Cindy Luken has emerged from a few years off the radar after creating and building an outrageously successful biscuit empire, Luken & May. She is an inspirational entrepreneur and a true ‘life liver’ never compromising on leading the life she loves. Now, comes the next adventure for Cindy: Luk Beautifood. She fuses her love for beauty inside and out with an exquisite range of food active lipsticks. Here is our little interview, I hope you enjoy it!
1. From bikkies to lippies: Why the change?
There are only so many bikkies you can bake! I sold my biscuit business Luken & May to take time out and have a family, but having my own business is just part of me. I love developing products, creating something new to satisfy a ‘hungry’ consumer need and doing it in a space I am comfortable in, something that thrives on my knowledge food + science +biz. When I looked around (oh dear, back in 2006 when my first was born) I found there was an opportunity to apply a “eating for health” philosophy (which I am lucky enough to have had all my life) to beauty products. With my inquisitive mind I researched the science and manufacturing of lipsticks & colour products and realised you could substitute the cheap fillers and toxic ingredients with real food. Everything else just fell into place.
2. You’re adamant about a 15 hour work week. Where did that come from?
I have a simple philosophy – ‘Live the life you love” & “never look back and wish you had done something else”. With 2 little ones (1 in kindy + 1 pre-school) I wanted to be at home with them but I knew I must have my own ‘project’ to satisfy my personal needs. In creating this strict criteria it means the decisions on what I do in biz have to meet this contraint. It makes you tough and focused! The moveable though is time…hence the long period (5 years with – 2 years out to travel OS) it has taken to get Luk Beautifood off the ground.
3. As a qualified nutritionist, what have you seen change in the food world that you think is positive over the past decade?
Far greater awareness of what we eat and how it affects our health, our vitality, our looks and our self asteem. I love the saying “what you eat today walks and talks tomorrow”. Nutrition has undergone a massive makeover. It use to be nerdy and boring, tucked away in hospital with dieticians. Now is it mainstream, it’s sexy or wholesome!
4. Dessert Island, 3 ingredients to cook with only. What do you choose?
- Salad leaves – to go with the fish I’d catch every day!
- Eggs – perfect protein to build and repair my body’s cells. So much you can do with them too.
- Good oil (in case there are no coconut palms!) to dress my salad, fry my fish and feed my body.
5. What are your top tips for living a low tox life?
Be aware of what is in a product – educate yourself and know it will take time. Also set achievable standards and don’t get stressed if you have to compromise.
6. A lot of people claim they hate cooking. What can a person do to become a domestic godd(ess) in the kitchen?
THINK Fresh, Fast and fabulous.
Fresh – buy minimally processed, no added nasties. Keep fresh food on hand inc frozen fish/meat in portions so it is easy to whip something up.
Fast – make it simple, make one or 2 ingredients the hero. eg sautéed baby green beans with garlic + bbq salmon or lamb cutlets.
Fabulous - buy good quality ingredients so you don’t need to do much with them. Build your own repertoire so it does not take much effort.
7. Luk Beautifood: Where there any big challenges in creating an all natural, food active lipstick? Several – formulation development + packaging design & stability. Oils & waxes are the main ingredients in a lipstick or balm. It is easy to replace them with food equivalents that have an excellent nutritional profile for skin care but when you do, will they function as required? By that I mean, provide glide, a feeling of richness, are they occlusive and keep the moisture in, are they susceptible to rancidity, do the oils have the right viscosity, provide lustre, give the ‘stick’ strength, stay on? Our formulation was 18 months in development. Packaging is another story!
8. What makes your lippies so special?
- Made from FOOD – the natural healthy ingredients you eat for beautiful skin, those rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids such as omega 3 & Vitamins E+C.
- Designed Lip Nourish for lovers of good food – there is a menu of 7 citrus & spice flavours – from pure food oils not ‘flavours’.
- Thought about the whole product, its packaging too. We don’t waste your money on a disposable box, we wrapped Lip Nourish in a piece of fabric with a picture of the nourishing ingredients we use to make it – it doubles as a cleaning cloth!
So voila, you’ve now met the fabulous Cindy and her new lip nourish range. Cindy has 3 gorgeous Lip Nourishes to give away for us. Just pop in the comment box below, why you love the low tox life and next Monday Cindy shall choose her favourite 3 answers winning of the lippy of their choice valued at $24.95 each. Choose your favourite colour from this pic and be sure to name it in your answer so we know what you want! (THIS COMP IS NOW CLOSED. STAY TUNED FOR THE 3 WINNERS, TUESDAY 9th October)
Real Food + Low Tox + In a Lipstick = A whole lot of awesome!