BY LIVA OLINA

What comes after natural skincare?
Deeper than natural skincare

Sweater from second hand for few euros in combination with priceless attitude.
Photo: Vika Anisko

We live in interesting times where overproduction leaves us with difficult choices. There are so many things out there today, that one can get dizzy just trying to make a decision. And these are the moments when our money becomes our voice, because what we buy, we support. Fortunately we have a choice. Choice that goes much further than just your skincare. Today, almost everything we buy can be sustainable, ethical or have added value. I see it as a game, where we need to be smart and make the right choices to get to the next level. Because the traps are out there just waiting for you to fall in. Oh yes, they are there waiting.

More than a year ago my heart made me move to Paris. It’s not like I had never been abroad, but I had never lived being surrounded by so many beautiful things. Window-shopping quickly became my city life entertainment, making me desperate, because I literally wanted everything. I felt like the big city was swallowing me and I was getting emotionally lost. Till one day something cracked inside of me and I found a map, a compass for myself to show me how to navigate through these times of consumerism.

I have always been a vintage and second-hand fan. I love things with a soul and with a story. And I love to wear my friends’ old clothes, because it makes me feel close to them even if I’m far away. It makes me think about them even more than usual, and I like to think about my friends. Growing up in the Soviet Union countryside, we ate out of our garden. From a girl to a woman I was raised by the Madara Cosmetics team, learning even more about green lifestyle and smart everyday choices. I have even lived in the jungle with solar panels and water pumped from underground, using that same energy from the sun... Voila! My map has always been in my pocket, so why I have been running around like I was lost? It was one strict decision to buy just sustainable, ethical or second-hand and vintage clothes, but it has spread to all the areas of my life. What once started with organic skincare and smarter fashion choices, now affects everything. It turns out that there are many places in the cities where one can refill reusable water bottles to avoid single use plastic, there is jewellery made from recycled gold gathered from old technologies. There is a possibility to buy food straight from farmers, there is a used book exchange point, and there is even a compost point in the centre of Paris!

Knitted cardigan from second hand for 4 euros and borrowed pajama pants, because it was Sunday and Sundays are meant to be spent in pajamas.
Photo: Vika Anisko

I also decided for my professional work, whether it be writing or modelling, to only support brands and causes that are good for our future. Funnily enough likeminded people started to appear in my life and projects popped up. I made it to French Vogue by supporting my friend’s sustainable clothing brand, and believe me - I wouldn’t have got there any other way, no matter how dedicated to modelling I had been. It seems that pretty amazing things happen if you just follow your heart.

I always thought that I needed to move closer to nature to live more sustainably. It turns out that the contrasts of the big city brought my green voice out louder than ever. Maybe, because I don’t have beautiful forests where I can hide from the harsh reality. Everything is right there in front of me – the chaos, the hell and ignorance… But we can’t ignore it. We need to go out and do the best possible. Because in any, and I repeat, in any field, there are brands and possibilities to support a better future by eliminating our footprint on this planet. It really doesn’t stop with organic skincare. So, what steps are you going to take next?