You wouldn't think music industry execs would be the type to make a leap into the unknown (and highly competitive) world of beauty, but former A&R and marketing minds Alexandra Cubizolles and Phillipe Solas clearly aren't your average suits. With a Bachelor's degree in Biology under Alexandra's belt and Shiatsu massage credentials from Phillipe, the pair soon combined their love of travel, natural ingredients and wellbeing into a 100 per cent natural line of fragrance and luxury body care.
Already stocked in Colette, Nose, Le Bon Marche and now, Mecca, we chatted toco-founder Alexandra while she was in Sydney recently to discover the story behind Une Nuit A Bali.
What's the story behind the brand?
I was working in the music industry, in A&R as an artistic director. And the person I founded the brand with was the head of marketing, but we both wanted to change industry. I've always been into skincare because my mum uses a lot of products, so I grew up around that. I realised very late that women don't put that much on their face - I really thought everyone did!
I've always been very curious, so I started touching everything and learning ingredients and trying to do some research. People thought I was a bit crazy but I really liked it - I would study organic chemistry and skin biology. I never thought of starting my own brand. Then I thought, with all the knowledge that I have, I'm sure I can bring something new to it.
And how does Bali come into it?
We're all trying to fight skin ageing and the worst thing for that is stress. So if you take time to relax, it's going to make your skin better. The best thing to do would be to take you to Bali, so that's how we found the name 'One Night in Bali.' In the music industry, we have a philosophy that if you sell something you need to tell the story. So when you use a product, the result of the product will be the destination and how you apply it is the journey. When you compare that to travelling it totally makes sense.
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What are some of the highlight products?
Our shower gel. People think it's just the shower, it doesn't matter -right? But it's about cleansing. When you think about it, you have applied this every day since a very young age, and since we don't spend much money on it, the ingredients have to be pretty cheap and it's actually really damaging to the skin. It not only strips away the top layer, it changes the structure inside the skin. I say, 'When you're 20-30, just get a good shower gel, a good cleanser'. It's going to be a little more expensive, but it's going to spare you so much trouble after.
Tell me about the formula?
A lot of people get allergies. The two main reasons for allergies are the preservatives and the perfume, the fragrance. That's why we use only ylang ylang essential oils and jasmine absolute. Ylang Ylang is an extract, usually it's only used for perfumery. Jasmine absolute isn't even used for perfumery anymore because it's so expensive. It would be so much easier for me to use synthetic fragrance, [products would cost less] but I really need to respect the formula for the consumer.
You also have an unusual product, La Poudre de Massage?
It's not common in France, in fact I don't think it even exists. When you have a massage with an oil and you don't want to be oily, you can put it on afterwards. Usually what I do is I advise it for people with really oily skin. When you mattify your make-up and use powder, there's a lot of talcum, which is really bad for your skin. This is a natural alternative.
Une Nuit A Bali is stocked in Mecca stores nationally and at mecca.com.au.