Beauty News: Natural Beauty

Kim Sivyer was an early adopter of natural beauty products. Having moved to Barbados 15 years ago, she saw a gap in the market for skincare, haircare and make-up that combined high performance with nasty-free formulas – and so her brand, Pure Source, was born. “I didn’t want to use chemicals on my own skin any more, and I couldn’t find the products I was looking for,” she explains. “Now it’s huge, but natural skincare hadn’t really broken into the market yet, so it was quite an exciting time.”

Returning to the UK last year, Kim opened a store on Cambridge’s Bridge Street in the autumn. Every product has been selected with incredible care: it must be genuinely natural, it must be ethically sound, it must do what it says on the tin (staff test every line before it makes the shelf).

All the products have stories to tell, too. Take the Tadé bar soaps: usingages-old techniques and 100% natural ingredients, notably olive and laurel oils, the Aleppo brand has survived decades of Syrian unrest. Or the RMS makeup collection, created by American MUA Rose-Marie Swift, who fell ill as a result of toxins in the products she used to use day-to-day, so decided to formulate her own; fans include Gisele.

VELVET: Pure Source, Bridge Street, Cambridge, Kim Sivyer. Picture: Keith Heppell. (27282940)
VELVET: Pure Source, Bridge Street, Cambridge, Kim Sivyer. Picture: Keith Heppell. (27282940)

Kim started out in the beauty industry, training as a hairdresser when she left school at 16 and going on to work in a hit Soho salon, where members of the Government and film industry were among her regulars.

Deciding the time was right for a new challenge, she then segued into the finance industry – a job in hedge funds followed her business degree – before changing direction again, on moving to Barbados. “It sounds like I’m really crazy,” laughs Kim, “but all my previous experience came together in Pure Source.”

Since cutting the ribbon on the Cambridge store, Kim says the city has made Pure Source “incredibly welcome. I can’t count the number of people who’ve come in and said ‘This is brilliant! It’s just what we want!’.” Aside from the curation of products, which spans both iconic and break-out brands, Kim says it’s the personal service which sets the boutique apart.

“We talk to all our customers about their skin, their routine, what they’re looking for, and we make recommendations unbiased by brand – even down to make-up: some people like to apply make-up with their fingers, some with a brush,” explains Kim. “There’s no one-size-fits-all.”

Pure Source is at Bridge Street, Cambridge.

See @puresourcestores for more.

Kim selects five hero products to help your skin survive and thrive this winter

Jao Brand Goe Oil All Over Body Oil, £44

“If you want a single product to soothe skin that’s parched and itchy from central heating, this is it. Lighter in texture than a body butter, but just as long lasting, it absorbs brilliantly.”

Tata Harper Creme Riche Velvet Moisturising Cream, £170

“For a boost of moisture, Creme Riche is amazing. It contains 43 high-performance ingredients, 16 of them selected for their hydrating properties, and everything’s natural. The owner has a farm in Vermont, where many of the ingredients are grown.”

Odylique Repair Lotion, £22

“This brand is based in Suffolk – and both its ingredients and packaging are locally sourced with minimal carbon footprint. Created by the founder to soothe her family’s eczema-stressed skin, this lotion is described as ‘intensive care for dry, irritated skin’. We’ve already had to re-stock.”

Olio E Osso Balm, £27

“Containing shea butter, beeswax, olive and citrus oils, this balm is brilliant for dry, chapped lips. It’s a multi-tasker, too: you can use it on dry skin patches, even on dry hair ends.”

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, £34

“This is a really clever product. It contains sugar, a natural emulsifier. You mix it with water in your hand first, to achieve the consistency you want; you can choose how abrasive you want it to be. As well as removing dead skin cells, it’s also really nourishing and firming.”

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