Thursday, February 16, 2017

Natural beauty: Lucy Vincent, creator of Sans [ceuticals]


Businesswoman, creative and passionate mama, petite blonde powerhouse Lucy Vincent is one hell of a woman. A well-known face in the New Zealand fashion and hair industries for over 20 years, she is a long-time advocate for all-natural beauty and the planet, and is a source of endless, valuable information about both. 
When I found out I was pregnant with my son Wolf she was one of the first to know, and soon presented me with a range of options for my haircare that would have zero effect on my system, and my growing baby's. These included organic, chemical free colour, new techniques with my old colour to minimise its effects on my system, an organic take home hair care range and general, all round great advice. This was clearly a woman who knew her stuff.
Originally from the Lakes District in the UK, she moved to Australia when she was nine and then to New Zealand when she was eleven. Leaving school at 15 to work as a hairdresser in Nelson, she moved to Auckland at age 23 and became the co-founder of the Ponsonby salon we now all know and love, Stephen Marr. Further Stephen Marr salons were to follow, along with beauty haven Lucy & The Powder Room, and Lucy was also a co-founder of the pioneering North Shore retail concept, The Department Store.
Amazingly, while all of this growth was happening on a commercial level she also found the time to create Sans [ceuticals], a specialist collection of hair and body products that has slowly but surely been going on to conquer the world. Their formulations are pure and clean, with each ingredient highly considered. This means that as well as being simply gorgeous to use, they are as high performance as they get. The active ingredients in each offering are dialled up to really high levels to work on cellular health as well as skin and hair structure, and I for one can’t get enough.
“It used to be that everything that was natural was believed to be better for you,” she told me at the time of the product collection’s first release, “but now we're realising that some ingredients from nature can be just as irritating and toxic as those that are synthetic. My range is as pure as it can be as well as non-irritating or comedogenic, and all the ingredients I've used are sustainably harvested from communities that are fully supported.” 
Pure, chemical-free and highly active, Sans [ceuticals] really is new generation beauty: a collection of products designed to renew the texture and appearance of your skin and hair that doesn’t harm the user or the environment. The collection contains no artificial chemicals – only sustainably harvested, natural ingredients and organic wherever possible - and in line with the name (Sans is French for ‘without’), is pure, clean and without any unnecessary or harmful ingredients. 
The range began with a single product: the now cult favourite known as Activator 7 Body Oil, a reparative oil that uses active vitamin A to stimulate cell repair, increase collagen production and boost skin thickness and elasticity. After two years of rigorous research and development, the end result really was something special. The effects of regular use of Activator 7 on some eczema sufferers has been better than that of the use of steroid-based creams. Further body and haircare formulations were to follow, each more amazing than the next.
Fast-forward to 2017 and talking to Lucy in the Grey Lynn space where she now works exclusively on Sans [ceuticals], it is clear she is still obsessed by her creation, which is about to enter a new space globally. The brand has been in the US at a very low-key level for several years now, but that is all set to change with a new direct-to-consumer business approach and very clever digital strategy. There has also been a reformulation process rolling out across many of the products in the range to make them even more multifunctional (I love that, our bathroom cabinets are too cluttered as it is!), including the aforementioned Activator 7, which can now be used as everything from a face and hair oil to an eye makeup remover. A new styling line for the hair will also be unveiled later in the year.
Key to the digital strategy is a fresh new website that is interactive and ready to deliver Sans lovers from all over the world a quick, effective e-commerce experience, as well as how-to videos to educate and beautiful recipes, inspiration and the like. It is capable of giving consumers a highly detailed Sans [ceuticals] prescriptions for their skin, and the opportunity to experience luxury samples via the ‘Sans Dispensary’.
The brand is also collaborating with 30 key, high profile and like-minded women on the global stage under the name the Coven Women, an initiative made possible by Lucy’s good friend Natalie Shukur, a freelance writer, editor, content strategist and creative consultant based in New York. The possibilities really are endless in the digital space, and these women will help take the Sans [ceuticals] message to the world.
“I am just so excited about this year,” Lucy tells me with the biggest smile on her face, “and having a platform to really tell the Sans [ceuticals] story from our own point of view to consumers is key. I’m happy!”


(This story was first published in the always-awesome Ponsonby News)

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