BY PAMELA – CO-FOUNDER OF NAKED KLAY
As a qualified makeup artist and a massive beauty junkie, I’ve always had a strong passion for makeup and beauty. From when I was a young girl, I used to constantly spend my time watching YouTube videos and following social media influencers on the latest trends to make your skin look flawless and how to prevent early signs of ageing. This is where my makeup/skincare journey really took off.
Fresh out of high-school I completed by Diploma in Specialist Makeup Artistry. This initial step led me into the world of freelancing, eventually leading into a senior Makeup Artist role at one of Australia's largest makeup/skincare department stores. While my passion for makeup remained, I found myself increasingly intrigued by the intricate science behind what went under our makeup.
Inspired by my mother's academic pursuits in Cosmetic Chemistry, I decided to follow in her footsteps and delve into this fascinating field myself. This pivotal decision marked a significant transition in my career, as I ventured into the world of Cosmetic Chemistry—an industry that offered a deeper understanding of skincare.
NAVIGATING MENTAL HEALTH BATTLES TO FIND MY WELLNESS PATH
Like many young adults, the ongoing battle with anxiety and depression since my late teens was undeniably leaving a significant impact on both my life and career. Unless you directly experience anxiety or depression, I am unsure if people really know what it feels like. Anxiety to me before I experienced it to its severity was getting nervous over small things, not being able to focus or feeling jittery after a coffee…. until it started to consume me.
During Covid-19, we all had to stop socialising and that’s where I noticed I started to crash. I was at my darkest point at this stage. I went from trying every anti-depressant the doctors would recommend me – from Mirtazapine to Fluoxetine to Lexapro. I upped my doses as they would tell me too. Little did I know the side effects of these drugs that were impacting my mental state significantly. Fluoxetine took me to a really dark place. I struggled with panic attacks every single say. I felt scattered, I felt quite literally like a zombie, I had no drive to wake up or do anything I would normally do, I would have a nap and I would experience the most unpleasant twitches that ran through my entire body and felt as if my brain was zapping – in all honestly, I thought this drug was making me go insane.
My mum, having studied Chinese Medicine would encourage me to go see a Chinese acupuncturist in Springvale and would help me find alternative approaches to managing my health issues, so that I didn't have to live this life anymore on prescription medication. I explored every option available, from consultations with naturopaths to experimenting with cannabis-derived oils found in local health food stores, even seeking advice from iridologists.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of gyms, I discovered the power of integrating fitness into my weekly routine. I embraced regular walks and embarked on frequent long hikes. When fitness facilities gradually reopened, I eagerly joined structured fitness classes and engaged a personal trainer for weekly sessions. The impact of fitness on my life was profound; it not only enhanced my physical health but also sharpened my mental clarity, boosted my energy levels, and provided an effective outlet for managing anxiety.
Today, I am a proud Les Mills Body Pump instructor, leveraging my passion for fitness to empower others to experience the same positive transformations I've undergone. Today, I am mentally so happier and in a better mental state that I have ever been in. I thank my mum and the commitment I've made to holistic health and fitness pursuits.
That's why the fusion of wellness with our brand, Naked Klay, holds immense significance for me. To truly "expose your natural beauty" it's essential to feel great both internally and externally.
THE POWER OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
Naked Klay is largely inspired by my mother through her studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which largely focuses on the balance of yin and yang. Heavily rooted in mind and body wellness, TCM emphasises on taking care of the roots of the problems that affect all areas of your body, including the mind, rather than just your symptoms. For example your skin’s quick fix may not just be skin-care it may be addressing the roots of the problem such as excess heat in the body from certain foods you eat, or a malfunctioning metabolism system caused by poor circulation of blood, causing acne. To be the healthiest version of yourself, a balanced lifestyle is necessary.
TCM just made sense for our skincare brand, especially when it came to the healing ingredients used in our products. Taking a healing approach, we combined a number of different herbs, botanicals and natural ingredients to create formulations that suit different skin types and concerns, such as breakouts, dryness or ageing. TCM provided us with a unique perspective into beauty and lifestyle choices, which guided us on our journey to creating Naked Klay.
A SHIFT IN TODAY’S DEFINITION OF “BEAUTY”
There has been a major shift in the definition of “beautiful” for today’s generation, leaving many of us in our early adulthood feeling as if we need to look like society's standards of beauty. This can be partly attributed to the take-off of social media in the last few years, and I can definitely relate to the millions of girls who say they don’t feel as beautiful as the models that we look up too on Instagram.
However, my journey with developing Naked Klay completely changed my perspective. It’s been a long road, but everyday I’m learning how to embrace who I am and the features I have. It all starts with being a healthier version of yourself and looking after not only your skin, but your body, your mind and your overall wellbeing as well.
BEAUTY IS NOT DEFINED
My goal in life is to send a message to the world that beauty is not defined and we are all beautiful in our own individual way. I want to educate not only women, but everybody in Australia, overseas or wherever it may be that self-love is so important. I want people to be able to embrace their natural beauty and not feel like they should hide behind makeup, but instead wear makeup as a self-expression. And at the end of the day when they take their makeup off, I want them to feel just as beautiful.
My promise to my mother is to create awareness that goes far beyond. Feeling like you are not beautiful can lead to many underlying issues within yourself such as low self-esteem, anxiety or mental disorders. Society's superficial idea of beauty has led to these issues today, and I want to be able to support as many people as I can.
Throughout my NK journey I will be investing my time into supporting non-profit organisations who focus on positive thinking, self-love awareness and mental support. This is such a strong message and addressing these issues is not attention seeking. I endeavour to normalise talking about mental health, instead of leaving it until it’s too late.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Being a part of the NK journey is a lot more than just amazing, advanced skincare. It’s following us on the road to help you become a better version of yourself, teaching you to respect yourself and to enjoy and encourage that there is only one of you in this world, and that is so special.
My grandmother framed me a poem that says:
“I am unique
I am loveable
I am significant
I am enough
I am important
I am special
I am healthy”
She told me to read this to myself not just once, but numerous times a day. Whoever’s reading this right now, I encourage you to do the same. It can change your life. You are important in so many ways. Positive thinking is a powerful source in attracting what you want in life and how you see yourself.
Be you. Be kind to yourself.