5 Minutes With… Conserving Beauty Founder Natassia Nicolao
What inspired you to start Conserving Beauty?
I grew up with a passion for social justice and sustainability, and I always imagined that one day I could create something that could positively impact people, the community and our planet. After completing my degree in Biochemistry, I was working in the beauty and wellness industry and I identified how heavily the industry relies on water – most beauty products contain 70-90% water, not to mention the water footprint that occurs at every stage of the product lifecycle. It was clear to me that the world didn’t need another beauty brand, it needed real change – so I decided to start Conserving Beauty. We believe that waterless is more – for you, for your wallet and for the planet – which is why our products exclude water.
What was it like to see the brand finally come to life?
It’s been a dream come true. I try to take a moment every now and then to just let it sink in – like holy shit, I’m actually following my dream! I’m really excited to create a movement in the beauty industry and I can’t wait for everyone to experience why waterless is more.
What is your favourite product in the Conserving Beauty range?
That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! But my favourite at the moment is the Conserve You Face Oil, which I use the most. It’s the perfect primer for makeup and it protects my skin throughout the day. I wear it under my SPF every morning, which is always Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF50+ – the best sunscreen ever!
What are your top 3 easy tips for sustainable living?
I’m always conscious about my footprint, whether it’s for waste, water or carbon.
To minimise waste, shop pre-loved! I buy all my clothes second-hand, especially my nicer pieces for special occasions. There are so many great sites like The RealReal or Airrobe that allow you to extend the product lifecycle beyond just a few wears. I avoid heating water in my home as much as possible, as heating the water is one of the largest contributors to household water usage, so I wash all my clothes in cold water. To minimise my carbon footprint, I opt for slower delivery services, shop at local markets and use ridesharing apps where possible.
What are you watching and listening to now?
My favourite podcast right now is ‘How To Save A Planet’ with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg, which has an interesting perspective on how we can make more conscious choices to conserve the planet. Or I love listening to ‘How I Built This’ for inspiring entrepreneur stories. My viewing habits are on rather extreme ends of the spectrum! I’m always watching either a documentary – my most recent favourite was The Inventor series about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos – or I love winding down with some trashy reality TV. I’m currently loving The Real Housewives’ Ultimate Girls’ Trip!
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
‘You don’t ask, you don’t get’. Conserving Beauty’s chairwoman Federica once gave me this super simple piece of advice, but it’s truly carried through to every aspect of my career. She always told me that asking for what I want – whether it’s to work with someone, or when I’m negotiating something for the business – pays off. Don’t answer a question for someone before you’ve even asked them, as you never know what they might say.