11 Questions with Waterlily's Founder Michelle Reeve

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First of all, congratulations on opening your new Waterlily Flagship Concept Store in New Farm! Why do you think the time is now?

MR: Thank you! It's a pleasure to be part of the vibrant James Street community. Since our launch in 2005 Waterlily has grown to be the premium spa solution throughout Australia partnering with over 100 leading day spas and salons nationally to provide spa rituals and products for face and body. The launch of the Waterlily Concept Store in April has reflected organic evolution of our brand. The space is a beautiful showcase for our artisan crafted retail lines. It is how I dreamt and envisaged the collection to be presented and experienced. The Concept Store is a place where guests can have an interactive experience with the brand. We are also excited at hosting special events for our VIPs, master classes and private shopping experiences. The store also provide a unique space to introduce media and potential spa stockists to the Waterlily experience.

11 Questions with Waterlily's Founder Michelle Reeve

You launched Waterlily ten years ago. How did you journey begin?

MR: Selfishly, my journey started with a desire to create a skincare solution that met my own stringent demands for pure active and botanical. I am an advocate of natural medicine having studied aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, remedial massage and nutrition. I believe that great health is a personal and proactive decision. I have always championed daily rituals we can embed in our lifestyle to honour health and vitality. When my skin started misbehaving in my late twenties it was an opportunity for me to explore a solution using a blend of aromatherapy, pelotherapy (clay) and naturopathic approaches. While I was researching alternatives skincare ranges I noticed a distinct gap in the wellness sector and found my stove top formulations to be a great fit for Spas and Salons demanding a pure botanical solution. A desire to create my own company culture coupled with a background in marketing ... and well, the rest is history! Today Waterlily proudly offers over 120 products and treatment rituals for face, body, hair, feet, hands, bath and massage.

For Winter you are offering a delicious and revitalising Vino Therapy Spa Facial at your flagship store. Why do you change the facials every season?

MR: Our skin is affected by environmental changes and responds to products differently as seasons change. During winter there is less humidity and conditions tend to be drier and harsher. Our limited edition seasonal spa facials have been thoughtfully designed to offer a results driven treatment to focus on these concerns. It also encourages clients to consider their homecare routine and adjust products according to the time of year and how their skin is responding.

Vino Therapy Spa Facial Shiraz

Can you tell us a little bit more about the Vino Therapy Spa Facial and its benefits?

MR: The Vino Therapy Spa Facial has been extremely well received. It is beautifully aromatic with intense hydrating, firming and rejuvenating results. Antioxidant resveratrol is the bi product of the wine making process. It is a powerful skin rejuvenator boosting hydration while promoting collagen production to firm connective tissue. We have infused resveratrol with pure Shiraz wine concentrates, organic cacao, vitamin A and C with lashings of pomegranate, fig and strawberry to provide a delicious sensory journey that promises visible results!

Waterlily's Flagship Store has a unique concept where clients can walk in off the street and experience the range in a personal and relaxed environment. What gave you the idea to create something so different here in Brisbane?

MR: The expression of the brand in our Concept Store is at the heart of the Waterlily aromatic spa experience. To appreciate the Waterlily Collection touch, texture and aroma has been layered throughout the retail experience. An aromatherapy compress infused with grapefruit, lime and geranium is offered to guests upon arrival. They are then invited to indulge in the collection at the marble sensory bar while enjoying botanical tea. Our team of beauty and spa therapist offer complimentary hand treatments and an interactive touch point with the range. The store is a tactile space where our guests can relax while we infuse rejuvenation, inspiration with a twist of education.

Our readers love to know about a great special. Do you have any exciting in-store offers available?

MR: The Waterlily VIP Luxury Treatment Suite is reserved for loyal Waterlily advocates and VIP's. When you reach a spend of $500 or more in store on skin or body care we will reward you with this seasons botanical spa facial valued at $120 in our VIP Luxury Suite for free.

11 Questions with Waterlily's Founder Michelle Reeve

What is your top skincare tip?

MR: That's easy...Oil! But not all oils are created equally. The oil our skin consumes needs to be omega rich pure cold-pressed plant oils. These provide the nutritious skin healing lipid delivery system essential for life long beautiful skin. The essential fatty acids in plant oils are vital for collagen production and connective tissue, boosting hydration, UV protection and repair, cell metabolism, balancing sebum and reducing sensitivity and inflammation. They also provide a delivery system for other active ingredients to penetrate to where new cells are formed.

What are the three worst things a woman can do to her skin?

1. Consume sugar. Sad I know, but a diet rich in sugar leads to glycation within our skin. This is akin to taking off your face and putting it in the microwave and cooking your connective tissue!

2. Use oil free products. Oil free skincare sits topically ON the skin plumping up dead skin cells.

The skin is waterproof so we need oil (the right oil!) to provide a delivery system for active ingredients otherwise there is no transformational benefit.

3. Use soap or an aggressive foaming cleanser. This strips the precious acid mantle (or pH) of protective sebaceous oils. Once this layer is stripped the skin becomes sensitive and the ageing process accelerates.

11 Questions with Waterlily's Founder Michelle Reeve

What do we need to keep in mind skincare wise when prepping for winter?

MR: Winter is drying on skin. Use richer formulations to keep skin dewy, luminous and hydrated. Cold pressed plant oils, vitamins and essential oils not only nourish dry skin but repair dehydrated complexions by boosting the natural moisturising factors that limit water loss.

What's the biggest skincare myth?

MR: Tricky advertising campaigns have led women to believe that there is just one single magic bullet for great skin. This is short sighted.

What's next for Waterlily?

MR: I love exploring new ingredients and spending time in the formulation process. In the future I'd love to see the Collection include a personal care range for women and babies. We have received much interest in taking the brand overseas, but our first goal is to launch Waterlily Concept Stores in Melbourne and Sydney.

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The Details

Waterlily Flagship Concept Store
76 James Street
New Farm QLD 4006