ABOUT THE WRITER: Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She likes long walks down the makeup aisle and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @thebeautypalate.
When I first walked into the gorgeous makeup and skincare store that is Organic Index, I felt like I had entered a beauty haven. Bursting to the brim and competing for my attention were a range of marvellous and clever products of all different purposes, colours and sizes. However, the one thing that set this place apart from other makeup superstores, was the organic brilliance that everything was natural and ethical; sourced exclusively from Australia and New Zealand crafters. Instantly, you can feel there’s something special about this place; that the products have heart in a way that mass produced product lines just can’t muster.
It’s that unique feeling that sisters and creators Melissa Krueger, Emma Dowling, and Rebecca Medcalf were going for. “We are creating a quality, unique space that brings together honest, beautiful products sourced from local ethical brands - both in person and online. Organic Index is a space for passionate and honest people to connect and be inspired to explore a healthier, transparent quality approach to skincare and beauty products,” Melissa explains.
So how did the sisters come up with the idea for this natural beauty paradise? “We have been seeking out different products for years, often buying them online and sharing them around with each other and our friends,” Rebecca says. “For years we wished for a space that showcased natural, organic and crafted products that wasn’t behind the celery in the local organic food shop, so in the end we finally decided we’d create that space ourselves. From here, Organic Index was born and we developed a beautiful, light-filled, calm and sophisticated showroom in a renovated Queenslander Cottage in Paddington, Brisbane."
She continues, "We really feel a responsibility to showcase the best Australia and New Zealand have to offer, and we do this everyday by offering a highly curated range of products to our community in a way that provides an unmatched customer experience. We have also embraced the opportunity to hold events, product launches, masterclasses and information evenings in our showroom, so the space is very adaptable and always changing.”
Since I have always wanted to design my own perfume (think about it, how chic would it be to have a signature scent???), this month’s workshop is right up my alley. The girls are working with Liz Cook, the founder of One Seed Organic Perfumery, to hold a free perfumery workshop in the gorgeous Organic Index showroom. The event (which is almost already full) will take place on Saturday July 29: teaching the basics of natural perfumery and blending. Guests even get to take home a kit of 12 plant essences for the attendees to create their own fragrance at home, using all their newfound knowledge.
With so many great and worthy products on the market, how do the girls choose what products to put in the store? “We base our curation process on the ethos on the internationally recognised Real Beauty Manifesto which embraces honesty, integrity, community and sustainability,” Rebecca explains. “We’re committed to helping change the face of the beauty industry by embracing a whole new level of transparency, responsibility and service.”
Many of the products are small batched, which means there’s an emphasis on quality natural ingredients. Mass produced brands tend to have all sorts of chemicals added to them to extend their shelf life, but small-batch products contain less of this, and more natural ingredients. And if something you love is out of stock because of the small-batch philosophy, the girls will order it in just for you, as I delightedly found out when I popped in to grab some of my new favourite lippy “Friday On My Mind”, by Neek.
So, what are the sisters’ favourite products? “We get asked this question a lot and I swear each time we have a different answer,” Rebecca laughs. “You know, it depends on so many things, like what season we are in, what the weather is like, and what we are wanting to use the product for.”
“In saying that, stand out hits for us right now are: the gorgeous new micellar water from INIKA, the Be Fraîche Bean Face Scrub which is a beautiful two in one exfoliant and mask and is perfect for this winter, and Theseeke Restoring Body Oil which is so, so rich, glides on and smells absolutely divine - I love to use this all over my body after a warm shower. The scent lingers through the night and is the perfect way to lull me into sleep.”
Organic Index currently stocks about 65 brands including Erica Brooke Skincare, Gemma Vendetta, Inika, Hunter Lab, Hot Tresses, One Seed Fragrance, TheSeeke and Petalhead (NZ). Find out more online at their official website, Instagram or Facebook, or visit the store in Paddington.