What sparked your interest in natural skincare?
Several things were inspirational to me. My aunt Sheila and I made eau de toilette from red and white clover and roses at an early age. I studied in the UK and that opened up the world of aromatherapy for me. Working as a Hair Designer and being a Red Seal Journeyman made me curious about the spa industry. I would have to say my biggest influence in my life for the appreciation of fashion & beauty products came from my Mom, Dad and my aunts. Travel opened my eyes to all the possibilities in the beauty industry. Dad and I avidly watched every episode of Fashion Television. He and I had many conversations about product ingredients and the safety of women's beauty products, Dad was way ahead of his time.
One thing that I could have done without, that undoubtedly shaped me the most, was acne. I started getting acne when I was 13, by the age of 16 it was full blown and I was so depressed over it, teenagers can be cruel. It was not a good time for me so I escaped in my books, took up running, was the school yearbook editor and played every sport I could to keep my mind off my skin problems. I hung out alot outdoors in nature with my brothers and cousins. When I was 13 my brother and I picked enough partridgeberries to buy a clothes dryer for our Mom. We were outdoors daylight to dark when the weather cooperated. As long as I focused on things other than my face I told myself I would be okay.
It's a skin problem I have learned to control with natural ingredients, nutrition and exercise. My career in beauty was a direct result of my experience with acne. I didn't want anyone else to feel the way I did, I missed so many moments because I was embarassed of the acne.
The best nutritional advice to control acne came from my Mom. She got me hooked on homemade soups and cut sugar out of my diet almost completely. It worked for me, for the first time since I was 13 at the age of 18 I finally had clear skin. She was the driving force of our family and not a day goes by that I don't take a few minutes to remember her vibrant presence in my life.
Back in 1984 I enrolled in Beauty Culture at the District Vocational School, they turned me down, told me I was "too smart" to enter such a career field. I was determined and after meeting the school management I convinced them I knew what I was doing. It was the beginning of my beauty career. I had so much fun. My classmate entered me in Miss Newfoundland and Labrador without telling me and 10 days later I was Newfoundland's reigning Miss NL. The year flew by and I had so many good memories from that year in Carbonear.
Lisa with her Mom, Carmel Walsh at 2014 Ernest and Brown Entrepreneur Awards
I got my first Hairstylist position at the young age of 19, I was so "head over heels " in love with the beauty business, it had me at Hello. I remember the first O'Regan's Hair show and knew I had made the right career decision. Later in my career I started experiencing health problems related to my trade so I started researching alternatives to chemically made products. I was also doing a conjoint degree program in Arts and Education while I worked in beauty.
In 1993 I had the awesome opportunity offered to me to complete my teaching degree in Harlow Essex, UK. The UK is the global home of natural skincare and modern Aromatherapy. I decided to learn as much as possible about essential oils for formulating. Upon my return to Newfoundland I opened my first business, Impact Image Studio at the Battery Hotel and Suites offering the first spa handmade products in Atlantic Canada. By 2001 my doctors recommended I change careers due to lung problems and other issues. It was a dark day, I couldn't imagine my world without the fun of the salon and my clients, some of who became my dearest friends.
I began teaching Esthetics in 2002 and only then did I realize the ingredient lists in skincare were so toxic. I began making spa products for school spa days and the formulating continued during my days off. I traveled to small batch manufacturers in the United States to determine the feasibility of becoming a manufacturer, and I was hooked. I established Indigena in 2009.
Are there any interesting/surprising things in your beauty/skincare routine? I'm diligent with my skincare routine! I LOVE Seaweed, I take seaweed baths regularly, it leaves my skin baby smooth and keeps my skin clear. I massage my face daily with our extract based creams and lotions. The antioxidant properties heal and firm my skin while keeping the oily and dry areas of my skin in balance. What is your favourite product? I'm a product junkie and that answer changes with the seasons. During the summer I prefer toners and serums, it moisturizes my skin without the weight. Toners are great before self tanning, and if you can't re-apply makeup before going out to dinner or lunch it refreshes your face. Just apply lip tint and you are good to go!
Any New Products You’re Excited About? Where do you imagine you’ll take the company next?
Our Arctic Spa line launches this summer! Exclusively available in spas and salons
it has something for everyone, in luxe glass packaging.
What are three beauty products you can’t live without? Lip Tint, Sleeping Masque & Mascara
Skincare secret: Your mind is your biggest asset, thinking positive is the best advice I can give everyone. Smiling and choosing to be happy everyday. When you are happy you are more beautiful, open and giving. You look so pretty when you are happily going about your day
On a product level a little head to toe massage everyday boosts immunity and improves skin tone and texture. I love using our Fogo Island Inn Amenity Lotion for this. Luckily it is finally available for purchase to our customers June 21st! It is unscented, made with herbal infusion extracts to boost skin health.
What is one natural item (makeup and/or skincare) that you think everyone should own? Lip Balm. You can use ours on your face and body. I love using it under my eyes while walking in the winter months. It is a great barrier product with having any toxic ingredients like petrochemicals (aka vaseline). Our Aurora Lip Tint is light; Arctic Lip Repair Treatment is more intense - its heavier and has anti-biotic properties from the peppermint. I alternate between the 2. Our three older staples Partridgeberry, Blueberry and Smooch are coming back with a fresh new look and some improved formulas and flavours.
I love Mascara it is my favourite cosmetic and well shaped eyebrows are golden for looking your best.
Snap from 2013! I was out snorkelling in front of Indigena in Conception Bay