The story of Pascale Edwards-Labelle is one that we can only find in the world of green beauty. Launched in 2011, Blue Labelle – her organic and vegan botanical skincare line, features a range of lovingly-made, small batches blends that both soften the skin and soothes the senses. From the beautiful Isle of Wight, Pascale savors the simple things in life and shares with us her positive outlook on life and her contagious enthusiasm.
Do you have a favorite ingredient, and why?
My favourite ingredient changes over time, if I start working with a new ingredient it can often become my favourite as I revel in its newness, marvelling at another one of nature’s gifts, this is what happened when I started formulating with Marula Oil and Moringa Oil, both very special nutrient-packed oils. Then there are ingredients I know will always be close to my heart because of their amazing skincare properties, Rosehip & Jojoba oils are two such ingredients. My current favorite, however, is Rhassoul Clay; known as the King of Clays due to its superior mineral content, it is a truly wonderful multi-purpose ingredient. It is only found at the foot of the Atlas mountains in Morocco and has been used to detox and replenish skin for over a thousand years. Integral to Moroccan Hammam Spa treatments you can activate it with liquid into body & face masks and scrubs that leave skin looking brand new, you can even use it to wash your body and hair – because it’s sulphate-free, my naturally wavy hair curls so much more than if I’ve used a shampoo that contains even the least damaging sulphates. So you have one pot of clay and you can use it to wash cleanse and scrub from top to toe – now that’s magic!
What inspired you to create Blue Labelle?
I had a passion for natural living and was making natural skincare blends in my spare time for family and friends when the renewable energy company I was working for unfortunately had a downturn in orders and we all lost our jobs. Those close to me suggested that I start making & selling my skincare for a living, so I embarked on a number of courses to cement my knowledge and launched Blue Labelle back in 2011: we’re approaching the 5 year anniversary which is really exciting! I absolutely love what I do and as they say – if you love your work then it doesn’t feel like work!
Do you carry natural and organic lifestyle into your daily diet?
Oh yes absolutely. I have done for many years and believe the people I’m in contact with through Blue Labelle have influenced me too, from being in both the organic & vegan product markets. At home we buy as much organic food as possible with little to no processed foods- I love spicy food such as curry and chilli, eating them two or three times a week using many nutritional spices such as turmeric and cayenne. We visited India last year and absolutely loved eating all the fresh vegetables and spices every day. My other half is a keen gardener so we are lucky enough to be able to pick from the garden herbs and vegetables for our meals. I truly believe that if we want the human race and this planet to avoid destruction, then we need to stop using toxic farming techniques and go back to how farming used to be – organic. Soil nutrient levels, wildlife and plant species numbers are all decreasing, a major way to combat this, is by using organic methods, in our diet, products, and our skincare!
What three products can you not live without?
What’s a common skin care myth?
Well, we’re seeing it less and less but the ‘oil is bad for your skin’ myth really affected a lot of people for many years and there are still people I come across to whom the idea of applying skincare oils is so alien, even though oils have been used in skin care for millennia. Luckily, we now have access to much more information than in the pre-internet age so now anyone can learn that actually our skin has a waterproof oil layer at the surface that readily absorbs plant oils so that they can replenish essential fatty acids and nutrients, rejuvenating skin improving its appearance & performance. When I first started Blue Labelle, mainstream beauty brands didn’t offer facial oils at all but now with the growth of green & organic beauty, pretty much every brand offers at least one pure oil blend – Viva la oil revolución!
What’s the most challenging aspect of being a skincare formulator? The most rewarding?
It can be challenging when you have a eureka idea for a new product, but then after formulating it you make it and the first attempt is not as you imagined…this can be disheartening. I just tell myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and try again, practice does indeed make perfect. This is linked to the most rewarding aspect of being a skincare formulator – when customers tell me how much they love the Blue Labelle blends that they use – that their skin is radiant and that they look forward to using them every day – this makes all the hard work completely worth it.
How important is the wellness aspect of the green lifestyle to you?
I’d say it comes as part of the green lifestyle, but it isn’t something I consciously try and incorporate into my life, perhaps it just happens naturally! I go to a yoga class twice a week and try to have a little stretch at home in between classes, I really enjoy the space it puts in my mind as well as the increased flexibility & strength it has given me. I try and eat as healthily as I can, but I also eat indulgent foods and wholeheartedly enjoy a glass of red wine in the evening. I believe you need to kick back in order to then refocus if you’re focused all of the time you’re likely to burn out. I’m lucky to have a pretty good outlook on life, I live on a beautiful island and reside by the sea, I more often feel positive about life and love positive interactions with people. I’m easily pleased and very grateful for the simple things in life – a bird singing or the Spring buds coming out on the trees; these are all things that increase the wellness in your life whether you’re doing them consciously or not.
Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.