With over 20 years experience in beauty and fashion and as the former editor of Cleo and Cosmopolitan magazines, Nedahl Stelio is truly inspiring and a trailblazer in the industry. But in 2019 she decided to embark on a new journey, all-natural perfumes and Recreation Beauty was born.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Nedahl to learn more about Recreation Beauty, discover her favourite parfum and we get an exclusive inside into a new scent which is set to launch in 2024, eeee!
W&CF: Hi Nedahl, thanks for taking the time to catch up with us and talk about all things Recreation Beauty. Let’s go back to the beginning - what inspired you to create Recreation Beauty and when did you officially launch?
NS: I gave up chemicals in my household and my beauty products about 15 years ago when I was struggling to get pregnant. I started researching and one of the first things you read is that people who've ditched chemicals in their beauty products and home products have more luck conceiving. Once you start researching what is actually in those products, it's very difficult to use them again. I literally gave away boxes of product (I was in magazines, I had a lot of beauty products!) and started from scratch. It's not what got me pregnant (I was doing so many other things at the same time), but I've never gone back to using products with chemicals.
Fragrance is one of the worst offenders - there are up to 3000 chemicals that can be classified as ‘parfum’ on the ingredients label - but it was the one product that I couldn't find a beautiful, natural substitute for. I would spray it in my hair and on my clothes so it wouldn't get on my skin which just took away the whole luxury of using perfume. And I really thought there should be a beautiful, natural fragrance brand out there. So I started investigating the idea of creating one. I started Recreation over two years ago and launched it in Feb 2019.
W&CF: With a background in fashion and beauty you would have seen and tried SO many products! What is the biggest take away from your time as editor at Cleo and Cosmopolitan magazines and how have you applied that to Recreation Beauty?
NS: There are loads of skills and training that I picked up in my magazine days that I apply now to Recreation. I was a beauty editor for years and then editor, so met with all the beauty companies and worked with loads of PRs. I learnt so much about product and design and styling but also things like running a business because as an Editor, you’re responsible for the P&L and you run the magazine as a business so that was really helpful as well.
W&CF: All your parfums are beautiful and there is definitely a scent to suit every mood and memorable moment. What was the first Recreation Beauty parfum you developed and what was the inspiration behind the scent?
NS: I get my inspiration from emotions and moments in time and I really want each scent to tell a story. The first scent I developed was Sun-Kissed and that was really all about how it feels to live at Bondi Beach and feel the sun dance on your face even in winter time and bring back the feeling of being on holidays all year round. It really is the best feeling and I wanted to capture that in a fragrance and give everyone the opportunity to inhale all of that goodness.
W&CF: We know this will be like asking you to choose a favourite child, but if you could only wear ONE Recreation Beauty parfum for the rest of your life which one would it be?
NS: It changes all the time but right now, it’s This Love Of Mine - there’s just something about gardenias and jasmine that I can’t get enough of!
W&CF: We love that your range is Vegan, Cruelty Free, Sustainable and Made in Australia using ethically sourced ingredients. Talk to us about the formulation process and how do you know when you have nailed the perfect parfum?
NS: It takes a long, long time, honestly! We go back and forth forever, but I usually know when I’m reaching for one particular one all the time that we’ve got it.
W&CF: Congratulations on launching into Sephora, that is huge! How is Recreation Beauty different from other perfumes on the market?
NS: As you mention we are vegan, cruelty free, we use only clean ingredients that don’t harm your health, animals or the planet, but we an eco-luxe brand - we don’t compromise on packaging or the actual product because these attributes are not a compromise - they make for a better product!
W&CF: Conventional perfumes are often formulated with chemicals that can be harmful to our health. What do you wish more people knew when shopping for perfumes and beauty products?
NS: I really really wish people would stop buying those chemical-laden perfumes for their 16 year olds, that’s my one really big thing. They haven’t even started their fertility journey, they’re right at the age where they need to protect their endocrine system and they shouldn’t be wearing products that will mess with their hormones. I think you can say that of people at ANY age!
W&CF: Recreation Beauty does not contain any harmful synthetics or endocrine disrupting ingredients. What is an endocrine disruptor and why should people avoid them in their beauty routines?
NS: The major endocrine disrupters in fragrance are phthalates and harmful synthetic musks which are found in almost every fragrance. They mess with your hormones and can give you mood swings, weight gain, have been linked to reproductive issues and issues with unborn foetuses, plus other harmful diseases.
W&CF: We need to be just as mindful of the products we apply onto our skin as we are about the foods we put into our bodies. What advice would you give to someone looking to switch to a natural perfume?
NS: Try our Discovery Set, it’s a great way to test the fragrances and see which one works for you!
W&CF: Have you got any new products on the horizon and can you give us any hints on what we can expect to see from Recreation Beauty next?
NS: Yes we have a new fragrance launching in Jan, can’t wait for you to try it!
1. Favourite place in the world…
In Australia it’s Bondi Beach, otherwise, Lake Como in Italy.
2. The beauty product you can't live without…
Our scented body + hair serum oil.
3. Song that lives rent free in your head…
Anything by Chvrches
4. A life changing event or experience…
5. Who or what inspires you the most in life?
Travelling makes my heart beat like nothing else on earth and gives me forever inspiration. Music is also a big one and I get a lot if inspo out of lots of different genres.
Thanks so much for chatting to us Nedahl, we have loved learning more about Recreation Beauty x