a good time to eval­u­ate if you want to do the same job for the next 20 years. I’d never con­sid­ered I wouldn’t want to, so it was a shock to dis­cover I didn’t. I gave a year’s no­tice and left to do an MBA, which was a nice segue into some­thing else.

That turned out to be de­vel­op­ing my skin­care range. I wanted to build some­thing, create some­thing, and I love skin­care so it was that. For launch, Velettà in­cludes a cleans­ing oil, a re­ju­ve­nat­ing oil – the hero prod­uct – a pu­ri­fy­ing mask, and a nour­ish­ing mois­turiser. For about two and a half years I played around with fa­cial oils to find the right car­rier oils and essences. The mois­turiser took over a year to perfect.

It’s ha­lal cer­ti­fied and ve­gan be­cause I wanted ev­ery­one to be able to use it. The Mus­lim mar­ket is re­ally un­der­served. The ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion means it has noth­ing harm­ful – haram. No al­co­hol, no an­i­mal prod­ucts. And, of course, it’s cru­elty free be­cause I don’t un­der­stand why you wouldn’t be.

The oils are based on av­o­cado oil, with other oils I re­ally like. They in­clude jas­mine, rose­hip, ar­gan oils and frank­in­cense, which are all re­ally an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory, anti-ox­i­dis­ing and hy­drat­ing. As our skin gets older, that’s what we all need. It evens out skin tone and gives you a glow. My fam­ily and friends have loved test­ing it. I knew I was on to a win­ner when they kept ask­ing for more.

It took a long time to get the de­sign and pack­ag­ing right. I wanted the bot­tles to be some­thing you’re proud to put on your van­ity. The bot­tles are gor­geously dec­o­rated and have drop­pers that go right to the bot­tom of the bot­tle – it does my head in when they don’t.

“I used to have a feel­ing of im­pend­ing doom on Sun­days when I was young – I must have hated school.”

I’m fas­ci­nated by so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers – it would be great if one picked up Velettà. How­ever, it’s slightly dis­turb­ing how much in­flu­ence they have. I read that 30 per cent of US con­sumers said they have bought some­thing in the last year be­cause an in­flu­encer told them to. I think it’s be­cause they’re more “like us” than a celebrity – peo­ple can look at their In­sta­gram post and think, “I could do this – this could be me”.

If I was to choose two celebri­ties to en­dorse my range, I’d choose Emma Wat­son and Su­san Saran­don. Women who pro­mote other women and do things for char­ity are fan­tas­tic. I’m a big be­liever that ev­ery­one with good for­tune has a duty to help oth­ers.

The one beauty thing I def­i­nitely wouldn’t do is plas­tic surgery. I watch shows like Botched, and see how painful it is and how will­ing they are to do that. It’s gob­s­mack­ing. For me, ev­ery­thing about beauty should be up­lift­ing. I like rit­u­als and I love treats – that’s my idea of skin­care.


When Sarah Ba­con turned 40, she de­cided to do “some­thing else”, which turned out to be de­vel­op­ing a range of skin­care.

Tommy the dog ex­pects his early morn­ing walk.

Ba­con spent a long time on Velettà’s pack­ag­ing.

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