Australian-based multidisciplinary wellness brand Gracious Minds places nurturing the skin, mind, and body at the forefront of its ethos. With its decadent and sustainable organic range of nourishing face oils, biodegradable masks, acetate hair combs, and even journals, the truly conscious brand has gone the extra mile to source the perfect ingredients for each product, capturing the essence of well-being inside and out.
The label’s Organic Skincare Rituals lineup is comprised of Australian skincare using the most advanced natural extracts for sensitive skin. Among some of Gracious Minds’ bestsellers, the Vitamin Sea Luminosity Night Oil provides a rich blend of antioxidant extracts that help brighten and repair the skin overnight. Elsewhere, the Beyond The Surface Brighten + Hydrate Mist is infused with bearberry, pine bark, and green tea extract, which in combination, increases hyaluronic acid production in the skin whilst correcting dark hyperpigmentation and calming irritation. Other products include the Daily Elements Oil To Milk Cleanser, Hydra-Marine Hydra Boost Serum, and Phytofruits Enzyme Facial Polish to name a few.
Meanwhile, the Body Rituals range features the highly-coveted Womankind Plant-Based Perfume, Forest Bathing Soothing Bath Soak, and Good-Natured Plant-Based Perfume. The latter boasts smoky and zesty notes of vetiver root, orange, and buddha wood. The Mind Rituals lineup dons a stone paper journal, artist book, and diffuser oil in three scents: “Cloud Nine,” “Awakening,” and “Pastures Green.” Each respective offering can be used alongside rituals for meditation, journaling, and self-discovery.
This month, Gracious Minds launched its Earth Comb, a luxurious hair tool made from plant-based acetate. The comb, which comes in a white vegan leather pouch, can be used to comb wet and dry hair daily. It joins other beauty tools such as the Helping Hands Nail Care Set, comprised of a glass nail file and wooden cuticle stick, as well as the Dalmation Quartz Gua Sha, used to aid blood circulation and give your complexion an immediate lift and glow.
Below, we chat with Gracious Minds founder Kat Narelle about the genesis of her wellness label, navigating the organic realm of cosmetics, and self-care practices, among other topics. Read on for our conversation.
Let’s start with an introduction. How did you originally fall in love with holistic wellness and what was the process of bringing Gracious Minds from concept to realization?
At 20 years of age, I co-founded a photography company, which soon grew to employ over 15 staff all whilst operating in multiple states across Aus. It was extremely stressful. In fact, during this period, I developed an addiction as I didn’t know how to manage my feelings, stress, or relationships.
When I turned 30, my business partner and I decided it was time to call it quits, we were fortunate enough to find a buyer, and the business was sold prior to COVID. During this time of transition, I hit my lowest point and knew it was time to seek help. From therapy to journaling, to exploring who I was, I took some time to really connect to my inner self and for the first time since childhood, I was kind to myself again. This was when Gracious Minds was born.
The Vitamin Sea Luminosity Night Oil is among one of the brand’s most raved-about products—what inspired the creation of this product and how does it differ from other Vitam C oils on the market?
Oh, I love this question! Only because it took SO long to formulate! I wanted to create a face oil that contained high-strength antioxidants, hence the color, and working with our lab on the Vitamin C component was straightforward; however, Vitamin C really needs Vitamin E in order to be most potent, and we could have added a basic Vitamin E element, however, I had read about New Zealand Native extracts and couldn’t look away.
NZ Native Totarol bark extract is 3-4 times stronger than Vitamin E alone and is a highly sustainable extract so It was a no-brainer for our face oil. Of course, we have Red algae too, which is where the famous name comes from. Marine Microalgae has demonstrated age-protective properties by inhibiting enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. It is power-packed with Peptides, Antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
In regards to navigating organic and plant-based formulas, what is something so complex about the beauty world that people are blind to, and something so easy about the world that more people should know about?
Water and essential oils. Not so much complex, but definitely something that’s not talked about enough. Essential oils in leave-on skincare products, especially serums and toners, can irritate the skin, and even if it doesn’t at the time of application, they can cause skin sensitivity over time.
In regards to water, there’s really no need to have water In a face mist/toner or serum, these products reach the lower levels of the skin for hydration and in order to target specific skin concerns, so when water is added, it’s just basically filling up the product and doing nothing for the skin.
Switching gears slightly, how do you see the connection between self-care and the word ritual?
Rituals provide psychological comfort and after they become common practice, they help to reinforce your true sense of self. I think self-care is definitely similar although I don’t connect the word self-care to understanding feelings, I find self-care to be more around pampering yourself rather than connecting to your inner being.
We’d love to know a bit about your own beauty routine and what you look for in terms of sustainability when it comes to your skincare and body rituals?
It’s really important for me to practice rituals daily in order to connect to my feelings and not be tempted by things that no longer serve me. My evening rituals are a mix of breathwork, candle gazing, journaling, and skincare; it’s time to myself where I can really understand my feelings.
Elsewhere, the Womankind Plant-Based Perfume is another phenomenal addition to the product lineup. How do you approach creating new scents as well as their name?
We were really blown away with the success of Womankind especially in stores through our retail partners, and so we created our second organic fragrance, “Good-Natured” – Good-Natured is definitely my favorite. There is something so powerful about the base note Vetiver in it, It’s long-lasting and smoky, exotic and woody. The names take time and usually a mood board. I run them by my branding agency in the U.S., text friends, I’m a creative soul, so I enjoy this process.
What are your goals for Gracious Minds? How would you like to see it evolve in the future?
We’re currently working on new ritual kits rather than stand-alone products, which we’re excited for Our 2022 goals are to be stocked with International retailers like POOSH & GOOP.
Elsewhere in beauty and wellness, Starface introduces its new product, the Clear as Day Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46.